Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is Your Company As Social As They Should Be?


 All brands know the importance of marketing and advertising, which is why they pour MILLIONS upon MILLIONS into their advertisements, strategies, and methods needed to analyze the effectiveness. What they don’t seem to quite grasp yet is the importance of not only incorporating social media into their plans, but that they need to be paying more attention to it.

In a recent Advertising Age article, it discussed the fact that brands FACEBOOKS alone drive more activity and engagement than the website they had previously created. It’s not only driving more page views, but Facebook likes, comments, and more click-throughs to the articles, blogs and photos posted on those websites.

Marketing and advertising strategies need to be able to shift as quickly as possible, especially when all of their consumers are embracing social media via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more. Just because these sites don’t offer the types of analytics a company may be searching for, it is much more worthy of the time and money flowing through these departments to get in the social media game even if they can’t measure it as effectively as some other engagements.

Consumers of all sorts are on social media… that’s a fact. Most likely, they are the consumers that you’ve been targeting all along. Most consumers seem to be more heavily influenced by peers and followers on Facebook and Twitter when asking an opinion about a product, which is why it should concern companies who aren’t effectively monitoring the answers. 

Why not invest as much time and money into a medium where you’re consumers already exist, and see what possibilities could arise?  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Traveling Just Got Easier... And Trickier At The Same Time?

Have you gone on a vacation recently? Was it to a new, exotic location or was it the same cottage on a coast you’ve been visiting since you were young? Nowadays there is a plethora of methods to help decide on where you vacation should be, how much it could cost, what you should pack… but is it helpful?

With the increasing use of technology and social media in particular to advertise a vacation, what resources should you embrace and which should you forget about while planning for vacations?

One of the best ways to avoid vacation information overload is to pick a destination with friends or family and decide what kind of vacation you’re looking for before you head out there to search for a deal. Next, pick a few favorite travel agent/company twitters and facebooks and research what they are currently offering, what they’ve offered in the past, and if any of it is relevant to you and your family.

Try interacting with relevant facebooks, twitters, and websites to create a relationship with these agents, companies and hotels. You never know what type of deal you may score due to your social media participation, and interacting with your future vacation destinations will keep you informed about all upcoming events and other information you may need to know.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Advertising is based on one thing... Happiness." - Don Draper

Don Draper had it right when he said "Advertising is based on one thing... Happiness." He might have lost some of us when he continued explaining what happiness means to him, but he's right about the fact that advertising is largely based on one thing- emotions.

Behavioral Economics… it sounds like it has nothing to do with the business world, but instead seems to be some crazy mixture between psychology and math, right? Not exactly… Behavioral Economics is becoming more and more relevant every day, thanks to smarter consumers who have an infinite number of choices to make every day. Not only do consumers have more choices than ever, but with the popularity of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, they have thousands of opinions they can search through and listen to as well.

Market research today is studying purchase intent and what consumers want – but they don’t study the reason someone DOESN’T buy something or suddenly changes their mind. Emotions, opinions and peer pressure greatly influence modern-day consumers, and it’s time to start researching how and why this happens. Agencies and marketers need to start thinking more outside of the box to solve this problem, because although you may be working for a Fortune 500 brand, your brand is not as powerful as it was 10 years ago.

A great example comes from a recent Advertising Age article, who discusses marketing focuses for gym memberships. Traditional focus groups have found more people say they would go to the gym if it were closer, if there was free babysitting, or less expensive… But gyms have catered to these needs and don’t see any changes. What agencies need to do is think more outside of the box. One great new idea Advertising Age brought up was charging people for NOT coming to the gym- how revolutionary is that?! Think about it, how much worse would you feel about not going to the gym that is near free as long as you attend as many days as you say you will? Now, this idea may not be the most profitable, but it really gets the juices flowing and makes you wonder what else is possible.

Thus, advertising agencies may hire the best and the brightest in their classes, but if you don’t truly understand who your consumers are and why they purchase the way they do- aren’t you missing the point?