We all hate spam.


So I’m sure at some stage in our internet lives we have all come across spam (and no I don’t mean the tin of pre-cooked meat). Whether it was through excessive emails, random friend requests, websites links or social media blasts, we are all well aware of the level of frustration it causes seeing an email being sent to us trying to sell yet another ‘authentic’ Gucci handbag.

Justin Rao and David Reiley define spam as an
“unsolicited commercial email and related undesirable online communication”

Lucky for us, internet providers such as Google and Yahoo! Are constantly updating their “anti-spam filtering techniques” (Rao & Reiley, 2012) to shut down and eliminate providers of spam to ensure that consumers internet experience is kept spam free. Most commonly, service providers will shut down any source that sends a large quantity of messages, repeatedly, to a large audience.

Although this technique sounds great to us as a consumer – what about the people who are actually sending the content?

It can be concluded that the majority of sites/emails that get tagged and shut down as ‘spammers’ are not legitimate businesses or individuals, however sometimes this isn’t the case.

A research study undertaken by Cheong, Aleti and Turner, was deemed as spam due to the fact that they were trying to distribute surveys via Twitter in bulk, in order to get ‘big data’ to analyse. Twitter shut down the account that was being used to distribute the surveys multiple times which impacted the study and the results. Despite efforts in trying to deem their account as legitimate – twitter continually shut it down due to the strong filters and policies they have against spam like behaviour.

This is one flaw in the anti-spam filters that internet providers implement. Although majority of the time these anti-spam filters save peoples sanity – they can also cause some major problems in situations similar to the one above.

What do you think? Do you think there should be a way for legitimate businesses and individuals to prove themselves as ‘anti-spammers’? Or do you think this will cause more problems?

References:
Cheong, M., Aleti, T., & Turner, W. (2016). Twitter, Alcohol and Wasted War Stories: Potted Lessons in Social Media–Based Methodologies. SAGE Research Methods Cases. London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Ltd

Eric Peters Auto. (2014). Spam [image]. Retrieved from http://ericpetersautos.com/2014/09/25/spam/

Glasbergen Cartoon Services. (n.d). Computers [image]. Retrieved from http://www.glasbergen.com/?count=13&s=computer

Rao, J., & Reiley, D. (2012). The economics of spam. Journal of economic perspectives, 26 (3), 87-110.

 

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Negative viral marketing – ain’t nobody got time for that!

So I’m sure that we have all come into contact with a viral video at some point during our Facebook lives. Some are probably more memorable than others due to being funny, sad, emotional or so stupid it’s hilarious. Nonetheless viral marketing can either make or break a business.

According to Kaplan (2011) Viral marketing is an electronic word-of-mouth whereby some form of marketing message related to a company, brand, or product is transmitted in an exponentially growing way—often through the use of social media applications.

Kaplan also states that there are four different types of social media viral marketing campaigns. There are the nightmares, strokes of luck, homemade issues and triumphs.

A lot of the time it is the nightmare campaigns that go viral, which can be very harmful for businesses as they are unable to control all complaints that customers put on social media sites. However not all ‘nightmares’ remain a ‘nightmare’.

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Some of you may recall viral posts like this on Facebook pages such as Woolworths, KFC, McDonalds and other business pages, where customers post a picture of a dissatisfaction about a product or service which generates a lot of conversation. These people are generally seen as an attention seeker on social media sites and are able to gain a lot of engagement from posts such as these (see ‘What type of Facebook user are you? for more).

The original intent of posting this picture was for the customer to share his frustration and anger about the quality of the product and the disappointment he received when he realised that his avocados were un-eatable (nightmare marketing). Although written with a slight undertone of humour the general idea of the post was to negatively impact Woolworths. Comments on the post include other customer’s experiences with off food that they have purchased at Woolworths especially avocadoes.

However this was not the reason the post went viral. Woolworths replied to this particular post with a witty comment that captured the attention of many. Using appropriate language and tone of voice Woolworths was able to successfully turn a nightmare into a stroke of luck marketing campaign. It was the phrase ‘hook a brother up’ that got people wanting to give Woolworths a ‘social media high-five’.

woolies quote .jpg

From this ‘complaint’ memes were made about the good nature of Woolworths and how well they respond and fix issues in order to satisfy their consumers. Although this post started going viral for all the wrong reasons Woolworths was able to adapt to the situation and make it go viral for all the right reasons, showing that they care for their customers by providing quality customer service and feedback. Which is a very important skill to have to be able to deal with negative backlash on Social Media, as word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of communication that affects business online.

Let me know some other examples where businesses have successfully transformed a ‘nightmare’ viral post into a ‘stroke of luck’ or even a ‘triumph’

References:
Kaplan, A., Andreas M., Haenlein M. (2011). Two Hearts in Three-Quarter Time: How to Waltz the Social Media/Viral marketing Dance. Business Horizons,  54, 253-263.

 

How to create a number one ranked webpage.

I have just spent the last 10 minutes unsuccessfully searching through 20,300,000 results of ’12 things about digital marketing’ wondering why such a specific search didn’t bring up this page considering it is the main title. It wasn’t until I typed in the full address www.12thingsaboutdigitalmarketing.wordpress.com that I had success in finding it. Why is this?

Search Engine Marketing. In particular key phrase analysis.

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As outlined by Chaffey et al search engine marketing is the promotion of an organisation through search engines by having relevant content in their search listings so that others can find their webpage easily.
In order for organisations to optimise on search engine marketing they must first think like their consumers. This is similar to the concept of micro-moments that I discussed a few posts ago, where marketers need to understand how their consumers are using search engines so that they can target their business accordingly. This will help them determine what key terms and phrases consumers are searching for in order for businesses to appropriately tag their page with relevant and common keywords.

Take Jetstar for example, there are 50 billion webpages registered on Googles index alone (worldwideweb, 2016) and yet I only need to type in ‘Melbourne to Sydney’ to instantly know that there is a plane leaving in 1 hour and 35 minutes and that it will take me 1 hour and 25 minuets to get there. I didn’t even mention the words Jetstar or aeroplane. This is due to Jetstar understanding how consumers are using their search engines to look for flights and tagged all the relevant key phrases and words onto their site so that they rank high against other airline companies.

jetstar.jpg

Businesses can find out about commonly searched phrases and key terms through Google AdWords and Google trend pages. By adding this feature it will allow for businesses to have a higher ranked site at a lower cost due to highly targeted content.

So maybe I will have more luck in finding my site if I add some relevant tags to my page to make it easier to find so that I don’t need to type in the full address every time.

What are your thoughts on key words and phrases do you think they are important or are there other ways for businesses to get a high ranking website?

 

References:

Chaffey, D. & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012). Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice, 5th ed. Essex: Pearson Education.

Kunder, M. (25-4-16). The size of the World Wide Web. Retrieved from http://www.worldwidewebsize.com/

The big data behind Netflix and chill.

By the time you finish reading this blog at least 72 hours of YouTube videos would have been uploaded, 204,000,000 emails would have been sent, 2,460,000 Facebook shares and 277,000 tweets would have occurred (Domo, 2014). That’s how much new data is created every minute on the internet (plus so much more), with every move we make leaving a digital footprint.

So what happens with all of this data? Is it useful?

Marketers love all of this big data. They are able to gather, interpret and analyse the information to gain further insight into consumer behaviour and trends. Every click that we make on the internet can be valuable information to marketers and the businesses future direction. According to McAfee the volume, velocity and variety of data is bigger than ever before due to the technological advancements in the last few years. The speed of how often new data is uploaded is the best advantage for businesses as they can be constantly updated with how their consumers are reacting to their brand, what they are dis-liking and what is appealing for them.

As the video said Netflix is a perfect example of how businesses use big data to benefit their performance and why marketers love big data. The more data available, the more accurate the results are. Netflix has millions of subscribers so they have a lot of big data readily available to them. They analysed the most popular shows, popular watch times, when people opt-out of watching and browsing history. From this they were able to determine if the show ‘House of Cards’ was going to be a success based on the results that were obtained from their market search from their big data. Which was proven when the show become the most streamed show on Netflix in 41 countries (read more here).
Big data in this case can be seen as a great tool for gaining competitive advantage due to being able to quickly analyse trends and habits to find valuable consumer insights.

Do you think it is creepy that from our online habits businesses are able to determine the outcome of a new product before it is even launched?

References:
Domo. (2014). Accessed on 18th of April 2016 from https://www.domo.com/

McAfee, A. (2012). Big Data: The management revolution. Harvard Business Review, 59-68.

 

Out with the old, in with the new.

Why mobile marketing is taking over traditional marketing methods.

How long has it been since you last looked at your smartphone device?
Maybe you are on it right now. Maybe you used it a few minutes ago. Maybe you used
it an hour ago.

How long has it been since you picked up a magazine and read it back to front? Or the newspaper? Or noticed the billboard on the side of the road that your bus goes past every day?
Days or possibly months.

The point is we are addicted to our smartphones. We are constantly looking, browsing, buying, reading, uploading, downloading, learning, scrolling and checking our phones.
We rely on our mobiles every day to make ‘in the moment’ decisions.

With such a high level of activity on our smartphones it is no wonder that marketers are switching from traditional marketing methods to mobile ones as they are likely to effectively reach their ‘connected audience’ (Solis, 2016).

Traditionally marketers would identify a target market based on demographic values only, although still important, this method has faults. Marketers need to think of new ways to understand who their  consumers are and how they are searching for their product or service.

Marketers should gain an understanding of how consumers are using their smartphones in ‘micro-moments’ of there everyday lives to make decisions (Solis, 2016). This could be anything from searching for their local fast food resturant, a ‘how to’ YouTube video or buying a pair of shoes. Having this knowledge will help marketers avoid ‘missing more than 70% of potential mobile shoppers’ (Solis, 2016) that they miss by purely focusing on consumer demographics. Having this understanding will put businesses at a greater competitive advantage. In order to use this concept marketers must put themselves in their consumer’s shoes and think of situations that would make them want their product or service. This video below shows examples of what a micro moment is.

By businesses thinking of a ‘moment’ rather than an ideal ‘buyer’ that their product belongs to, they are more likely to attract a wider, more targeted audience. This is because consumers don’t feel restricted by certain charactersitics that they ‘must’ possess in order to use the product. According to Solis this is the new way in which marketing is heading and is a complete game changer.

Do you agree that understanding micro-moments is important instead of consumer demographics?

References:
Forbes. (2016). Intents vs. demographics: How micro-moments reshape the future of digital advertising. Accessed on 2nd April 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolis/2016/01/28/intents-vs-demographics-how-micro-moments-reshape-the-future-of-digital-advertising/#2ab5a4a410f5

Measuring the attractiveness of your website.

It has become quite apparent in recent years that traditional marketing strategies are going out the door as fast as modern and online ones are coming in. Most businesses these days will have a Website, Facebook page, Instagram page and other social media sites such as Snapchat or Pinterest. These businesses will have marketing strategies placed across all platforms in hope to increase attractiveness, sales and brand awareness.

However the big questions still remain: How do we know what is working and what is not working? What aspects of our online presence attracts people the most? Do we need to change our tactic to receive a better reception? Are we achieving our set goals?
The answer to these questions is three words: Website Analysis Techniques.

(Note: you are not required to watch past 2:10 unless you want to learn how to do it to your own website)  

By undertaking Website Analysis Techniques businesses are able to obtain valuable information about their consumers’ needs and wants in order to remain competitive in their field.

It is very important that website are set up and designed for analysis. Configuration of the page needs to occur so that it is ‘designed (for) companies (to) better understand the types of audiences (they have) and their decision points’ (Chaffey et al. 2006).

(note: you are not required to watch past 2:44 unless you want to learn how to do this yourself) 

This is where the concept of A/B testing comes into play. A/B testing is the process of having ‘two versions of an element (A/B) and a metric that defines success’ (Chopra, 2010). An example of a metric that may be used is the amount of users that sign up to become a member of the page. Businesses then experiment with the two different versions of their web homepage and compare the success of each with the chosen metric. They can track the success of each element by measuring the amount of ‘clicks’ each one receives. The changes are generally very subtle such as font size, colours, placement, headings, layout, images, wording, etc. Here is a video representation of how A/B testing works in case you missed it above.

ad

This example above shows how subtle the changes can be between the two sites. Marketers need to split their website traffic so that 50% see the original version (A) and 50% see the trial version (B).

However there is a problem with A/B testing. Many consumers nowadays use multiple devices to access the same site, which the programming software does not detect, meaning that it views the same person on different devices as 3 new consumers. Leading to misleading results.
Despite the difficulties that can arise from using this type of digital analysis, A/B testing is a very convenient and successful way for businesses to track what aspects of their website consumers find attractive. By gaining this data businesses are able to produce content that appeals to their market and overall enables them to remain successful in their field.

What do you think? Do you think the positives of A/B testing outweigh the negatives? 

References:
Chopra, P. (2010). The ultimate guide to A/B testing. Accessed on March 19th 2016 from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/06/the-ultimate-guide-to-a-b-testing/

Unbounce. (2012). The A/B testing questions everyone wants answered – what should I test? [image]. Retrieved from http://unbounce.com/a-b-testing/what-should-i-test/

What type of Facebook user are you?

Do you crave creation or consumption of information on Facebook? Are you an attention seeker, connection seeker, entertainment chaser or devotee?

A reseFacebook.pngarch study that was conducted by Hodis et al concluded that there are two main dimensions as to why people use Facebook. Users of Facebook either want to create or consume information or somewhere in between. Social Media Marketers need to be aware of peoples reasoning’s as to why they use Facebook. Having this market knowledge will assist with how they brand their business online. Hodis et al assembled their research findings into four main groups by how and why people use Facebook. Which one are you?

ATTENTION SEEKER:

  • You are focused on branding yourself online.
  • You are always updating your profile in order to gain admiration, appreciation and sometimes even to make your Facebook friends jealous.
  • You use mainly mobile devices to update.
  • You don’t spend much time looking at other people’s updates.
  • You are high in creation and low in consumption.

 

DEVOTEES:

  • You are constantly updating Facebook; making statuses, posting pictures, checking-in, tagging etc.
  • You are also constantly reading, commenting, reviewing and expressing yourself on other peoples statuses and updates.
  • You use computer and mobile devices a lot to access Facebook.
  • You are high in both creation and consumption.

 

ENTERTAINMENT CHASERS:

  • You are not interested in building your online presence.
  • You are not interested in reading about other people’s updates.
  • You primarily use Facebook to escape boredom.
  • You mainly use your mobile device to gain access to Facebook.
  • You have a large network of loosely bonded friends.
  • You are low in creation and low in consumption.

 

CONNECTION SEEKERS:

  • You like to maintain past and present relationships by using Facebook
  • You like to enhance your daily life by checking in on what your friends are doing.
  • You generally won’t make any updates.
  • You will actively engage on other peoples status updates.
  • You will generally use a computer to access Facebook.
  • You are high in consumption and low in creation.

 

 

It is very important for Social Media Marketers to understand all of these different groups when promoting their brand online as it can affect how their content is interpreted. According to Hodis et al marketers should aim to give attention seekers and devotees tools to help spread the brands message as they are generally very influential to their own large group of followers, leading them to become brand ambassadors. Becoming a brand ambassador means that they can create a ‘social buzz’ (Hodis, 2015) about the brand as well as boosting their own social status during this process, which meets their online needs.

Brands who use Facebook ‘stars’ (Hodis, 2015) to promote their businesses are more likely to get a better response than if they were to do targeted marketing on Facebook. In Hodis’ research a commonly used word to describe targeted marketing (which is marketing/advertisements that appear on Facebook based on what you have recently searched on the web) was ‘creepy’. By giving a Facebook ‘star’ the power to promote the company, Facebook users don’t view this as ‘creepy’ and are more likely to positively engage with the brand and its values.

Marketers should also aim to nurture entertainment chasers and connection seekers into liking their brand by using soft approaches such as offering tangible and intangible rewards. This allows them to think positively of the brand and may influence them to interact with the company’s Facebook page, by writing reviews, commenting and replying to other people’s comments. This helps build a ‘community’ within the brands page and can add a competitive advantage to the business.
Hodis outlined in his research that he believes the true measure of success for online marketing is by how people interact with the brand rather than just simply ‘liking’ posts and updates. Therefore by connection seekers and entertainment chasers actively engaging with the brand, it allows for businesses to measure the true success of their online campaigns by the conversations that are started by them.

Social media marketing is very important for modern day businesses that want to gain competitive advantage over other businesses. By companies understanding how different consumers use Facebook they can actively engage with a wide market by providing each type of Facebook user with a role that can ultimately achieve organisational goals. No matter what type of Facebook user you are,social media marketers will always find a way to ensure that their brands message is getting across to you in a way that you find appealing.

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References:
Hodis, M., Sriramachandramurphy, R., Sashittal, H. (2015). Interact with me on my terms: a four segment Facebook engagement framework for marketers. Journal of Marketing Management, 37-41.

Download Brand Resources. (n.d). Facebook – add a logo [image]. Retrieved from https://www.facebookbrand.com/