Marketing On The Go

If you haven’t already taken notice, mobile marketing is a hot trend at the moment and I doubt the fire’s going out anytime soon. Cheesy… I know, but it’s true.

This technological revolution has become popular within the past few years, with businesses and brands jumping on the bandwagon ever since its initial entrance.

So why should marketers care about mobile marketing?

The times are changing and it’s evident that technology is as well, particularly mobile devices! With the innovation of software and equipment design, new mobile devices are being introduced to the market annually. Take Apple for example, the brand provides users with software updates and technology upgrades at least twice a year! But that’s not the key reason I’m getting at here. Once again, why should marketers care about mobile marketing?

Mobile marketing, socialmedia, apps, Apple, iphone, smartphone, marketing, facebook advertising, twiter marketing

Mobile Marketing Is Trending!

Let’s figure it out. Do you leave your house without your smartphone? How many of you out there DO NOT, have a data package on your mobile plan? How about apps. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, you name it. More than likely, you have it. (Well, most of us!). We’re almost there… okay, so what does this mean? Think about it. How much more personal can a piece of technology get to a person other than their cell phone?? Mobile marketing is the closest way a brand can get to its consumer! Genius, right? Not really, but it really does make sense!

I checked out an article from Fobres online magazine which stated that Americans spend 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile devices. Yes, I am Canadian, but I figured this statistic was relevant either way. So, what better way to market and connect your brand to consumers other than via mobile device. Not only can you connect with the user on a more personal level, but you can use your brand as a captivating tool. This can be done through specialty applications, games, contests and such. If done correctly, the user will be enticed to seek further interaction with your brand which could lead them to other social platforms your brand may be active on.

Here’s what Starbucks did for Valentines day last year which was brilliant! Notice the heart-decorated cups.

This augmented reality program from Starbucks demonstrates the continuing commitment they have to mobile marketing. If you are an owner of an iPhone or Android device, you can download the Starbucks holiday app right to your phone. Although this app is free of charge, in order to send loved ones and friends a video of the “love” scene, you need to have a Starbucks heart cup… which means you need to purchase a beverage. Smart. But they, it’s engaging and enjoyable so why not. This mobile marketing strategy definitely seemed to work for the popular brand with sales rising 16% and profits were up 10%.

So, who do they have to thank? I think you can answer that one for yourself!

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The Importance of Ad Relevance: What & How

So, this week were assigned a particular topic from our Interactive Web Marketing Prof.

I rolled the dice and landed on “Ad Relevance”.  Now let’s see what I can come up with… Enjoy!

Okay so first and foremost, for those of you who don’t have a solid understanding of “ad relevance” let me help you out, just like Google did for me /:  But hey, that’s OK because even though it sounds, well… as simple as it reads, there are different sectors to the term that can be discussed and explained.

Ad relevance is essentially the degree of how relevant your web advertisement is, in correlation to the search of the user. In other words, it signifies how valuable your information is to the client.  Are the ads appearing on the SERPS accurate to the phrase or key words typed by the web user?

I extracted this example from All inbound marketing, all the time. Although Target’s snippet indicates that they have “red athletic shoes”, the landing page didn’t quite match up to the search query, which indicates the ad relevance is low.

adwords, ad relevance, SEO, web advertising, Target

Target’s Ad Relevance Needs Improvement

In order for your ads to be relevant, unlike the example above, your keywords and landing pages require a tight correlation with the content begin searched by the user. When you’re creating your web ads, make sure you use tight keyword groupings. This will make it easier to write relevant ad content. If you have captivating and relevant ad text, this results in higher click-through rates, which is the desired action of all businesses.

I came across a blog page written by the Zebra Advertisement team, which holds awesome insights and tips on how to improve your ad relevance.  It also mentions Google and calculating the Quality Score of your campaigns keywords, which led me to remember an in-class assignment we conducted using Google Adwords.

Google AdWords, web advertising, pay per click, ad relevance, SERP, SEO marketing, search engine users

Google AdWords For Effective Keywords

This is an extremely effective resource for calculating the quality of the key words you are using, or plan on using in your ad text. AdWords is Google tool for helping you reach your target audience and expanding your brand. It allows you to create campaigns, chose your own budget, and most importantly, select keywords that match your ads to search engine users!

Who’s Your Biggest Influence When Shopping? Well, I Can Tell You It’s Not Your Mom

With the inter-web world aggressively progressing by the minute, there is a constant increase in the evolution of social media platforms. Do you remember when social media didn’t exist to the degree it does today? Or when the hottest form of online communication was a messaging system called MSN? How about when “Tweeting” wasn’t an action, and blogging certainly did not have the insights and worldwide interaction it does today? Well, that has most definitely changed.

What's Next?

What’s Next?

Whether we know it or not, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Blogs all have such a significant influence on society’s consumers.

Did you know that..

Social Networks Influence 74% of Consumers’ Buying Decisions

Not only am I speaking for myself, but also for the other 74% of society, when I say that social media content influences a hefty chunk of judgement whether to buy a certain product or service. Money is valuable, and when I’m going to buy something other than an everyday item, I want to have facts and opinions! I want information from users of the product or service themselves. I’m tired of fabricated content from companies, because in all honesty, we all know the objective is to sell and make money, right? Right. Therefore it doesn’t matter if the product or service being sold is in fact, going to provide you with the results the ads claim they do. That’s when you hit up social sites to see what other people have to say!

For Example, I was in Shoppers Drug Mart the other day trying to find a shampoo and conditioner that will solve my problem of dead ends and breakage. The thing is, after scanning the bottles lined up brand after brand, I started to realize that a majority of the products offered all stated the same things… So here I am debating on which brand to choose from. How am I supposed to know if L’Oreal would be better than Head & Shoulders? I don’t. Problem solver: Google about it, find a discussion group or blog post because trust me, I highly doubt I am the only girl who has experienced this contemplating brand problem… thing.

Jennifer Beese from Sprout Insights states that on Twitter 53% of consumers recommend companies or products through their tweets, and 48% of those follow through with the intent to purchase that product or service. This is a great way for people to find information regarding certain brands they have an interest in. In further detail, in terms of listening, businesses are using consumer insights in 80% of sales and merchandising decisions. So in other words, the businesses that you tweet, blog or post about care about YOUR opinion! Who better to critique better than a consumer.

Jenniffer Beese also mentions that as consumers increasingly turn to the internet to search and review products, ODM Group believes that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales will be affected by the internet. That’s clearly more than 50% of the population! Clearly social media is doing something right.

Snip The Rich, I say.

In today’s world society revolves around competition. Everybody’s objective is to be number one, to be on the top of the list. You want everyone to like you, and to be popular amongst your observers, right? Right.

The same goes for webpages found on Google’s SERP, also known as the search engine results page. But how are we going to ensure that search engine users will have an interest to click on your webpage? Well, that’s simple.

When we’re so occupied juggling school, jobs, extra circulars and a social life, all we want is efficiency. It’s unnecessary for things to take longer than they need to, it can be frustrating. We want to keep the little things in life simple.  Am I right?  Like browsing the web for your favourite Artichoke Asiago Dip or Saturday night Sangria recipe.

With the amount of content and data that is continuously being generated on a daily basis, it is important for a search marketer to ensure websites are observable and understood by search engines, at the same time providing valuable and relevant results to the searchers.

A Rich Snippet is structured data! And structure is very good when it comes to search engine optimization. I found an article on Search Engine Watch called “Structured Data: Content, Rich Snippets & Authorship vs. Author Rank” which gives excellent insights in regards to the efficiency and accuracy of having a rich snippet for your search result.

Let’s go into further detail. A rich snippet is essentially well… what it sounds like. It’s a rich chunk of information in the snippet below each listing on a SERP. Its purpose is to assist the searcher in determining if the search results were relevant, and how relevant they were. This saves the searcher from having to click on the link itself, and browse through the webpage. It also provides the viewer with information that is engaging, important and precise in relation to the content provided on the webpage.

“Using a rich snippet is a great way to stand out from your competitors, through interaction such as star ratings, photos, authors, prices and more”

– content blogger Jim Yu of “Structured Data…”

Take a look at the rich snippet example below.

See The Difference?

See The Difference?

You can easily tell the difference, and are attracted to, the search results that are accompanied by rich snippets including appealing content and visuals, versus the first result.

A little goes a long way in the world of search engines. I told you, it’s all about efficiency!

All Eyes On You !

Why is everyone staring at me!? …oh right, I’m in the middle of doing a presentation. Is it just me or does the feeling of “all eyes are on you” give the impression that you’re that big purple elephant standing in the middle of the room? Some people love it. They fiend it! Dear Jesus some could stand up there and talk for days. And to those humes, I give you kudos.

Practice Makes Perfect

So I’ve come to the conclusion that speaking in front of large amounts of people kind of um… freaks me out!? It’s sort of like a routine. You’re all calm and collect waiting for your turn to be in the spotlight, your hands get a little shaky as you walk to the front with your paper because god knows you’ll need that for back up. Isn’t it great, my college program Advertising – Integrated Marketing Communications basically revolves around that skill… NOT. Ps, I was not aware of this going into the program, but none the less, my program is still amazing.

Yes, the wondrous skill of being able to have oh so intelligent words come from your mouth while trying to make minimal eye contact to those who aren’t texting, playing with their hair or better yet, sleeping on their desks. But if you really think about it, what do you do when you’re the person sitting in the desk “listening”? Quotations around listening because well, are you? People listen but are they actually paying attention? So basically if you f*** up, they won’t notice!

So that was a little impression of how I used to feel about giving presentations. I’ve defiantly progressed since then but unfortunately I’m still not exactly where I would like to be. It’s a work in progress, the more times you do it, the better you’ll get. Very True. I must give some credit to my Presentations Strategies teacher Jackie St. Pierre. In the beginning of the school year she gave us useful pointers on how to overcome your speech anxiety. Here are some great tips to keep in mind, hope they help!

Observe you’re self carefully: Recall your thoughts, feelings and emotions last time you had to speak in public. Ask yourself what parts of your body are most affected. Think of weather it’s an organ of your body or an outward behaviour.
Assign imaginary roles to curb your speech anxiety: Distracting behaviours are bad! They might help you make it through the presentation but it makes you seem more nervous then you really are. Ask a friend to take note of the things you might do while presenting i.e.; fidget with hands, clothing, body accessories.
REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE: You know what they all say, practice makes perfect. If you’re one of those people who can’t pull an awesome speech from their ass, then take the time to rehearse what you plan on saying! Get in front of a mirror and pretend you’re talking to an audience.

Social Networking Follies

Social media if used improperly can be detrimental to your career or personal life. Everything you post, tweet, update or upload can be viewed by nearly anyone.

Unfortunately for some people, lack of intelligence comes into play when inappropriate photos, status updates, personal conversations and just your basic general information is revealed by people you least expect. Although social media has progressed in terms of networking over the past few years, it has also become more of an issue for some people.

Take this for example. Two years ago I was in my senior year of high school. At this point, Facebook had become an extremely popular social media tool. It was seen as an extraordinary way to stay connected with friends, share photos and place your opinions on what you felt was necessary.

check yourself before you wreck yourself

My best friend and I were in our business class one afternoon, when she noticed someone had created another profile which contained photos of the two of us. Creepy… don’t you think? Obviously, we had to check it out, this was a big deal! An unknown girl had created a Facebook profile pretending to be Katie and myself as she uploaded pictures we had on our profile, started adding “friends”, and even having conversations with people we didn’t even know! We knew something had to be done about this, and that’s when the school got involved. I felt like the privacy rug was snatched right from under my feet. Do people not understand something called boundaries? Oh right, and common sense.

I’m sure a lot of you girls out their love using the “check in” app on Facebook, am I right? WORST IDEA EVER, by the way. Your exposing your where abouts to the entire world, even Google! Ever heard of the website called Please Rob Me? I was reading an online page from The Telegraph and it was explaining how it’s a program 2 men developed over the past 4 years that crawls the internet, providing real- time updates on empty home locations.

This is a one stop shop for burglars, so next time you decide you “check in” on Facebook, keep in mind that your house is potentially getting robed. For more information on the negative side of social media, check out this awesome documentary Facebook Follies .

Attack Of The Ads! Dun Dun Duhh.

Ever notice how now a’ days a majority of things you see and hear are advertisements?
They. Are. Everywhere. It’s like you can’t escape. They invade your personal bubble. Left right and center, what do you see? Ads. Well, in my case to say the least. Crazy.

Am I taking this too far? Maybe it’s because I’m so intertwined with my college program uh-hem… advertising – integrated marketing communications that it’s constantly following me around. Who knows. It has suddenly become a means of mass communication through images and bold words.

From the time I wake up in the morning to when I plop myself into bed at night I’m constantly being bombarded by this key aspect of the marketing communications mix. Weather I’m cruizin’ down the highway (WARNING: Toronto’s Gardiner expressway will cause uncontrollable eyeball movements), walking down a city street, or even shopping at the mall, those damn advertisers know how to grab your attention. But, isn’t that the point?

I feel as if the usage of advertisements to inflict personal communication within society’s individuals has amplified over the recent years and will continue to do so. Whether it’s coming from broadcast or print, all it takes is a powerful message or image to lure a person’s interest to your product.

On the other hand, not all advertisements out there are focused on vacuuming your money, but also to create awareness. Take this for example. Not only is it the largest animals rights organization in the world, but according to Mail Online , PETA has created advertisements that has taken jabs at celebrities for promoting the constant wear of animal fur. Kim Kardashian and Reese Witherspoon are two prime examples of celebrities who have been thrown in the negative spotlight by PETA .

Wouldn't this suck if it were you?

Advertisements like the one shown above can really import a strong image and opinion in someone’s mind, hopefully in a positive way. These types of advertisements are strategically placed to create a difference and positive impact in the world. Isn’t that what we all want?