Advertising Is Not An Exact Science

Over the past decade we have seen a drastic change in how we advertise and the platforms in which we use to reach consumers. New technology has led to better platforms to market by enabling brands to reach consumers at all times, all over the world. This has also led to new means of measuring the success or failure of a marketing campaign. Our lesson this week breaks overall campaign measurement down into nine categories: attitudes, efficacy and effectiveness of interaction, informativeness, intensity and quality of interaction, decision outcomes, intention, behavior, usage and gratification, presence, and perceived control and vulnerability.

 

Brands have a faster and more rapid rate of interaction with consumers which leads to more opportunities for a message to be seen. “Interactive media shift control of the information flow from the marketer to the consumer. This provides many more options for responding to information than previous forms of marketing communication, and it is the response of consumers to these options that provides the basis for new measures of consumer response (Pavlou & Stewart, 2000).” This article is lengthy but a really good study on measuring the effects and effectiveness of interactive advertising, I highly recommend everyone to take a look at the attached pdf. This is a sound study of understanding the importance of measuring interactive marketing. Measuring the Effects and Effectiveness of Interactive Advertising- A Research Agenda

 

Social media has really changed how brands can measure the engagement of consumers. This is a new category in measuring a marketing effort. Only time will tell whether consumers will continue to be a part of a brand or just be another “like” or “follower.” “There is a huge viral factor with social media sites (behold ye retweeters). You can really see word of mouth in action on social media sites, and as such there is less guesswork involved when measuring the results – less extrapolation is needed (Lake, 2009).” Econsultancy has written an article on the 10 ways to measure social media: traffic, sales, leads, search marketing, brand metrics, PR, customer engagement, retention, and profits. To read the full article visit: http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/3407-10-ways-to-measure-social-media-success Omniture has done a survey with online analytics measuring social media key metrics. Their findings are shown below.

 

As media emerges so will the methods in which we measure them. Interactive media enables brands to measure quicker, and get insight from more consumers, although there are more categories in which to measure.

 

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out

 

Old Spice Discovers The New World

Social media is taking over many forms of communication between brand and consumer, friends, family, etc. Adopting this as a marketing strategy is a fantastic way to reach a larger audience on a more personal level. I have found an article that highlights one brand in particular that has used social media in the fullest extent and have had outstanding results. Old Spice is a brand of cologne that has grown by sales numbers and consumers through using social media.

In July of 2010, Old Spice “launched a social media campaign that greatly appealed to young people with a handsome, shirtless actor (Isaiah Mustafa) in funny facebook, twitter, blog-sites, etc.  To say the campaign was a hit is an understatement.  It had more than 6 million viral video views within 24 hours – more than Obama’s victory speech – and year-over-year sales were up 27% during the following 6 months (below are the stats)(Ruebsam, 2011).”


Below are a few of the videos that went viral on youtube, the Old Spice website and various other social media sites.

“While they established a brand strategy that shifted the appeal of Old Spice to a younger demographic, they realized that marketing is no longer about control.  In the social media world, marketing is now about participation. Old Spice engaged its market with compelling videos and messaging, and the market took it from there – with consumers owning the conversation that promoted the new brand image through social media platforms (Ruebsam, 2011).” To read the full article visit: http://thesocialcustomer.com/marcus-ruebsam/35266/marketing-social-media-world-you-no-longer-control-conversation-so-what

According to the company that created the ads it is the character that brought this brand to life through the various social media channels that Old Spice participates in. “In a way there’s nothing magical that we’ve done here,” Wieden + Kennedy’s Global Interactive Creative Director Iain Tait, told RWW. “We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we’ve also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time (Ehrlich, 2010).” To read more about the viral video campaign visit: http://mashable.com/2010/07/15/old-spice-stats/

Below is a snap shot of the facebook (1,679,571 likes) page and twitter (152,942 followers) page of Old Spice.

Take if from Old Spice, social media is the new world, and it can be a brand changer.

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out

Blogging Right Up There With The Printing Press

This week we start discussing viral, buzz, word of mouth and word of blog marketing. For the purpose of this blog we will explore the future of word of blog marketing. “Wharton legal studies professor Dan Hunter puts blogging right up there with the printing press when it comes to sharing ideas and disseminating information. “This is not a fad,” Hunter says. “It’s the rise of amateur content, which is replacing the centralized, controlled content done by professionals (CNET, 2005).”

The growth of word of blog marketing is like wildfire in a forest, consumers read blogs then comment, share, follow, and tag. “It’s interesting to note that the true growth of blogging is not coming from individuals using this empowered publishing platform to share their insights with the world. The credibility and growth from blogs moving forward seems to be coming from the mainstream media’s desire to have a cheaper, faster and near-real-time platform to distribute their content (Six Pixels of Separation, 2010).” To read the full article visit: http://www.twistimage.com/blog/archives/the-future-of-blogging-might-surprise-you/

More and more companies are also using blogging to their advantage for consumer support, community building, problem solving, build consumer loyalty, new product development, thought leadership, and brand awareness. “Companies can use bloggers to put a more human face on interactions between employees and customers; marketers can create buzz through blogs; and bloggers can act as fact checkers for the mainstream media (CNET, 2005).” To read more visit: http://news.cnet.com/The future of blogging/2030-1069_3-5654288.html#ixzz1ZDJ3auC6. Blogs are a great way for companies to make consumers feel heard, in a cost effective and personal manner. In viewing several company blogs this week, it is interesting to see the top 10 companies that use blogging to their advantage: Caterpillar, Starbucks, Marriott, Wegman’s, Manpower, General Electric, Fiskars, Southwest Airlines, Patagonia, and Whole Foods Market. To see this list visit: http://www.businessesgrow.com/2011/01/05/the-10-best-corporate-blogs-in-the-world/

Below is an infographic on the future of marketing: blogging and social media. This is a creative way to present a large amount of information about marketing statistics that would otherwise not be as interesting on paper.

Infographic found at: http://techprone.com/infographic-future-of-blogging-and-social-media-marketing/

Overall the future of word of blog is looking very good for consumers and companies alike.

 

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out

 

Entertainment is King.

This week we emerge ourselves in the rise of streaming media, videos, mobile technology and advergaming. One of the main topics in which I am in complete favor of is short films as a form of advertising. In doing some research I have found that more and more brands are producing short films in order to appeal to its target audience in a fresh and unique way. According to Ad Age, “While advertisers are looking for efficiencies in short-format/multiple platforms, they are also looking for new ways to engage consumers. … One way to do that is through short films and fun pieces that create awareness of the brand, and reward consumers (Ad Age, 2011).” To read the full article visit: http://adage.com/article/madisonvine-news/branded-content-long-form-ads-wave-future/143603/

A company called Charlex was mentioned in this week’s discussion, which is based out of New York and produces some of the most phenomenal visual effects I have ever seen (http://www.charlex.com/). Charlex most recent video “ShapeShifter” enables consumers to get immersed in the video in a new way compared to a 30 second commercial. Below is the video “Shapeshifter.”

Screenrant agrees that, “commercials are pigeon-holed into a 30-second time frame by the mainstream standards. But the ones that escape those boundaries and explore the human experience of witnessing something that cannot be explained are the ones that stay with us…In my opinion, we should promote long form, subtle advertising like ShapeShifter and usher in a new era of intriguing and engaging commercialism (Screenrant, 2010).” Below is the “Shapeshifter video, to read the full article visit: http://screenrant.com/shapeshifter-audi-commercial-advertising-short-films-mikee-95628/

Long form ads are the future of advertising but will only attract and keep the attention of consumers if they are executed correctly. The Internet is the best tool for contact to consumers because of the easy access through multiple emerging media channels for better exposure. Consumers are seeking out advertising that is more than a mind game, but an experience that they can relate to and something  that produces a want for the product. A few brands that use long form advertising are: Pringle of Scotland, Absolut Vodka, Rodarte, Nike, Waitrose, Kraft Foods, Opening Ceremony, American Express, etc. Check out the articles above to learn a little more about this new revolution in advertising. Bottom line, entertainment is king.

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out

Effective Communication Across the Virtual World of the Web

This week we dive into the World Wide Web and the various opportunities that are presented to advertise. If you take a minute and look at your favorite websites whether it be to shop online, use social media, read the news, etc. then you are bound to run into ads on every page. Brands are becoming more and more conscious of having consistent messages in marketing across mediums and making them stand out among competitors. I have found an article that is really focused on web design as a whole although I feel that it’s guidelines hold true for using all forms of Internet marketing. Some key tips for effective communication on the Internet include:

1. Prioritize – Use information that will attract the audience, not bore them.

2. Determine What Visitors Should Know About The Company or Website – Should they know you are affordable or have the best product on the market?

3. Keep it Simple – Short and sweet, first impressions are key!

4. Keep it Relevant to Your Target Audience – Use key words that are relevant and will attract the target audience

5. Make the Message Impossible to Miss – Good organization and hierarchy of information (using color, typography, contrast, etc.), video, and sound, will ensure that your message will not be ignored.

6. Style Text – Use a variety of weight, size, and color to differentiate information from one another.

7. Use Headers and Subheaders – Present a hierarchy so readers know what to read first and what is most important in the message.

8. Make Everything Count, or Get Rid of It – If there is an element that doesn’t enhance an ad or composition, toss it!

To find out more about clear and effective communication in web design visit: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/02/03/clear-and-effective-communication-in-web-design/

 

Another way to ensure effective communication is by placement, ad size, and format. “Research from ad solution provider MediaMind (formerly Eyeblaster) suggests that ad placement, banner sizes and the time in which users view ads have an impact on engagement metrics.” Here are few numbers on the rate of interaction with rich media by industry and the click through rate by industry. MediaMind’s research suggests that ad placement, size and format all influence a consumer’s engagement with an ad.

 

Rate for Rich Media Ads Worldwide, by Industry

Clickthrough Rate for US Rich Media Ads, by Industry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008585

Personally I am more apt to click on a banner ad at the top of a page (versus a square ad in the middle of a pate) that includes an attractive video with further links to a website. Overall my opinion, effective communication across various mediums on the Internet takes a lot of research and cohesive design development to accomplish a click through from a consumer.

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out

A Well Balanced Recipe For Good Web Design

In our lesson this week we discuss why good web design is crucial to any company and how to enhance a brand using the web. Having a good website is more than just having a presence on the web with a template design. A company needs to express itself through original design incorporating elements from the personality of the company to give it flare and differentiation among competitors. A good balance of whitespace/negative space, contrast, interactivity (call to action, game, video, sound, etc.), effective photography, solid original content, readability, functionality, clear navigation, personality and of course a good first impression will ensure a good web design.

Each individual may choose one over the other for the most significant trait, but personally among all of these, it is functionality (if it doesn’t work for the target market then it won’t be visited, at least not the right users). “Functional design is both an outcome and a process. As an outcome, it describes products that work well to perform their assigned tasks; as a process, functional design is a set of practices guided by the principles that produce that positive outcome.“ According to an article from Smashing Magazine there are 7 essential guidelines for functional design.

  1. Consider the product’s goal.
  2. Consider who will be using it.
  3. Consider what your audience intends with it.
  4. Is it clear how to use it?
  5. How does your user know it’s working?
  6. Is it engaging to your users?
  7. How does it handle mistakes?

The product, audience, intent, clarity, feedback, engagement, and solutions all need to be considered before the process of design. This makes it easier when sitting down to sketch out or jump on the computer to begin designing. For example the old Chipotle website looked like this:

(“That’s the home page for Chipotle the Mexican fast food restaurant known for its use of free-range, organic, and locally-grown ingredients. Not that you’d know that from the homepage. What you know is a) they have a logo, and b) there’s something you should know about jalapeño peppers. If there were no food scare involving jalapeños, you’d see only the logo. What do you do? We can assume the site has a goal — probably to get you to buy some tasty Mexican food — but how do you, the visitor, fulfill your own goal of finding what you want to know about Chipotle?)

 

Now it looks more like this:

(The website is eye catching, interactive and targeting its consumers according to their interest and what Chipotle has to offer them.)

Smashing Magazine is a great website for anything and everything design. It is a great reference and tool to use when sitting down to achieve design goals. To read more about these essential guidelines and other related articles visit:

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/05/7-essential-guidelines-for-functional-design/

Before design, think of function.

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out

Virtual clothing market…good idea or bad idea?

Lately my boyfriend has been playing various games on his Xbox and I have been realizing how realistic they have become and how personalized they can be. Brands are using virtual representations as online users as a way to market to their target publics. Brands such as Billabong, Santa Cruz, Quiksilver, Burton, Diesal, Adidas, etc. are using these tactics in conjunction with using traditional marketing and various new media. This is a fantastic way for brands to get new lines on the market immediately to the target market, while not wasting marketing dollars in less productive ways.

 

According to Trey Geiger, Director of Operations and Managing Partner at Disruptive Publishers, ”Today’s gamers are doing so much more than playing traditional video games. Microsoft has created a great platform with Xbox 360, and consumers are demanding the ability to showcase their personal tastes through their Xbox LIVE Avatars. We’re excited to have worked with some of the most credible and recognizable surf and skate brands to extend their product lines to life in the virtual world.” To read the full press release visit: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fashion-brands-eyeing-new-opportunity-in-the-gaming-world-turn-to-disruptive-publishers-2011-08-30

 

Below are a few of the avatars in the new 2011 billabong line.

 

Since the target market consist of males in their early teens to early 20’s, it is important to market to them in ways they will see a message. Using gaming to reflect new fashion expands the market place to a live virtual platform. Consumers are seeking to express themselves virtually, and this paves the way for this demand. The popularity of this clothing content is all in the numbers of virtual good revenues rolling over $7.3 billion last year. Abigail Elise from the examiner.com agrees that,” As more game players search for different ways to express themselves online, fashion marketers are looking for new ways to sell their virtual goods.” To read the full article fro Abigail Elise visit: http://www.examiner.com/ny-video-game-community-in-new-york/fashion-designers-bringing-style-to-the-video-game-world

 

Fashion has broken through to the virtual world of gaming and will continue to rise in popularity as more brands join in on this money making train. It will be interesting to see if brands will branch to carry women’s clothing to the virtual world of video games. I feel that right now, small steps are the best way to learn from this approach of selling virtual goods for now. Consumers can not only interconnect through gaming online but now they can shop while they play. New media is rapidly evolving which changes the way we use the Internet and is opening new doors to interconnect e-commerce with consumers. If you are a gamer, check it out!

 

Jill V. Arvidson – signing out