Category Archives: branding

Is Alexa Making us Stupid?

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How smart is Alexa? Not very. In fact she might be helping to dumb down an entire generation.

Alexa’s main source of information is Wikipedia. As a college professor I caution my students to check their sources. Wikipedia may be a useful starting  point for information, but it is often not accurate, shows only certain sides of an issue and does not cover all topics well. Students are not permitted to cite Wiki as their main source in may college courses.

Is Alexa smart? I asked her a few questions as a test.

Alexa, can you access Google Scholar?

  • “Go to the help and feedback section of the Alexa app.”

Alexa, what is the first article title in the latest issue of the Journal of Marketing?

  • Alexa makes a short tone only

Alexa, what is the impact of global warming on the state of Florida?

  • Here’s something I found on Wikipedia…

Alexa, what are the last 10 questions that someone asked you.

  • Sorry, I don’t know that one

Alexa, what are your terms and conditions of usage?

  • Sorry, I don’t know that one.

Alexa, can you explain the meaning of the song “Hotel California?”

  • Sorry, I don’t know that one.

The only saving grace at this point is that Alexa provides the source of her “knowledge.” However as we well know, the terms and conditions of service change per the whim of the company providing services. Ultimately if Amazon no longer feels that sourcing data is helpful to the business model it can stop at anytime. There are absolutely no protections for users by the government.  As such, giving up privacy for a device that plays you songs may not be a great bargain.

This blog covers how to teach social media marketing and accompanies the text “Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy from Oxford University Press.

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How to teach social media marketing strategy planning

 

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These slides focus on the social media marketing strategy planning process with an emphasis on content marketing. Did you know that there is a process to optimize the content you publish?  You want to understand your customers, examine your competitors, develop thoughtful strong content and leverage that content across your channels.  Great content can establish your expertise, engage your clients and operate as a data collection tool.  People will give you email addresses to get your content.  Once you have their email addresses you can access Facebook Look Alike audiences and really find the people with whom you want to interact.

Generally speaking a good content marketing strategy and plan can boost your sales leads and improve the bottom line.  Embedded in this presentation are videos with case studies and the results of a recent Content Marketing Institute study of B2B and B2C content strategies.

Click on the link here for the SLIDES from Slideshare.

These slides accompany Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy by Randi Priluck from Oxford University Press.  These are a social media teaching resource for faculty looking to add digital media to the classroom.

How to Teach Digital Prerequisites for Social Media Marketing Strategies

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This set of slides helps professors teach an important aspect of social media marketing. Specifically, the important prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to planning for social media marketing.  This social media marketing teaching resource covers digital marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, website design and mobile first design.  Marketers must have a strong product offering, a plan for customer service and crisis management along with a website that drive the desired response.  The slides contain videos and case studies related to digital marketing and media.

Digital Prerequisites for Social Media Marketing Slides

These slides accompany Social Media and Mobile Marketing Strategy from Oxford University press.

 

How to Teach Social Media Marketing Slides

This week I uploaded a set of slides that cover research for social media marketing strategies.  The topic focuses on social media listening, the challenges in measuring sentiment online and the tools that marketers can use to evaluate their online communications.

There are case studies embedded in the slides and videos featuring NASCAR’s social media listening center and examining Nutella’s online visual strategy with Talkwalker.  The presentation also includes two exercises that professors can use in class with students or assign at home or in an online course.

These slides are social media marketing teaching resources to accompany Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy from Oxford University Press.  The text can be used in a stand-alone social media course or as part of a broader advertising class that includes digital media.

Slide Share Presentation

 

Bloglette: Snapchat Users

Surprise, half of all teens use Snapchat “all the time.” This is interesting given new reports that show that Instagram Stories are even more popular.   There are clear economies of scale with Facebook products because so many people are already there.  It seems natural to use those to reach lots of friends and relatives.  Teens have no problem moving between sites and tend to use more different social networks than adults.

This New York Magazine report discusses the competition between Instagram and Snapchat:

Teens Say….Snapchat more Popular

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Social Media Marketing is Digital

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I read an article in the Times titled “A Google Gold Mine Below the Search Bar” that got me thinking about how I teach social media marketing to my graduate students.  The article discusses the importance and success of product listing ads on the Google search page that come up when people type certain words into the search engine.

A product listing ad is one that has pictures of products and information, often including pricing.  The pictures attract attention from viewers and the prices provide key information directly related to the purchase.  It seems that retailers really like these ads.

So, why bring this up in teaching social media marketing?  The paid search ads are now much more prominent than the organic search results on the page.  In mobile, paid results may be the only thing that a viewer sees in a search because of the small screen size.  Search can be super effective for a strategy because it leads directly to sales and it is very track-able.  Marketers need to evaluate the value of search marketing in the mix and its effect on sales relative to the social media marketing effort.  The analysis would include sales results and cost for a clear ROI for each.

Regardless of which is more effective students of social media marketing must learn general digital marketing in order to make effective decisions for brand communications.

Here is a link to the NYTimes article.

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Protecting Consumers

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As I prepare to teach Consumer Behavior I have been looking for interesting news articles that show how government plays a role in improving the lives of consumers through regulation.  Given the current environment that disparages regulations as unnecessary and useless it is important to highlight how the government plays a key role in protecting consumers, but still allows business development.

Starting with how regulations help protect consumers… just this week a study was published showing that regulations reducing trans fat in foods leads to heath outcomes for populations.  Specifically NBC News reported that “there was an additional 6.2 percent decline in hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke among populations living in counties with vs without trans-fatty acid restrictions.”  Here is a link to the video:

Trans Fat Ban Works

On the other hand, the FDA approved home DNA kits for sale in the US, allowing companies such as 23andMe to market their tests for diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers.  These tests give consumers the opportunity to learn potential risks in their health – even when they may not be counseled by professionals.  In this case the regulations were reduced after scrutiny by the FDA.  Here is the link to the video:

FDA Approves DNA Testing Kits

Finally, Amazon will refund consumers whose children tapped apps and rung up fees on virtual products.  The fact that credit cards do not permit children to buy on their parents’ accounts helped set the tone for this decision to protect consumers.  This only came about because the FTC filed a case against tech companies to prevent them from continuing these charges. Once again, the government protects customers via regulations.  Here is the video:

Amazon Refunds Families

Regulations are not negative – let’s call them consumer protections and we can all agree we need a check on businesses when consumers are powerless against them.  That is why we must require the present administration to do its job and let the FDA and FTC do their work.

 

Cobranding in Chile

  
Cobranding is a partnership between two brands that intends to increase the value of each as a result of the association. Both large and small brands have partnered to gain advantages relative to competitors. 

Cobranding can be complicated as when Jeep designs interiors with Burberry patterns. But, the connections can be really simple as in this example of a relationship between a brand of juice and Cartoon Network characters. The stickers make the product appealing to kids without altering the product or packaging. An easy solution for a small brand.

The Digital Marketing Era

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Though faculty still teach the historical aspects of marketing, the standard marketing era instruction must be updated to reflect changes in the corporate world that are now much more fast paced and occur with increasing regularity. Digital marketing affects all of the components of the marketing mix and the integration of digital marketing programs and activities will continue to grow in importance, and contribute to the transformation of marketing practices.

How to Teach Social Media Marketing Efficiency

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Students of social media marketing must have a solid understanding of integrated marketing communications because a social media campaign is typically part of a larger effort to inform, persuade or remind.  Marketers must also provide evidence that a particular strategy in digital media is more efficient in terms of cost.  These days as digital media become more desirable as part of a communications strategy, they also become more expensive.  The new reality requires marketers to examine the bang for the buck they get from digital over other options.  It is possible that television, cable, radio or outdoor can deliver more impressions with stronger response than an organic social media campaign on Facebook that few people actually see.

That is why professors who teach social media should include traditional media measurement as part of the curriculum.  The definitions for traditional media terms such as reach, frequency and impressions are important for students.  Digital terms such as cost per click and conversion rate show how social media are purchased by companies seeking to reach targets.

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One important method for equating media is cost per thousand (CPM). CPM (M represents 1,000) tells marketers the cost to obtain 1,000 impressions or views of a particular message.  It is calculated as:

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The formula is only part of the picture.  Students must also know how much it costs on a CPM basis to advertise in various forms of media.  For example, compare the traditional media costs to the digital media costs in the two slides below.  A smart marketer would consider traditional as part of a good media mix. As you can see the cable CPM is looking pretty good relative to the internet video CPM.

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Students of social media marketing think that social is the answer to everything.  Though social media may be a good strategy, a smart marketer will evaluate all the potential tools in the box to maximize media efficiency.