Category Archives: market research

Social Media Teaching Resources

Teaching social media marketing can be challenging. There is so much material to organize. You may need a framework for presenting the relevant  information that blends the theories of marketing with the practical skills students need for successful careers. 

Here is some help. First, I wrote Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy to emphasize goal setting, research, targeting and the social media marketing process to students. Along with the text is a teaching manual that provides social media teaching resources including exercises, cases and Powerpoint slides. 

Another key social media teaching resource is a Youtube channel with interesting and relevant videos for each social media and mobile marketing topic.

Click on the resources link below for the videos. They are organized by chapter. You will also find videos for teaching Intro to Marketing (Mar 250) and Consumer Behavior. 

Social media teaching resources  

For a free review copy of Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy, go to Review copy.

The digital version is $39 for students from Red Shelf. 


Social Media & Mobile Exercise

This Facebook exercise helps students understand the different types of segmentation using Facebook’s automated advertising system.

Segmentation, Targeting Exercise

 Your task: Go to and create and advertisement for a particular business. First choose a business or a brand to consider when you are doing the assignment. It is best to pick something big with which you are familiar. This will be important for the behavioral segmentation.

In this assignment you will create a Facebook advertisement that includes 4 types of segmentation methods: geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral (for your product category/business) (e.g. benefits sought/usage rate).  Evaluate whether this is a good target or not for your business.

When you go to FB you will have to sign up to use their ad services. On your FB page there is an option on the left side column for Ads. Click on that to bring you to the business section. The page looks like below – click on the bar at the top – mine says Randi Priluck consulting, but I can also get my personal account. Use your personal account.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 12.19.01 PM

On the next page choose Brand Awareness campaign. Facebook allow you to chose different goals for your advertisement such as traffic, engagement, app installs etc.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 12.20.03 PM

Finally, on the page below choose segments to make your advertisement. Specifically make sure you have at least one demographic, one geographic, one psychographic and one behavioral segment in your target market.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 12.21.08 PM

Take a screen shot that shows all of your segmentations and write a brief note that explains the segments as follows:

Randi Priluck

Business: Men’s clothing store – discount

Geographic: US and Russia

Demographic: Men

Psychographic: Runners

Behavioral: Discount store shoppers

Evaluation: This is not a good target for my business. It is too broad and I should have more criteria for choosing perhaps based on narrower locations so I can really hone in on my target that is located near my stores.

A useful exercise for Chapter 2 in Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy – Oxford University Press 2017



How to Teach Social Media Marketing Efficiency


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.



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:


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.



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.


Does the Green Giant Help or Hurt a Brand?

green giant

A study by Kwak, Puzakova and Rocereto in the Journal of Marketing found that when brands use a human-like figure to represent their brand in advertising people may respond more favorably toward price increases – but only under certain circumstances.  Many brands use icons to promote messages about their product such as Ronald McDonald, the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Jolly Green Giant.  But what is the advantage of spending millions of dollars to associate your brand with a figure?  Like with most research the answer is that it depends….

The researchers tested two types of consumers, those who were focused on their own needs and those focused on the needs of others.  When people were self-focused they tended to see price increases as more unfair with humanized brands. However, when people were directed toward the needs of others they found both price increases and decreased to be more fair when brands were humanized.

It just goes to show you that the situation and context really matter when examining consumer behavior. A strategy that works under a certain set of circumstances may not work when consumers have other thoughts and feelings in mind.  The lesson for brands is to be sure to test strategies to see what works and what does not and monitor success against a set of measurable objectives.

Why I am Google Analytics Certified

GA certification

This summer I decided to become Google Analytics certified.  Today I passed the exam!  I have to say it was a lot of work with significant studying involved.  I watched all the videos and took copious notes, which came in handy during the test.  There are 70 questions on the test to be done in 90 minutes. I actually had time to spare and could have looked up more of the answers to be more precise.  The practice tests helped a lot.

Why I am Google Analytics Certified

There are a number of reasons:

1. It is important to understand what drives a social strategy and what actions customers or website visitors take as a result of interacting with social media.  If social does not deliver your desired goals, how much time do you want to spend on it?

2. I am planning to ask my students to become GA certified as part of my course Social Media and Mobile Marketing Strategies in the MediaStorm Masters Program at Pace University.  As a result I felt it important to become certified myself.  The good news here is that you can become certified and create a dummy account for practice. You do not have to be associated with a business or have a populated Google Analytics account.

3. As a consultant on digital marketing I have to be able to explain to clients why they should execute certain strategies and solid data make it clear what drives response.

4. I just plain feel good that I am deemed competent in something by Google.  Yes, I have advanced degrees, but practical knowledge is very important if you teach digital marketing.

Go ahead and congratulate me. I have not had to study for a test in years!

Does Twitter Matter?

twitterYou spend a lot of time on Twitter writing pithy statements and communicating with your target audiences. But does what people read on Twitter affect their purchase behavior? One recent study suggests that for at least one product category – it does. A study by Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Caroline Wiertz and Fabian Feldhaus in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science found that Twitter can influence people’s decisions to see or (more importantly) not see a movie.

Word of mouth via Twitter can also directly affect the revenue from films in their opening weekend.To study the influence of Twitter the researchers collected tweets of reviews of 105 movies in the 24 hours following their releases. They then modeled: 1) the percentage of positive and negative reviews and 2) the ratio of positive to negative reviews. The model controlled for the star power of the actors, the budget, reviews by professionals, ad spending, the strength of the studio and even the rating.

They collected over four million tweets, 800,000 total movie reviews and about 40,000 per movie. Most tweets (65%) were sent between Friday (movie release day) and Saturday at noon. The authors examined the box office revenues from movies and estimated whether a movie would make more money without negative reviews. For example , Nightmare on Elm Street would have earned 8% more money- close to an additional 3 million dollars if the bad reviews were not posted.

Word of mouth is a long-studied area of consumer research and studies suggest that there is a bias in favor of negative information. This means that people give more weight to negative information than positive information. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that people try to limit their downside risk. A negative review of a product provides a greater potential negative outcome (spending money and wasting time on a bad movie) than the potential of the offering (seeing a good movie). Another reason is that negative reviews are typically not expected by consumers, so more weight is attached to them. That is why it is important for firms to monitor their Twitter accounts and attempt to mitigate negative comments.

The authors also identify the phenomenon “the Twitter effect:” the influence on early adopters who rely on Twitter for evaluations of “experiential media products.” In the past there was no opportunity for people to obtain very early reviews of movies, lending added importance to “microblogging word of mouth (MWOM),” another term suggested by the authors of the study.

Henning-Thureau, Caroline Wiertz and Fabian Feldhaus (2015) “Does Twitter matter? The impact of microblogging word of mouth on consumers’ adoption of new movies.” Academy of Marketing Science, 43(3), 375-394.