Marketing Post #6: Assignment 3 Reflective Post

My last marketing post for my COMM 296 course is a reflective piece, and I now choose to do it on our last team assignment: Assignment 3.

For the project, our team of five had to analyze our chosen company’s (BlackBerry) marketing mix, and then see if it matches the target market we suggest for the company. It was also a video assignment, so we had to find some way to make all our info into a video.

This assignment also required very little new research, as it builds on our two previous assignments. The challenge was to find a suitable way to display our info into a video, while making it interesting to the viewer. We did consider doing the very popular drawing/writing on a board idea, but we thought too many other groups would want to do that. So instead, we decided to film ourselves in a variety of scenarios that mimicked BlackBerry’s Keep Moving ads–except in a negative light. The video making process was a great bonding experience for the team, and became one of the funnest meetings we had together. We went around campus doing silly things (e.g. pretending to hit a group member with a car as he talked on his BlackBerry device), and we had a lot of laughs. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.

A problem we ran into was the fact that none of us were very skilled video editors. We had a basic idea of what we wanted to do: we’ll first show the spoof of our ad, followed by a Prezi presentation with a voiceover describing the slides. To go on from there, we realized we would have to learn how to use Prezi, as well as record voiceovers and piece everything together into a nice video. However, we did have a member who was semi-competent at video editing, and his help on the last part of putting together the whole thing was invaluable (thanks Jordan!).

Overall, although this project took a long time to complete, it was not an unpleasant experience. It did bring us out of comfort zone and ultimately, I think my team and I can all agree that we learned a lot more about BlackBerry as a company.

Blackberry’s Keep Moving ad that we mimicked.
Our idea: To display a variety of individuals who kept moving with their BlackBerry device, but end up running into a lot of dangerous or negative scenarios as they kept moving forward ignoring the consequences. This suggested that we believe that if BlackBerry was to continue targeting the general public (instead of Business and organizations as they formerly did), it was going to be a dangerous move on their part, as they have relatively little market share in the casual smartphone consumer market. 

Marketing Post #4: Let Me Tweet, Instagram, Share, Pin and Reblog This.

The rise of social media is upon us, and it seems that every company– both big and small– are scrambling to establish themselves these platforms (if not all of them). But the question is, do they really need to force themselves onto these social media sites?

I have seen some businesses that are on every social media site they can get their hands on. But how effective is Blackberry and their twitter account, where they throw info on where their demos are, as well as constantly reminding the world that they simply need a Blackberry (urging you to go to their closest carrier)? Or a pet food company’s Pinterest where not know what they should pin resort to posting pictures of dogs and cats?

While connecting with customers through social media sites have proven to be effective, I agree with what blogger Amy Wray says: “It’s not about self promotion”. Going back to the Blackberry example, they simply decide to tweet in hopes of promoting their latest products to customers. On the other hand, it is evident that Samsung Canada’s twitter does a lot of interaction with their customers, replying to tweets and fostering a relationship. This is a clear example of not simply signing up for social media, for the sake of simply having social media.

Before deciding to jump into the world of social media, a company should identify their goals for having an account on a site. Maintaining these accounts take time, and if you do not understand why you are investing the effort, it will all go to waste. Different sites also may be best depending on who your target market is. Pinterest is known for being popular among women audiences, and Google+ has more males as its users. I agree that social media is important, but I would urge a company to carefully evaluate their options, and make decisions accordingly– or else they will simply be wasting their time, or worst– make huge fools of themselves.

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Marketing Post #3: A New Beginning for Research In Mo– I mean, Blackberry.

With the new Blackberry Z10 released on February 5th in Canada, many realized that the new product was not the only new thing the market would have to get used to. Research in Motion has officially changed their name to Blackberry— the name that almost everyone associates with their company in the first place.

Within the marketing mix, it is obvious that Blackberry hopes to touch on its “promotion”aspect. With the wide variety of smartphones out there in the market, it has become evident that the promotion of the product has become essential to its success. Taking a look at the famous Apple product launches and the sleek ads displaying their new releases, the hype it brings up as well as sales it generates thereafter seems to be a recipe for success. Blackberry must learn to convince the wary public that despite the hiccups they have experienced in the past year, their new phones are just as good– or even better– than the leading alternatives out there. Of course, facing both Apple and Samsung– the two major leaders currently in the smartphone market– might almost be impossible, but the rebranding of the company may be one of the best first steps.

So what exactly is Blackberry trying to rebrand themselves as? I believe it is mostly to unite their company and products under a single name. Although RIM has been recognized in Canada and North America, many around the world do not see the link between RIM and its products, mistakenly referring to the company as simply Blackberry. By changing their name, it allows them to capitalize on something that they have already established: devices that provides security and an excellent user experience.

My classmate Winnie Li also points out that the name change may also be to associate themselves as a good phone for the public consumer market, and not just businesses and government organizations. I think this will be an interesting switch in their target market, and I too am interested to see how the public will react to the new marketing strategies Blackberry will be throwing out.

Blackberry’s CMO explains their name change