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 #2: People Are Dying, It’s Time for Shopping!

Many companies know that in order to have successfully promote your products, you need to seize opportunities. So when Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc across the US, American Apparel leapt at the opportunity and chose to use one of the sure-fire channels of communication to reach their customers: the internet.

What exactly was American Apparel trying to communicate across? No, it had nothing to do with using the disaster to boost their image by urging people to donate to a relief fund, as many other companies jumped to do. Instead, they offered those who were stuck at home and ‘bored’ to discount codes for their online website.

The ad was met with criticism, and outrage from the public, especially when the death toll was climbing higher every hour during the hurricane. However, not only did American Apparel not apologize for their campaign, they went on to explain that it is “expensive to run a Made in USA brand like American Apparel,” so they were trying to make up for lost revenue.

They may have nailed it by getting an ad campaign up as soon as possible, seizing the situational opportunities of the hurricane, but in hindsight, did they really believe no one was going to get offended? The identified their target audience as those who were forced to stay home for safety reasons, but overlooked the fact that the US as a whole was panicking.

Another company who tried to make use of situational opportunities includes GAP. They chose to make a short tweet offering their concern for victims, but quickly moved on to promoting themselves not unlike what American Apparel did. However, they quickly tweeted an clarification to atone for their actions, which is more than can be said for in American Apparel’s case.

All the same, something can definitely be learned here. Sure, it is important to make use of any opportunities that come your way, but from what direction should you approach it?

Marketing Post #1: Fuel The Day!…With False Advertising?

No matter how old you are, you must have had some sort of contact with Nutella: the chocolate hazelnut spread. Children and teens love it, and even adults indulge in it. Best of all, it is a chocolaty treat that is healthy, nutritious and an important part of a healthy breakfast! — At least according to Ferrero, the makers of Nutella. Sound too good to be true? Sadly, it is.

An outraged mother was shocked when she found out what she originally was led to believe was a healthy treat for her family turned out to have the “nutritional properties of a candy bar, with very high levels of refined sugar and saturated fat.” She then sued Ferrero (back in April, 2012), winning the claim.

Connie Evers, a consultant for Nutella was traced to be the source of the whole scandal: she began to depict the spread as a good breakfast companion for kids, misleading mothers to think it was as healthy as regular peanut butter, but was sure to be more attractive to their kids. This led to outrage, causing the company to have to quickly take action in attempts to ease discontent, and save their image.

My main concern for this issue is that children were pulled into this issue. There are commercials that not only show the satisfaction of other children their age consuming Nutella, but also made them believe this was healthy. This is unethical, and unacceptable, as children are too young to think beyond what is shown to them.

Appropriately, Nutella has settled the lawsuits with a $3 million (USD) payout, as well as promised they would stop labeling themselves as nutritious. However, it is obvious they still want to encourage their product as an essential breakfast companion (link to their Facebook page). Their new ads still suggests that it is a good spread, with no preservatives and colouring. So how exactly does this show that they are taking steps to mend their actions? Perhaps they believe they won’t need to. One can observe that a brand as strong as Nutella’s can easily move past the public’s scrutinizing gaze after a quick apology, and continue what they were doing.

Inspired by: 1, 2

Just A Little Heads Up…

Hey guys!

So my Marketing class at school requires us to do blog posts every now and then, and I decided to use this blog as my Marketing blog for this term! Of course, you will still probably see my regular random posts pop up now and then, but just so as to not confused you with why I suddenly get more serious and seem to have weird topics to discuss (not that I usually do not), those posts are probably a Marketing blog post. At the same time Marketing is probably going to be my major so I guess it is can still be said to fit into this life blog of mine, but of course, that all depends on how this course goes.

I used to use a blog I made just for UBC, but I realized I would never touch it again after the course. Thus, I made the (slightly scary) decision of using my personal blog. Hopefully I get to share bits of wisdom here with the rest of you?

Here is to hoping my professor/TA would not be going through my old posts eh? (Not that they are that bad. And if you are my prof/TA reading this, then let me just tell you all my posts are harmless and very boring, so it is not worth your time anyway.)

Hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start!