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Friday, 26 August 2016

The psychology of colours in marketing

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Do you know that colors are ubiquitous and a very vital source of information for all? Do you know that people usually make up their minds in about 90 seconds of first seeing people or products and almost 80% of the decision is based on their assessment of colors associated with what they’re looking at? Prudent use of colors can significantly affect moods and feelings and therefore people’s attitude towards a range of products as well. And that is one of the biggest reason that you will see marketers making use colors in thousands of innovative ways.

Let’s discuss a controversial and yet interesting aspects of marketing… the psychology of color. Although it is widely believed and researched that elements like individual preferences, personal experiences, backgrounds, cultural differences, upbringings, contexts etc. often create ambiguity about the effect specific colors have on individuals. Marketers understand that colours play a very significant role in forming attitudes and influencing moods and feelings (which happen to be unstable by nature).

The majority of the marketing sector believes that human responses to colors are somewhat stable over a geographical location and therefore marketing managers use these interpretations to market and promote their brands and products well. Colour can actually define the way a consumer might act therefore when designing marketing strategies, packaging a product, creating new fashion trends and designing a website, colours are kept according to their enticing value.

Nobody can ignore the importance of colours, especially marketers. As a marketer, it is important to know that marketing and colour go hand in hand. The use of the right colour in designing marketing strategies, designing ads, promotions, business stationery or products is highly important because it can either send a positive or negative message. The colour has the power to create and deliver good or bad subconscious messages which can then affect the perception the consumers have about a business or product. It is therefore essential that marketers value colours and design marketing strategies keeping in mind the psychology of colours.

It is a well-known fact that most consumers buy products or services based on emotions, and then justify whatever they have purchased with logic. Marketers, brand managers and advertisers should devise their strategies in such a way that it creates a certain mood, emotion in order to persuade customers into the purchase. Whatever image that you need your business to reflect can be imparted through the use of bright colours.
It is important that marketers remember the fact that colours that are used in marketing campaigns are responsible for grabbing the attention of prospective buyers initially. There is no concept of a wrong or a right colour. Whatever colour you think is the most appropriate for your message, based on the universal denoting of colours, should be chosen for the specific marketing campaign. If you choose the right color, chances are high your turnover will be more than or as much as you were expecting

Friday, 12 August 2016

Facebook Algorithm is changing again

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Well, no one wants to see dead stories circulating on our Facebook feed! It seems as if Facebook is just trying to play with what we see and what we don’t on our newsfeed. It can become a little fuzzy but the ranking of our stories is according to an algorithm that changes every now and then. It encourages exposure for a lot of users but chances differ for stories that are posted implicitly and explicitly. Facebook’s algorithm is not a paradigm but a binary code that creates ripple effects all over your feed. No one can forget the constant game requests and silly updates that flooded your notifications, annoying you enough to log out of Facebook.

Just recently, Facebook set forth an announcement on the algorithm update which focuses on lowering the visibility of posts with inadequate content while raising the profiles of significant ones. The update has prioritized what is shown to you, with no more boring posts to scroll through. When we all started off with Facebook, our newsfeed felt like a rabbit hole of unnecessary posts that wouldn’t end. However, the algorithm evolved and changed according to the needs of its users. Everybody wanted to see what their friends are posting but they would only draw their attention if the content was interactive enough. The recent change to the algorithm will act like a filter, through which all the unwanted posts will sieve out.  

The change came with some supercharged features that would help Facebook identify the types of posts you prefer to see on your feed. The different reactions on each post even if it is a like, a comment or a share, influences the probability of that content appearing on the top of your newsfeed.

This update will not influence the reach or referral traffic for the majority of the pages that you follow. However, if you visit a page often you might see some increases in referral traffic, whereas other pages might see some decline. In addition, an algorithm update surfaced in July 2015 which made it easier for users to customize and adjust their news feed settings. These suggestions and preferences were shaped to the users’ interests.

Friends that post tedious and monotonous content can take a back seat and all of the buddies that you interact with can have their posts, comments and likes at the top of your feed. On top of this, Facebook plans to favour video posts more due to the increase in hype for videos. In just one year the number of video posts per person increased to over 75% globally. Recent surveys have shown that this Facebook update lead to, on average, a substantial increase of 6% in engaging people with the stories they wanted to see.

If you plan on engaging with another user or with your target audience, then this update can be a real booster for your content, but only if you provide them with something captivating.

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 29 July 2016

Top 3 Marketing Trends for Q3-Q4 2016

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Context, relevance and delivery with efficiency, if these aren’t the topics under discussion in your organisation, perhaps you are not focusing on the right ones.

One thing that you should understand is that businesses need to have a very clear focus on the expectations, demands and needs of their customers. And what you shouldn’t forget is that the customer group is a very diversified and fragmented group and has very high expectations along with little patience for those who can’t meet their demands. If you need business and if you need to thrive, let alone succeed in the market, you’ll have to always stay visible.

This is what marketing is all about; to stay visible and have a strong presence so that your customers do not get lured towards competition. Remember, when in the business industry, out of sight means out of mind. Here’s a roundup of marketing trends that you should be prepared to follow religiously so that you can double your revenues and profits considerably.

Social media is a marketing channel, not a strategy
Perhaps earlier you didn’t imagine social media as an effective marketing channel but since 2016 and the latest updates that Facebook and Twitter received, social media has become an effective platform where search and e-commerce activities are now happening. Thanks to the pages being introduced, customers can now purchase items through Facebook or its Messenger app. With the launch of Business on Messenger app, companies are able to interact with customers through their Facebook pages or the Messenger app and also buy online through the app, without having to visit the e-commerce site actually. So yes, if you need to be present in front of your customers, be there on Facebook because customers now deem that as an absolute necessity.

The omni-channel experience, a consumer’s best friend
If you intend to target consumers with the right message, at the right time and in the right place, you will need to develop an omni-channel strategy. Omni- channel is a multichannel approach that provides consumers with an unmatched shopping experience, regardless of where they happen to be shopping. Omni-channel can address issues behind existing strategies, by providing an integrated experience where customers can access everything they need in one place. If you’ve been to Disneyland, you will have been exposed to the omni-channel experience that Disney has created. Starting from the mobile website that allows you to go from looking at park details to booking your tickets and accommodation, through to their app that allows you to plan out your day via the map. This interconnectedness they provide customers, is at the core of the omni-channel.

Mobile with a capital M
It’s the era of the smart phone and if you haven’t been pursuing marketing through mobile you’re way too late already. The number of people browsing through smart phones has surpassed the number of desktop users long ago. If you own a business, mobile is your basic marketing strategy. From mobile responsive websites to customized apps and campaigns designed solely for the smart phone users, this is what you’ll have to focus on if you intend to be included in the frontrunners (although they might have moved on to better things already) in your niche.

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Impact of Pokémon GO on Marketing

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Three weeks ago a game that is changing the landscape of gaming as we speak was released. Pokémon GO is the most talked-about game right now, with statistics indicating its popularity above that of even Twitter. Millions of people around the world are exploring their towns and cities looking for new Pokémon’s to catch, train and battle. People of every age group are becoming increasingly obsessed with this game, whether for nostalgia or its entertainment value. It has become quickly apparent that this augmented reality game is unlike any we’ve seen before, with the exception of Ingress, in bringing people out onto the streets. The marketing opportunities Pokémon GO can provide are still being discovered every day.

PokéStops are local landmarks that players can find to receive rewards. They can also be used to “Lure” Pokémons into the surrounding areas. This is where businesses have started making money. Right now, you cannot buy your business a PokéStop. However, businesses that happen to have PokéStops are using it to “Lure” even more players in. For example, some restaurants in Melbourne are buying Lures to attract hundreds of players looking to collect Pokémon, like Jigglypuff or Squirtle. Once, and if, Niantic starts making PokéStops available for sale to businesses, they can guarantee clients and pedestrians for as long as the hype of the game lasts.  Other businesses are using Pokémon GO as a reward system. They are offering discounts to trainers who have collected a certain set of Pokémons, to boosts foot traffic and sales. 

While mobile data sales are not soaring because of the amount of data consumption required by the game, the sale of battery packs has skyrocketed. Although Pokémon GO uses about the same amount of mobile data as when you surf the web, it does drain your phone’s battery significantly. Mobile companies in areas with Pokémon GO are using this craze to increase their sales of accessories. They are also increasing foot traffic to their stores and outlets by offering free phone charging stations, in the hopes to increase their brand awareness.

Other Marketing Strategies
One company has bought the domain name and intends to open a service whereby customers can pay to have their phones taken for a walk. Others are buying Pokémon Lures and selling tickets to the area where they are set. Some advertising companies are even putting up billboards looking to hire trainers – all to let their clients know that they are in sync with what is going on in the world. The sale of Pokémon-themed gear and toys will most likely pick up again as well.

Pokémon GO has skyrocketed in popularity since its release, and it has only been released in 4 countries so far. People are trying to cash in on the popularity of the game while the hype lasts. Even though the game has not launched yet on a global scale, the marketing opportunities it offers are vast. 

Alejandro Catalan

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 18 July 2016

Marketing to Millennials

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In today’s workforce, there are three types of primary generations. They include baby boomers, generation X and then finally, the millennials. All those born between 1981 and 2000 are labeled as millennials. In America they make up 41% of the total U.S population and in Australia they are around 20% of the total population.

Marketing Tips for Millennials

1) Make it as tech-savvy as possible
Millennials have witnessed some serious and rapid technological changes.  All their lives they have been bought up with changing trends, they are spending an average of 25 hours per week online checking websites, blogs and social media, new technologies and innovations which have helped make their lives easier. They prefer similar advertisements which they can easily relate to and anything less may make them feel that the product is not meant for them.

2) Use Email and Social groups to target Millennials
“Despite conflicting reports that email is dying, especially among younger generations, the truth is that millennials are not ditching email”, says Marie Homne, Senior Marketing Strategist at YesMail.
Instead of life stages, when marketing to millennials, try focusing on social groups. This bunch is the most non-traditional generation - cultures and traditions do not mean much to them. They define “family” and “community” differently to previous generations.
Apart from this, it is quite difficult for millennials to become stable in their life and buy assets like cars and houses. This is due to the economic situation they have to face like unemployment and low pay scales.
So instead of focusing on different life stages, your marketing should target the different social groups. They can include traveling lifestyles, independent lifestyles, different social causes, etc.

3) Focus on Mobile Marketing and Experience
“Millennials like brands who get to know them and give them an opportunity to be part of the experience”, says Tink Taylor, founder of, in America more than 85% of the millennials own personal smart phones. This makes it the perfect platform for all your marketing strategies. The first step for mobile marketing is making sure that all your landing pages are fully responsive and are optimized to be used on all screen sizes and electronic devices.
After optimization, make sure that all your landing pages have prominent call to actions to catch the eye of every visitor.

4) Be engaging and Reward Millennials for their loyalty
Everyone likes to be rewarded, especially millennials, “according to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Ambassador, 95% of 18-34-year-old say they would like some sort of incentive for sharing a product via social media or email”, Out of all the generations, millennials have grown up with a lot of visuals engagement. Visuals are essential for all sorts of marketing strategies as it keeps the viewers engaged and interested. However, it is important to note that you need to carefully balance between just the right amount of visuals. The over use may overwhelm the viewer to an extent that it gets difficult to absorb any information at all since their focus and attention gets too divided. Visuals are not the only way to engage customers, you can improve your content, add videos, put in catchy music and interesting design to catch the attention of millennials.
Incorporating these suggestions in your marketing strategies will lead to a much more successful marketing campaign for all the millennials out there.

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Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 11 July 2016

Coding: The language of the future

Education and technology have become an integral part of today’s society. The need to teach our children more computational ways of thinking has been further reflected in the government’s incentive to drive more STEM (science, technology, engineering, math’s) related subjects, and more recently the development of a digital technologies curriculum that addresses the situation.

Within this digital age, there is a strong emphasis on the importance and dependency society has placed on digital technology to communicate with one another. This amongst other factors has driven the demand for more technological activities targeted at children. One activity in particular is teaching kids how to code, an activity where imagination is the only limit.

So, what exactly is coding? To put it simply, Coding, or more traditionally known as programming, is the way we communicate with computers and machines. In an attempt to become part of a more innovate and creative Australia, coding is now being perceived “as fundamental as reading and writing”. If we don’t start up-skilling the next generation of workers skills such as programming, we face a huge skills drought as digital disruption transforms the way our economy operates, the way we think and the way we live.

Being the first of its kind in Australia, Sydney Programming School has taken this trend and turned it into a thriving business called Code4Fun ( . Forming part of a relatively new market, Sydney Programming School was established in April last year and provides programming courses to children and teenagers, before and after school throughout Sydney.

Many of the children going through primary school today will end up applying for careers that don’t exist yet. In a recent report, Australia predicts that within the next five years we will need 100,000 ICT workers. The way we are going, the need for such skills outweighs the abilities for employees to perform them.  In a rapidly changing employment market where digital disruption is changing the way we operate, coding skills are crucial in ensuring they don’t get left behind the digital age. 

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 1 July 2016

How marketers are using neuroscience to control what we buy

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It is a common practice for consumers to spend on luxury goods. However, know that there is a trick behind you spending so much on these products. 

Blame the marketers who are now becoming very clever in controlling what you buy. According to previous studies, people will buy products that are called expensive and ignore the quality of the product just because of the price tag. This is commonly referred to as the marketing placebo effect - meaning the perceived value of something will affect the actual experience of it.

According to studies, marketers are now using neuroscience to change and control the way you buy. This is done by changing your grey matter and fooling you into buying things that will create a higher reward in your brain. The perceived effect of the reward is usually lower than the actual feelings you get when you buy the product.

Who Is Susceptible to the Placebo Effect?
According to studies, people who have a higher grey matter respond to the placebo effect. The research found that the people who are responsive to the perceived rewards, are more likely to be influenced by this marketing strategy.

Moreover, it is also perceived that people who have a higher grey matter will be susceptible to the placebo effect. Therefore, a wine that is more expensive is likely to generate an opinion in the buyer’s mind that expensive must be good.

Last but not the least, people who are not that quickly influenced by price tags, are not going to be affected by the placebo effect. Therefore, they will buy according to the taste of the wine and not the price tag.

Changing the Grey Matter
Marketers identify and segment the user population using a range of demographics including race, geography and age. However, researchers now are also wanting to identify differences in consumers’ brain anatomy in order to categorise individuals. 

The whole idea is to alter your grey matter and then control what you buy. You don’t even know how much you spend on products without realising how much you are being tricked into buying a product.

However, all is not lost because our grey matter tends to change with age. Therefore, if marketers are looking to target you over a lifetime, they actually have to have a good understanding of how the brain responds to different things that they are trying to sell you. And this is something that is actually not possible right now.

The whole idea of using neuroscience to control the way you look at things and the way you buy things has changed. However, it is also believed that if you are buying luxury goods, the placebo effect will have a greater effect on you than when you are buying non-luxury items. Therefore, if you are shopping at Ikea or drinking a boxed wine, chances are you are most likely safe.

Be careful what you are buying because neuroscience is changing the way you think and who knows, your decision of buying a product could be being controlled by the marketers!

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Relationship between Facebook Ads and Companies

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Starting off as a just a plain social networking site, Facebook has become something bigger and better. Today, Facebook is used for a range of things including advertisement.  A large number of companies are using Facebook as a platform of advertisement and companies are getting a lot of audience directly from the social networking site. Facebook, thus, has become a platform that companies are getting increasingly hooked to, to increase their online presence and get a loyal customer base.

According to a study by Locowise, 43.28 percent of the 5000 Facebook likes were received due to Facebook advertising. Moreover, it was revealed that the higher the companies tried to advertise on social networks, the higher the audience they got.

The analysis, therefore, revealed that companies are increasingly dependent on social networking websites such as Facebook to increase their customer and fan base.
Moreover, the same study also revealed that 43.28 percent of the companies are actually paying for advertising. This means half of the companies that are using social networks to promote their products pay for network ads. In addition, it is not just about paying for these ads that have become a popular trend but the fact that companies are now dependent on it. 

Looking at the average results of investing in Facebook ads, it was revealed that mid range of the posts was 10.71 percent of the audience. The study also reports that the return companies get when they advertise on social media is said to be higher than any other platform.

Why Pay?
It is important to note that there is always an option for companies to not pay for ads on social media but paying is always better. Paying results in a higher lead generation and increases the companies’ overall reach as opposed to when they do not pay for brand promotion.
The results of this study and general conclusion derived from the statistics reveal the following things:
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for companies: While previously, social networking sites were just being used for sharing posts and getting in touch with friends and family, they are now being used to promote products and companies are actually willing to spend as much as they possibly can to increase their outreach.
One of the prime sources of advertisement: Social media has also become a prime source of advertisement. While previously, billboards and other tools were used for advertisement, companies now use social media to advertise and they advertise their products well on these websites.
High dependence on social media: Lastly, the final finding and conclusion of this study is that social media is not just a social networking platform but a lot more. Moreover, it is also revealed that companies are not just paying to advertise their products on social media but they are actually dependent on them.

Social media, can therefore, do wonders for a company and these days companies are highly reliant on social media as a platform of advertisement.

What is your experience as marketer, what do you think? 

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 24 June 2016

Key factors on demand from marketers today

It is becoming more of a challenge for business’s to ensure a long-term sustainable growth strategy. Putting that aside however, the idea of growth still stands to be an imperative factor for most Chief Executive Officers. To help drive growth for business, it is us marketers that top executives are looking towards.

The world in which we live is constantly changing at an ever so rapid pace and the disruption that comes along will continue to run parallel. I am a Sales & Marketing Manager for an online kitchenware company, and in the last 6 months I have had to shift the dynamics of my team to ensure we are coming up with the best possible strategies for sustainable growth within the business.

Now more than ever, an analysis into consumer purchase behaviour along with trends in the kitchenware industry, both in Australia and abroad have been paramount. My team is constantly researching and finding ways to decode our analytics platform and CRM System in order to track our interactions with our customers. It has taken a number of months but we have started to come up with a number of valuable insights and strategies than can be implemented to ensure we have sustainable growth, now and in the future.

From what we are seeing in the business world in Australia and globally, we have most definitely entered the so called “customer era”. There seems to be a positive outlook for the brands that have access to large data and are primarily using it to determine a customer-centric strategy.

In a response to an article written by Simon Corah, CEO of Growth Mantra, this idea of trend analysis, and digital is becoming increasingly more important in our profession.

In all my time as a marketing professional, I have not had to do as much trend analysis as I have had to do in the last 6-12 months. As mentioned previously, the world is constantly changing and disrupting faster than any time in history. No industry is immune and business models are under threat. Understanding and interpreting trends will help marketers work better with CEO’s, helping them paint a future image of what it means for the company.

There is no doubt that the term digital has been used now more than ever, and so it should. We have well and truly entered the digital age in which a plethora of platforms are being created and launched everyday. With that being said, brands need to become more dynamic and ensure they are at the forefront of this societal transition.  Digital is not about social media anymore, but about how digital reflects and works with consumer engagement, retention and attraction. 
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

How Social Media networks are impacting on Teenagers feelings and brains

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Social media has had an incredibly rise in popularity over the years. Today, there are very few people who don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Social media does not only have an effect on how you perceive yourself but it actually has an effect on your brain. In this post, I will be looking at the effect of social media on the brains of teenagers when they write and publish content on these networks and what happens when they get a good reception.

A lot of people share content on social media these days. Whether it is something related to entertainment or sports, everybody wants to share something on their newsfeed. Everybody has a different reason for sharing content but the prime purpose is to connect with others.  However, sharing content has a trickle down effect. It is not just about sharing content on social media and being done with it. In fact, studies reveal that sharing content on social media has an automatic effect on the person’s brain.

Direct Impact On One's Ego
When we share content on social media, we get a lot of comments, likes and other words. People start asking questions in their comments and therefore, this has a direct impact on one’s ego. Moreover, people are more likely to share content on social media that they can relate to so sharing content and the type of content is clear indication and hint into your actual personality.

Improved Feelings
Moreover, whenever someone publishes something, he or she wants others to appreciate it. Therefore, when we publish things on social media and get comments on our shares, we are more likely to experience feelings of happiness, excitement and thrill.
The effect of sharing content on social media has been captured in a study by University of California. They analyzed what happens to the brain of teenagers when they publish the content in social networks and especially, when they see the reception they get. It doesn’t seem that surprising but the positive response that they get tends to have a positive effect on their brain.

Direct Impact On How We Feel
When a person gets more rewards, the study revealed that the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain that is associated with the rewards, tends to get ecstatic with pleasure and in fact has the same effect that it does when we eat a chocolate or anything that makes us happy. Publishing on social media, therefore, has a direct impact on how we feel.
The study also revealed that teenagers are more likely to react in a different way when it comes to getting likes. The reaction differs in every case but the reaction is always said to be positive.
Thus, from this study, we can easily derive that social networks are not just a place where one can come, share and go back to life. No, social media actually has bigger and greater effects on one’s thinking, life and emotions. Social media sharing, therefore, is said to bring a positive change in people and also tends to improve one’s self esteem.

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 17 June 2016

Connected Clothing - The new smart jacket co-designed by Levi’s & Google

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To all the fashion forward’s, Google and Levi's first smart garment has arrived, and it's a denim jacket that connects to your smartphone. Over the past year a Google tech company, Project Jacquard, has been focusing on developing interactive Jacquard garments to sell to consumers with clothing label Levi’s. Since its introduction in the Bay Area during the Gold Rush, Levi’s has become a cultural icon known for its design of fashionable and functional garments. The heart and soul however has always been Levi’s denim apparel. It’s the sturdiness of their fabric that has been the foundation of their brand since its birth in 1873. 

The jacket will be primarily marketed at cyclists and will enable them to adjust the volume, silence a call, and get an ETA on their destination, mostly controlled via touching their sleeve. “Anyone on a bike knows that navigating your screen while navigating busy city streets isn’t easy – or a particularly good idea. This jacket helps to resolve that real-world challenge by becoming the co-pilot for your life, on and off your bike,” says Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss and Co.

So for those that aren’t familiar, you might be wondering what Jacquard or connected clothing is?  Connected clothing is an innovative concept offering the fashion industry with a huge array of opportunities for interacting with services, devices and environments. Jacquard can be seen and used the same way any other fabric, with the added extra of new functionality. With this product, developers will have the ability to connect existing apps and services to the Jacquard-enabled clothes, and create new features specifically for the platform. 

The introduction of this fabric opens up many doors for designers. Perhaps we will start to see T-shirts, or running shoes that track athletic activities, or pants that, once tapped, call your Uber—because presumably that's the moment you're about ready to walk out the door. As Fast Company writes, ultimately, the goal is to integrate Jacquard's special thread into any item of clothing—suits, scarves, even bras. For all the so-called “traditionalists” out there, if it’s not something you’re thrilled about, there’s always cotton. 

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Marketing & Predictive Analytics

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What is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive Analytics is one of the branches of data mining which can be used to make predictions about future events which are relatively unknown. Predictive Analytics uses a combination of techniques drawn from statistics, data mining, machine learning, modelling and artificial intelligence in order to make more accurate records of current data for a more precise prediction of future trends.

The combination of techniques used in predictive analytics also brings together information technology, management and the modelling business process to aid in predictions. All existing patterns in transactional and historical data can be utilised to identify potential opportunities or risks in the future.

Predictive Analytics and CustomersUsing the advanced systematic process of predictive analytics, any business can easily predict the next move of their customer and act on it, without having to lift a finger. Businesses don't have to worry about pouring out all their resources into semi-effective marketing campaigns which do not satisfy or generate a positive Return on Investment (ROI). The digital age has given us the power to take “customer targeting” to a whole new level. This will direct any relevant content to the projections which are open to the purchase of your products and services, automatically.

When you leverage any such data, it empowers your business and allows you to track “digital body language”, which is one of the key components for a successful digital marketing campaign to take place. You are able to use entities such as hashtags, downloads, open rates, web visits, clicks and consumer purchase behaviour in order to predict the hottest lead in your arsenal and how to build upon it.

According to Forbes International, predictive marketers are almost 3 times more likely to report a positive revenue growth with a higher rate, when compared to the industry average. Predictive marketers are also 2.1 times more likely to have a commanding leadership position in all the products and services markets that they serve.

Many people are also aware of the importance that data collection has in bringing in more leads for a sale. However, this process can be quite a headache if you do not possess the right tools for the task. The good news is, you will not need any scientific marketer and you will not need to spend days on measuring the complex algorithms to campaign your product effectively. Marketing automation platforms are able to manage everything from the tens of hundreds to tens of thousands of unseen prospective customers who are visiting your website each day, in the most efficient manner possible. They are also able to analyse the necessary online landscape required to predict, locate and target the entire sale worthy leads.

With automated targeting, it is definitely possible to take your marketing to the next level by predicting accurate results in order to target and generate a much higher conversion rate and return on investment.


Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

5 Key lessons from deploying a Marketing Automation

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When marketing automation is successfully applied, it can bring a number of fruitful results to an organisation. The first question is: what do you actually understand about marketing automation strategies? Marketing automation involves forming a set of goals for your business that will lead to a higher generation of sales and revenue, while minimizing lost sales opportunities.

A successful marketing automation technique utilizes multiple measures. If companies manage to learn the true essence of these lessons, it will prove to be a great step towards forming future successful ventures for any organisation.

These five lessons should be noted if you want continued success for your company:

1. Get Strategic Alignment:
An important thing to learn from such a strategy is that customers want easy and maximum accessibility. There must not be waiting time for any service to be available to customers who require it. It is about keeping loyal customers returning to your product or service by catering to their individual needs.

An important thing is to forget about relying on a single method of reaching the customer, such as the web. Utilizing maximum means to reach the customer is more likely to bring beneficial results to the reputation of the company.

2. Build a Single Customer View:
Firstly, this requires you to have efficient management of large amounts of data. Building a single customer view requires a huge platform where the concerns and needs of each and every customer are met. For all sorts of inbound and outbound conversations with the customer, it is necessary to incorporate the capability of interacting with all the customers. If this was not a part of your company before then now you definitely realize the importance of having it.

3. Assemble the Right Team:
It is very important to form a team that is bold enough to go with innovation but also pragmatic enough to consider all the pros and cons of a particular strategy before applying it. Coming up with the right set of individuals that will make up this team is the most important step as it requires young blood as well as experienced minds.

4. Keep the Project Management Team Together:
It is very important to stick with the same team from beginning till end. Important steps must be taken to resolve conflicts, if any arise. Switching people will slow down the process and will delay the application of the plan.

5. Go for Omni-channel, not Just Digital Experience:
Use digital means to derive more outbound strategies to reach a wider audience. Living in the modern era means most of your marketing will be done through digital media, but solely relying on such platforms is a huge mistake. Rather, digital media should serve as a stepping stone towards achieving stronger marketing strategies through other promotional mediums.

If these lessons are kept in mind then the future strategies will turn out to more favourable for any organisation; giving way to more growth and development opportunities.


Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Top Online Marketing Trends

As we know, the marketing industry and the platforms associated with it change faster than most fashion trends. Even though there are some fundamental marketing principals and frameworks that will never date, the tools and channels in which we communicate with our audiences continue to evolve and will rapidly accelerate due to the evolving nature of technology.

Putting this aside, your competitors are another factor to keep your eye on. Businesses are continually trying to get ahead of each other in a bid to give their customers the “latest and greatest”, so to speak. You might be thinking, how do I do that? Well, if you want to outrun the competition and protect yourself from this continual strive to be number one, like most industries, you need to be on the forefront of the latest trends. To help you out I have put together some of the top up-and-coming trends in online marketing.

App-based SEO

This week already I met three people pitching their idea to me whom want to develop an App. Apps have been a great money-generating business and are projected to grow in popularity, while traditional browser-based Internet experiences are on a downward trajectory. Some have even started to ask the question if apps one day might replace traditional websites altogether. It’s hard to say, but with this being said there is no doubt that Google will continue increasing their efforts to provide better app-based experiences for their users, including their app streaming technology.

User-generated content

Customers should be the most important asset of any business. It is only now that brands are starting to realise what amazing power user-generated content holds. Through platforms such as a user-contribution based forum or a competition you can encourage your users to create their own content for your brand and share it with others. By doing this, it will save you the effort from creating the content yourself, but more importantly will help you establish a solid foundation to create a thriving brand community.

Social media aggregation

I have said it many times, and I will say it again – Social media is here to stay and we need to jump on the bandwagon! Social media targeted apps are becoming more aggressive, trying to do more and more to drive brands. Take Facebook’s Instant Articles, for example, which has brought content experiences in-house or in-app, and recently launched a live-streaming video feature eliminating the need to go elsewhere to find such functions. Social apps are trying to become “everything” apps, and because of that, your presence there needs to become stronger.

Next-level personalisation

Where we stand at this point in time, there is a limited scope of how much we can personalise marketing and advertising. Even though we might be able to customise our DM’s to different consumer segments, the functionality of personalising the marketing landscape will soon become a lot more sophisticated, partly due to the influx of this new concept called “BIG DATA” allowing for more dynamic, innovative forms of content personalisation.

These are only just a few of the up coming trends that have slowly started making its way into how we as marketers work on a daily basis.  Feel free to take inspiration from the few mentioned however it is important to understand that not all of these trends may stay. Like most things in life, some may evolve and develop and others will crumble, but at least a few of them hold tremendous promise, and because of that, you owe it to your business to pursue them.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 27 May 2016

Marketing Skills – What we need to learn

There was recently some market research conducted by Fractl & Moz that looked into 75 thousand listed jobs on during June 2015. What came as a surprise to some is that marketing skills are in fact in high demand and will only continue to increase.  However, with that being said, recruitment agencies and those in charge of hiring to fill marketing positions are becoming much pickier about skills and talent.
As most of us are becoming aware, there is quite a skills gap in marketing in today’s industry, particularly in relation to digital proficiency that companies are expecting of current & future employees. Marketing careers now require detailed knowledge of such things as social media, SEO, content marketing, and Google Analytics.

From the research Fractl & Moz’s has undertaken, what seems to be the most valued skill for a marketer is understanding and proficiency in SEO. Their research shows that job titles including SEO averaged a yearly salary of $102,000. Those including Social Media Marketing came in around $51,000 annually. A report by “The Economist Intelligence Unit and Market” states that, out of all new marketers:
  • 39% emphasize technology and digital engagement
  • 38% emphasize strategy plus planning
  • 32% emphasize data analysis
  • 27% emphasize customer experience
  • 26% go for advertising and branding
  • 16% emphasize creative graphics

Marketing has entered a tech and data-driven new world

As mentioned in some of the other articles I have written, there is definitely a change in how marketers previously worked and how they work today. We can’t blame this only on the internet, but must also blame the rapidly changing world of technology. Many hiring staff should really be aiming at looking for candidates with an overall strength where “new technology” is concerned plus a specialised area of their own, whether that be in SEO, social media, analytics and so forth.  To be fair to us marketers, agencies should really start making adjustments in order to attract the best new technological and digital talents.

In order to start addressing the skills gap, marketers must stay up to date on the latest digital technology.  Attracting and keeping the top guns in marketing may incentivise your company to give you particular benefits, whether that means they pay for your advanced degree in marketing or reward you for extra specialised platforms you decide to educate yourself on.

Most of the small businesses in today’s economic landscape will simply partner with marketing agencies and expect specialised services such as SEO, social media, and user experience. Not only is it up to the marketer to ensure they are up to date with the latest trends, platforms and skills but it is also up to the companies themselves to ensure their employees, both marketing and other department staff are having ongoing training. 

At the end of the day, what we need to understand is that companies are telling their recruiters to find marketers with a firm grasp of current technology and internet marketing practices. Meanwhile, marketers who have such skill sets can afford to be very choosy about who they work for. It’s a very hot job market for those who take the time and trouble to go beyond marketing basics and specialise in things like SEO, content marketing and Google Analytics.

Digital-first platforms are the coming thing. A digital thread is the common theme for all companies and recruiters looking to hire the cream of the crop. The new breed of digital marketers will feel comfortable working with the IT department and with sales teams, as well as having the skills necessary to function in the internet-dominated marketing field of today.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 23 May 2016

Personal Branding & Your Social CV

Life as we know it has changed from what it was a decade ago. Fast-forward to now and new tools of connection and education have arrived. The way we connect, learn and develop credentials is being turned upside down. While those native to the digital landscape have little problem moving through the learning curve of using and connecting, it seems few have realised the importance of these new age social tools.

These tools are rapidly becoming a means of judgement, maybe even more so than a formal education. Whether we like it or not, we now all run our own media company. We have to manage our presence in social channels, much like we have had to manage our education. While it sounds daunting that we may have to get a new set of ‘qualifications,’ the news is that we now, for good or bad, live in the era of the 15-minute expert.

One of the most important tools to arrive out of social media is the new Automatic CV Generator tool. It’s a website in which you input your name and it automatically pulls up all your recent business activity, skills and projects. It’s called Google. So while we may send someone a CV that we wrote, the real CV potential employees and business partners care about are the results when they search your name. And it’s our choice what they find. How good is that! We can recreate our skills and persona based on what we feed into the internet machine.

What this means is that if we pay attention we can build our brand. We can become an expert in our desired area. The work we choose to publish under our name and our forums will bubble to the top of the search for us. And we all know people rarely search beyond the first page. What people see is what I want them to see and, while I don’t have anything to hide, it’s a simple process of proving passion through output and proving ability through projects. This kind of activity is rewarded by search engines. In a very short period of time our own published works (social, blogging, video, tweeting - you name it) can very quickly grow our personal brand and even change perceptions of expertise. We can renovate our lives. Once we understand the need to build our personal brands, there are a few important strategic rules we need to follow:

We can never be an expert at all tools. It takes too much effort to move past the learning curve. Social media presence is like sport: If you play them all, it’s hard to get good at them without losing focus on your actual projects. Choose a few and master them.

Invest time into building your brand identity and a name you can take with you to other positions and companies. Considering how often social media platforms and tools change, we need to be agile enough to adapt and ensure we are bringing what we build for ourselves with us.

At the beginning of any start up or personal branding page there is no doubt that it is difficult to obtain a huge amount of organic growth. It is important that we avoid building our brand on open tools at the expense of building direct connections. Earning a following, an audience or an email list may be harder and slower but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Shifting aside everything that happens in between it is vital to maintain a direct relationship in which you have control over the systems and interactions taking place. It’s a marketer’s dream, and yet so few people and companies understand the power this creates. This shift we are living through is about connection and attention.

Attention is the scarcest resource in today’s economy. Once we’ve worked hard to gain someone’s attention, we should also ensure it’s in a place where our biggest asset can’t be taken away from us.

More than ever we need to build our own brands. And if we can’t build one for ourselves, what chance do we have of building one for the companies we work for?

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 20 May 2016

Is the Consumer Always Right?

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A successful business is one with happy customers. The key element to earn customer loyalty is to consider the customer’s problems as your responsibility. Only then you can enjoy a wide network of happy customers, which brings business growth and success.

“The customer is always right” is a well-known saying in the business market, yet not many people know why the customer is always right. Your customer is seeking good value for money – they’re not trying to cheat you. Your customers are actually your well-wishers, because their success is dependent on your success, so you should go beyond their expectations to take care of their needs. This is how your business may flourish.

Read on to find out why you should take care of your customers and how customers can impact your business.

Happy customers will encourage other people to be your customer. They will share their experiences and will spread positive vibes about your business. Contrastingly, if you don’t treat them well, then they will spread ideas about your poor performance or unethical behaviour to your current and potential customers.

It’s easier to keep up with the existing customer than to attract a new one. Many business owners invest money to attract new customers, without thinking through how much they can earn by doing business with existing customers. Your old customers know you well and will be ready to promote your business, so why spend money to attract new ones?

If you have dissatisfied customers, don’t expect them come to you to tell you what’s wrong. The majority of such customers won’t bother to do so, they just switch to another businesses. So, this is a loss for you.

It is the quality of service that differentiates your business from your competitors. So, it is the services offered by your sales and service persons that can give you a bounce in the business market as most of the clients prefer to return to the business where they receive the best services.

Now, let’s look for the ways you can maintain a network of loyal customers.

Customer service policy should be in written form
Create a customer service policy in written form and make sure every employee acts on it. It will set your impression as a responsible owner in front of your customers.

Your employee should provide the best customer service
Make sure your employees are aware of the fact how their service can directly impact on the company’s business and reward them when they fulfill their targets. Pleased employees lead to pleased customers too.

Obtain customer’s feedback often
The customers always want to be treated like special ones so obtain their feedback regarding your service quality often. This will create a good at your customer’s side.

Use phrases that your customers love to hear
Phrases like “How can I help you”, “I will look into your matter”, “I will solve your problem”, “I will keep you updated”, “It will be delivered on time” etc. Such phrases directly meet customer’s expectations and they will love to be your part of the business.

Always make sure your customers know you care and that you work for them. Follow the saying “the customer is always right” and you will see a wide network of loyal customers investing in your business.


Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School