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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Impact of Pokémon GO on Marketing

Image credit:  aolcdn.com

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
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. 

Electronics
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 pokewalk.com 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

Image credit: entrepreneur.com

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 www.dotMailer.com, 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.

Image credit: entrepreneur.com

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 (www.code4fun.com.au) . 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


 Image credit: blog.fractalanalytics.com

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


Image credit: blog.socioboard.org

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

Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

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

Photo Credit: http://www.ecouterre.com/
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


Image credit: http://isbinsight.isb.edu


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.

Enjoy!

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

Image credit: http://troleads.com

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.

Enjoy!

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 indeed.com 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?

Image credit: http://www.bmgtoday.com



















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.

Enjoy!

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







Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Digital Strategy and How to Measure ROI


Image credit: http://www.xiik.com


It is rare to find a business that improves at a desired pace if it is not making effective use of digital marketing. Digital marketing in the current era of internet and technology is essential for small to large sized businesses. This is why all major organisations hire a full team of digital marketers to ensure that their desired outcome can be achieved. If you are looking for a few tips for digital marketing for your business, then you have come to the right blog. We have taken the liberty of mentioning a few of the notable tips which may help a great deal in this regard. Let’s take a closer look at these tips.

Tips for Digital Marketing:
This list of prominent digital marketing tips includes, but is not confined to the following:
  • Post as much content as you can, as regularly as you can.
  • Don't make a big deal out of your business, rather, keep your content customer-focused.
  • Make sure that you are interacting and communicating with your followers to turn potential customers into returning customers.
  • Try investing in several different digital marketing techniques, don’t just rely on one.
  • Be critical while creating your content.
  • Be creative when creating and marketing content, without stepping out of your budget.
  • Remember that search engine optimization is the pillar of your digital marketing strategy.
  • Use whatever means you can to spread the word and promote what you have to offer.

If you belong to the world of business, you will understand the importance of measuring ROI. Since a number of business owners fail to measure the ROI in an appropriate fashion or face certain complications in this regard, we have taken the liberty of mentioning the tips which will help you measure your ROI.

Tips to Measure ROI:
The list of the prominent business ROI measurement tips includes, but is not confined to the following:
  • Understand that a whole bunch of activities are correlated with producing a positive ROI for your business and failing to focus on any of them will prove detrimental. For instance, if you are focusing purely on creating a social media presence, other elements of your product are going to suffer. Poor performance of your product coupled with only a social media presence means you have given your customers a platform to spread their frustration and nothing else.
  • Don't put your entire energy into garnering likes and clicks, but measure what actually matters. For instance, sentiment analysis, or performance of key indicators.
  • A dashboard that displays metrics is certainly not enough unless you make use of a professional who can interpret the statistics for you in an appropriate fashion
  • Don't forget to translate your data into insights and then implement those insights to your actions
  • Relying entirely on descriptive analytics is not a wise decision

Provided that you are able to apply the above mentioned tips in an appropriate fashion, you will be able to market your content, products, or services skilfully and produce a positive ROI for your business. The above mentioned detail give you insights about measuring your ROI and the factors which may help in the production of a positive ROI for your business. It will take a significant amount of time to apply all of the above mentioned tips, however, considering the benefits, it will be absolutely worth it.


Enjoy!


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



Monday, 9 May 2016

Marketing, Customer Centricity, and why it is so important



Image credit: http://netdna-cdn.com/

An emerging term in the arena of customer service is “customer centricity”. Although it refers to company-wide focus on the customer, every business, every company and every department should have the customers in mind before executing a project. Companies work according to the demand of customers to attract them and boost their business on national and international platforms. In simple terms, “customer centricity” means to satisfy the needs of customers and make strategies to draw the attention of more customers. Without understanding the need of the customers, it isn’t possible for businesses to flourish. It becomes mandatory for business owners and companies to design and deliver products or services that positively enable a customer.

Customer centricity is highly important for the economic growth of the company. Here are a few tips to achieve optimal results for customer centricity,
  1. Start meeting your customers and deciphering what exactly they want you to produce. Develop a positive attitude towards their needs and discover the best possible solution that is valued by customers.
  2.  Providing convenient facilities to the customers will ultimately lead the business with a customer centric approach. People look for convenience and go where they can easily get the service that fits their needs.
  3. Two way communication on a regular basis makes it easier to learn the expectation of the customer. Make it easy for the customers to give feedback on the product you deliver. Figure out the reasons if you are losing your customers.
  4. Solve the problems of your customer before they know about it. Create strategies that act as a remedial solution to sudden problems. Behave proactively rather than waiting for a reactive approach from the customer. In this way the customer will appreciate the efforts and might think of continuing the future projects with you. He may recommend the name of your firm to his other followers.
  5. Provide guarantees to keep your customers working with your firm. It shows that your company cares for the customers. Give them quick ways of filing complaints and respond to them immediately to build their confidence in your business.
  6. People are more likely to visit the most convenient place to their own location, but some people prefer quality over location. It is recommended to allocate your business near places that people already go. This will eventually grasp the attention of new customers as well.
  7. Don’t be over-confident, but don’t underestimate your business. Set a balanced approach and delight your customers with your positive attitude and enthusiastic methods.
  8. Professional and well-mannered staff give a positive impression to the customers. Motivate your staff to work efficiently and boost their morale on different situations. Happy staff will generate more customers.
These few tips will help to create a positive experience for your customers. It will affect the economy of your business and make it a customer centric business ultimately. Moreover, customer centricity revolves around the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the customer with your company. Allow them to express their thoughts freely on social, electronic and print media.

Enjoy !


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Have you ever through of incorporating Snapchat to your social media marketing mix? If not, well perhaps you should.



Snapchat has gone from being a simple photo and video-sharing app to a marketing tool that cannot be ignored. Since its start in 2011, the app has over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day. Believe it or not, Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networks. The self-destructing concept is no longer for just smartphone savvy-teens but also provides marketers and brand managers with a way to produce daily stories and content that engage and excite their audiences.

What is trickier however is using snapchat to connect with a buyer persona. By now, most of you are aware that snapchat puts a limit on how long a video or photo is available for others to see. For example, a video or photo will disappear as soon as a few seconds go by, never to be seen again by the recipient. This means that us marketers need to make the most of every second they get on the app, which requires a certain amount of strategy.

Understanding Your Audience

Any marketer or business professional will tell you that you must understand your audience before marketing any product or service. Since its commencement, the Snapchat platform has always encouraged casual and informal communication through the use of videos and photos. Even though they aren’t typically documenting professional behaviour, they have connected millions of people around the world. That being said, it’s critical to observe the overall casualness of the app.

When you or your marketing team is creating a strategy for Snapchat, you need to settle on a tone of voice that will be used across the board. Ideally, the language you use should be easy-to-understand, and your posts should have a sense of fun. If you’re just starting out on Snapchat, take some time to do your homework. Browse through other accounts and follow other people to get a better idea of how they use the app.

You can also use Snapchat to provide special content to your audience that they might not receive on other digital platforms. Think of something unique to surprise your community of followers. At a Valentino show for Fashion Week in Paris, actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson took it a step further and re-interpreted their Zoolander roles for a runway walk-off.  They even had a “Blue Steel” geofilter at the fashion show. The use of Snapchat at Fashion Week made consumers feel included in an exclusive world, and by doing so, they felt like they were part of the event. Reprised

Embracing the Time Limit

While some may perceive the self-destructive nature of Snapchat to be a hurdle, marketers can do wonders with this aspect of the app. The number of second you choose to display your photo of video can be seen as an ideal opportunity to offer teasers and previews of an upcoming event, behind the scenes, product or service to your snapchat followers.

The app can also be used to create contests. For example your company can ask their followers to send you pictures of them using your product with the incentive of winning a reward. The trick to getting the most leverage out of Snapchat is ensuring that you are always looking for ways to engage with your customers. Doing so can keep people coming back for more, giving you additional opportunities to roll out your marketing strategy.

Get Going with Video

Videos are a key component of the Snapchat, although they also disappear once they have been viewed, marketers can use them to reach out to people who are interested in getting a sneak peek of their office culture, product production, and everything in between. Marketing teams can use video to provide more valuable content to their followers. Although they say a picture is worth a thousand words, you can actually verbalize the message you’re trying to convey to your audience through a video. More importantly, you don’t need to be a professional to make a splash. Remember: Snapchat is all about being casual and relatable.

Portraying Your Personality

Like with any type of social media, Snapchat gives you a chance to portray the true intentions and mission of your company, whether it involves providing a service or a valuable product. Ideally, the media that you share over the app should give people a better idea of your business and what you have to offer. You should always be working to inject personality into your photos and videos to help people connect to your brand on a personal level.

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

Monday, 2 May 2016

Marketing & Innovation is key to support every business

Image credit: http://cdn.cio.com.au/


While I was searching the success stories of some of the big and giant corporations of our time, something baffled me to my very nerves. Most companies begin with the same set of skills, their human capital is similar and so are their financial resources. Yet so many businesses fail to provide what their competitors do. How would you feel if you and your friends today started a small scale business with the same set of opportunities, but one of you succeeded while the others failed?

What’s going wrong? What is it that the others are doing that you aren’t? What is the core competency that you lack? As a company, you have the mission, vision and goal, you also employ the same strategic concepts and provide the same products and services. In a homogenous business environment, it is very common practice for one company to bring the other down through disruptive innovation. The cause of the innovation is present somewhere in the thinking and perception of the entrepreneurs or the marketers. The strategic decisions made by the directors follow a mindset that often most of us require. Let us get deeper into what I mean by saying unique mindset.

When we talk about Apple, we talk about differentiation. Apple is a great firm which has the success rate of jaw dropping numbers and is a consistently premium brand for most people in the world. It has a success formula that many companies and businesses lack. They do not just sell their product - they sell their beliefs and values. According to researchers, the success of Apple lies in the fact that they do not sell the product or service, they sell their idea, their purpose.

What, how and why are three main important concepts for any innovative mind. Most businesses go from what to why. Apple, which is a centre of innovation and a hub for creativity, does the opposite. It moves from why to what. Most companies and business sell by saying “we sell this (what), by the support of our people (how), because we want to provide better opportunities (why).

When we talk about Apple the Steve Jobs’ innovative portal, they start off by saying, people do not buy what we sell, people buy why we sell. You see the difference? Apple says “to provide you with the best technological solutions (why) our company (how) sells you the latest and premium technology (what).  This is the value addition that most businesses and companies do not provide. This is the ideology and innovation that people from Apple have and this is the secret formula or ingredient of their success. People do not buy your product; they buy the purpose of your buying. This is the innovation that needs to be built up in our culture to nurture growth and opportunities.

Enjoy !

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



Thursday, 21 April 2016

Five tips to ensure a memorable presentation



With the plethora of information that people are bombarded with on a daily basis, the only way to get cut through is from leaving a memorable impression on an audience.

It is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to leave a lasting impression on people, especially with the access one has to information these days. With more research being developed and released, the field of psychology has unravelled a number of key factors behind memory formation, and with the right set of tools anyone will be able to create a long lasting impression to their audience and further improve their presentation skills.

Below are five factors to keep in mind to avoid being forgotten.

Create associations
One of the most easy and memorable ways to ensure your audience remember a story is to create associations that connect to particular emotions of something of familiarity. One of the easiest ways to enable your audience to remember a story or detail is to create associations – particularly those that are connected to emotions or something familiar. To try and help create emotional memories for your audience, try and encourage them to form a connection between your presentation and their own lives.

Activate the senses
The three senses you can appeal to during presentations are: sight, sound and space, and the great thing about each of the three is that you can target them all through your presentation’s design. Within the way you have structured your design and presentation, you can use evocative themes that match your subject of communication. The trick here is to remember that these items are meant to emphasise the content of your presentation, but they are not the point of the presentation itself. It’s easy to get distracted by multi-media and the likes of embedded videos, however try to keep them to a minimum. You are trying to capture your audience’s attention with your idea, not someone else’s video.

Stay in range
At one time, people can only keep five to nine items in their short-time memory. If you have a difficult topic to discuss and want to ensure your audience stays connected, it is important to stay within this range. To put it simply, if you’re presenting an unfamiliar argument or idea to an audience, you cannot expect them to consider more than seven points at once. It is easy to overlook this, but it is important to keep in mind, even in the most simple of tasks.

Know when and how to repeat yourself
As interesting as you might be, no one wants to hear the same information over and over again. Redundant presentations are boring and one of the quickest ways to lose your audience for good. However, rehearsing information can boost retention and be the key to converting short-term memory into long-term. The right way to repeat an idea is to let your audience know that they will hear it more than once or, even better, ask them to join you in repeating it. Providing your audience with key ideas and then queuing them to repeat them helps maintain focus and build memories.

All in order
There are two opposing effects that can determine memory: the primacy effect and the recency effect. On the one hand, the primacy effect states that information presented first is remembered well. On the other hand, the recency effect would suggest that information presented last, or most recently, is most likely to be stored away in long-term memory. You can decide for yourself which one you think is more important, however, you should never decide to bury key ideas in the middle of presentations.