Archive for the ‘Internet Marketing’ Category

postheadericon Teens and Their Parents Determine Buying Trends

Targeting your audience can be challenging depending on your ideal consumer profile, but when it comes to determining teens and tween customers and their buying habits, naturally it’s not as complex as you would think. Teen buyers usually are pretty solid when it comes to knowing what products they want. Considering teens and tweens are pretty tech savvy, the internet naturally would be a great resource for them to make their purchases. But what exactly influences a teen to purchase a product or persuade their parents to make the purchase for them?

Usually teenagers are pretty set on what they want so they may not need to research so much into their favorite product since they’re pretty keen on the newest and hottest trends, especially with electronics. But what resources influence teens to attain information about their favorite products and to make their purchases? According to an eMarketer report, “two in five teens said online reviews influenced their computer product preferences, and 37% cited product websites”. So it seems as though teens pay attention to their web sources like online customer reviews, product websites, and online ads. In fact according to the “TeenFluence Survey” conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ConsumerSearch.com, ads were the second most common element that helped users to make their decision about a product or service.

A study by Mintel also found that the influence of online content becomes more important as kids enter their teenage years, you can also call this demographic the “tween” generation. “At the upper end of the age range, kids 9-11 are more likely to turn to more diverse resources for information, including online ads and social networking sites, while the younger kids, aged 6-8, have a stronger reliance on parents”. Not to mention word of mouth is definitely popular among this age group as kids like to “show and tell” their favorite products they possess or want to purchase. Teens usually know more about popular products and electronics than their parents do so usually the teen would influence the parent to make the purchase and the parent then researches the item through the web through customer reviews, website content, word of mouth and online advertisements also. And since tweens and teens may not have the income to make their purchases, it’s ultimately up to the parents to make the purchase.

It’s safe to say that the internet plays a major role when it comes to purchasing products, not just with adult users but more so with the newest generation of tech savvy teens and tweens. Would you agree with the report and their results?

postheadericon Top Ten Viral Ads of 2010

Now that we’re finally living in the year 2011, reports of what was “in” digitally last year are coming out of the woodwork; and when it comes to internet marketing, 2010 was big year for online ad viewing, posting and sharing! It seems as though television ads have inspired people to go online to review these popular advertisements and share them with their friends and family.

The numbers are in for the most popular television ads that gained viral popularity. So which ads made the top ten list for 2010?

Check out the countdown below and see if you’re favorite online ad made the top list!

Number 10: E-Trade Super Bowl

Number 9: Gillette Perfect Length

Number 8: Pepsi- Oh Africa

Number 7: Old Spice – The Return of The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Number 6: DC Shoes- Gymkhana Three

Number 5: Nike – Write the Future

Numbe 4: Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Number 3: Doritos – Crash The Super Bowl 2010

Number 2: Old Spice – Odor Blocker

And drumroll please….

The Number 1 viral ad of 2010 is:

Number 1: Old Spice – Responses

Top Ten via Advertising Age

postheadericon Emotionally Attached?

How do you define loyalty? My definition relates to the emotional attachment of some source that you feel obligated to or are passionate about that makes a person want to support it and nothing else like it. With brand-consumer relationships, it’s no different. But can a person really become emotionally attached to a brand enough to make them not want to go anywhere else for the same service? Absolutely. But how and why does a consumer become emotionally attached to a brand?

Businesses have come to the realization that it’s not just about attaining new clients and consumers [which by the way can be more expensive] but it’s also just as significant, if not more, to maintain their current customers. Retaining your current customers is rewarding considering you know they will come back to your brand for products and services and no one else, or as I like to call it; loyalty. Not to mention these loyal consumers will be more than happy to spread the word about how great your company is and possibly recruit new customers for you. Also, they’ll usually be first in line to try new products and deals your company offers and competitors’ marketing tactics more than likely won’t work on them. Consumers have made their choice and they’re sticking to it.

Generally consumers are attracted to a brand that not only obviously offers quality products and services but a brand that is also honest and genuinely cares about their customers. When you gain a customer’s trust you seal the deal for possibly a lifetime.

According to the New Media Metrics’ first annual Leap Index above, which ranked emotional attachment of consumers to brands in numerous categories, Apple products like the iPod and iPhone topped the list as consumer favorites.

So I want to know….what brands are you attached to?

postheadericon Just Some Inspiration For Your “Addiction”

Are we really addicted to social media? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a while now. I mean think about it, every morning when you wake up what is the first thing you do? Update your Twitter? Check your Facebook? All of the above? During the course of your day how often do you login to your social media pages? Once, twice, twenty times? If so, then you just might have an addiction. But not all addictions are bad right? Or is the saying “too much of a good thing can’t be that good after-all” really being truthful?

I recently came across a pretty amusing and amazing video that pokes fun at the thought of social media addiction. Maybe this video can answer some of those questions and provide some kind of clarity on the borderline of addiction and obsession.

Enjoy!

postheadericon Online Shopping Outdoes Itself This Holiday Season

Black Friday has come and gone and the holiday season is almost done all together, so many wonder exactly how well did online business perform? Statistics have rolled in answering just the question and more. It’s evident that the internet, and social media specifically, have played a major role in the way web users communicate and shop, so how much of an impact did these methods actually make on this year’s holiday season compared to last year? Apparently this year online patrons increased business revenue by 16 percent compared to last year, by opting to research and shop online as opposed to in-store. In fact according to Coremetrics online, shoppers spent more this year with the average order total at $190.80 compared to last year’s $170.19 average transaction amount. That’s a pretty nice increase! PayPal even analyzed consumer spending during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday and analyzed another big increase of overall 27% online spending compared to 2009.

This chart exemplifies which brands had a bigger buzz on Twitter and had high performances during Black Friday. Retail stores like Walmart and Apple performed exceptionally, taking the forefront in the running for brand activity during the holiday season. Even online charitable contributions increased from 2009 by 45% according to PayPal reports.

With the results of Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day sales and purchases one can only imagine how the years to come will outdo these current numbers. Is that people are getting hip to the idea of convenience and accessibility now. There was once a time where no one even knew how and where to begin with online shopping but with the help of social media and mobile advertising people is starting to get wiser and realize that this is the beginning of a new generation of consumer behavior and interaction. So now instead of trying to survive the hustle and bustle of getting up early just to be at your favorite store before everyone else, you can sleep in, enjoy your day without the hassle. The click of a mouse on your computer or a button on your phone, retail therapy will be so much sweeter.

postheadericon 2011 Internet Marketing Trend Watch

So the year is already almost over, and whew, how fast it came and went right? At the end of the year it’s only natural for people to become motivated and inspired to do things differently in the New Year that’s vastly approaching, and that even includes business marketing strategies. 2011 seems pretty promising with new digital marketing trends for brands to adopt in an effort to increase their performance and of course ultimately their ROI. Why don’t we just take a peek into some of the predicted trends that could possibly take over and maybe even change the way we use the internet to advertise, sell, and purchase?

  • The whole “engaging with your customers” revolution has begun, and I love that this is going to be more sought after by businesses. I’ve always been able to appreciate a company who actually shows interest in their customers and don’t just only see dollar signs. You can expect to see companies reaching out to consumers whether it is through social media, follow up phone calls and cards. When it comes down to it, it really does make a difference on whether your customer will remain loyal to your company or not. Often times consumers can become emotionally attached to a brand, and as we’ve mentioned before customers look for [other than the product and service quality] reliability and honesty when choosing a business to represent their needs.
  • Expect to also see an increase in mobile device use for advertising, email marketing, purchasing and many other web marketing tactics. We’ve already seen a glimpse into the evolution of the mobile phone with their apps for everything you can think of, but with accessibility to the World Wide Web and social media through your device, it’s only made it somewhat easier for companies to come up with new and innovative ways to market their target audiences on the go. This is not only smart but convenient.
  • Micro-blogging and blogging isn’t dead yet especially with sites like Facebook and Twitter who will continue to rule over every other social site, I’m sure. I think we can confirm now more than ever that social media isn’t going anywhere, so I’m expecting to see more social platforms develop and groundbreaking enhancements for how we use these social networks and how effective they can be from a business perspective. I do hope to see more companies [especially smaller ones] to join the social media world that already haven’t. These sources are not only outlets that will help company heads the opportunity to interact and engage with their customers but it’s also a creative outlet for businesses to win over consumers and promote their brand’s identity through their own management.
  • Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing will only continue to take over the web with new search improvements to make our search life more convenient and beneficial. In a constant battle to top each other and win over users, we can expect some changes that will probably merge with social media so that web users will eventually only need to go to one site to get their social fix and do some retail research all at the same time. Not to mention optimization of performance, conversion rates, and search engines with the integration of various online tools.
  • Prepare to also see a change in buying trends, consumers will research and shop online a whole lot more, especially during the holiday seasons. People are starting to realize that it’s no point in waking up at dawn just to be at a store to hopefully get the product you want. While it helps to physically be in front of that product or meet face to face with a consultant, new online approaches to these same factors have made it simpler and a lot more tempting to just sit in the comfort of your own home, on your own time and shop without long lines, traffic and to avoid stepping out in inclement weather conditions even. Just the click of a mouse will soon be able to handle everyone’s shopping desires. Imagine that!

While these are only a handful of trends, these are perhaps the heavy hitters and most important of the laundry list. It’s inevitable that there will be many digital marketing changes so it’s safe to say that we should expect more companies to jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of the endless opportunities the internet world has to offer for both the company and the consumer. I foresee a whole lot more convenience, creativity, and effort in the digital marketing realm. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to see what happens next!

postheadericon Time Names Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year”

Mark Zuckerberg is no doubt the most powerful person in social media and the most interesting person of 2010, or at least that’s what Time magazine thinks. This year they bestowed 26 year old former Harvard student and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with the honor of being named Person of the Year. With the release of the highly successful movie “The Social Network”, which is based on Zuckerberg and his controversial journey to create the social site, and after Facebook reached its 500 million members mark this past summer, I agree with Time magazine.

I think it’s safe to say that things haven’t been the same since Zuckerberg introduced us all to Facebook, and then naturally came the beginning of a beautiful digital and social revolution. With the overwhelmingly positive and socially addictive outcome of Facebook, you still can’t help but to ask, “Where would the internet world be if we didn’t’ have Facebook, or any social media platforms for that matter”?

Six years ago Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, an addictive and socially influential social networking site from his college dorm room. Of course then it was titled “The Facebook”. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 or 7 years, you have seen and heard about Facebook when you turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open a newspaper and of course search the web. And even those of you out there that have yet to obtain an account with the most popular social media site [Must I remind you about its 500 plus million members?] to date, it’s a pretty good chance you still know all about the site and its influence on our generation.

While some of us may have their own reasons to agree or disagree with Time’s choice to make Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year”, the magazine shares with its readers their exact reason and motivation for honoring him with the title:

“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them (something that has never been done before); for creating a new system of exchanging information that has become both indispensable and sometimes a little scary; and finally, for changing how we all live our lives in ways that are innovative and even optimistic, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year.”

With such a popular site of close to 600 million “friends” who share their life experiences and most cherished moments like births, deaths, photos, breakups and even make ups, it’s no doubt that Facebook has transitioned from a simple social site built for us to connect with others to becoming a lifestyle for so many. It is the second most visited site worldwide [Behind Google] and users spend over 700 billion minutes per month visiting the site! See what I mean by it being “addictive”?

And in case any of you were wondering just how successful Zuckerberg has become after the launch of his monster of a creation, we’ll put it to you in dollar terms, his personal fortune has soared to 6.9 billion this year and the company itself is worth $23 billion! Not too bad Mr. Zuckerberg, not too bad at all.

Do you agree with Time magazine’s decision?

postheadericon Could Skippable Ads Slow Down Internet Marketing?

Lately if you’ve watched one of your favorite shows online or a video on YouTube you’ll see an ad, or a few. Some of them are skippable, but some aren’t. These online ads can be great for advertisers but for the viewer maybe not so much since all we want to do is watch our program right? Light bulb! Well YouTube has come up with a new plan to provide a choice for viewers to watch a certain ad or skip the ad all together while at the same time the advertiser isn’t charged. So, worst case scenario: people skip all the ads. But what kind of an effect will this have on the advertisers? Will people really pay attention to the ads if you give them the option to view or not to view or will they just become obsolete?

This new feature is not just a feature, it has a name: True View. This system allows viewers the choice between watching an ad out of a selection of three or you can skip the ads all together. Or for longer streamed videos you can choose to watch the initial advertisement in the beginning of the video to avoid any “commercial breaks” during the stream. Now this may sound pretty cool for users considering they will have more control over what ads they watch and how many but how does this really affect the advertisers and the companies? Has anyone considered that? I mean after all we have to stick together! [Wink] If anything, hopefully this will provide motivation for marketers to think outside of the box and come up with fresh and creative ways to make viewers want to see their ads. But on the flip side advertisers will not be charged for non-viewed ads. Another positive theory is that brands may have an easier time measuring their online presence through the amount of views and behavioral trends among web users.

So this could go one of two ways, either really good or really bad. I guess only time will tell and we’ll just have to watch and see…literally.

postheadericon Facebook Marries Social Media and Email?

On the heels of the announcement that Facebook recently made about their integration with email and social media, many are wondering how effective this can be for their business. If you think about it, social media and email make up about one-third of total internet utilization, so why not join forces with each other to create a more convenient way to stay on top of both social media platforms?

This week Facebook announced the launch of their new email messaging service and I’m sure this sounds like heaven for many advertisers and marketers. According to the Facebook promo video, “…the new messaging system is designed to capture all forms of communication with a single person in one place”. So could this really mean that the time has come for Gmail to vanish? Well apparently some  theorize this and even label this new Facebook service the “Gmail Killer”. Uh Oh.

Check out the Facebook prom video here!

Now after watching that, how you do feel about this new collaboration? It seems pretty smart, possibly effective and definitely convenient. Could Facebook be on to something here? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point within the next decade we had only one endlessly accessible platform where we can communicate with each other, and maybe even without the help of a computer.  Either way, I predict that with sites like Facebook and Twitter, the next chapter in the evolution of technology will definitely be a game changer for users, marketers, and businesses around the globe. Even possibly with just one click of a button. Now that’s a thought.

postheadericon Social Media Dos and Don’ts

Social media marketing is a great recipe of interaction and opportunity mixed with convenience for both corporations and consumers. If done properly, you can have a pretty successful impact on your consumers and heighten your company’s overall effectiveness.

One of the biggest social media mistakes, and most common, that a company can make is having hundreds to thousands of fans/friends on their social networking page but never interact with any of them. It’s not so much about how popular you are, or how many fans you have, it’s a matter of how influential your company is. Like it’s been stated before, you make the most of social media marketing based on what you put out and your interactivity with your consumers. One of the best aspects of social media marketing is the access you have to connect and communicate with your target audience, potential consumers, and loyal patrons. Make sure you regularly interact with your customers and potentials so that they know that you’re reliable and genuinely interested in hearing from them. Remember, the whole point of social media marketing or networking is to be….social.

You also don’t want to have hundreds to thousands of fans/friends and a lot of them don’t even really need your services. Ultimately this will only be followed by lack of sales leads and those fans will eventually “unlike” or “unfriend” you.

Content is always a topic of discussion here and I always encourage quality and creative content that will keep your consumers intrigued. You do want them to continue visiting your page right? What better way than to convince them through direct dialogue and personal approaches? Customers can always appreciate genuine and honest messages with a mix of entertainment, if possible.

To successfully run an online social campaign you must be consistent. Not only consistent with your content and brand stances but also by simply regularly updating your social pages. There’s nothing more frustrating for a consumer than to go to a company’s profile or site only to realize they haven’t updated with any new information or promotions in months, even years. It can be pretty discouraging for that visitor and they may not consider your company when it comes to their needs. This also works in favor of your corporate site.

It’s also good to stay up to date on the latest social media enhancements and sites so that you’re not out of the loop on tools that can benefit your company’s campaign. Of course that only applies to tools that are relevant to your company and will actually work for your brand, not against it.

Something that can be easily neglected is your avatar, or profile picture. This is usually the first thing visitors see when searching for your brand and when they visit your page. It’s wise to be creative but also stay within boundaries of professionalism and relevance to your brand’s logo or motto.

Also   to analyze your consumers’ behavior and trends is a good forecast for future traffic on your site. It’s good to measure not just your company’s website performance but also your social media pages’ performance.  This is the best way to get insight on your brand’s influence and an indirect source of customer feedback from your fans and friends.

There are countless points that can be made when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing and while I’ve given you a handful, it is always good to stay on top of your online media campaign; whether it be through analytics, simply comparing your pages to other companies’, or just consistently researching new tools to accelerate your brand’s performance on the World Wide Web.  Online social media marketing can be very beneficial if used adequately for your brand and as long as it reaches the audience that needs to hear your message. Don’t forget, you are in control of what you share!