Can digital marketing negatively impact your brand?

Most of my blog posts have had a positive view of digital marketing. It is very true that digital marketing is a great way to reach a wider audience across many platforms and usually at a lower cost! However, Forbes recently published an article online stating how digital marketing can potentially destroy your business. Their main argument is that digital marketing does not help a business achieve its bottom line – a company’s overall profit. In particular, the article states that three digital marketing techniques focus too much on quantity of quality. They focus too much on reaching as wide an audience as possible, with no focus on getting a high follow through rate – i.e. no focus on attracting customers to make a purchase or browse through their products/services.

The tree techniques they single out as being quite ineffective, as well as most utilised by marketers, are:

1) Mobile & Digital Ad Spend (PPC ads)—click through rates are around 1 per 1000 (0.11%)

2) Paid-for SEO & Related Techniques—eBay conducted a thorough study on this and found the “efficacy of SEM is limited”

3) Paid Social Media—again click through rates are around 1 per 1000 (0.11%)

Do you guys agree with this article? Are these 3 techniques actually pretty ineffective in gaining profits for your company?

I personally still think it’s worth using these digital marketing techniques since building brand awareness can never be a bad thing. Plus I’m sure most companies don’t only use these awareness building techniques exclusively. They most likely use them in conjunction with other retention and profit building techniques such as using various social media platforms to increase the channels of interaction with your brand and having online and in-store sales on products/services, and so on. I think its also important to keep in mind that using brand awareness strategies is also very important for start-ups and unknown brands. Essentially, i believe that the three criticized digital marketing techniques above are still very useful and must be utilised by all businesses, especially new brands and start-ups.

#creepy

I wanted to talk about a successful viral marketing campaign again, but this time i wanted to revisit a campaign from the past!

Let’s time warp back to 1999 when the Blair Witch Project was coming out! Now this movie had a very small budget so in order to generate buzz, they launched a very unique online campaign. At the end of the movie’s trailer, the world was shown the URL for the Blair Witch Project website – which still exists today: http://www.blairwitch.com/. This website blurred the lines between fact and fiction as it contained convincing stories of the mythology behind the Blair Witch as well as realistic photos of the three film-makers before their “disappearance”, and fake news articles about missing children and campers around that area. In addition to this, the marketers behind the film also infiltrated various message boards to spread the word about this crazy disappearance, and in the end many people actually fell for the gimmick and believed that the story was true. Those who didn’t fall for it still clearly had an interest in the film since it made $250 million world wide, when it only cost $350,000 to make!

To this date, the Blair Witch project has probably still had one of the most successful digital marketing campaigns ever, and this is a great achievement since it was made back in 1999 when the internet was still slow and having an internet connection was still a novelty! This campaign was definitely one of the most inventive, terrifying and successful campaigns in film history!

Check out the trailer for this movie if you haven’t seen it before:

Kojai – an app that combines travel, photos and music all in one!

Two posts ago i talked about a new app gaining popularity called thumb.it, and today i was feeling a little patriotic and wanted to promote a new app that’s made by Australian’s!

This new app is called Kojai, and it comes from a Perth located tech company!

Kojai allows users to create a virtual map when they travel, snapping photos in different locations and thus creating a virtual track of where they have been world-wide! Now I’ve heard about apps like this before but what makes this one even more special is that you can even share the song you were listening to when u took the photo! I haven’t heard of this being done before and i think it’s a brilliant idea. You not only build a visual diary of your travels but an audio diary too! I think this is a great way to capture amazing moments you experience when travelling and to share it with others, so that they can feel like they’re right there with you! This app is also a great way for businesses to get free promotion when they’re pictured in travelers snaps, and it’s also amazing promotion for the tourist industry of various countries!

Now the great the thing about this app is that its just been selected out of a huge amount of applicants to be exhibited at the Web Summit in Dublin this November! This is an event that aims to gain investor interest for the selected apps and has been a launch pad for various start-ups!

I hope Kojai does well at this Summit as it seems like a wonderful and useful app to have on the market!

Would any of you guys be interested in such an app? Do you agree that tourism industries and businesses benefit from this kind of free promotion?

WAVE: an iOS8 exclusive…..not really

Last week Apple’s new iOS8 update was delivered and what ensued, courtesy of the internet, was pretty hilarious (but also kind of dangerous)!

The following ad was circulated across various social platforms such as Twitter and Reddit:

Although this ad was completely fake, I can see how some people, overcome by the excitement of the new iOS update, were tricked into believe that the update really allowed apple users to charge there phone via there microwave…..

In my head i know that this is so silly and that everybody is aware that you are not meant to put objects other than food into a microwave but with the great leaps that technology has brought us in recent times, its understandable that some people may have fallen for this fake ad since it looks so real / professional / credible. But that is the magic of Photoshop!

What the importance of this latest hoax is, is that it teaches us something that many of us already know. Do not trust everything you see or hear on the internet. To find out product or branded information, go directly to the most reliable source for that kind of information – the company’s website!

After all, the thing about Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and other similar online platforms is that all of their content is user generated. An ordinary person can at any instance send out whatever information they want about a company that they are not at all connected to!

Basically, i just wanted to share this internet hoax with anyone who hadn’t seen it yet! Hopefully those of you who have seen it were not fooled and your phone did not end up looking like this:

View image on Twitter

Thumb.It ?

I was just looking at a list of the most popular emerging new social media platforms and one which really stood out to me was Thumb.it. 

Thumb.it  is a crowd sourcing platform where users can gather dozens of opinions from other users on anything they want! From what outfit to wear to whether they’d buy a new tech gadget that’s currently in the design phase, or whether the new layout for their dining room is appealing!

The reason Thumb.it is interesting to me is because it has huge potential to be used as a research or marketing tool for businesses. Businesses could use Thumb.it to drum up interest in a new product or service, or get feedback on marketing material, such as whether a proposed new company logo is appealing to users or not!

This is what the Thumb.it app looks like:

What do you guys think of this new app? Do you think businesses can make good use of it?

New Balance’s creative push for retail sales

A few posts ago i wrote about the rise of e-commerce and how some company’s have began to shut down their brick-and-mortar stores due to lack of sales. Here’s a refresher: https://vkayokay.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/the-rise-and-rise-of-e-commerce/

Well about two weeks ago, New Balance had a great idea for driving customers into their retail stores. They launched a new campaign that instead of focusing on increasing e-commerce sales, actually increased the foot traffic into 50 selected shoe stores across America. In these 50 selected stores, the new 880v4 running shoe was launched and it wasn’t available at any other outlets or online. To support this exclusive offer, New Balance made the in store experience something really special by allowing shoppers who show up at these stores to watch a live Q&A video promoting the new shoes. During the live broadcast, two New Balance executives addressed questions and other related topics on the brand and the shoe’s selling points. 

 

I think this campaign was a brilliant idea as it offered an exclusive product as well as an exclusive service with the accompanying live Q&A video shown in the stores. New Balance found a simple way to promote their own digital content in stores that they usually would have no creative input over and it was targeted at a group of people who showed up at the store by their own choice meaning that they were specifically there for this new shoe, and thus were most receptive to the branded information new balance was showcasing. They creatively brought digital content and traditional brick-and-mortar stores together and in doing so, offered a unique shopping experience where customers were given the exclusive opportunity to better understand the new product that they were there to purchase.

I definitely believe that more of these types of product launches will start happening with various brands and products! What do you guys think?

Let me take a selfie.

Here’s an example of small time company using social media right.

Meet Urban Hilton Weiner. A previously not so well known South African fashion retail company that took advantage of the selfie trend in 2013 and launched a creative campaign that promoted their company so well that it not only garnered increased sales of their clothing items, but also gained them international attention and awareness.

The campaign asked for consumers to take a selfie in the changing rooms of their stores whilst wearing the Urban Hilton Weiner clothes they wanted to purchase and then they asked customers to immediately post the selfie to twitter, using the hashtag #urbanselfie. In return customers recieved a $10 coupon to use on their transaction right there and then.

R5000-Urban-Wardrobe-Winner

This campaign was a large success in that it got consumers into the store, purchasing clothes, interacting with the company online and promoting the company through social media. This resulted in increased revenue and free promotion for the company all at the same time!

I think this campaign was an amazing idea and very forward thinking! For some reason people seem to take selfies in changing rooms from time to time and Urban Hilton Weiner capitalised on this trend perfectly!

Hopefully small Australian retailers take note of the success of this campaign and come up with their own some time soon whilst the selfie trend is still going! 

 

Cord Blood….

So far in 2014 the word Cord Blood is #20 in most expensive keywords in Googles AdWords.

Why? Well, apparently there is market for parents who want to preserve their children’s stem cells from their umbilical cords and it is a very very expensive market. This keyword charges $27 per click!

I would never have guessed that this service or keyword would be one of the most expensive Google AdWords ever…

So whats #1 in Google AdWords most expensive keywords? Insurance.

Now this word may not be as shocking or strange as the previous example of cord blood, however some company’s are paying up to $55 per click for key phrases including the word insurance.

97% of Google’s revenue actually comes from advertising revenue, with AdWords being the most profitable source of such revenue….I’m just shocked that a large chunk of that money is coming from a word as random as cord blood, but great stuff Google! Keep getting that click per pay money!

 

P.s. for anyone interested, in the 2014 first quarter, Google’s revenue was $15.4 Billion but its cost-per-click revenue was actually down by 6% from last year.  Does anyone know the cause of this?

The rise and rise of E-commerce

E-commerce, which is the trading of products or services through the internet, had its origins in 1971 or 1972. Back then, the APRANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network; which was the first packet-switching network and would go on to become the global internet)  was used to arrange a cannabis sale between students at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Since those humble beginnings, e-commerce has grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry, with countries such as India even making 12.6 billion dollars through e-commerce in 2013.

With recent studies predicting that in the US alone there will be $440 billion sales via e-commerce in the year 2017, it would be an understatement to say that e-commerce has made waves in the retail industry.

Some of the worlds most popular online shopping platforms include;

1. Amazon

2. Ebay

3. Asos

4. Walmart

5. Etsy

6. Mr Porter

7. Alibaba.com

8. Nasty Gal

9. Zappos

10. ModCloth

So why is online shopping and e-commerce so successful? 

– It’s convenient; no need to get dressed up or leave your house to shop online

– There’s a broader selection of products as you can purchase products from all over the world

– It’s cheaper! You can browse the internet to find the lowest prices available for the products you’re interested in

How has e-commerce affected traditional retail outlets?

Sadly the rise of e-commerce is making it difficult for traditional retail stores to compete in the retail market. Borders and Blockbuster are just two of the most recent and famous casualties of online-shopping, and they’ve had to close down hundreds of their stores across countries due to their inability to compete with online stores like Amazon and Netflix.

It’s actually quite saddening when you think about it because I’m sure a lot of us have fond memories of shopping at both these stores, but i guess that’s just one of the ways the world is changing due to digital media and the success of e-commerce.                                                       As much as i love an online bargain, i hope that not all Brick-And-Mortar businesses close there doors in the future!

What do you guys think of this? What are some of your favourite online shopping destinations?

Social Media: Not for you?

 

So by now I’m guessing that we’ve all seen Jimmy Kimmel’s popular comedy videos “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”.

If you haven’t, here’s a link for the first one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRBoPveyETc

They’re basically just short three minute videos of celebrities reading mean tweets that people have sent into them via twitter, and I have got to say that some of the tweets are pretty funny (and kind of true).

However, as much fun as it is to laugh at the rich and famous being made fun of, it’s got me thinking that social media really has the potential to damage a company’s (or persons) brand. If a company chooses to have a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account, and so on, it really opens them up to having there image tarnished in the public eye. In saying that, of course i do believe that all major brands and companies should have a large presence in social media. It’s basically the best way to keep consumers up to date on your brand and the most effective way to promote yourself for free to the entire world. However, if a company chooses to put themselves out there into the big bad world of social and digital media, then they should expect some form of negativity from the general public. That’s just how life is. I mean, if you look on any popular restaurants Urbanspoon page then you will see that for every ten positive reviews there’s probably five bad ones. You just can’t please everyone.

So what’s my point in writing all of this? Basically what the title of this entry states – social media may not be for you. If you’re a small business owner or even a large world wide company, and you choose to promote your business via social media, just be prepared for words of criticism to be posted on your Facebook or Twitter page. If you think you or the employees in charge of your company’s social media can’t ignore negative posts on your wall or can’t respond to them appropriately, then don’t use interactive social media; it is not for you…

p.s  Do not be like this: 

 

p.p.s  Feel free to comment and tell me what you think of this topic or my blog. Positive AND negative comments welcome 🙂