Marketing is a lot like dating…

Have you ever been set up on a blind date?

Perhaps your mother’s new tennis partner has a son/daughter who she feels would be “just perfect for you”? This is essentially a sales environment… and the same apprehension, intrigue, desire for more detail and risk assessment you might feel going into this scenario is replicated time and again when engaging with choosing which brands to spend your hard earned cash with.

In the same way dating is a set of individuals seeking arrangements, brands are constantly seeking consumers out, wanting to attract them to their products and build a relationship with where they gain trust and ultimately business.

Here are three ways modern marketing is like modern dating:

1. Relationship Goals
In the same way each individual is seeking a partner with similar values, brands need to narrow in on the relationship elements of the target persona that they mean to engage. If your brand is geared towards adventure-lovers, do the research to find out what they like, where they hang out, and what they want in a partner – then, seek them before all others.

2. Keep it Fun and Engaging
Like all dating, brands should engage the audience in ways that are fun and keep them wanting more. In a world of constant connectivity and information overload, there is a lot of research and risk assessment that goes into dating – the same goes for consumers and brands. Brands, just like dating partners, need to be engaging but not obnoxious – enjoyable experiences leave the consumer wanting more… the same goes for dating.

3. Be Yourself
We are attracted to brands just like we are attracted to partners. It’s important to build trust by being honest and genuine in both dating and brand messaging. Keeping secrets will only make for a blow up down the line. Set the expectations of the brand up front and allow the genuine connections.

The analogies could go on. The main point is this: brands need to genuinely understand and connect with consumers so that a strong relationship grows. If a brand can truly identify their target audience – who they are, what they like, where they are located, how to connect with them, and so on, it is on the right path to entering into a long-term relationship and being introduced to their family, friends and future growth.

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Get Busy With the Fizzy.

Domestic consumption of sparkling water has more than doubled in the past five years. Based on 2011 consumer report, Americans drank 232 million gallons of sparkling water. A recent report from Technavio predicts that global sparkling water market will post an average annual growth rate of 3% from 2016 to 2020.  SodaStream International LTD.,  which makes machines to carbonate tap water at home, is looking to acquire companies and increase marketing in key countries. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Birnbaum said in an interview that with about $100 million of cash and no debt, SodaStream has strong standing and, with aggressive marketing, can successfully target even the most completive markets.

SodaStream appeared on American retail shelves overnight. It is a freshly reinvigorated brand with a 100-year history. SodaStream’s lineage can be traced back to Edwardian Era England, when London distiller Guy Hugh Gilbey invented a device for aerating liquids that his upper-class customers used to carbonate their gin cocktails. The original 1914 patent describes a large device, complete with valves, pistons, and nozzles. Two decades later, the earliest flavored concentrates were introduced, which could be mixed with carbonated water to create instant soda. It wasn’t until 1955 that the home version of the SodaStream became available for the masses.

SodaStream’s willingness to spend reflects how far the company has come since changing strategies in 2014. With weakening sales and income, the company moved away from at-home cola machines that competed in a $260 billion market against giants like Coca Cola and Pepsi. Investors were skeptical to invest in SodaStream’s stocks when they drastically fell in February last year. With the shift to sparkling water, SodaStream’s profits almost quadrupled in 2016. Its U.S.-traded shares increased about 342 % since the recent low. However, the demand for sparkling water is being matched by widespread availability of new channels and delivery systems. Twenty years later, the brand reached its first golden age when it became a familiar fixture in European kitchens with a catchy tagline to match.

References

Benmeleh, Y. (2017). SodaStream on the Hunt for Acquisitions to Keep 340% Rally Going. Retrieved from: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-29/sodastream-on-the-hunt-for-acquisitions-to-keep-340-rally-going.

Brooke, Z. (2017). Water Wars: SodaStream’s Offensive into the American Beverage Market. Retrieved from: https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingNews/Pages/sodastream-ecoshaming-water-wars.aspx.

Bowman, J. (2017). Why SodaStream International Ltd. Stock Gained 12% in April. Retrieved from: https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/05/why-sodastream-international-ltd-stock-gained-12-i.aspx.

 

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Time to make the profit…

Working on our final project, “Big Ideas” are on the forefront of our perspective. While trying to find that “something spectacular” to win the battle of the brand for our section, I’ve had a tendency to look at the world around us for inspiration. One such example that I came across is Dunkin’ Donuts attempt to compete with the coffee mega-giant Starbucks by recently contemplating changing their name to simply Dunkin’ by testing the new name in certain markets. The test that will run throughout the year will start at a Pasadena location and is meant to showcase the company’s beverage services rather than its round pastries they are infamous for. But will this “Big Idea” be enough to save the company’s struggles?

Dunkin’ Donuts has seen a 1.5% sales growth since 2014 compared to Starbucks’ 5-7%. While it tried to get on the coffee bandwagon with its slogan “America runs on Dunkin” in 2006, that was years earlier from Starbucks dropping the “Coffee” from its name in 2011, showing that Starbucks encompassed more than just coffee. Would this “Big Idea” have worked better by dropping the doughnuts a decade ago? We may never know. However, there have been many cases where businesses have changed their name and have generated more success. Some of these may surprise you:

Research In Motion to Blackberry – 2013
Apple Computer to Apple – 2007
Backrub to Google – 1997
Datsun to Nissan – 1981

Will changing the name of your company bring you more success? There may be more than a name change that provides the consumer a reason to buy your product and revitalize your brand. Time will tell if this strategy will result in higher profits for Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe they should bring back the slogan, slightly adjusted…”Time to make the coffee.”

Fairchild, C. 2013. The worst (and best) company name changes. Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2013/12/06/the-worst-and-best-company-name-changes/

Malone, C. 2017. Dunkin’ Donuts’s Name Change Is a Good Idea—If It Were 2006. Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2017/08/07/dunkin-donuts-name-change-new-changing-rebrand-coffee/

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Can Politics Be Contagious to Brands?

Politics has always been a controversial business, yet brands are willing to take political stances. Taking into consideration the fact that brands are not politicians and cannot lobby or make an advocacy group, they are mainly executing a political agenda on behalf of an “interested constituency.” Where this strategy is perfect in advancing a political cause, it might have an opposite effect for brands, as brands cannot win by using this strategy.  In order to win more business, brands need to use a different strategy- they need to extend their consumer base. It is largely believed that a brand’s growth is dependent on consumer loyalty. However, loyalty is not enough for a brand to grow; brands must have a widespread appeal. Brands also need to unite different group of consumers with divergent values and preferences.

While it is smart and safe for brands to ignore politics and make most of it a secondary concern, they cannot be completely passive. Politics  nowadays  blends with lifestyle and can no longer be treated separately. That being said, brands need a new vocabulary for communicating with consumers. Most interestingly, brands are finding themselves as the advocates for enforcing civility and decency in public life. These various roles urge brands to answer every challenge with purpose, not with politics. Political brands will eventually get lost in the crowd of bitter divisiveness. Brands make a difference that matters when they take a stand as brands with purpose, not a political agenda.

The Global Strategy Group has been measuring Americans’ views on business and politics. The main question being asked was – How did Americans feel about politically involved companies? The results were balanced: Americans treated the brands as individuals and expected them to have their own political identities and beliefs. According to January 2017 results, 81% of Americans believed that corporations should take actions and address the society’s more salient issues. However, consumers were more supportive of companies that took a stance on issues directly affecting the company; such as the minimum wage, pay equality, industry-specific issues, and economics. Acceptance was the lowest on more diverging social issues, like abortion and marijuana legalization.

The results also indicated that Coca Cola and the Walt Disney Company tended to enjoy the highest ratings. Uber and Google also showed heavy political involvement, while their ecosystem was fairly young and progressive. Starbucks, however, had very contradicting results, as some consumers were supportive of its role for taking a stand against building the US/Mexico border, while some were outraged by it. However, it is evident that these companies have made the environment a core piece of their brand identity. So, it is no surprise to either customers or stakeholders when the leadership speaks out in support of environmental issues.

References

Brehse, T. (2017). Should Your Company Take A Political Stance? Retrieved from: http://blog.ignitespot.com/should-your-company-take-a-political-stance.

DeMers, J. (2017). Getting Political Can Cause Your Business Dearly If You Are Not Cautious. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/02/16/is-it-dangerous-for-your-brand-to-get-political/#647a78438611.

Smith, J., W. (2017). Why Taking A Political Stance Is The Biggest Mistake The Brand Can Make. Retrived from: https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingNews/Pages/brands-shouldnt-be-policital.aspx.

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How do you brand government?

Government has two main functions— to take care of the people they represent and to make things happen.  It develops policies and  funds projects. There is little competition. After all, where can you get a driver’s license other than the DMV?  An effective government means that it delivers quality services;  responsibly manages public funds and represents the best interests of the people.

Unlike public corporations, Government does not prioritize  profit margins, sales benchmarks and stockholders. Public officials, elected or appointed, are concerned about constituents.  When the people do not like the status quo, they organize and  things can change.

What does this have to do with marketing and branding?  Everything.  Efficacy boils down to perception. How a government organization, a municipality or  a public service is viewed by  stakeholders  lays the foundation for its overall  sustainability and  well-being.

Here are some of my favorite government logos and my interpretation.

New York: a City where dreams come true

Amsterdam: A City that celebrates diversity

NASA: A government organization that is devoted to space exploration and science

How do you brand government?  The starting point is to identify the institution’s core values. What does it represent?  In the case of municipalities, what do residents pride themselves upon? What is going to lure tourists and business (Salman, 2008)? It’s a communication dance – synchranizing different audiences to generate a worthwhile message.

By implementing integrated communication strategies,  governments can attract and maintain a viable reputation. Through digital channels,  public sector marketing needs to  do more than publicize policies,  services and events. It can  foster vibrant communities. Through  interesting stories of  stakeholders,  sharing photos and memories  of its landmarks and distinctiveness,  social media can help reinvent the government brand. The sky’s the  limit. Afterall, nothing is certain but death or taxes.

 

Reference

Salman, S. (2008) Brand of gold. theguardian.com. Retrieved from  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/oct/01/city.urban.branding

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Video Is The New Text

If you are a big sports fan then you are likely familiar with ESPN and Fox Sports, two of the largest and most dominant sports broadcasting networks in the world. You have probably visited both their websites to check out the latest scores or to play fantasy football. You probably noticed they are pretty similar, considering they report on the same source content. So how does one network try and gain a competitive advantage over the other, especially in the hotly contested online arena? Move away from the norm.

In June 2017, Fox Sports overhauled their web content by scrapping all written content and replacing it with video content (Shaw, 2017). Their website has no written articles. They let go of 20 journalists and replaced them with video production personnel. Fox Sports’ overhaul is a move away from traditional sports reporting content which is mostly written articles. Fox is attempting to separate itself from other sports websites, namely ESPN, by shifting from traditional sports reporting to opinion-based video content that complements their television content, increases web advertising opportunities, and exposes viewers to Fox Sports on-air personalities (Shaw, 2017).

         

But is it a smart move? The shift was recent, so only time will tell, however, research has shown that consumers are far more likely to be drawn in to video content than text. Benefits of video content include:

  • Increasing consumer understanding of a product or service by 74% (Gardner, 2016)
  • Consumers are 64% more likely to buy a product if they view a video (Gardner, 2016)
  • Video promotion is 600% more effective than print and mail (Gardner, 2016)
  • Consumers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% in text (Young, 2016)
  • Video increases the chances of a website landing on page 1 of Google by 53% (Young, 2016)
  • Adding video to a website makes it six times more likely to convert a “browser” into a paying customer (Young, 2016)
  • 60% of consumers would rather watch a video on a website (Young, 2016)

Overall, adding video content to a website has far more benefits than only text and many websites are taking notice. 79% of global internet traffic is predicted to be video by 2020. Video support both consumer perception and marketing strategies when considering that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and a single minute of video is worth 1,000 words (Young, 2016).

It’s too early to tell if Fox Sports’ move will pay off but the benefits of incorporating video format into web content is something that should be considered when developing online strategy. Use text as a complement to video. Create websites with video content in mind and consider how the consumer will absorb the content. It can only help increase productivity.

References:

Gardner, M. (2017, January 18). Video vs Text – Which is Most Effective? Retrieved August 06, 2017, from http://www.gandbagency.com/video-conversion/

Jarboe, G. (2017, March 09). Video Will Account for 79% of Global Internet Traffic by 2020. Retrieved August 06, 2017, from http://tubularinsights.com/video-79-percent-internet-traffic-2020/

Shaw, L. (2017, June 26). Fox Sports cuts web writing staff to invest more in online video. Retrieved August 06, 2017, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/ct-fox-sports-layoffs-more-online-video-20170626-story.html

Young, M. (2016, June 06). Looking at the Facts-Why Video Content Has the Highest Retention Rate. Retrieved August 06, 2017, from http://www.popvideo.com/blog/looking-at-the-facts-why-video-content-has-the-highest-retention-rate

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You Won’t Believe What This Billboard is Advertising!

I was driving down the 80 freeway in the Bay Area and I saw the most vibrant and striking billboard I have ever seen:

My favorite dessert flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip.  To see an explosion of flavor come to life on a billboard, while stuck in traffic at 5 PM, had me wondering where the nearest exit was so I could taste this cookie!

The advertisement offers little information and very few clues as to who the brand is, or where the product can be purchased.  Was the billboard advertising a local bakery?  Did Whole Foods sell this product?  Was it even an advertisement for cookies?

One search of ‘Korova’ in my computer’s browser, and I was transported to the World of Cannabis; like Alice through The Looking Glass.

‘Who is Korova?’

Korova Edibles is a Cannabis infused baked goods company located in San Francisco, California.  The brand offers, “truly unrivaled potency offered at a compassionate price.”  The brand’s newest product is the 250mg Mint Dip Cookie. Korova’s product packaging offers whimsical imagery and advises on safe consumption by using phrases such as, “You can always eat more, but you can’t eat less.”  Logos and images on the product’s packaging allude to the psychoactive effects typically experienced with even just a small dose of Cannabis.  Think of the ‘Eat Me’ cookies from Alice In Wonderland.

‘But Isn’t Cannabis a dangerous drug?’

Parallel to its former reputation as an illicit drug, Cannabis is a naturally occurring, flowering plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  Humans are birthed with cannabinoid receptors that are part of the Endocannabinoid System.  Cannabis activates these naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors.  When smoked or ingested, the plant has documented physical and cerebral benefits that positively impact physiological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.

Research studies documented in the British Journal of Cancer conclude that the CBD and THC compounds derived from Cannabis are beneficial in reducing the size of tumors.  The US National Library of Medicine documents that Cannabis aids in curing breast cancer.  Researchers are starting to see positive results in the plant’s ability to improve cognitive function and increase performance, giving rise to the future of Cannabis.

Welcome to The Future 

In 2017, neurobiologists and psychologists are able to identify the biological basis for the mental elevation experienced when cannabinoid receptors are mobilized.  As documented by authors of Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work, Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, peak experiences are measurable through the 4 Forces of Ecstasis

  1. Psychology – Elevated stages of personal development are demystified.  We now have data models to navigate a framework for the journey to greater personal development.
  2. Neurobiology – The mechanics of transcendence are measurable and showing great promise for the advancement of human intelligence.
  3. Pharmacology – Create recipes for peak experiences using Cannabis dosing, leveraging effects of strains like Sativa, Indica and Hybrids.
  4. Technology – Scales Cannabis and brings it to the masses.  We are entering a movement of health in which disease has the potential to be eradicated.

Executives in Silicon Valley such as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have credited the consumption of Cannabis with increasing their creative energy to drive innovation in their disciplines.  Former Google Strategist Alan Gertner puts the future of Cannabis this way:

“I believe Cannabis is the next Internet – an immense and untrammeled new market opportunity. At least 10% of North Americans consume Cannabis on a regular basis and consumer product brands have yet to enter this enticing, mainstream, and rapidly legalizing space.”

Being first to market means understanding the industry’s landscape.  According to Cannabis market research and analytics firm New Frontier Data, the Cannabis industry is estimated to exceed $24 billion by 2025.  It is no wonder why Silicon Valley executives are migrating from the technology industry to the Cannabis industry, in what some are coining a Green Rush.  The migration is motivated by individuals who are skilled users of the plant; experts who understand the mechanics of Cannabis and its future potential to positively impact human intelligence.  Former Google Advertising employee and current Lola Lola CEO Michael Garganese recounts his own migration into the golden sunrise of Cannabis:

“I had this voice inside me saying, ‘Everything you’ve ever been told about this plant was just a complete lie.”

Industry leaders, such as Andrea Brooks from Sava (the Etsy for weed,) passionately speak about [the] purpose driven work of changing the perception of marijuana in an emerging market, “The main goal of this industry is to positively impact the evolution of human intelligence for greater balance and well-being. Elevating the conscious experience through Cannabis will bring more peace into the lives of consumers. But, we have an uphill battle in shifting how society thinks about weed.”

Branding’s Role in the Cannabis Industry

This presents a unique opportunity for brands to change the narrative and stigma against marijuana through values-based branding.  Every aspect of the brand’s logo, its packaging, it’s online advertisements and its billboards communicates a message to society about what the brand, and even the industry, values.  Intricate packaging, with an attention to detail communicates that Cannabis brands value quality of product and experience.  Every experience with the brand is authentic and effectively communicates the ethical values and perspective of the Cannabis culture.

When it comes to packaging and marketing content, every inch is an opportunity to tell a story that shifts perspective.  As business insider puts it, brands like Lola Lola “hops on a trend in the marijuana retail industry in which growers meticulously brand their bud. “ For retailers in the Cannabis industry, artful, authentic and thought provoking branding may be the most efficient route to changing the perception of a once demonized substance.  Especially as Cannabis becomes a part of consumers’ daily consumption patterns and converges with other industries such as high-fashion and electronics, giving wider exposure to the Cannabis culture.

Lola Lola: Alchemy Reimagined

Bloom Farms rose gold vape

Vela: The Apple Store of Weed

The Art of Values-Based Branding

In legal states such as California, Korova’s billboard is positioned as a beacon of hope and light for the genesis of a budding industry.  Cannabis rivals its recreational counterparts like Wine, a once prohibited substance as well.  Korova’s Mint Dip billboard provides a prescient example of an advertisement that empowers consumers to shift their perspective.   Its minimalist approach draws curiosity and sends consumers down a rabbit hole of their own discovery.  A bold conversation around an emerging lifestyle is ignited and radiates a positive perception of Cannabis and its potential.  The brand’s experiential marketing approach simulates the effects that Cannabis is known to induce after consumption, giving new users just a taste of what they might experience on the other side.  Upon first glance, you simply won’t believe what Korova’s Mint Dip billboard dares to communicate.

Photo Credit: LiftedLifestyleCollective, Instagram

References:

Berke, J. (10 Jul 2016). A former Keurig executive explained why he left to work at the ‘Keurig of Cannabis’. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/keurig-exec-moves-to-cannabis-2016-7

Blaszczak-Boxe, A. (17 Oct 2014).Marijuana’s History: How One Plant Spread Through the World. Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/48337-marijuana-history-how-cannabis-travelled-world.html

Blazquez, C. et al. (27 Jun 2006). A pilot clinical study of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. British Journal of Cancer.

Borchardt, D. (16 May 2017). PayPal Executive Ditches Mainstream Life For The Cannabis Industry. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/05/16/paypal-executive-ditches-mainstream-life-for-the-cannabis-industry/#519f2f446861

Carroll, L. & Haughton, H. (2009). Alice’s adventures in Wonderland ; and, Through the looking-glass. New York: Penguin Classics.

Kloc, K. (27 Feb 2016). Google Exec Believes Cannabis is the Next Internet. MassRoots. Retrieved from https://www.massroots.com/news/tokyo-smoke?is=1

Kotler, S. and Wheal, J. (21 Feb 2017). Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work. Dey Street Books.

Matyszczyk, C. (30 MAY 2013). Ex-Microsoft exec to create the Starbucks of marijuana? CNET. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/ex-microsoft-exec-to-create-the-starbucks-of-marijuana/

McAllister, SD et al. (Aug 2011). Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. US National Library of Medicine.

New Frontier Data Projects U.S. Legal Cannabis Market to Grow to $24.1 Billion by 2025. (9 Mar 2017). Retrieved from https://newfrontierdata.com/marijuana-insights/new-frontier-data-projects-u-s-legal-cannabis-market-grow-24-1-billion-2025/

Overland, M. (16 Feb 2014).The Green Rush Begins: Investors Get In On Pot’s Ground Floor. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2014/02/16/277691480/the-green-rush-begins-investors-get-in-on-pots-ground-floor

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Marketing Homes to Millennials: Irrelevant? Or the Future?

(image courtesy of mpamag.com)

If there is one group of people the housing market has not figured out, its millennials. This is not just a “feeling,” this lack of understanding is found in the media. Take two recent articles from NBC News and Forbes. Although published less than two months apart, one would think that they were reading two contrasting articles, about two different generations of people, in two separate times.

In a June 2017 NBC News article titled, “Who’s Powering the Housing Market? Surprise! It’s Millennials,” Herb Weisbaum makes the case that contrary to popular belief, millennials are just as interested in owning a home as anyone else. He even quotes a study saying that millennials now make-up the largest group of people looking to buy a house (34 percent) (Weisbaum, 2017).

Fast-forward two months, and one may read a strikingly different story in Forbes. In an article by Annabel Acton titled, “10 Things You Need To Know About Marketing To Millennials,” a far more grim picture is painted about millennials and their relationship to home ownership. The article states, “Millennials are in a financial bind. They’re in debt (in 2016, the average college student graduates with $37.2k in debt), they can’t afford houses and are staring down the barrel of some pretty epic changes to the workplace, namely automation. Saving for a big house doesn’t make sense. Spending $800 on a primo festival experience does” (Acton, 2017).

This week, I also saw an article floating around Facebook called, “Millennials Are Buying Homes Because of Their Dogs – Not Their Children or Marriages” (Lewis, 2017). However, further examining the relationship between children and millennials can make this already complicated matter even more so…

One could sit here and argue who is right and who is wrong. Quite frankly, both are probably right to an extent. Millennials can easily make up the largest group of people looking to buy a home, but can also be largest group looking to rent and/or is plagued by debt. That argument aside, what seems to be more interesting is the fact that an entire industry (real estate) has neglected to understand and appeal to a generation that is a point in life where home-ownership is a serious consideration. Not only that, there also seems to be a lack of desire within the real estate industry to market to millennials.

In the NBC article, a Keller Williams agent in the Seattle-area states, “They can use the technology to find what’s on the market, so our role tends to be different for them. They understand the role of a real estate agent, as far as negotiations, contracts and paperwork, but they don’t necessarily need us to find the homes. Our role is to facilitate the sale” (Weisbaum, 2017).

Granted, the real estate industry has different challenges and considerations than a more traditional corporation, especially when one takes into consideration the shift from an “owning” economy to a “sharing” economy, and the rate of affordability based on location. Nevertheless, if a marketing pitch included the phrase, “They can use technology to seek us out,” I doubt that would go over well in the conference room.

The only thing that can be argued is that if the real estate market does not take time to get to know and understand the largest group of homebuyers, they are clearly missing an opportunity to sustain its industry in the long run. Moreover, the question remains, is there an untapped market here?

 

References

Acton, A. (2017, August 02). 10 Things You Need To Know About Marketing To Millennials. Retrieved August 04, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/annabelacton/2017/08/02/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-marketing-to-millennials/#1c87fccf2e6c

Lewis, R. (2017, July 27). Millennials Are Buying Homes Because of Their Dogs | Money. Retrieved August 04, 2017, from http://time.com/money/4876151/millenials-homes-dogs-children-marriages/

Weisbaum, H. (2017, June 05). Who’s Powering the Housing Market? Surprise! It’s Millennials. Retrieved August 04, 2017, from http://www.nbcnews.com/business/real-estate/who-s-powering-housing-market-surprise-it-s-millennials-n768196

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Some marketers are still using social media like traditional media. And they wonder why they are struggling? (Source: Course Materials)

The Right and Getting Left Behind on Social Media

“But I’m doing social media.” This phrase came out of the mouth of one of my potential strategic communication consulting clients. She had been shooting her TV show “Cindy’s Table” for years. She had even managed to book a few media appearances. However, her audience hasn’t been growing. Why not?

Her content is good.

Her recipes are delicious.

Her show is pretty cute too.


What Cindy Anschutz Barbieri is missing is building a relationship with her viewers and engaging in a real conversation. She had the learning aspect down. But what she didn’t understand was engagement equals more than page follows and likes. Although her show is very educational, Cindy isn’t using social media as effectively as she could be. Her team of interns simply reposts her show or post a photo with a general comment. If Cindy would be open to innovation, her social media could grow her audience. In fact, if you look at the top 10 social media mistakes made by small business owners, Cindy is making many of them. Reviewing two channels, Facebook and YouTube, what mistakes do you see Cindy making? How could she fix them so she is using her social media channels to the fullest?

 

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Instagram Stories is a Year Old.

As of today, Instagram Stories is a year old. Stories is a feature on Instagram, similar to Snapchat, which allows followers to post pictures and videos taken within the last 24 hours or have live video sessions where followers can tune in. According to one AdWeek article “Stories was a way for users to get away from only posting highlights of their lives.” By incorporating this feature into the social media platform Instagram created a home for the everyday moments that some users may deem an impulse capture but not necessarily Instagram feed worthy.

Instagram stories can also be executed by brands looking to engage with their followers. For example, J.Crew used the Instagram’s Stories feature to launch GIFs and photos of exclusive pink sunglasses being sold to followers. There were only fifty pairs being sold and the short-lived nature of the social networking tool reinforced the hype behind the limited series launch.

Using the twenty-four hour social networking feature that captures over forty percent of millennial and generation-Z users on a daily basis, the J.Crew campaign for it’s pink sunglasses sold out in a day. The use of Stories created an immediate need to obtain an item that wouldn’t be available the next day. Though it was a very limited release, Stories was able to create a fear of missing out among loyal customers resulting in a sold out product.

General Instagram Statistics:

  • 700 Million+ people worldwide use Instagram every single month.
  • 400 Million+ people worldwide use Instagram every day.
  • Those under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram.

Instagram Stories Statistics:

  • 250 Million+ Instagrammers use stories every day.
  • 80% of Instagrammers follow a business on Instagram.
  • Over 50% of businesses on Instagram produced an Instagram Story.
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