Toys ‘R’ Us Play Chaser App

This article popped up on my LinkedIn feed and caught my attention. In a marketing effort to increase sales, Toys ‘R’ Us in the United States have developed an augmented reality app for children to play with in stores.

The teaser video below shows games and activities that children can play related to products that are sold in stores.

As defined in this weeks lesson, Augmented Reality is defined as “inserting virtual objects and information into the real world, augmenting your experience of it”.

With many children owning their own digital device today such as an iPad and spending several hours a day playing on such devices, is interactive digital marking towards children effective?

I think that using Augmented reality to enhance the customer experience is an engaging and novel way to take the traditional shopping experience to the next level and encourage store visits. It could be an effective way to interact with children and induce in-store purchases with seems to be the intention for Toys ‘R’ Us.

However, there are ethical issues involved, since children have difficulty distinguishing from real life and augmented reality, is it ethical to target children through this method?

Toys ‘R’ Us have stated that there are no in app purchases or ads within the app so there are no chances of children making accidental purchases, minimising the criticisms, however is an AR appropriate and/or effective method of marketing to children?

Let me know what you think! Bec.

Content Marketing

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Created on Canva.com

These days, marketing is so much more that just shoving an ad in front of viewers, known as push marketing. There has been a shift towards pull marketing in todays digital world where consumers are engaged with brands and with each other though various channels.

Content marketing is such a powerful complement to any marketing strategy and may give your business the edge over competitors. Generating fresh content and engagement will boost interaction with customers and rankings on Google through SEO.

Content marketing is more about telling a story about the brand or stimulating talk and interest about the brand and it’s products indirectly. Popular methods include blogs, videos and email newsletters to engage consumers. It has exploded in recent years due to the internet as a channel to quickly and easily publish and share content.

Effective examples of content marketing include the infamous ‘Share a Coke’ campaign by Coca Cola, as well as Adidas’ ‘Game Plan A’ blog campaign from 2016. My personal favourite is by Moz, I have been learning so much about SEO and various topics on there and enjoy the Moz Blog especially ‘Whiteboard Friday’ which is a short informative video which illustrates various topics. It all comes back to creating value for customers.

How important is content marketing and what are some creative ways marketers can incorporate content marketing? Do you have any examples that you love? Please share below!

Bec.

Spotify Ad Studio

Recently, Spotify has launched this new feature in the US which allows marketers in beta mode to target ads towards specific segments such as age, location, and music taste.

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It is more of a self service platform that even small to medium sized business can utilise, with flexibility and affordable business plans. Companies can upload audio ads easily and the integrated tracking can provide useful metrics into audience interaction to help position the ad.

A really powerful platform that can be used by concert promoters to target particular people who enjoy the same genre of music and increase relevance of ads for users. Brands can choose a specific audience to market to, increasing brand awareness and the likelihood trial or favourable action.

If you’re like me you may have experienced the rage of hearing a totally unappealing ads that you do not care about, and can relate to these memes from buzzfeed.

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I think that the Ad Studio feature will result in more effective relevant ads to users and therefore increase popularity and revenue for Spotify!

What do you think about this new Spotify feature and what ads do you want to see on Spotify? How can marketers use this platform effectively?

Read more about Spotify Ad Studio here and let me know your thoughts! Bec.

Are Business Cards Dead?

I came across this article from marketingmag.com.au discussing business cards and whether they are still relevant in the digitalised world.

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It was quite interesting to read, and I think that businesses cards provide a tangible reminder of the business, in a world where information moves and is forgotten so quickly. But since nearly all our daily activities have become digitalised, is there need for business cards?

Would people rather simply connect with an acquaintance on LinkedIn or follow a business on Instagram, over collecting countless business cards? It is argued that business cards are used to catch attention, provide a good first impression, and represent the personality and business as whole. Basically building the brand identity of a business!

I personally love business cards that are unique and modernised. There has been some digital integration with QR codes, website links, and social media icons appearing on most business cards. Business cards should prompt action and therefore presenting those core contact details and appealing aesthetic can be a valuable touchpoint for businesses. A luxurious well presented business card can positively impact the perception of a business.

When was the last time you took a business and what was your intention?

Do you think that business cards will continue to be around or fade away due to digital marketing and communication methods?

Thanks for reading this weeks post, and leave your comments below! Bec.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is a way for marketers to assess and develop what the most effective version of a website should be. I found this so interesting as one little change such as the way the price of a product is presented can make a significant difference to consumers behaviour.

Let’s do a quick game: take a look at the two web pages below and guess which call to action button achieved 48% more registration form sign ups. (Game Source)

A: ‘See Product Video’

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B: ‘Watch Demo’

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If you chose A, then you would be right! Amazing how a small difference in wording can have such an impact on customer behaviour. Call to action is one of the most crucial parts of a website, so it is important to test its effectiveness and maximise the chance of favourable action.

The company hypothesised that ‘the word demo implied more than what was being delivered; causing more friction that necessary’. This was true, potential customers are simply presented a video about the products, not a live-demo, clearly making this distinction resulted in more leads for the company.

I find A/B testing so fascinating, you can go to behave.org and check out some of the other cool A/B tests for yourself, I was certainly surprised by some of the results!

How important is testing and optimising website content? How can marketers use A/B testing to optimise their strategies?

Let me know your thoughts! Bec.

Black Hat SEO

This weeks lesson topic of SEO was quite stimulating, and I was interested to explore the area of white hat vs. black hat SEO techniques.

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I came across this article today from Gizmodo, that talks about a drone videography company SkySnap, buying up old websites no longer in use, to artificially link their own website for increased credibility and PageRank on Google searches. This is is a attractive technique, since websites that have been around of over 10 years that are no longer in use can be valuable sources of backlinks (links on other sites pointing to your site).

There are thousands if not millions of robots and gimmicks on the web engaging in ‘link laundering’ and hindering the effects of genuine ‘white hat’ SEO techniques.

Google has some moderation and control over sites who violate guidelines. Google uses both automated algorithms and ‘manual actions’ by employees to detect spam and illegitimate linking activity. It would definitely be a huge task tracking down all the fake links out there!

Do you think that ‘black hat’ SEO techniques are damaging? How can we overcome these internet frauds who do not earn their search ranks the organic way?

Let me know your thoughts! Bec.

Ostrich

Us Aussies may be more familiar with our very own flightless bird the Emu, but nevertheless, Samsung has come up with a humorous heartfelt ad for it’s new VR enabled devices.

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Video advertising has existed as a medium for a long time ever since TV made it’s debut in the 1930’s. Today, video advertising exists on a multitude of platforms not just TV, but social media, outdoor advertising, public events such as the Super Bowl, phone apps…

(Since posting this blog post the video has been removed by Samsung, but you can view the video via the Daily Mail here)

 

A humorous and short video that plays with imagination and possibilities, coupled with the hashtag #DoWhatYouCant, I think that video ads can invigorate imagination that other platforms fail to achieve, by engaging the viewer to contemplate long after the ad is over.

According to EY Sweeney’s Digital State of the Nation the 2017 Edition report 78% of total consumers access TV shows and movies through free to air tv, and 50% by going to the cinema. This provides a significant opportunities for video advertising.

In this digital age, what components are needed for a successful video ad campaign and what aspects of Samsung’s ad do you find appealing?

Please leave your comments below! Bec.

Ad Block

Are you currently using Ad Block or a similar tool on your browser or mobile device? Chances are your answer is yes. According to Page Fair and Business Insider Australia, Ad Blocker usage is up 30% and doesn’t seem to be slowing. The main reasons for usage seem to be security, interruption, slow website loading time, and too many ads on webpages.

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Ad Block has proved to be successful, however, there is an emergence of so called ‘ad block walls’ that require the user to disable ad blocker in order to view website content. PageFair found that 74% of those encountering an ‘ad block wall’ just moved away from the website instead of taking the time to disable Ad Block/whitelist the website.

Google has been rumored to be coming up with its own ‘acceptable ads policy’ to try to regulate, only allowing the least annoying ‘acceptable ads’ that meet certain standards, to appear on its channels such as YouTube. There is yet to be further developments regarding the policy and I honestly don’t know how it will technically work.

Do you use Ad Block, why/why not? Do you think there should be a fair system in place to regulate the world of online advertising?

Bec.

Snapchat, More Than Just the Doggy Filter

2016-05-20-roman-drits-barnimages-002.jpgSnapchat, just another way to communicate with friends or just another way for brands to infiltrate our everyday lives?

Today Snapchat can be serious business, some may just enjoy using the cute filters with friends, where as others are strongly upholding that 600 day snap streak and following the lives of their favourite celebrities.

According to the Sensis social media report 2017, Snapchat is the second fastest growing social media channel just behind Instagram. Since its introduction in 2011, it has grown in sophistication with an entire ‘discover’ page and more recently, location tracking added.

Snapchat has proved to be increasingly influential with Channel E! using it as a main promotional tool for its new reality show ‘Life of Kylie’. A smart move, roping in those who don’t even watch TV into Kylie’s world through weekly ‘Snapchat Q&A’ to complement each TV episode. Kylie already has a huge following on her personal account, people just can’t get enough following her lavish lifestyle. Is Snapchat just adding to the superficial glorification of reality stars?

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As a daily Snapchat user myself, I find the ads and news stories unappealing and rarely view ‘Discover’ page, though I do follow a few celebrities and enjoy seeing their daily activities.

Do you use Snapchat? How do you feel about all the promotional content being presented on there and is it an effective marketing tactic?

Please leave your comments below! Bec.

 

‘Beyond Digital Marketing’

I came across the talk ‘Beyond Digital Marketing’ by well known marketing professor Mark Ritson. He talks about how effective social media really is and that is may not be as impactful as it is hyped up to be.

He brought up some interesting points. Why do the top most recognisable brands in Australia have appalling, dismal engagement on social media? Companies such as Telstra, Woolworths and ANZ have small proportions of their customers engaged.

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Image Source (at 2:46)

Why is social media considered the ‘next big thing’ for marketing when the most prominent brands struggle to captivate an audience?

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Image Sources: Woolworths, Telstra, ANZ

It was revealed that the percentage of users following businesses or brands via social media is declining, from 36% in 2016 to 24% in 2017.

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Data from Sensis Social Media Report 2017

Why? Are consumers sick of ads and irrelevant content clogging up their feeds? In Mark Ritson’s words, “social media is a ‘social media‘” made for people to communicate with each other. Maybe brands just don’t belong on there.

Traditional media shouldn’t be ignored. Are there any forms of traditional media that are not also digital media? TV streaming, digital radio, digital newspapers all exist, so why segregate and focus on trendy new social media? Social media is a powerful tool, however we cannot forget about other channels that may be more effective.

What is your opinion on social media vs. traditional media, do you think social media is a place for brands?

Thanks for reading and view the full talk if you’re interested!

Bec.