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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

How Apple can teach us about brand equity

So the iPhone 7 has been out for roughly a month now and reception has been overall positive. In Apple’s Keynote event back on September 7, the tech giant released the two iPhone variants with the initial release to 28 different countries. This means the lucky people in these countries get to have the iPhone in the first round of release. Here in Australia, we were in the first round of release with the top of the line iPhone 7 Plus 256GB priced at AUD 1569. For countries like Indonesia that aren't in the first or second round of iPhone releases, iPhone lovers in the country have to find alternative ways to get their hand on the phone.

Many people would travel to Singapore — a part of the 28 countries in the initial round of release — and bring multiple phones back to sell back in Indonesia. Because of the effort they have gone through and also the want to gain profit, they would sell the iPhones at a price premium. Prices as high as Rp 25,000,000 (AUD 2520) have been seen on the market and received positively with sticks selling out instantly. This trend happens in Indonesia each year after the release of the new iPhone.  


This is a very interesting case where brand equity plays a significant role to a business. Here are the factors that affect brand equity:

Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is possibly the first factor to build brand equity. With consumers knowing that your brand is out in the market, they will understand what your brand is all about. With no brand awareness, consumers will disregard your brand as it has never come across their mind. Apple didn’t start out as big as they are now. They started in a small garage calling investors up to make them aware that their brand existed. Over time as people start to realise and know your brand, that’s when it becomes a “Top-of-mind” brand.

Brand Loyalty
It would be useless if consumers were to trial the brand and never come back for a second time. Customer retention and brand loyalty is essential to what keeps your business running. In the case of Apple and their iPhones, they have a very loyal customer base and as mentioned above, would pay almost twice the price to get their hands on the phone. We guess that’s how “Apple Fanboys” emerged!

Perceived Quality
A customer’s perception of the quality of the product that you are selling is crucial. No one would purchase goods that they feel are of low quality. Quality is something that you need to have from the start, especially when you are new to the market. There are many boutique brands that are out in the market today which have high quality. When you are new in the market and have little to no brand awareness, one of the things you can do to stand out is to have good quality. When you have a product of high quality it is only a matter of getting consumers to trial your product. Apple iPhones are renowned for their quality. Consumers can see and feel it, with time this gets them to trust the brand and lead to better brand equity.

Apple is a “top-of-mind” brand that everyone recognises. They didn’t achieve this overnight and it took endless hours of blood, sweat and tears to become what they are today. Stay persistent and hopefully these 3 factors can help you get that little extra edge to gain brand equity.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Marketing yourself on social media

As a marketing practitioner, you have probably been at the forefront of at least one brand’s move to social media. But have you started building your personal brand on that social space you have almost come to master?

Research suggests that in the same manner that you have taken to social media to recruit customers, more and more human resource practitioners are also using social media to recruit new talent. LinkedIn and Facebook have particularly proven helpful in scouting potential workers.

For professionals like you, however, this phenomenon can either be a boon or a bane. You may thrive in interconnectedness but falter if you overshare. Here are some tips on making sure your social media profile will help you land a job or, at the very least, make you look professional.

Be on social media. Start with LinkedIn, a platform built specifically to connect employers with potential talent. We also recommend being present on Facebook, the go-to platform for most users, including brands, because of its simplicity.

Of course there are risks to being on social media. But the alternative is worse: Researchers say absence from social media is “virtual identity suicide,” and may lead to suspicion or misunderstanding on the part of the recruiter.

Know your market. Once you are on social media, you may begin to develop the image you want recruiters to see. Doing so involves both keeping and sharing information, and tailoring such information to fit your target audience. Which companies would you like to work in? What positions are you interested in?

Feature accomplishments in your profiles, but be sure to highlight the ones most relevant to your most desired career path. Make sure that you list down results, and not simply job descriptions. Also remember to customise your posts’ privacy settings, especially on Facebook, if you really want to publish that beer pong photo.

Know your strengths. Suppose you have a burning desire to work for an international nonprofit, but you have been working for a telecommunications provider for almost your entire career. You’ve done your research, and you know you have what it takes to thrive in that role and organisation. How will you convince recruiters?

Human resource practitioners tend to look at the transferable skills of applicants for vacant positions. Therefore, in preparing your social media profile, think about the skills you have gained in your past and present jobs that will help you function in the job you want in the future.

Generate content. It’s not enough that you publish your profile, customised specifically to impress the recruiters you are targeting. You also need to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise you claim to have. There is no better way to do this than to generate original content.

If you are confident about writing blogs, both LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to do so in a few easy steps. Short but carefully crafted status updates or comments on links about your area of expertise can also be adequate signals that you know what you are doing.

Building your personal brand on social media is about projecting your best possible self, but this projection should match the knowledge, skills, and experience you have. Besides, if you pretend to be who you’re not, chances are you will not be successful.

Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Can Snapchat pull businesses and consumers closer together?

When Snapchat was released in 2012, many social media users stayed clear from it because they didn’t get it. They thought it was used mostly for inappropriate things due to the nature of the app--that is sending a snap or video for no longer than ten seconds. Now, four years later, more netizens understand the app. Business are also starting to utilise its unique nature. Over 400 million snaps are sent every day and there are 26 million users in the U.S. alone. The core audience are aged at 18 to 25 and 70 percent of users are women. So for companies targeting this audience, Snapchat can be a useful tool.

What exactly about the app makes it unique and worth exploring?


Connecting on a personal level
Businesses can become distant from their consumers and ultimately lose them if they don’t break the barriers. With Snapchat, businesses can utilise the impromptu nature of the app and engage more on an “everyday” level that the audience appreciates.

Raw and non-sterile
As mentioned, Snapchat can be candid and spontaneous. This unique type of social engagement can be more effective than “sterile-type” advertisements on other media such as television. An example of how a huge company like Coca-Cola can utilise Snapchat is by snapping their staff working in their factories. This takes the brand closer to consumers by allowing them to view the products and the process from an entirely different perspective.

Time sensitive
Snaps last in your “feed” for only a maximum of 24 hours. Businesses can benefit from this as it creates urgency for viewers to engage quickly. If a business were to come out with a limited time offer in a snap, viewers would go crazy and engagement would peak. When businesses have sound footprints on Snapchat, they can expect audience retention to be strong as they would be willing to view snaps as soon as possible.

Nowadays, more and more people are using social media and businesses need to adapt to different social media platforms. Social media is still in its early stage, and its growth doesn’t show signs of letting up anytime soon. Businesses must therefore adjust the way they market to consumers using social media, and Snapchat is a good way to start.

Stanley Ritz Kurniawan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Twitter wars: Political marketing lessons from Colombia

Colombia’s recent rejection of a landmark peace accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is viewed as a letdown, considering how widely applauded the deal had been globally. No outsider who watched videos of the dramatic treaty signing ceremony would have thought that Colombia remained divided over the question of ending the five-decade insurgency. Yet when Colombians came out to vote, 50.2 percent rejected the government deal with the FARC; 49.8 percent supported it.

Analysts now say a key figure in the no vote victory is Colombia’s former president Alvaro Uribe, a close ally-turned-archenemy of the incumbent Juan Manuel Santos. The current government of course had the upper hand in terms of funding, influence and machinery, but Uribe was not to be outplayed. As soon as the Santos administration and the FARC had struck a deal, Uribe ramped up what the Washington Post in 2015 described as “a one-man Twitter war” that painted the peace accord as an “Agreement of Impunity.”

“We have an opportunity to stop the mockery of the FARC victims,” Uribe told his Twitter followers in Spanish after the treaty had been signed September 26. He was fuelling an already burning sentiment among Colombians that the FARC had to be prosecuted for the atrocities they have committed. The armed struggle between the government and the FARC has left some 250,000 dead and displaced some six million.

In marketing terms, it appears that the Santos government had a weak value proposition for the wider population who needed to approve the peace agreement. Santos knew that he had to appeal to swing voters—those whose sentiments about the FARC rebellion are not strong enough to make them decide just yet between a yes and a no vote. Still, he focused his campaign on the not-so-appealing “transitional justice,” a framework that will allow FARC rebels to run for office and grant them amnesty depending on the gravity of their crimes.

Uribe, on the other hand, made sure that Colombians who did not understand what the FARC deal offered knew what it took away: the opportunity to bring to justice rebels viewed as perpetrators of the war horrors Colombia had to suffer. Uribe consistently pushed this theme on Twitter, where he posts four times more frequently than Santos does. (Uribe has tweeted some 51,000 times since July 2009, Santos some 12,100 times since August 2009. They have about the same follower size: Uribe has 4.55 million; Santos, 46.2 million.)

Photo: Screengrab from the Twitter profile of former Colombia President Alvaro Uribe
The case of Uribe’s Twitter storm against the Colombia peace deal bolsters Twitter’s relevance in political marketing. “Politicians are always looking for ways to get their message across without having it filtered and potentially altered by others, such as news media,” John Parmelee and Shannon Bichard wrote in their book Politics and the Twitter Revolution. Citing previous research, they added that although Twitter’s reach seems limited in size, it is high on impact, because its users consist of opinion leaders—both on the Internet and offline.
Twitter’s role in shaping the political landscape is apparent not only in Colombia, but also in the U.S., where a Twitter war rages between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The heated exchanges arguably peaked in June, when the Republican bet Trump said, “Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama – but nobody else does!” Clinton replied using three words, “Delete your account,” a popular Internet retort for posts too preposterous or despicable to directly respond to.
It may be said, however, that Trump has been getting more media value from Twitter—that is, more of his tweets make the news. On September 30, the media reported heavily about how Trump took to Twitter early in the morning to assail Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who Clinton cited as a victim of Trump’s sexist and racist behaviour. News outfits also carried the views Trump tweeted about the vice presidential debate on October 5. Whether or not the media coverage has been to his favour, of course, is another question.
Twitter’s negative impact on a political figure is more discernible in the case of the Philippine’s newly named ambassador to the United Nations, who has run amok online. Teddyboy Locsin, a former congressman and a popular broadcaster, has been widely criticised for spewing expletives on Twitter against users who question Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent war against drugs. He was recently hit for an old tweet which said “the drug menace is so big it needs a final solution like the Nazis adopted.” He has since deleted his tweet.
“The evolution of marketing in politics has reached a critical stage where politicians can no longer rely on a loyal party following but must be prepared to use any tool necessary to respond to unexpected events in a world that is changing every day,” Bruce Newman wrote in his book The Marketing Revolution in Politics. Twitter allows politicians to put out their messages quickly, directly, and widely. The fact remains, however, that social media is simply a channel; sound strategies make them effective political marketing tools.
Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why is marketing important?

“Isn’t marketing basically selling stuff?”
“Marketing is easy, it’s all about persuading.”
“Why would you bother studying marketing? It’s common sense.”

Have you ever heard these questions and statements thrown around? These are common misconceptions among those who do not understand what goes into marketing and the underlying factors that impact the process. Marketing is essential to any business. It is therefore a competency that everyone in any industry needs. Here are just some of the reasons you can’t take marketing for granted:

Understanding the Target Audience
It’s like taking candy from a baby! This phrase suggests that all babies have candies on them because they absolutely love candies. This is simply misleading as not all babies like candy and not all candies are appropriate for babies! What we’re trying to get at here is you have to understand your target audience and offer them the right product at the right time. Arguably the most important step in marketing is research. So let’s use the candy for the remainder of this post as the product we’re trying to sell—liquor chocolate candy bar. This target market is for a very specific target audience where they have to (1) like chocolate candy bars, (2) like liquor and (3) like liquor in a chocolate candy bar.

Increases Brand Awareness
So your choices for a little treat of chocolate candy bar comes down to two options: A box of a random branded Irish Cream chocolate candy bar or a box of Baileys Irish Cream Truffles. We’re guessing nine times out of ten that you would opt for the latter simply because of your recognition and awareness of the brand. That’s where marketing comes in: Before and during the launch, promotion and advertising is needed to spread the word about the otherwise unheard-of brand of liquor chocolate candy bar. The brand needs hype and heat to gain any traction in the market.

Identifying the Marketplace
So you think you have such a unique product that will make you look so badass in your company and the particular candy bar is one week away from a nationwide launch. Your mum suddenly sends you a message with a snapshot of the exact same product that you were about to unveil in a local deli. You launch the product anyway; it’s a major disaster and you were made redundant. You could minimise this risk by conducting market research. Market research give you an idea of what product you ought to bring into the market. With market research, determining the gap in the market is easy. It will then be up to you to fill that gap.

Boosts Sales
At the end of the day, sales is an important metric of whether or not the product launch was successful. Conducting the right research, determining the target audience and advertising on relevant marketing channels usually results in increased sales.

The person that said that marketing is basically selling stuff has a point but there is so much more that goes into selling products or services. The instances mentioned above barely scratch the surface of what marketing truly is. But hopefully, they give a glimpse into why marketing is a skill all professionals across all industries should have.

Stanley Ritz Kurniawan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 30 September 2016

Make the most out of Twitter’s new character count rules

Contrary to rumours early this year, Twitter will not be allowing 10,000-character posts anytime soon. But the popular microblogging site has rolled out a new policy that will give social media marketers like you more space—and more words—when you tweet.

Twitter on Monday, 19 September, announced that it will keep the character cap per tweet, but this will no longer include links to uploaded media. “Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters,” Twitter said.

This means that a post that says “I love @sydney_business!” with a photo of the Abercrombie Building attached now only count as 24 characters (spaces included). Under the old rules, it would have been some 51 characters because the photo upload would have generated a link in this form:

It also means that you may start retweeting or quoting yourself, a feature useful for long posts, explaining a previous tweet without losing the context, or simply for those times that you feel like talking to yourself on the Internet (we absolutely get how you feel.).

When Twitter hinted at the plan in May, it said the goal is to make the 140 characters all about the message. It’s a step in the right direction. You can now add images, videos and GIFs without compromising your text space. How can you maximise the opportunities the 140 characters present to engage your audience? Here are three tips:

1. Add a call to action. When you have to fit a sentence and a media link in 140 characters, the words “Make a choice today” or “Act now” can easily be set aside. The new rules give you more leeway, so you might want to consider prompting users to complete a transaction, share your tweet, or at least check your website.

Without a call to action, your Twitter followers might hesitate about what they ought to do with the content. Your photo might be great or your message witty, but should they share it, like it or just scroll past it? Let them know exactly what you hope they would do.

2. Use infographics. Even with the new character rules, there are some messages that simply need more words. Mechanics for a new promo, for example, or an exciting new menu, won’t fit a single tweet, and sometimes wishing users will click on your website link is too much to ask for.

Work around this limitation by attaching to your tweet a photo with inlaid text. This also makes the tweet more prominent, as the image will occupy more space in your audience’s feed. Of course, it goes without saying that you should use relevant and eye-catching photos.

3. Move with videos and GIFs. When images aren’t enough, you can always go for videos and GIFs to achieve maximum effect. Take note, however, that the videos should be short enough for Twitter. You need to upload the video directly on Twitter, since links to YouTube, Vimeo or any external site will count against your character limit.

Twitter watchers also report ( about plans to exclude from the 140-character limit user handles such as “@sydney_business”. This means that the tweet “I love @sydney_business!” with a photo of the Abercrombie Building attached will only count as 9 characters (spaces included) as opposed to the 24 under the present rules and 51 in the old rules.

The plan also involves broadcasting replies—that is, tweets that start with “@”—to all your followers. It used to be that for someone to be able to read a reply, the user has to follow both you and the other person in the conversation. You no longer need to prefix usernames with “.@” to make your replies readable to all.

Whether on Twitter or any other social media platform, however, it is important to remember that content is king. Make your messages straightforward, active and engaging. Twitter can give you 10,000 characters or more, but if you don’t have a well-thought-out message, what’s the point?

Kim Patricia
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 26 September 2016

New authors at Marketing Matters

Hello Marketing Matters readers!

Thank you for following this blog. We hope that you have learned a thing or two about marketing through the articles we have been publishing. Marketing Matters is produced by marketing students for marketing students and we hope that this blog will evolve more as a conversation space for everything marketing.

We now extend our appreciation to Lauren Musat and Alejandro Catalan, who have done wonders for the blog the past seven months. They have come to the end of their studies at the university and are stepping down as Marketing Matters authors. They have been an integral part of the team and will be deeply missed. We wish them the best for their future and we hope to have them here again from time to time as contributors.

From this point on, you will be hearing from Stanley Ritz and Kim Patria, both Master of Marketing students at the University of Sydney Business School. They are taking over as authors, supervised by Prof. Pennie Frow. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

My name is Stanley Ritz and I am currently in my last semester of the Master of Marketing program here at the University of Sydney Business School. My background is in photography and illustration design and I run my own photography business, Stanley Ritz Photography. I also have a passion for the performing arts and I have recently ventured into the world of Youtube. You can check out my channel at Stanley Ritz and don’t forget to subscribe! I will be assisting with the programs social media from a creative space; you can expect lame analogies and a sometimes hard-to-swallow sense of humour.

I am Kim Patria, a media and public relations specialist from the Philippines now in my first semester in the the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School. Before enrolling in graduate school, I worked as publicist for a Philippine senator who ran for president in the May 2016 elections. I was also news producer for Yahoo Philippines and a reporter for a business daily. My foray into marketing is guided by two projects I launched back home: See Sorsogon, a social media-based tourism marketing experiment for my hometown, and Technablers, Inc., a digital solutions and business development startup.

Expect from us more about marketing trends, insights from our courses and marketing-related comments on the news. We also hope to increasingly engage faculty and students to share their views on marketing. Please feel free to speak to us or ask us anything in the comments section.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Agency Perspective: 10 Tips to drive value and improve relationships

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The value that marketers bring to businesses and brands is irreplaceable. The marketing team is responsible for creative ideas and helping to build brands. Without them, most businesses and brands find themselves in the middle of nowhere. 
Although it’s the marketers work to build brands or businesses, they need to add more value to themselves and the work they deliver so that they become entirely indispensable to the clients they serve. 

Here are ten authentic tips through which marketers can drive true value:
1. Visit Clients: and this just not means that you only visit them once. But make a habit of doing so every once in a while. Focus on dedicated content campaigns and revisit your clients to address everything that you think that needs to be addressed. This will give your client a greater sense of involvement.
2. Communicate: this is highly essential if you want to get an insight on the inner workings of your client. Try to keep up to date on everything that goes on. Build relationships through communication and you’ll get in all priority conversations that need your attention.

3. Understand Stakeholders: the best value you can give to your client is by understanding them. When your client feels fully understood by you, they feel free to discuss ideas and opportunities with you as compared to other agencies.

4. Ask For How You Can Improve: asking your clients how they think you can improve and add more value allows them to understand your commitment and involvement with their projects. Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses to have a worthwhile conversation with your clients.

5. Show That You Are Goal Oriented and Work with Goal Oriented People to add to their Plan: when your client knows that you care as much about success and performance as they do, they will trust you more for their projects.

6. Share: and this could involve sharing just about anything you consider to be of value to your client. It could be resources, technologies, good books or anything that might be of interest for them.

7. Always Get Your Team On Board: and do this pronto. Present yourself as a monster with two heads, ready to take on everything. Show your client various perspectives on one matter, brainstorm to bring the best idea forward and show them you’re putting your best efforts. 

8. Give Your Client a Future: your client is really after a future. They are after the confidence that you will make their brands as fresher as possible because they themselves cannot. Show them the bigger idea and then make it happen for them.

9. Give Your Best Ideas: don’t wait for your client to take the lead. If you have a brilliant idea, don’t hesitate to share. Chances are it could be what they’re after.

10. Treat Your Client like You Would Treat Someone You Care for: try and go beyond the traditional. Show your client you’re concerned and you care about them. Connect with them on a personalised level to drive more value and hit home.

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

Monday, 12 September 2016

Proximity Marketing – Getting closer to your customers

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Modern day technology has revolutionised marketing in ways that no one ever imagined. Who knew that marketers could interact with consumers on their mobile devices directly? Cellular technology was a big hit in the business sector as it became very handy for companies to send marketing messages to their potential customers. Marketing is a tool that plays a significant role in promoting a product or service for a brand. However, with competition rising companies need to reach consumers with the intent to purchase before their competitor does. The growing use of mobile phones while shopping has led to businesses to adopt ‘Proximity marketing’ which is also known as ‘hyper local marketing’. It is a unique approach to communicate with customers that are found in close proximity of a business. The foundation of this interaction lies upon Bluetooth and WIFI technology that enables the company to connect digitally by sending marketing messages to customers.

The message is sent to those who are most likely to visit the store at their present location. The mobile user is sent a short message that engages them to spur into action. It is pivotal for the company to consider adding an opt-in component to their campaign. The content in those messages should be to the point and appealing, as unwanted solicitations never encourage buyers to pay attention. If a company plans on going ahead with this approach, it needs to skim the content that is to be sent. The message should give a preview of the benefit that comes along with the purchase of the product. It should be clear enough for the customer to understand, and it should be able to influence their buying decision. 

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Your company needs to persuade its customers to install their mobile app because once the customer has his/her Bluetooth enabled on their mobile phones, all it takes is a beacon signal to send them a notification of the message. The beacon signal only works if they have the app installed in their smart phones. Informing the target customers about the app can help them realise its significance. Customers do not want to receive spam messages all day, and an app helps them out of this situation. This channel of communication needs you to have the right software that can easily run the location based campaign without any delays.

The main objective behind proximity marketing is to drive in as much traffic as possible to the business and generate a good amount of sales that day. If your retail store already has a high turnover rate, then proximity marketing can help you retain customers and gain valuable insight to their buying behavior. Proximity marketing can turn out to be a great source of adding value to your products. Businesses can make product recommendations and inform about current discounts or offers. This way you can target the right customers and their needs. It also provides you with access to consumer analysis which can give you survey statistics and other metrics to improve your sales strategy. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Provide the best content experience

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There are many businesses that underestimate the value of optimised content.  The key to getting an influx of traffic, is providing your customers with high quality content. Well-structured content can differentiate you from your competitors and help communicate with your customers. If you really want to capture the attention of customers and keep them coming to your website, then customizing the message you want to convey is essential. The content needs to be balanced so that users aren’t overwhelmed and confused with too much information. Positive reactions only surface when you connect with your customer emotionally and mentally. This makes them realise that they are an asset for the business. 

Here is a list of features that your content needs, to give customers the best content experience ever:

Useful and Informative
You need to provide as much as information about your business as possible. The content should give details about what you offer, what benefits are attached to your offerings, where you are located, what your USP is and your contact information etc. 

High Quality
The content should be unique and well presented in a good format. It should be refined and delivered in the tone depending on the type of communication you want with your customer. If your content is mediocre and not up to the mark, customers will sense that there wasn’t much effort put in it. You need to bear in mind that your content should be created to give customers a good user experience, and not just to rank well in search engines. 

You need customers to trust your brand and be something that is verified. The content needs to have reliable information about your business. Sloppy content that seems false can be highly damaging to your brand image.

If a customer doesn’t get what they want from your content, then why would they read it? The content has to be intriguing in ways that draws their attention.  

When you market your product through your content, you gain the power to generate niche levels of willingness for purchase, but on a mass scale.  Lead generation is stimulated by content. When you personalise content to the user’s interests and behaviour, your content creates a powerful connection and converts more leads into sales qualified leads (SQLs) and marketing qualified leads (MQLs). You can introduce various methods of getting insight on what the customer wants to see in your content. Make sure your content is linked to one or more social media platforms which are very necessary for the right amount of exposure. All you have to do for a better content experience is to keep it simple and familiar. Always try to improve and bring something new to the table, because customers want something fresh and upgraded. 

All of these tips will lead your search traffic down an open path to increase the opportunity for conversion.

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

Friday, 26 August 2016

The psychology of colours in marketing

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Do you know that colors are ubiquitous and a very vital source of information for all? Do you know that people usually make up their minds in about 90 seconds of first seeing people or products and almost 80% of the decision is based on their assessment of colors associated with what they’re looking at? Prudent use of colors can significantly affect moods and feelings and therefore people’s attitude towards a range of products as well. And that is one of the biggest reason that you will see marketers making use colors in thousands of innovative ways.

Let’s discuss a controversial and yet interesting aspects of marketing… the psychology of color. Although it is widely believed and researched that elements like individual preferences, personal experiences, backgrounds, cultural differences, upbringings, contexts etc. often create ambiguity about the effect specific colors have on individuals. Marketers understand that colours play a very significant role in forming attitudes and influencing moods and feelings (which happen to be unstable by nature).

The majority of the marketing sector believes that human responses to colors are somewhat stable over a geographical location and therefore marketing managers use these interpretations to market and promote their brands and products well. Colour can actually define the way a consumer might act therefore when designing marketing strategies, packaging a product, creating new fashion trends and designing a website, colours are kept according to their enticing value.

Nobody can ignore the importance of colours, especially marketers. As a marketer, it is important to know that marketing and colour go hand in hand. The use of the right colour in designing marketing strategies, designing ads, promotions, business stationery or products is highly important because it can either send a positive or negative message. The colour has the power to create and deliver good or bad subconscious messages which can then affect the perception the consumers have about a business or product. It is therefore essential that marketers value colours and design marketing strategies keeping in mind the psychology of colours.

It is a well-known fact that most consumers buy products or services based on emotions, and then justify whatever they have purchased with logic. Marketers, brand managers and advertisers should devise their strategies in such a way that it creates a certain mood, emotion in order to persuade customers into the purchase. Whatever image that you need your business to reflect can be imparted through the use of bright colours.
It is important that marketers remember the fact that colours that are used in marketing campaigns are responsible for grabbing the attention of prospective buyers initially. There is no concept of a wrong or a right colour. Whatever colour you think is the most appropriate for your message, based on the universal denoting of colours, should be chosen for the specific marketing campaign. If you choose the right color, chances are high your turnover will be more than or as much as you were expecting

Friday, 12 August 2016

Facebook Algorithm is changing again

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Well, no one wants to see dead stories circulating on our Facebook feed! It seems as if Facebook is just trying to play with what we see and what we don’t on our newsfeed. It can become a little fuzzy but the ranking of our stories is according to an algorithm that changes every now and then. It encourages exposure for a lot of users but chances differ for stories that are posted implicitly and explicitly. Facebook’s algorithm is not a paradigm but a binary code that creates ripple effects all over your feed. No one can forget the constant game requests and silly updates that flooded your notifications, annoying you enough to log out of Facebook.

Just recently, Facebook set forth an announcement on the algorithm update which focuses on lowering the visibility of posts with inadequate content while raising the profiles of significant ones. The update has prioritized what is shown to you, with no more boring posts to scroll through. When we all started off with Facebook, our newsfeed felt like a rabbit hole of unnecessary posts that wouldn’t end. However, the algorithm evolved and changed according to the needs of its users. Everybody wanted to see what their friends are posting but they would only draw their attention if the content was interactive enough. The recent change to the algorithm will act like a filter, through which all the unwanted posts will sieve out.  

The change came with some supercharged features that would help Facebook identify the types of posts you prefer to see on your feed. The different reactions on each post even if it is a like, a comment or a share, influences the probability of that content appearing on the top of your newsfeed.

This update will not influence the reach or referral traffic for the majority of the pages that you follow. However, if you visit a page often you might see some increases in referral traffic, whereas other pages might see some decline. In addition, an algorithm update surfaced in July 2015 which made it easier for users to customize and adjust their news feed settings. These suggestions and preferences were shaped to the users’ interests.

Friends that post tedious and monotonous content can take a back seat and all of the buddies that you interact with can have their posts, comments and likes at the top of your feed. On top of this, Facebook plans to favour video posts more due to the increase in hype for videos. In just one year the number of video posts per person increased to over 75% globally. Recent surveys have shown that this Facebook update lead to, on average, a substantial increase of 6% in engaging people with the stories they wanted to see.

If you plan on engaging with another user or with your target audience, then this update can be a real booster for your content, but only if you provide them with something captivating.

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

Friday, 29 July 2016

Top 3 Marketing Trends for Q3-Q4 2016

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Context, relevance and delivery with efficiency, if these aren’t the topics under discussion in your organisation, perhaps you are not focusing on the right ones.

One thing that you should understand is that businesses need to have a very clear focus on the expectations, demands and needs of their customers. And what you shouldn’t forget is that the customer group is a very diversified and fragmented group and has very high expectations along with little patience for those who can’t meet their demands. If you need business and if you need to thrive, let alone succeed in the market, you’ll have to always stay visible.

This is what marketing is all about; to stay visible and have a strong presence so that your customers do not get lured towards competition. Remember, when in the business industry, out of sight means out of mind. Here’s a roundup of marketing trends that you should be prepared to follow religiously so that you can double your revenues and profits considerably.

Social media is a marketing channel, not a strategy
Perhaps earlier you didn’t imagine social media as an effective marketing channel but since 2016 and the latest updates that Facebook and Twitter received, social media has become an effective platform where search and e-commerce activities are now happening. Thanks to the pages being introduced, customers can now purchase items through Facebook or its Messenger app. With the launch of Business on Messenger app, companies are able to interact with customers through their Facebook pages or the Messenger app and also buy online through the app, without having to visit the e-commerce site actually. So yes, if you need to be present in front of your customers, be there on Facebook because customers now deem that as an absolute necessity.

The omni-channel experience, a consumer’s best friend
If you intend to target consumers with the right message, at the right time and in the right place, you will need to develop an omni-channel strategy. Omni- channel is a multichannel approach that provides consumers with an unmatched shopping experience, regardless of where they happen to be shopping. Omni-channel can address issues behind existing strategies, by providing an integrated experience where customers can access everything they need in one place. If you’ve been to Disneyland, you will have been exposed to the omni-channel experience that Disney has created. Starting from the mobile website that allows you to go from looking at park details to booking your tickets and accommodation, through to their app that allows you to plan out your day via the map. This interconnectedness they provide customers, is at the core of the omni-channel.

Mobile with a capital M
It’s the era of the smart phone and if you haven’t been pursuing marketing through mobile you’re way too late already. The number of people browsing through smart phones has surpassed the number of desktop users long ago. If you own a business, mobile is your basic marketing strategy. From mobile responsive websites to customized apps and campaigns designed solely for the smart phone users, this is what you’ll have to focus on if you intend to be included in the frontrunners (although they might have moved on to better things already) in your niche.

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