Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Relationship between Facebook Ads and Companies

Image credit: blog.socioboard.org

Starting off as a just a plain social networking site, Facebook has become something bigger and better. Today, Facebook is used for a range of things including advertisement.  A large number of companies are using Facebook as a platform of advertisement and companies are getting a lot of audience directly from the social networking site. Facebook, thus, has become a platform that companies are getting increasingly hooked to, to increase their online presence and get a loyal customer base.

According to a study by Locowise, 43.28 percent of the 5000 Facebook likes were received due to Facebook advertising. Moreover, it was revealed that the higher the companies tried to advertise on social networks, the higher the audience they got.

The analysis, therefore, revealed that companies are increasingly dependent on social networking websites such as Facebook to increase their customer and fan base.
Moreover, the same study also revealed that 43.28 percent of the companies are actually paying for advertising. This means half of the companies that are using social networks to promote their products pay for network ads. In addition, it is not just about paying for these ads that have become a popular trend but the fact that companies are now dependent on it. 

Looking at the average results of investing in Facebook ads, it was revealed that mid range of the posts was 10.71 percent of the audience. The study also reports that the return companies get when they advertise on social media is said to be higher than any other platform.

Why Pay?
It is important to note that there is always an option for companies to not pay for ads on social media but paying is always better. Paying results in a higher lead generation and increases the companies’ overall reach as opposed to when they do not pay for brand promotion.
The results of this study and general conclusion derived from the statistics reveal the following things:
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for companies: While previously, social networking sites were just being used for sharing posts and getting in touch with friends and family, they are now being used to promote products and companies are actually willing to spend as much as they possibly can to increase their outreach.
One of the prime sources of advertisement: Social media has also become a prime source of advertisement. While previously, billboards and other tools were used for advertisement, companies now use social media to advertise and they advertise their products well on these websites.
High dependence on social media: Lastly, the final finding and conclusion of this study is that social media is not just a social networking platform but a lot more. Moreover, it is also revealed that companies are not just paying to advertise their products on social media but they are actually dependent on them.

Social media, can therefore, do wonders for a company and these days companies are highly reliant on social media as a platform of advertisement.

What is your experience as marketer, what do you think? 

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

Friday, 24 June 2016

Key factors on demand from marketers today

It is becoming more of a challenge for business’s to ensure a long-term sustainable growth strategy. Putting that aside however, the idea of growth still stands to be an imperative factor for most Chief Executive Officers. To help drive growth for business, it is us marketers that top executives are looking towards.

The world in which we live is constantly changing at an ever so rapid pace and the disruption that comes along will continue to run parallel. I am a Sales & Marketing Manager for an online kitchenware company, and in the last 6 months I have had to shift the dynamics of my team to ensure we are coming up with the best possible strategies for sustainable growth within the business.

Now more than ever, an analysis into consumer purchase behaviour along with trends in the kitchenware industry, both in Australia and abroad have been paramount. My team is constantly researching and finding ways to decode our analytics platform and CRM System in order to track our interactions with our customers. It has taken a number of months but we have started to come up with a number of valuable insights and strategies than can be implemented to ensure we have sustainable growth, now and in the future.

From what we are seeing in the business world in Australia and globally, we have most definitely entered the so called “customer era”. There seems to be a positive outlook for the brands that have access to large data and are primarily using it to determine a customer-centric strategy.

In a response to an article written by Simon Corah, CEO of Growth Mantra, this idea of trend analysis, and digital is becoming increasingly more important in our profession.

In all my time as a marketing professional, I have not had to do as much trend analysis as I have had to do in the last 6-12 months. As mentioned previously, the world is constantly changing and disrupting faster than any time in history. No industry is immune and business models are under threat. Understanding and interpreting trends will help marketers work better with CEO’s, helping them paint a future image of what it means for the company.

There is no doubt that the term digital has been used now more than ever, and so it should. We have well and truly entered the digital age in which a plethora of platforms are being created and launched everyday. With that being said, brands need to become more dynamic and ensure they are at the forefront of this societal transition.  Digital is not about social media anymore, but about how digital reflects and works with consumer engagement, retention and attraction. 
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

How Social Media networks are impacting on Teenagers feelings and brains

Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

Social media has had an incredibly rise in popularity over the years. Today, there are very few people who don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Social media does not only have an effect on how you perceive yourself but it actually has an effect on your brain. In this post, I will be looking at the effect of social media on the brains of teenagers when they write and publish content on these networks and what happens when they get a good reception.

A lot of people share content on social media these days. Whether it is something related to entertainment or sports, everybody wants to share something on their newsfeed. Everybody has a different reason for sharing content but the prime purpose is to connect with others.  However, sharing content has a trickle down effect. It is not just about sharing content on social media and being done with it. In fact, studies reveal that sharing content on social media has an automatic effect on the person’s brain.

Direct Impact On One's Ego
When we share content on social media, we get a lot of comments, likes and other words. People start asking questions in their comments and therefore, this has a direct impact on one’s ego. Moreover, people are more likely to share content on social media that they can relate to so sharing content and the type of content is clear indication and hint into your actual personality.

Improved Feelings
Moreover, whenever someone publishes something, he or she wants others to appreciate it. Therefore, when we publish things on social media and get comments on our shares, we are more likely to experience feelings of happiness, excitement and thrill.
The effect of sharing content on social media has been captured in a study by University of California. They analyzed what happens to the brain of teenagers when they publish the content in social networks and especially, when they see the reception they get. It doesn’t seem that surprising but the positive response that they get tends to have a positive effect on their brain.

Direct Impact On How We Feel
When a person gets more rewards, the study revealed that the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain that is associated with the rewards, tends to get ecstatic with pleasure and in fact has the same effect that it does when we eat a chocolate or anything that makes us happy. Publishing on social media, therefore, has a direct impact on how we feel.
The study also revealed that teenagers are more likely to react in a different way when it comes to getting likes. The reaction differs in every case but the reaction is always said to be positive.
Thus, from this study, we can easily derive that social networks are not just a place where one can come, share and go back to life. No, social media actually has bigger and greater effects on one’s thinking, life and emotions. Social media sharing, therefore, is said to bring a positive change in people and also tends to improve one’s self esteem.

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

Friday, 17 June 2016

Connected Clothing - The new smart jacket co-designed by Levi’s & Google

Photo Credit: http://www.ecouterre.com/
To all the fashion forward’s, Google and Levi's first smart garment has arrived, and it's a denim jacket that connects to your smartphone. Over the past year a Google tech company, Project Jacquard, has been focusing on developing interactive Jacquard garments to sell to consumers with clothing label Levi’s. Since its introduction in the Bay Area during the Gold Rush, Levi’s has become a cultural icon known for its design of fashionable and functional garments. The heart and soul however has always been Levi’s denim apparel. It’s the sturdiness of their fabric that has been the foundation of their brand since its birth in 1873. 

The jacket will be primarily marketed at cyclists and will enable them to adjust the volume, silence a call, and get an ETA on their destination, mostly controlled via touching their sleeve. “Anyone on a bike knows that navigating your screen while navigating busy city streets isn’t easy – or a particularly good idea. This jacket helps to resolve that real-world challenge by becoming the co-pilot for your life, on and off your bike,” says Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation for Levi Strauss and Co.

So for those that aren’t familiar, you might be wondering what Jacquard or connected clothing is?  Connected clothing is an innovative concept offering the fashion industry with a huge array of opportunities for interacting with services, devices and environments. Jacquard can be seen and used the same way any other fabric, with the added extra of new functionality. With this product, developers will have the ability to connect existing apps and services to the Jacquard-enabled clothes, and create new features specifically for the platform. 

The introduction of this fabric opens up many doors for designers. Perhaps we will start to see T-shirts, or running shoes that track athletic activities, or pants that, once tapped, call your Uber—because presumably that's the moment you're about ready to walk out the door. As Fast Company writes, ultimately, the goal is to integrate Jacquard's special thread into any item of clothing—suits, scarves, even bras. For all the so-called “traditionalists” out there, if it’s not something you’re thrilled about, there’s always cotton. 

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

Monday, 13 June 2016

Marketing & Predictive Analytics

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What is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive Analytics is one of the branches of data mining which can be used to make predictions about future events which are relatively unknown. Predictive Analytics uses a combination of techniques drawn from statistics, data mining, machine learning, modelling and artificial intelligence in order to make more accurate records of current data for a more precise prediction of future trends.

The combination of techniques used in predictive analytics also brings together information technology, management and the modelling business process to aid in predictions. All existing patterns in transactional and historical data can be utilised to identify potential opportunities or risks in the future.

Predictive Analytics and CustomersUsing the advanced systematic process of predictive analytics, any business can easily predict the next move of their customer and act on it, without having to lift a finger. Businesses don't have to worry about pouring out all their resources into semi-effective marketing campaigns which do not satisfy or generate a positive Return on Investment (ROI). The digital age has given us the power to take “customer targeting” to a whole new level. This will direct any relevant content to the projections which are open to the purchase of your products and services, automatically.

When you leverage any such data, it empowers your business and allows you to track “digital body language”, which is one of the key components for a successful digital marketing campaign to take place. You are able to use entities such as hashtags, downloads, open rates, web visits, clicks and consumer purchase behaviour in order to predict the hottest lead in your arsenal and how to build upon it.

According to Forbes International, predictive marketers are almost 3 times more likely to report a positive revenue growth with a higher rate, when compared to the industry average. Predictive marketers are also 2.1 times more likely to have a commanding leadership position in all the products and services markets that they serve.

Many people are also aware of the importance that data collection has in bringing in more leads for a sale. However, this process can be quite a headache if you do not possess the right tools for the task. The good news is, you will not need any scientific marketer and you will not need to spend days on measuring the complex algorithms to campaign your product effectively. Marketing automation platforms are able to manage everything from the tens of hundreds to tens of thousands of unseen prospective customers who are visiting your website each day, in the most efficient manner possible. They are also able to analyse the necessary online landscape required to predict, locate and target the entire sale worthy leads.

With automated targeting, it is definitely possible to take your marketing to the next level by predicting accurate results in order to target and generate a much higher conversion rate and return on investment.


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

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

5 Key lessons from deploying a Marketing Automation

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When marketing automation is successfully applied, it can bring a number of fruitful results to an organisation. The first question is: what do you actually understand about marketing automation strategies? Marketing automation involves forming a set of goals for your business that will lead to a higher generation of sales and revenue, while minimizing lost sales opportunities.

A successful marketing automation technique utilizes multiple measures. If companies manage to learn the true essence of these lessons, it will prove to be a great step towards forming future successful ventures for any organisation.

These five lessons should be noted if you want continued success for your company:

1. Get Strategic Alignment:
An important thing to learn from such a strategy is that customers want easy and maximum accessibility. There must not be waiting time for any service to be available to customers who require it. It is about keeping loyal customers returning to your product or service by catering to their individual needs.

An important thing is to forget about relying on a single method of reaching the customer, such as the web. Utilizing maximum means to reach the customer is more likely to bring beneficial results to the reputation of the company.

2. Build a Single Customer View:
Firstly, this requires you to have efficient management of large amounts of data. Building a single customer view requires a huge platform where the concerns and needs of each and every customer are met. For all sorts of inbound and outbound conversations with the customer, it is necessary to incorporate the capability of interacting with all the customers. If this was not a part of your company before then now you definitely realize the importance of having it.

3. Assemble the Right Team:
It is very important to form a team that is bold enough to go with innovation but also pragmatic enough to consider all the pros and cons of a particular strategy before applying it. Coming up with the right set of individuals that will make up this team is the most important step as it requires young blood as well as experienced minds.

4. Keep the Project Management Team Together:
It is very important to stick with the same team from beginning till end. Important steps must be taken to resolve conflicts, if any arise. Switching people will slow down the process and will delay the application of the plan.

5. Go for Omni-channel, not Just Digital Experience:
Use digital means to derive more outbound strategies to reach a wider audience. Living in the modern era means most of your marketing will be done through digital media, but solely relying on such platforms is a huge mistake. Rather, digital media should serve as a stepping stone towards achieving stronger marketing strategies through other promotional mediums.

If these lessons are kept in mind then the future strategies will turn out to more favourable for any organisation; giving way to more growth and development opportunities.


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

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Top Online Marketing Trends

As we know, the marketing industry and the platforms associated with it change faster than most fashion trends. Even though there are some fundamental marketing principals and frameworks that will never date, the tools and channels in which we communicate with our audiences continue to evolve and will rapidly accelerate due to the evolving nature of technology.

Putting this aside, your competitors are another factor to keep your eye on. Businesses are continually trying to get ahead of each other in a bid to give their customers the “latest and greatest”, so to speak. You might be thinking, how do I do that? Well, if you want to outrun the competition and protect yourself from this continual strive to be number one, like most industries, you need to be on the forefront of the latest trends. To help you out I have put together some of the top up-and-coming trends in online marketing.

App-based SEO

This week already I met three people pitching their idea to me whom want to develop an App. Apps have been a great money-generating business and are projected to grow in popularity, while traditional browser-based Internet experiences are on a downward trajectory. Some have even started to ask the question if apps one day might replace traditional websites altogether. It’s hard to say, but with this being said there is no doubt that Google will continue increasing their efforts to provide better app-based experiences for their users, including their app streaming technology.

User-generated content

Customers should be the most important asset of any business. It is only now that brands are starting to realise what amazing power user-generated content holds. Through platforms such as a user-contribution based forum or a competition you can encourage your users to create their own content for your brand and share it with others. By doing this, it will save you the effort from creating the content yourself, but more importantly will help you establish a solid foundation to create a thriving brand community.

Social media aggregation

I have said it many times, and I will say it again – Social media is here to stay and we need to jump on the bandwagon! Social media targeted apps are becoming more aggressive, trying to do more and more to drive brands. Take Facebook’s Instant Articles, for example, which has brought content experiences in-house or in-app, and recently launched a live-streaming video feature eliminating the need to go elsewhere to find such functions. Social apps are trying to become “everything” apps, and because of that, your presence there needs to become stronger.

Next-level personalisation

Where we stand at this point in time, there is a limited scope of how much we can personalise marketing and advertising. Even though we might be able to customise our DM’s to different consumer segments, the functionality of personalising the marketing landscape will soon become a lot more sophisticated, partly due to the influx of this new concept called “BIG DATA” allowing for more dynamic, innovative forms of content personalisation.

These are only just a few of the up coming trends that have slowly started making its way into how we as marketers work on a daily basis.  Feel free to take inspiration from the few mentioned however it is important to understand that not all of these trends may stay. Like most things in life, some may evolve and develop and others will crumble, but at least a few of them hold tremendous promise, and because of that, you owe it to your business to pursue them.

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