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

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Impact of Pokémon GO on Marketing

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Three weeks ago a game that is changing the landscape of gaming as we speak was released. Pokémon GO is the most talked-about game right now, with statistics indicating its popularity above that of even Twitter. Millions of people around the world are exploring their towns and cities looking for new Pokémon’s to catch, train and battle. People of every age group are becoming increasingly obsessed with this game, whether for nostalgia or its entertainment value. It has become quickly apparent that this augmented reality game is unlike any we’ve seen before, with the exception of Ingress, in bringing people out onto the streets. The marketing opportunities Pokémon GO can provide are still being discovered every day.

PokéStops are local landmarks that players can find to receive rewards. They can also be used to “Lure” Pokémons into the surrounding areas. This is where businesses have started making money. Right now, you cannot buy your business a PokéStop. However, businesses that happen to have PokéStops are using it to “Lure” even more players in. For example, some restaurants in Melbourne are buying Lures to attract hundreds of players looking to collect Pokémon, like Jigglypuff or Squirtle. Once, and if, Niantic starts making PokéStops available for sale to businesses, they can guarantee clients and pedestrians for as long as the hype of the game lasts.  Other businesses are using Pokémon GO as a reward system. They are offering discounts to trainers who have collected a certain set of Pokémons, to boosts foot traffic and sales. 

While mobile data sales are not soaring because of the amount of data consumption required by the game, the sale of battery packs has skyrocketed. Although Pokémon GO uses about the same amount of mobile data as when you surf the web, it does drain your phone’s battery significantly. Mobile companies in areas with Pokémon GO are using this craze to increase their sales of accessories. They are also increasing foot traffic to their stores and outlets by offering free phone charging stations, in the hopes to increase their brand awareness.

Other Marketing Strategies
One company has bought the domain name and intends to open a service whereby customers can pay to have their phones taken for a walk. Others are buying Pokémon Lures and selling tickets to the area where they are set. Some advertising companies are even putting up billboards looking to hire trainers – all to let their clients know that they are in sync with what is going on in the world. The sale of Pokémon-themed gear and toys will most likely pick up again as well.

Pokémon GO has skyrocketed in popularity since its release, and it has only been released in 4 countries so far. People are trying to cash in on the popularity of the game while the hype lasts. Even though the game has not launched yet on a global scale, the marketing opportunities it offers are vast. 

Alejandro Catalan

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

Monday, 18 July 2016

Marketing to Millennials

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In today’s workforce, there are three types of primary generations. They include baby boomers, generation X and then finally, the millennials. All those born between 1981 and 2000 are labeled as millennials. In America they make up 41% of the total U.S population and in Australia they are around 20% of the total population.

Marketing Tips for Millennials

1) Make it as tech-savvy as possible
Millennials have witnessed some serious and rapid technological changes.  All their lives they have been bought up with changing trends, they are spending an average of 25 hours per week online checking websites, blogs and social media, new technologies and innovations which have helped make their lives easier. They prefer similar advertisements which they can easily relate to and anything less may make them feel that the product is not meant for them.

2) Use Email and Social groups to target Millennials
“Despite conflicting reports that email is dying, especially among younger generations, the truth is that millennials are not ditching email”, says Marie Homne, Senior Marketing Strategist at YesMail.
Instead of life stages, when marketing to millennials, try focusing on social groups. This bunch is the most non-traditional generation - cultures and traditions do not mean much to them. They define “family” and “community” differently to previous generations.
Apart from this, it is quite difficult for millennials to become stable in their life and buy assets like cars and houses. This is due to the economic situation they have to face like unemployment and low pay scales.
So instead of focusing on different life stages, your marketing should target the different social groups. They can include traveling lifestyles, independent lifestyles, different social causes, etc.

3) Focus on Mobile Marketing and Experience
“Millennials like brands who get to know them and give them an opportunity to be part of the experience”, says Tink Taylor, founder of, in America more than 85% of the millennials own personal smart phones. This makes it the perfect platform for all your marketing strategies. The first step for mobile marketing is making sure that all your landing pages are fully responsive and are optimized to be used on all screen sizes and electronic devices.
After optimization, make sure that all your landing pages have prominent call to actions to catch the eye of every visitor.

4) Be engaging and Reward Millennials for their loyalty
Everyone likes to be rewarded, especially millennials, “according to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Ambassador, 95% of 18-34-year-old say they would like some sort of incentive for sharing a product via social media or email”, Out of all the generations, millennials have grown up with a lot of visuals engagement. Visuals are essential for all sorts of marketing strategies as it keeps the viewers engaged and interested. However, it is important to note that you need to carefully balance between just the right amount of visuals. The over use may overwhelm the viewer to an extent that it gets difficult to absorb any information at all since their focus and attention gets too divided. Visuals are not the only way to engage customers, you can improve your content, add videos, put in catchy music and interesting design to catch the attention of millennials.
Incorporating these suggestions in your marketing strategies will lead to a much more successful marketing campaign for all the millennials out there.

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

Monday, 11 July 2016

Coding: The language of the future

Education and technology have become an integral part of today’s society. The need to teach our children more computational ways of thinking has been further reflected in the government’s incentive to drive more STEM (science, technology, engineering, math’s) related subjects, and more recently the development of a digital technologies curriculum that addresses the situation.

Within this digital age, there is a strong emphasis on the importance and dependency society has placed on digital technology to communicate with one another. This amongst other factors has driven the demand for more technological activities targeted at children. One activity in particular is teaching kids how to code, an activity where imagination is the only limit.

So, what exactly is coding? To put it simply, Coding, or more traditionally known as programming, is the way we communicate with computers and machines. In an attempt to become part of a more innovate and creative Australia, coding is now being perceived “as fundamental as reading and writing”. If we don’t start up-skilling the next generation of workers skills such as programming, we face a huge skills drought as digital disruption transforms the way our economy operates, the way we think and the way we live.

Being the first of its kind in Australia, Sydney Programming School has taken this trend and turned it into a thriving business called Code4Fun ( . Forming part of a relatively new market, Sydney Programming School was established in April last year and provides programming courses to children and teenagers, before and after school throughout Sydney.

Many of the children going through primary school today will end up applying for careers that don’t exist yet. In a recent report, Australia predicts that within the next five years we will need 100,000 ICT workers. The way we are going, the need for such skills outweighs the abilities for employees to perform them.  In a rapidly changing employment market where digital disruption is changing the way we operate, coding skills are crucial in ensuring they don’t get left behind the digital age. 

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

Friday, 1 July 2016

How marketers are using neuroscience to control what we buy

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It is a common practice for consumers to spend on luxury goods. However, know that there is a trick behind you spending so much on these products. 

Blame the marketers who are now becoming very clever in controlling what you buy. According to previous studies, people will buy products that are called expensive and ignore the quality of the product just because of the price tag. This is commonly referred to as the marketing placebo effect - meaning the perceived value of something will affect the actual experience of it.

According to studies, marketers are now using neuroscience to change and control the way you buy. This is done by changing your grey matter and fooling you into buying things that will create a higher reward in your brain. The perceived effect of the reward is usually lower than the actual feelings you get when you buy the product.

Who Is Susceptible to the Placebo Effect?
According to studies, people who have a higher grey matter respond to the placebo effect. The research found that the people who are responsive to the perceived rewards, are more likely to be influenced by this marketing strategy.

Moreover, it is also perceived that people who have a higher grey matter will be susceptible to the placebo effect. Therefore, a wine that is more expensive is likely to generate an opinion in the buyer’s mind that expensive must be good.

Last but not the least, people who are not that quickly influenced by price tags, are not going to be affected by the placebo effect. Therefore, they will buy according to the taste of the wine and not the price tag.

Changing the Grey Matter
Marketers identify and segment the user population using a range of demographics including race, geography and age. However, researchers now are also wanting to identify differences in consumers’ brain anatomy in order to categorise individuals. 

The whole idea is to alter your grey matter and then control what you buy. You don’t even know how much you spend on products without realising how much you are being tricked into buying a product.

However, all is not lost because our grey matter tends to change with age. Therefore, if marketers are looking to target you over a lifetime, they actually have to have a good understanding of how the brain responds to different things that they are trying to sell you. And this is something that is actually not possible right now.

The whole idea of using neuroscience to control the way you look at things and the way you buy things has changed. However, it is also believed that if you are buying luxury goods, the placebo effect will have a greater effect on you than when you are buying non-luxury items. Therefore, if you are shopping at Ikea or drinking a boxed wine, chances are you are most likely safe.

Be careful what you are buying because neuroscience is changing the way you think and who knows, your decision of buying a product could be being controlled by the marketers!

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