Marketing is Good: “Have You Seen It?”

I love controversy of Marketing. It gives me a lot to talk about.

The biggest controversy in Marketing is of course related to the discussion of whether the Marketing is good or bad.

The following conversation shows that the Marketing is good, which I’m sure you had in one point or other in your life:

A: – Did you see this movie?

B: – No.

A: – I can’t believe it! It is so good.

B: – …

A: – Well you should go see it immediately!

Actually, this conversation does not have to be only about a movie. It can be about a place (like Paris – have you been there?), an object (like a car – have you driven it?), or anything else.

It is good to hear these words, not because it is one of the best Marketing promotional tool (word of mouth), but because it shows that despite all, Marketing has positive qualities, as people get to know good products and the society growth as a whole.

One of a good movie in cinema right now is The Great Gatsby. Have you seen it? My father lives in different continent from me, and he has seen it.

There are a lot of good movies out there and there is discussion as to “Which is (best) most watched film of all times”. Some say it is Titanic and Star Wars, some other say it is The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, just because these two last have been out for longer time (even though we have unprecedented growth of people on earth and people who watch cinema nowadays).

No matter what is the right answer, we can take another film that did very well in cinema as an example – The Avengers. This movie received several awards including the first film to break gross revenue of $1 billion worldwide. I could not find the estimated figure of how many people watched this movie, but even if it is 1 billion people and given the total population of earth is 7billion, only every 1 person in 7 watched the movie.

your argument is not validThis gives a high chance that even though a lot of people who saw it, a lot of people did not, therefore making the initial argument of “did you see this movie?” invalid.

Furthermore, it is interesting to notice that if you want to make the best marketing campaign for a movie you just have to go to Wikipedia. It has now a section for “Marketing” or “Promotion” in a lot of articles about movies, tv-shows, and other domains.

Game of Thrones, currently number one show in many rankings, for example, included a new and innovative way of promoting itself by creating “props” exhibition in different capitals of the world (last in Amsterdam, Netherlands), where people can take pictures siting on the Iron Throne, see clothing and items used to make this series and to get a feel as they were a part of this magical medieval world. They can later post these photos online and get other people to talk about this series.

siting on the Iron throne, game of thrones

So next time you hear “have you seen this movie?” just remember: Marketing is your friend.

App Everything (and how to make money out of Apps)

apple-itunes-apps-app-storeThere are millions of apps out there. Apps that allow you to see your finances online, social media apps, apps showing location of your dog or a car, also known as GPS apps, an app for this blog (which is not officially out yet), an app for my gym (because why not?). Well, you got the point.

My favorite app is the remote controlled room temperature app. Basically, you can adjust your house temperature before you get home. Specially good for saving energy, for when you are not at home, in countries where it always snows or cold. You do, however, need to connect a small electronic device to your central heating, and that’s how the companies that promote this app make money (which is why this app is one of very few apps that actually makes money with the TV advertisements, which we all know can be expensive).

It is also interesting to notice that companies like TomTom are concerned with bringing internet to everywhere and everything in the world. Their own estimation is that ONLY 1% of the world is connected through internet, which is not good enough, because plants in your home don’t still have a microchip that would send you an App’date (I want to say App for Update, not App for Dating) on your phone saying that the plant needs some water (which by the way already exists), or anything else you want to have done remotely.

So, to sum up, today there are app’s for almost everything. If you, or your industry does not have an app, it means that you are in very “exotic” niche, or that you need to get it right away, because apps, is just a new way of promoting yourself and your company.

If you want to make some money out of apps, you have several solutions:

– Promote yourself or your company through the app (as mentioned above);

– Sell the app;

– Sell the ad space on your app (or should I call it “selling app space?”);

– Have a Razer Blade pricing strategy, which means giving away apps for free (razers), as long as you sell microchips (blade), or anything else that cannot work without an app.

Mystery Shopper

mystery-shopperAn old practice is being revisited once again in the field of Marketing and it is called Mystery Shopper.

Mystery shopper is a “fake” client sent to the shop on behalf of the owner of the shop to access the behavior of the personal of the shop, as well as the customer service. They behave as a regular client and expects to receive the full service the company promises to provide.

Mystery shoppers maybe be equipped with cameras and microphones, and possess sharp memory and good observation skills.

The objective of a mystery shopper is to discover sloppiness, unprofessionalism and other behaviors that shop management or owner would not otherwise have known or approved. It is also a motivational tool for personal to always perform at 100% efficiency.

Finally, Mystery Shopper can be done by a company itself or by a Marketing agency, former with advantage of knowing all necessary processes and latest with advantage of giving an advice on how to improve current practices.

Who are your website visitors?

Have a seen more and more online websites writing about their “Cookie” policies?

This is Marketing blog so, of course, I refer to the HTTP Cookies, and not the food ones.

Why do you think this is?

Well, I worked for a company that was selling online and as part of my business I wanted to know who am I selling to in order to make my ads more targeted. I did not know this information, but I had a good guess. This is of course funny, that I as a person responsible for marketing do not know my demographic, but my company did not concern itself too much with this question, as the campaigns were performing at a expected rate so chances were we where doing something right.

While, this is true, when I asked my colleagues about this question of demographics and the steps we could undertake to get this information, one thing I was told is that cookies are not allowed, as once, back in the day.

Other thing that is also not allowed is storing peoples IP addresses, as this would be a second best thing after the cookies.

Thus, what companies do today is they look at every other peace of information about the visitor (it I remember correctly, there is somewhere between 20 and 60 peaces of information that websites receives about you) and by combining it, try to create a profile of a person who is connecting.  They look at things like: screen resolution + speed of clicking + browsing behavior + general location – e.g., US California + and many others. Thus, when you do reconnect, their systems knows, with a reasonable certainty, that this is you.

So why is it so important to know whether you have visited the page before?

Well, like a real life seller, an online seller will want to know where he stands in respect to closing the deal (e.g., whether he has to introduce you his product or to go for a punchline). Same applies to online selling. Some companies adopt their website to the visiting person. This, in turn increases sales.

On other way for companies to know who exactly the person visiting is, and this is 99,99% accurate, is for person to volunteer his own information, by for means of “signing” and later “logging in” in to a website, using a unique username and a password. Than, a company knows for sure who you are and what sort of information to provide you.

Still, going back to the question of “Why are companies asking people to read their cookie policies?”

For companies it may be a long shot, but in these policies there is a option / open consent to allow cookies to be installed into your computer, which are of course surrounded by a very attractive text for why you should do it (and a half hidden text about the dangers to privacy), which is apparently now is allowed.

I, however, don’t know details about cookies, but each time more companies are also putting them in the lowest part of their webpage (i.e., where you can find: help, site map,… See image bellow). This, I believe, is because it may improve their SEO friendliness, or in Layman’s terms, the ability of people to find their pages in the search engine.

If you try to instal this cookie option on your website, let me know if it actually works.

For more information about cookie law visit http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240166071/Cookie-law-needs-more-than-do-not-track-says-Neelie-Kroes, where I think its well described the current cookie law.

Marketing Psychology – Human drivers

As opposite to Physics where the work of Einstein is considered to be the base of all theories that other physicians try to follow, in psychology Freud’s theories are often considered to be a laughing point compared to the recent break thoughts (to the point that my friend who studies psychology tells me that in none of her classes Freud’s theories are studied).

However, I can’t but to have respect for Freud for being a pioneer in his field and want to grand him a chance to redeem himself by pointing at two drivers that Freud told to be the drivers of all human behavior: Sex and Aggression.

Here aggression does not have its literal meaning, but it is better defined as Power (a want to have more and to be the best). I also want to add a new component to these drivers of human behavior which I will call the Need to Belong. Let’s now look at each one of them seperatelly:

First of all – Sex:

If we look at evolutionally psychology and more specifically biology, Sex seems to be the only reason for any action done by a human being (or living organism). By sex I mean the need to pass genes into the next generation. This seems to be plausible if we think of Marketings efficiency of sex appeal ads, as well as general consumption, which is often (without us even realizing it) done to show others that they we are this or that and therefore belong to a certain niche, which we want to “satisfy”.

Second – Aggression:

Human evolution (if you believe in it) gave us a big brain, which is now considered to be the “biggest sex organ” of our bodies. The idea of this instrument is that depending on how well we use it, it will reflect on the level of our attractiveness, and I don’t mean that the smartest person wins in the sex war, but the person who will position themselves best in their personal niche (using their brain) wins. This is what I call Aggression or Power. The ability to stand out. This is also visible in Marketing by the fact that companies try to be the “best” and most visible in something.

Last – Need to belong:

This general driver of human behavior was not much mentioned by Freud (or at all), but it was pointed out by the next generation of psychologists, and I find it important for two reasons. First,  today take the majority of people on our planet belongs the collectivistic cultures and they behave in a certain ways to  be well seen by “their group”; and because no matter how independent we think we are, we always seek approval of other in one way or other from others. This is why we buy products because we think that others will think of us as more attractive, and because we want to be liked.

Overall, I think that Aggression (or Power) and Need to Belong (or any other driver of human behavior) always come back to Sex, so no matter what you are selling (even Financial products) don’t forget to make your product “sexy”.

Mobile and Social Media MESS

Mobile media and Social Media hold a lot of money and are constantly growing. It is therefore not surprising that there are a lot of companies in this industry. This makes it messy for both people who a looking for different internet services and firms who are looking to invest in these medias. Just take a look at this:

Social Media Mess

Mobile Media Mess

Original post Business Insider (Social Media; Mobile)

Fake achievements

Fake achievements are by definition not real achievements. A person does not really gain anything with them, as every perceived improvement does not really corresponds with improvement of skills (state) of the user who receives the achievement, as he/she probably will continue performing (being) at the same rate, but they are a nice to have for several reasons:

  • They create a feeling of investment and progress, thus generating addiction and loyalty.
  • Create a comparison bases, generating sense of competition, thus creating value through status and expertise;
  • Creates a benchmark, which is stimulated to be achieved, therefore, stimulating a higher use of the product, compared to the situations where there is no clear sense of achievement.
  • Create a sense of direction, by pointing at concrete actions that need to be undertaken to achieve the achievement.
  • Provide entertainment value, thus stimulating psychologically the receiver of fake achievement;
Moreover, two types of response can come towards the achievement goals:
  • A person wants to demonstrate his skills / intellect (“I know how to do it”) – however, if the achievement goal is too high it may lead to giving up;
  • A person looks at achievement goal as opportunity to learn – in this situation, a harder achievement goal will lead to more effort of achieve the goal (“if I do it, I will learn something”)

Because fake achievements affect psychological state, they can be optimized. More and faster achievement are generally good in the beginning and less often achievement are good later on.

Perhaps the place where you can find most fake achievements is in the gaming industry, but they can be used almost any situation, as, after all, everyone has goals which they want to achieve. A little push in a “right” direction, may be sufficient.

Use fake achievements.

(Thank you for reading post #32)

Experts Word Is Your Command

Expert’s word is a rule!

“Read this post, because I am an expert!”

I often come back to the notion of leaders in a specific field, who usually (hopefully) are experts. One way or another, experts are the people who are going to have things done their way, because if an expert tells something, are you going to counter-argue?

Don’t get me wrong though, you can argue with an expert if you have strong arguments and if you have enough to say. However, high states of energy, wakefulness and alertness are not always present, nor you are an expert in all possible fields. Thus, when your processing recourses are low, words of normal people can seem like commands, not even talking about experts, who just eats you alive.

Let me raise the stakes: You don’t even have to be sleepy in order for expert to tell you what to do, for you to follow his words like it was your own decision in a first place. Simply, people have limited cognitive resources and they can’t dedicate enough of these resources to process every single stimulus that comes their way. What they do is process the information on “yes”, “no”, “lets me stop and think about it” levels, which in the case of an expert is more often just “yes”.

Take for example, George Clooney, and he telling you that drinking Expresso is very posh drink for which you have to pay big money, and that standards of coffee capsules are these small things that you have to insert in custom made machines, which are not cheap either… What people do, they say, “oh its expensive, lets me go buy Expresso, because George Clooney told me so”. The world of Clooney is so strong that even competition had to adopt their products in order to stay in the game.

But besides George Clooney and people in white coats, standing in laboratories, who else are experts?

Well, actually Internet, books, medium, TV and other media channels are considered equivalent to expert sources of information, so even this blog tells you how you should view the world and what you have to do. In my defence though let me just tell you that at least I am honest and I only have your best interest, which you should already know, if you are reading this!

Faster reading VS. More pleasant reading?

A new study asked people about their reading preferences in terms of length of the lines, coming to conclusion that people prefer to read shorter lines (45 to 72 characters per line), presented, for example, in columns, rather than long lines (around 100 characters). The typical answer was – the shorter lines, because they are quicker to read.

However, when tested, the study shows that people actually read the longer lines quicker than shorted lines.

This created a dilemma for marketers in the sense whether it is better to create messages that will be more “liked” (e.g., New Yorks Times type of text), or message that will be easier and faster to read, considering that message needs be both attention getting and easy and fast to process. What to do?

Dyson, M.C. (2004). “How Physical Text Layout Affects Reading from Screen.” Behavior & Information Technology, 23(6), 377-393.

Emotions and colors

In previous post (Colors in Marketing 1, 2) I discussed the associations people hold with certain colors. Now, in this post, I will look at the emotions triggered by each color.

Emotions, like colors, can be mixed, creating other emotions. The strength of emotions comes from brightness of a color, being the brighter the color, stronger the association. Emotions from colors, also come from the context they are presented, thus it is up to marketer to chose the emotion (color) he/she wants to convey.

Presented here are the emotions and their associated colors:

Black – power, strength, authority, elegance, submission, life or death (depending on the culture).
White – sterility, emptiness, spaciousness, positivity, simplicity, life or death (depending on the culture).
Red – anger, love, joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, love, vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Pink – feminine qualities, such as, romance, love and friendship.
Brown – masculine qualities and stability.
Green – fear, trust, piece, ambition, greed, sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
Blue – hostility, peace, disgust, admiration, tranquility, understanding, knowledge, power, integrity, seriousness, and softness.
Purple – boredom, surprise, romantics, nostalgic, sad feelings, and frustration.
Yellow – caution, decay, sickness, intellect, freshness, joy, and jealousy.
Orange – shame, pride, deceit and distrust.
Gold – prestige, illumination, wisdom, wealth, and other high-end qualities.

Image Wheel Color Emotions

Effie award – Marketing Effectiveness Recognition

After running your marketing campaign and getting as much benefit as possible from it, marketers still have one possibility to have their investments that will allow them additional recognition for their work. This is done through Marketing Communication awards. One of most recognized award is the Effie Award.

Effie award (http://www.effie.org/)

Introduced in 1968 by the New York American Marketing Association, Effies awards are judged on the basis of ability of the companies to achieve their Marketing Communication objectives. Euro Effie is divided into: 40 national Effie Awards programs, 3 regional programs (the Asia Pacific Effies, Euro Effies and Middle East North Africa Effies), the Global Effie Awards and Effie conferences and case study presentations.

The entry fee is between € 965.00 and € 1.495 and the campaigns are judged in one of the following several categories (see also the examples of the best campaigns per category):

1. FMCG (“Nespresso George Clooney” Nespresso)

2. Consumer Goods (“I AM Nikon” Nikon)

3. Pharmaceutical & Healthcare (“Sensodyne / Recommended by Dentists ” for Sensodyne)

4. Automotive (“The next best Audi” Audi A1)

5. Corporate (“We know what it takes to be a tiger” Accenture)

6. Retail (“Make it your project” Hornbach)

7. IT / Telco (“Kseniya Sobchak. Crash” Samsung Duos)

8. Services

9. Leisure & Entertainment (“Adidas +10” Adidas)

10. Social media Effectiveness (“Slow down. Take is easy” Accident prevention campaign)

11. Product/Service Launch (“BOSS Orange” – BOSS)

12. Brand Re-vitalization

13. Best demonstration of Integrated Effectiveness

14. Small Budget (under €5 million)

15. Long-term Effectiveness (Campaign which has run for a minimum of five years) (“Dove Deodorants” Dove)

16. 360 degree Integration (“Halo: Heroic Story Telling – Believe” – Xbox 360)

There are also Effies “Special Awards” called:
1. Grand Prix Award
2. Agency Network of the Year Award

The competition will be conducted in two rounds:

Round 1 –The Round 1 Selection is about the cold hard facts such as the campaign background, business and communication objectives, creative strategy, media strategy, and the proof found of the evidence of the results.
Round 2 – the evaluation of the case based 80% on effectiveness and 20% on the creative work.

The prizes of Effie Award are Bronze Effie (for campaigns that overall score 6.0-6.8 /10.0), Silver Effie (score 6.8-7.5 /10) and Golden Effie (score more than 7.5). Other awards are also applicable, such as, 100 free spots on EuroNews given to the winner of the agency network award.

Colors in Marketing (part 1)

As every color can have a different color in the minds of consumers, it is important for marketer to, at least, know the basics of the color spectrum. Some main insight are that perception of colors may differ from culture to culture, when presented in different brightness and when combined with other colors, but generally speaking if you hold to the rule of thumb that the colors associations come from nature, you will be alright. So here is a description of the main colors:

Black

Black is the color of night. As people usually sleep at night and, thus, are most vulnerable, black is usually associated with evil, taboo, death, gloom and mystery. It is not thus surprising that people respect black and associate it to strength, power, and authority. In fashion people wearing black appear thinner, giving black the feel of elegance, sophistication and style. Black can further imply submission, making it a seductive color.

Overall black is a serious color that evokes strong emotions, which can become overwhelming in large dozes.

White

The opposite of black, white symbolizes light. It is a neutral and simple color, sometimes perceived as absent or transparent, thus may leading to a perception of wide spaces. As it is easy to get white dirty, making it a color of cleanliness and sterility. White is also a color of the beginning and the end, thus, being associated with life, purity and youth and sometimes death (specially in the Eastern countries, such as China).

Overall white goes with everything.

Red

Red is the color of blood and fire, elements of nature, conditioned to immediate reaction. Red is often the first color that people notice and it stimulates faster breathing and heartbeat. On this account, red is sometimes associated with love, strength, excitement and arousal. It is often used to emphasis events, such as, sports, occasions and holidays (i.e., speed, red roses and Christmas) and thus it is a color of life.
Overall, red is the most emotionally intense and heavy color and it well suited to complement other colors.

Pink

While red is a color of passionate love, pink is a color of a “smooth” love. Pink is the most calming of all colors, as it drains energy and calms a person. Pink is associated with romance, love, gentle feelings and security, being often a symbol of femininity.

Blue

Blue is the color of the skies and oceans, and it is considered to be one of the most popular colors. As watching a cloudless skies or slowly moving water can be a very relaxing and peaceful experience, seeing blue may result in the feeling of calmness and tranquility, thus being the opposite of the red color. Blue is often being blamed for the feelings of boredom, as it might also be perceived as cold and depressive. In business blue is a popular color as it symbolizes wisdom, honor, loyalty, and trustworthiness. Blue is also a productive color. For example, studies show that weightlifters are able to lift more weight in blue gyms. In restaurant business, blue is a bad color to use as it decreases appetite.

Green

Green is the color of untamed nature, thus being associated with growth, fertility, peace and freedom. It is the easiest color on the eyes, which can help to improve vision, as well as to create a feeling of harmony, calmness, refreshment and relaxation. Moreover, dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies money and luck.

(Stay tuned for the part 2 of “Colors in Marketing”!)