Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are We Ready for Location Based Marketing?

Forrester Research released a study this week that found that only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based mobile apps. This has serious implications for marketers who are considering investing in location based services (LBS) as a new piece of their integrated marketing strategy.

An article published on AdAge.com highlights some of the stats found in the Forrester report and provides some relevant insight to the current usage of other mobile apps such as Twitter. In addition, the study—which was released on July 26, 2010—has sent a ripple through the blogosphere attracting much criticism.

Forrester concludes that “bold, male-targeted marketers start testing but that most marketers should wait until they can get a bigger bang for their buck, when adoption rates increase and established players emerge from the fray.”

Is this a good recommendation?

To read further please visit my personal e-marketingclass blog.

The Eyes Have It

by Marian Hetherly
e-marketingclass contributor

As a marketer, wouldn’t you love to know what really goes on in the minds of your customers? Of course you would, but maybe their eyes would be more telling. There’s no doubt that a new era of eye tracking has begun. Marketers are now faced with the challenge of developing a better understanding of the data it produces and making good use of it.

Eye tracking is a groundbreaking new way to monitor brainwaves and responses of individuals. The process involves the use of a device, such as a video camera or sensor, for measuring eye positions and movements. The technology has been available to marketers for some years, but it has traditionally taken days or even weeks to receive reports.

Today, eye-tracking reports are available almost immediately and being used to demonstrate returns on investments. The promise is that marketers will be able to meet the deep-down genuine, unspoken needs of consumers at a level of accuracy never before possible and without spending a fortune.

Read more about eye tracking on wnyfastlane.blogspot.com.

E-marketingclass: Department Stores Delve into the Virtual

In the world of online retailing, Amazon reigns king. But, as the old game goes there's always someone pushing their way to be the new king of the mountain. This is the new way of online retailing, as seen in the Chicago Tribune article, "Stores try to blend real, virtual worlds: Retailers connect shoppers to out-of-stock items on Web" by Andrea Chang. Chang tells of how major retail stores like JC Penny and Macy's are now moving their customers to their online kiosks and high tech registers. This movement helps the stores with out of stock items that aren't readily available in the store and or different options, such as more size and color choices. Though department stores online retailing has a long way to go before they reach Amazon's status, their rapid growth is definitely a clear sign of something positive as Chang states, "Online revenue still accounts for a small percentage of total retail sales. Although online sales totaled $134 billion last year, the National Retail Federation estimates that's only about 7 percent of all retail sales. But growth has been rapid, with online sales soaring nearly 400 percent since 2000." Retailers are taking advantage of this growth, since it means less inventory needing to be in the store, as well as sales clerks. The growth is something retail stores don't want to lose; executives are constantly thinking of new ways to entice consumers whether with using e-commerce such as free shipping and a faster checkout. Companies don't want to lose out as Chang informs, "As e-commerce continues to grow at robust rates -- the sector posted a 10 percent year-over-year sales increase in the first quarter, according to market research firm ComScore Inc. -- experts have predicted that online sales could grow to as much as 30 percent of total retail sales over the next few decades." These numbers only justify that if retailers are going to continue, they need to adapt even further with their online presence, as well as continuously grow with ever changing e-commerce.

It will be intriguing to see how brick and mortar stores will have to change to the intangible of the internet. Many stores that have been recognized by their retail presence for decades, such as Macy's, now have to start from scratch when they enter the online market. Though retail stores have the crucial intangible asset of their brand name to work with, they still have to find out how to gain with online profits. Though retail stores have the right idea with introducing online kiosks in their stores so customers are able to have a choice if they want the physical store or the website, there still are a lot of unknowns they have to deal with. Aspects of customer service, returns, personal selling, and commission are all things that stores need to consider when incorporating a stronger online presence. As noted in Chang's article, Nordstorm was having problems with their customers having questions about the merchandise, therefore leading to them introducing a Web chat feature for shoppers to speak with informed specialists. Macy's has introduced a user "profile" where customers can store shipping and billing information, as well as receive special discounts and free shipping, while JC Penny's allows customers to view their store catalog online and to join their Facebook page. Though these are all good ways to get started the retailers need to think further of getting customers to shop at their website, and not at their competitors.

To see the full post please go to http://kayz-coffeespoons.blogspot.com/

MARKET RESEARCH: Extracting value from a wealth of raw online data by Morag Cuddeford-Jones.

Social media has opened many new streams of information for brands, but technology is only valuable if it is married to solid research methodology
By Michael Chase

In the United Kingdom marketing revenue continues to fall into double figures, a bright side to this is advancement of market research thru social media. WhileFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanners for neurological projects in the field of neuromarketing, have come down significantly in price they are still costly and somewhat ineffective. According to an article by “ David Lewis & Darren Brigder (July/August 2005). "Market Researchers make Increasing use of Brain Imaging". Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, “neuromarketing is a new field of marketing that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state (heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. Marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to better measure a consumer's preference, as the verbal response given to the question, "Do you like this product?" may not always be the true answer due to cognitive bias. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain's response. This makes neuromarketing and its applied results potentially subliminal.”
As budgets continue to drop marketers are finding a wealth of information available to researchers, thru consumer chatter on social media. Alistair Leatherwood, managing director of research agency FreshMinds, elaborates: "Trying to build online communities where consumers can talk about you is interesting… "Tracking social media can tell you what is going on, but it's quite imprecise. Overall, it's just a sensible way of gaining another perspective." Market Research Society (MRS) director general David Barr says, “There has been a scramble to get hold of blogs and Twitter content. However, getting hold of raw information is interesting but not great for insight. Getting a feed of what people are saying about your brand without insight doesn't give you strategic and actionable information.” "The market research industry has been protected from the recession because people recognize there is value in understanding the customer," states Andy Moore, former insight director at Vodafone and now strategic director for research and consultancy agency Nunwood. Proctor and Gamble invests over $350 million into market research every year. This is justified by the department on the idea that, during a recessionary period a better understanding of the customer and market, this assists P&G to sell products that are thought to be necessary by consumers during their possible economic hardships.
There are some draw backs from acquiring information through social media however, certain demographics may be limited in their use and access of this media. My Grandparents do not own a computer or mobile phone with internet access and most likely have no idea what a Twitter account is. Although they have tremendous buying power, a company is not going to find out about their consumer interest through a social media site.

To read this article follow the posted link below:
sources:Marketing week article
Mastering marketing social media

author: Morag Cuddeford-Jones
publication & date: Marketing Week. London: Jul 8, 2010. pg. 30
“Area Doctors to Treat Patient’s Online”

Just as the physician’s office once replaced the house call, the computer screen is now poised to replace the office visit. Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the largest local insurance companies, plans to introduce online care this year, a service that allows patients to connect with a physician on demand 24 hours a day using webcams for video links, secure text messages or telephone conversations. Patients will be able to talk from their home, workplace or anywhere else with a computer connection to one of hundreds of primary care doctors. Similar to ebay.com, patients will be allowed to rate each encounter.

This marketing strategy shift from brick and mortar to an online model is seen by advocates as a way to address a shortage of physicians who provide basic medical care and the long waits for appointments, reduce unnecessary trips to hospital emergency rooms and help patients with chronic illnesses and multiple medications better manage their conditions.

Check out more of this story on my e-marketing blog at: http://emarketingcanisius.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=2

Is Twitter the Next Wave of Advertising, or Mostly Swept in the Undertow?

A study by the digital marketing agency 360i offers some surprising findings concerning Twitter and marketing applications. The essential finding is that there's a tacit wall between corporate Twitter accounts and everyday users of the social network.

You can read more at Thoughts and Miscellany, my blog.

Social Media Doesn't Fit Every Business Model

Social media is a lot like leggings; they naturally look great on some people, others need to work hard to pull off the trend, and yet another group should steer clear at all costs. A quick Google search for social media and business returns 257,000,000 results, most titles declare social media and business to be inseparable, as ubiquitous as having a telephone number. Still, being on the first page of Google doesn't make something true. A little more searching and you’ll see that social media does not make sense for every business.

The Buffaloeditor blog includes a mini-analysis of the social media decisions of two businesses using Mashable’s social media myths and Amy Mengel’s reasoning of why corporations are failing at social media.