Five Things You Should Know About Digital Marketing

The important things you should know

 

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One day, we can “read” the food through wearable devices.

For my past blogs, they are all about digital marketing and snacks industry. For this blog, I am supposed to write about the wearable tech trend and how to use wearable tech in snacks industry. But at least for now, wearable devices almost have nothing to do with snacks industry. So I’m going to write about something else.

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The wearable tech market is relatively young and is facing a massive growth. According to Statista, the value of global wearable devices market increased quickly in recent years, from 0.75 billion dollars in 2012 to 4.12 billion dollars in 2017, and will continue to grow. There are different types of wearable devices too. From fitness trackers, smartwatches, head-mounted displays to implantables, smart clothing and even smart jewellery, wearable devices are becoming smarter and smarter.

Now days people are very concerned about health issue. We use wearable devices to track how many steps we take everyday, track our heart rate and even sleeping quality. Except for exercise, food is another important issue about health. Organic food is getting more and more popular and people care about how many calories every meal contains. I think it will be a trend to use wearable tech in food and health industry.

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We can already use wearable devices to track inner temperature, bloody pressure, blood sugar and some other physiological states, but mostly for medical purpose. As the technology improves, we can track more things with wearable devices. Why don’t we combine wearable tech with food and health industry?

For example, every time we eat something, the wearable devices can tell us how many calories, sugar and vitamin we take through the changes inside the body. And they can also give us advice about how many more sugar and vitamins we should take that day for the best healthy condition or they will warn us if we take too much fat. It is like we can read the food through those devices and have a nutrition expert around us. Also if the food cause some problems, such as allergy, poisoning or high blood pressure, the wearable devices can monitor what is happening inside our body and warn us in advance.

Eat healthily means a lot to the health of everyone. With the development of wearable tech, we can not only track information about exercise, also one day we can track information about our diet. I believe wearable tech can be revolutionary for food and health industry.

Is big data really that powerful?

Now days in the digital world, we are all surrounded by data. Almost everything we do can be captured as data by someone or some program. Especially on the Internet, every move and every click are data. People can know us very much even when we don’t realize it.

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Big data has four features, that are also known as “4 Vs”.

First is volume. The volume of data can be extremely high. Every day we send 269 billion emails. Every 60 seconds on Facebook, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. We are not talking Terabytes but Zettabytes or Brontobytes. Second is velocity. There are millions of new data generated every second. We can analyse the data the moment it is generated. Third is variety. We have different types of data from different sources. Not only the numbers, the messages, photos, videos, clicks are all data that can be captured and used. The last one is veracity. That huge amount of data can really be a mess and different to tell which ones are useful and which are not. Also fake messages are every where. So this uncertainty of data can sometime be a big problem.

So what are the good aspects of big data? Big data is timely. We can always get the newest information and make response to the data quickly. Big data is accessible. We can have access to the data that we need through different channels. And for most of time, companies who get more data have more advantages and competitiveness over their competitors because they know more clearly about what is going on now. Big data is reliable. The big quantity can make up the problem that some data can be lack of quality. And the data can always give us useful insights.

Of course the big data has some bad aspects. First, the real-time data needs the companies to have the ability to deal with the large amount of data timely. They must know how to select the data that is useful and correct and how to analyse the data, which can be quite challenging. Second, the security and privacy can be a big problem. In the big data era, everyone is like living in a transparent glass house. The data can let others know what kind of people we are and many personal information have the risk of being leaked. Third, people can make frauds with big data. The algorithm can be changed and the data can be biased. We can’t always get the right answer.

The big data also has some limitations. First, the big data may tell us “what it is”, but the big data can’t tell us “why it is”. For example, we can use data to do correlation test. We may find out that the number of autism people and the sales of organic food have correlation, because they all increase quickly. But we can’t know the real relationship between them. The data is the result, if we want to know the reason, data is not enough. Second, big data is useless to the rare events. Big data does a really good job with normal things, because we can get a large amount of data that is enough to do the analysis. But  for the things that are not common, the extreme data can mislead us and give us the wrong answer. Third, the big data is always about the past. It is true that we can use the past behavior to predict the future. But that is limited to things that show some kinds of pattern. For example, if the number of people who have mobile phone continues to grow in past 10 years, we can predict that the number will continue to grow. But if the thing is totally random, the past data can’t give us future decision. And people can change at any time with any reason.  The big data can’t predict that.

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Big data is powerful. It is hard for us to imagine how difficult to collect data and do analysis before the digital world and big data era. But big data is not that powerful, it still has drawbacks and limitations. So think twice about big data. Don’t feel overwhelmed about it and don’t easily to trust all of it. Think, learn and make good use of the big data.

Keep innovative on social media is the key to success

I have already written two blogs about Oreo and made a lot compliments about the brand. For this post, I am still going to write about Oreo, because they really do a good job. We can learn how important it is to keep innovative and make good use of social media.

On February 8, 2017, Oreo started a new campaign called ” Oreo Dunk Challenge”. In this campaign, Oreo encourages people to take a photo or video of themselves dunking an Oreo cookie in milk an post it on Facebook, Instagram or Tweeter with the hashtag “#OREODunkSweepstakes”. People who take part in this campaign have the opportunity to win a prize trip and $2,000. Oreo invited celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, Christina Aguilera to be the spokespeople of the campaign and made video to show off thrilling ways to dunk Oreo cookies.

Like in this video,  O’Neal flies down a silk rope with a very fancy clothes and dunks the cookie in milk. His way to dunk the cookie seems a little exaggerated, but it’s true a very interesting and innovative video.

For Christina’s video, she rides a bike on a tightrope and dunks the cookie upside down.

These two videos show the extreme way to dunk the Oreo, of course on one will do it the same way. The campaign aims to bring joy and fun to people, which it definitely accomplishes. Since Oreo’s “Wonderfilled” campaign in 2013, Oreo always focus on making people feel fun when eating cookies, and want people to play with Oreo. They shot many interesting videos which are full of innovation and let people take part in their campaign.

The new “Oreo Dunk Challenge” campaign turns to be a big success. One of the video “Got your back dunk” has been played more than 2 million times and we can see the videos on the home page of Shaquille O’ Neal’s and Christina Aguilera’s Facebook accounts. When we search the hashtag #OREODunkSweepstakes on Facebook, we can see many videos posted by not only ordinary people but also other influencers.

As for the Tweeter, I searched for the data within the last seven days. There are in total 1,500 tweets with the hashtag #OREODunkSweepstakes that leave total impression over 8 million. I can’t find the data from February 8, but this campaign has lasted over a month, we can imagine how big the influence can be on Tweeter.

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So what makes Oreo’s campaign a great success? The first and most important thing is innovation. The message they deliver and the videos they take are very innovative and joyful, which will keep people interested and curious. Start with a good idea means you are halfway to your success. Second is the good use of social media platforms. Oreo interacts with people through social media and makes people feel engaged. That engagement can make people feel more enthusiastic with the brand. Third is the celebrity. A good celebrity can help deliver the message very efficiently. Their influence on social media can be really helpful.

Be careful! You can never figure out what will people think on social media

Many people must have experienced the similar situation that you did something for good, but your friends could misunderstand you and felt hurt, and you will never figure out why your friends would think that way.

This situation can happen within  friends. As for social media, every word we say and every picture we post, they can be seen by millions of people . We can never figure out what will people think about the things we post. Sometimes the result can be very harmful.

This unfortunate situation happened to Gap in 2016.

For Gap’s advertising campaign “Meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything” on April 2, Gap tweeted a photo. In the ads, four girls are posting differently. A taller white girl is resting her arm on the head of a shorter black girl, which triggered the controversy.

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(https://twitter.com/GapKids/status/716324354670403585)

Many people found this ad very racist because they thought the write girl was using the black girl as “armrest”. And they tweeted their angry words.

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(http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2016/04/06/gap-apologizes-racially-insensitive-ad/82692692/)

(http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-35968787)

There were some people who didn’t think the picture as racist, but most responses were negative. People’s responses on social media did a great harm to Gap’s brand reputation.

On Monday, Gap apologized to critics and decided to replace the image in the ad campaign. “As a brand with a proud 46-year history of championing diversity and inclusivity, we appreciate the conversation that has taken place and are sorry to anyone we’ve offended,” a Gap spokeswoman said in a statement. “This GapKids campaign highlights true stories of talented girls who are celebrating creative self-expression and sharing their messages of empowerment. We are replacing the image with a different shot from the campaign, which encourages girls (and boys) everywhere to be themselves and feel pride in what makes them unique.” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/gap-pulls-ad-called-racist-apologizes-critics/story?id=38190519)

Gap made a clear announcement about what message they wanted to deliver through the ad. And Le Petit Cirque, the youth performance group stood out to say that the four girls were a very close family and the black girl was the little sister who was kind of  a shy girl. Filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry even tweeted a picture from an old Gap ad campaign that showed a tall black girl resting her arm on the head of a shorter white girl. But at that time, no one said something about racist.

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(https://twitter.com/MatthewACherry/status/716753585552302080/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)

So, was the ad really racist? For me, definitely no. I only see four beautiful girls doing different poses which can demonstrate their personalities. And for Gap, their intention for this ad campaign was great, I believe that they though nothing about racist. They just couldn’t figure out what would people think on social media.

Gap’s response to the criticism showed that Gap was a brand that helped everyone to demonstrate their beauty and unique with a good attitude. But unfortunately, just after four months, Gap’s another ad made them under the fire of sexist(http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/08/03/gap-comes-under-fire-for-sexist-back-to-school-advertisement/).

These social media crisis could really harm Gap’s brand reputation. So what should they do to avoid making the same mistakes again?

First, think before putting things on social media. They must think carefully about how people can react about the things they post. If they can figure out the possible negative responses in advance, try to avoid those points.

Second, test before putting things on social media. It is true that there are always some people whose thoughts we can never figure out. Do some test to see clearly how will people respond. So they can make some change before it is too late.

Third, have a good PR team. Once they make the mistake again, make sure to have a good PR team that can response timely through different media channels. Make apologize, explain the situation and quell people’s anger.

You can never figure out what will people think on social media. So, be careful!

 

 

 

 

 

Email Marketing: The Most Effective Way of Digital Marketing

I have been in American for more than half year now. To be honest, the usage of email here is definitely the top three in the list of “Things that surprise me most”.

Back in China, I seldom had chance to use any email, except that I may need an email to sign up for some accounts or as a security methods. But since I came here, I receive emails almost everyday. Some are from school, some from Amazon and some from different brands.

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(Most effective digital marketing tactics worldwide in March 2016)

(https://www.statista.com/statistics/534852/effective-digital-marketing-tactics/)

According to the data,  email is the most effective digital marketing method world wide, especially in US. As a marketing students, especially in the age of economic globalization, we need to understand the importance of email marketing and learn how to use it better.

I have read some news about email marketing.

The first article is named “Marketers are sending fewer emails & getting better open rates“. The article says According to SendGrid’s 2017 Email Benchmark report, the average email send rate has dropped from 9.8 sends per month in 2016 to 8.1 in 2017. Even though the send rates were down, the open rates increased. This means that instead of the quantity of emails, marketers are now pay more attention to the quality and the content of the emails they send. It is true that a lot of emails without good contents can only end with unopened or junk mail. This article also points out the growth of mobile email consumption. It’s true for me that I read almost all of my emails on my phone. I have email app and I can read my email whenever I want. I don’t need to wait until I have access to computer. So a mobile-responsive template is now very important to email marketing.

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The second news I read is “Turn your email challenges into opportunities to get more personal“. This article is mainly about the how to use data to create personalized email marketing strategies. One thing that I like very much in this news is that the author pointed out that marketer should also look to external data signals generated by the customers. With all the data, marketers can design the right email to the right people at the right time. They should also coordinate triggered emails with digital advertising and website personalization. For me, a personalized email or website will definitely more appeal to me. It makes me think that they are target to me and I am a valued customer. Also the information they offer is always relevant to me, so that I can find something helpful. Personalization is a trend that every digital markers should follow.

Another article is “5 tips for sending an email blast without getting blacklisted“. We can’t personalize every email, we still need email blasts for most of time. Email blasts can be effective, but also easily to end up in the blacklists. This article give us 5 tips to avoid getting blacklisted. And one tip I think very important is “only email blast recipients who have opted in”. The double opt-in methods can be use for new subscribers to make sure if they want to receive email blasts. Now there is a very popular saying in China, which is “I will never reply to the text that is group-sent”. It is same with the email. Email blasts are very likely to be ignored or make people feel annoyed. It’s important to have strategies when sending the email blasts.

Email marketing is a very important digital marketing tool. Here is what I think the three most important things for email marketing: 1. Content. 2. Personalization. 3. Mobile response. A good email can give you the best results with the least costs. To be a successful marketer, think about email!

It doesn’t sell cookies, but it makes me want to buy more!

Last week I wrote about the Oreo’s homepage on desktops and smart phones, I found out that Oreo has an app, and it’s not like what general snacks apps would be, selling their products or recipes. Oreo’s app is a game, which surprised me a lot. Why would a snack company decide to make an game app instead of developing another selling platform? With that question in my mind, I downloaded the game.

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The game’s name is “Twist, Lick, Dunk”, which are the three steps to eat Oreo that I think everyone knows. And the way to play this game is also these three steps. I need to twist and lick as many cookies as possible with my finger when they fly through the air and then dunk the cookies into the glass of milk. A very interesting thing is that when I play, it comes with the sounds that make me feel like I am really twisting, licking and dunking the cookies.

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Another interesting setting is that we can use the coins we earn through playing games to unlock the different flavors of the cookies. So at the same time entertaining ourselves, we can also learn about Oreo’s different flavors. The game uses people’s psychological factor that when we play game we want to unlock everything and achieve high score. So when we play it, we can even know more about Oreo’s flavors.

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I think this game does a very good job marketing Oreo.

First, when we play the game, we play with Oreo. Game is a very innovative way to market. It keep us so engaged with the brand. We can not only entertain ourselves but also learn about Oreo’s different flavors. The three steps to eat Oreo are deeply into our mind and the game uses these three steps, so when I play it, it makes me feel like I want to follow the steps to eat Oreo too. Also the cookies in the game look very delicious, the game really makes me want to buy some Oreo.

Second, the aesthetic design of the game is very good. It uses blue and white as the main colors, which is coordinate with Oreo’s logo and website. The cartoon characters and the cookies are very fascinating and we can even choose different background when we play it. The good design of the game and the lively back ground music make me want to play it again and again.

Third, the game only takes a little space in our phone. It is only 66 MB, much more smaller than Candy Crash. We can entertain ourselves and kill time with only 66 MB space, why not?

But there is one thing that I find a little annoying about the Oreo game. There are too many advertisements in this app. Every time I finish the game, an add will pop out and sometimes when I start the game, the add will pop out too. Too many adds can reduce our passionate to use the app. I hope they can reduce the adds in the game.

Using game is a very clever and innovative way to market in the digital world. The game doesn’t sell cookies, but it makes me want to buy more!

 

 

 

OREO: The Wonder of UX

Oreo is one of my favorite cookie brands since I was a child but I have never visited their website before. After I decided to write the UX of Oreo, I was quite curious what would their website be like. Maybe the theme would be black—since the key word of Oreo is chocolate—with some cartoons or young children. When I visited their website, I found out I was wrong.

The main colors of Oreo’s website are blue and white and the design is quite simple. I wondered why they choose blue instead of black until I finally noticed their logo. The colors of Oreo’s logo are blue and white. So the design of the website matches the logo very well, which I think is very clever.

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Oreo’s website give me a good user’s experience.

First, the website is very easy and pleasure to use. The design is simple and I can see all the messages clearly. The menu is on the top and the icons linked to the social media accounts are just next to the menu. And when I am in different sub-pages, it is very easy for me to go back to the home page—just click their logo on the top. The color matches the logo very much and doesn’t make my eyes feel uncomfortable. And on home page,  I can have a glance at their social media contents without going to their pages, which I think is very unique and convenience.

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Second, the website has a fascinating content. It tells the story of wonder. What will happen if we give Oreo to different people, different animals or even different imaginary characters? Oreo can give us a wonderful world full of imagination and beauty. They use very unique cartoon characters to make them more fascinating. For example, they tell us a brand new story of the wolf and three little pigs. After the wolf eats Oreo, he becomes a good friend of three pigs and live a happy life together with the pigs. They also tell us we can play with Oreo everyday differently if we can imagine.

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The image they use to show ” Open up to wonder” is very interesting too. We can see two people open an a biscuit and what inside is white. On one hand, it is cream so it is white. But on the other hand, white means blank. We can imagine whatever we want. Different people will have different answers so what we open is a wonderful world.344

Oreo tells a good story of “wonder”. The other main task of the website is to introduce all of their products. They also do a good job. They have sub-pages and pictures to introduce their different product series, which are clear and organized. Although we can’t buy cookies from the website, it has the function to search where is the nearest place for us to buy the cookies we want, which is very user centered.

Oreo also has the website for mobile device, which shares the same information with the website for laptop or desktop but fits very well on my mobile phone. It also uses blue and white as the main colors. The mobile website has clear menu and go back to home page function, it also has the link to the social media accounts, and even has the link to APP store to download the Oreo game, which is specially designed for the mobile. The mobile website is very easy to use. I think I like the website for mobile more than the website for laptop. But that is just because I use my mobile phone more often. They are both very fascinating websites for me. It seems like Oreo doesn’t have special website for tablet now.

Oreo gives me wonderful user’s experience. It is true a wonderfilled brand.

 

(Oreo’s website: http://www.oreo.com/ )

 

Test, Test, Test

To be honest, when I knew that our assignment was to take the fascination advantage test and write something about it, I felt surprised. I never have someone asked me to write down my thoughts about a personality test.

I have done lots of tests like that before to see my personality. Some tests asked me many questions and then made a conclusion. Some also asked questions, but different choices would jump me to different questions and finally led me to a certain type of personality. Some just gave me a situation and asked me what would I do under that circumstance, and only one choice could see what type of person I am. Some even let me to choose a picture so that they would know me clearly, just like this one below.

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(http://www.xinli001.com/ceshi/23254778/start)

I always did these things as a kind of entertainment. Each time I would see some things that match me very much and some other things dislike me at all. I don’t trust these things very much, they are just like the constellations. There are only 12 constellations and some kinds of personalities, but there are billions of people in the world. We can’t just put all people into 12 categories, and likewise, we can’t know what kind of people we are just depend on several simple questions.

But are those tests totally useless? The answer is “No”. Sometimes they can help us know ourselves more clearly and help us know our strengths and weaknesses.

For my fascination advantage test, the conclusion is I am “The Subtle Touch”. My primary advantage is mystique and my second advantage is passion. My dormant advantage is prestige.

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I have to say, most of the results match me. Like “I intrigues others with understatement”, “I rarely show inner emotions”, “I can remain calm in situations of pressure” and “I create strong and immediate emotional connections” and so on. Especially for the point that I don’t show my inner emotions. It’s true that I don’t like to tell other people about my personal thoughts. And for the dormant advantage part, it is true that I don’t like to compete with others. Usually I feel satisfied with my own accomplishment. I don’t need to compare with others to see if I do a good job.

But there are also some points that I don’t agree with. The results show I am a humor person which I am not. And I don’t think I usually make careful decisions. In fact, I always make decisions just following my heart. I got a low score with the power aspect. But I like to take control and tell others what to do, especially in the area that I am familiar with.

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When I did the test, there were some questions that I was not sure which answer I should choose. So I used to think that the results would not match me very well. But the fact is most of the results match me, and I am very surprised by that. Even though, I still don’t trust these kinds of personality tests. I am already a grown-up and I know what kind of person I am. I will still treat these tests as entertainment and perhaps as I grow up, I will stop doing these kinds of thing.

A very appealing thing about this fascination advantage test is the idea of fascination as a marketer. To be a marketer we need to deal with lots of clients, how to fascinate them within 9 seconds may let us stand out of other competitors. This test is helpful. It gives us some words to describe ourselves and maybe someday we will use those words.