What does “Value” mean to you?

So, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my adventures in China and the marketing insight I discovered whilst on the trip. Have a read of my previous post to understand my marketing insight!

Value. What does value mean to you?

I propose this question to you because it’s completely subjective for everyone. Value can mean quality, price, quantity, weight, packaging, and/or 50 cents. Value is completely whatever you want it to be. However, value does change depending on the purchase you make, right?

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Value, to me, is what I can get out of the product or service. As a consumer, I want to get the most out of whatever it is I’m buying. Otherwise, I feel as though I’ve wasted my money on something that isn’t going to serve its purpose or know that I could have spent less money on a different brand for the same thing.

Take these two items below for example. Let’s call the left image Brand A and the right image Brand B.

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Picture you’re a customer, strolling through the shops looking to buy some new tupperware for your home. You get to the tupperware section of the store and find these two options on the shelf side by side. Both products are the same price, have the same function, and let’s pretend that both products offer the same amount of containers. You analyse the products by touch, sight, smell. You think about what uses both brands offer you in terms of how you store your food. You create a mental pros and cons list, whilst standing in the shopping aisle. Surely, you’ve been in a situation like this before?

So, where does value come into play in this scenario?

Value comes into play when you start to analyse both brand in terms of its ability to meet your needs. For example, my need could be that I want to be able to see all my food in the container therefore the colour of the box must be transparent. From the photos above, Brand A is more likely my choice because I value being able to see my food through the box instead of opening the lid.

I know this post is short but I am so swamped with university. It is insane.

Please tell me what your thoughts are of the concept of “value” in terms of marketing! I would love to read your thoughts and hear some feedback.

Until next time, give this post a like and leave a comment!

 

 

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My trip to China was amazing!

Hi all,

I hope everyone is doing well! My apologises for the lack of blog posts and engagement. University life has hit me hard and I’m not entirely out of the holiday mood, even though it’s almost week 4!

So, in terms of China. Why China? Where did I go in China? What did I do? Why was it amazing?

  1. China is a huge country that is jammed packed with over a billion people. It’s an entire market on its own in Asia and it’s one that every business should try to get into. There are so many opportunities (and risks) which I will discuss further in later blog posts!
  2. I got to travel to Shanghai and Beijing whilst in China
  3. I went to China to study for 2 weeks as part of the Global Study Program in Marketing with Monash University. It was a group of 16 students accompanied with 3 teachers and 1 tour guide.
  4. It was amazing because we (myself and the other students) got to speak with CEO, managing directors, general managers and other higher ups about marketing in China. They were all incredibly successful and insightful. It has motivated me and ignited a bigger flame of passion within me to pursue marketing as a career. I look forward to the challenges ahead!

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In the beginning, I thought a lot about what I would write about in terms of my blog posts… I thought long and hard about what would be inspirational and compelling for people to read about. I’ve decided to walk you through what I’ve learnt about marketing in China through multiple blog posts, starting with this one.

In this first section of “Marketing in China”, I will go briefly explain what a “marketing insight” is and what marketing insight I discovered during my time in China.

A marketing insight is a “deep understanding of some future direction likely to impact business, consumers or society”. It’s important to understand the definition of a marketing insight compared to a basic insight because the end goals are different. A marketing insight focuses on its consumers, the society and how things are going to affect the business, whereas a basic insight looks to understand someone or something.

When trying to discover a marketing insight in China (as part of an assessment), I found it extremely difficult because I was looking for the “right” answer. It has taken me a lot of time and patience to come to realise that there is no “right” answer when it comes to discovering an insight. Insights come from observation, looking at trends, and analysing events. There is no “right” answer because when discovering an insight it’s about trying to understand why an event has occurred in the first place.

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The insight I discovered during my time in China is that Chinese consumers purchase behaviours depend on the value of their purchase. What I mean by this is that, when I saw someone buy something it was very dependent on whether or not the product/service had value. Obviously, value is subjective to everyone however I found that Chinese consumers had a similar idea of a definition in value. Value to Chinese consumers meant it would be long-lasting, it is worth the price, it will actually mean something to themselves and their family.

I came to this conclusion when I was shopping with my friends in Shanghai. We decided to go to the fake market, underneath the Science Museum, and looked around for some designer handbags and shoes. One of my friends had already been previously so she introduced us to a friend she had made that worked at the market – this person’s name was Julie.

Now if you’ve ever been to a market in Asia, you know that majority of the stores look exactly the same just with different variations of brands or types of products that the owners could bulk sell items if they could. However, we didn’t buy anything from these stores. Julie brought us to a secret back room that had limited edition fake designer handbags that are only shown and sold to women/men of the owner’s choosing. It was an incredible sight. I had never ever seen anything like this.

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So, how does this relate to my marketing insight about value? It has everything to do with it. I observed and listened to women and men bargaining for different designer goods left and right, front and centre. It was insane how much bargaining there was going on! My marketing insight works both ways in terms of buyer and seller. The buyer bargains for the best price because their value is based on how much they are willing to spend. Whereas, the seller bargains for the best price because their value is based on how much money they can make.

I said in my video assessment that I had the assumption that Asian people were “stingy” and didn’t like to spend money but I was proven wrong when I was in China. Chinese consumers have money to spend and can spend lots of it in a very short amount of time. It is very dependent on how much value they can gain out of the amount of money they spend.

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But how is this a deep understanding of some future direction likely to impact business, consumers or society? Well, it affects any country that has Chinese tourists. If you’re a marketer in a country where there are loads of Chinese tourists visiting yearly, you would need to understand their wants, needs, and also behaviour. From my understanding in the little time I had spent in China, I found that Chinese consumers spend their money dependent on value of their money. It drives future direction that may impact business because it’ll affect how businesses (that have lots of Chinese consumers) advertise, operate, and sell. It impacts Chinese consumers because businesses are customising their business model towards them. It impacts other consumers because they may also start adopting to the trend of value.

I hope my blog post has made some sense. It was very difficult to wrap my head around when I was in China and trying to explain my thoughts on camera (video assessment).

If you’ve ever been to China, tell me your thoughts below about what you think of my marketing insight! And do you have any marketing insights about China of your own?

Until next time, give this post a like and leave a comment!

Sailor Moon has her own phone!

Nostalgia marketing is when marketers uses something from the consumer’s past in their advertisements, package design or even in branding. Nostalgia refers to something sentimental or wistful that occurred in the past.

Brands tap into the positive memories consumers have that are associated with existing brands, ideas, toys or even songs. This is to try and create an association between their product/service and the consumer’s happy memories. By creating an association between the brand’s product/service with happy memories, consumers may be more inclined to purchase it.

People were found to more likely spend money if the product/service reminded them of the past Source. It has been found that Millennials are the most influenced by this because they feel a stronger sentiment than past generations Source. Which totally makes sense because when Pokemon Go came out, I flipped! And when I went to Japan over the summer, I bought a Tamagotchi on impulse… I don’t even use it anymore but I’m glad I bought it.

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Recently, Meitu (a Chinese phone company) teamed up with the anime Sailor Moon and released an official Sailor Moon phone with a matching wand selfie stick. 

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The phone set comes with Meitu’s latest version of the M8, in a customised pink with the Sailor Moon logo on the back Source. It also comes with accessories, including the magic wand selfie stick, a phone case and a little pink button thing… I don’t know what it is and no one seems to be talking about that so… whatever I guess?

This is a perfect example of nostaglia marketing because it’s totally working on me… But seriously? This is great because as a consumer, I associate Sailor Moon with my childhood. I remember watching Sailor Moon on the weekends with my little sister. We would love to pretend to be the sailor scouts or Sailor Moon herself and dance around when she transformed into her gear. I mean, this product is totally working for me.

But getting back to how this relates to marketing…

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  • Why does nostalgia marketing work best on Millennials?

By recreating positive memories, marketers can make millennials feel good. As we all know, our emotions can affect whether we purchase a product/service Source. Ever been successful shopping when you’re upset or hungry? Probably not. Brands leverage the release of happiness consumers feel when they remember positive memories through association. I think, Meitu’s Sailor Moon phone will be a success because it taps into the fandom of the anime but also the positive memories fans have.

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  • Why does creating emotion work for consumers?

Marketers aim to create memorable advertisements/products/services so consumers can easily recall the brand. By associating the brand with something from a consumer’s positive memories, this will enhance the recall Source. For example, the Sailor Moon phone works for me because the anime Sailor Moon is a retrieval cue and I recall my childhood memories when I see the name/logo. From this, salience occurs as I become attracted to the product and want to gather more information. Overall, I feel happy when I see Sailor Moon and also feel happy to purchase the product.

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  • Can nostalgia marketing work for all brands?

I don’t think it can work for all brands. It may not work depending on who the brand wants to target. For example, Pokemon Go exploded and became very successful because it not only targeted consumers who grew up with Pokemon but also youth and children today. It leveraged the nostalgic feelings Millennials and other generations felt and it passed on as curiosity and excitement to younger generations. I believe it really depends on who the brand wants to target, otherwise nostalgia may not occur and consumers may get confused.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I have spent writing it! I will let you all know if I get my hands on the Sailor Moon phone. Lucky for me, I will be heading to China in June so fingers crossed I can get my hands on one!

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Until next time, leave a comment below and give this post a like!

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AR or VR?

Firstly, we’ll go through the definitions in case there are non-marketing people reading this blog post. Augmented reality (AR) refers to a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. Source

Virtual reality (VR) refers to an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. Source

Augmented reality and virtual reality have become a new marketing strategy a lot of brands have taken on to become more entertaining. Since the rise of smart phones and technology, it has become increasingly popular to many brands.

There has been some confusion amongst consumers about the difference between AR and VR. Augmented reality uses the real world environment and “augmented” visual objects. These can be visually obtained through a smart phone or device. Virtual reality is creating an interactive virtual environment. This can be obtain through a headset or specialised goggles. Source

As a digital marketer, these strategies are valuable because it demonstrates innovation and creativity in the brand. It also provides entertainment for the consumers. By making advertisements/products/services more interactive, consumers are more likely to recall and recognise the brand thus influence brand loyalty.

Here are some examples of AR and VR

Audi VR Experience

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Audi has started to use virtual reality to advertise their new car, Audi Q5 model. The experience involves going to the Audi dealership in Oslo, entering a sandbox where consumers will be able to sit in a VR chair and use a headset to enter the virtual reality. There, the consumers will be able to stimulate a real-life drive in the new Audi Q5 on a course of their choosing!

Snapchat

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Snapchat is a great example of augmented reality. Back in 2015, Snapchat released their face filters to the world! If you have Snapchat, you’ll know what I’m talking about! The classic “hoe” filter, the unicorn rainbow, face swap etc. Now in 2017, Snapchat has release new “world lenses”. This has allowed consumers to place a 3D object in their scene and move it around as if it was a real object. Users will be able to see 3D objects in their environment through the app when using the back camera.

These are just an example of how AR and VR is currently being used in the world. Although technology has advanced quite a lot over the years, AR and VR still have a long way to go. I believe this is just the beginning for both marketing strategies.

Do you like AR or VR in marketing? What would you like to see AR or VR being used for?

Until next time, leave a comment below and give this post a like!

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The internet is forever

An Instagram famous model Lily MayMac has gotten the spotlight on social media for the wrong reasons. The model has over 3 million followers on Instagram and over 50k followers on Twitter.

Fans have been searching through her Twitter and found old posts where she shamed “short old asian men” and a photo she posted with the hashtag “white power”.

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Lily has received a lot of negative attention, even though the tweets have been deleted. Fans and people have been commenting on the issue saying that she will be “blacklisted” and accusing her of having “white fever”.

So, what does this have to do with marketing?

Well, it’s relevant to marketing because as the title of this blog posts states… The internet is forever. Anyone can backtrack anything on the internet from all the ugly selfies you’ve posted, embarrassing videos or mean messages you’ve sent/received. There is no hiding once it’s up on the internet. It’s a shame that our privacy can’t be kept intact, however being a brand you would have to take care of your brand image.

According to Employment Screening Australia, Australians spend approximately 22 hours on social media every week. As social media becomes important to stay in contact with each other, employers are becoming interested in our personal lives to see what type of person we are outside of the workplace. In terms of conducting social media checks, employers are legally allowed to look at criminal history, experience and qualifications, reference checks, and social media presence.

So, if it’s this important for an employer to search and get to know a future employee, imagine what it’d be like to search for a brand as a consumer?

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As a consumer, I know I like to Google new brands before buying from them to understand their business and read reviews. Now, imagine if you’re searching up a new brand and negative headlines start to pop up. That would turn you away from purchasing anything from them right? Or, imagine you’ve been a loyal customer to a certain brand and then find out that the brand doesn’t support the same values/beliefs that you do?

Now do you understand what I mean by the internet is forever? If a brand doesn’t take care of it’s brand image and lets it’s past mistakes (that they haven’t apologised for or fixed) come to surface, consumers may become filled with rage and put the brand in a negative light.

The same way as what has happened to Lily. Her past posts resurfaced and consumers are now judging her for her previous posts, even though they may have occurred years ago. In our society, with smart phones and available wifi everywhere, it’s easy for consumers to snap a photo or record a video about a brand. And unfortunately for the brand, it may go viral and damage the brand image.

It’s important to look after your brand image, especially digitally.

Do you think Lily deserves the treatment she’s currently getting? How do you think brands can do to fix their mistakes? What can marketers do to help past mistakes?

Until next time, leave a comment below and give this post a like!

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“Make that go viral.”

Make what go viral? Why would I want something to go viral? How can I make it go viral?

Viral marketing has become a big marketing strategy. It’s become huge since an increase of social media platforms and smart phones.

Viral marketing is a phenomenon that facilities and encourages people to pass along marketing message, definition by Marketing Terms. This strategy depends on people passing along the video to more people so it can be viewed more often. If a large enough percentage of people share it, it’ll surely become viral! If the video doesn’t get passed along enough, then the video will just disappear.

Viral trends are much more engaging for consumers to view because they’re rich in content and can engage the viewers. Surely, you’ve all seen a viral video so you’ll know that they’re usually fun, entertaining, and relevant to the viewer’s interest.

As a digital marketer, this approach can be valuable if the video goes viral. It can create big movement on social media and therefore for whatever brand the video is about.

Here are some great examples of viral marketing:

Beyoncé by Beyoncé

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Remember back in 2013/2014 when Beyoncé dropped a new album? Remember how no one got a heads up that the world would be blessed by an album of glorious sound and music? Yeah. That was crazy.

Dam Daniel!

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Dam Daniel! Remember these boys? God I hated this video because it was so unnecessary but it went crazy! Since these boys become super popular through their vines, Vans also became popular and people started to buy Vans like crazy! If you’ve forgotten, or never seen, this video click here.

Although, viral marketing seems amazing for brands it can’t be created. Or at least, as a marketer you can’t make a video or meme or ad go viral. It is totally through word-of-mouth and consumers passing along the message. Marketers can only try to create compelling content and encourage the message to be passed on.

Not all viral marketing is good for a brand. There are a lot of negative things that are spread across the internet about brands. Here are some recent examples:

Grill’d Easter Burger

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This easter Grill’d released this campaign for a “Bunny” burger with a rabbit patty made of pork belly and duck fat, which would be available in 4 Grill’d restaurants. The burger restaurant was trying to create new options for consumers to be more experimental. However, it did not work in the restaurant’s favour. Consumers began to speak out and say that the company was being “unethical” and “disgusting”. Many consumers threatened to boycott the company for this marketing strategy. Although, Grill’d spoke out and said that the meat was “ethically-sourced”, consumers did not agree. Source

Adidas Disaster Email

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Adidas recently released a new line of sports jackets in support of the Boston Marathon. They sent an email to those who subscribed to their subscription with the headline “Congrats you survived the Boston Marathon!” Consumers took to Twitter and shamed Adidas for being insensitive by using this headline. For those who are unaware, the Boston Marathon refers to the Boston bombing that occurred in April, 2013. There was two homemade bombs that went off near the finish line killing 3 people and injuring several people. Consumers believed the headline to be extremely insensitive to those who were affected by the Boston bombing in 2013. Adidas responded with an apology on their twitter.

What do you think about viral marketing? Are there any that stand out to you?

Until next time, leave a comment below and give this post a like!

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Location-Based Marketing

As some of you may know, I’m currently participating in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. If you’re not aware of what that is, it’s a competition where a small team (3 – 6 people) work with a small business to create search advertisements on Google (and related sites) using AdWords.

One of the great things about marketing is that when it comes down to your target audience you can be specific and target particular groups of people. Whether it’s age, gender, education level or income etc, there are lots to choose from when it comes to the consumer’s demographics.

Although demographics are good to think about and target, have you ever thought about where those consumers are from? Do they share a similar location? Are they all coming from the same suburb? Now, I’m not looking at just countries of consumers. I’m talking about a more specific location. Right down to the post code and suburb of consumers.

I mentioned the Google Online Marketing Challenge because when using AdWords, there’s an option called “Location Targeting“. What this means is, you can choose where your ads will appear depending on the location of where it has been searched.

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Now, don’t ask me “How does Google know where I am” or “How does it appear and not appear depending on my location” or “Will the ads appear and then not appear if I jump in and out of the location radius”. Look, I don’t know the technical details but I know why it’s a marketing tactic that can be useful.

Let me give you an example so that it makes more sense. The small business my team and I are working with is called “Company A”. When looking at Facebook metrics and data, we discovered that Company A had a lot of consumers searching their Facebook page in Fitzroy, Collingwood and Northcote.

Now, let’s say that Company A wanted to boost brand awareness to consumers living in these locations and create advertisements that would help improve foot traffic in store. What you can do, by using AdWords, is choose specific locations so that ads will only show in those places. That is, you can choose to have ads show in Fitzroy, Collingwood and Northcote only. Therefore, the advertisements will only show if consumers search particular keywords within these suburbs. How cool is that?

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Now, here’s another example. Say that, Company A knows that Fitzroy, Collingwood and Northcote are where most of their customers are coming from but want to boost awareness to other suburbs near these suburbs too. What you can do (using AdWords) is choose where your ads show within a radius. That is, you can choose how wide of a radius from a particular location – 10km+ Fitzroy or 20k+ Fitzroy. Through this, you can also exclude particular suburbs that fall within the radius you’ve set. This way, your ads will show to only places you want them to and not to irrelevant locations.

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Hopefully my post so far has demonstrated how location target marketing can be useful. However if you’re still confused… How can location-target marketing help marketers engage with consumers?

  • Demographics can be difficult to figure out

It can be difficult for some businesses to target particular demographics if they don’t have the right resources to understand who they want to target. For example, if Company A wanted to target specifically young men who like buying ethically made clothing, it can be difficult to just target those consumers using search advertisements. With location targeting, it makes things a bit easier because you can observe where these type of consumers are from thus show your advertisements based on where they are.

  • Delivering targeted messages

When using location targeted marketing, Company A can deliver messages to those around the area (whether or not they are part of their target market) and thus boost their brand awareness. By having a broader area to target, Company A can offer insightful messages about their brand across all demographics instead of just one.

  • Two birds, one stone

Say Company A discovered that consumers were looking at their website on mobile devices in Fitzroy. By using location targeting (with AdWords), Company A can make sure their advertisements are mobile optimised and target Fitzroy so that the consumers searching for keywords related to Company A’s brand can see their ads. It’s a two birds, one stone kind of thing.

I hope this has given an insight into why location targeted marketing can be useful!

Until next time, leave a comment below and give this post a like!