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!

Coke tastes best when… not flat.

I’m sure you’ve seen it. I’m sure you’ve watched the ads. I’m sure you’ve at least heard of it! Do you know what I’m referring to now?

No, I’m not referring to Pepsi. Stop talking about Pepsi and their ridiculous advertisement to end war with Pepsi. Just stop.
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I’m talking about the OTHER ad. You know the one… With the red background and the woman wearing a yellow dress. You got it now?

Let’s talk about this insane advertisement. Not once does the brand even mention it’s own name, but you still know what it’s referring to. Just by looking at the colours, red and yellow, and knowing where “that place where Coke tastes so good” even is.

Okay you must have realised what I’m talking about. Otherwise, please Google “the place where Coke tastes so good” then come back… Please come back.

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With Coca Cola being such a popular soft drink, it’s intriguing how this brand has leveraged Coke and Google to boost its brand image.

So, what makes this ad so successful?

With such bad advertising and publicity lately on social media, it’s finally time for some genius marketing to happen. Let’s just say, for one, it’s great timing! This ad has come and answered all our prayers for some good advertising.

  1. Google “that place where Coke tastes so good”.
  • Seriously do it. Then comment below what happened. Seriously, you won’t regret it. It’s just… wow. Boom. Mind blown.

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  1. “That Place where Coke tastes so good” website
  • It literally goes through all the reasons why Coke tastes the best at this place. It even points out how Pepsi made a terrible ad and that they are doing exceptionally well. I think the whole idea of getting consumers to interact by Googling something to find out more is such an amazing thing. It gets consumers who are genuinely intrigued with the advertisement talking about the brand and boosting its brand image through social media platforms.
  1. Their advertisements
  • So, their advertisements stars Mindy Karling who talks about “that place” with delicious tasting Coke. There are three advertisements – Search It, Secret Identity, and Beverage Technician.
  • They are very subtle advertisements. They go for no more than 30 seconds and tell you everything you need to know about this brand without even naming it.
  • Consumers can easily tell which brand the ads are referring to, from the famous colours of red and yellow. Mindy Karling also uses her humour to talk about the brand in a different way, such as how great one part of the brand is instead of overall how great the brand is.
  • Instead of boasting about how great their products are, Mindy talks about one great aspect and requests consumers use their mobile devices to “Google that place where Coke tastes so good”.
  • In this way, consumers are talking about the brand in relation to Coca Cola on their own and deciding for themselves whether it’s good or bad. The company loses nothing and the ad doesn’t damage its brand image because consumers are deciding their own opinions, rather than the brand deciding for them.
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4. What does this mean for advertising?

  • To me, it means that bigger is not always better and simple might be best. This brand has shown us, marketers, that consumers are moving towards online and it’s important to make your company accessible on the internet. Especially, accessible online through all devices. If you’re going to put anything online, make sure that it can be accessed through all devices and that it’s displayed properly on all devices. It’s also important to let your target audience know that you’re responding to their needs, by adapting as they adapt.

So, what do you think? Do you love it? Do you hate it? I mean, I love it. I think it’s great! And super clever. But the real question is, who wants a $1 Coke from that place?
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Until next time, leave a comment below and give this post a like!

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Let’s get down to business

Welcome to the world where everything means business. Well not everything, but you know what I mean!

Instagram has changed the dynamic of their company by adding a “business” component. This allows consumers to use their platform to promote their brand online. How cool is that?

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Let’s start by looking at how Instagram’s business component has innovated digital marketing. This app has become an amazing way to boost brand awareness and an effective way for building a brand’s image.

In this generation, we are constantly needing to be relevant and up-to-date. Instagram is the perfect platform place to do this because you can use it to check out the latest trends, check out what your friends are doing, stalk your SO, and even stalk that one girl you have a problem with even though you’ve never met her.

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According to Forrester, Instagram has a rate of 4.21 % follower engagement. This means that Instagram is generating more engagement per follower than Facebook by 58 times. It is also generating more than Twitter by 120 times.

So as a digital marketer, what does this mean for us?

It has opened a gateway for ordinary people to advertise themselves as a brand. Big brands and companies are sponsoring ordinary people with lots of followers on Facebook and/or Instagram to advertise their products/services.

Now, I know this is nothing new. We’ve all seen “instafamous” people and YouTubers advertising products or services online. My point is that these social media platforms have adapted. They have given us all an opportunity to advertise online in the most simplest way.

For example, if you go onto your Instagram account (if you have one) and click onto “Settings”, scroll down to the “Account” section, and you’ll see an option called “Switch to Business Profile”. This allows anyone to switch their Instagram profile, from an ordinary account, to a business account. Take a look at what it looks like below.

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So, how do ordinary people use Instagram Business?

Well, it’s really quite simple. But like all things it takes time, A/B testing, playing around with, or even just researching strategies to use. But here are some key things that I think you should take a look at if you’re thinking of branding yourself on Instagram.

  1. What’s your strategy? What makes you unique? Or not unique?
  • What I’m referring to here is, what’s the purpose of you using Instagram business. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your goals, motives and mission statement before doing anything else. The most important thing with Instagram is consistency. Without consistency, you risk looking sloppy, unprofessional and even unorganised. So, clearly layout how often you’ll post, what time of day, and choose a theme for your account.
  1. Who are you?
  • You need to discover who you are in every way. Go out and learn something new. Go out and try something new. Do something that makes you feel special and original and then post a bunch of photos about it on your account.

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  • I’m just kidding! You can do these things if you wanted to but really, what you need is to build a brand identity. If your brand identity is to be you, then be you! If it’s to be a fitspo model, then start working out. If it’s to become the next big foodie, then start taking photos of all your meals. Whatever it may be, be sure it’s what you want to do and stick to it. It’d be confusing to your followers if you had a bunch of different things going on.
  1. The Engagement Party
  • You’ve got to engage with your audience! Reply to comments you receive, like photos back, or even follow people back! It’s important to take on all opportunities and really make the most out of your experience on social media. Stay relevant by keeping yourself updated with who you follow (and maybe even your competitors).

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  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes 
  • Making mistakes is part of the whole process. If you don’t like a photo you’ve uploaded, delete it and re-upload a new one. If you’ve spelt something wrong in your caption, re-upload the photo with the right caption but be sure to sign “edit” otherwise you might get called out.

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These are some of my own tips just from using Instagram myself. Hootsuite has some excellent tips and guides for beginners using Instagram Business. Check them out and get down to business!

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

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Artificial Intelligence is coming…

In our day and age, the internet has become a necessity in day-to-day life. We can access everything to anything just by typing in a few words into Google. Have you ever really thought about how much access we have to things when using the internet? It’s beyond crazy.

Remember when you added items into your shopping cart and then immediately exited the webpage after looking at the subtotal? And then you got an email an hour later being like “Where did you go? You forgot all the items in your cart!”

Sounds a bit like stalking, doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is…

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Data mining is the act of analysing data from different perspectives and then summarising it into useful information. Parks and Recreation, a American comedy sitcom, had the best episode demonstrating how creepy and stalker-ish data mining can be. To understand the rest of this article, click here to watch a short clip of what I’m referring to.

Now, of course I haven’t seen any business mess up as bad as Gryzzl did on Parks and Rec. The most creeped out I have ever gotten was receiving an email asking me “where I went” after I chose not to spend all my life savings on unnecessary things. But in Pawnee’s case, Gryzzl violated their consumers privacy by using their technology to collect data for evil. The worst part was Gryzzl snuck it into their consumer terms and conditions (which obviously no one reads) stating consumers allow them to have access to their personal information and to use it for whatever they want.

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So, how bad can data mining get? Is this just the beginning? Will our phone’s front camera become our worst nightmare?

These are all very extreme questions that a lot of consumers may be worried about. I know, for sure, that I’m worried about my privacy being violated. I don’t like the idea that someone could be watching me through my webcam or analysing my texts and phone calls. Those are private and way too personal to be seen or heard by any company, just so they can use that information to create an ad.

At the same time, all that information is gold to marketers these days. It is so important to stay relevant and top-of-mind when creating advertisements or promoting products/services so data is needed. So as a marketer, what do we do?

  1. Use your powers for good, not evil.

What do I mean by this? Data is so easy to collect and access. There’s so much data that is collected on our every online move that it can go all downhill if used the wrong way. Consumers shouldn’t need to feel like their identity has been taken from them just so an ad can be created. Yes, it’s nice that I get suggested different types of brands that I might be interested in. But I don’t want companies or anyone to know what kind of food I feel like eating unless I told them.

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2. It’s about providing an experience.

Shopping or just surfing the internet is an emotional experience for consumers. It is important that when consumers use the internet to search for something they can easily access the business and information will be relevant to them. Don’t lose sight of what’s most important – Creating a natural experience when online to help consumers feel more intimate with a business when they see sponsored ads.

3. There’s a line; don’t cross it.

As this blog title suggests, artificial intelligence is on the rise so it is becoming more and more important to know where the “line” is drawn. The line for me is receiving an email asking me to come back and spend all my money on collecting more clothes/make up I don’t need. Any more than that, I may just have to quit the internet forever.

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

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I really like memes

I couldn’t sleep the other night and was scrolling through Tumblr and noticed that everything I was reblogging and liking was a meme.

I don’t think I need to provide a definition for what a meme is. But for the off chance that there is a reader who is unfamiliar with the term, a meme is a funny image, video or phrase that is spread across the internet due to it’s ability to humour people.

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There’s just something about memes that are extremely funny but also super simple at the same time. It’s amazing how connected we all feel with each other based on a photo, video or even just a phrase. It has definitely become a norm in our society. With such large platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr etc it is difficult to go a day without actually seeing a meme.

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So, what implications does this mean for a digital marketer?

Well I guess it means that the internet has a place for humour. As marketers, we can use this to our advantage as consumers feel connected when they share similar humour.

A lot of businesses that use social media, have begun using memes in their everyday updates. For example, Popcherry, an online clothing store, has been using a lot of memes to connect with its target audience. Their target audience is young females so most of their memes are female related.

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Obviously for Popcherry, using memes on their social media is working in their favour. It engages consumers to look at the meme and then take a look at their brand. It demonstrates to consumers that Popcherry knows what they want and can deliver it.

However, not all brands reel in the likes. Some brands actually reel in hate instead. There are a lot of brands that are trying to use memes to communicate with its consumers but don’t use it properly or effectively that it reels in a lot of negative attention.

Yes, it’s nice that brands are incorporating memes into their advertising but it needs to be done right. There is a right and wrong way to use memes and slang. If used correctly, it draws in consumers like free food. If used incorrectly, you’ll get shamed like Cersei in Game of Thrones.

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What do you think? Do you like when brands use memes? Or would you prefer it stay amongst us consumers and let it naturally become popular?

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

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“Evolving consumer behaviour and attitude isn’t just a function of age or even a life stage.”

Today’s blog post title quotes an article I read recently on Marketingmag called Are your customers Millennials or just highly evolved?

To summarise (for those who can’t be bothered reading), Anjali Lai an analyst for Forrester wrote an article about how technology and growth in digitisation will change Australian marketing. Forrester uses a spectrum called “Empowered Customer Segmentation” to measure the shifts in consumer behaviour and attitudes responding to innovation and categorising them into segments.

Here’s the image provided in the article. It demonstrates how to apply Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation in Asia Pacific.

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These are the five different segments consumers fall under, depending on their response to innovation and change.

  • Progressive Pioneer: demand product and service innovation
  • Savvy Seekers: first to learn about innovation & engage with new changes
  • Convenience Conformers: anything that is convenient only after they are widely available
  • Settled Survivor: motivated by adaptation, not trends
  • Reserved Resisters: least enthusiastic about product or service

From these segments and the percentages above, you can see that Australian companies have an opportunity to engage customers through digital. There is a wide-open opportunity to increase the number of Progressive Pioneers and decrease the number of Reserved Resisters.

So, what does this mean for you? Why even care about this segmentation? What does it imply to a future marketer? What does this imply to a consumer?

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Well, that’s simple. The title explains it all.

Consumers are ever-changing with their wants, needs, and demands that it doesn’t make sense to group people based on their function of age or life stage.

Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation has opened a gateway to a different perspective of understanding a consumer and looking for a new way to reach them digitally.

For a future marketer, as empowered customer expectations grow, there will be a need for a better understanding of customer motivation, growth in empowerment, trends, smartphone usage etc. With this growing need of learning more about consumers,

(1) You can definitely find a job. There is so much work to be done in terms of developing and maintaining digital marketing, that there is no way you’ll be unemployed when you graduate (given you actually try and put in the work).

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(2) There is so much more to learn. Look at all the opportunities we have, as future marketers, to embrace and take advantage of. Now is the time to act.

For a consumer, as the world is becoming digital you have the power to make things the way you want it to be. Businesses and marketers are always analysing your every online move. So, move swiftly and carefully as it can determine how you use the internet.

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Even with all of this knowledge there is one important factor that cannot be overlooked. It is prominent that marketers, business leaders, and organisations understand that it’s about finding the right digital experience, not about the product or service.

Yes, the quality and value of a product and service is important. However, it means nothing if it doesn’t provide the consumer with the experience they want from the product or service.

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This article has given me so much to think about in terms of where digital marketing can take us. But I leave you with some questions to think about:

  • What type of segment do you fall under?
  • How has going digital changed your life?
  • What do you want to be improved?

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

Where do you want to go eat?

This question gets asked more than we think it does. Every single couple, group of friends or even first dates will experience this dreadful question.

The possible answers are in a constant battle of “I don’t know” or “You choose” or “I’m happy with anything” – even though you low-key want to go to that Mexican place with the soft tacos.

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You see… Most of the time, it’s difficult to pick a place to eat because you may not know where to even begin looking. I personally like to use Instagram or Zomato to grab ideas.

With social media growing rapidly, we are all equipped with apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr etc. These platforms have become the greatest weapons a business will use in order to draw you into buying their products or using their service.

Well, here’s the game changer. Not only are they going to convince you to buy unnecessary products and services, but they’re also going to tell you where you should go eat too.

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Hootsuite, a social media management platform, discovered that 71% of customers base their purchasing decisions from what they find out on social media. Apparently, using Instagram can grow a business’ audience by up to ten times.

Now, we all know how Instagram runs nowadays. It is full of social media influencers who will showcase their make up skills, beautiful athletic bodies or aesthetically pleasing homes to draw in consumers. Instagram has basically become the home-ground of using the hashtag “goals” and seeing the comment “omg want”.

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So, it makes sense that now restaurants, bars, and hotels are leveraging these influencers to draw attention to their established businesses. “Hotels, bars, and restaurants are tagged every 28 seconds on Instagram”, says Hootsuite.

And I guess at this point you’re probably wondering, “What does this all mean?”

Basically, it means that as a consumer we are changing the way we make decisions. We are moving away from research, hardcore evidence and our own experiences. As social media rises, consumers are looking at follower count, amount of likes, positive/negative comments and reviews, how often it’s shared, and even who the influencer is.

Social media has given us (consumers) the ability to jump onto any band-wagon even if it’s “all show, no result”, as long as there are lots of followers, likes, and shares.

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If you’re a business entering into social media, here’s some advice:

  • Be social – What I mean by this is, actively post photos, videos, and read and respond to comments from customers.
  • Choose your platform carefully – You don’t want to be stuck with a platform that consumers don’t use or can’t all access.
  • Plan, plan, plan – There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing an amazing flat-lay of brunch and seeing a spelling mistake in the description.
  • Be consistent – Ensure that your activity aligns with what your business is about.
  • Prepare to spend money, time & energy – There’s a 24/7 expectation from customers who will want to be endlessly entertained.
  • Keep it simple & easy to understand – You don’t want something complicated that causes confusion in your customers.

So, the next time you hear or ask the question “Where do you want to go eat?” be sure to check out what the latest hype is.

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

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