Click Here and Earn $1,000!!!


“Congratulations! You are the millionth visitor! Fill in your data below and get $1,000 for free!”
I guess you’ve all come across these ads on the internet. Some of you may have clicked on them. Lately, these kind of ‘ads’ are disappearing. Those were/are all scams to get your personal and financial data or infiltrate your computer with viruses. Other (real) advertising banners have also become less and less effective, amongst other things thanks to these scams. What can we do to make online advertising effective again?

From a jaw-dropping 50-90% Click Through Rate to a poor 0.1% CTR (MacDonald 2015). You could say banner ads are not an effective way to promote your product, service or company. There’s also a term describing the phenomenon where website visitors consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information. This is called banner blindness (Nielsen 2007). Yet, there are some ways to improve your (banner) advertising.

Media rich engagement ads are ‘voluntary’ ads. In other words, they expand and play, once you hover above these interactive ads more than two seconds. Beware, consumers may also develop banner blindness to these engagement ads.
Banner blindness does not extend to audio, thus Podcasts are another effective alternative to traditional banners. For example, Spotify uses audio advertising like this. However, hearing the same voice and text over and over again, can be very annoying for consumers.

The opposite of Sponsored Posts and a very effective kind of advertising posts is User Generated Content. In short, consumers themselves post about you on their social networks creating a ‘buzz’. Be careful though: this ‘buzz’ can also be a negative one.
The idea behind Content Marketing is not creating ads that look like content, but actually creating content. “Don’t sell anything, just be useful.” Take a look at CMO.com, Adobe’s initiative (MacDonald 2015).

Another great way to increase advertising effectiveness is not to improve these banners, but rather on how to replace these ineffective (banner) ads. The answer to this problem is: using apps.
Starbucks does a tremendous job by using their app to involve consumers. ‘For Mobile Devices, Think Apps, Not Ads’ (Gupta 2013) discusses some tips to increase this consumer involvement:
– Add convenience
– Offer unique value
– Provide social value
– Offer incentives
– Entertain

The Starbucks app does more than just advertise its products. If you’re interested, you can read more about it in the article.

Do you know other new, creative ways to advertise? Let me know in the comment section below!

References:
– Gupta, S. (2013) ‘For mobile devices, think apps, not ads’, Harvard Business Review 91(3) 71-75.
– MacDonald, M. (2015) ‘Better than Banner Ads: Smart ways to spend your ad dollars in 2015’ via http://www.tintup.com/blog/better-than-banner-ads-smart-ways-spend-ad-dollars-2015-muriel-macdonald/ on September 23, 2015.
– Nielsen, J. (2007) ‘Banner Blindness: Old and New Findings’ via http://www.nngroup.com/articles/banner-blindness-old-and-new-findings/ on September 23, 2015.

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7 Steps to Successful Social Media Marketing

Blog Post Inforgraphic

For this post, I decided to integrate two aspects of this course: application of a tool and external research on social media topics. I found an article in the MIT Sloan Management Review that discussed 7 steps that can help a brand reap greater rewards from their social media campaigns. I have summarized the findings of the report in an infographic, one of the tools discussed by presentation groups in our lecture.

Minecraft, a blockbuster thanks to Word-of-Mouth?

As we could see in this weeks readings, “[…] firms increasingly rely on “network” and “viral” marketing strategies” (Hill et al. 2006, Manchanda et al. 2008, Nam et al. 2010, Retrieved from Aral, & Walker, 2011) in order to drive the product adoption and sales. So basically, the attention is paid on how to make products viral using marketing strategies and campaigns instead of how to design products that can turn  themselves viral (Aral, & Walker, 2011). So I was thinking of a good example of a product that went viral without using any marketing and what came to my mind was Minecraft.

Probably most of you heard or even played Minecraft, but for those who don’t know, it is a sandbox indie game that has its unique look of everything being boxy and sharp. It is not one of those high-profile games with sick graphics and real-life feeling to them. So how is it possible that a game that is not made to be perfect and not made to be fully marketed has earned its huge worldwide success?

While trying to answer this question, I came across a couple interesting articles (Minecraft, the worlds most successful casual game, Why Minecraft is so popular) which all showed some different aspects of the game that made it a blockbuster. However, the one that interested me the most was the fact, that word-of-mouth was one of the factors that facilitated the popularity of the game. So how is it possible that the game became so successful having no advertising/marketing budget, using only word-of mouth? Well I do not think this strategy from the side of the company was on purpose. Minecraft community is fairly tight, anybody can play the game, old/young, gamers/non-gamers. Thus, the whole platform is fueled by people, their engagement, so word-of mouth becomes something natural.

It is only to be discovered why exactly this works. What do you think? Do you know of any other platforms that use this strategy (on purpose or not)?

Get a discount by informing about your purchase

Hey everyone,

Last week I read something on nu.nl about the Dutch theatre duo Jurk! that has developed it’s own model on Facebook in the fight against illegal downloading.

Last Friday Jeroen van Koningsbrugge and Dennis van de Ven launched their own application on Facebook that allows consumers to be able to get up to 60 percent discount on the download of the theatre show Glitterjurk  by informing their friends about their purchase.

With the application the theatremakers anticipate on the changing entertainment market, they state.  That market shows that cabaret and music DVDs hardly sell, while the number of (illegal) downloads and viewership on YouTube increases.

By applying a discount for downloaders who promote the product through Facebook, Jurk! hopes to have found a model that increases the legal downloads.

Dennis van de Ven : ”We don’t have to make a physical product anymore or to share with other parties . By building a download system that is linked to our own iDeal account, we are totally independent in offering our products. And promotion is done so by the buyers themselves.”

Jeroen van Koningsbrugge says 20 euros for a DVD is ”not of this time anymore.” Jeroen: ”Glitterjurk is already available by downloading for 1,49 euros, if you take the self- promotion for your own account.”

I think this model could actually work. I think it is a great way of engaging your fans in launching a product. What are your thoughts on this model?

link: http://www.nu.nl/cultuur-overig/3592972/theaterduo-jurk-stunt-met-downloads.html (dutch)

Another way of online shopping – “Virtual grocery shopping”

Last week we talked a lot in class about buying clothes, goods, services, and many more things online. Today, when I was surfing on YouTube, I discovered a whole new kind of purchasing goods. I guess we all know about the fact that you can purchase your groceries online. In the past few years, many big supermarkets worldwide, such as Walmart (US) and Tesco (UK) (and Albert Heijn in the Netherlands), are offering these services of grocery shopping online. But online grocery shopping is nothing new, it was already introduced by Peapod (US) in 1989 (Ahold, https://www.ahold.com/Media/Peapod.htm), that’s already more than two decades ago! In these past years, online shopping was getting more easier and quicker, and now the third-largest retailer worldwide, Tesco, came up with a new idea to make online grocery shopping even more attractive. Tesco created a new kind of ‘space’ where people can now virtually buy their groceries. We all kill our useless time with our smartphones (and tabloids) during traveling time. If you look around you in the subway or at the train-station whilst waiting, more than half of the people are doing ‘things’ with their gadgets. Therefore, Tesco came up with the idea to actually shop your groceries while you are waiting. Take a look at this video by Tesco (‘Home Plus’):

(Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJVoYsBym88&w=420&h=315)

Tesco introduced this concept in Seoul (South Korea) in the fall of 2011. Tesco is trying to creatively transform the traditional retail business-model by changing space and time. The idea is easy: you have to install the application on your smartphone, whilst waiting scan the QR codes of the groceries you would like to buy, confirm your list and the groceries will be delivered within the day at your home. So you do not have to go to the ‘offline’ supermarkets anymore.

I am a bit skeptical about this virtual grocery shopping, however I must say it is a brilliant marketing idea: posters have a real and useful function now, you don’t have to stand in queues in the supermarket, you are doing something with your useless time, you save time by not going to an actual ‘offline’ supermarket anymore etc.

However, there are also some problems concerning this idea: you are not able to choose all your groceries while waiting on a busy platform with many people scanning products (especially in the busy subways of Seoul), the subway is too small to project all products of a supermarket, people have to deal with high delivery costs, you are not aware of the freshness of products when scanning a product (meat, fish, vegetables, fruit etc.), people will become very lazy in the future etc.

I think the idea is quite interesting, but definitely needs more investigation before implementing in more cities worldwide. Why don’t they just open an application with all available products online? So when you are actually sitting in the subway waiting for your stop, you can click easier on all the groceries (by selecting) and confirm your order (e.g.).

Apparently, the idea by Tesco is working, and a month ago, in Augustus 2012, Tesco opened their first interactive virtual grocery store in Gatwick’s North Terminal (in the UK).

(Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJkt8uqcWro&w=560&h=315)

We will see how it will develop in the UK, and maybe in the future we will all use our smartphone to scan groceries/products.(Source: http://www.goowire.com/?p=258)

Isabel Beijers – 335155

Successful Marketing Campaigns on Social Media

During class today we discussed about successful social media marketing campaigns like Starbucks, IKEA and Target Corp. By curiosity I started searching on the web looking for more social media campaign examples. There are a lot of awesome ideas about how to use social media for your company!

One of my favourite I want to share with you guys is from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dunkin'Donuts

I also found a funny commercial from Evian. This was a remarkable campaign, because most companies first air a commercial on TV and then post it later on the internet. Evian unleashed a funny viral video campaign online and it packed out really good! Their online campaign gained a huge amount of positive reactions on youtube. Now (or not anymore, because it’s ‘old’) you can see the commercial on TV.

Seeing this, it looks like online campaigns have more or less (or even more!) the same  effect than TV. And considering the fact that maybe the costs of using the internet is lower, do you think companies are going to use online campaigns instead of TV? Or will broadcasting on TV be just as attractive in the future? I hope the first one, than I can watch my programs without any disturbances of commercials!!

Ps. In my reaction I promised to post the commercial about dangers of chatting I referred to. Click here to see the youtube video! It’s a dutch commercial, so I hope the internationals among us understand the message of the video :-).