Google Analytics for the Win

Just read this great article on how effective Google Analytics can be for social media marketing. In my experience using Google Analytics, I found it super beneficial to be able to discover what search terms or phrases bring consumers to your website. In the article, the writer suggests how you can use the “organic search” tool to your advantage by creating a landing page based on the search terms used. I think is an excellent idea as it would definitely help drive traffic to the site and increase your SEO. Another underutilized tool in Google Analytics is the behavior data collected on visitors. As the article points out, this can be used to determine whether or not the visitor was new or returning and could be extremely useful in raising customer retention an obviously critical goal for any business. With this data you can see what brought the visitor to your site and where they went after they left. If they left your site and continued to search for the same information that brought them to your site maybe your pages are not clear or specific enough. If they head to a competitor’s site, maybe there is something that your product or service is lacking and you should reevaluate your unique value proposition (UVP) or perhaps you can determine that the visitor does not align with your target market. 

I definitely think Google Analytics is one of the best ways to collect data on consumers, especially for a social media campaign as you can assess the ROI and follow along in real time.


Spirit Airlines Damaging Spirits with Controversial Ad

Spirit Airlines is under scrutiny after releasing an ad that mocks the recent Miami Dolphins bullying controversy. What a disgraceful campaign. I do admit it is smart to use such a viral issue, but this is a terrible choice on which issue. The ad is very insensitive to those involved and to make a joke about bullying and use bullying in a way to advantage your company is shameful. I really wonder who put the okay on this campaign. Not to mention the photoshop skills look primitive age like South Park season 1 scissors and glue status. A spokesperson for the company said “we do not condone bullying”, however, it looks like Spirit Airlines is in need of a greater PR clean up. Hopefully they can get their brand back on track!

Sugar’s sweet new look!

Dominos Sugar recently introduced new packaging, maintaining their iconic yellow and blue coloring but a completely new and updated style and design. Besides being more appealing aesthetically, the packaging also makes the product easier to use with an “easy pour” top. Competing as a commodity product can be tough as little can be changed to the actual product itself. I think Dominos Sugar did the right thing by upgrading their look as their old packaging could definitely be seen as outdated. The brand looks rejuvenated and the new style effectively differentiates Dominos Sugar from store brand sugars. I especially like how they incorporated how people use and feel about sugar into the design with the swirling effect. Just goes to show how vital marketing research is. Focus groups truly are so useful!

Social Media knows no bounds!

Anyone remember writing fan mail? Which then turned into fan email? Which then turned into Myspace and Facebook stalking all the way to being able to actually tweet and speak virtually to these body guarded secluded island hiding people?! Our world has turned digital and social media really knows no bounds! Celebs have been using social media to chat about their daily lives and promote themselves but now even can have a huge advertising impact for companies and brands by even just tweeting once! I recently read the article “How Social Media and Snoop Dogg Helped A Fledging NBA Team”. The article is great insight on how social media is changing the marketing world in all aspects, focusing specifically on how beneficial snapping, chatting, and tweeting can be for sports marketing. Gaining a fan base can be difficult, but there are now more outlets than ever that provide unique and interesting ways to saturate consumers. Hit them with a quick instagram photo (such as the one of Snoop Dogg) that makes them curious, even for a second, and you’ve made a huge impact.

QR codes on the rise

I stumbled upon this article titled “Six Digital Marketing Trends for 2013”. The writer predicts new digital marketing trends for the upcoming year some of which will be really interesting to see if they pan out. I did not know what QR codes meant but the concept sounded appealing so I looked it up. For those of you whose analytic terminology surpasses mine, you already know that QR stands for Quick Response. These codes are similar to a barcode and are very useful for marketers to track consumer purchases. I’ve heard of this strategy before but never knew it was these handy QR codes behind the scenes doing all the work. And now it seems they may be receiving a promotion in 2013 to do a little more than just scanner data. These codes can be downloaded, as mentioned in the article, when wanting to know such things as the arrival time of a bus. Majority of smart phones are now coming equipped with QR scanners and you can find these little black and white square codes in many more places than before. QR codes are now appearing in advertisements in magazines and soon to be in establishments such as restaurants containing their inspection information. Although using these codes may be a little tricky for our grandparents (maybe even parents considering my mom still sends cryptic text messages full of symbols and random capital letters) it seems they may be the next big thing and businesses would be wise to start looking into QR campaigns as a new and creative way to advertise.

Here We Go

Over the years the Super Bowl has evolved into much more than just an athletic event. Now some folks don’t even watch to see who wins, they watch to see the newest outrageous commercials that companies sometimes work years to produce. Most campaigns take the comedic approach, sometimes with outlandish scenarios, such as Doritos’ commercial from the 2011 game centering around a man so obsessed with the chip that he rips another mans pants off to lick the cheese. The commercial definitely got the laughs and grabbed viewer’s attention, I was cackling along with all my friends, but it doesn’t steal my #1 spot for favorite Super Bowl commercial. For me, the winner is Bud Light’s “Here We Go” campaign from 2012. The commercial that aired not only had me cracking up but also encompassed a philanthropic purpose and heartwarming message. Bud Light definitely did their research to see how best to connect to viewers. Lately on YouTube dog videos have been all the rage. I feel this had a huge impact on Bud Light’s decision to sport the message “help rescue dogs”, which as a dog lover, caught my attention and immediately gained my support.  I love that instead of just striving to come up with the most outrageous campaign to get laughs, Bud Light found a way to emotionally connect to consumers while spreading an important message and making it fun to watch. The “Here We Go” commercial is not only my favorite Super Bowl ad but also one of my favorite campaigns overall. So, help rescue dogs!!

“I’m A Princess”

Disney’s new “I’m a Princess” ad is truly remarkable and inspiring. I love that Disney is always creating new ways to spread magic and targeting youth is so important, especially with a message such as this.

Not only will the ad speak to little girls, but I believe it will instill its message in women of all ages. I love that the ad portrays girls in all different scenarios and backgrounds yet can relate them all in the fact that they have the ability to be brave, kind, and honest. Through this, I think the ad will definitely allow viewers to connect to the message. Disney always reminds me that anything is possible if you just believe.

no more cruise control

Picture this: You’ve just spent hours lugging trash bags full of clothes down 5 flights of stairs, shoving them into your tiny corolla on top of all your furniture, decorations, and piles of binders. You just took your last, hardest final of the year and are literally the last human to leave for summer vacation. Getting onto the highway home of course all you want to do is fly right?! Until BOOM red and blue flashing lights sneak up behind you. Said driver may or may not be me and said driver isn’t too suave at talking to cops especially when totally oblivious to the fact that 70mph is the fastest one can drive in Virginia. So while driving down 81 on my way back to Tech yesterday the thought occurred to me….why isn’t there a cruise control where you can set a max mph?! This would have saved me lots of my money and my dad his vocal cords. For months after my first speeding ticket I was living on cruise control getting passed by grandpas whom, if it wasn’t for their arthritis, would fully flip me the finger. The drive from Tech to Nova is already long enough, actually following the speed limit just made it even worse. So pretty soon I was over the whole setting my cruise at exactly the speed limit and moved more towards checking my speed like literally every 5 seconds. I soon came to realize though that even if I’m cautious as can be I somehow must black out because BOOM I’m doing 85. Which is quite unfortunate yet totally not my fault because I think my car has a mind of its own. And apparently this is true because when my Toyota Corolla was on recall the mechanic told me that the computers in your car memorize slash learn how you drive. Anyways, some car company needs to implement this idea. My dad would be super happy considering his famous last words before I depart are always “drive slow!”. Duh dad, I’m your little angel. Minus my 3 speeding tickets in the past year but details aren’t important. “Car that ensures you never get another speeding ticket!” Now that’s an informercial I’d listen to. And I wouldn’t even need Billy Mays screaming in my face.

So, in regards to those tickets….in my defense my car was on recall aka basically had a mind of its own. Toyota definitely didn’t respond to the “runaway car” claims well. The company was not proactive and ignored claims of their “runaway” cars. As a result, Toyota had to recall almost 4 million vehicles, definitely damaging their reputation in the automobile industry. Consumers, even ones like me who couldn’t care less about the car they drive (ahem mine doesn’t even have all 4 hubcaps…), are never pleased to hear about a brand sitting back and ignoring complaints rather than taking charge and investigating, even if nothing is actually wrong. Toyota’s image was scarred and recovery was prolonged by even more recalls being made throughout 2011. Although a seemingly spotless brand before, Toyota’s reputation has been eroded all the way down to their driver floor mats. That’s why yesterday when I heard the news of Honda’s recent recalls I became really interested to see how the company planned on handling the situation. Toyota unfortunately is facing the hardship of reinventing their brand, trying to maintain current customers and get their name back into the heads of car purchasers. Honda has begun to recall vehicles due to the risk of window switches melting and causing fires. Exactly why everyone should kick it old school and have roll down windows like me. But anyways, recalls on cars are said not to be that uncommon so as long as brands handle the situation appropriately their reputation should not be too roughly tarnished. Honda faces the lucky circumstance that so far no one has been injured and the recall is said to begin November 2nd. The company has issued warnings to all users of the recalled model, a very important step that Toyota clearly skipped during their recall fiasco. Toyota apparently knew of the safety defects yet did not alert any users. Honda seems to have learned from Toyota’s mistakes and is doing well upholding their brand in the consumers eyes in times of trouble when it is definitely most crucial.

Revamping Old Brands

Our society is constantly changing, revolutionizing, and rejuvenating trends. How do businesses keep up? Do you completely rebuild from the bottom or try to adapt and fit in with the new? I read an article a few months back discussing Justin Timberlake’s investment in the plunging social network Myspace. His goal, along with the owning Vanderhook brothers, was to reposition the network as a way for musicians to get their music out to fans. Myspace has always appealed more to the artistic community and while the rest of society moved on and tossed Myspace like a TO jersey musicians stuck around. For Myspace the best idea seems to be completely rebuilding from the bottom. The network needs to step out from Facebook’s shadow and shed its “so 2003” image. I even attempted to look up my old page so I could make fun of it…(probably a good thing I failed since mirror pics are so not the rage anymore). It will be really interesting if Myspace can fully reintegrate itself into the popular social network clique and do so as a business with a completely different goal.

Another company struggling with meeting our trend hungry society’s standards is Yahoo. Over the summer I read an article about Marissa Mayer becoming the flailing search engine’s new CEO…a dramatic job shift as she left none other than Google to take the position. Similar to Myspace, Yahoo began to lose money as bigger and better sites such as Google came along. It kind of reminds me of what happened with Kodak too. Every other company started making steps towards the next best thing while these two businesses were stuck in the past…reminding me of myself eating a PB&J for lunch every single day of my life (until of course I tried a Fantastic Frank for the first time and realized how stuck in the 5th grade I had been). So Yahoo is on the same turnaround track trying to rejuvenate its brand. Mayer just yesterday gave the company a pep talk and laid out her vision for how to increase revenue. Ad sales are a big issue as the site has been losing opportunities to Facebook and Google. Her speech was more visionary than detailed, however, but apparently the vibe is much more positive at the company…but this could also be a result of each employee getting a complimentary iPhone. Mayer seems to have big plans for the company and I am really curious to see how she will reposition Yahoo to appeal more to internet users and businesses looking to advertise. I mean I know I use Yahoo as my junk mail site…except I do visit sometimes when I’m bored to play a little Text Twist. Hopefully Mayer can start adapting the brand to new trends and who knows maybe I’ll be back on soon for a site that isn’t full of junk!