App Overload

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My blog post today is more hypothetical then anything. While reading about the new trends in mobile marketing and the companies that are catching onto the importance of mobile phones and apps, one has to wonder: When there is an app for everything, will we experience app burn out?  Will apps become irrelevant?

Clothing boutiques, coffee shops, electronic stores, publications, music stores, etc. all have their own apps intended on keeping their consumers loyal. The idea is that anyone willing to purchase a mobile app for a business will be willing to spend more money on that company’s products. 

The lists are now being released for the best mobile apps of 2013. Many of the lists are 50 or 100 apps long. If you had 50 or 100 apps on your mobile phone. would you actually use any of them?

The 50 Best Free Iphone Apps of 2013

The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013 

The 101 Best Mobile Apps

Will the overproduction of apps someday make them obsolete? What do you think?

 

 

 

Feeling Nostalgic with Traditional Media: Is it Still Relevant?

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I’m a pretty nostalgic person. Even though I’m a millennial, I spent a bulk of my childhood in the 90’s, pouring through catalogs and magazines and dreaming about the things I would buy when I turned twenty-one and became instantly rich. I didn’t become instantly rich at twenty-one, but even in spite of digital marketing and social media, I haven’t stopped my catalog and magazine obsession.

This is why print advertising is still so important to me. Right now I subscribe to Writers & Books, Fast Company, Nylon and Elle magazines. These magazines all feed my different passions and interest and they are all filled with very different print advertisements. I also still receive mail catalogs from some of my favorite brands and I save the catalogs for purchasing inspiration. I never order through them, but I love them.

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Do you still enjoy print advertisements and feel that they are relevant to modern marketing? Here is an amazing break down of the top print ads of 2013. I feel that print advertisements demand the most creative strategy and execution from designers and copy writers. They are innovative and they are art, and I hope they never go away.

How Long Will Facebook Survive?

With over 1 billion users, Facebook is the size of a well developed country. Yet, is Facebook really going to be around forever? Someone said to me in conversation yesterday that Facebook will be the death of our society, with its ego driven content from dramatic individuals mixed with direct marketing tactics from companies. There is very little balance to the kind of content you will see on Facebook, and there is too much clutter to get to the meat of what you actually will want to see. There are countless articles and applications out there, meant to help clean up the clutter on Facebook, it may not be enough to keep the social media giant popular forever.

You see, Teens aren’t using Facebook.

There are many articles that were published in the past few months discussing the phenomenon. Apparently, sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr are more focused, less cluttered and less drama driven.

And the baby boomers and Generation X hasn’t caught up with them yet. Which means, teens don’t worry about their parents following them and commenting on everything they do.

CNN recently wrote this article about it. And apparently teens are using Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger Systems, Pheed, AskFM and Twitter instead. So if the youngest generation is quitting Facebook, then I suppose Facebook’s mortality clock has begun ticking.

There Needs To Be More Unofficial Blogs

I didn’t know that unofficial blogs, blogs written by fans of a company, dedicated to that company, existed until this week. There is an unofficial blog for every major social networking site: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. Starbucks,  Apple and Verizon have one.

The unofficial blogs offer insights into companies that official blogs are too biased to provide. Amazon’s unofficial blog offers reviews and tips and tricks for purchasing and saving on Amazon. Starbucks Melody visits every Starbucks shop she comes across. Her blog is filled with artistic Instagram photos from Starbucks, individual franchise reviews and new promos. But surprisingly, companies like Windows do not have an unofficial blog, which I feel would be invaluable in offering tips, tricks and reviews for Windows users.

Consumer driven unofficial blogs are invaluable in building not only brand loyalty, but invaluable insight into a company. After an interview with Starbucks Melody, Leigh  Duncan-Durst writes: 

“…what these executives need to embrace is the idea that what folks like Melody are doing is a gift for Starbucks.  It only takes one look  at Melody’s blog to see how much of herself she has invested in it, how much she cares about her audience, the content, and the brand.

The truth is, when a customer cares enough to share thoughts, criticisms, and feelings—in any channel—it’s a gift.  This is true whether the feedback is positive or negative.  What brands like Starbucks have to decide, therefore, and in light of investments in their own blogs, crowdsourcing sites and partner channels, is how they will receive these gifts.  As they decide, they must consider that we live in a day and age where corporate confidence is at an all-time low—where people statistically trust people much more than brands.  In that light, it’s important to consider how powerful unofficial spokespeople can be.  When a brand demonstrates sensitivity, humility, gratitude, and care—just providing great service provided on the local level—it can have a sizable, positive impact on the way people feel about brands.  In the digital era, people with a trusted following can be strong and highly vocal advocates for brands or huge detractors.  In the day and age we live in, it’s up to the brand to recognize the voices in the digital divide, and decide how they will respond to them to extract every ounce of value there is.”

More Thoughts on Pinterest. The Platform Evolution.

If you think building a Facebook page is the best way to market your company.

Think again.

If you think Tweeting a sales promo three times a day is the best way to market your company,

Think again.

In an article by the Harvard Business Review on what most companies don’t know about social media, it is revealed that 43% of the social media companies are using are ineffective, mostly because the companies are unable to understand how to use social media to their advantage. Social media is transforming every day, and new websites are popping up that invite companies to promote their businesses and be social.

A surprising take over in the social media world is Pinterest. Now a days, pins are worth more then tweets when marketing. In this article by Fast Company, it is revealed that a Pin is 100 times more viral then a tweet when shared. This can have a major impact on marketing through social media.

“Facebook and Twitter, are “primarily feed driven with little or no browsing behavior,” says Piqora’s Sabrina Carrozza. Pinterest, on the other hand, is feed driven for fresh pins and search or navigation driven for older pins. If your pin is popular, that’s how it gets discovered.”

Have you discovered Pinterest yet?

What Fits Your Business?

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I work as a department manager for Lowe’s Home Improvement and I’ve always been impressed with Lowe’s unique and inspiring approach to media marketing. They utilize social media platforms usually ignored by businesses such as Pinterest and Vine.

This morning I listened to an interview with Brad Walters, who is the Director of Social Media and Emerging Technologies at Lowe’s Home Improvement, by Rick Mulready. In this interview, Walters focuses on an important topic:
“choosing a social media channel that aligns best with your business and focusing on that one channel.”

Twitter does not ultimately align best with the Lowe’s business for any purpose other than consistently answering customers concerns and questions. Lowe’s wants to consistently inspire their customers with new ideas, often visual ideas, that will not only improve brand loyalty but will also increase sales. Lowe’s has over 3.5 million followers on Pinterest, which dominates their Twitter followers. Lowe’s does not need to maximize their presence on Twitter in order to increase sales because Twitter is just one of the many platforms that ties into Lowe’s overall media marketing strategy.

Mulready discusses Lowe’s spring 2013 campaign and discussed the process of not only getting their target market involved, but also discussed how the social media campaign helped the company gain information on who their customers were and what those customers were expecting from the company. This is an area in which Twitter exceeded, as mentioned earlier, by creating a platform for customers to ask their questions on, thus providing Lowe’s with the marketing information that they needed.

Lowe’s then took that information provided by Twitter and used it to design the Improve With Lowe’s mobile app, utilized Facebook notifications, created YouTube and Vine videos to answer customers how-to questions and Pinterest boards to offer visual inspiration. The Improve With Lowe’s app takes customer’s local information, such as the city they live in, and uses that information to offer home improvement reminders based on local season and weather.

Twitter allows companies to share information quickly and may encourage a conversation with customers, but it may not be the best platform for all companies, especially small business companies. Other companies should adopt Lowe’s strategy of finding out what the customer’s need from their company and using the correct platform to serve that need. If a company needs to offer up-to-date, instant information and immediate response to customer feedback, then they certainly should utilize Twitter as an important marketing tool. However, companies should not ignore other social media platforms in favor of only Twitter, because Twitter itself may not offer the enrichment and depth that an IMC campaign requires.

Lowe’s is focusing at the moment on Pinterest as one of its main marketing platforms, along with Facebook, in order to meet the immediate needs of their customers. More companies are adapting Pinterest for marketing and discovering just how Pinterest can drive both inspiration and sales. During his interview with Mulready, Waters says that, “I don’t think that for us (Lowe’s) we wouldn’t be able to re-purpose Pinterest as another catalog…It is not the way that people who are using Pinterest are utilizing that platform.” 

Emerging Media with Creative Brand Strategy