Board Members

Board Members

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Macy's & Hyundai: Millennials

For every second of every day that passes society moves farther into the future and the next generation of younger people becomes more and more important. Currently we find our society consistently concentrated on the millennial generation, which is made up of 80 million individuals and now outnumbers the baby boomer generation. When it comes to millennials a business may find that it is hard to spark their interest through just one simple marketing strategy, and the true way to spark a millennials attention is to market to them in multiple different ways. Two companies that are excelling at this type of approach are Hyundai and Macy’s. Both of these companies follow somewhat similar strategies when it comes to catching the focus of millennials. First they create some form of brand awareness and then they do something that is extremely important, which is marketing to the millennial consumer base in person at live events. For example, Hyundai knows that purchasing a new car is not popular among people of younger ages, so they create brand awareness by promoting their products in popular places, such as television shows like The Walking Dead. Once Hyundai has created awareness they continue promotion through live events related to these popular platforms. In the case of The Walking Dead, Hyundai created a live event at the New York Comic-Con and made an immersive experience for fans of the show with little bits of Hyundai promotion added in here and there. By doing this they are able to make a connection with consumer through a popular trend. A Hyundai representative explained the importance of the live event as “a way to fully surround this fan and this passion with our brand and the franchise.” Macy’s, in a similar fashion, invests in marketing in popular televisions shows. However, they then try to bring their product directly to the consumer at an event to show them in person what the product is like and to educate the consumer about their websites mobile capabilities through the use of portable electronic devices. A Macy’s representative explains the importance of their events as “Part of being relevant to the millennial consumer is being where they are with content that is interesting and engaging.”

Besides the creative event and marketing strategies of Macy’s and Hyundai, another company that has used the all-important live event to market to the millennial generation is Just for Men. Just for Men has creatively sponsored the National Beard & Mustache Championship at the House of Blues in New Orleans in the past. Throughout this event Just for Men planned out social media competitions to go along with the event, so that they could spread brand awareness. This type of event ultimately did just that for the company with their social media efforts creating a 15 percent increase in share of voice for the brand. Overall, a business cans see that creating unique events to market their product to millennials is one substantial way to break the ice when it comes to a generation with low levels of interest.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sustainable Marketing Research Practices

Sustainable Marketing Research Practices

I had the great pleasure of asking current lecturer of Digital Marketing and AMA advisor, Andrew Dahl a few questions in regards to successful marketing research practices. Andy has an Applied PhD in Research and over a decade in the field of Marketing Research. When I asked where you should start when conducting a Marketing Research project his response was “You need to understand the purpose of the project, and what information you need to have to successfully complete the project.” He also noted that you not only know what information you need, but how you will go about getting that information; is it through surveys and focus groups or through secondary research, we must also know how to interpret this information and what it means to our project objectives.

We then discussed the various differences between focus groups and surveys. He explained how focus groups are best viewed from an exploratory perspective and should be used as a testing method for larger projects. What he means is we should use focus groups to explore how our target audience perceives a certain brand, product or other topic of discussion and how they can help us uncover other problems or topics that need to be addressed in our project. After conducting our focus group, we then get a better understanding of how our audience feels, leading to potential survey questions we could then ask. Qualitative research is mainly used to explore, quantitative research on the other hand is used to generate results and the interpretation of numbers.

Andy also touched on the importance of communication throughout project and how we should maintain an unbiased perspective to both our clients and audience. Whether it’s with an account that you are working with or your colleagues, you must have an advisory committee. This committee should consist of decision makers within your group as well as the clients you are working with. Andy also informed me a “Pyramid researching approach”, this comes from building your knowledge from bottom up. The bottom of the pyramid being the advisory committee, where we communicate our objectives, what needs to be accomplished out of a project. Then we move up to our secondary analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, all the way up to our focus groups, surveys. At the top of the pyramid is the refinement of our findings and then further analyzing our alignment with our overall project objectives. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Research & Development

The Importance of Research and Development

Research and Development is quintessential to the innovation process, and ultimately the success of your business (or product).  Research and Development is an investment we make to help us expand and gain competitive advantages in our industry. R&D applies to all industries and all sizes of organizations. If you aren’t investing in further development, your competitors will (and probably are already doing such). There are some huge companies that you probably have heard of that are “top dawgs” when it comes to R&D, such companies include Intel, and Amazon. These two companies spend BILLIONS to help give them competitive advantages. Intel for example, is consistently always looking to make their technology run faster and more efficiently. Amazon, uses R&D to help with their customer’s experience and the supply chain side of their business (such as appropriate distribution locations and other services they can provide). Remember it is important to note that R&D can be implemented in ANY organization, regardless of size. Sure, you may not be able to spend money like Intel and Amazon, but by investing even a little bit, it will give you a competitive advantage.

Here are some key benefits of that R&D provides to organizations that implement R&D tactics.

1   The decision basis
2   Technology strategy
3   Portfolio management
4   Project strategy
5   Proper organization and process
6   Relationship with internal customers
7   Relationship with external customers
8   R&D culture and values
9   Improving decision quality

For more information, check out this article!

Disruptive Marketing

Disruptive Marketing
Geoffrey Colon, is a communications designer. Specifically, he studies the correlation between marketing, technology, and pop culture. He has a wide range of experience which includes, podcast production, public speaking, and working with Microsoft. He also speaks about how the traditional kind of marketing is dissipating, and how “disruptive marketing” has become more popular.

Disruptive marketing is the spread of ideas to people, from people, and it’s based on purpose, according to Colon. With the popularity of mobile devices, marketing is no longer limited to radio, television, etc. We are all “media”, considering how easily we can spread news and ideas by word of mouth. Another main idea, is that we live in a post-remix world. Companies no longer create their own messages, they reinterpret information being sent out by other companies. Next, Colon says to put people first, and remember technology is only a tool. Marketers usually make decisions that have to do with empathy, emotional intelligence, connectedness, motivation, and passion. This is a focus on behavior, rather than technology or other platforms. With the growth of technology, Colon also brings human connection to attention. He says that people crave it now that we are extremely technology based these days. Also, it’s important to remember that personalization is a must. Since it would be difficult to know exactly what everyone wants to buy, it’s useful to stay away from using stereotypes to determine the wants and needs. Artificial intelligence is helpful to uncover those wants and needs. Lastly, Colon says that the Internet of everything is on its way. It has transitioned to enhance digital content with huge companies, and soon it will transform into something that isn’t defined by software, but by partnerships. This promotes more and more collaboration, which will help companies share ideas and stay connected. 

Market Research

How Technology Has Changed Market Research

It is no doubt that technology has changed the way we live our everyday lives, they help us become more efficient and versatile. But in reference to marketing research, technology has help provide more opportunities as well as potential challenges. In this article, the author discusses 5 ways technology has changed market research.
  1. Social Media: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn opportunities for companies (and individuals) to conduct their own market research on any particular subject. For instance, consumers can look at reviews of previous buyers or price compare similar products. Social media has also offered the opportunity to reach out to a specific brands and ask them questions about products.
  2. Data Collection improvements: Although traditional methods such as focus groups, personal interviews and surveys are still relevant today. We have the fastest access to real time data collection there has ever been!
  3. Enhanced Data Analysis:  With increased speed of data collection, there has been many advancements in the quality of the data analytics and the ease of  interpreting the data.
  4. Creation of New Research roles: New roles are being created in the job market for interpreting SEO and Social Media Analytics
  5. Big Data Informs Research.   The ease of Big Data Informs marketers with fast and reliable data. There is large pool of data that can be very useful for marketers when conducting their research.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Article Summary

Disorder in the House: Meeting Trends for 2017

              Certain aspects of business interactions are changing especially meeting environments and hotel economy in particular. Meetings are no longer geared towards exchanging information between those attending. That being said, context is now more important than content. The traditional type meeting would most likely include just a single person talking and informing others at the meeting about updates on business or a particular company. Most of this knowledge can now be found online, which almost eliminates the purpose of a meeting. However, meetings will always exist because the only thing that is being tweaked is the structure of the meeting and what goes on during that certain time period. The current layout of a meeting includes more time for conversation and networking rather than just an educational session. Business is always evolving and technology is constantly changing. It is easy to accept that meetings are changing as well.
              Hotels are currently experiencing all-time records in attendance rates. The number of people traveling for business these days is pretty substantial as well as crazy to think about. Occupancy rates have been through the roof. At one point in 2016, hotel rooms were completely sold out for 77 nights in the U.S. This may lead to difficulty in booking a room block or finding a meeting space for upcoming conferences. Being aware of this is definitely useful information because it is important to think ahead and plan accordingly. It may be a good idea to have conversations with hotels in advance and set something up well ahead of time. Another good idea would be to consider scheduling an event for Sunday through Wednesday because hotels are not as busy on these days so rates are lower and there will be more rooms available.

              Food costs can be a concern during conferences as well. Coffee and beef prices were on the rise from anywhere between 50 and 60 percent during 2016. Menus are costed out to achieve a 35 percent profit margin. A simple solution would be to ask for a meal of lower price. If your budget per person is $100, ask for a $90 meal. The chief will reach the 35% margin as well getting high quality food. It is important to keep in mind the types of foods that conference attendees are interested in eating. Healthy options as well as pork or pasta are a few in particular that are currently popular. Taking all of this into consideration when planning out a conference will ensure that everyone is happy. 

VR Marketing

Virtual Reality Leads Marketers Down a Tricky Path 
As we enter the modern age of new emerging technologies, the constant changes and additions in the market are promoting new opportunities, and challenging marketers with the decisions of capitalizing on these technologies or going on without them.  One of these interesting new concepts that marketers are facing is virtual reality.  Virtual reality has proven that it can be a game changer in different industries from a marketing perspective, while also being a money pit for others. 
Marketers can use this VR technology to give consumers a unique experience that they are likely not able to get anywhere else.  For example, in 2014, Dos Equis, a beer maker, created a virtual reality masquerade party where the participant could experience flamethrowers, and acrobatic dancers amongst other interesting activities.  By giving the user this one of a kind experience, the companies can provide something that others cannot provide, as well as something that the participants will likely not see in the real world. 

On the contrary, companies such as the e-commerce giant Alibaba have found their efforts in the realm of virtual reality to be costly and criticized.  The company had created a virtual shopping mall where participants could walk around and experience the mall on the VR headset, which was not adapted very well by users due to the fact that you can simply do it in real life with little trouble.  These experiments can be very costly if not successful considering that creating a virtual environment often starts at around $500,000, as well as a cost of $10,000-$100,000 to create a 360 video.

Overall, as more and more consumers adopt this new technology, the focus on VR may become more intensive and competitive and cause an increase in spending on this segment.  Depending on the use of the technology, VR can be just the boost you need in the marketplace, or it can be a company’s downfall.