Streaming media & effectiveness

Posted December 20, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

On a personal note, this semester has been very hard. With the birth of our son, and the possibility of my company going under it’s forced me to shift around some topics, as there were some weeks where I literally slept 3 hours, didn’t eat and worked. That said, I’d like to revisit some earlier topics, one of which is streaming video and its use in marketing. We spent time learning about the use of short films and their impact and effectiveness on brand awareness and influencing buying behavior. I thought this topic was quite interesting, as it’s yet another example of how the consumer is changing how companies market to them. Consumers don’t want to be marketed to, they’ll be more receptive to something that infuses a health dose of entertainment.

It seems like short films can be used for a variety of products and brands, but one area that’s seen the benefit has been in luxury products. Take this example: http://www.professionaljeweler.com/archives/news/2004/111204story.html where the discussion topic is Chanel and that brand’s use of short films. According to Marianne Etchebarnne, Chanel’s director of marketing,  people want to “live” the story in the short film. “It’s a commercial that’s a real piece of art.” she says.

That’s a great point–and it is yet another indication of the power that new media has. Consumers can see new media as much more than advertising. It becomes somethign that the consumer truly identifies with and connects to. And, after all, isn’t that the goal of any marketer? Aren’t we in a constant pursuit of that connection?

Ethics in search marketing

Posted December 19, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

For many people, the idea that search engines like Google, Yahoo and rely on advertising to truly power their business seems to surprise them. Somehow people believe that when they enter search items in a search engine, they are tapping into a kind of library-linked database of pages. Nope–we need to remember that everything in business is tied to revenue generation, and that companies like Google rely on search to be their cash cow.

I don’t really see the issue with this. If we consider that a search engine is a service offering of a company, then we should understand that the companies who build the search engines have every right to charge advertising on them. Some of the class said that as long as they are “marked” as advertisements, then the search engine should be allowed to charge. I disagree–I say let’s let the free market decide how these search engines work. If Google’s search functions are padded with advertisements, then perhaps a competitor will arise who market’s a “true, advertising-free search” portal.  In my view regulating this will cause more issues.

It’s about trust

Posted December 16, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

Listen to the conversation that’s happening between companies and customers, prospects, employees–all the various stakeholders in a business. That’s the true power of new media, and it all comes down to trust. One thing we’ve learned this term is the power that new media has to influence people, change perceptions and open the lines of communication between companies and their customers. The reason it’s so effective is because the marketing line gets shaded out. New media is interactive, and when people become part of the communications process–rather than being communicated to–they’re more apt to respond. We trust ourselves and the opinions of others more than we trust a company’s message.

This point was underscored in a recent Wall Street Journal article, where the author cited an example of a company that blogs immediately after a new product launch. Why? It allows the company to understand how consumers are actually reacting to the product. The company will get more honest feedback from its new media portal–and it can do so in real time, rather than waiting one or two quarters before making adustments.

My impressions of new media in financial services

Posted December 15, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

I work in financial services, an industry that’s been absolutely hammered this year. It’s been, by far, the worst environment I’ve worked in since graduating college 11 years ago, and the prospects for the future don’t look that bright. That said, we’ve seen more influence of new media in the financial services industry over the past several years, and it seems like its influence has grown this year, especially the use of online video integrated with traditional news sites.

Today, you can log onto http://www.cnbc.com, http://www.marketwatch.com, http://www.barrons.com, or http://www.wsj.com, and take your pick of literally hundreds of videos at any given moment. The topics range from up-to-the minute news reports to in-depth industry reviews. The use of video on these news portals–which just two or three years ago didn’t offer a single video–it critical to the success of the sites now.

What’s even more interesting is people’s expectancy now regarding online videos and financial news sites. It’s a given that online media content will be integrated into financial news websites–if there isn’t a heavy presence of new media on the site, then it’s not considered a serious news outlet. Financial news sites–and all news sites really–need to deliver fresh content quickly and dynamically to survive today.

Consumers Flock to Web 2.0

Posted December 15, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

There’s a great and timely article in today’s Wall Street Journal (http://s.wsj.net/article/SB122884677205091919.html)  regarding the massive shift in focus for IMC practitioners asa result of consumers flocking to blogs, social networking sites and generally spending more of their time in the online world. It’s very timely for our class, because the article touches not only on the rapid growth of new media and its importance in IMC, but it also illustrates the problems marketers are having in engaging their audiences through new media.

The problem seems to be that this area is so new–and its growth so rapid–that marketers really don’t understand how to use it properly for marketing purposes yet. Those companies that are figuring it out will reap the benefits of stronger customer relationships and deeper brand relationships. Those that don’t will suffer.

The article also cautions marketers against the pitfalls of traditional marketing in the online space. We need to resist the urge to sell, and focus more on creating interactive pathways to customers and companies can communicate. Stop selling…start listening seems to be the way forward.

Youth & Multicultural Media

Posted December 13, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

One of the topics we’ve covered deals with the use of new media and its power to reach youth and multicultural markets. This will be an interesting trend to watch, as today’s youth become adults and the second wave of new media content is developed. It would be interesting to see how the industry changes–and I wouldn’t be surprised if what we think of as advanced new media today seems like elementary stuff in the future. To that end, we’ve seen innovations come into our society as “disruptive” technologies, like radio, television, the airplane, and others. At the time of their introduction, they all were seen as highly advanced technological innovations. Today, looking back on the first radios, tv’s or airplanes we are astounded at how basic they were and how far we’ve come. I would imagine the same will be said about new media in the future, as it shed’s its “new” moniker and integrates more fully into our lives.

In one of my other posts I wrote about the impact that new media had on the 2008 presidential election, in which Barack Obama masterfully leverged new media content to help mobilize his grass roots marketing campaign to youth. I found an interesting blog that spoke about this and other new media topics, http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=3241, and the 2008 presidential election broke the barrier to the use of new media in a national campaign. In 2012, both the Democratic and Republican parties will make use of new media in the hopes of mobilizing their base. The youth and multicultural audiences will take greater importance too, as these groups are most likely to respond to new media messages. We’re really in the midst of a cultural change that will affect our nation permanently–it’s an exciting time.

Ford Uses New Media To Communicate Its Struggles

Posted December 6, 2008 by amber991
Categories: Uncategorized

It seems like each day, we’re seeing more influence of new media and it’s power to reach and influence people on a large scale. The auto industry is, as we all know, in dire shape. The “big three” automakers, Ford, GM and Chrysler, are all pleading for a massive influx of federal money to stave off bankruptcy and liquidation. In a recent Wall Street Journal article (http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB122843938180981627-lMyQjAxMDI4MjA4NTQwMzU5Wj.html), it noted that Ford has now launched a new media campaign to pitch its side of the story, and differentiate its position from GM and Chrylser. Early bird gets the worm I suppose…because this is a brilliant move by Ford. See the site, at www.thefordstory.com.

According to Scott Monty, global digital and multimedia communications manager for Ford, “With digital media, it lives on for a long time. It’s picked up in Google searches, people pass it along and share messages they care about with blogs and their social networks of choice.” That’s the real power of new media–the viral component that lets the consumer take the role of pushing the message into the mainstream. In a similar way to a customer testimonial advertisement, new media that’s done right can engender a level of trust that other marketing vehicles cannot.

Why haven’t the other auto companies followed suit and launched their own multimedia campaigns related to their financial struggles? They’re starting to now. Chrysler has been funneling information through its company blog, and has recently created a YouTube channel. GM’s taking a similar path, using new media and targeted marketing campaigns to drive people to www.gmfactsandfiction.com, which is a specific website that explains GM’s predicament and management’s plan for the future.