Community Platforms and Small Business. — March 11, 2017

Community Platforms and Small Business.

For this week’s assignment, I was required to create a Destiny Electric presence on two community platforms. For the assignment, I picked Pinterest and Flickr. Full disclosure, I was not overly familiar with either platform. I have been on both looking at pictures, but I had never before posted on either. So this was a learning experience.

Also, this community platform is a new process for Destiny Electric. So as I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, the photo bank we have at our disposal is lagging, and due to that I am relegated to using some familiar pictures. Ultimately though, I think this was a good start.

The first platform I chose was Pinterest. 

Destiny Electric Pinterest Account

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The first platform I chose was Pinterest. Which was daunting at first but it turned out to be a fun process. When I first started the task of creating a Pinterest page for Destiny Electric I thought it was going to be somewhat useless. However, after selecting the initial pictures for the Pinterest page, it seems as if I was done with the task (excluding the captions). While it seemed as though it was going to be a quick process, fortunately, it wasn’t. In reality what happened was that I realized that I was going to have to add/create new tags. After I started to edit the tags, I then realized I could only link to one web address to each photo. So I decided to edit each image with either the Facebook page or web address (making sure that correlating pictures received the same link). However, I did try to link an even number to both the company site and Facebook page.

By this point, I have spent so much time that I did not want to use my initial comments, which led to my having to rewrite the tags, which leads to new information being included in the actual page. I then had to add new information, such as a creating an album name, and making sure to include the “City of Jacksonville” on each image. In the end, I created what I see as being a good start to the Destiny Electric Pinterest page, and I believe we will upkeep the Pinterest page for years to come.

The second platform I chose was Flickr.

Destiny Electric Flickr Account

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I think I honestly made a mistake choosing Flickr as my second choice. The reason for that opinion is that Flickr never got easy, and in the end, I’m not very happy with the look. Also, Flickr is a site that has always had a spotty history regarding users and what was free, and what was not free (Kim, 2016; Honan, 2012). So I have always been a little hesitant in my use of Flickr because it reminds me of Webshots (remember them) which is a company that burned me years ago. In using Flickr, it always seems lonely, in that rarely do you appear to do anything but play the waiting game. The images are nicely presented, and you have the ability to put captions and links (I prefer the way Flickr displays web links) on the pictures, but it never seems like a community. With Pinterest, I was able to see the bank in which my photos were included, but there was nothing like that on Flickr. Also, it was a bit cumbersome to navigate regarding photo placement and page manipulations. I’m sure that it is a great platform, but is it worth the time? For many, the answerer is an emphatic yes, but for me, I am just not sure.

In the end, this assignment was fun because it took me a bit out of my comfort zone. I created a couple of pages (Pinterest and Flickr) for the brand/company. Both of which will help with the online presence of Destiny Electric. As mentioned earlier, I do not think I will stick with the Flickr account. I am in no way saying it is useless, but I don’t believe it is worth the time invested. However, the very opposite holds true for Pinterest. In fact, when time permits, I intend to create an account specifically for Destiny Electric, not just a page on my personal account (which I had never used for more than access to pictures). I was able to quickly see just how easy Pinterest makes it to show off your company to many people.

References:

Kim, E. (2016, March 12). Don’t Trust ‘Free’ Photo Hosting Sites, or: The Problem with Flickr. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from https://petapixel.com/2016/03/11/dont-trust-free-photo-hosting-sites-problem-flickr/

Honan, M. (2012, May 15). How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from http://gizmodo.com/5910223/how-yahoo-killed-flickr-and-lost-the-internet

Manual Links:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/joshuaschery/destiny-electric-servicing-jacksonville-florida-si/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/136194272@N05/albums/72157681270254315

Proximity Marketing and the Local Business. — March 4, 2017

Proximity Marketing and the Local Business.

This week we will be discussing Proximity Marketing (aka Hyper-Local Marketing):

Today there are many opportunities for proximity marketing. Because the barrier to entry is much less expensive than years past. Many large companies will create their own beacon app, which will assuredly be the most effective. However, the good news for small businesses is that with new apps that are not brand specific, a small business can have a bacon marketing plan of its own. Today there are many apps, some a for a specific store, others are apps that are non-store specific. A non-exhaustive list is:

  • AreaBluetooth (app)
  • Beaconstac (app)
  • Bestbuy
  • CarreFour
  • Eat
  • FourSquare (app)
  • Gasbuddy (app)
  • Google Nearby (app)
  • Hammerson
  • McDonalds
  • MeadowHall
  • Rite Aid
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Woolworths

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What is it? To put it in the most basic terms. Proximity Marketing is the process of advertising to specific customers based upon their current location.

How does it work? The premise of Proximity Marketing is that through select apps (see list above). A potential customer’s cellular device uses a Bluetooth app which turns their phone into a beacon for the companies that are within range. Once a store recognizes the beacon, it will send a message asking for the customers’ permission to communicate with said customers’ device. If the customer allows for notifications, the company will then send an advertisement to the potential customer. The unique aspect of proximity marketing is that is based solely upon the exact, current, location. If a company can see your beacon, it means that the customer is near the storefront that would advertise to said client (Beaconstac, 2016; N.A., 2015; Callahan, N.D.).

Benefits: The benefits to proximity marketing are still growing. However, this budding technology is proving itself to be useful to large businesses and small business alike. The key benefit is that it eliminates waste. Often a marketing manager will not know what part of the marketing plan was the most effective. However, what is known, is that reaching customers that cannot use your service is wasted time and money. With Proximity marketing, your business can set the marketing efforts on strict parameters. Namely, reaching only the customers in a particular geographic area. There are many other benefits. One is that customers are often looking at their phones and therefore when a much advertisement goes through it will most likely be seen. With the beacons, your company is afforded a direct connection to the customers, and this allows for a conversation with a customer. This conversation creates a personal relevance like no other marketing gimmick could. In fact, since many customers make purchase decisions within the store, there is the perfect time to reach them (Beaconstac, 2016; Mittal, 2016).

It Has Worked On Me: I can speak from experience when I say there are times in which proximity marketing has worked. I use to be loyal to Old Navy jeans. However, once I was trying to buy new jeans, I am someone that doesn’t like shopping, so i try to get it all done at once. This particular time I was getting ready to settle for a few pair of jeans that I did not like. At that time, I was waiting on an important email when I received an ad from JCPenny. It was a significant percent off, and I went and ultimately bought pants from JCPenny, where I have nought my jeans ever since. All it took to convert me to a paying customer was one ad, that is the power of the beacon app.

The Impact of Wearable Tech:

Apple Watch: The first that comes to mind is the Apple Watch. One of the most popular tools in which the Apple watch is used is the health warning system. That system trans the people wearing the watch to look at it consistently throughout the day. The Apple watch is not designed like previous watches; in that, it was not designed to “go away.” For the Apple watch to work efficiently, the customer must be reminded that they have it on their wrist. Because of the health ring system, the customers now have a beacon system on their wrist, as opposed to their pocket. It is not uncommon for many customers to put a phone on silent and temporarily miss a message, only to get marketing messages hours later. However, with the ding and vibration of their wrist, the customer is likely to get the message in a timeframe that is beneficial for the customer and store (Callahan, N.D.; Girish, 2016).

Fin Ring: Another popular, wearable tech, is the Fin Ring, which turns a user’s palm into a mousepad. While this device is new and far less common than the Apple Watch, if there was a beacon app created, the Fin Ring could be used to reach consumers on a consistent basis (Callahan, N.D.; Girish, 2016; N.R., 2014).

Linkable Bracelet: Currently, this device is a beacon app bracelet that is marketed to parents of young children, as a way to keep a location device on their children.  However, with advancing technology, it is a near certainty that if it becomes a popular seller, then marketing apps will surely follow (Callahan, N.D.; Girish, 2016).

Wearables will have a significant influence on the proximity based advertising. The aforementioned tech accessories create a digital presence like never before. Now the customer is allowing technology into their lives at all times of the day. Not only will this allow for easier access to the customer, but it will make the customer more open to the idea of being marketed to, because, in reality, that is part of the reason for wearable tech.

Marketing Outline:

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For a local/small business Proximity Marketing allows for a short and targeted marketing structure. One of the first things to do is decide on an initial marketing plan, next is to set up an iBeacon system.

 Once a marketing plan has been determined, the iBeacon device should be put on all trucks, and at the office. In doing so, anyone in the vicinity of the company logo would be reminded of the brand and updates, allowing for greater market presence. Geofencing is another interesting strategy in that it allows a company to set up a predetermined area in which potential customers will receive an advertisement. The best way for a company like Destiny Electric to utilize geo-fencing would be to geo-locate customers at the company’s that we work with the most. For example, River Realty is a company that contracts Destiny to handle all service calls for their rental homes. Destiny can now geo-fence River Realty so that all customers shopping for (and hopefully purchasing) new homes will get Destiny’s contact info, even before they move into their new home.

REFERENCES:

BeaconStac (2016) The A to Z of Proximity Marketing with Beacons. Beaconstac. Retrieved on (March2, 2017) Retrieved at: http://www.beaconstac.com/ebook/pdf/The_A_to_Z_of_Proximity_Marketing_with_Beacons_13116.pdf

Callahan, S. (N.D.). How Wearable Tech is Changing Proximity Marketing. Retrieved March 02,2017, from http://www.digitalsocialretail.com/how-wearable-tech-is-changing-proximity-marketing/

Girish, D. (2016, January 7). 5 Ways Google Nearby is about to Disrupt Proximity Marketing. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://blog.beaconstac.com/2016/06/5-ways-google-nearby-is-about-to-disrupt-proximity-marketing/

Mittal, S. (2016, February 11). 25 Retailers Nailing it with their Proximity Marketing Campaigns.Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://blog.beaconstac.com/2016/02/25-retailers-nailing-it-with-their-proximity-marketing-campaigns/

N. A., (2015, July 24). What Is Proximity Marketing And How Does It Work? Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://medium.com/@Inquirly01/what-is-proximity-marketing-and-how-does-it-work-403eb2c365b5#.euzvtbi5g

N, R. (2014, January 08). Fin: Wearable Ring. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fin-wearable-ring#/

Snapchat Memories for Your Branding — February 24, 2017

Snapchat Memories for Your Branding

One of the things that customers have commented on, and Destiny Electric has always been proud of, is the job is always very clean when finished. The truth is that many people in the industry do not seem to care about the cleanliness of the job. Shane, the owner of Destiny Electric, is anal-retentive, and many of us have had jobs completed where we were responsible for the cleanup after the contractor left. Therefore a clean-job approach was a natural progression, and it has served Destiny Electric well. Unfortunately, it is not the industry-standard.

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The following photos are the Snapchat images used in the “Snapchat Story.”

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Naturally, there is no way to effectively advertise everything at once. As the images suggest, this story/advertisement was about making a point that the things the company does are not by accident or unnoticed. In fact, when hiring new employees, there are a few rules laid out on the first day. “A job is not finished until every thing is tidy, that includes cleaning the work area and removing all tools and garbage. Some customers want to keep their boxes. However, Destiny Electric hauls boxes away, without extra charge. The idea is that your home (as a customer) should look the same as it did when Destiny Electric arrived (excluding the work completed).

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I must admit that I enjoyed this process (Snapchat Memories). I cannot say that I was familiar with it though. I have had a Snapchat since the first release; however, I only liked the first version. Once it started to become overly involved, and later ripped-off by Instagram (with a better process) I just simply quit using it, but I have never used it for anything other than personal info. That is what made this project fun. In terms of using this program for marketing seems very fun and likely a great tool. There are however, two concerns that I have. First is whether or not your time could be better spent? In theory, it is a great idea to be on multiple social sites, but what is the opportunity cost associated with its use? Would your company be better with a full-time Facebook account manager? Or the time on Snapchat dedicated to constant twitter updates. If you have the staff, money, or are just gutsy enough to try it, it might be worth it, assuming Snapchat doesn’t collapse1

Which brings me to my second point, Snapchat may fail because two things are currently happening; one is that Snapchat is losing users that find Instagram’s similar (basically the same) to be just as good. What need have they to change between apps when they are basically the same, except one has more features? The other is most likely linked to the hemorrhaging of users, which is, the hemorrhaging of money. Currently Snapchat is trying to go public with the company (much like Twitter in 2013), unfortunately, when Snapchat released their financial documents for 2016, it showed they spent far more in 2016 than they made (much like Twitter in 2013)2

However, Twitter was saved, I believe primarily because of good strategy, also the soon-to-be President Trump, relied heavily on Twitter, and helped bring it back into prominence (does Trump own stock in Twitter?). In any case, the likelihood of Snapchat getting the kind of resurgence that Twitter has garnered between January 2014 and January 2017 seems unlikely. Therefore, I am left with the ultimate question at to whether or not I would spend the money on a program that is (currently) as likely to fail as succeed? I honestly cannot say that I would.

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As for how Snapchat could be used for marketing. One way would be throwback advertising, using the web page to reach customers through memories, or throwback can show potential clients how far your brand has come. I believe the best way; to use Snapchat Memories is keeping it as a general portfolio. For anyone that cares to look it allows a brand to keep much content up and public3.

As mentioned, the ability to dedicate a team to Snapchat is not viable for most companies, and an advertisement that fades away every 15 seconds is not a very beneficial practice for an advertiser. So, with memory’s it allows a user to repurpose content, unlike the throwback process, simply being able to repurpose parts of last week’s marketing plan would alleviate some of the time constraints4.

Another exciting aspect of Snapchat is that it allows adverts to be created using graphics. While most advertisements require advanced editing software to use graphics and you basically cut and paste the image, Snapchat allows you to use graphics from within the Snapchat program. While those graphics may not be the most advanced, the simplicity is part of the charm5.

 

 

References:

 Copp, E. (2016, September 02). How to Use Snapchat Memories for Business. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-snapchat-memories/

Guest. (2016, August 15). 5 Reasons Why Instagram Will Kill Snapchat. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.adweek.com/digital/adam-padilla-brandfire-guest-post-5-reasons-why-instagram-will-kill-snapchat/

Inc., H. B. (2016, September 1). 5 Ways Your Brand Can Use Snapchat Memories ToImprove Social Media Marketing. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://blog.hollywoodbranded.com/5-ways-your-brand-can-use-snapchat-memories-to-improve-social-media-marketing

Moore, R. (2016, August 2). How to Use Snapchat Memories to Improve Your Marketing : Social Media Examiner. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-snapchat-memories-to-improve-your-marketing/

Warren, C. (2017, February 02). Holy Crap Snapchat Is Losing a Ton of Money. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://gizmodo.com/holy-crap-snapchat-is-losing-a-ton-of-money-1791938528

Blog Marketing — February 18, 2017

Blog Marketing

BLOG #1 (http://www.autoblog.com)

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AUTOBLOG

What type of blog is it per this week’s lecture?

According to Adam Vincenzini’s 5-blog structure, Autoblog is a News blog.

What is its purpose?

To primary goal of Autoblog is to give news of upcoming cars, and/or changes in the coming model years. Also, like most good blogs, it does a fantastic job of teasing the readers and helping to release leaks about upcoming models.

What makes them unique?

Autoblog is one of the few blogs that has a broad range of topics. Anyone that reads car themed sites, blogs, and magazines can attest, that generally, Autoblog covers more than one topic. The one thing about cars that most people do not understand is that there are many genres of cars. Muscle cars, Tuners, Naturally Aspirated, Forced induction, Classics and Exotics. That is just a few of the many genres that have magazines and blogs dedicated to them. Auto-Blog covers many of them, and that is rare, it has new car news, news about the rising prices of collector cars, project ideas and information and countless other topics.

Talk about how it reflects the brand.

Autoblog has become very respected in the car-hobby community because it doesn’t leave anyone out. Because nearly all aspects of the car culture are represented, it has brought in people that could have easily been forgotten. Autoblog has become a blog that caters to everyone from hobbyists to new car shoppers that don’t care about cars.

What drives the traffic to the blog? High on search engine? IMC? Website links? What gets people to read!

All of the above! Many individuals in the car culture will come across Autoblog. Many websites have risen and fallen in popularity, but Autoblog has become a staple, and you cannot avoid it. Just a search of Dodge Demon puts Autoblog as one of the three videos on the Google search, and it is #6 in line on the search engine. Not that at least 3 of the web pages before it, are brands that are at least twice Autoblogs age. IMC from Facebook traffic is what gets much of the consumer base to link to the site. Although for many, checking the blog on a daily basis is habitual at this point).

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Is it a successful blog per some of the bullet points in this week’s lecture?

Yes, first, the blog is updated quite often; in fact, in the last 24 hours, the blog had been updated more than 14 times. Naturally, between August and October (new model release) the site is updated more frequently, probably multiples times every hour. Other factors that make it a success are, it is easy to subscribe to the blog. Lastly, longevity is the most important factor to show the success of the blog.

What’s missing on the blog in your opinion?

Newer trends are the one thing that I fell is often overlooked. Many of the writers are interested in covering strictly stock cars, and it creates a mundane topic at times. As mentioned earlier, there are periods of the year in which there is so much new information that there is always something interesting. However, during February when there is nothing but speculation I feel that there is time for an annual series of new trends. For example, digital dashes are becoming the new trend, but no one ever makes any interesting comparisons on the good and bad digital dashes.

Are there advertisers? If not, who are some potential advertisers?

There were many advertisers on Autoblog, nearly every major tire manufacturer, and the auto manufacturers Ford, Dodge, Chevy, and Honda (at the time of this research). Strangely enough, the alcohol company Goose IPA had an advertisement on the site. There are multiple advertisement locations on the site. Therefore, I believe that Autoblog has as many advertisers as they can use. Autoblog doesn’t get greedy. In keeping up a quality, Autoblog doesn’t harass the viewers with an abundance of ads.

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BLOG #2 (http://www.artofmanliness.com)

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THE ART OF MANLINESS

What type of blog is it per this week’s lecture?

According to the 5-blog structure by Adam Vincenzini’s, The Art of Manliness is a Professional Blog. It is a professional blog because The Art of Manliness has frequent posts by more than one person, and it is always of a high quality regarding writing, and presentation.

 What is its purpose?

To help men recapture the lost art of manliness, making them better citizen’s husbands and sons (albeit this is done with a sense of humor).

What makes them unique?

While the blog may seem satirical, it is a men’s lifestyle blog, one of few that have quality posts and information. It has information, inspiration and humor; all rolled into one easy-to-like platform. The initial appearance could lose some viewers even before they read the first article. However, that does not change the quality of the blog. The blog has many classic writings that could be an inspiration for men of the new millennia.

Talk about how it reflects the brand.

The uniqueness is the brand. There are not many platforms that cater to men in a (general) lifestyle format. There are golf, or car, or a plethora of other “specific lifestyle” sites, but this site is one that nearly all men could find common ground with.

What drives the traffic to the blog? High on search engine? IMC? Website links? What gets people to read!

I believe a couple of things drive traffic to “The Art of Manliness,” one is the number of contributors, there are a few entertaining columnists writing for the blog. There is also a podcast that goes hand and hand with the blog. Lastly, When you Google Manliness it has a high SEO.

Is it a successful blog per some of the bullet points in this week’s lecture?

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Yes, the blog is successful for a few reasons. 1. The blog creates original content. 2. The blog publishes new content often. 3. They make it easy to subscribe to the blog. 4. Most importantly, the blog has been around since 2009. Creating internet content that keeps a site/blog relevant for 8+ years is very hard to do with today’s viewer’s short attention span(s).

What’s missing on the blog in your opinion?

The first few times that I found The Art Of Manliness, I didn’t realize how serious the blog was. I think a concise and apparent definition of the site would make for a better users experience. I believe it would also lead to a higher conversion of subscribers.

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Are there advertisers? If not, who are some potential advertisers?

Jimmy Johns, Infinity, WordPress, and Hampton Inn are just a few of many advertisers on the blog. I believe that the blog could try to land advertisements from companies such as Dollar Shave Club as a way to cross-market to the same audience. I think the advertisements are lacking because they are somewhat generic, and they don’t utilize the targeted audience in front of them.