Market Research for Beauty

The company I chose to work on is Procter & Gamble as they are a globally recognized brand with a multitude of product offerings.  Some of the products they offer are Luvs diapers, Tide laundry detergent, Always pads, and Olay so they are well diversified and most of these are brands that synonymous with value and quality.  So, by leveraging the brand and its presence any product I would put in market would be a bit more successful and have an immediate value to customers familiar with the other brands.   

Reviewing the brands and lines I think the one area that I feel the most value with is skin care and knowing how important it is to take care of my skin this is where I would focus.  Knowing that a lot of people have skin sensitivities I would offer a product line that is organic and sustainable.  More and more consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of how their goods are made and supporting local businesses and resources.  P&G also has a four-stage testing process and makes sure that all products fall within government regulations, again a great selling point.  

For market research, if I was working within P&G, I would do market studies and see if users for our existing brands would have an interest in the products.  Once I determine there is an interest or need, I would then see what is currently offered within the market and see who my competitive set is.  This would be applied and even basic research methods to collect this data.  I then also want to identify my key segment to market to and understand their “persona” which will help influence the brand voice and creative to gain interest and loyalty.  A key piece will be setting goals or KPI’s and using a tool to measure success such as google analytics or sales.  

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Maintaining Customer Loyalty

One of the advantages of mobile phones is that you can target customers immediately and provide more relevant content, the downside is that mobile marketing isn’t as regulated say as email or print.  We just read about the case with AT&T and mobile cramming in a lawsuit from 2016, where about 88M was awarded to customers who were charged by third party vendors for services.  According to the FCC, mobile cramming is the modern version of what can best be described as a long-time scam where customers are charged for a service unaware.  T-Mobile was also hit with a lawsuit in 2014, and Jesta digital were also served lawsuits about mobile cramming on consumers devices.   When something like this happens, it undercuts consumer trusts with a brand as consumers expect that a company will do right by them and truly have their best interest first.  Cases like this make consumers wary about “the man” and large corporations as AT&T pockets roughly 35% of the mobile cramming charges from customers.  Once the trust is shaken it makes it hard to regain customer loyalty and one bad case can ruin a company, such as United, Uber, and Harvey Wienstein company.  Although these are not cases of mobile marketing issues these highlight where one bad incident (or many) can ruin a brand.  Many of these faced fines and retribution back to customers who were impacted that often in such large sums end up causing a company to buckle under the financial payouts.   

I think that the best way a company can ensure they maintain customer trust is to get a double opt in and explicitly tell a consumer what they can expect to hear about and how frequently.  That way if a consumer decides to complain later down the road a company can say well we said X upfront and the customer decided to stay opted in.  Companies also need to make sure to provide an easy way to unsubscribe from mobile messaging such as SMS, or push notifications to foster a sense of trust with consumers, so that they know they can leave at any time.    

References 

Garris, M., & Mishra, K. E. (2015). beginners guide to mobile marketing. New York, NY: Business Expert Press. 

Mobile Cramming. (2017, September 26). Retrieved August 11, 2018, from https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/mobile-technology/mobile-cramming 

The 10 Biggest Business Scandals of 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2018, from http://fortune.com/2017/12/31/biggest-corporate-scandals-misconduct-2017-pr/  

To Mobile or Not…

As more and more people become entwined with their mobile phones brand will need to reach their consumers on these devices.   Almost 50% of internet time is spent on a smart phone and marketers can often tie data from various sources together to better target consumers.  Being able to target a consumer and relay a compelling message to drive a conversion is key, creating a mobile friendly site is also a critical factor to capture that sale.  You can use SMS, in app push notifications, beacon technology (Hello Target), in app banners, Facebook sponsored posts are some ways to create awareness for a product or brand.   

Look at Pinterest, who according to their own blog show that 90% of users make a purchase in app and up to 70% use the platform to find new products or services.  As a “pinner” (I mean is that even a term yet?) I often go to Pinterest to find information on products or idea and have clicked on quite a few in app paid posts.  Being able to find a product, click to a site to purchase and then use say Samsung pay creates a frictionless purchase path foe me as a consumer.   

Think about your own behavior, often you pick up your phone to do a quick voice search or type in a word.  Then based on results you can open in an app or navigate to the site.  This data is captured, and companies match back to their own first party data, so they can target you with ads that make sense as creepy as that is.  Mobile continues to see about a 40% growth year over year as a spending channel (p.348  Fulgoni) and as its cheaper than traditional adversting (I.e. video, print, and TV) more and more brands are leveraging it to see greater profitability.  Look at Starbucks and how they use the mobile app to maintain customer loyalty while creating awareness of instore events with push notifications.  Also, you can pay using the app and refilling your card is about as seamless as it can be. 

As we move deeper into mobile territory and always being on, I suspect that you will start to see more and more apps show adversting along with content driven by mobile device. 

References 

Megan Marrshttps://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/08/19/what-is-mobile-marketing 

https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/were-expanding-shopping-ads-to-more-businesses 

FULGONI, GIAN M. and ANDREW LIPSIVIAN. “The Future of Retail Is Mobile.” Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2016, pp. 346-351. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2501/JAR-2016-041. 

Mimi Torrington. Apr 12, 2016. https://www.digitalturbine.com/blog/starbucks-a-case-study-in-effective-mobile-app-marketing/. Accessed 7.14.18 

 

Influencer Marketing

Influencer based marketing and why does it resonate? It’s almost like Gonzo based marketing, taken from the style of writing that catapulted Hunter S Thompson to notoriety.  Approaching a topic and applying humor and using shock to engage.  While not all the influencers interviewed have a shock value, I mean Logan Paul did recently this year and lost all his affiliations, the marketing is quick and quirky.  These people are trusted or reputable and are in the same demographics of the markets they are appealing to.  The platforms these influencers mention, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram allow them to interact and are easily sharable by whoever is consuming this content.

The role of the influencer is a dual role, from brand advocate to awareness of a product or brand.  They often work with brands and products them themselves believe in or use so followers are n=more likely to engage and buy, because they see them as trusted resources.  The strategy is also that they post frequently to stay top of mind and that they understand content needs to be different across channels.  For example, Andrew Bachelor aka King Bach, has done the opposite actually he shares the same images from Facebook to Instagram and but he posts funny content from memes, videos, photos and mixes it up.  Influencers can also be a force for change

Social media has changed how people interact with brands, from being just told about a brand and having a one-way dialogue, consumers are now driving the conversations with brands. Influencers are helping leverage and create brand loyalty where there might have been none previously.  With traditional PR it was who you knew and pitching ideas, now with social its throwing an idea out there and watching it gain traction.  This also means its more cost effective than traditional media and what company doesn’t like saving money? And they do they heavy lifting, build content, sharing and become the face people can trust.  More and more people take to social platforms to research and gather feedback before deciding. Using someone they deem as trustworthy or knowledgeable ranks your product higher.

Whirlpool and Customer Awareness

 

Whirlpool created a campaign called Every Day Care, which was an attempt at changing the dialogue they were having with consumers from just responding to negative complaints.  They realized that they needed t change comsuners perception of them nad the best way to do that is create brand ambassadors, and the best are those that are not sponsored or paid.    If you go to their website there is a tab called Every day, care where you can watch short videos and read various stats about simple acts that whirlpool helps with.  The success of this is based around real consumers sharing their experiences with whirlpool products in a positive light. In the submission for the shorty awards this was brought on by helping raise awareness that sometimes what are perceived as the most thankless chores, often have the biggest impact on someone lives from clean clothes, food, or other mundane tasks.   

They created a dedicated URL (whirlpool.com/everydaycare) which allowed consumers to upload and share their stores and gave whirlpool access to authentic content from users that could be shared.  They also had a robust digital strategy including broadcast media spots and social awareness to drive awareness and consumer engagement.  According to the shortyawards.com site “Following the campaign , Whirlpool saw 12% year-over-year unit growth and a 6.6% lift in sales. For context, the brand outperformed its category in both unit growth (+6%) and sales growth (+4.9%), respectively”.  This is effectively showed that by created an emotional connection with consumers whirlpool could in fact increase sales and company growth.  By creating loyal consumers they in turn created consumers who acted as brand advocates.   

YOu can see by visiting their Facebook page the amount of UGC that is uploaded and the engagement that is happening with the posts.   Even on twitter they are keeping the conversation going and they use the same hashtag across the platforms they are on, #EveryDayCare.  Which allows them to pull any content loaded with that tag into a platform so they can reshare it.  Instagram seems to be a bit challenging for them as the engagement is low but I think overall they did a great job with this and are still promoting this as its been so successful.  The recent everydaycare focuses on getting  to graduation and what work goes into that.  By getting consumers to think about experinces that are tied to emtional moments they created a dialouge and gave a place for consumers to realize those thankless chores really arent so thankless.

A day in digital

So I recently started going back to school and am taking a class in social media communications and we are writing blog posts about various things so I figured why not share it here!

So some of the firsts questions we have to answer are what brands/sites do we engage with, reflections on use of digital media, emails we get, and perceptions of digital media.  So first of all I work in digital marketing and have a solid background in email marketing so I am probably more hyper aware of all these things.  Some of my top sites are marketingland.com ( to stay in the know all things marketing), Bounce X, Amazon (who doesn’t engage with them?), Nordstrom, and a litiney of others depending on my needs at the time.  For social its instagram, iFunny, and facebook as my top social sites, which I barely use. I feel negative about a site or brand when I am given content that isn’t tailored to my shopping or browse behavior, or those pesky pop ups for email.  On the flip side I feel good about a brand if they can show me content or deliver an engaging brand experience from all channels, and its seamless.  I subscribe to many brands and each has a point that I enjoy about them, and because I need to be aware of what my competitors are doing.  I enjoy Nordstrom Rack as they appear to be tailored and offer product recommendations based on browse/purchase behavior.  Shoptiques does great theme based emails, Huckbeery has great men’s emails, Sak’s can have some good content layouts.  For emails its about content, copy and overarching message and making sure that when I click thru i get a relevant page of products.  Nordstroms did a great tech email like a year ago, where the email and landing page were animated and stylized after old school game graphics.

One of the biggest thing is creating a cohesive experience for customers across devices and channels without it being super creepy (like when an ad pops up for something you were thinking about).  I need to see different content on different channels, like social needs to be different from my email, the website needs to be a different feel than a Facebook ad, and in store needs to have its own piece.  Digital marketing is a key business driver as mobile usage rises and more and more people do research on phones and want things now.  Also millennials engage differently and expect a level of customer service and rely on other for input before buying.  They also want relevant content and experiences based on likes, browse, and spending style, so brands need to look at so much data, which has lead to an increase in digital strategy and analytics roles.

But what is interesting is that people will only read if they are engaged and need visual components as well.  As a marketer you have less than 2 seconds to capture attention and drive to a conversion.  And you have to look at the whole picture, email, digital, SMS and store to see a 360 customer view.

A Different Kinda Beet

Hey there blogosphere! Long time no post huh? I know it’s been awhile but I wanted to tell you about this place I just ate at this weekend in NYC, called The Little Beet Table.  Now I discovered this place via Instagram and immediately thought of some peeps I know that are gluten free.  Have a friend in from AK made this a great occasion to try it.  If you have ever tried to eat a GF diet you know it can be a bit challenging to find places let alone dishes that met your dietary requirements.  Some people have to for health reasons, but I am not a health blog so about this place…

The Little Beet is located along Park ave, nestled between building and fairly non-descript. The premise is that the menu is influenced by what is in season and healthy vegetables and whole foods.  (Not going to lie I was a bit dubious, until I looked at the menu and was sold on the sweet potato toast)  The interior is the same, simple and straight forward.  Menu covered the basics and then some, and don’t worry meat eaters there are some meats on the menu.

So my friend and I went in and ordered the banana bread with hazelnut butter, sweet potato toast, maple French toast and the roasted sweet potatoes.  Course I love me some taters (in like any format) so I was like a pig in shit.  Not only was the service friendly and on point so was the food.  I mean honestly I think neither one of noticed that we ate a mostly vegetarian meal.  The banana bread was delish, light, creamy and not to banana-y if you know what I mean.  My French toast was AHHHHHMAZING, covered in syrup and crème fraiche.  I think they used the banana bread as the base and I’m mad I never thought of it.  I also got the roasted sweet potatoes with sea salt and olive oil.  HOLY COW, I think it will be my new go to for cooking them.  Everything was fresh, clean and seasoned just right and not over powering.

Overall I’d say 4 out of 5 forks, simply because of the sweet potatoes.  Even if you aren’t GF give it a try and see before you knock it.