The Ethics of Marketing

Honestly, I know that most people think marketers are unethical, thanks Mad Men, however any marketer will tell you in order to be successful they have to be ethical and honest.  Working in marketing myself being forthright is key in maintaining internal and external relationships and trust.  I’ve also done direct sales and worked in customer facing, roles and trust is everything.  Once it’s broken it’s almost impossible to get back, however digital can be a bit more forgiving. Currently I am studying SEO/SEM and here is an area that defined by honesty and integrity as it all about building trust with customers and Google. 

Case Study 

To better understand why ethics are important let’s look at a case study from Yonatan Dotan at Moz.com for Ginger Software.  He writes that when he started, they were in a great state “their site has an Alexa ranking of around 7,000.”  However, one day he gets a notification that from Google that there were issues with inbound links and after examining things saw a drop in organic traffic by 94% (Dotan. 2018).  One of the things discussed in SEO and SEM practices is building quality links and content and making sure that inbound links to the site make sense.  What happened was that keywords that were being used we linking to sites about pornography, gambling, and even pharmaceutical. This was due to spammers trying to rank their own page higher by providing links to a quality site.  After identifying and fixing the bad links Ginger Software submitted a request to have the penalty revoked from Google and about 5 days after getting the notice it had been revoked.   

Conclusion 

CHECK YOUR LINKS!  From this case study and various readings over the course of the class check your work, and the double check.  As a marketer you should be monitoring backlinks, key words in use, and referrals to your site.  If you find bad links get them disavowed.  Part of marketing ethics is also being aware of local and federal laws and abiding by them.  Other things to be aware of are hidden text on a site, duplicate content, and even plagiarism.  If you question if doing something is right, it probably isn’t, and you should walk away.  Understand able there is a lot of competition out there but if you do it right, they will come, and you will have established trust and a great brand reputation.  

 

 

References 

Ethical SEO vs. Unethical SEO. (2013, January 14). Retrieved December 9, 2018, from https://www.optimus01.co.za/ethical-seo-vs-unethical-seo/ 

Dotan, Y. (2014, March 17). A Startling Case Study of Manual Penalties and Negative SEO. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from https://moz.com/blog/a-startling-case-study-of-manual-penalties-and-negative-seo 

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Pros & Cons for Digital Strategy

 

When implementing any sort of strategy its worthwhile to note the differences between a paid or organic strategy.  They are what they sound like, paid is you pay a third party or pay to reach more people, whereas organic takes time to get the views or bigger audience.  The benefit of doing paid is that you can get in front of new audiences quickly as well as leverage the coveted ad space at the top of a search page.  Paid also allows you to effectively target new customers and is easier to show the ROI gained from using it. Organic search will help you understand WHAT words or phrases are working which could be different than what you may think and help inform your paid efforts.  Customers are more likely to click on organic results than paid, generating more “trust” in your site. 

The cons are that you always must stay ahead of what is trending and is you are doing PPC then that can add up. Which results in losing market share depending on your budget and if you can bid on high traffic key words.  Utilizing paid is a bit more complex to make sure you are optimizing your campaigns and audiences to generate the best ROI. Organic takes a while to gain traction so if you are wanting to see an immediate gratification it will take some time.  Also, since algorithms are changing what works now may not be the case in 6 months to a few years.  With organic you also have minimal control over competition and your own historical rankings.  

Every channel is different as is each platform you can be on, so knowing how paid varies between Facebook and Pinterest against organic is also something to think about.   Knowing what we know about the pros and cons, I would suggest identifying the key words and phrases that are top traffic drivers and even looking at some that might be opportunities.  Gather who your customers are, demographic info and geographic will help, and see which of these characteristics match your target audience and start building segments.  Once you have figured this out, I would leverage key words/phrases and depending on the budget bid on at least 3 to 5 larger one and look to bid on 2 to 3 smaller keywords to provide a mix.  Making sure that quality content accompanies these is also key, as providing content that your existing and future customers want to engage with is also going to help drive results.  Setting an effective and achievable goal will also help determine when to adjust your camping and how effective it really is. 

 

 

References 

Biggart, A. (2018, February 28). Paid vs. Organic Search: Understanding the Differences. Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.conductor.com/blog/2018/01/paid-vs-organic-search-right-now/  

Mehmood, M. (2018, September 02). Paid Search Marketing: Pros and Cons Of The Popular Platforms. Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2018/09/paid-search-marketing-pros-and-cons-of.html 

 

Prelim Findings for Liquid Bodywash

 

For the upcoming year Proctor & Gamble would like to introduce a Liquid Body soap that is made with natural fragrance and supports a sustainable supply chain. Looking at market trends it is noted that the natural beauty market will reach ~22BN by 2024 and to connect with a growing set of consumers who are environmentally conscious and look to support small business we feel that this would be a great opportunity to grow the brand.     

More and more consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of how their goods are made and supporting local businesses and resources.  In looking to launch a natural liquid body wash I decided that the best company to help me achieve success would be Procter & Gamble as they are a globally recognized brand with a multitude of product offerings.  Part of Procter&Gamble’s values is doing what is right not only by people but by the environment.  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.  

Given the huge growth that natural beauty has seen and can expect to see in the foreesable future as more and more consumes become aware of not only what they are putting in their bodies but what they are putting on the outside also counts.  As supply chains get better and standards of living go up we should expect to see more and more consumers get back to the proverbial “basics”.  the demand for such products has facilitated companies to fulfil the need and therefore we see more and more products in market.  As the standard of living goes up in various markets, consumers are willing to pay more to purchase organic or natural products.   Asia Pacific market will be the fastest growing market in which to offer a natural liquid body wash following North America.   

When collecting data during the market research phase it will be crucial to let consumers know that we are storing it and not sharing with third party vendors if we are doing it in house.  If leveraging a focus group these people will have consented to sharing information with a company.  We also need to make sure that the product marketing doesn’t have any misleading information and that if we are stating that the product is fair trade certified we are abiding by FLOCERT regulations.   

The biggest limitation based on the research is creating awareness for the product at a larger scale along the lines of say Dove body wash.  A secondary concern would be pricing as this liquid body wash would be priced higher than most current in market brands, that are not organic.  I do think that there is more research that can be done to identify areas where I can overcome the awareness and pricing concerns.   Hopefully during the market surveys I can find what those areas are before going to market. 

 

References 

Global Organic Beauty Market to reach $22bn by 2024. (2016, July 15). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://formulabotanica.com/global-organic-beauty-market-22bn-2024/ 

Anthony, B. B. (2017, July 24). How P&G Tripled Its Innovation Success Rate. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2011/06/how-pg-tripled-its-innovation-success-rate  

Organic Skin Care 2018: Global Industry Forecasts to 2024 – CAGR Expected to Grow at 10%. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/organic-skin-care-2018-global-industry-forecasts-to-2024—cagr-expected-to-grow-at-10-300654926.html 

Global Organic Personal Care Market Size | Industry Report, 2018-2025. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/organic-personal-care-market  

 

 

Digital Relevance

Looking at digital marketing its almost hard to say where we will be in 3, 5 or even 10 years given how fast technology and customer behavior changes.  Customers want what they want, and they want it now so companies and brands have to look how to best deliver those experiences and make them as seamless as possible.   

One of the ways that is happening is Google AMP and ALP, which means they are trying to improve how fast pages load on mobile.  The longer your site takes to load the quicker existing and potential customers will walk away.  According in Instapage.com that’s almost a 500B loss in revenue for e-commerce.  As more and more people start to use mobile for everyday activities making sure that pages load quickly. Using AMP could help boost SEO rankings as you can foster more engaged customers with faster loading pages. 

Another area is marketing automation as it will allow users to AI to help deliver more personalized experiences and react in real time.  The best use case is in the email channel where its critical to deliver messages based on consumer behaviors and expected needs.  Being able to predict when a customer will need new socks and know what brand they prefer can help deliver a message that drives higher engagement and loyalty.  You can also leverage this with CRM tools and across various digital channels and learn where your customers are and meet them there. 

Lastly social, I mean who doesn’t have at least one social site or engage with their favorite brands on social? As marketers can tie more and more data together to get a full view of customer behaviors leveraging social will play into how brands acquire and foster loyalty. According to forbes.com marketers need to start investing in better organic content that creates meaningful interactions.  This means not only is content king, but the copy as well.  Short videos and videos in general are starting to become more of the marketing mix as gen z’ers are wanting more authentic content and this is the best way to meet those needs. 

Again, we can think we know the direction we are heading until consumer behaviors change and sometimes that is brought on by marketers or organic changes.  I think back to when the internet was “created” and how people scoffed and now it’s a ubiquitous fact of our lives.   

 

References  

The 7 Biggest Digital Advertising Trends Taking Place Right Now. (2018, September 10). Retrieved October 13, 2018, from https://instapage.com/blog/digital-advertising-trends 

Benitez, C. J. (2018, August 23). The Full Scoop on Google AMP: Does it Boost Mobile SEO? Retrieved October 13, 2018, from https://www.rankpay.com/boost-mobile-seo/ 

Marinucci, J. (2018, September 14). Five Social Media Trends That Will Impact Digital Advertising. Retrieved October 13, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/09/14/five-social-media-trends-that-will-impact-digital-advertising/#2c958ff42f05 

Blogger, G. (n.d.). 5 Reasons Why Ephemeral Content will Keep your Audience Hooked. Retrieved October 13, 2018, from https://www.marketing-partners.com/conversations2/5-reasons-why-ephemeral-content-will-keep-your-audience-hooked 

 

 

 

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.  

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