Monday, 2 April 2012

Its pretty simple.... if you know what they are talking about

When planning any event: corporate, non- for- profit or government, consider this “behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”- James Bryant Conant. It always seems as though projects begin so slowly. The dead line is years away at first and next thing you know its two weeks until D-day. Now I personally believe that a little stress can make anyone produce quality results, however, when there is little clarity to a project outline, then comes failure. This brings me to my point, which is emphasizing the importance of making sure your client is as organized and as understanding of the needs of the project, in order for you both to conceptualize and further bring to life an event. I enjoy the traditional planning, consisting of checklists and to-do lists similar to that of the University of Waterloo I am currently working with a particular client who is equipped with the knowledge surrounding the topics that are covered at their conference. Brilliant as the client is, what they are unable to do is vocalize what their needs and expectations. This is not uncommon, but it is a recipe for disaster. Now, there is no quick fix or one-way solution to help better this situation. Each person responds uniquely to different approaches. There is however, an approach that I have found to be effective on many occasions. This approach has conjured up both negative and positive feedback, but none the less helping to move use forward. Step 1: Take what you know and mix the rest with what you’ve seen. No client will ever leave you completely in the dark with their project, unless they trust your judgment and have worked with you before. Some will how ever give you a date and theme and think you know exactly what they want. If you are unable to communicate with the client or receive feedback, take the little information you have and apply it to something that has been done before. Whether it is from an internal perspective or external start a draft version based on a similar event that has seen effective results. Step 2: Do what you can with what you’ve got. The key is not to spend an eternity perfecting what you have started but get a good idea of what you can offer the client, and send them a respectable version of what you believe they are looking for. Allow for the client to be able to fill-in the blanks so they can understand that you are missing some key information. Then you play the waiting game until the client gives you the “yay” or “nay.” Step 3: Now make it work. Now once the client sends you the feedback, good or bad you have the new advantage of knowing a little more of what they would like to see. From there you can establish second and third approvals to be safe, each time learning more of what they like.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

If your friends jumped off a bridge would you ?

Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it will work for you. When it comes to the uses of Social media for marketing purposes, it seems as though everyone and anyone wants to join the bandwagon. Although companies should stay on top of the latests  trends and understand what tools are available to them, they should also stay aware of their consumers habits and needs.
Some of the many challenges that companies are faced with include; firstly, outdated information about their company. If the company does not have a dedicated media person overviewing their online presence they risk leaving out important updates. Consumers may view these sites as illegitimate or simply think that the company isn’t truthful. Always maintain your credibility and foresee and social media as an ongoing campaign that cannot be left or forgotten.
Secondly, your audience should always come first. Many companies who’s prime market include an older generation or even young children think they should have a social platform to express themselves. Seeing as social media is some of the most used and even preferred vehicles in our society, they aren’t completely wrong. What should be considered is the variety of options. Many companies think they have Facebook as their only option, however, if you are dealing with a company such as a legal firm or other professional fields you risk having your business viewed as lacking reliable sources and removing some trustworthiness from your brand. Always make sure that your company appeals to the right target audience, do your market research and choose the right outlets to post your information.

Thirdly, opinions are hard to control. If your company does not keep control of the messages that they are putting out to the public or the complaints people are making, their current consumer base can be offended. They must be looking out for negative comments or brand complaints and respond to them as quick as possible. The longer you let a bad opinion out for the public to see, the more you risk seeing detrimental backlash on your companies image.
Lastly, there is always the unpredictability of being misinterpreted. Social media definitely allows you to voice your opinion, however, when your aren’t using a medium that allows your consumers to hear your tone or see your facial expressions controversies are inevitable.  PR will always allow you to express you emotions better than an online platform. Consider all your options and the backlash that you may receive when you are stating an opinion. There are options such as Youtube that may make a difference in those situations.
This is a great website that shows examples of social media gone wrong, for all the reasons I have mentioned above.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Oh My God did you see that?

The truth to almost everything is that there are no “up’s” without “down’s” no good without bad. Although Guerilla Advertising in my opinion is one of the most fun, eye-catching and entertaining of all the advertising mediums, it too has its downfalls. This short video is a quick way to show you all the different ways Guerilla Marketing can be used, from extremely simple concepts to extensive plots can be used for effective results.

Let’s begin with what helps Guerilla Marketing, a term coined by a University professor Jay Conrad Levinson, to be so successful. It is an art that is meant  to create buzz in hopes that  it will turn viral, and in many cases it surpass awareness levels that some mainstream advertising cannot even attain.  For one, Guerilla Marketing shines through the clutter, whether it is a car hanging from a billboard or interactive camera in time square, Guerilla Marketing takes an “in your face” approach that is nearly impossible to miss. Another advantage is that in most situations it can be cross-culturally understood, and marketers can easily expand the idea into new markets for a broader reach. It is also usually executed at a much lower cost then print, radio or television ads.

Often times, there isn’t even a need for words; it is a simple and effective message. This leads me into one of the disadvantages of Guerilla Marketing, which is the trouble in brand association. Due to the large scale of the ads and the protruding messages, the actual brand is often overshadowed. Although consumers may remember the advertisement they cannot associate it with the company name. The reasoning behind this is often because of the similarities between campaigns. When you think of all the Guerilla Marketing that has been done for the SmartCar in a vending machine and the Mini Cooper In a box, they have had very similar tactics, almost as if they had not done the research on competitor marketing. This can make your company subject to a lot of criticism and risks having backfire, making the agency involved seem as though they have no unique ideas.

Living in Ottawa I haven’t been subject to too much Guerilla Marketing or at least none that had a big enough impact for me to remember, however, my visits to New York City gave me the chance to experience this form of Advertising. One of my favourites was done by Forever 21 they had a large screen video in the middle of time square, which was live video of bystanders. Approximately every 30 seconds it would snap a picture and underneath just wrote “Forever 21.” It was simple but extremely interactive and so fun for potential consumers to participate in.
As for the future of Guerilla Marketing, I see everything somehow going to link back to digital. Possibly, having Guerilla Marketing sent directly to our Smartphone’s through alerts when you pass by a certain store. I don’t see it ever stopping because it has seen such success in the past

Thursday, 26 January 2012

What do you see?

Advertising can have such a great impact when delivered with perfect timing and flawless execution. Some advertising can effect everyone, no matter your background or ethnicity. Sometimes you don’t even have to speak a word for the message to be effectively received.
When choosing an advertisement that would be appropriate in different countries I had to think about this for a while. I thought about something we share universally, what is a common love we share, that is dear to our hearts? Then I thought the Olympics! So many, if not all of the countries participate in the Olympics and we all hold a sense of national pride with the teams from our own country. Therefore this is why I believe that this ad can be appropriate anywhere in the world, even Canada. Nike was the company who ran this ad and they did a wonderful job portraying national pride it ran in the Netherlands. Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam was the agency who produced the advertisement.  
The second advertising has to be one of the most moving pieces I have ever seen in my life. As a person who’s family has always been involved in social change and fighting against human injustice, this spot really hit home. It was an advertisement aired in Malaysia, Euro RSCG Kuala Lumpur was the agency who directed the advertisement for Amnesty International. The music is so moving and you can hear the sadnest right from the beggining. The woman’s fear shows all over her face, with her tears and her body gestures. When the man undoes his belt your entire body is filled with fear, in the disgust of what you know will happen. The whole setting is dark and cold but finally, when the letters start pilling up yousee a bit of light, showing you that your voice can save a life.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Do you have an App for that?

It’s fun, it’s useful and when done right it’s entertaining. Who doesn’t like brand utilities? I use them just about daily. I have my Weather Network app, Desjardins banking app., Place d’Orleans on Facebook and Rainbow foods Facebook. We are exposed to these  new ways of advertising more and more everyday. Some brands have been more successful then other with developing utilities that attract their consumers and strengthen their company standards. Which is essential the goal of extending your brand past the point of purchase in order to maintain top of mind awareness and solidify customer loyalty. 
You can see in the following video about Chevrolet Volts electric car, how they have developed additional features to benefit clients.

Of course Apple has always been the company who embraces the changes of tomorrow . They are constantly evolving into more relevant and appropriate features. When the ipod came out Itunes was the smartest partnership they could have ever predicted. Now that the world is going mobile Apple has done the same. With their mobile itunes apps, pre-loaded onto any of their products. They even have their cloud software that loads any of your music, pictures or movies, onto your home computer from your mobile device. According to recent 2011 Microsoft Tag study they found that over 1 out of 4 billion of the worlds cellphones users are using Smartphones and 3 billion are SMS enabled. They continue on to predict  “In 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage” this is based on the fact that in the last year, more than 50% of web searches were done from  mobile devices.
Locally their are many Ottawa brands who have done some strong brand utilities development. Amongst some of my favorite are; the Hot 89.9 mobile app which allow you to listen live,  view upcoming events and see current promotions. There is also the Place d’Orleans Facebook page which pushes updates to any of their followers about promotional events and sales. The Metro app, with allows you to get your news via mobile or web. Finally, Ottawa Traffic app which is partnered with Google and gives people access to the Google maps camera’s to see current traffic situations and offers alternative routes.
One of the things I hate most about owning a car is gassing up. It’s long and boring and you have to go inside to pay. It wouldn’t matter which gas company, but I would love to see an app where you just show the pump your phone and its scans a barcode for direct payment. You could re-fill your card via mobile, and not worry about visa theft when paying at the pump. I think it would catch on quick and a lot of people would appreciate the convenience, without the worry of identity theft. Another of the companies that I would love to see extend their brand would be Ikea. I think a great idea would be to have them allow you to upload a  picture of your house or the room you want to redecorate, to their website. Then you would be able to see any of their products featured in your home, just drag and drop it from the catalogue into your picture.
All in all I believe that a brand utilities can only strengthen you company image and entice your customers to think of you.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

I wanna be queen of the world!!!

In the dictionary they define success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”  I wonder, is it really the accomplishment, or is it the praise and self-confidence that comes with the accomplishment that makes a person feel successful. For myself success can be measured in many ways but at the end of the day its about how it makes me feel. If I feel proud of a service I have executed than I know it was a success. Success can be divided amongst several categories including; spiritual, personality , physical, family, career, financial and lifestyle. In the following I will discuss 3 of which are more relevant to myself. 
One of them most dangerous roads to tread is the desire to be liked. Whether a person has to work on their personality or not, everyone desires to be liked. In my opinion this success can come at a high cost. Of course not all the people you encounter have the same views as you. Trying to please someone who is nothing like yourself can be exhausting. The key in a situation as such is to make sure not to lose your inner morals.  If you are able to establish common grounds based on understanding, respect and keeping an open-mind this will allow you to communicate with anyone. Success in personality is to achieve overall respect from the people who surround you. The highest triumph that I could receive would be praise from my peers. My goal is always similar and that is to be perceived and as fair and trustworthy source.
Secondly their is success in your career. This is something that will constantly be re-evaluated and morphed into more sophisticated achievements based on experience. If I was to consider myself now as a student graduating from college, success in my career would consist of; networking with people relevant in the event planning field and then eventually starting my own company in the same industry. Once I start on my actual career path I may desire awards or recognition, however, for now I am simply looking for promotions and opportunities. I suppose a little fame wouldn’t hurt either!
When evaluating a successful lifestyle the highest accomplishment would be to maintain a healthy balance. This is also the hardest success to attain, with today’s hectic society and lack of personal integration. When I say a healthy balance, I mean that would like to start my life by focusing mainly on my career. I would like to be able to stay late nights and excel at what I love to do. Once the time is right and I am financially and mentally comfortable with the idea, I would like to devote myself to starting a family of my own.  Once I have made such a commitment, I would make sure that my children always come first. With this in mind I would still like to maintain physical health, wether that means visiting the gym, or being involved in community work. If I am able to be successful in my career, while juggling family, social and personal time than I will have achieved ultimate success.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Who says that's what you have to like?

After watching the Ted Talk above my teacher Theresa Formant has asked us to discuss the following. This will be based mostly on my personal opinion. I will touch on how I expect evolving audience segmentation to affect advertising strategies and spending? How will this change the way companies do business? What will change and what will stay the same?

I’m a 16-year-old boy who is popular in school. I’m dating all the most relevant girls, I hang out with all the most relevant boys, but I love Italian opera shows... Well obviously this isn't me but it may be someone out there. So how is there any way to reach a person like this with a relevant advertising message?

We have come to see as psychographic research prevails that no two people are alike. It isn’t because you are a popular teen boy that you are going to enjoy action thrillers.  Your personal background, life experiences, beliefs and values strongly come into play when shaping a person’s thoughts and decisions.

With the huge growth in Social Media through the past decade, we as advertising have started to be able to reach people on a much more personable level. We can now see that people are so different. This vehicle also allows us to see the waste of money that is often invested into a market segment that is based purely on the assumptions of the companies and marketers. You cannot expect people to enjoy your product based on their demographics or geographic. However, reaching the most beneficial target audience comes at a price, a very, very expensive price. I think the future holds a lot more spending on audience segmentation.  Advertising will not feature so much of the target audience in their advertising, because these people range in shape and size. I think advertising will be focused more on plots and ideas that they know will appeal to the “Italian Opera goers.”

They will definitely being using social media as a means to reach the desired audiences, however companies may be instilling more mandatory surveys.  They will likely collect key consumer insights, try to find common patterns of psychographics amongst their consumer base and market accordingly. Companies may sell these surveys amongst each other if they see that it could be of relevance to one another. I believe that the more companies use these vehicles for research, the cheaper and easier it will become.

I truly believe that it is breaking barriers and changing stereotypes. We should expect to see a lot more ads that capture the essence of a person’s desires, instead of the glorified version of what advertisers think they should be. In the end it will be beneficial to both consumers (who will get the products they really want) and for the companies ( who will be investing their ad dollars in the best places to see a big return on investment.)