“Add to (Virtual) Shopping Cart!”

online-shopping-cartoon

(Source: here)

Online shopping has definitely advanced and changed many retail practices. It is currently the norm and it has given companies a chance to really strategize and take advantage of how to meet customer demands and cater to their busy lifestyles. Online shopping is beneficial for both consumers and the company. In Australia, online shopping is growing 10 times faster than regular retail stores amounting to over $10 billion in the previous year, with the most spent on auction sites, department stores, fashion, cosmetics and variety stores (Collier, 2012).

This article shows an “infographic” of the current trends of online marketing, which I will also outline below:

  • 66% of consumers refer web retailers
  • 73% of the survey participants complete nearly half of their shopping online
  • 50% of U.S. smartphone owners are using shopping apps each month
  • 4 out of 5 people shop for broader selection
  • 7 out of 10  shop for better sales and promotions
  • 2 out of 3 shop online because it is cheaper

After examining customer wants and what could make shopping easier through a tough economy, companies need to strategize to accomodate these needs. There are many benefits to both the consumer and the company to participate in online shopping.

Benefits to the consumer

  • Shopping is more convenient; it can be done on the computer, on a smartphone or on a tablet
  • Saves time and consumers can shop 24/7 since the web doesn’t close
  • Consumers do not have to deal with big crowds at malls or department stores
  • Although some companies do not cover shipping costs and may take longer due to shipping, consumers will be able to save a big percentage from the mark up of shopping at retail stores

Along with benefits, there may also be some minor disadvantages that companies have definitely tried to address. Some of these issues are not being able to try on merchandise and footwear and the issue of the time it will take to arrive at their doorstep. To address these concerns, companies are trying their best to put all the information and photographs of the particular item with sizing charts that relate to all aspects of an individual’s body (to portray a certain fit). Consumers also now have the option of choosing how fast they want shipping to take.

Benefits to the company

  • Lower overhead costs due to little or no physical store fronts and minimal employees
  • “62% of people rarely return items bought online” (Pan, 2012)
  • Able to get faster feedback and comments
  • Able to utilize social media and “67% said they respond quicker on social media” (Pan, 2012).
  • “41% prefer to provide feed through email and 27% through live chats” (Pan, 2012) which are available on most online retailers

The main challenges for companies are that the majority of the aspects of online shopping are virtual. Relationships will be built online and is challenging to maintain, and that customers want to see and try the products physically before buying them. I found a great article on Augmented Reality (AR) that companies want to implement in the future. I think it is really cool and it definitely proves that technology and the digital web just continues to advance.

Lastly, here is another great article on men embracing the concept of online shopping! It is not just women.

References

Arthur, Lisa. (2012). What does dad want for father’s day? To shop online. Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaarthur/2012/06/14/what-does-dad-want-for-fathers-day-to-shop-online/

Collier, Karen. (2012). Online shoppers spent more than $10 billion last year. Retrieved December 12, 2102, from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/online-shoppers-spent-more-than-10-billion-last-year/story-fn7x8me2-1226282687537

Pan, Joann. (2012). 45% of shoppers buy items online they wouldn’t in person. Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/08/25/online-shopping-trends/

Pan, Joann. (2012). How Augmented Reality is shaping the future of retail. Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/06/20/augmented-reality-retail/

The Blogging Industry: companies should take advantage!

it-happens-n8-seth

(Source: here)

Blogging is a growing industry that companies should take advantage of. It is a very important part of the digital world because it gives users places to visit to get both news and opinions (Miller, 2011). Blog articles are one of the “elements that shape and change the culture of the web profession” (Jamal, 2012). This post analyzes the current blogging trends and there is also short interview with Shani Higgins (from Technorati) I found very useful in the blogging industry. Here are the main points from the video:

  • Blogging is a platform for an independent voice to have news worthy information where the audience can add value and truly participate in.
  • The main bloggers in 2011 consists of 64% male and 34% female between the ages of 18 and 44. In 2012, females increased by 5% (39%). All generations younger and older are both eager to set up blog personalities.
  • Blogging is both for personal use and business use. In 2012, bloggers have up to 3 blogs on average that they manage.
  • Blogging is a big trend for brands. Brands want to get closer to blogs because bloggers are the main influencers that affect consumers.
  • Companies need to find a way to get to influencers and partner up with them.
  • The average salary for professional bloggers is $24, 000 per year; this is only a supplementary income to the one they currently have.

Here is another article that goes in-depth with the blogging trends. There are a lot of charts and graphs that are really helpful in analyzing and exploring this industry. In addition, according to the same article, there are 7 reasons why companies need to rethink their blog marketing strategies. Here is a brief overview:

  1. Bloggers are young, educated and experienced.
  2. Bloggers help brands.
  3. A growing number of consumers trust blogs.
  4. Bloggers depend increasingly on social media.
  5. Bloggers use multimedia.
  6. Bloggers are earning money through their blogs.
  7. Bloggers are increasing their activities.

Companies should start a plan to participate in this growing industry because it is another form of viral marketing. Blogging should be used by companies as a marketing tool in order to build relationships with their consumers, open communication channels, provide constant information about the company and the products they carry and as a “mix of public relations and promotions” (Miller, 2011). There are also two ways that companies can incorporate blogs into their web marketing plan: establish own company or product blog separate from company website and as direct public relations efforts to the most influential bloggers in the company’s industry, which leads to word-of-mouth exposure (Miller, 2011).

There are also four ways that a company can utilize blogs (According to The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide Book):

  1. Disseminating news and information – this allows companies to get the word out to their consumers and share news they want their consumers to know about. A few examples can be about a new store opening or developing a new product line.
  2. Promoting products and services – this allows the company blog to be used as a promotional tool to their consumers. It is also another way that companies can announce new products, upcoming promotions, events and upcoming sales. In addition, companies can also blog about how different customers use certain products in different/multiple ways.
  3. Interacting with customers – this allows companies to build and create online communities for their brand and be able to create and maintain a closer relationship with customers. It gives companies a chance to know what customers are thinking and feeling, which is a good tool for market research, as well as being able to be proactive by asking users and consumers questions to generate feedback.
  4. Providing more exposure – and more search opportunities – blogging gives companies more online public exposure and another home on the web.


(Miller, 2011).

Although companies should be taking advantage of this industry, it is also important for them to monitor web activities to ensure all conflicts and challenges along the way will be addressed accordingly. This is an important tool for companies that could provide more opportunities and expansion for the future at low costs.

References

Jamal. (2012). Is the blogging industry in a downturn?. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/blogging-industry-downturn/

Mershon, Phil. (2011). 7 Reasons to rethink your blogging strategy: New research. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-reasons-to-rethink-your-blogging-strategy-new-research/

Miller, Michael. (2011). The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide. Indianapolis, Indiana: Pearson Education Inc.

Stelzner, Michael. (2012). Blogging trends for 2012: what you need to know. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogging-trends-for-2012-what-you-need-to-know/

 

 

 

Is Internet TV replacing Cable TV?

online-video-replacing-traditional-tv__oPt

(Source: here)

Has the recession really hit that hard that people are cancelling cable and relying on internet tv? Or is technology simply moving at the speed of light for this to be available for us? Or both?

After further research, devices such as AppleTV, GoogleTV, Amazon Prime and Xbox360 and etc are not replacements for cable TV since they are not live. However, these can be used as another option and “as a way to augment regular TV viewing and not as a sold provider of video content; they fall short of emulating the cable TV experience” (Warren, 2011). Before considering completely switching, “do a careful evaluation of media consumption habits and assess whether or not you can get comparable experience solely from the web” (Prindle, 2012). Online streaming services have free trials for one to be able to test out first before deciding to completely switch; companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus and many others have free trials available to take advantage of. Consumers should also consider the costs to completely making the switch. It may be cheaper to keep current bundles that companies are offering, than to let go of cable services and only keep internet services. One can also go with the most basic cable package but keep the high speed internet option (Prindle, 2012). People may sometimes be under the impression that completely letting go of cable TV is a lot cheaper, but that’s not the case….for now at least. Companies are keeping the bundling option to save consumers money and at the same time, streaming devices are cheap, not free. “Hulu and Netflix are $7.99 a month and Amazon Prime is $79 a year, or $6.59 a month” (Prindle, 2012). “Hulu will get you current season TV shows on delay while Netflix instant streaming will get older season’s episodes” (Wang, 2011).

These devices are supplementary to cable TV and is not taking over; even cable companies are now offering similar services on these connected devices like Telus, Bell or even Verizon. They should “extend and enhance viewing options, not replace existing methods; rather than competing against offerings from Amazon, Netflix and iTunes, cable companies should leverage their strengths and make content more accessible on computers, smartphones and tablets” (Warren, 2011). This option is more applicable to people that only watch TV occasionally and people that are always on the go; however, “without television and cable services watching sporting events (for sports fanatics, at least) would be very difficult unless one is technically savvy or be willing to go to a local bar” (Wang, 2011). Technology and the digital world is advancing so fast that there is no doubt Internet TV could be another option in the future.

What are your thoughts? Would you be able to live off just streaming/Internet TV?

References

Prindle, Drew. (2012). How to cancel cable and save with free Internet TV. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/how-to-cancel-cable-and-get-tv-on-your-pc/

Wang, Jim. (2011). Sick of paying for cable? Here are your options. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-11-01/news/30341174_1_cable-television-antenna-hulu-netflix

Warren, Christina. (2011). The truth about cutting the cable TV cord. Retrieved December 11, 2012 from http://mashable.com/2011/01/31/connected-device-experiment/

Social Media and The Workplace

For many, social media has become a part of their everyday lives. Social media is also now more accessible because it is available pretty much anywhere, especially on mobile devices such as cellphones, tablets and iPods. Has it become so routine and have we become so involved that we participate in social media even during work hours? If so, should it be acceptable in the workplace or should there be serious consequences if an employee is caught on Facebook during work hours?

Through a survey conducted in an article, there are very “few organizations that have social media policies in place. Less than one-quarter of those surveyed work for a company with a specific policy, while nearly one-quarter say they have no policy. At other organizations it’s part of the general guidelines for the use of technology” (Ladika, 2012). It also describes that employers should take advantage of employees using social media to be able to see what is said about the company and to connect with customers (Ladika, 2012). It doesn’t make a difference whether employees are allowed complete access, or if they have monitored access, or even if social media is completely blocked because they will still access at least once during the workday; “3/4 use their personal mobile devices to access social media at least once a day on the job and 60% use it several times each workday” (Ladika, 2012). In addition, companies may benefit from this because 40% of what is being shared through social media is work-related (Ladika, 2012).

According to Forbes, “most executives are keen on striking a balance of acceptable use” (Savitz, 2012). They also came out with an interesting article that used the icebreaker game “2 truths and a lie” so demonstrate how companies misunderstand the use of social media in the workplace. They mentioned three statements, 2 are the truth and 1 is a lie. Can you guess which of the three is a lie before reading on?

  1. As the use of social applications increased, so did the use of other communications tools like instant messaging and webmail. (Savitz, 2012)

  2. Most employees keep Facebook or Twitter open in the background while they’re at work, like email.  (Savitz, 2012)

  3. Employees that use social applications are less productive than employees that do not.  (Savitz, 2012)

If you guessed 3, then you’re right! Employees are not less productive when they use social media. “Same devices and remote access to enterprise applications mean employees regularly work during ‘off hours’ increasing overall productivity. Productivity bonuses are associated with the ability to safely use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to meet corporate objectives in areas like marketing, customer service and sales” (Savitz, 2012). The point is that all employees, regardless of having a social media policy in place or not should use social media wisely and using their best judgement. They should also be very aware of what is posted online because they are representing their company.

Another great article from Forbes states that “social media training in the workplace [is going to be as] common as ethics and diversity training” (Meister, 2012). The article outlines 5 ways that will ensure companies do so in the right way. (A complete description of each one is in the article).

  1. Start early

  2. Create a branded program for social media training

  3. Be specific and explicit about what you want

  4. Include game mechanics to engage and reward employees

  5. Create a vehicle for continuous improvement

References

Ladika, Susan. (2012). Worker Social Media Usage High in the Workplace, Survey Shows. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.workforce.com/article/20121003/NEWS01/121009977/worker-social-media-usage-high-in-the-workplace-survey-shows#

Meister, Jeanne. (2012). Social Media Training Is Now Mandatory: Five Ways To Make Sure Your Company Does It Right. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/10/31/social-media-training-is-now-mandatory/

Savitz, Eric. (2012). Social Media In The Office: Two Truths and a Lie. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/06/10/social-media-in-the-office-two-truths-and-a-lie/

The YouTube Boom!

YouTube is a website where users are able to upload, watch and share videos that are creatively and originally made. The evolution of such a website began in February 2005 and has become a phenomenon ever since. Justin Bieber, along with other guests that appeared on the Ellen deGeneres show like Maria Aragon became popular artists and singing sensations just through YouTube. This gave people the chance to showcase and share their talent with the world. YouTube also helps users expand and explore their creativities and be able to share tips on how to do certain things.

It has helped users in so many areas of life such as entertainment through short scripts, music covers and real life experiences, home decor and living, DIY (Do It yourself) tips and tricks, hair and beauty tutorials, fashion and style tips, cooking recipes, party games, sports news, learning how to do accounting and calculus formulas and even how to tie a tie; the list is endless and there is pretty much a video for almost every area of life, even ones you would never imagine!

YouTube has definitely caught the attention of numerous companies and many of them are now taking advantage of such a website that has over 800 million users that visit every month and the millions of subscriptions each day (YouTube Statistics). Companies are not just using this to advertise at the beginning of videos (wtih over 60% of the in-stream ads being skippable [YouTube Statistics]) but they are using the the users to advertise their products as well. They started a partnership program with users in 2007 where users will be compensated for the type and number of views; they currently have over 1 million partners from 27 countries around the world (YouTube Statistics).  Here is an example of AT&T using Wong Fu Productions (a YouTube user and partner) to advertise their products using Wong Fu’s skills to be able to have consumers participate and be a part of the production for the “When it Counts” series:

Other popular YouTube partners with over 1 million subscribers are users like nigahiga, kevjumba, timothydelaghetto2, michellephan, and juicystar07. Some are shown below as an example. These partners along with many other get stuff sent from footwear and apparel companies, beauty and cosmetics companies (to name a few) to market and review. They are also given the chance to share the products with all their viewers; because they have over a million subscribers, companies have now used them as a medium to market their products and have for sure reached over 1 million people. Even larger companies such as Lancome are sponsoring YouTube sensations in order to market their products, such as Michelle Phan.

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 6.37.12 PM

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 6.39.08 PM

 

(Source: Screenshot from YouTube pages of michellephan and nigahiga

The company expansion continues and YouTube is also available as an application for mobile smartphones. “Traffic in mobile devices tripled in 2011 and more than 20% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices” (YouTube Statistics); they have made it easier and more convenient for users to share and view videos at their own time and wherever they are. In addition, they have made it so easy for users to be able to apply and share this to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. “Clicks on the ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ button on YouTube have doubled since the start of 2011. For every ‘dislike,’ [they] get 10 ‘likes’- people like to tell other people about the stuff they love” (YouTube Statistics). A lot of companies are transitioning their marketing efforts to YouTube, social media and online paid media because of the growing online trends and the number of users and viewers each platform has.

Here is a YouTube article that provides a brief history and description of their success and another one here that explores the YouTube Phenomenon.

References

Dakss, Brian. (2009). YouTube Phenomenon Keeps Growing. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500195_162-1864812.html

Lidsky, David. (2010). The Brief but Impactful History of YouTube. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.fastcompany.com/1514469/brief-impactful-history-youtube

YouTube. (n.d.). YouTube Statistics. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from  http://www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics

Digital Banking: Online and Mobile

online_banking

(Source: http://research.pandasecurity.com/online-banking/)

The banking industry is a huge industry participating in the digital world; it “continued to grow steadily for the top 10 global banks in 2011. The rise in digital banking has been driven by the change in consumer behaviour: they want simplicity, responsiveness and personalized services” (On Windows, 2012). They have evolved to online and mobile banking, benefiting both the consumers and the company.  Online and mobile banking make it easier and more convenient for customers; they have access to online help or telephone assistance in case they run into problems or require help. Online banking websites are very user-friendly and easy to navigate around. “Consumer adoption of mobile banking grew by almost 60% in 2010 – 2011 and by 2015, more people will interact with their banks digitally than through branches” (On Windows, 2012).

The “busy and tech-savvy consumers want to interact with banks without [the need to] visit a branch to meet their needs” (On Windows, 2012). Having mobile banking available to consumers with a busy life and who also own a smartphone is definitely a big advantage. They do not need to rush to banks during their lunch hours at work, rush to make it just in time before the bank closes after a long day at work and they will be able to pay and receive bills at their own convenience. In addition, this method of banking is so convenient that it allows consumers to be able to travel and still have access to online banking to pay bills, receive bills, transfer funds and more banking activities. The digital web has definitely changed the banking lifestyle! “More and more consumers are using digital channels to interact with banks for convenience and ease of use, as well as rapid access to information” (On Windows, 2012).

Digital banking is not just beneficial for the consumer, but for banks/companies as well. “Adoption to these channels present an opportunity to new revenue streams, reaching different segments of consumers and converting previously untapped potential. This allows companies to reach new demographics, test business cases and introduce new products and services” (On Windows, 2012). This also allows companies to be more socially responsible by sending out bills through the web as opposed to the traditional paper way; doing so also minimizes costs of resources, supplies and postage to send out to the customers in a more efficient and timely manner.

Here is an interesting article that talks about 6 ways to blend both online and mobile banking platforms. Also here are 4 ways that will help the banking industry improve this year. These are the four ways:

  1. Internet banking: focus on experience
  2. Mobile banking and mobile payments
  3. Personal finance management: an opportunity now, a must for tomorrow
  4. Online sales

References

Bankfutura. (n.d.). Online Banking Trends in 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2012 from, http://www.bankfutura.com/2011/12/online-banking-trends-in-2012/

Bunch, Tim. (2012). The future of online banking: when worlds collide. Retrieved December 10, 2012 from, http://thefinancialbrand.com/26511/future-of-online-banking-desktop-mobile-tbunch/

On Windows. (2012). Online and mobile banking trends. Retrieved December 10, 2012 from, http://www.onwindows.com/Articles/Online-and-mobile-banking-trends/6896/Default.aspx

Online Audit for Lululemon

lulu_quote1

I chose this post specifically on the online audit assignment that I did for Lululemon. It is really interesting to learn so much about a company and how well they are recognized online; this gave me an opportunity to explore other online sites that help measure a company’s online presence and show how companies are expanding online in today’s information age. Having an online presence and building online communities for companies are really important in this day and age since many aspects of business and word of mouth advertising are transitioning online.

I will briefly describe my findings on Lululemon, one of my favourite brands to wear for casual outings, working out and doing yoga. I will talk about their online presence and the different practices they have on the web.

Aside from their website, they are a part of different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Google+, Technorati and Klout with a Klout rating of 73. These social media sites are frequently maintained and they are used as a way to communicate with consumers and a way to advertise trends, new merchandise and different events. Here are a few examples of their presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Technorati:

Facebook: they currently have many Facebook pages for different areas and topics. The main Facebook page has over 700,000 likes and over 30,000 people talking about them. They currently advertise new products that come in for the season as well as respond to comments and provide feedback for consumers.

Twitter: they currently have over 300,000 followers and their account is well maintained and updated. They use this platform as a way to lead users to many other platforms they utilize such as YouTube and the Lululemon Community blog. They also post a lot of positive and motivational quotes, especially on living a more healthy and active lifestyle. It is a great way for their users to see what the company and brand is all about and what they represent.

Technorati: this platform will lead users to the latest news about the company. An example of this was when  Lululemon was suing Clavin Klein for coming out with a very similar pant to Lululemon’s signature Astro pant. Here is a picture of how similar the 2 pants looked side by side:

lulu

(L: Lululemon, R: Calvin Klein)

The mood that online users and consumers have on the brand is a very positive one. Both the company and the users respond very well to the many activities online that happen. Lululemon is able to market the overall brand and products while communicating, interacting and building these relationships with their consumers and users. However, there are people who do not have full knowledge of the company and yoga practices, and to them Lululemon appears to be “cult-like” with extremely high price points, with pants costing up to $100. Even with this, the majority of their main presence is positive since people really do value the products and the high quality that Lululemon provides. Lululemon does a really good job addressing and overcoming challenges they face online and offline; they are a growing company with a strong competitive advantage in the industry and always willing to participate in the different economic changes and trends.

References

Lululemon Athletica. (n.d). Lululemon Athletica Facebook page. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from http://www.facebook.com/lululemon

Lululemon Athletica. (n.d). Lululemon Athletica Twitter page. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from https://twitter.com/lululemon 

The Rx Review. (2012). Lululemon suing Calvin Klein over yoga pants. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from http://therxreview.com/lululemon-suing-calvin-klein-over-yoga-pants/

“There’s an app for that!”

From social networking, to playing games, to converting currencies, to checking the stock market, to checking the weather, to online banking, there is definitely an app for that!

It’s the information age and we are in the midst of yet another recession. However, the times when the economy is down is the perfect time to start a business and really strategize on marketing efforts to continually attract consumers. Since Apple came out with the iPhone and and the App Store, the mobile application and mobile marketing industry started to boom. Companies know that consumers are continually getting more busy and they are looking for more convenience in living their daily life. The mobile application industry has definitely come to the rescue! Consumers with a smart phone have access to millions of applications available to them for every area of their life! With millions of applications available, companies are slowly starting to take advantage of the number of users that are using applications and they are advertising on ones that are related to their company and industry.

“Mobile applications made the number-two spot on Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2012. This year has been a virtual app-a-palooza with applications that promise to do everything but tie our shoelaces and pour our breakfast cereal in the morning” (McKay, 2012). In order to be successful, companies need to address needs of consumers and understand the best way to meet them (McKay, 2012). Applications have definitely improved different practices, especially in business; presentations have been more creative and can now be presented through a tablet and and can use different applications to compile and present material needed, as an example. This industry just keeps increasing exponentially that applications are not just available on mobile phones, but on iPods and tablets as well; because of this, companies will need to create competitive advantage to participate in a growing industry. “The consumer market is a tougher, more fickle market than the B2B market. A consumer-targeted app that makes life better or easier will hold up, but an app that is merely entertaining — unless it’s extremely entertaining — may get deleted almost as quickly as it’s downloaded onto a person’s tablet or smartphone” (McKay, 2012).

A particular application that really caught my attention was the square app. This makes starting up a business a lot more convenient and easy to do. The square app allows businesses to use their mobile devices as a point of sales system where they would swipe credit/debit cards on an attached piece to the device. Here is an article if Starbucks looking to partner up with square.

square app

 

In addition, I found an article from Forbes that also talk about the 3 growing trends in the market: mobile, social and cloud. It talks about how these are are used to keep people and businesses connected and how being connected in the 21st century is a lot different as well as more convenient. The link to this is available here.

References

Lopez, Maribel. (2012). Three trends that change business: Mobile, Social and Cloud. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/maribellopez/2012/01/28/three-trends-that-change-business-mobile-social-and-cloud/

McBride, Sarah and Shih, Gerry. (2012). Starbucks partners with startup Square to offer mobile payments. Retrieved December 4, 2012, from http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/08/starbucks-partners-with-startup-square-to-offer-mobile-payments/

McKay, Matt. (2012). Staying ahead of mobile application technology trends. Retrieved December 3, 2012, from http://sandhill.com/article/staying-ahead-of-mobile-application-technology-trends/

 

Privacy: is this necessary?

In today’s digital world, one of the main concerns of users is privacy. Is maintaining privacy still an ethical practice in today’s society with amount of social media platforms available, or is this not deemed important/necessary any more? Here’s are some key points to consider for both sides:

Against Privacy

Many people, specifically Mark Zuckerberg (the owner of Facebook) claim that “online privacy is no longer the ‘social norm’ [and that] people are more comfortable now to share information on the internet” (Thomas, 2010). Others also argue that the use of personal information may be used for data research or medical research. Marketers may also use this information to determine needs of consumers and to target new ones. Some may also believe that the laws and bills that are passed should be able to benefit everyone that need information.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act outline (PIPEDA) 10 principles regarding Privacy under Canadian standards:

  1. Accountability
  2. Identifying Purposes
  3. Consent
  4. Limiting Collection
  5. Limiting use, disclosure, and retention
  6. Accuracy
  7. Safeguards
  8. Openness
  9. Individual Access
  10. Challenging Compliance

The full descriptions of each one are available here
For Privacy

Privacy is a main concern for other users of the internet. There may be other misconceptions of social media platforms such as Facebook; users need to know their right and the company rights because many users are not aware that any information that goes on Facebook is allowed to be used by Facebook (as an example). One may think that privacy settings are set in place to release only wanted information and hide other types of information from specific users, but they do not know that Facebook has the right to use them. Any user of the internet who is concerned about their personal privacy should be extremely careful about the information they disclose, including one’s name. Privacy is also important to users because of potential safety and protection risks.

The Privacy Act is available to view here.

Conclusion

I believe that privacy is important and that each individual does have their own right to privacy. It is also all users’ responsibility to monitor themselves in what they post for the world to see; in addition, users should be very careful and should have full knowledge of the different platforms they will get involved with. There are also  a number of hackers that will try to find any sort of loop holes to generate information they want. It is up to users to do their own due diligence with this matter.

References

Department of Justice. (2011). Principles set out in the National Standards of Canada. Retrieved from http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-8.6/page-19.html#h-25

Department of Justice. (2012). Privacy Act. Retrieved from http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-21/index.html

Thomas, Benny. (2010). Online privacy, is it still a necessity?. Retrieved December 5, 2012, from http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/Online_privacy_is_it_still_a_necessity-nid-64705-cid-2.html

Traditional vs. Social Media Marketing

Since the rise and boom of social media (especially with regard to the marketing industry), the biggest question is which strategy should marketers stick to? Which one is more effective? Is traditional media really phasing out and being taken over?

Here are some major key points I found very helpful before jumping to conclusions:

Traditional Media

Traditional media allows the company to communicate and interact with their customers on a more personal level and provide them with full service; this will help the company build trust and improve relationships with customers, ensuring that they are well taken care of. There is also still a large number of people that use tv, print and the radio as a part of their daily lives; this makes traditional media effective for people that still read the newspaper and listen to the radio on their way to work. However, costs to advertise on a newspaper, tv and radio are high and increasing, especially in  today’s economic conditions. In addition, Social Media Today outlines the two main disadvantages of traditional media: it is being forced on the consumer and there is a lack of community building. This “old school marketing way has a very low response rate” (Souza, 2012); this also does not encourage people to “share a community with the brand, and as a result, [consumers] don’t care about its promotions. Advertisers spend millions trying to reach people that just don’t care enough to act” (Souza, 2012).

Social Media

Social media  allows the company to build online communities where social media users are able to provide feedback and comments on their experience with the company and the brand. Companies are  able to track and measure competitors, conduct online market research and connect with customers on a global scale, as well as reach out and attract new ones. Consumers are able to get information they need instantly through different social media platforms that are available at any time. However, the challenge for many companies is to streamline the different platforms they want to utilize and ensure that each one is regularly maintained and updated to keep up with the growing online communities. Companies also do not have a chance to have face-to-face interaction with their customers and customers will also have to deal with their privacy concerns on the web.

In summary, I found an awesome site that provides a simple comparison of both methods side by side. Here is the link

Conclusion

In conclusion, traditional media is not dead. After outlining a few points on both traditional and social media, traditional media should be used in conjunction with a social media marketing plan.In marketing, traditional media is the hi-touch aspect and social media is the hi-tech aspect. Providing both hi-tech and hi-touch will enable companies to build better relationships with their customers while participating in growing trends of social media. An article from Forbes  states that “using both push (traditional) and pull (social media + viral grassroots) marketing strategies [will] present consumers with a 360-degree, well-rounded understanding [a] company” (Stone, 2012).

References

Stone, Kimberly E.  (2012). Why traditional marketing trumps social media and what to do about it. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2012/09/18/why-traditional-marketing-trumps-social-media-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Hausman, Angela. (2012). 16 Differences between social media and traditional media. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/16-differences-between-social-media-and-traditional-media-0211995

Souza, John. (2012). Pros and Cons of Traditional vs. Social media marketing. Retrieved November 30, 2012 from http://socialmediatoday.com/johnsouza/559299/pros-cons-traditional-vs-social-media-marketing