Wednesday, 22 March 2017

It’s Time To Get With The Program

Welcome to the future, fellow marketers! 

Hi, I’m Alyce! As one of your new ‘Marketing Matters’ bloggers, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and my fellow bloggers- Bowie and Hazel. We want to welcome you to the University of Sydney, Business School’s official blog- your go-to source for all things marketing related.

It’s always good to keep up-to-date. There are exciting times ahead for all of us here in the Master of Marketing program. For this reason, I want to encourage each and every one of you to get involved and enjoy all that the pr`ogram has to offer. Don’t just sit on the sidelines. Interact, interplay and keep connected with each other via every platform that’s available to you. 

If you haven’t already, start reading and commenting on the blog. Connect with each other on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, the Facebook group- Master of Marketing USYD, and don’t forget to update your student profile on Blackboard.

So what do we have to take-away from the course to date?

Our industry is fast becoming respected as more of a science than an art. We know that marketing is complex and it requires a huge breadth of knowledge, a complex skill set and of course some ingenuity. We are pretty much the magician’s apprentices, being trained in the art of foresight.

However, unlike fortune-tellers we not only have to read the numbers, but make strategic decisions based on more than just guesswork.

The issue here is that not everyone we encounter in the workplace has caught on to the fact that marketing is integral to the performance of the whole company. Even though it’s an out-dated view, individual departments are still perceived as being separate to one another. Many forget that these cogs are all part of the same machine.

So… am I talking about Internal Marketing?

After spending the weekend in class, I’d hope that at least the current students are familiar with ‘Internal Marketing’. For the rest of our readers, well, I’ll give you a refresher just in case you have forgotten.

With Internal Marketing, employees are regarded as ‘internal customers’ who are just as valuable as ‘external customers’. The goal is to align every aspect of a company’s internal operations to provide maximum value to customers.

Perhaps some of you have already found this out the hard way, but believe it or not, the biggest hurdle is the implementation. Ideally in this situation, every single person, no matter his or her role, is responsible for internal marketing. 

But what if everyone doesn’t want to get out board? Well, that’s when things start to go pear shaped.

I know there are those who are resistant to change, so I keeping in spirit with Stan and Kim, I thought I would leave you with this meme to enjoy.

Have you ever encountered resistance to an internal marketing campaign you were involved in implementing? Use the comment button to share you stories below.

Alyce Brierley
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Yeezy Boosts - The perfect example of Celebrity Endorsement

It’s only fitting that since my previous blog talked about Influencer Marketing that today I’ll talk about Celebrity Endorsements - particularly in the fashion and sneaker industry.

In December 2013, Kanye West left Nike for Adidas. Fast forward to today, Adidas is riding a buzz-wave of sneaker and pop-culture. It is both directly and indirectly tied back to Kanye and his Yeezy clothing and shoe line. Adidas was set on using a different endorsement technique from Nike.

Instead of limiting the creative control of product development, Adidas saw this collaboration as a ‘joint venture’. It is to give the celebrity partner the sense of having creative input and strategies. This includes them having a say in the go-to market strategy and tactics.

If you ask any ‘sneakerhead' about the coolest ‘kicks’ around, the answer will very likely be the Yeezy Boost 350. In 2015, the Adidas Yeezy Boosts won the FNAA Shoes of the Year Award, another evidence of the success of the Kanye West and Adidas Originals collaboration. It is no surprise that Adidas sales increased by 14%.

How exactly did the Yeezy Boost 350s sell out in 12 minutes and become the most coveted sneaker out at the moment?

1. Target the right celebrity for endorsement to make sure the product is always in the media’s eye.

Celebrity endorsement is one of the most powerful word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing tool available and generates engagement amongst today’s tech-savvy, trend-conscious youth. The target audience of the Yeezy collection are fashion-conscious millennials with high purchasing ability to keep up with the trend. And the way to keep up with trends are by keeping up with celebrities on their social media feeds.

Image: Faded Fashion

2. Kanye personally endorses the brand, wearing his design in concerts, award events and what not.

Kanye is highly regarded as a celebrity fashion icon. He has a huge following for his provocative views and tastes. Weeks prior to the launch of a new collection of Yeezy, Kanye proudly wears his personal design to events where paparazzi and fans are eager to catch a glimpse of the sneakers. This is a way to build up the hype way before the official launch.

Image: Footwear News

3. Limited number to build exclusivity and hype.

Yeezy Boost might be the perfect definition of demand exceeding supply. With each seasonal release of the Yeezy Boost, only a limited number of pairs are made available worldwide. The ‘average consumer’ can’t simply hope to walk into the nearest Adidas store to purchase a pair.

Time and effort are needed to keep up with the pre-launch news and the actual launch date. Getting a pair at a retail price would require you to count on your lucky star. This exclusivity generates tons of WOM around the product because everyone will likely be talking about trying to get it or how they got it.

Image: Footlocker UK

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Importance of Influencer Marketing

A recent study revealed that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017. But what exactly is influencer marketing? Well to put it simply, it’s that middle territory between a legitimate testimonial and mentioning a product subtly, which is usually done in passing.

Not to be confused with celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing creates word-of-mouth advertising using people that are trusted in their industry/social circle. With this marketing strategy, influencers are building up the brand’s image in the minds of their followers. Whereas celebrity endorsements attaches the fame of a celebrity to a brand or product so that they are associated with that product — as a result people want to buy that product. Both strategies use well-known people to influence the target market. But the way they are executed and how they influence their target market is very different. Today we’ll focus on influencer marketing.

Influencers are specialists in what they do. Different from celebrities, they build communities around themselves in a very niche space. For example, when a brand sends food bloggers their newest cake offering as part of an influencer campaign, the intent is not from their fame but rather the true recommendations within the targeted community.

But why Influencers?

Influencers are deemed to be more authentic as they are perceived to be creators of the entire message. From beginning to end, the message is considered theirs and that lends it a certain credibility. Go and scroll through your Instagram feed now — You can still see your favourite influencers representing products and promoting brands, all while still staying true to their unique voice and story.

Why influencer marketing?

Consumers trust recommendations from word-of-mouth more often than the brand itself. It makes sense if you think about it on a more personal context. Let’s put it into a scenario — You don’t usually trust a person at a party who comes up to you and brags about themselves, but you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting the brand with the target audience.

What brands will get in return is targeted exposure to the right consumer, one who is already interested in that particular area and will likely be paid attention. Speaking of paying attention — 47% of online consumers use ad blockers nowadays, giving brands even more reason to put their money behind influencers instead, as they are the ones holding everyone’s attention.

Social media influencers exist on all the primary social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. These platforms have given birth to Internet famous celebrities and influencers. They are becoming more and more savvy about how to properly collaborate with brands for their own creative campaigns.

In 2017, the use of influencer marketing is rising. Collaborations between brands and influencers are only to increase. It’s only a matter of time before social media shifts into a social marketplace.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Studying at a postgraduate level to keep an edge in my career

10 years after my undergraduate degree in Communications, and with almost my entire career spent in Marketing following that, I decided to embark on the Master of Marketing at the University of Sydney.

With some trepidation about studying again I thought to evaluate exactly what I wanted to gain out of my experience at the university and postgraduate study, and I realised what it came down to was gaining further credibility within the industry in Australia.

With a competitive job market, and high expectations for myself of where I wanted to take my career, studying at a post-graduate level was the best way forward to cement my understanding of relevant Marketing theories and keep an edge in my career.

Given the pace that technology has developed since my initial studies, I found learning about the latest theories in the units Consumer Behaviour and Evaluating Marketing Performance, to be some of the most valuable days spent in the course to date. So much has changed as far as consumers making purchase decisions with the ability to quickly check a price, or find another retailer and product advice online. The way marketers work alongside finance, sales, strategy and the C-Suite has become even more important than before as we look to show the value of our campaigns, not just from a brand awareness perspective, but aligned to long term company objectives and revenues.

The best thing about the Master of Marketing course? The networks created, and friends from all different career backgrounds and countries around the world, and the confidence gained by having an additional layer of credibility to take an opportunity at a promotion, new career, engage in a higher level of strategic planning and conversation, or to try something new.

Lana Montgomery
Current Master of Marketing student at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Are Chatbots the future of E-Commerce?

With Valentine’s Day coming up I wish 1-800-flowers was available in Australia. Being able to order flowers from Facebook Messenger is so 2017, you can literally place an order in a minute without having to call or physically go to the florist. Chatbot is the new black.

In the early days of Artificial Intelligence research, chatbots were seen as an intriguing (but for the most part, useless) technology. Today, chatbots are poised to revolutionise the way we communicate and could change marketing forever. Chatbots and the A.I. technology that enables them are on the rise and constantly evolving.

eMarketer predicts that by 2018, 65% of the global population will use messaging apps. And with so many of these messaging apps now supporting chatbots, it’s not surprising that the global chatbot market is expected to grow exponentially between 2016 and 2023 (source: Credence Research). 

Fun fact: did you know that Facebook Messenger alone now has more than 30,000 chatbots you can interact with. These include 1-800-Flowers chatbot for ordering flower, Poncho chatbot for checking the weather and Uber chatbot for finding a ride. (source: Global Web Index)

As e-commerce consumers become more comfortable interacting with machines online, chatbots will inevitably continue to dominate the online landscape.

Although most chatbot tasks are relatively basic for now, that is unlikely to be the case for long. Conversational dead-ends happen, and answers are often tone-deaf. But like real people, chatbots need time to learn — think of them as trial and error. 

If you go off script, for example, to change your delivery date, the chatbot doesn’t always follow you. Often you’ll go all the way to the end before you can cancel your order and start again. But chatbots will get smarter as more people keep using them, and as developer perfect what it is that people want and need.

Like all good things in life, it takes time!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Stan's prediction for 2017 -- Brands should look into daring community management

Happy new year 2017 readers! I truly hope that you all have had an amazing holiday period and are settling back into work well. Looking into 2017, I was wondering what would change in the industry -- I mean, 2016 was a great year and content was amazing, but something bigger must surely be coming.

For me, 2017 is going to rely heavily on content management. Brands need to stop with the generic responses to consumers on social media. We have all seen the consumers posting their dissatisfaction towards something and 9 times out of 10, the brands will have a generic response that say something along the lines of “We are really sorry to hear that, we take your feedback seriously so please contact a team member on 9455 XXXX to discuss further”.

Realistically speaking, we as consumers know we are handed off and are left unsatisfied after getting such a generic response. Also, most brands seem to have this invisible wall up where they are hesitant to go out of the ‘safety box’ to reply to consumers. Social media is a place where people like to have fun -- Many times we like to ‘troll’ brands because we have nothing better to do. Mostly, you get the generic “haha hilarious” or sometimes not get a response at all.

This is something that I personally feel brands should start changing. Community management can be a fun and creative space for brands to market to their consumers. Instead of being afraid and staying in the ‘safety box’ that I have mentioned above, try something daring and out there (within reason of course). But I really think that we as consumers can really relate to those kinds of things and can lead to some sort of attachment to the brand because of it.

I am going to leave you all with this screenshot of a Twitter thread between Wendy’s community manager, Amy Brown and a consumer. She isn’t afraid of leaving the ‘safety box’ and responds in a way that some might see as unprofessional, but others might see as genius. For me personally, I think it is pure genius -- And I think for brands to excel in 2017, they should start looking at community management not just as a ‘crowd control’ space but rather a marketing platform where they can benefit from.

Twitter account of Katy Wellhousen @KatyWellhousen

Friday, 16 December 2016

Genius marketing behind Snapchat Spectacles

Snapchat Spectacles has been trending this past month for a number of reasons. For those of you that have not heard of them, I would recommend that you search them up right now -- especially if you are big on your Instagram game. In short, it is Snapchat’s first hardware product that they released initially on November 10 of this year.

They are a pair of regular sunglasses that acts as a normal pair with the addition of a one-touch recording camera on the edge of the frame that shoots in a circular video format. It is then synced to your phone through Bluetooth where you can upload the recording on your Snapchat account.

The product itself is a great move forward from Snapchat but for me, it is how they have been marketing and distributing them that is getting all my attention. The Spectacles aren't available generously at any given one time — but instead, you might have to travel half way around the country to get your hands on them. At this moment, Snapchat Spectacle is only available in the US. So what is making Snapchat’s rollout strategy so good?

Image source:

Artificial Scarcity

The US based company are creating artificial scarcity — everyone loves exclusivity and Snapchat is doing just that with limiting the supply of Spectacles to a specific location, one place at a time. The only place that you can buy Snapchat’s first hardware is through Snapbot, an interactive vending machine that pops up for 24 hours before it disappears — just like their snaps. You can track where the Snapbot is via a map on their website.

Perceived Demand

Minutes after a Snapbot location is shared, videos and photos of hundreds of people lining up for their spectacles emerge online — Followed by snaps of many happy customers but also disappointed customers that didn’t get there in time before the vending machine sold out. The $130 Spectacle then sells for thousands of dollars online, making it one of the hottest products on the market at the moment. It seems that we are clearing Snapchat’s warehouses of Spectacles, when in fact we are probably only buying a few dozen.

Earned Media
Not only are they getting free press from their users taking snaps of the enormous line at the Snapbot locations, but also from traditional media outlets — the press has covered all Snapbot locations to date.

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School