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Friday, 30 September 2016

Make the most out of Twitter’s new character count rules

Contrary to rumours early this year, Twitter will not be allowing 10,000-character posts anytime soon. But the popular microblogging site has rolled out a new policy that will give social media marketers like you more space—and more words—when you tweet.

Twitter on Monday, 19 September, announced that it will keep the character cap per tweet, but this will no longer include links to uploaded media. “Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters,” Twitter said.

This means that a post that says “I love @sydney_business!” with a photo of the Abercrombie Building attached now only count as 24 characters (spaces included). Under the old rules, it would have been some 51 characters because the photo upload would have generated a link in this form: pic.twitter.com/abcdefghijk.

It also means that you may start retweeting or quoting yourself, a feature useful for long posts, explaining a previous tweet without losing the context, or simply for those times that you feel like talking to yourself on the Internet (we absolutely get how you feel.).

When Twitter hinted at the plan in May, it said the goal is to make the 140 characters all about the message. It’s a step in the right direction. You can now add images, videos and GIFs without compromising your text space. How can you maximise the opportunities the 140 characters present to engage your audience? Here are three tips:

1. Add a call to action. When you have to fit a sentence and a media link in 140 characters, the words “Make a choice today” or “Act now” can easily be set aside. The new rules give you more leeway, so you might want to consider prompting users to complete a transaction, share your tweet, or at least check your website.

Without a call to action, your Twitter followers might hesitate about what they ought to do with the content. Your photo might be great or your message witty, but should they share it, like it or just scroll past it? Let them know exactly what you hope they would do.

2. Use infographics. Even with the new character rules, there are some messages that simply need more words. Mechanics for a new promo, for example, or an exciting new menu, won’t fit a single tweet, and sometimes wishing users will click on your website link is too much to ask for.

Work around this limitation by attaching to your tweet a photo with inlaid text. This also makes the tweet more prominent, as the image will occupy more space in your audience’s feed. Of course, it goes without saying that you should use relevant and eye-catching photos.

3. Move with videos and GIFs. When images aren’t enough, you can always go for videos and GIFs to achieve maximum effect. Take note, however, that the videos should be short enough for Twitter. You need to upload the video directly on Twitter, since links to YouTube, Vimeo or any external site will count against your character limit.

Twitter watchers also report (http://mashable.com/2016/09/19/twitter-longer-tweets/) about plans to exclude from the 140-character limit user handles such as “@sydney_business”. This means that the tweet “I love @sydney_business!” with a photo of the Abercrombie Building attached will only count as 9 characters (spaces included) as opposed to the 24 under the present rules and 51 in the old rules.

The plan also involves broadcasting replies—that is, tweets that start with “@”—to all your followers. It used to be that for someone to be able to read a reply, the user has to follow both you and the other person in the conversation. You no longer need to prefix usernames with “.@” to make your replies readable to all.

Whether on Twitter or any other social media platform, however, it is important to remember that content is king. Make your messages straightforward, active and engaging. Twitter can give you 10,000 characters or more, but if you don’t have a well-thought-out message, what’s the point?

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

Monday, 26 September 2016

New authors at Marketing Matters

Hello Marketing Matters readers!

Thank you for following this blog. We hope that you have learned a thing or two about marketing through the articles we have been publishing. Marketing Matters is produced by marketing students for marketing students and we hope that this blog will evolve more as a conversation space for everything marketing.

We now extend our appreciation to Lauren Musat and Alejandro Catalan, who have done wonders for the blog the past seven months. They have come to the end of their studies at the university and are stepping down as Marketing Matters authors. They have been an integral part of the team and will be deeply missed. We wish them the best for their future and we hope to have them here again from time to time as contributors.

From this point on, you will be hearing from Stanley Ritz and Kim Patria, both Master of Marketing students at the University of Sydney Business School. They are taking over as authors, supervised by Prof. Pennie Frow. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

My name is Stanley Ritz and I am currently in my last semester of the Master of Marketing program here at the University of Sydney Business School. My background is in photography and illustration design and I run my own photography business, Stanley Ritz Photography. I also have a passion for the performing arts and I have recently ventured into the world of Youtube. You can check out my channel at Stanley Ritz and don’t forget to subscribe! I will be assisting with the programs social media from a creative space; you can expect lame analogies and a sometimes hard-to-swallow sense of humour.

I am Kim Patria, a media and public relations specialist from the Philippines now in my first semester in the the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School. Before enrolling in graduate school, I worked as publicist for a Philippine senator who ran for president in the May 2016 elections. I was also news producer for Yahoo Philippines and a reporter for a business daily. My foray into marketing is guided by two projects I launched back home: See Sorsogon, a social media-based tourism marketing experiment for my hometown, and Technablers, Inc., a digital solutions and business development startup.

Expect from us more about marketing trends, insights from our courses and marketing-related comments on the news. We also hope to increasingly engage faculty and students to share their views on marketing. Please feel free to speak to us or ask us anything in the comments section.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Agency Perspective: 10 Tips to drive value and improve relationships

Image credit:  fossilmarketing.com

The value that marketers bring to businesses and brands is irreplaceable. The marketing team is responsible for creative ideas and helping to build brands. Without them, most businesses and brands find themselves in the middle of nowhere. 
Although it’s the marketers work to build brands or businesses, they need to add more value to themselves and the work they deliver so that they become entirely indispensable to the clients they serve. 

Here are ten authentic tips through which marketers can drive true value:
1. Visit Clients: and this just not means that you only visit them once. But make a habit of doing so every once in a while. Focus on dedicated content campaigns and revisit your clients to address everything that you think that needs to be addressed. This will give your client a greater sense of involvement.
2. Communicate: this is highly essential if you want to get an insight on the inner workings of your client. Try to keep up to date on everything that goes on. Build relationships through communication and you’ll get in all priority conversations that need your attention.

3. Understand Stakeholders: the best value you can give to your client is by understanding them. When your client feels fully understood by you, they feel free to discuss ideas and opportunities with you as compared to other agencies.

4. Ask For How You Can Improve: asking your clients how they think you can improve and add more value allows them to understand your commitment and involvement with their projects. Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses to have a worthwhile conversation with your clients.


5. Show That You Are Goal Oriented and Work with Goal Oriented People to add to their Plan: when your client knows that you care as much about success and performance as they do, they will trust you more for their projects.

6. Share: and this could involve sharing just about anything you consider to be of value to your client. It could be resources, technologies, good books or anything that might be of interest for them.

7. Always Get Your Team On Board: and do this pronto. Present yourself as a monster with two heads, ready to take on everything. Show your client various perspectives on one matter, brainstorm to bring the best idea forward and show them you’re putting your best efforts. 

8. Give Your Client a Future: your client is really after a future. They are after the confidence that you will make their brands as fresher as possible because they themselves cannot. Show them the bigger idea and then make it happen for them.

9. Give Your Best Ideas: don’t wait for your client to take the lead. If you have a brilliant idea, don’t hesitate to share. Chances are it could be what they’re after.

10. Treat Your Client like You Would Treat Someone You Care for: try and go beyond the traditional. Show your client you’re concerned and you care about them. Connect with them on a personalised level to drive more value and hit home.

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

Monday, 12 September 2016

Proximity Marketing – Getting closer to your customers


Image credit:  honeyaccess.com

Modern day technology has revolutionised marketing in ways that no one ever imagined. Who knew that marketers could interact with consumers on their mobile devices directly? Cellular technology was a big hit in the business sector as it became very handy for companies to send marketing messages to their potential customers. Marketing is a tool that plays a significant role in promoting a product or service for a brand. However, with competition rising companies need to reach consumers with the intent to purchase before their competitor does. The growing use of mobile phones while shopping has led to businesses to adopt ‘Proximity marketing’ which is also known as ‘hyper local marketing’. It is a unique approach to communicate with customers that are found in close proximity of a business. The foundation of this interaction lies upon Bluetooth and WIFI technology that enables the company to connect digitally by sending marketing messages to customers.


The message is sent to those who are most likely to visit the store at their present location. The mobile user is sent a short message that engages them to spur into action. It is pivotal for the company to consider adding an opt-in component to their campaign. The content in those messages should be to the point and appealing, as unwanted solicitations never encourage buyers to pay attention. If a company plans on going ahead with this approach, it needs to skim the content that is to be sent. The message should give a preview of the benefit that comes along with the purchase of the product. It should be clear enough for the customer to understand, and it should be able to influence their buying decision. 



source image: visualistan.com

Your company needs to persuade its customers to install their mobile app because once the customer has his/her Bluetooth enabled on their mobile phones, all it takes is a beacon signal to send them a notification of the message. The beacon signal only works if they have the app installed in their smart phones. Informing the target customers about the app can help them realise its significance. Customers do not want to receive spam messages all day, and an app helps them out of this situation. This channel of communication needs you to have the right software that can easily run the location based campaign without any delays.

The main objective behind proximity marketing is to drive in as much traffic as possible to the business and generate a good amount of sales that day. If your retail store already has a high turnover rate, then proximity marketing can help you retain customers and gain valuable insight to their buying behavior. Proximity marketing can turn out to be a great source of adding value to your products. Businesses can make product recommendations and inform about current discounts or offers. This way you can target the right customers and their needs. It also provides you with access to consumer analysis which can give you survey statistics and other metrics to improve your sales strategy. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Provide the best content experience

Image credit:  blog.boombox.com

There are many businesses that underestimate the value of optimised content.  The key to getting an influx of traffic, is providing your customers with high quality content. Well-structured content can differentiate you from your competitors and help communicate with your customers. If you really want to capture the attention of customers and keep them coming to your website, then customizing the message you want to convey is essential. The content needs to be balanced so that users aren’t overwhelmed and confused with too much information. Positive reactions only surface when you connect with your customer emotionally and mentally. This makes them realise that they are an asset for the business. 

Here is a list of features that your content needs, to give customers the best content experience ever:

Useful and Informative
You need to provide as much as information about your business as possible. The content should give details about what you offer, what benefits are attached to your offerings, where you are located, what your USP is and your contact information etc. 

High Quality
The content should be unique and well presented in a good format. It should be refined and delivered in the tone depending on the type of communication you want with your customer. If your content is mediocre and not up to the mark, customers will sense that there wasn’t much effort put in it. You need to bear in mind that your content should be created to give customers a good user experience, and not just to rank well in search engines. 

Credible
You need customers to trust your brand and be something that is verified. The content needs to have reliable information about your business. Sloppy content that seems false can be highly damaging to your brand image.

Appealing
If a customer doesn’t get what they want from your content, then why would they read it? The content has to be intriguing in ways that draws their attention.  



When you market your product through your content, you gain the power to generate niche levels of willingness for purchase, but on a mass scale.  Lead generation is stimulated by content. When you personalise content to the user’s interests and behaviour, your content creates a powerful connection and converts more leads into sales qualified leads (SQLs) and marketing qualified leads (MQLs). You can introduce various methods of getting insight on what the customer wants to see in your content. Make sure your content is linked to one or more social media platforms which are very necessary for the right amount of exposure. All you have to do for a better content experience is to keep it simple and familiar. Always try to improve and bring something new to the table, because customers want something fresh and upgraded. 

All of these tips will lead your search traffic down an open path to increase the opportunity for conversion.

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


Friday, 26 August 2016

The psychology of colours in marketing

 Image Credit: smallbiztrends.com

Do you know that colors are ubiquitous and a very vital source of information for all? Do you know that people usually make up their minds in about 90 seconds of first seeing people or products and almost 80% of the decision is based on their assessment of colors associated with what they’re looking at? Prudent use of colors can significantly affect moods and feelings and therefore people’s attitude towards a range of products as well. And that is one of the biggest reason that you will see marketers making use colors in thousands of innovative ways.

Let’s discuss a controversial and yet interesting aspects of marketing… the psychology of color. Although it is widely believed and researched that elements like individual preferences, personal experiences, backgrounds, cultural differences, upbringings, contexts etc. often create ambiguity about the effect specific colors have on individuals. Marketers understand that colours play a very significant role in forming attitudes and influencing moods and feelings (which happen to be unstable by nature).


The majority of the marketing sector believes that human responses to colors are somewhat stable over a geographical location and therefore marketing managers use these interpretations to market and promote their brands and products well. Colour can actually define the way a consumer might act therefore when designing marketing strategies, packaging a product, creating new fashion trends and designing a website, colours are kept according to their enticing value.

Nobody can ignore the importance of colours, especially marketers. As a marketer, it is important to know that marketing and colour go hand in hand. The use of the right colour in designing marketing strategies, designing ads, promotions, business stationery or products is highly important because it can either send a positive or negative message. The colour has the power to create and deliver good or bad subconscious messages which can then affect the perception the consumers have about a business or product. It is therefore essential that marketers value colours and design marketing strategies keeping in mind the psychology of colours.

It is a well-known fact that most consumers buy products or services based on emotions, and then justify whatever they have purchased with logic. Marketers, brand managers and advertisers should devise their strategies in such a way that it creates a certain mood, emotion in order to persuade customers into the purchase. Whatever image that you need your business to reflect can be imparted through the use of bright colours.
It is important that marketers remember the fact that colours that are used in marketing campaigns are responsible for grabbing the attention of prospective buyers initially. There is no concept of a wrong or a right colour. Whatever colour you think is the most appropriate for your message, based on the universal denoting of colours, should be chosen for the specific marketing campaign. If you choose the right color, chances are high your turnover will be more than or as much as you were expecting

Friday, 12 August 2016

Facebook Algorithm is changing again

Image credit:  cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com/

Well, no one wants to see dead stories circulating on our Facebook feed! It seems as if Facebook is just trying to play with what we see and what we don’t on our newsfeed. It can become a little fuzzy but the ranking of our stories is according to an algorithm that changes every now and then. It encourages exposure for a lot of users but chances differ for stories that are posted implicitly and explicitly. Facebook’s algorithm is not a paradigm but a binary code that creates ripple effects all over your feed. No one can forget the constant game requests and silly updates that flooded your notifications, annoying you enough to log out of Facebook.

Just recently, Facebook set forth an announcement on the algorithm update which focuses on lowering the visibility of posts with inadequate content while raising the profiles of significant ones. The update has prioritized what is shown to you, with no more boring posts to scroll through. When we all started off with Facebook, our newsfeed felt like a rabbit hole of unnecessary posts that wouldn’t end. However, the algorithm evolved and changed according to the needs of its users. Everybody wanted to see what their friends are posting but they would only draw their attention if the content was interactive enough. The recent change to the algorithm will act like a filter, through which all the unwanted posts will sieve out.  




The change came with some supercharged features that would help Facebook identify the types of posts you prefer to see on your feed. The different reactions on each post even if it is a like, a comment or a share, influences the probability of that content appearing on the top of your newsfeed.

This update will not influence the reach or referral traffic for the majority of the pages that you follow. However, if you visit a page often you might see some increases in referral traffic, whereas other pages might see some decline. In addition, an algorithm update surfaced in July 2015 which made it easier for users to customize and adjust their news feed settings. These suggestions and preferences were shaped to the users’ interests.

Friends that post tedious and monotonous content can take a back seat and all of the buddies that you interact with can have their posts, comments and likes at the top of your feed. On top of this, Facebook plans to favour video posts more due to the increase in hype for videos. In just one year the number of video posts per person increased to over 75% globally. Recent surveys have shown that this Facebook update lead to, on average, a substantial increase of 6% in engaging people with the stories they wanted to see.

If you plan on engaging with another user or with your target audience, then this update can be a real booster for your content, but only if you provide them with something captivating.

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

Friday, 29 July 2016

Top 3 Marketing Trends for Q3-Q4 2016

Image credit:  forbes.com

Context, relevance and delivery with efficiency, if these aren’t the topics under discussion in your organisation, perhaps you are not focusing on the right ones.

One thing that you should understand is that businesses need to have a very clear focus on the expectations, demands and needs of their customers. And what you shouldn’t forget is that the customer group is a very diversified and fragmented group and has very high expectations along with little patience for those who can’t meet their demands. If you need business and if you need to thrive, let alone succeed in the market, you’ll have to always stay visible.

This is what marketing is all about; to stay visible and have a strong presence so that your customers do not get lured towards competition. Remember, when in the business industry, out of sight means out of mind. Here’s a roundup of marketing trends that you should be prepared to follow religiously so that you can double your revenues and profits considerably.

Social media is a marketing channel, not a strategy
Perhaps earlier you didn’t imagine social media as an effective marketing channel but since 2016 and the latest updates that Facebook and Twitter received, social media has become an effective platform where search and e-commerce activities are now happening. Thanks to the pages being introduced, customers can now purchase items through Facebook or its Messenger app. With the launch of Business on Messenger app, companies are able to interact with customers through their Facebook pages or the Messenger app and also buy online through the app, without having to visit the e-commerce site actually. So yes, if you need to be present in front of your customers, be there on Facebook because customers now deem that as an absolute necessity.

The omni-channel experience, a consumer’s best friend
If you intend to target consumers with the right message, at the right time and in the right place, you will need to develop an omni-channel strategy. Omni- channel is a multichannel approach that provides consumers with an unmatched shopping experience, regardless of where they happen to be shopping. Omni-channel can address issues behind existing strategies, by providing an integrated experience where customers can access everything they need in one place. If you’ve been to Disneyland, you will have been exposed to the omni-channel experience that Disney has created. Starting from the mobile website that allows you to go from looking at park details to booking your tickets and accommodation, through to their app that allows you to plan out your day via the map. This interconnectedness they provide customers, is at the core of the omni-channel.

Mobile with a capital M
It’s the era of the smart phone and if you haven’t been pursuing marketing through mobile you’re way too late already. The number of people browsing through smart phones has surpassed the number of desktop users long ago. If you own a business, mobile is your basic marketing strategy. From mobile responsive websites to customized apps and campaigns designed solely for the smart phone users, this is what you’ll have to focus on if you intend to be included in the frontrunners (although they might have moved on to better things already) in your niche.

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

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Impact of Pokémon GO on Marketing

Image credit:  aolcdn.com

Three weeks ago a game that is changing the landscape of gaming as we speak was released. Pokémon GO is the most talked-about game right now, with statistics indicating its popularity above that of even Twitter. Millions of people around the world are exploring their towns and cities looking for new Pokémon’s to catch, train and battle. People of every age group are becoming increasingly obsessed with this game, whether for nostalgia or its entertainment value. It has become quickly apparent that this augmented reality game is unlike any we’ve seen before, with the exception of Ingress, in bringing people out onto the streets. The marketing opportunities Pokémon GO can provide are still being discovered every day.



PokéStops
PokéStops are local landmarks that players can find to receive rewards. They can also be used to “Lure” Pokémons into the surrounding areas. This is where businesses have started making money. Right now, you cannot buy your business a PokéStop. However, businesses that happen to have PokéStops are using it to “Lure” even more players in. For example, some restaurants in Melbourne are buying Lures to attract hundreds of players looking to collect Pokémon, like Jigglypuff or Squirtle. Once, and if, Niantic starts making PokéStops available for sale to businesses, they can guarantee clients and pedestrians for as long as the hype of the game lasts.  Other businesses are using Pokémon GO as a reward system. They are offering discounts to trainers who have collected a certain set of Pokémons, to boosts foot traffic and sales. 

Electronics
While mobile data sales are not soaring because of the amount of data consumption required by the game, the sale of battery packs has skyrocketed. Although Pokémon GO uses about the same amount of mobile data as when you surf the web, it does drain your phone’s battery significantly. Mobile companies in areas with Pokémon GO are using this craze to increase their sales of accessories. They are also increasing foot traffic to their stores and outlets by offering free phone charging stations, in the hopes to increase their brand awareness.

Other Marketing Strategies
One company has bought the domain name pokewalk.com and intends to open a service whereby customers can pay to have their phones taken for a walk. Others are buying Pokémon Lures and selling tickets to the area where they are set. Some advertising companies are even putting up billboards looking to hire trainers – all to let their clients know that they are in sync with what is going on in the world. The sale of Pokémon-themed gear and toys will most likely pick up again as well.



Pokémon GO has skyrocketed in popularity since its release, and it has only been released in 4 countries so far. People are trying to cash in on the popularity of the game while the hype lasts. Even though the game has not launched yet on a global scale, the marketing opportunities it offers are vast. 

Alejandro Catalan

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

Monday, 18 July 2016

Marketing to Millennials

Image credit: entrepreneur.com

In today’s workforce, there are three types of primary generations. They include baby boomers, generation X and then finally, the millennials. All those born between 1981 and 2000 are labeled as millennials. In America they make up 41% of the total U.S population and in Australia they are around 20% of the total population.

Marketing Tips for Millennials

1) Make it as tech-savvy as possible
Millennials have witnessed some serious and rapid technological changes.  All their lives they have been bought up with changing trends, they are spending an average of 25 hours per week online checking websites, blogs and social media, new technologies and innovations which have helped make their lives easier. They prefer similar advertisements which they can easily relate to and anything less may make them feel that the product is not meant for them.

2) Use Email and Social groups to target Millennials
“Despite conflicting reports that email is dying, especially among younger generations, the truth is that millennials are not ditching email”, says Marie Homne, Senior Marketing Strategist at YesMail.
Instead of life stages, when marketing to millennials, try focusing on social groups. This bunch is the most non-traditional generation - cultures and traditions do not mean much to them. They define “family” and “community” differently to previous generations.
Apart from this, it is quite difficult for millennials to become stable in their life and buy assets like cars and houses. This is due to the economic situation they have to face like unemployment and low pay scales.
So instead of focusing on different life stages, your marketing should target the different social groups. They can include traveling lifestyles, independent lifestyles, different social causes, etc.

3) Focus on Mobile Marketing and Experience
“Millennials like brands who get to know them and give them an opportunity to be part of the experience”, says Tink Taylor, founder of www.dotMailer.com, in America more than 85% of the millennials own personal smart phones. This makes it the perfect platform for all your marketing strategies. The first step for mobile marketing is making sure that all your landing pages are fully responsive and are optimized to be used on all screen sizes and electronic devices.
After optimization, make sure that all your landing pages have prominent call to actions to catch the eye of every visitor.

4) Be engaging and Reward Millennials for their loyalty
Everyone likes to be rewarded, especially millennials, “according to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Ambassador, 95% of 18-34-year-old say they would like some sort of incentive for sharing a product via social media or email”, Out of all the generations, millennials have grown up with a lot of visuals engagement. Visuals are essential for all sorts of marketing strategies as it keeps the viewers engaged and interested. However, it is important to note that you need to carefully balance between just the right amount of visuals. The over use may overwhelm the viewer to an extent that it gets difficult to absorb any information at all since their focus and attention gets too divided. Visuals are not the only way to engage customers, you can improve your content, add videos, put in catchy music and interesting design to catch the attention of millennials.
Incorporating these suggestions in your marketing strategies will lead to a much more successful marketing campaign for all the millennials out there.

Image credit: entrepreneur.com

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

Monday, 11 July 2016

Coding: The language of the future




Education and technology have become an integral part of today’s society. The need to teach our children more computational ways of thinking has been further reflected in the government’s incentive to drive more STEM (science, technology, engineering, math’s) related subjects, and more recently the development of a digital technologies curriculum that addresses the situation.

Within this digital age, there is a strong emphasis on the importance and dependency society has placed on digital technology to communicate with one another. This amongst other factors has driven the demand for more technological activities targeted at children. One activity in particular is teaching kids how to code, an activity where imagination is the only limit.

So, what exactly is coding? To put it simply, Coding, or more traditionally known as programming, is the way we communicate with computers and machines. In an attempt to become part of a more innovate and creative Australia, coding is now being perceived “as fundamental as reading and writing”. If we don’t start up-skilling the next generation of workers skills such as programming, we face a huge skills drought as digital disruption transforms the way our economy operates, the way we think and the way we live.

Being the first of its kind in Australia, Sydney Programming School has taken this trend and turned it into a thriving business called Code4Fun (www.code4fun.com.au) . Forming part of a relatively new market, Sydney Programming School was established in April last year and provides programming courses to children and teenagers, before and after school throughout Sydney.


Many of the children going through primary school today will end up applying for careers that don’t exist yet. In a recent report, Australia predicts that within the next five years we will need 100,000 ICT workers. The way we are going, the need for such skills outweighs the abilities for employees to perform them.  In a rapidly changing employment market where digital disruption is changing the way we operate, coding skills are crucial in ensuring they don’t get left behind the digital age. 

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

Friday, 1 July 2016

How marketers are using neuroscience to control what we buy


 Image credit: blog.fractalanalytics.com

It is a common practice for consumers to spend on luxury goods. However, know that there is a trick behind you spending so much on these products. 

Blame the marketers who are now becoming very clever in controlling what you buy. According to previous studies, people will buy products that are called expensive and ignore the quality of the product just because of the price tag. This is commonly referred to as the marketing placebo effect - meaning the perceived value of something will affect the actual experience of it.

According to studies, marketers are now using neuroscience to change and control the way you buy. This is done by changing your grey matter and fooling you into buying things that will create a higher reward in your brain. The perceived effect of the reward is usually lower than the actual feelings you get when you buy the product.


Who Is Susceptible to the Placebo Effect?
According to studies, people who have a higher grey matter respond to the placebo effect. The research found that the people who are responsive to the perceived rewards, are more likely to be influenced by this marketing strategy.

Moreover, it is also perceived that people who have a higher grey matter will be susceptible to the placebo effect. Therefore, a wine that is more expensive is likely to generate an opinion in the buyer’s mind that expensive must be good.

Last but not the least, people who are not that quickly influenced by price tags, are not going to be affected by the placebo effect. Therefore, they will buy according to the taste of the wine and not the price tag.

Changing the Grey Matter
Marketers identify and segment the user population using a range of demographics including race, geography and age. However, researchers now are also wanting to identify differences in consumers’ brain anatomy in order to categorise individuals. 

The whole idea is to alter your grey matter and then control what you buy. You don’t even know how much you spend on products without realising how much you are being tricked into buying a product.

However, all is not lost because our grey matter tends to change with age. Therefore, if marketers are looking to target you over a lifetime, they actually have to have a good understanding of how the brain responds to different things that they are trying to sell you. And this is something that is actually not possible right now.

The whole idea of using neuroscience to control the way you look at things and the way you buy things has changed. However, it is also believed that if you are buying luxury goods, the placebo effect will have a greater effect on you than when you are buying non-luxury items. Therefore, if you are shopping at Ikea or drinking a boxed wine, chances are you are most likely safe.

Be careful what you are buying because neuroscience is changing the way you think and who knows, your decision of buying a product could be being controlled by the marketers!

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

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Relationship between Facebook Ads and Companies


Image credit: blog.socioboard.org

Starting off as a just a plain social networking site, Facebook has become something bigger and better. Today, Facebook is used for a range of things including advertisement.  A large number of companies are using Facebook as a platform of advertisement and companies are getting a lot of audience directly from the social networking site. Facebook, thus, has become a platform that companies are getting increasingly hooked to, to increase their online presence and get a loyal customer base.

According to a study by Locowise, 43.28 percent of the 5000 Facebook likes were received due to Facebook advertising. Moreover, it was revealed that the higher the companies tried to advertise on social networks, the higher the audience they got.

The analysis, therefore, revealed that companies are increasingly dependent on social networking websites such as Facebook to increase their customer and fan base.
Moreover, the same study also revealed that 43.28 percent of the companies are actually paying for advertising. This means half of the companies that are using social networks to promote their products pay for network ads. In addition, it is not just about paying for these ads that have become a popular trend but the fact that companies are now dependent on it. 

Looking at the average results of investing in Facebook ads, it was revealed that mid range of the posts was 10.71 percent of the audience. The study also reports that the return companies get when they advertise on social media is said to be higher than any other platform.

Why Pay?
It is important to note that there is always an option for companies to not pay for ads on social media but paying is always better. Paying results in a higher lead generation and increases the companies’ overall reach as opposed to when they do not pay for brand promotion.
The results of this study and general conclusion derived from the statistics reveal the following things:
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for companies: While previously, social networking sites were just being used for sharing posts and getting in touch with friends and family, they are now being used to promote products and companies are actually willing to spend as much as they possibly can to increase their outreach.
One of the prime sources of advertisement: Social media has also become a prime source of advertisement. While previously, billboards and other tools were used for advertisement, companies now use social media to advertise and they advertise their products well on these websites.
High dependence on social media: Lastly, the final finding and conclusion of this study is that social media is not just a social networking platform but a lot more. Moreover, it is also revealed that companies are not just paying to advertise their products on social media but they are actually dependent on them.

Social media, can therefore, do wonders for a company and these days companies are highly reliant on social media as a platform of advertisement.

What is your experience as marketer, what do you think? 

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

Friday, 24 June 2016

Key factors on demand from marketers today

It is becoming more of a challenge for business’s to ensure a long-term sustainable growth strategy. Putting that aside however, the idea of growth still stands to be an imperative factor for most Chief Executive Officers. To help drive growth for business, it is us marketers that top executives are looking towards.

The world in which we live is constantly changing at an ever so rapid pace and the disruption that comes along will continue to run parallel. I am a Sales & Marketing Manager for an online kitchenware company, and in the last 6 months I have had to shift the dynamics of my team to ensure we are coming up with the best possible strategies for sustainable growth within the business.

Now more than ever, an analysis into consumer purchase behaviour along with trends in the kitchenware industry, both in Australia and abroad have been paramount. My team is constantly researching and finding ways to decode our analytics platform and CRM System in order to track our interactions with our customers. It has taken a number of months but we have started to come up with a number of valuable insights and strategies than can be implemented to ensure we have sustainable growth, now and in the future.

From what we are seeing in the business world in Australia and globally, we have most definitely entered the so called “customer era”. There seems to be a positive outlook for the brands that have access to large data and are primarily using it to determine a customer-centric strategy.

In a response to an article written by Simon Corah, CEO of Growth Mantra, this idea of trend analysis, and digital is becoming increasingly more important in our profession.

In all my time as a marketing professional, I have not had to do as much trend analysis as I have had to do in the last 6-12 months. As mentioned previously, the world is constantly changing and disrupting faster than any time in history. No industry is immune and business models are under threat. Understanding and interpreting trends will help marketers work better with CEO’s, helping them paint a future image of what it means for the company.

There is no doubt that the term digital has been used now more than ever, and so it should. We have well and truly entered the digital age in which a plethora of platforms are being created and launched everyday. With that being said, brands need to become more dynamic and ensure they are at the forefront of this societal transition.  Digital is not about social media anymore, but about how digital reflects and works with consumer engagement, retention and attraction. 
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

How Social Media networks are impacting on Teenagers feelings and brains

Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

Social media has had an incredibly rise in popularity over the years. Today, there are very few people who don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Social media does not only have an effect on how you perceive yourself but it actually has an effect on your brain. In this post, I will be looking at the effect of social media on the brains of teenagers when they write and publish content on these networks and what happens when they get a good reception.

A lot of people share content on social media these days. Whether it is something related to entertainment or sports, everybody wants to share something on their newsfeed. Everybody has a different reason for sharing content but the prime purpose is to connect with others.  However, sharing content has a trickle down effect. It is not just about sharing content on social media and being done with it. In fact, studies reveal that sharing content on social media has an automatic effect on the person’s brain.

Direct Impact On One's Ego
When we share content on social media, we get a lot of comments, likes and other words. People start asking questions in their comments and therefore, this has a direct impact on one’s ego. Moreover, people are more likely to share content on social media that they can relate to so sharing content and the type of content is clear indication and hint into your actual personality.

Improved Feelings
Moreover, whenever someone publishes something, he or she wants others to appreciate it. Therefore, when we publish things on social media and get comments on our shares, we are more likely to experience feelings of happiness, excitement and thrill.
The effect of sharing content on social media has been captured in a study by University of California. They analyzed what happens to the brain of teenagers when they publish the content in social networks and especially, when they see the reception they get. It doesn’t seem that surprising but the positive response that they get tends to have a positive effect on their brain.

Direct Impact On How We Feel
When a person gets more rewards, the study revealed that the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain that is associated with the rewards, tends to get ecstatic with pleasure and in fact has the same effect that it does when we eat a chocolate or anything that makes us happy. Publishing on social media, therefore, has a direct impact on how we feel.
The study also revealed that teenagers are more likely to react in a different way when it comes to getting likes. The reaction differs in every case but the reaction is always said to be positive.
Thus, from this study, we can easily derive that social networks are not just a place where one can come, share and go back to life. No, social media actually has bigger and greater effects on one’s thinking, life and emotions. Social media sharing, therefore, is said to bring a positive change in people and also tends to improve one’s self esteem.

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