Stephanie’s Fantabulous Blog

Search engines are extremely valuable to everyday life.  If you are searching for a Sony television as a gift for your parents, you can type in Sony and easily find thousands of sites for price comparisons.  Most of these sites, however, are sponsored links or the company has paid for their ranking on the search pages.  This is great if you are looking for a particular product or service, but if you are trying to find useful research or information, this hinders the process. 

A study showed that about 70 percent of people don’t scroll beyond the first or second page of results (McLaughlin 2002).  This could prove detrimental to Internet sites as we know it.  If sites are front loaded with sponsored websites, credibility on the Internet will take a turn for the worst.  What about the researchers or the students writing a paper?       

Advertisers are so concerned with the number of views their sites receive that they don’t care how they get those hits.  For example, I know the company I work for is second in the most hits to their site in that particular industry in the country.  It is amazing how much that fact is included in press releases, brochures, even every day conversation.  Companies rely heavily on traffic to their website.  But, if the credibility of the Internet is hindered than where do companies go from there?  Consumers will not know who to trust if they are receiving hard sells left and right.  

The key for search engine companies is to bring credibility back to their searching process.  Trust could potentially be completely gone when using these engines, which provides opportunities for new search engine companies to change the model of these front-loaded sponsored sites.    As I have said several times, I believe that the government needs to step in and regulate websites.  The more the Internet is not regulated, the more unmanageable it will become. 

References:

McLaughlin, Laurianne (2002).  The Straight Story on Search Engines. 

 

 

With the emergence of new media, I can’t help, but wonder what will happen with human connections.  With the increased directive to the Internet, mobile to mobile marketing and automated systems, I think that human interaction will continue diminish as traditional advertising continues to decline in overall spending.  

 There is a correlation between traditional advertising channels depleting and the emergence of new media.  If you look at teenagers today, everything is text messaging and very little true conversation with their friends.  If companies continue to marketing using mobile phones, they may be so attached to their phones that they won’t need to even interact with their friends anymore. 

In the article “New Media Systems,” Schultz asks the question, “Could the future of advertising be consumer interactions on e-Bay, Yahoo! and Amazon?” (Schultz 2004).  It seems clear that our traditional concepts of advertising and buying are ineffective.  Consumers are continuing to go to the Internet to purchase items, where they are exposed to streaming videos on new products and chatrooms where they can found out what teenagers are looking for for Christmas.  Will shopping malls become extinct in 20 years? 

As everything becomes easier for the consumer with a one-stop-shop for exposure to products and services and the ability to purchase as they are viewing the numerous new media sells, there may not be a need for retail outlets; therefore, human interaction will decline.  I think there has to be some correlation between the emergence of new media and the decline of human interaction amongst consumers. 

References:

Schultz, Don E. (2004).  New Media System.

This week’s lesson analyzed how companies are using new media to target youth.  This is a very controversial issue between the advertisers and the consumer groups and will not let up any time soon because of the ever-increasing new media debuts that continue to develop.  You can look at targeting youth two ways:

1.       Companies are trying to make money and looking for every opportunity to do so.  They are a business looking to maximize profits.

2.      Youth are innocent and should not be targeted by these groups.  Their advertising is luring youth into purchasing their product (or having their parent purchase the product), which is unethical.

Because of these two reasons, the debate will continue until there are regulations put in place.  However, in the meantime, I found an article that talks about mobile marketing by Sony, Nickelodeon and adidas targeting youth.   In the article entitled “Targeting youth on the mobile: adidas, Nickelodeon, Sony.  Our proprietary motto of the best practices for reaching young people via mobile is P=V+E, participation equals value plus entertainment,” said Steen Andersson, co-founder and vice president of marketing for 5th Finger, San Francisco. “This is an equation that we created as a result of many campaigns.  This statement is very interesting to me because most of the articles I have read regarding new media youth advertising don’t take the side of the independent company hired to specifically target youth.  Mostly it is the actual company targeting youth, so there are very indirect quotes to their purpose of targeting this market.  With this quote, he lays out their most successful foundation to targeting this population. 

Steen goes onto to say “We found that the most effective campaigns were ones where we used entertainment as the catch with a valued reward at the end.”  He is then quoted as saying that they use different media to create a call-to-action and to get responses from the youth.  And, the richer the content, the higher the response rate.  For example, instead of just a ringtone download, add MP3s in there.

Sony, Nickelodeon and adidas are using mobile to mobile marketing to their advantage.  For example, Nickelodeon urged kids to text in for a change to win one of 50 instant prizes and every entry would be entered to win a trip to Sydney, Australia.  My question is it really a good idea for a child to be solicited like this directly?  Once the child texts to win, they are on the company’s prey list for years to come.  Should there be more consideration to who is using the phone and attaching birthdates to users of the phone in order to screen against mobile marketing?  It will be very interesting to see what direction mobile marketing goes in the next few years as more and more youth get a cell phone. 

 

References:

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/1597.html

 

Short films are a form of new media that is capturing many people’s attention, but will it last.  Short films are the latest example of the world of entertainment and advertising combining.  This media outlet is featuring celebrities, fast cars, and sexiness to attract a younger market of consumers, who are persuaded very easily.  Youtube allows advertisers to filter their short films to millions of people free of charge, which is just the thing these companies are looking for….viral marketing. 

Many advertisers are worried that traditional advertising channels are losing their power very quickly.  People have more channels to choose from on the television, more to watch on the Internet.  Today, you have to engage and entertain the consumers, rather than just trying to give them a hard sell. 

The automotive industry has been jumping on the short film bandwagon in full force.  BMW and Volvo each have short film series that are flooding the consumers.  BMW created a short film series with Guy Richie, which was distributed all over the Internet.  Volvo then followed with their own version about a fictional village in Sweden, where an everyday person bought a Volvo.

 

Although short films have been successful because of their creative spin, will they last?  For the amount of time and money it takes to create these short films, there is a lot of pressure for them to deliver.  However, companies need to see results fast and short films are not always easy to track in the success radar.  Will these companies grow impatient with the long term results and want to revert back to the hard sell?      

 

References:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/29/business/ad30.php

I have the pleasure of working in the collegiate athletics industry and it is unbelievable to see the difference that live streaming media has made.  Collegiate websites were originally intended to have print new releases as well as statistics and updates.  Now there are daily interviews with coaches, commercial promotions and live games on the sites.  Streaming video has created a huge opportunity to sell additional advertising, exposure millions more fans to the collegiate product and humanize the student-athletes at each respective school. 

Online streaming has become such a focus that many athletic departments have separate employees to sell online advertising, produce the video features, and maintain the video content.  From the days of three athletic employees to over 300 hundred employees currently shows the progression that new media has on athletics departments. 

Live streaming video allows marketers to not just run an ad, but tell the story of their product.  This opportunity gives a more well-rounded approach to marketing efforts.  Broadband usage has increased 225% since 2002, which is unbelievable.  At the beginning, streaming video was seen as a burden to some because they didn’t have high-speed internet, but, now that 7 billion video streams are initiated every month, this clearly has changed. 

From streaming video on the Internet to now on cellphones, this medium is engaging customers.  The buzz words “relationship marketing” have been taken to a whole new level with streaming video.  As we progress, video will be taking over.  The next step is 3-D video imaging, which is just around the corner. 

 

Ramos, James. (2008). WVU:IMC619: W6: Pointers: W6 DB: But is it effective advertising? Retrieved on November 24, 2008 from https://ecampus.wvu.edu/webct

My cell phone provider is Centennial Wireless and I actually saw the first mobile marketing effort this past week directed at me.  The text read,  “Buy one ringtone at centennialwireless.com and get one free.  Happy Holidays!”  Mobile marketing is the new wave of reaching the customer personally.  When a person receives a text message, no matter what it is, they read it.  Just the other day, I was talking about this very subject with one of my friends and she said, “Whenever you get a text message, you always read it because you feel important and think that one of your friends is trying to reach you.” 

Mobile marketing has been a huge breakthrough for marketers, but will this continue with the current state of the economy.  We have already seen a decline in advertising because of the recession, but will this affect the mobile to mobile marketing efforts?  According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), there are now 267 million mobile phone users in the U.S.—up from 251 million at the end of Q4 of 2007.  This means that more people in the US have a mobile phone than an Internet-connected PC.  This is a very interesting fact considering that many don’t have disposable income and many are losing their jobs.   

ABI Research has found that that the current economy is not affecting  M2M marketing.  “In fact, the firm predicts that worldwide mobile messaging service revenues will grow from $151 billion in 2008 to more than $212 billion by 2013.  Additionally, Nielsen’s latest measure of mobile Internet usage shows an ongoing and steady rise, recording more than 100 million unique mobile subscribers and $1.8 billion in revenues for the second quarter of 2008.”  This is a crucial finding and shows the opportunity in M2M marketing. 

In my opinion, mobile marketing is one of the best forms of marketing out there.  It grabs my attention every time a text message is sent.  It is very hard to ignore a text message, which is what the company’s want.  It will be interesting to see what company’s do not back down and take advantage of the M2M marketing outlet during this hardship with the economy. 

 

Reference:

http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/

The one thing you can say about advergaming is that it is marketing creativity at its best.  Advergaming is when companies put ad messages in Web-based or video games. The first real advergame was a customized videogame incorporating brand messages and was distributed on floppy disk by American Home Foods to promote the Chef Boyardee brand during the 80’s. 

 

Advergaming takes  something that is fun and makes it advertising.  The thing with new media today is that it can grow very rapidly.  Advergaming is a great example of that.  As Lelchuk states “To assess how big these “advergames” are, researchers looked at the 77 Web sites of top food companies such as Kellogg’s and Wrigley’s. They found that between June and November of 2005, these sites had more than 12.2 million visits by children” (Lelchuk).

 

What makes advergaming so successful is its ability to engage the customer and incorporate sales promotion, branding and database marketing.  Although this is a very creative tactic, the ethical line is drawn when the advergaming attracts innocent children, who do not know they are being targeting with advertising. 

 

Disney decided to try advergaming to promote Disneyland’s 50th anniversary in 2005 to try and reach children.  When it comes to business, companies are taking advergaming to the extreme and it is working.  Instead of a commercial that captures kids’ attention for seconds, advergaming is capturing their attention for minutes and hours.  This is a marketer’s dream.  Without regulation, however, advergaming may get bigger and bigger.  It will be interesting to see how this will change with the current state of the economy.  With companies take advantage of advergaming or go back to traditional forms o f advertising. 

 

 

 

Reference:
Lelchuk, Ilene. Retrieved from http://www.childrennow.org/newsroom/press_coverage/pc_062006.html