There is no denying social media has transformed the consumer landscape over the past decade. (Whether it has been for better or worse is a conversation for another day.) Companies do not have a choice whether or not they want to be ‘social’ – nor do the industries in which they operate. Market research is no exception as seen on the infographic below, working to uncover brand insights and drive sales in the digital era.
Online shopping is not just my obsession, it’s my primary mode of shopping. In the spirit of true confession, I admit I’ve grown so accustomed to purchasing the majority of my housewares and clothes online that I can’t stomach confronting an overstuffed rack at Nordstrom’s. The thought of digging through piles of clothes to find my right size makes me queasy. And, oh the horror, not seeing the garment displayed on a model or as part of a styled outfit gives me the hives. I’m a visual person and I need to see the shape and movement of a garment on a real person. And that is just one of the reasons I can see marketing genius in Madewell’s new mobile marketing campaign.
If you are not familiar, Madewell is J.Crew’s sister company. Madewell embraces a hybrid urban, Americana, chic aesthetic; it’s all gauzy tops, textured patterns, and classic jeans. If I remember correctly, the company made a big splash on the retail scene about 3 years ago and has steadily accrued a crowd of dedicated fans ever since. But Madewell is setting its sights on something larger than urban buzz.
To promote their tailored jeans, Madewell is sending a Pop-Up store to untapped frontiers.To bring the jeans to the people, Madewell has outfitted a 1978 Airstream trailer with a denim bar, a braid bar, and dressing rooms. The trailer is currently on a tour of America, hitting some major cities but also stopping in little towns were no brick and mortar Madewell stores exist. Shoppers are encouraged to hop on board, slip into the perfect jeans and experience the expert quality and cut of Madewell denim.
But here’s the catch: you can’t buy that perfect pair on deck. So what can you do? You can take a picture of yourself in the jeans to post to Facebook, search the area surrounding the trailer for golden tickets, and get a free ‘do at the braid bar. You have to purchase the jeans online or in a store. What a brilliant way to engage consumers through multiple channels: online shoppers get a chance to really experience the jeans with no commitment to purchase; in-store shoppers get the full retail experience but are driven to the website for purchase; and those who have never experienced the Madewell brand are given a personal, customized introduction. Plus with the added social media and in-store incentives, Madewell is committing a grand feat of brand channel cross-pollination. For more information on the Airstream activites click here.
A new analysis of gender-specific social media chatter has revealed what occupies women and men’s daily thoughts. Can you guess? No, it’s not shopping and sex. But it is another guilty obsession of most Americans.You can scroll down to see the final results, but before doing so let me mention that the below infographic was created by social media monitoring company Netbase.
To get the data for the graphic, Netbase analyzed 27 billion online conversations taking place over the course of one year. After the conversations were observed and collected, Netbase used natural language processing to search for the phrase “I want X.” The data was then analyzed and compiled into a top ten list for each sex.
Think you know what women and men want most? Keep reading to find out.
SXSW2012 is underway. A beautiful marriage of technology, film and music, the 2012 conference lasts ten days, with SXSW Interactive lasting for five, Music for six, and Film for nine days. Growing from 700 registrants in 1987 to nearly 20,000 in 2011, SXSW continues to be one of the highest revenue-producing event for the Austin economy.
As you may be aware, SXSW Interactive is focused on emerging technology, a focus which has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. Not attending? You can still be a part of it. Thanks to SXSW.com and @SXSW (Twitter) you can stream live keynote speakers and get festival highlights and headlines. Interactive Live Streaming Events for tomorrow, March 13, include:
- 11:00AM CST
Advise THIS! Matchmaking Startups & High Profile Advisors
- 2:00PM CST
Coding the Next Chapter of American History
- 3:30PM CST
Digital Debauchery with Anthony Bourdain
Combine technology, film, music and Austin, Texas, in March, and you have a festival too big to ignore. If you haven’t jumped on the SXSW bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for? Hop on and see what its all about.
Since the launch of YouTube in 2005, the site has become popular for anyone to achieve their five minutes of fame. However, some people have found their fame has lasted longer than five minutes and have become “YouTubers”. One facet of the YouTube that has recently become very popular is the beauty and fashion community. Girls (and guys) will upload videos of themselves reviewing makeup products, showing tutorials of how to achieve a certain look, or hauling what they have recently purchased at Sephora or other beauty stores. Although their are various age ranges of women to follow, you will find that among the popular gurus (JuicyStar07, Michele1218, buynowbloglater.com, etc.) they all have cult followings in the form of their subscribers who take what these gurus think about makeup and fashion very seriously.
However, in the previous year the FTC passed a new regulation where if any of these bloggers or “YouTubers” received a product for free, are being paid to post a link in their information box, or are being compensated for the video, they must include a disclaimer either in the video or in their information. Part of the appeal of the beauty community is that one becomes attached to these bloggers and trusts their opinions as friends. After the FTC regulation, viewers are more aware of what items these “YouTubers” were getting for free and making money off of. Subscribers felt they were being violated because they were simply being fed advertisements from people’s viewpoints that they used to value.
So, in this industry, is advertising through this channel effective or just a waste of time? I believe that it’s an amazing way to get word of a product or line out there that otherwise wouldn’t become mainstream. These women will review products before they are released that they love and they products will fly off the shelves. For instance, Revlon Lip Butters were recommended in the below YouTube video. They became the “it” product before they even launched, and if you were to enter a drugstore today, it would be hard to get your hands on any of the colors let alone the most sought after. Advertising through YouTube is a great way to get a product or line noticed and discovered, that otherwise might have been lost in the ever-expanding beauty market.
A few months ago, Wildfire conducted an ROI survey of over 700 marketers across different industries all around the world to see how social media is used in their businesses and why. The below infographic shows how social media is used to grow brand awareness, increase communication with consumers, and how marketers use this information to determine the impact of social media on their business.
Santa has joined the social media universe and is “taking time from baking and wrapping presents” to send some holiday cheer. O2, a U.K. wireless provider, and their PR agency, Hope & Glory, have made Santa reachable via Twitter and YouTube for personal messages and replies. All you have to do is send a tweet with “#02Santa” and he’ll reply to/read the tweet in a video on his YouTube channel.
Alex Pearmain, head of social media at 02, said, “We felt that we should create something fun as an integrated aspect of our Christmas digital campaigning — something that gets consumers involved with us and allows 02 to deliver a bit of entertainment during the festive period. Our social-media channels seemed the ideal platform to do this on, and we hope this campaign will help to cut through some of the current consumer gloom and spread some festive cheer.”
The creativity of this campaign is great and has become very popular in the short amount of time that it’s been around. Santa has already responded to over 600 tweets from both kids and adults. It is a great way for O2 to set themselves apart from the other telecommunications companies out there, which is not an easy task these days.
Sadly, it’s only running for a week but if you write before the 15th Santa will be sure to reply by Christmas. I just sent my family a message and am very excited to see the video and my mom’s reaction! Not much time left before the deadline so get tweetin’!
This year at the Association of National Advertisers convention, Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook decided to be bold with her sales pitch. Her message: Facebook shouldn’t be the only thing marketers do online or in marketing. It should just be part of everything they do. In the AdAge article, Sandberg’s Quietly Audacious Pitch to ANA: Put a Little Facebook in Everything You Do, they quote her saying, “For Facebook, not only is overall sharing doubling every year via “Zuckerberg’s Law,” but the number of daily fan page “likes” also has doubled in the past year to 100 million daily.” Though she has a point and proved it with case studies showing the success of American Express and Huggies, I don’t really agree with her that it should be the strategy for everyone.
There are some brands that should definitely be on Facebook. I have liked pages for companies like my favorite brands of ice cream and shoes. However, my main goal is to get discounts or enter contests. I’m all about free shoes, not that I ever win. Because of this, I understand Ms. Sandberg’s point of view. However, there are some types of companies I don’t want to “like” on Facebook. I don’t want to “like” life insurance companies, pharmaceutical makers, or financial planners on Facebook. There are certain industries that should remain serious and in my opinion, having a page on Facebook cheapens the value of their brand. I also want at least some of my life private and “liking” something personal such as who I go to about my 401K to pop up on all of my friends’ newfeeds. I also think that the number of likes a company has is not necessarily a good measure of success. I know many people who have “liked” a brand on Facebook in order to write on their wall about how much they hate them. In this case, being on Facebook is hurting your brand by making everyone aware of all of the problems people have had.
I completely agree that Facebook is a great way to highlight a brand when it is appropriate. I’ve seen many successful campaigns use Facebook as a platform but it should not be part of a strategy for every brand. In my opinion, Ms. Sandberg’s statements should be taken into consideration, but keep in mind that she is the COO of Facebook and it was a sales pitch.
Read the full AdAge artile here.
So this morning, the new owners of the social bookmarking site Delicious launched their new, revamped version of the site. Gone are the Yahoo name and many features that long-time users are now complaining about on Twitter and other social networking sites. What they’ve offered is a new Beta site that is not without glitches. This, combined with a recent article in the Atlantic (The Cloud’s My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem) highlight the problems that many brands (especially online ones) face when they change a product or service.
It’s a clear reminder that users/customers/consumers whatever you want to call them, feel they have a stake in your brand. Sometimes they feel their stake is as much as the actual owner’s. It’s yet to be seen if the new owners of Delicious can make enough changes to keep users attracted to their site, or if they’ll drive away existing users and do little to encourage growth. One thing is clear, they may have misjudged the passion and expectations that many of their customers have for their brand and service.
My freshman year of college, Facebook came to Bowling Green, OH and I signed up immediately just like everybody else. It was incredible and probably the most exciting thing to happen in Bowling Green all year. I could talk to friends from everywhere! People I hadn’t seen in a decade were telling me all about their lives and I could share right back. I visited the site constantly throughout my college years. But as times change, though I still visit Facebook daily, I don’t stay on nearly as long or nearly as often. I find other websites like Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest taking over my social media time.
In an article on Datamation.com, Mike Elgan brings up the point that Facebook, though they have tried numerous times, has yet to produce anything new and exciting for users. They’ve tried email, location check-ins (like FourSquare), groups (like Google+ circles), and Skype integration and all have been unsuccessful. People are becoming bored with Facebook and its failure to grow and evolve. Because of this, Elgan compares Facebook to Yahoo. Yahoo used to be the go-to company for the “portal era” as Elgan puts it, until Google came along and started the “search era”. Facebook used to be the only social media site, and though other sites don’t have their number high number of users, they are coming up with new ideas and features while Facebook is fading. In the month of May alone, Facebook lost 6 million users in the US and 1.5 million users in Canada.
Elgan says, “Yahoo has no vision. It has no purpose. It’s dispensable. Yahoo continues like a zombie, animated by the life it once had. And that’s what Facebook is becoming. Yes, they’ll continue to have users. And yes, they’ll continue to make money. But Facebook is looking increasingly like a one-trick pony that doesn’t have the vision to reinvent itself for the post-Facebook era.”
As we’ve all seen this month, Facebook is trying to improve with the new layouts and the “important posts”, but again, it appears to be another failed attempt and users are, again, unhappy. The question is, will any of their ideas stick? Personally, I believe that if they want to be successful, they are going to have to be original. Copying what other sites are doing won’t cut it anymore since people are already on the sites they are copying from. They need to be unique just like they were my freshman year.
Read the full article here.