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Big Dating?

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Could big data be the key to finding true love? Usually we think of big data being as a tool used by marketers to better deliver advertisements or information to a consumer, and we may not think it could be used to enhance our love lives. However, online dating sites have been using data (and now big data) from the start.



Online dating has been around for awhile now (over 20 years) and is becoming more and more common among relationship seekers but how much data are people willing to share to get the perfect match?

Some websites ask as many as 400 questions. estimates that it has more than 70 terabytes of data about its customers. What happens with all this data?  As the Tinder (an online dating app), vice president of advertising Brian Norgard said, “it allows us to give that data back to our brands in a really valuable way”, such as Bud Light in which they did their first advertising campaign.

Big data is helping these websites provide better matches for their customers which means more satisfied customers, which means bigger profits.

So why isn’t everyone on these dating sites successfully matched yet? Well, people lie, and not always on purpose. Hinge, a Washington DC-based dating company, gathers information about its customers from their Facebook pages. The data is likely to be accurate because other Facebook users police it, Justin McLeod, the company’s founder, believes.

Companies aren’t the only people who can take advantage of big data in online dating though. There are now more tools than ever for creating and using data in budding romantic relationships. For example,  Lulu, is an app for young women to anonymously review their male friends, exes and hookups, that has recently attracted significant popular attention. Lulu lets female reviewers anonymously select hashtags that describe male acquaintances, from #DudeCanCook to #Cheater which it then translates through an algorithm into numerical ratings. Lulu has over a million users and is popular at colleges. Lulu’s founders describes the app as creating a safe, empowering place for young women to swap intel about which guys are worthwhile, although some critics say it is creepy and promotes a double-standard.



Online date’s age wars: Inside Tinder and eHarmony’s fight for our love lives by Drew Harwell

Data Driven Dating: How Data are Shaping Our Most Intimate Personal Relationships by Karen Levy

Categories : Big Data, Internet, Love
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The Google Job Experiment

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Have you ever Googled your name?

Not that I have ever done that myself, of course. It’s just…I’m mentioning it for a friend.

Well, if you did it, don’t be embarrassed. According to Pew Research Center, 56% of Internet users have searched for themselves online. (Kelly, 2013) This phenomenon, called egogoogling or vanity searching, has helped Alec Brownstein to get his online resume into the right hands.

Schermata 2015-11-02 alle 22.22.28Back in May 2010, Mr. Brownstein, a 29-year-old advertising copywriter from New York City decided to exploit the power of Google ads by setting up paid search campaigns using the names of New York’s top creative directors as keywords. The idea was that when the creative directors Googled themselves, they found paid search ads asking for a job. (Moth, 2013)

“Everybody Googles themselves,” Brownstein explained. “Even if they don’t admit it. I wanted to invade that secret, egotistical moment when [the creative directors I admired] were most vulnerable. Since Brownstein Googles himself “embarrassingly frequently,” he assumed that the creative directors did so as well, and so he decided to purchase their names on Google AdWords.” (Indvik, 2010)

As David M. Scott stresses, while SEO is “the art and science of ensuring that the words and phrases on your site […] are found by the search engines and that, once found, your site is given the highest ranking possible in the search results”, a Search Engine Advertising is when a marketer pays to have an ad to appear on search engines according to the keywords bought.

Indeed, when buying ads on Google, the more well-known the individual, company, or organization is, the higher the price. However, when buying an individual’s name, the cost is usually much less. (CBSNEWS, 2010) That was the case for Brownstein, who spent only $6 for the ads. Since Brownstein was the only one bidding on the names of the five creative directors he most admired, he was able to get the top spots for only 15 cents per click. (Indvik, 2010) As a matter of fact, “it is ineffective to try to reach [your target] with broad, general search terms.” (Scott, 2013)

Alec relied on the vanity of 5 New Yorkers creative directors so that when they Googled themselves the top result would have been a message from Alec with a link to his resume. “Hey, Ian Reichenthal,” read one. “Gooogling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.” Brownstein targeted five executives. Four offered him an interview. (Kingsley, 2011)


It is also important to notice that Brownstein deliberately misspelled ‘Googling’ by changing it to ‘Gooogling’, because advertisers cannot normally bid on trademarked terms.

Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal, the co-executive creative directors at advertising Young & Rubicam in New York, were among those Brownstein was trying to reach. In a couple of months, Y&R offered Brownstein a job recognizing the creativity and the effort.

This case in considered one of the most successful SEO campaign and was worth Mr. Brownstein two awards in the self-promoting category: The One Show and The Clios.


Moth, D. (March 5, 2013) Six Examples Of Effective PPC And SEO Campaigns

Indvik, L. (May 13, 2010) How To: Land Your Dream Job Using Google AdWords

Kingsley, P. (July 17, 2011) How Far Would You Go To Get A Job?

Kaufman, W. (June 8, 2010) For The Love Of Google: Landing A Job With Search

CBCNEWS (May 14, 2010) Google Ads Help Job Seeker Find Work

Kelly, S. M. (September 27, 2013) 56% Of Internet Users Have Searched For Themselves Online

Scott, D.M. (2013) The New Rules Of Marketing & PR, Wiley


Categories : Internet, Stories
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One of the benefits of great consumer engagement is that consumers become advocates for the brand. While brand ambassadors are generally welcomed across all platforms, social media is an especially popular platform as everyone has the ability to voice his or her opinion. The intricacies of social media can makes redress complex though, as it can be difficult to address individuals for numerous reasons including non-directed complaints, the sheer volume of people talking about a topic, and misinformation. One vein of misinformation in general can be particularly damaging, and that is the internet troll.

Trolls are people who “deliberately post provocative messages… with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument” ( Generally trolls are anonymous or have multiple user names so that they can avoid being banned from a website. Trolling often oversimplifies arguments to a point of ludicrousness, or uses logic undermines any point that the original author on a post is trying to make. Given this brief background on trolling, it makes sense that websites often police comment sections in efforts to prevent this behavior from happening. But what happens when trolling is a good thing?

Target Shared Facebook PageTarget It Means Nothing

Enter Mike Melgaard. Melgaard recently entered the public spotlight as he posed as “Ask ForHelp” on the Target Facebook page, replying to customers who were upset about Target’s decision to move toward gender neutral labeling. When Melgaard saw that Target was doing this, he expected controversy online and went to their Facebook page to check it out. And then he had the idea to masquerade as a customer service rep to respond to complaints. And while Melgaard says that he agrees with Target’s decision, he was more motivated by the comedic opportunities available (and there were plenty to choose from).

Doritos Subway

Melgaard made a second trolling appearance when Doritos launched their Rainbow Doritos campaign. Doritos produced a limited edition version of Rainbow Doritos, that was launched at Dallas Pride and only available by giving a donation of $10 or more, with all proceeds benefitting the It Gets Better Project, which is a charity founded to help prevent suicide amongst LGBT youth. It’s important to notice here that there was no change to the “regular” product, so it was completely the consumer’s choice whether to support the charity or not. Melgaard posed as another customer service representative offering sarcastic responses to the complaints posted. He remarked that the complaints on the Doritos page were much more offensive and that the only agenda being promoted in this case was saving the lives of young people. Doritos Past Demographic

While the term politically correct has been in the public eye for a while, it will be affecting companies more so now than ever. As millennials gain economic power, companies will cater to their desires even more so than what is currently being done (some companies have started this, others don’t think we’re valuable because we generally don’t have money to spend on their products yet). Something that millennials find important in business is that companies conduct themselves in an ethical manner and/or participate in some type of corporate social responsibility. While this sounds like a good thing, it makes advertising difficult for companies because the causes a company supports often have some political connections, meaning that the company could be alienating consumers. As mentioned in the case above, Doritos was helping a charity in suicide prevention, but was criticized as “spreading the gay agenda.” The more controversial the topic is, the greater chance a company has of alienating possible consumers, especially during election times when political divides become much more prominent. Doritos Taco BellTarget Politically Correct

While political overtones of causes may lose some customers, a great relationship between the customer and consumers can promote understanding. If customers already trust the company, they will be more likely to trust causes supported by the company. And if the relationship is really great, the company will be able to rely on their customers to defend the brand. And if you’re waiting for a knight in shining armor to defend you, does it really matter where he or she came from?Doritos TargetFor more images of the trolling or information in general, click the links below.

For all my love little monsters I am your mom you are my child in my hand I protect you like my eyes but don’t worry I’ll catch you if you fall― Lady Gaga                                                                                                    

With almost fifty one million followers on Twitter, a fan following on Facebook of over sixty one million and a dedicated fan base on YouTube, American recording artist Lady Gaga is a great example on how modern celebrities can use social media to connect with their fans and engage them. (Bennet, L.)

Clearly Miss Gaga is not only a pop star. Her success and fame have been analyzed by different scholars, and it is not possible to ignore that she has introduced and performed one of the most successful and interesting marketing strategies. 


“Lady Gaga didn’t become the success she is today based solely on her talent. She did so by engendering immense loyalty from her fans through her music, her message, and the community she has built around them. To anyone in the business community, this sounds like a classic case of loyalty marketing and customer cultivation.” (Huba, J.)

Lady Gaga’s audience is impossible to define; it is large, heterogeneous, and fragmented. Indeed, the pop star focuses almost solely on one percent of her audience, the engaged super-fans who drive word of mouth. Sure enough, “A business’s most engaged customers—the top 1%—create the most value for a brand.”(Vozza, S.) It is clear that she knows the engagement principles, as she is not focusing on broadening the audience base, but on going deeper in the relationship with her super-fans, the Little Monsters, because “It’s these fans who will evangelize for her and bring new fans into the fold.” Naming them “Little Monsters” was not just a fortunate choice, it is a way to strengthen their belonging to a community. If we think about her strategy in marketing terms, it is possible to state that she knows the demand. She knows the fans and she somehow plays on their weaknesses.

Building a community is not easy, especially if you are a public individual. There are a lot of scenarios that might happen; a community needs to be nurtured, although you cannot interfere with the dynamics in it. Lady Gaga built her own social network for the super fans called It is not immediate the process of becoming a Little Monster. After the creation of your profile an official request will be sent and it will take time to be accepted in the community. This aspect enhances the value of the community, and the fan will feel part of something special, something that is not for everyone. “[…] Fans even get their own e-mail address, linking their online identity to Gaga. The pop star is on the site weekly, posting special messages to fans, “liking” and commenting on their fan art, and participating in chat discussions.” (Huba, J.)


Social Media Plan Lady Gaga’s Marketing Director (YouTube Video)

Lady Gaga does more than singing and writing songs, she also sells her products in a moment where piracy is destroying the music market. Piracy is somehow exploiting the psychological mechanisms behind the moment of purchase, when customers use the analytical side of their brains in evaluating rationally things like price and cost of ownership. However, there is also another side to consider, the emotional side. (Deflem, M.) If a fan is connected to the brand’s values, the bond is stronger. Lady Gaga has made the purchase process really easy, offering different options and platforms. Moreover, her fans recognize the relevance, importance and value of her products, and appreciate even more the moment of purchase.

In the commercial music industry there are four elements that make something successful, the 4 E’s: emotion, experience, engagement, and exclusivity. Fans are emotionally involved by Lady Gaga, who has made them part of her own life, in a unique bonding experience with the audience. Moreover, the topics she addresses – such as social, religious or political issues – are broad enough to allow everyone to actually connect to them and feel actively engaged, while creating a long-lasting 360 degrees relationship based on music, themes, and personal life experiences.

Of course, the star system is full of dangers and pitfalls. So many stars have been slowly, but steadily, replaced with new ones. As Huba says, the real enemy is obscurity. Still, Lady Gaga is one “of [the] most amazing word-of-mouth marketers […] she continues to do things that give her fans something to talk about.” (Huba, J.)


Vozza, S. (August 21, 2014) What Lady Gaga Can Teach You About Creating A Following

Deflem, M. (August 8, 2013) Four Truths About Lady Gaga

Huba, J. (2013) 7 Customer Loyalty Lessons From Lady Gaga

Bennet, L. (2014) Celebrity Interactions And Social Media: Connectivity And Engagement In Lady Gaga Fandom

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If you are a lady reading this blog, please imagine, if there is a magic app that you can virtually try on cosmetic in a few seconds, would you download it and try different makeups that you never tried before?

In 2014, L’Oréal launched an app called Makeup Genius to let women virtually try on cosmetics. Also, it is very easy to use: just hold your phone as you hold a tiny mirror, then you can choose and apply different makeups  on your face in your phone’s screen by choosing the product icons. This magic app hits 14 million downloads in total.


To Watch the video: Makeup Genius Introduction_Click here to watch the video

It’s worth mentioning that China has been a massive market for this western brand app, bringing 4.7 million downloads, weights one-third of total downloads. It can be explained by few reasons: Firstly, obversely China has largest size of internet population over the world: 668 million people, with 594 million of those going online with mobile devices (according to official figures from the China Internet Network Information Center); secondly, many Chinese customers viewed makeup as superficial, unnecessary and potentially harmful to skin; thirdly, heavy makeup as socially undesirable. Natural-looking makeup is still popular than heavier makeup.

“Girls in China can be shy to apply makeup if they are at the counter or if they are going out with friends — they don’t want to put on very dark lipstick, very dark eye shadow,” said Asmita Dubey, chief marketing officer for L’Oréal China.

The download was boosting, Chinese young girls can apply heavier makeups without losing face in front of friends. Those young girls are also entertained by this app. It is very fun to see themselves wearing even stunning makeups. They could share it on main stream social medias.



But the problem is here: how does  L’Oréal motivate its customers from just downloading the app and having to actually purchase the products?

Besides selling products in major department stores, and other cosmetic store chains such as Sphoera, Wiston, and Maning. Outside China’s most developed cities, where foreign makeup brands can be hard to find in shops, the app also offers a chance to experience the brand and buy online via Alibaba’s e-commerce platform – Tmall. L’Oréal is successfully tapping into China’s E-commerce boom.

L’Oréal also sell its product on one leading Chinese social media WeChat. WeChat has 549 Million active user and the average users age is 26. Customers can purchase L’Oréal products simply buy just a few taps on once’s WeChat app.

The Makeup Genius app was just one example of localizing an international initiative for China; L’Oréal also launched other China-specific digital initiatives including shake the smartphones, WeChat ads, Video games, and User-generated content.

In conclusion, an impressive mobile application is necessary and basis to engage the consumers. But only one app with thrilling technologies is not enough. The app needs to be relevant to customers needs and it has to be fun to play with. More important, L’Oréal taps into the right channels to spread the brilliant app, therefore, it can turn customers interests into real purchase actions.

Marketing Strategies for Turning Around Chinese Luxury Cosmetic Brand Yue Sai

Why Millions in China Downloaded L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius App

Makeup Genius App

WeChat’s ’s Impact: A Report on WeChat Platform Data


Delta Airlines, the 86-year-old Airline company, is starting to build relationship with the future customers now. This old brand is trying to walk further with its customers by becoming their lifelong partne. From the fall 2015 semester, Delta Airline will launch alliances with nine universities across the country, engaging the young customers at an early period of time. The ideas come from college seniors employed by Delta.

Delta’s efforts cover a lot of aspects in students’ life and are in the very beginning of their college time. These include:

  • Employees provide hand-on help to the freshman
  • Involve local alumni in the football watch parties by providing free trip of a home game in next season or SkyMiles membership
  • The tailgate parties with Delta Celebration Grill, Delta will show an aircraft shaped food truck.
  • Participate in the midnight madness in the basketball season
  • Provide students with study abroad/ volunteer/ spring break travels
  • Showcase benefits of a career with airline and valuable career lessons

Check the Delta Celebration Grill video

According to its social media partner LinkedIn’s data, Delta chose these nine universities including Duke University, The University of Florida, Michigan State University, etc, based on the connections between the existing consumers and the universities they graduated from. Delta may expand the university list in the future.

By doing all these, Delta is not only increasing the exposure in front of the future customers. It is building the relationship by building different emotional connection with the future customers.

As it maybe the first time that students left home for a long time when they enter universities, they will feel welcomed when they got help from the Delta Airline on arriving on campus. Delta is now the representative of helpfulness. Delta lessens the fear to a whole new environment.

When students are gathering for their team, they are having fun and fight for the winning of the game. Delta is the representative of fun, and the cool “aircraft” is a kind of power backing up the students.

When the alumni got the ticket to watch a home game, it recalled their wonderful school time memories, so the Delta Airlines is the bridge connecting alumni to school.

When students fly abroad to study offered by Delta, Delta is the bridge to broader view and experience.

When students are doing internship in Delta, Delta is the way to improve themselves.

In this way, Delta makes some sense for students by every engagement. Flight is not a dull process anymore, it becomes a way to gain some thing. The process of participating in will help customers to form a more specific image of Delta. Delta is always a friend in need, a way to home, and a way connecting to opportunities and better future. If the process goes on well, trust can be built, a stable relationship can be built, and customers will become the earned media of Delta Airlines.

It is also smart that Delta actually took the idea from its future customers. When involving the college students as interns, they contributed a lot of good ideas that reflect their real needs. This consumer-generated content is the result of listening to customers in the right and convenient way. It will also be powerful when driving Delta’s engagement of consumers.

“During this internship, it was clear that our campus insight was highly valued and it felt like we really contributed to Delta’s college engagement plans. I can’t wait to see all of our hard work come to life on campus this fall.” – Catherine Doyle, University of Michigan student

However, the function of the word of mouth should work in a better way. In addition to engage customers offline, Delta should not only engage students offline but also online. As students are the group of people really active on Internet and social media, Delta should take advantage of it to build buzz on Internet. When there is an event, there should not only be a picture post with a delta logo on the Facebook.

The university’s official Facebook or its sports Facebook page would be a great platform to integrate more interactions. For example, if Delta can put the University’s logo on the tailgate “aircraft”, it will stimulate a lot of student taking photos and post them on the Facebook. Together with hashtags, the buzz may go hot and attract more attentions. For the study abroad students, they can share their experience in the Facebook group, too. It may also cooperate with some exchanging program group to attract more traffic. Such good events will definitely attract the group of people who value these learning and experiencing opportunities. In addition, from the comments on social media, Delta may collect more different information about customers’ opinions than the group of senior students.

Delta starts a good designed engagement aiming at University students, and it is a good way to build concrete connection to customers. As the project just started, I am hoping to see more online engagement and buzzing of this good engagement plan.

Delta may also expand the list of Universities in the future, and you may also become one of the future loyal customers. What else engagement may you want to be in if you are a university student?


        What do Will Ferrell, a rapping family, and hover boards have in common? Oddly enough these examples were used to promote automobiles. These advertisements are quite different from the typical picturesque clips of cars driving over rugged terrains or depicting the performance capabilities of the vehicles on closed roadways. So why would automotive markets decide to use such unusual advertising tactics? The answer is surprisingly simple; it was culturally relevant at the time. Anchorman 2 was about to be released, young suburban families wanted to be seen by society as still being hip, and Back to the Future Part II had just opened in theaters. (Gill, 2015) The characters that these automotive companies chose to depict in their advertisements spoke volumes as to who their target audiences are and even who they would like their target audiences to be. For instance, Dodge’s decision to promote the new Dodge Durango with Will Ferrell suggests that the company is interested in targeting a younger generation, perhaps new drivers or those who have only been driving for a few years.

Toyota’s campaign “Swagger Wagon” depicts a mid-30 year old couple rapping with their two young children about how cool and trendy they still are. Families that own minivans need extra reassurance and Toyota is there to give it to their consumers in a catchy song.   Lexus wanted to target those that grew up with the cult classic, Back to the Future. Associating a nostalgic moment of watching Back to the Future and wondering if hover boards would really be the ultimate form of transportation and realizing that you have something better; the Lexus. These advertisements are “combining data from important real-time and historical moments in the consumer’s journey with demographic targeting to drive consumer engagement.” (Gill, 2015) The campaigns did engage their consumers but were only effective to a point. When looking at the long run did these ads truly interact with their viewers and create loyal consumers or did they just get a few chuckles? Although David Meerman Scott was referring to automotive websites when stating, “these sites were advertising to me, not building a relationship with me.” (Meerman Scott, 2013) This quote can be used to describe what all three of these advertising campaigns lacked; they were creating a connection but not a relationship. The advertisements are culturally relevant, especially to their target audience but are the ads humor and timeliness enough to be remembered or sway someone to purchase such a costly item? These advertisements are more entertaining than informative and for what the companies are trying to sell there should be a mix. The connection that was formed was due to the fact that the companies knew what their target audience enjoyed. However, a relationship is built after that initial connection was made. For instance, if the “Toyota Swagger Wagon’s” next advertisement consisted of the same family but discussed how they felt protected in their new Toyota or relate the car’s benefits to another type of intrinsic value could enhance the viewers opinion of the brand and then start to from a relationship.

        Companies should look at these types of adverts and realize that consumers need to see advertisements “upwards of 20 times” (Dietrich, Livingston, 2012) in order to digest the information. Thus, if the consumer is viewing an advertisement that is relevant or relates to their intrinsic values and ideal self, companies may have the chance to not only gain eyes on their advertisements but viewers may actually start to absorb, understand, and remember the messages. By engaging consumers with information that is culturally relevant or even just pertains to their ideal selves, could form a connection that may become a loyal relationship between consumer and brand.

Algida is the first ice cream brand in Italy, but it’s also known internationally by different names. Actually, you can see the same logo around the world and associate it to different brands. That’s because the Unilever Group (owner of the brand) opted for a globalized logo which identifies the company internationally and independently from the local name.

You may have heard about (and eaten) Wall’s or Frigo, but in Italy it’s Algida, a brand that was born in Rome back in 1945 and then acquired by the Unilever Group in 1974.

There’s a very interesting story related to Algida and another ice cream named Winner Taco. This half-moon ice cream was invented in the 1980s in the U.S. under the brand name of Choco Taco. It was briefly distributed in Italy from 1997 to the early 2000s, just long enough for many Italians to fall in love with the ice cream’s unusual shape and taste.

In 2011, two Italian men started an effort to bring back Winner Taco by launching a Facebook page called “Give us the Winner Taco back”. This act created a significant buzz and gathered a lot of protests, parodies anIl-ritorno-del-Winner-Tacod brilliant photomontages. The number of users grew to such a point that Algida completely lost control over the official Facebook page of the brand.

Whenever something was published tons of sarcastic comments followed; every initiative of the company on social media was boycotted and everything simply ended with the explicit request for the return of Winner Taco.

Their mission was to take the lost ice cream back, regardless of what Algida tried to do. In this way, the brand’s official page actually lost any kind of company value.

The brand found itself in a very delicate situation. They were between comedy and tragedy. On one hand, their rate of activity on social media was extremely high and it quickly became a successful case study. On the other hand, it could become a dangerous boomerang if not managed in the proper way.

In January of this year, Algida finally reacted by announcing on their Facebook page a “relished comeback” along with a picture partially showing a polSchermata 2014-11-06 alle 10.50.18ar bear, the Winner Taco’s mascot. At the same time, a new Twitter account was born, @ilWinnerTaco. And to push the news even further, Algida put a huge Winner Taco on Ponte Milvio, one of the most known and travelled bridges of Rome. The Winner Taco was officially back!








The web community that had developed around this issue felt empowered and considered the ice cream’s re-introduction a consequence of their pressure. This result created of a sense of ownership stronger than ever – something that wouldn’t have been easy to achieve with a traditional advertising campaign.

Algida was very clever. Even though it took them some time to understand how to respond they made the right move and were able to turn the situation to its advantage.

It’s true that this is a case in which consumers’ protests on social networks started a movement. But it’s also true that the brand listened and answered. Algida started from consumers’ commitment and created a campaign out of it. The brand had nothing to lose from the ice cream’s return on the market. And in the end, they capitalized on the spontaneous web buzz instead of lying down in the face of high interaction rates, some of which were negative.

Algida stepped forward and demonstrated that one of the greatest possibilities of the web is to create a direct connection between companies and consumers.

And the result was a happy ending. Winner Taco, son of the 1990s, the decade that had seen the birth of the internet, came back thanks to the internet itself.

Winner Taco

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The blogosphere abounds with thoughts and messages from the most diverse individuals, representing – theoretically – all the possible voices of the world. For some people it’s just a way to share their everyday reflections. For others it’s about diffusing their opinions on relevant topics related to their job and interests. And for still others, it represents the actual source of their livelihood.

Professional bloggers exist in several disciplines, from cooking to technology to cinema and fashion. And they’re able to live upon this form of expression. Read More→

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Content is the king of websites. It’s a point every company should understand. Most of the time, corporate websites are full of animations and cool software plug-ins, but they forget what consumers really want to see is content.

Schermata 2014-10-09 alle 14.25.02


Coca-Cola is probably the first brand to move in this direction. Last year it declared the death of its corporate website. The new website is called “Coca-Cola Journey”, and it looks more like an online news channel than a website of a company that makes soft drinks.

This “Journey” started three years ago, when the company, realizing the media landscape was changing very quickly, launched “Coca-Cola Content 2020”. The aim was to understand how to leverage the opportunities of the new landscape by exploiting the power of dynamic storytelling.

According to Ashley Brown, Group Director of Digital Communications and Social Media for Coke, this change happened because they looked at their data and realized that what they thought was good content wasn’t necessarily considered good by their customers. They looked at customer feedback to shape the creativity of the business. The needs and the will of the buyers became priority in the new scenario. Coca-Cola understood that social media and online engagement was too important a tool to be neglected.

This new approach is the new way to engage with the customer. And mentioning the brand is not the top priority. They realized the main goal is to build relationship and trust, not promote their products; what they share on this platform is usable, fun and emotional content. It’s often said that “content is social at the core, digital by design, and emotional”.

Coke’s content talks about a variety of topics, from food to sports, from jobs to innovation. The articles are not written only by the company, but also from a group of bloggers who are part of “The Opener”, an exclusive, invite-only contributor network that brings the best food, travel culture, and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey. Every article can be shared through various social networks.

Everything published on Journey is data driven. The website attracts an average of 1.1 million visitors each month; they drive the future content of the platform. In some cases, a topic that is highly appreciated evolves into a dedicated channel. The amount of content to be published is also determined by data; the first year they published more than 1,200 pieces of content. Surprisingly enough, even if the focus is not on the product, articles about Coke do incredibly well.

Coca-Cola is one of the most well known brands in the world. Therefore, it was obvious that their corporate website, even in this new innovative form, was going to require a focus on different countries, their issues and their will. Today, there are seven local Journey websites: Australia, Deutschland, Japan, Morocco (in France and in Arab), New Zealand, Russia and Ukraine. More countries should be introduced soon.

Despite all this good news, there are a few people who are not convinced of this new scenario for corporate websites. Mark Higginson, Social Media Manager at the University of Brighton, reviewed a sample of 87 posts on Journey to understand the real social interaction with customers. His results were not positive: “the average number of shares from a post to Facebook was 238, to LinkedIn, 103 and to Twitter, 42. Each post averaged eight comments and two-thirds of posts received no comments at all.” Of course this number of shares seems very weak since we are talking about Coca-Cola, one of the most well known companies in the world.

Schermata 2014-10-09 alle 14.34.28

There is no doubt that the direction of Coca-Cola has introduced a change to the role of the corporate website. Of course, a social media approach is not suitable for every kind of business, but everyone must understand that what is important is the customer and what kind of content they want to know.

And the promotion of the product must not dominate.



Categories : Engagement, Internet
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