Archive for Internet
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. Match.com 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.
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.
Back 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
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.
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.
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.
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.