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Social Marketing, What is it?

By DAVID TOPORZISEK   SEPT. 10, 2016

So I thought I’d post something a little different to digital marketing content and give everyone an introduction to social marketing, have a read, give some feedback! Thanks

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For governments and non-governmental agencies, trying to understand people’s behaviour sits at the core for developing interventions to tackle big social and health challenges ranging from issues as diverse as obesity, smoking and binge drinking all the way through to climate change and crime, according to French (2010). These bodies (government and non-government) are constantly seeking to understand and influence how and why people behave as they do, in order to develop and implement social interventions that have the best possible chance of helping citizens live out a long, healthy and positive life.

This is where the concept known as social marketing comes into play. This concept was first used in the 1970s by Kotler and Gerald who defined it as “the design, implementation, and control of programs calculated to influence the acceptability of social ideas….”. From reading the definition, it can be seen why governments and NGAs (non-governmental agencies) might find social marketing valuable. To better illustrate what social marketing is, modern day examples can be found easily in commercials, emails, radio and other platforms.

A prominent and controversial example was the New York City department of health social marketing campaign against sugary drinks. The campaign named ‘Are you pouring on the pounds’ showcases devastating impact that drinking sugary drinks everyday can have on a person’s body. This came about when obesity was becoming prominent social problem in American society in 2009. Research showed that Americans in 2009 consume 200 to 300 more calories daily than 30 years ago (Healthy Beverages).

The campaign features a commercials of a man drinking literal fat out of what looks like a soft drink can. It is rather disgusting and difficult to watch, yet it successfully manages to convince people not to drink sugary drinks by using shock tactics to gain attention and then providing information about healthy alternatives. This is one example of many in how social marketing has ability to bring about pro-social change.

Social marketing is focused on enabling, encouraging, and supporting behavioural change or maintenance among target audiences and the re-engineering of services and systems to support and facilitate change (French, 2010).

Focusing more on the social issue of healthy eating, many principles of social marketing and its techniques have actually been applied to health promotion practices without the label of social marketing being attached to them, like the campaign mentioned previously ‘Are you pouring on the pounds?’

Social marketing fits into contemporary society in the same way consumer marketing does by practicings the notion of exchange, or better known as exchange theory. This theory states that consumers act primarily out of self interest as they seeks ways to optimise value by doing what gives them the greatest benefit for the least cost (Grier & Bryant, 2005). Exchange theory reminds social marketers that they must (a) offer benefits that the consumer truly values; (b) recognize that consumers often pay intangible costs, such as time and psychic discomfort associated with changing behaviors; (c) acknowledge that everyone involved in the exchange, must receive valued benefits in return for their effort (Grier & Bryant, 2005).

The difference between consumer and social marketing is what is being exchanged. In consumer marketing products or services are exchanged for money, whereas in social marketing there is rarely an immediate, explicit payback to target audiences in return for their adoption of healthy behavior. The benefit occurs much later than when the behaviour is generally started. This leads to a discussion on the potential strengths and limitations that social marketing has in relation to public health and in particular healthy eating.

Starting with the potential strengths, social marketing has had a beneficial impact on how the public health sector educates the public and persuades communities and individuals to adopt healthy practices (Ling, Franklin, Linsteadt, Gearon, 1992). Before social marketing, many people were not greatly aware of problems that can arise from having an unhealthy diet including obesity, heart condition, loss of mobility and eating disorders. This is mostly due to lack of access to information. People would have had to gone to a doctor, a dietician or another professional in the health sector just to be educated on the problems that arise from an unhealthy diet. Social marketing allows greater access to information that benefits people.

The strategic use of mass media is also another major strength in social marketing, as it creates awareness of current behaviours and reinforces health practices to a massive amount of the target audiences (Ling, Franklin, Linsteadt, Gearon, 1992). Particularly with eating healthy, it is easy to demonstrate the negative effects of a poor diet with short commercials and radio advertisements. An example of a mass media being used in social marketing is the baby carrots marketing campaign. It sounds ridiculous but a Bolthouse farms partnered with a marketing agency launched the ‘Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food’ marketing campaign.

The title basically summarises the entire strategy. Market healthy food such as baby carrots in the style that junk food markets their food, by making it exciting, sexy or cool. The campaign was incredibly successful which led to baby carrots being packaged like chips, vending machines filled with baby carrots being installed in high schools and universities and iPhone games being created that featured baby carrots (Lum, 2010).

Another strength in social marketing in regard to eating healthy, is qualitative as it involves aspiring to high standards. Social marketing, with its roots in the commercial world, often aspires to attain the best information, materials and talent. This has alerted many public health professionals who have all too often been compelled to accept second rate work as a result of budgetary constraints to strive to higher standards of practices and work (Ling, Franklin, Linsteadt, Gearon, 1992).

With social marketing having many strengths, comes with a lot of limitations. Social marketing often takes it as a given that a particular behaviour should be adopted and does not always ask if a particular behaviour makes sense, is capable of being adopted or question the barriers in a person choosing to adopt a behaviour, such as eating healthy. For example, in rural Australia, healthy food costs a lot more than in CBD locations due to extra costs of transport, storage and handling, yet are often lower socioeconomic areas than that of the CBD (the conversation, 2013). This creates a barrier in terms of accessibility and affordability, that of which simple social marketing campaigns cannot solve.

Social Marketing can make the mistake of assuming the funders’ ideal behaviour or action is right, just, appropriate, and do-able. As a result campaigns are often based around remarkably shallow and simplistic behavioural prescriptions.

Simply stating ‘eat right’ is not enabling anyone to change behaviours (eatright.org).

Social marketing is a powerful tool that when used properly can enable governments and NGA’s to promote behaviours that will benefit a person positively and can increase the knowledge of wicked issues such as healthy eating. It needs to provide a value exchange that benefits everyone involved, even if benefits are not seen for an extended period of time. Most importantly, social marketers need to account for barriers and limitations that a social marketing campaign may have and need to have shocking, informative and most importantly engaging content being shared.

The bright side of trolling

Ahhhh the internet troll, a social media managers greatest enemy. Characterized as a person who starts arguments, upsets people, and posts inflammatory messages in an online community. There really is not much to love about these people, but what if I told you there is value in the act of trolling that is almost always overlooked. This weeks post will discuss the benefits of allowing trolls to remain.

There are two types of trolls you will encounter: born trolls and situational trolls.

Born trolls consider trolling brands to be one of their favorite pastimes. Your brand or its values are immaterial to a born troll. Trolling anyone and everyone is what they love to do. These trolls need to burned with fire!!!… well not with fire, but it is best not to engage with these types of people as they will soon become bored if not entertained.

Situational trolls are more broader, diverse group and these people may be bothersome where they might complain about how slow their internet is to the provider on social media, however they can escalate further, for example with Coles majoram trolling incident. Situational trolls do require a response. Consider these two troll scenarios and how to turn them in valuable experiences.

Complaints

Someone who complains is not always a troll, so it is essential that each case is judged individually. There are always consumers dissatisfied with customer service. The band Woodlock complained to Virgin Airlines when their musical property was damaged, which involved creating a Facebook status that gained a lot of attention, with demanding a response from Virgin Australia. They responded quickly and Woodlock shared an article the next day on their social media platfroms praising Virgin Australia for their fast response. This is act turned an unintended troll into an act that benefited the Virgin band, I mean brand (troll intended).

Disagreement

A troll is also not classified as some who disagrees with you. It can be incredibly irritating for a company to deal with disagreements online, especially when there reputation is on the line every time they do or do not reply. But this is simply social media interaction. As much as I feel sorry for the Optus social media manager, they have a job to fulfill. The example to the left demonstrates that through Optus responding to the customers initial disagreement, talking through the problem can resolve it and build up the companies reputation. However, in some circumstances posts should not be responded to if they involve hate, aggression, threats or anything that breaches a companies terms and conditions.

Trolls are not always as negative for a brand as one may think it is. It can enhance the image of the brand and be used an opportunity to create great customer service that improves a brands online social media strategy. It is important to know when to reply and when to block. If a company is dealing with a troll that is acting in a threatening way, authorities should be contacted and the customer should be blocked. In the same way, companies have to follow social media codes on conduct that include being professional, transparent, respectful and smart when responding to customers comments. 

Not all trolls are terrible and some might even be concerned customers, companies should attempt to adopt an individual approach when dealing with ‘troll-like’ posts and decide whether a response is beneficial or not.

The ‘Viral’ trap. But first, dancing babies.

Before you read anything, watch this absolutely awesome viral commercial.

Evian, a European brand I have never heard of before, previously held the Guinness World Record for the most viral video commercial of all time and this was the follow up released in 2013, which has 123 million views, outshining their previous success. After seeing this great commercial I can easily see why, the video is hilarious and puts you in a good mood just from watching it. But what it fails to do is actually sell their product.

DANCING BABY!

Viral success is not the same as sales success. After the original commercial, Roller Babies. was released in 2009, sales of the water brand actually declined. In the year the Evian ‘Roller Babies’ video went viral and attracted 50 million views, the brand lost market share and sales plummeted by a whopping 25 per cent, according to Forbes. Proving that sometimes the best form of advertising isn’t necessarily the best form of advertising.

The problem that Evian and many other viral sensations have is that they do little to back up their viral marketing efforts. With digital marketing being the tool of the future, and viral videos being one of the best ways to create a buzz, it incredibly important to integrate it back to the organisations IMC strategy.

Digital media will always be more effective when used as part of an integrated approach. People should be able to recognize a product in whichever media platform they are seeing it. Evian managed to be successful on YouTube platform, but failed to be coherent and consistent among other their other media platforms. This also applies to offline content, it needs to complement what is being seen online and provide seamless continuity for the customer no matter what platform their product is viewed in. It is important not to fall into the ‘viral trap’ or you’ll only ever be seen as another Harlem Shake.

 

 

SEM Basics for Modern Marketers

Search engines have two major functions:

Crawling and Indexing & Providing Answers

                                             Click here to go to reference

The first function of crawling and indexing, this process is the search engine attempting to find links that best match the search request and creating an index of results for the search user.

The second function determines relevance and popularity, this is more than what used to be matching search words with websites. Today, there are many factors that influence relevance, including users search history, items they’ve bought online, sites they have spent the most time at, etc. All these are known by the search engine through the use of cookies. What appears in a matter of seconds from a quick search is actually massive process.

“Search engines employ mathematical equations (algorithms) to sort the wheat from the chaff (relevance), and then to rank the wheat in order of quality (popularity).” – Moz.com

Now that you have a better understanding of how search engines work, how can marketers use search engines to get to that glorious position on the first page of Google.

 

Click here for photo reference.

Well there are two Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques that can help. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

SEO follows a structured approach to gaining traffic to a website and the main advantages it has includes:

  • It is a significant traffic driver
  • Visitors who are actively searching for a term have high intent to purchase
  • No media costs or click-through costs, only optimisation costs
  • Updates and new content reflected quickly

The important approach with SEO is make the content that is shown on the search accurate to what content is on the website. Otherwise searchers will be misled and Google will not place the site high up on the index list.

PPC displays context as ads on search engines like Google in the top of the page but listed as sponsored. PPC generally costs more to use the SEO and although does have obvious results, it does not feel genuine to the search user. It does have some advantages like not costing until a person clicks on it and easier to use than SEO, but it is very competitive and often not relevant to the search.

What are your thoughts on SEO vs PPC? What technique do you think is more beneficial?

Comment below!

Launceston tourism & social media

On the weekend I caught a plane over to the city Launceston, Tasmania. While I was there I got to see a lot of great places but I also got to plan my weekend using Destination Launceston visitor centre. They made it really easy for me to find places to visit using different social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Trip Advisor.

I created a video as part of the requirement of my Digital Marketing uni to showcase how Destination Launceston uses social media marketing to create value for me as a customer.

Mobile Marketing

The growth of the mobile device in the past few years has been nothing short of astounding. Only in 2014, the amount of mobile devices in circulation worldwide surpassed the number of people living on this planet.

Another recent study by mobile insurance showed that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. This adds up to nearly 4 years of your life! With so much of the global population using the mobile platform, it’s only natural to see that why mobile marketing must be so important.

source: addictioncounsellors.ie/tag/mobile-phone-addiction

“With mobile marketing, marketers can deliver highly personalised and relevant information and calls to action to consumers” – Michael Becker (2008).

Mobile marketing is personal, I know I can remember when a person asks to use my phone and I feel uncomfortable by the notion. It is interactive, companies like IKEA have created apps that are an augmented reality and the whole store can be seen through a mobile device. It is also time relevant and location independent, I’ve drove into a new town and I’ve seen my mobile recommend the closest cinemas with a movie playing based on my interests before. It’s almost frightening how accurate mobile marketing can be.

IKEA’s catalogue app – An Augmented Reality 

best-mobilep-marketing-campaigns-ikea

source: gizmag.com/ikea-augmented-reality-catalog-app/28703/

The current trend with everything being accessible on a mobile device is, consumers expect to be able to find out everything about a product or brand through the internet. A simple Google search gets the customer in touch with everything a company has to offer. Knowing this, businesses should have all the information about their products available online. Customers don’t need to go into stores anymore, they have all the information on their mobile devices available to them 24/7, why not take advantage of that?

source: bmgtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Mobile-marketing.png

The IKEA catalogue app that allows customers to see furniture as if they were actually in the store was highly successful, gaining over 6 million downloads from the app store. Not only that, users spent 8 minutes with the app, as opposed to up to 3 minutes with a catalogue. Click here to see how the IKEA app works.

With mobile marketing already have incredible success with many brands, it is fair to say that it’s the way of the future and traditional marketing methods are going out of fashion.

References:

http://www.gizmag.com/ikea-augmented-reality-catalog-app/28703/

http://webbyawards.com/winners/2015/advertising-media/campaign-categories/mobile-campaigns/

Freemium is latin for ‘not really’

“Free-to-play isn’t just a business model. Free-to-play is a marketing strategy. It’s a way to get people over the hump of trying out your product. It gets rid of the friction that happens when you charge an upfront fee.” Mitch Lasky

What do products Netflix, Apple Music, SurveyMonkey, Stan, Game of War and Monster Legends have in common? They don’t require any purchase to sign up. These companies that all have top grossing apps don’t even require a purchase to first use their products. You can listen to all your favourite music, watch all your favourite TV shows and play mobile games, until your hearts content, or the app requires a purchase to continue.

photo source: http://www.geekbinge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/South-Park-Freemium-Is-Not-Free-Review.jpg

Now at this point you might be wandering, why are these companies so profitable and why is there a ‘South Park’ character telling me Freemium is latin for ‘not really’?

Well to answer the first question I’m going to have to talk about the social media revenue models.

Freemium model: SurveyMonkey & WordPress.

 source: http://www.cavucommunications.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/surveymonkey_logo_380.jpg

These models works by offering a basic service for free, while charging for a premium service with advanced features to paying members.

The benefits of using this model is if people need the extra features of a website like SurveyMonkey they are going to have pay for the premium. A drawback is if the consumer can get away with using the free product, they’ll never need to upgrade or pay.

Subscription model: Netflix, Apple Music & Stan

Stan TV 30 Day Free Trial source: https://www.comparetv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/stan-30-day-trail.png

These models: Sites using the subscription model require users to pay a fee (generally monthly or yearly) to access a product or service.

The interesting thing about this model in today’s age is that it often works as a freemium model too. Popular video streaming services like Netflix & Stan offer a free months trial for the product and then require a subscription that be cancelled anytime. Other sites like Google Music, Spotify & Apple Music offer a discount such as $1 for 3 months and then require a subscription.

Virtual Goods: Game of War, Candy Crush & Monster Legends

 source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Qz9S1RvNRKQ/maxresdefault.jpg

These models: Users pay for virtual goods, such as weapons, upgrades, points, or gifts, on a website or in a game.

The virtual goods model that are successful are the real money makers in online products. In January, app testing firm Swrve  released a report stating that half of a game’s in-app purchase revenue comes from just 0.15% of players (which is insane!) This shows that consumers that get hooked on these mobile products, are willing to constantly pay to advance further in a mobile game.

To answer the second question, I’ll have to start with a quote from the South Park episode ‘Freemium isn’t Free’.

“It’s all about finding the heaviest users and extracting the most amount of cash from them. That’s how you get addicts to spend $200 for a game that isn’t even worth 40 cents.” the cackling Canadian game minister explains in the South Park episode.

While the segment is a satirical, biting look at the current state of free-to-play, it’s certainly not off the mark. With mobile games so heavily invested in the model (and with no other as-successful funding methods), it’s not likely to change anytime soon, even if we wanted it to.

With the much seen success of these companies and how they’ve used these social models that revolve around ‘Freemium‘, it’s evident that it is staying around. But it is important to remember for businesses and consumers alike, Freemium is ‘not really’ free.

Ref:

http://mashable.com/2009/07/14/social-media-business-models/#0hjNZcku98qD

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mitchlasky541086.html

 

How Deadpool changed the social media marketing game

If you haven’t seen any of the Deadpool marketing campaign on your screens yet, then you clearly haven’t been using much social media this year. From the character appearing on dating app Tinder to YouTube’s ’12 days of Deadpool’ and posting on social media sites Facebook & Instagram almost everyday, the guerrilla marketing tactic proved to be a huge success for the movie, nearly doubling expectations the studio had for opening weekend profits and as of 15th March reaching over 700 million dollars worldwide at the box office.

Mountain View

The Deadpool marketing team used social media unlike any other movie had and showed the business world how effective social media can be. Surprisingly the most effective parts of the campaign were completely inexpensive. Regional videos were made for a number of countries outside United States which aligned with the use of holiday marketing on events like Australia day, Christmas, Valentines day and the most successful 12 days of Deadpool event. All these videos were released on sites like YouTube and Facebook which was cost effective, but still received millions of hits. Actor Ryan Reynolds who stars as the character also transformed his Twitter into a tool for driving the movie to his all his followers. Not to mention all the publicity stunts on talk shows & his cult fan base. Deadpool went viral over all social media.

Mountain View

The lesson that can be learnt from the success of Deadpool is to utilise social media! According to sensis report on social media, the larger the size of the business, the more likely they are to have a strategic social media plan to push their product. Still with only 63% of large businesses following a strategic plan, there so much more that the big brands could be doing to connect with their audiences on social media!

 

Mountain ViewWith Deadpool proving that a successful marketing campaign can be carried out with costing the earth, what Deadpool really had over the all the competitors was originality and a sense of authenticity. The target market truly connected with the icon and became passionate about the product, sharing it on their own social medias and recommending it to friends. Big brands need to bring these key aspects into the game of social media if they want to compete in the ever changing market.

Ref:

 

http://adage.com/article/media/inside-deadpool-s-top-marketing-strategy/302696/

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/07/deadpools-secret-weapon-a-viral-social-media-campaign.html