I currently manage a freelancing business which focuses on digital branding through social media building and web management for companies in my area and throughout the U.S. It is a start up so right now I have one active client and am working towards more freelance work through indeed and other websites that offer this type of work.
I have a Google website as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. I am also on Alignable and Quora. I manage these for my clients as well. Facebook and Twitter seem to be the largest and most interactive resources that I use right now. Coming in next is Quora and Alignable. I get a lot of traffic and have been utilizing for client connection along with LinkedIn and Facebook. I use Instagram and Twitter for my reseller webpage through GoDaddy our partnership.
I primarily use Alignable, LinkedIn and Facebook for client connection as well as partnership connections to have discussions and collaboration.
I noticed that the use of digital media today really seems to focus on our culture in terms of what we are looking for. For example, I do not click on anything unless I am interested and that seems to be the norm based on conversations I have had with my friends and family. Social media is constantly driving information through our news feeds. We as people use some type of device for the most part to connect to media. This is something that will continue until the next best things comes along.
A lot about what I am reading so far is about doing market research about the Consumer. I find it interesting that we do not turn that around. Maybe then we could readily find our target market. Let me explain. The Consumer is in the drivers seat and we know what we want. So with that being said, I am that type of buyer (AMCI Global, N.D.). I don’t stray too much unless the current brand or item that I like is out of stock or no longer made. For example, if I like a particular brand of jeans because of how they fit, I will just buy that brand. I shop mainly online and at local stores like Target, Kohls or TJmax. I feel comfortable knowing that I have a go to place.
I also shop a lot on Amazon for home goods and personal items. Amazon is the largest and most successful retailer in the western world because they built the best customer experience. Customers expect 3 core things when they buy products online:
1. Large Selection
2 Consumers always want to find the product they are looking for
3. and, of course, this product should be in stock (Jordan, F., 2020).
Things that influence my buying decisions?
My friends and family influence me. Also, online ads through Facebook and other outlets sometimes sway me into buying a certain item. If I am looking for a particular thing, I may go to a store that I don’t typically shop at. Even if I don’t actually buy something, as we all are, I am most likely exposed to marketing information in the form of advertisements, product information on packages, opinions from friends or family, and brand symbols on almost everything. These things seem to matter at the moment only to realize they are not filling any void (Kardes, F. N.D.).
Things that lead to my buying decision
There are several stages that lead me to make a purchase. I mainly buy when something is needed. I don’t binge shop and I don’t shop a lot. I have a lot of nice clothes and I shop once or twice per season. I typically spend what I can so that is a factor as well. For some of us it is an emotional pull or a mental/cognitive state that we find ourselves being compelled to buy. Maybe a sad commercial or exciting ad. Whatever the reason, we are all motivated by something to make a purchase. For example, I purchased a car in 2018 because I had a lease that needed to be turned in and decided to pay cash for a used Acura (Kardes, F., N.D.). Need is definitely a major component for my decisions to buy.
How I am influenced by marketing research and design?
Customer delight goes a step beyond customer perceived value, suggesting customer benefits that not only meet, but also exceed expectations in unanticipated ways (Kardes, F., N.D.). My husband researches everything that he purchases which rubbed off on me. I look for reviews before I purchase something and I am more influenced by those reviews than how the item is marketed and the packaging.
I tend to stick to a brand that works for me. Certain things that we buy like toilet paper matters. If we buy two ply the toilet backs up. So we stick to the on ply Scottie brand. When it comes to clothing, I look for comments on the fit/style etc. Almost all companies have a review page online these days so it is easier to find opinions about the things we buy (Kardes, F., N.D.).
My Post Purchase Behavior
I tend to get bored with things like when I receive an order from Amazon it may not look like it did online. I also have things that still have tags on them and don’t know why I have not worn them yet. It is really silly when you think about it. We get bored and toss things or give them away or hoard. The idea that something that works fine should be replaced is now so ingrained in our culture that few people question it. I sometimes feel guilty about the items I have with tags on them and plan to do better in donating rather than tossing things. Even things that are old to me could be of value to a person that does not have much (Vince, G., 2012).
I chose Microsoft Versus Apple for my Top Dog assignment for our week 5 discussion. the reason I chose these companies is because they are both very powerful and well known, yet polar opposites. Microsoft has had many competitors over the years including Gaming, Sony, Nintendo, and Google online. However, none has been as large as than their rivalry with Apple. This struggle saw the late Steve Jobs compete with Bill Gates for dominance in computing with the latter prevailing until Apple became the top dog thanks to their efforts in mobile and tablets (Watchmojo, 2014).
Brand Strategy differences
Microsoft and Apple are both successful in the enterprise, but these two tech giants have claimed that success using different strategies (while also at times stealing from the other’s playbook). Microsoft focuses on ubiquity. Apple focuses mainly on uniformity, quality branding a style. Whether you are a Mac or PC fan, these two major players have pushed innovation to new heights (Watchmojo, 2014).
Although the numbers suggest Windows 10 is more popular, it’s also important to note that Windows 10 is available on more tablets and laptops than macOS or iOS, with greater options for entry-level and budget models. It’s easier to own multiple Windows 10 devices on a budget, compared to Apple’s smartphones, tablets and notebooks. These numbers don’t suggest Apple is failing in the enterprise — quite the opposite (White, S. K., 2017).
A survey conducted by Dimensional Research for Jamf, a company that offers management software for Apple devices, found Mac and iPad adoption are on the rise in the enterprise. Of the 300 IT professionals, managers and executives surveyed, 99 percent said their organization uses iPhones and iPads, while 91 percent say they have Macs in-house (White, S. K., 2017).
How the Underdog Can Improve it’s Strategy
To clear up any confusion, Apple and Microsoft have been underdog at times depending on how you look at things. In this article Microsoft held it’s own and in 2017 Apple increased it’s popularity. It is all based on consumer need and what is popular at a given time. So in this next section, the advice given is generic and straight forward depending on who the underdog is at this point (White, S., 2017) .
One strategy that can work when it comes to improving a company’s underdog status to a power player against it’s competitor is a few things:
1. Increase ambiguity in the market place by making comparisons difficult. 2. Do the opposite of market leaders. Market leaders promote the status quo, but underdogs need to disrupt it. Market leaders need to increase ambiguity in the marketplace, but underdogs need to decrease it. 3. Encouraging consumers to challenge their current beliefs can also be helpful to underdog brands (Kardes, F., N.D.).
Why do Consumers Prefer the Top Dog over the UnderDog?
Brand resonance refers to a consumer’s intense and actively loyal relationship with a brand. Brand resonance leads to high purchase frequencies and volumes, feelings of attachment, feelings of brand community or kinship with other users of the brand (e.g., anyone who uses my brand must be a good per- son), and active engagement, such as joining a fan club for the brand (White, S., 2017).
Microsoft’s success in the enterprise hinges on pushing higher-end devices, like the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, to compete with the reliability and durability of the MacBook. Meanwhile, Apple needs to focus on addressing user’s gripes with lackluster features on the latest MacBook Pro and iPhone 7. They also need to focus on multiple adapters and broadening its reach with more affordable hardware (White, S., 2017).
My Personal Choice
Personally I have always loved IPhones until 2017 when I noticed the quality of the battery life and the heating of the phones after only having for a few years. Some people change their iPhone when a new one comes out. I hold onto everything until it needs to be replaced. With that being said, I still have the iPhone 6S and just started noticing that it overheats and the battery does not hold a charge for long. Therefore, I am thinking about changing to an Android like my husband who never complains about his phone.
As for Microsoft, I just trust it completely. I use Microsoft office online tools, laptops and macbooks. My son and husband have the macbook. They swear by it. One of the most relevant advantages of buying Mac instead of Windows laptop is the powerful operation system – Mac OS X and iLife. The soul of the machine is loaded with unique and very useful features. It has a very elegant UI that is easily accessible and navigable (Apple Press Release, 2019).
The user interface (UI) is the point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device. This can include display screens, keyboards, a mouse and the appearance of a desktop. It is also the way through which a user interacts with an application or a website. So we are bigger Microsoft fans than Apple and consider them to be the Top Dog for our technology choices (Apple Press Release, 2019).
Branding, positioning, and other external factors such as visual elements influence consumer preferences for the top dog versus the underdog. Your customers are at the center of the process. We live in a time of unlimited choice. Whereas we used to have a few options to choose from, suddenly we’re overwhelmed with seemingly endless possibilities. It also doesn’t help that we’re bombarded with over 10,000 marketing messages a day (Sullivan, F., 2019).
Brands face the challenge of rising above the din and proving their worth. Once a brand has captured the audience’s interest, they want to know immediately that it can substantiate its claims. If not, they’re going to move along—and it can take a lot of effort and marketing to get them back. Apple is going to have to really step up to the plate when it comes to quality and not just a pretty packaging (Sullivan, F., 2019).
I watched the 60 Minutes special Here about social media influencers which included Kim Kardashian, Logan Paul, Andrew Bachelor and a few other up and comings. What I noticed right away is the less is more approach. They are not doing anything out of the ordinary nor breaking any laws. For example, Logan Paul does crazy splits in the middle of nowhere and around crowds of people and throws his hands up. This has gotten him millions of followers across the world inside and outside of the U.S. Andrew Bachelor does silly 6 minute vines which are short videos. As for Kim Kardashian, everyone knows here just for being her (60 Minutes, 2019).
What strategies are they employing?
What do they all have in common? The ability to engage their followers with antics and entertain us all in ways that are simple and effective. Nothing is really thought out. They make hundreds of thousands to promote well known products and businesses throughout the world. Businesses like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts are in a way being re branded through these influencers without having to pay ad money on their end and therefore they pay the influencers direct. This is in a sense ingenious. The strategy here would be to get paid while growing their brand basically for free (60 Minutes, 2019).
Roles these Influencers play in marketing
By promoting major brands, this gives a whole vibe to advertising. When a major influencer such as Kim Kardashian does her makeup tutorials the products that she uses from blush, eyeliner to the brushes increase that brands sales. She then in turn makes money when that happens. It is positive PR for the brand and income for Kim (60 Minutes, 2019).
How the use of marketing perspective impacts the relationship between the company and the consumer?
When a company’s brand is shown in a different way through a social media influencer, it gives us the consumer a fresh spin on the brand and makes us want to purchase. For the company it builds a new found confidence in their organization if they were having difficulty connecting with a target market. For example, maybe there are teenagers that don’t purchase certain items. When seeing an influencer such as Logan Paul or Kim Kardashian endorse the product or company, now they too think it is cool. This builds loyalty and trust between the company and consumer without it even being realized (60 Minutes, 2019).
There are many top trends to watch. For a more detailed list click Here. For now I have chosen three of my top favorites which include personalization, video marketing and social messaging apps. These methods are the top trends for 2020 and 2021 so far (Dave, N., N.D.). Given the light of our current landscape, technology will be our go to for a long time.
Personalization means using audience and data analytics to meet the individual needs of a consumer. In order to do this online communication and research is necessary and should be ongoing/never ending. The market changes quickly and as a marketer there is no excuse not to stay up with it. That is our job (Dave, N., N.D.).
Start by using your data to outline the details of who each of your customers is, what their intention is at any particular moment, and where, when, and how they’ve engaged with your brand previously. Then reach out according to that data. Companies such as Starbucks, Netflix and Cadbury’s have used this method and have seen increases in sales by using personalization with their content (Dave, N., N.D.).
Cadbury’s which is a chocolate candy company, has seen a 65% CTR for their email campaign’s yielding a 33.6% conversion increase. Personalized email have an open rate that is 3X higher than regular email. Customers today are gravitating toward brands that feel like they listen to them, understand them, and pay attention to their specific wants and needs. That’s where personalization comes in (Sitecore, N.D.).
The next big ticket item to watch for in the digital advertising space is video marketing. Some of you may be nodding off because the idea of video marketing is not new. Just hold on because I am not taking about the boring traditional videos. As a matter of face nobody is that connected to that method anymore (Dave, N., N.D.).
What I am exploring now are Live videos, Interactive videos and 360 degree videos are the new video marketing trend. Live videos can be done on Facebook and LinkedIn. They can be done direct with their interface or through live streaming resources like StreamYard (Dave, N., N.D.). For more information look up top video trends for 2020 or 2021.
Live video is becoming more popular with businesses across the U.S. For things like interviews, product demos and networking, it is bring people together while staying safe. One to one video is when a business or marketer creates a personalized video message and posts it or sends it to people as opposed to traditional email. Interactive video is where an avatar is used to explain things and there is a take button (click here or contact us here) connected to it (Dave, N., N.D.).
Finally the 360 D video has symbols or buttons that can be moved around to change the scene or go to a different area. This experience is on the rise. Think of this as virtual reality. This is where a human can interact with the digital media on a screen, mobile phone or by swiping their hands to move an object (U.S. Digital Partners, 2019).
This experience teleported the public to a Marriott Hotel first then on to a Hawaiian beach, which helped position Marriott as a forward-looking and relevant brand within the travel market. The forecast is one that marketers agree with. It will bring communication to another level literally and figuratively (Dave, N., N.D.).
Virtual reality could be effective for educational purposes, business exchange such as showcasing a product like a game or virtual boardroom etc. It is currently being used for Drew Barrymore and her new talk show SEE HERE. She has interviews with people that are at home, but it looks like they are on stage with her (The Drew Barrymore Show, 2020).
Social messaging apps are not just for friends anymore. Over 10 billion consumers and businesses exchange messages on Facebook each month. On WhatsApp there are 1.6 billion users and 55 billion messages exchanged daily. The top three apps are Facebook messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp (Dave, N., N.D.). 80% of the users are between the ages of 20 and 45. They are not going anywhere anytime soon (Wang, J., 2020).
My prediction for all of the above is that a lot of people are not jumping on the band wagon including marketers. Without some of the media solutions above and listed in the hyperlinks, we will fall behind in the industry. These tools and resources work (Small Biz Daily, 2019).
They can be used for yourself and your clients and also sold as a digital resource for them as a standalone sale. That is right. Along with making video content for marketing myself, I could build these videos, personalized templates and clickable links for my prospects. Either way we choose, to not try something is the only wrong move (Small Biz Daily, 2019).