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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Marketing To Women: Strategies & Insights

‘’I do no know why but women want any of the things men have when one of things that women have is men.’’  Coco Channel

Women are often overlooked in how they add to society. Historically the greatest thinkers of    middle ages have had very interesting views on women. The views on procreation, for example Aristotle was considering an active, ensouling masculine element bringing life to an passive female element. Confucianism is introducing men to begin their day with thanksgiving and appreciation to Almighty Gods for the fact that they have not created them a woman. In Christian traditions a woman was considered as a ‘’vessel of sin’’: namely a woman (Eva) according to Bible was guilty of the exile of the first people from the Heaven.

The main virtues of women have been considered obedience, humility and modesty for a long time. The role of women in a “man’s world’’ was to bear  children, parenting and housekeeping. In this attitude women didn’t have any legitimate (and approved by the society) ways to make a living and were economically dependent on men, which only reinforced gender inequality.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries  as soon as the society reconsidered its approach to ‘’women’s question’’, the systematic inning of women’s rights come around (the first wave). By the late 1980s, the campaign for gender equality entered the ‘third wave’ and the first thing women begun to do was prove their equality by imitating men.

Nowadays women not just have reached the same heights as men, but also dominating them in some spheres. And here comes the most interesting thing   Women imitating men, and following the rules of a ‘’man’s world’’, have reached the ‘’men heights’’. But it appeared that women are not men! Historical inequality between men and women is based on the fact, that even a human naked eye can indicate- women and men are different.

Below is a little excerpt from Tom Peter’s “Re-imagine!’’ book, which is focusing on how the business climate has changed, exploring radical ways of overcoming outdated, traditional company values and psychological differences between men and women.

Get away from authority and family
Self-oriented Other-oriented
Rights-oriented Responsibility-oriented
Stay detached Get personal
Proud of personal power Proud of joint achievements
See  general Notice  details
Low sensitivity to odors High sensitivity to odors
Screen out quiet sounds, are comfort with load Hear quiet sounds, are uncomfortable with loud
Poor developed sense of touch Well developed sense of touch
At three-day age slowly establish eye contact At three-day age twice  intense establish eye contact than boys

And yes, women are different but it only could come to man’s mind that if different- they are worse.

How does it apply to marketing?
Very simply. While the pursuit of women to reach to equality was only getting stronger, they were aspiring to be look like men in everything. Women were earning money, they were engaging in politics, learning to deal with technology and electronics, consuming men products and consuming it in a ‘’male way’’. Accordingly, the marketing communication could be homogeneous, and the products sold to both men and women could have equal success.
But here is the point!
It has become clear to women now that the male lifestyle and consuming ways doesn’t apply to them.  Women nowadays are becoming more and more self-determined (or they have been always so). Men’s communication is getting worse for them day by day.
And little  more about psychological differences between men and women. (T. Piters)

Talk about their ‘’favorites’’ Love to talk
Think silently Think out loud
Direct Prevaricative
Want to hear facts (only) Want interesting stories
Go to store for a particular thing Purchase on the way

What does it mean in terms of marketing?
When men are purchasing a product, they just purchase it, nothing more. (Men see the general things. Remember?). Service from the point of view of men is unnecessary and is detail. For women instead, it’s important the service and ‘’packaging’’. Sometimes service is more important than the product. The personality of the merchant, additional services, comfort at the place of the purchase are contributing women in shopping, rather than men. Women are ready to pay more for additional service!!

Men just buy a product, women are joining to the brand!
It is very important also to consider the point of ‘’purchasing on the way’’! An example is a bank. To go to outside specially  for  paying the bill is a male thing! To pay the bill after shopping at the mini-office bank located at the same shop is feminine! Do all companies catch this fact up? Apparently, no!
To conclude,  as a business, never discount women’s roles as strong brand influencers.  Develop a way to combine all their preferences and you will have created a promising marketing strategy indeed.
Lastly check this video of Nike ‘’voices’’! It is a great example how this company is boosting women self-esteem, therefore increasing its brand loyalty trough this positive marketing ad.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scent Marketing: I Bet Your Nose Knows!

It has been a long since I haven’t posted on my blog. I want to say that I haven’t actually been gone for a long time . Just busy now,  working at a new job. I want to apologize to all my readers and visitors for this over one month gap. 

Now coming to the topic of today. You have all probably visited the local department store and noticed there a faint scent – or perhaps the stimulating smell of jasmine at a boutique or relaxing lavender at a hotel. The smell will be barely perceptible: something you wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't been paying close attention. But businesses are hoping these almost unconscious scents will draw you into a serene state -- prompting you to relax, buy more and, ideally, remember their brands. Well, it is called scent marketing and the concept of it is that scent encourages people to purchase more or increase  their brand engagement. Scent is all about next branding frontier.

Briefly, here is how the idea works. A supermarket pumps the smell of baking bread through the store to make people hungry so they buy more. A department store releases the odor of coconut oil in areas that display swimwear and beach fashions to make people think of summer even if it’s frigid outside. Or, an aroma can simply make the store a more pleasant place to shop. Many scientists have approved it that certain aromas are serious memory triggers. They can create positive feelings in your consumers who then associate it with your brand. All I note not to forget is that people will linger in areas smell good up to 40% longer. Linger~, linger~ , linger~ .

When tiring to explore the experiences  and success stories of some marketers or retailers of their scent marketing don’t expect them to admit doing this. There’d be backlash from consumer groups and complaints that the stores are manipulating people. But the scent manufacturers, researchers, and their agents usually aren’t afraid to talk about their products and uses.

Many businesses even consider scents an integral part of their overall image in addition to their logos, music and décor. Let’s now discuss scent marketing by examples of some business industries.
How does this apply to the banking industry? What do you think? In this situation, Decatur First Bank in Georgia prepared and distributed popcorn at its branches. As the Bank President stated, “We choose popcorn because it tells people they’re welcome, and that we want them to feel comfortable,” says Judy Turner, President and CEO.  “The smell of the popcorn really shapes the full feel of the branch when customers walk in… it allowed the strategy to truly until both smell and taste – creating an even more powerful and interactive e experience for both the customer and the employees… It provided an engaging brandbuilding strategy.” (Stevens, 2007 p. 33)

Therefore, the role of scent as a marketing communications tool has a number of  applications.
Ok! Let’s speak also a little about casinos. Scent marketing is applied with great success in casino's around the world. One study put a floral scent in an area of a casino over a weekend; gamblers there spent 45 percent more money than on other weekends, while the results for unscented areas of the casino remained unchanged.

Obvious candidates of scent marketing are also hotels, transportation providers, retail stores and many other businesses who as a fact deny the possibility of their olfactory marketing integration.

Monday, October 31, 2011

7 Famous Brands That Use QR Codes For Marketing and Brand Awareness

Recently   I am coming  across very often with many tweets, comments, blog and forum posts about how  QR codes suck and how ineffective they are in terms of marketing and brand awareness. These tweets especially come from so called “social media guys” and “marketing gurus” which makes me to chuckle a bit and shake my head! So you’ve probably heard of them or have seen them as well: that  little squares made up of various black and white boxes. The first QR code was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994. Back then nobody could imagine that as soon as in around 15 years this invention will cause a real marketing boom all over the world. The use cases of QR Codes are a lot and every day new and new companies are involving them in their marketing  strategies. Below are presented 7 internationally  famous brands which also use QR Codes as their smart business marketing tools:

1) International betting exchange company, Betfair, used the opportunity to strategically place their QR Code on players'… uniforms at the Test London 2012 beach volleyball tournament! That part of the uniform commands attention and the audience could capture the codes on their smartphones and be directed to the Betfair website.

2) Back in 2010, Calvin Klein replaced three of its billboards — two in downtown New York and one on Sunset Boulevard in LA — not with another racy montage of scantily clad models, but with a bright red QR code under the words “Get It Uncensored.” If you scanned the Calvin Klein QR Code it would take you to a Calvin Klein “racy” movie.

3) 2011 Ford Explorer magazine used QR Code with Kevin Hart.

4) Tissot Models Wearing QR Code Shirts at MotoGP Race

5) American Heart Association QR Code Kroger sign! After you scan the QR Code you’re sent to the American Heart Association local information mobile site.

6) Starbucks thinks seriously to increase coffee sales via QR code campaign. The company has placed the QR codes in its locations all over the U.S. Users can also find the mobile bar codes in magazines such as People, in newspapers and on outdoor ads in major U.S. cities. When consumers scan the QR codes, they are redirected to a mobile landing page where they can watch a video on Starbucks’ Caffe Verona blend.

7) Luxury Travelers Scan Porsche’s QR Codes Printed On Airplane Tickets
Porsche has teamed up with various airlines to print QR codes on the back of boarding passes. Passengers who scan the 2-D barcodes via their mobile devices will be directed to a customized page promoting the latest Porsche models featuring videos and other information about the luxury cars.

When creating a QR code strategy and generating your own QR Code, be sure to consider each customer touch point. Identify where your target market exists and the best way to communicate with them. Placement is key, so understand your audience’s mindset when they scan your code and how you can tailor your message to meet them where they already are.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top 5 Most Traded Commodities in The World

When economists say commodities, they mean goods for which there is demand, butcommodity-trading which are supplied without qualitative differentiation across the market. Commodities are usually produced by a large number of companies around the world. Lumber, oil, sugar and electricity could all be considered commodities, while Levi's jeans would not be, as consumers consider them to be distinct from jeans sold by other firms.
There are a great number of both agricultural and industrial commodities now being traded in the commodities market. And here is the list of top 5 most traded commodities in the world:
1. Crude Oil
Crude oil or also known as petroleum is the term for ‘’unprocessed’’ oil, the stuff that comes out of the ground, which  is in fact the most traded commodity in the world.  Territories in the Middle East export 58% of all crude petroleum. Saudi Arabia exports over twice the US dollar value of any other territory, measured in net terms. The United Arab Emirates has the highest per person export earnings from crude petroleum. Other important exporters of crude oil are Norway, Venezuela, Nigeria and Mexico.
2. Coffee
kopi1Amazingly   coffee is the second most  traded commodity in the world. It is estimated that 1.6 billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide everyday! It is produced in Latin America, South East Asia and Africa and the main consumers are United States and Europe. Today Brazil is responsible for about a third of all coffee production, making it by far the heavyweight champion of the coffee-producing world. Indonesia and its archipelago is most notable as the world’s largest producer of robusta beans, which is my favorite one. Smile
3. Natural Gas
Natural gas is traded a lot because it is the only thing used everywhere from cooking to heating water in winters. It has a volatile marketing style because of its price fluctuation. Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas. It is interesting to note that Canada is the second major exporter followed by Norway. The world’s largest proven natural gas reserves are in Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
4. Gold
The fourth most traded commodity in the world is gold. It has always been valuable, the reason is may be the beautiful color or maybe it is rare,  for many women may be it’s the important part of them  or anything else. Additionally, to inform you South Africa no longer holds the title of the world’s largest gold producer. Currently China is the world’s top gold producing country. Next goes Australia.
5. Brent Oil
Brent oil is the second most traded oil in the market after crude oil, and 5th most traded69198Brent oil prices increase commodity in the list. This oil is basically taken from the North Sea and Norway and areas like Europe and Africa use Brent oil more as compared to crude oil. It is used to price two thirds of the world's internationally traded crude oil supplies. According to the CIA World Factbook estimate for 2010 the world consumes about 87 million barrels of oil each day.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fads or Trends?

untitledDo you know what do blogs,  tattoos, Rubik's cube, and H1N1 Swine Flu have in common? Well, they all are fads! That handled pet game called Tamagotchi was also a fad, when the player was given the task of raising a pet to good health throughout its life and attend to its needs, such as feeding it, cleaning up its excrement, punishing Tamagotchi or I don’t know. Did you played that game? Smile I remember all my friends once where so damn involved in that. Or, do you remember about Swine flu or so called H1N1? Back in 2009 seemed everyone was speaking about it, and then suddenly all rumors about it were forgotten and life continued to go on.

A fad is something that seems to appear suddenly. It quickly becomes enormously popular, and then disappears just as suddenly as it came. Mostly word of mouth is used to bring people in to try it or to create a buzz around it! Although trend is also characterized to appear very suddenly, it’s not considered to disappear. At a first glance they often may resemble each other and seem like they are the same. For every  marketer or businessman who are trying to build a business over the long term, it’s very important to know the difference between fad and trend. It can save a lot of money, as well as credibility in case you don’t jump into every fad and start to chase it too quickly. 

tech-trends-mobileCV_100614As mentioned above the first main difference between fad and trend is sustainability- fad appears  and disappears suddenly and trend  can have a long-term influence on its particular market. Secondly, another  difference between fad and trend is their usage in different industries. Fad, as  a rule becomes particular in one industry. Tamagotchi, for example is a game: people play it, have fun and that’s all about that. When it comes to cell phones or portable devices their trend overcame just the  the cell phone or portable device industry. Fashion, wireless communication, photography have their big role in cell phone or portable device production.  People buy cell phones that match the latest clothes fashion, have good quality camera with some extra features or have wireless connection access. Cell phones are trends! P.S. the new iPhone 5 is going to be launched today on October 14!

Fads and trends become integrated into our lives very quickly. No doubt, using a fad can bring you  a quick money, but that’s not for large companies and those who’re trying to  have long-term business. The thing is that these businesses simply can not afford to be wrong. Instead, these companies follow trends. The trick to this  is to get aboard at the right time. The key to that is good information sources. The first and the main recommendation to all marketers and businessmen is to  read and listen. Yes, read and listen!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Why do people like or follow brands on social media?

1315271767lyd95eAs an active social media user and freelance marketer with more than 3 years of experience I have  been always interested in different motivations of people liking or following brands on social media. It’s an interesting and important question to ask, especially if you are about to start a social media marketing campaign or already have one.

Many people like brands on Facebook or follow them on Twitter not because of referrals, news updates and even for interesting content. The most popular reason, however, is special offers and deals that attract many followers to follow brands on social media! According to an Infographic recently posted by guys, the second reason is  that  they're already current customers, and third- the brand's interesting content. The customer experience is essential for people to feel and have a connection with a product or brand. This is the case in general, and I guess it’s logical it also is in a social media context.

About brand’s interesting content I want to speak a little bit more in this post. Brands today must take into consideration issues that they may previously have wanted to distance themselves from. People are a lot smarter than they are sometimes given credit for by marketers, and especially so when watching the purse strings, and they will make up their own mind if they want to buy a product or not. Recently I have found  also many business pages rewarding people, with the chance to win an iPad, in exchange for hitting the Like button on their Facebook pageHot smile As  a matter of fact this is not social proof of your awesomeness: it’s social proof of the awesomeness of the iPad! Think of some creative ways and share always quality content  that will answer your followers’ specific needs and create interactions!

Keep in mind also that measuring your core fans of your business fan pages is also important. To calculate the core fan count, the average number of posts-per-contributing fan is calculated. Ask any aspiring entrepreneur how many Facebook fans they want and you're liable to hear numbers upwards of ten thousand, or even one million, but few people ever consider about their interaction or ‘’wrong’’ interaction that can quickly bring Facebook page to its virtual knees.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What is the difference between marketing and PR (Public Relations)?

Recently I had a conversation with a young and motivated entrepreneur on ‘’how to do PR’’, and during the conversation I realized that he doesn’t have the idea of PR at all. Often meeting people from different fields who are much or less tied with marketing, I see that not all can find the difference between marketing and PR. 

The concept of public relations (PR) means by its nature that you can not ‘’buy’’ PR in newspapers and magazines, either have reporter to say what exactly you want  to hear from them. That is marketing: actually one of the tools of marketing; advertising. Marketing and public relations (PR) are two distinct business functions which are both important in  your business development, depending on what stage your business is at.

The main difference between marketing and PR is that: marketing is limited to outward messages
, mostly for the purpose of selling,  while PR involves all forms of communication  enhancing awareness of your product or service. I agree with all those who insist that PR is critical for entrepreneurs and start-ups, but, well, let’s sum up what you can get with each:

With marketing you get:
  • defined target market that you know who to promote your products and services towards
  • identified competitors  with their strategies that help to you stay ahead by remaining competitive
  • complete creative control over your advertisements and guaranteed date that they will run
With PR you get:
  • credibility, mass media and large audience that help you to market your products and services by a third-part endorsement towards large audience
  • a story that runs once or twice
  • less or no control over them and no guarantees and it can be time-consuming
Marketing and PR together
Many marketing and public relations departments of successful companies work in hand as they both work to keep the company and its products in a favorable light. As a rule these two business functions work better if they are clearly complementary – a strongly positive reputation makes the marketer’s job easier, while marketing activity affects a company’s reputation.
Reading this,  many people now would ask me also ‘’ What if a company has experienced some bad press, how these two functions can do together in that case?’’. The answer is simple. Many PR professionals would agree with me if I say that doing a charity or organizing a fundraiser could be a good choice for the company to create some  buzz around it. In addition, many marketers in the same time would work on new strategies that for every product sold, they will donate a percentage for fundraiser. The outcome I guess  is clear: the public may be more apt to purchase products from this company rather than others  because a portion of the profit is going towards a good cause.