Archive | July 2012

More Childhood Icons are Undergoing Changes!

Yet again, another childhood icon is getting a face lift. Chuck E. Cheese’s famous mascot has gotten a drastic makeover, revamping his image to a hip, electric-guitar-playing rock star rodent, according to Fox News.

The updated Chuck E. will be the focus of a new advertising campaign set to launch soon. His new hip 3D image will better relate to kids and their parents, according to http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/chuck_es_makeover.php#.UBAf9xPWzkA.facebook.

One of the many challenges marketers face is keeping up with our ever-changing society. We know that building a brand and communicating with the target audience is fundamental, and a brand’s identity is everything.  This new Chuck E. fits the mold of today’s “cool kid” and hopes to capture its intended audience.

Chuck E. isn’t the first mascot to adapt to the quickly-changing times. Here are a few childhood icons that have changed over the years: (http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/01/25/boy-how-youve-changed-9-big-mascot-makeovers/)

All of these brands have revamped their mascots to better connect with their target audience. As more children and tweens change their lifestyles and preferences, so should brands.

What do you think of these changes?

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Fragmentation of Media, Good or Bad?

Thanks to the growth of Smartphones, tablets, and any new technology that may spring up before you are finished reading this, it is becoming more and more difficult for marketers to effectively communicate a message.

Ten years ago, when people sat down to watch TV, they sat down to watch TV. Today, people sit with the television on and a tablet or Smartphone in hand, dividing his or her attention between multiple mediums.

According to an article on Mashable, about half of U.S. mobile phone owners use their device while watching TV. Cell phone users not only look up information online in real time and keep themselves occupied during commercials via handheld devices, they are also interacting with friends.

Given this information, how can we really tell if our communications message is effective?  We may be reaching them, but is our message actually getting through to the consumer?

The table below shows how media has changed over time. Back when advertisers only had the choice of “traditional media” ­- TV, radio, print, and outdoor. Today, marketers can reach an audience via everything from mobile apps to the front of public transit cards, as recently adopted by NY MetroCards (BusinessWeek.com).

Additionally, it is becoming increasingly more important for agencies to adapt to these new technologies and keep up with the changing media. Agencies must factor in the ever-fragmenting media when developing communications programs to reach an audience when and where they consume their media.

What do you think? Do you look at this as a challenge for marketers to capture the audience’s full attention, or an opportunity to more effectively reach them?

7 Ways College Students Can Benefit from LinkedIn

Now more than ever, college students are needing to gain the attention of companies for employment. Every recent graduate knows how important LinkedIn is when looking to start a career, but what specific ways can the professional networking site benefit students? Well, The Undercover Recruiter has revealed the seven ways that college students can benefit from LinkedIn.

• Getting Job Email Alerts

This is beneficial to students because they know exactly what is available. Receiving the alerts saves students time by not applying for jobs that are not available, although it is never a bad idea to apply for “future openings.” The recommended positions can be viewed on the homepage, by students and employers, as soon as they log into their account.

• Connecting with Professionals

This is an easy way to enhance your job opportunities. You can find your friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates and family members on LinkedIn. Connecting with industry professionals allows students to learn more about a company or an industry from someone with real-life experience.

• Conducting Company Research

By visiting company, pages, you can conduct a research on the whereabouts of the company, the hiring process and what people have to say about that organization. This kind of company research on LinkedIn can always keep a stay ahead of your competition and increases your employability.

• Getting Recommendations

Getting great recommendations is a way to improve employment opportunities, especially if the recommendations are from professors or other professionals.

• Letting Companies Find You

If you have created a good and detailed professional profile, chances are you will attract employer’s attention. Is there a better feeling than companies asking to interview you instead of you applying?

• Connecting with Other Students

Connecting with former classmates allows you to see what type of personalities are being hired. It also can open doors for communication for interview tips with one another.

• Landing International Jobs

Oh, so the internet is global? Yes! That means you can connect with all the major international employers and find jobs in foreign countries.

LinkedIn is a different animal than MySpace and Facebook. Keep the material professional and updated (drunk photos from your last employer’s Christmas party are not professional). LinkedIn can be your best tool if used wisely, or an absolute disaster if used like the other social media sites.

Do you have any other advice for using LinkedIn? Also, has LinkedIn helped you get interviews or a job?

6 Tips That Will Captivate Your Facebook Audience

Today, it is expected of companies to have a social media presence.  Consumers look to Facebook pages as much as they do websites to ask questions, give feedback (both positive and negative) and to receive offers.

When consumers are engaged, it helps to spread the company’s message among the fan’s social network. An Awareness social engagement study from 2012 found that fans and followers of a brand or company were more likely to recommend that brand or company (60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers).

But the interaction between friends on Facebook is much different than that of companies and its customers.  So what are the best ways to connect with fans on Facebook?

A post from Mashable shared with us 6 posts that are most likely to build engagement:

 

  1. Photos
  2. Fill in the Blanks
  3. Photo Captions
  4. Questions
  5. Tips
  6. Quotes

 

Photos are one of the simplest ways to catch someone’s attention, especially on Facebook.

Choose a photo that represents your brand or that captures your brand essence. When users are checking their homepage, it is likely that they will stop and share a captivating photo among their social networks.

Fill in the blank: One of the best ways to spark user engagement is by ________.  Answer: encouraging users to showcase their creativity. This type of post (as you can see below) can increase the number of comments and shares among users.

Photo captions are, again, creative ways to encourage users to share their creativity. Not only are companies sharing captivating photos, but they are encouraging users to share their creativity—bringing in the best of both worlds.

Asking users a question encourages him or her to respond and not just read what you have posted and move on. Depending on the topic, users may respond to each others’ post in the form of a debate, something that tends to always spark attention.

Offering tips to users brings value to your posts, making it more likely your followers will respond or share.

Last, but certainly not least, comes quotes. Facebook users love quotes and are very likely to share those that are inspirational, personal, and interesting.

 

So, fill in the blank:   If I had to add something to this list, it would be ________.

Consumer Groups Are Rapidly Changing!

Would you believe me if I told you that Baby Boomers control $230 billion in annual sales? Incredibly Boomers contribute about 50% of the United State’s total sales overall. The next largest consumer groups are moms and low-income consumers, which caught me by surprise.

The current consumer group of 50+ which is already 100 million people, is expected to grow by a third over the next 18 years. Beth Brady, Nielsen’s leader for marketing effectiveness, warns advertising dollars are being funneled elsewhere: “It’s a missed opportunity.” I agree that it is a missed opportunity considering this consumer group will control 70% of disposable income in an estimated five years.

It is hard to gain the attention of the mom cohort because moms spend much of their time media multi-tasking. Rarely are they locked into one television show or website long enough to watch and evaluate a series of ads. On any given day, 67% of moms use the Internet while watching TV simultaneously. While away from the TV, more than 20% of moms with children are experimenting with mobile shopping. Marketers must differentiate themselves from the competition and find a way to get mom’s attention.

The low income consumers (people who make less than $30,000 per year) are the opposite of moms. This cohort watches the most television (especially daytime tv), watches the most online videos, and spends over nine hours per week on Facebook. Nielsen says: “They collectively represent a big part of the country’s total spend and are expected to grow in the future.”

There is a ton of money to be made by marketing firms, advertising agencies, and their clients, but it’s a matter of efficiently and effectively reaching these large consumer groups.

Which consumer groups would you focus on, and why? Also, which cohort do you think would be the easiest to profit from?