Marketing in the Making

Marketing; Thoughts and Questions

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Live Life to the Fullest

I am sorry for how delayed this post is. I have had no idea what to write. It is terrifying how fast your life can change in such a short period of time.

My father just recently passed away after a short yet fierce battle with cancer. It is still a shock to everyone who ever knew him.

I have signed up to participate in Be Bold, Be Bald! an organization that raises money for causes such as Pancreatic Cancer. On November 2nd, I will wear a bald cap to honor those like my dad who have had to fight cancer. I ask that you sponsor me to help me raise money for this cause. You can access my page here. Any little bit makes a difference. No matter where, I am, I promise, I will be participating.

One of the many things I admire about my dad was his ability to truly live life. He is really a man that managed to live life to the fullest one motorcycle and adventure at a time. I am certainly going to try and follow his example.

I promise to be back soon with a more marketing related post…

Ride “The L”

Beautiful view of my neighborhood in Wrigleyville/ Lakeview

As many of you know I did move to Chicago for a short while and am now back in Boston to begin my life after college.

Just for Fun- No need to leave the water for a treat

Living in Chicago means that instead of taking “The T” in Boston which I am used to, I took “The L”. “The L” is certainly a step up in my book. As I was riding “The L” the other day, I noticed how many of the ads throughout the car were a part of a series. (Now is when I wish I took at least one picture) but I believe that Amstel Light was one of them. Keep an eye out for these. Amstel Light did an excellent job of telling a story, gaining my attention, keeping me interested and encouraged me to find out more. There were a lot of print pieces around the train giving quick facts about the history of music, the television, and so on. Then somehow the last one I read was that of Amstel Light. The last board about Amstel ties the whole series together. Now I didn’t read the entire print about Amstel Light because the previous facts may have dragged on too long but I certainly stuck around long enough to understand and see the series.

Please comment and let me know if you saw this campaign or any like it! I will be sure to get a picture as soon as I can!

I Graduated… Now What?

This past month has been intense. I had my last set of finals of my undergraduate career and graduated from college. With all of this brings upon reflection. Looking back on my past four years at Purdue, I know I made the right choice.

This past weekend, my dad asked me if I was happy with my decision to come to Purdue. I responded by telling him that I was incredibly happy with this decision and that if I had to choose again, I would still choose Purdue. I also said that there would be a few things I would do differently like take more classes, join more clubs and try new things. Maybe I would give Humans vs. Zombies a try. But if I had any advice for incoming students, it would be to get involved and take advantage of every moment and opportunity you come across.

With graduation comes the ‘real’ world. With the real world, comes the job search which is not only filled with personal branding and networking but especially the economy. With each internship I have had, each informational interview, each conference and each connection I have made, it brings me one step closer to that job. As I look around at possible opportunities, I have learned that getting in the door is the hardest part. There are plenty of candidates that come through the door with great experience, so what sets you apart? This is the question I pose to you.

Tell me your stories of how you got your first job out of college. I guarantee you, they will not all be the same.

 

 

When are Emoticons OK?

Where do you use your emoticons? Which ones do you use?

With smart phones, there are more and more emoticons available to use in text messages and on the go. Because of this they are being used on a more wide-scale basis. Speaking with my peers, I have learned and realized a few key things with the use of emoticons, especially in texting. First, different cultures do use emoticons differently and some (typically Asian) may even use a larger range of them. Second, they are great for flirting. Some people put a lot of thought into the meaning behind if and which emoticon they use. With the right person, it could make all the difference. Sometimes, the right emoticon can demonstrate a feeling even better than any word could in any situation.

But, texting is not the only place we have started seeing emoticons. They are starting to be used in emails as well. Because this is a new trend, the level of appropriate-ness has not been determined, but I believe it is worth thinking about. Like I mentioned above, it does demonstrate a certain emotion that may not come through in words, which can be very important. But, is it unprofessional? I for the most part do not use emoticons in professional emails and the like but I am not opposed to it. It can make a conversation and relationship more friendly. I shy away from emoticons largely because I don’t know how the person I am communicating with will react and at my age, I am not at a place where I can take a gamble.

Tell me your thoughts and how and when you use emoticons!

As you are thinking, take a look and maybe get this app for your iPhone from Apple for emoticons. Once I get my iPhone (soon!) I am for sure going to get this app!

The Business of People.

What is L.L. Bean known for? Yes, they do sell outdoorsy equipment and clothing but there is something even greater. Their customer service. From grade school up until high school everybody always had those L.L. Bean backpacks with their initials on them. Every year they got a new one, and in a different color too! (These backpacks certainly last longer than one year, but everyone seemed to be getting a new ones so often.)

If you buy a product from L.L. Bean and it rips or breaks somehow they replace it and don’t make a big deal about it. Because of this strategy and their great attitudes, Business Week has awarded L.L. Bean second place in their second annual list of Customer Service Champs Other well known companies with customer service rated in the top ten include Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and JetBlue Airways.

The key thing you always learn when working in…well every type of business is “the customer is always right”. The vast majority of companies may teach this rule but few actually follow it. With out customers or clients, you would not have a company. When a customer has a good experience at a store or with a certain company, he/she is more likely to pass on the recommendation. That good recommendation may only reach a few people but as we have all seen and heard, bad news, gossip and experiences travel much faster and to even more people.
Take the United Airlines example from the summer of 2009. The airline damaged musician Dave Carroll’s guitar during transport and refused to take responsibility. Carroll took to social media to get the word out and created a video on YouTube, that went viral entitled United Breaks Guitars The airline’s lack of response and poor customer service caused more damage and money to combat the issue than a simple smile and apology would have done.

Customer service can make or break a company. We are in the business of people and so, in the end, our job is to please them.

Repeating Styles

Many of the clothes that my mom wore when she grew up seem to be back in style. I see them in the stores today. Even styles from my generation are beginning to repeat themselves. Leggings? I remember wearing those back in elementary school and now they are back!

How do companies view this? Does this mean that if the styles can come back in, the advertising for them can too? I don’t think so. The advertisements have to be fitting for the current culture. Even though the style is the same, that doesn’t mean that the culture is the same. With this, I want to point out that advertising has to be up to date with the current culture including everything from advertising tools to style and slang.

Are Email Forwards Passé?

Everybody in my family knows that I have a blog so I sometimes get suggestions about what to write about (which I love!). This time, it was my brother. We were talking about a recent email forward we got about good luck or something and how we thought it was pointless. He suggested that I write a post about email forwards. This got me thinking even more about email and how the whole dynamic has changed. Who uses it, how it is used and if it will still be relevant in ten years?
Plain and simple, it is another communication tool. But like everything else in this world, there is etiquette and and rules to go along with it.

Since the origins of Email in the early 1970s, things have changed. Email used to be used as a faster form of formal letter writing. Instead of snail mail taking a week to get to someone, email only took a few seconds. The formality of email has since decreased. One contributor has definitely been email forwards. No need to address anyone personally anymore. Mass emailing became OK. They got the point across. Formal emails have since basically only been used during networking and by those who have been using email from the beginning.

Allow me to return to email forwards, please. I still get the same email forwards every now and then from friends and family, but honestly, I am not a large fan. Forward introduced the idea of mass emails which has since been largely used as a marketing tool. Although we don’t forward them, we each get them. Mass emails are certainly efficient, but are they effective? What do you think?
I personally am more likely to respond to an email that says “Dear Annie” than one that says “Dear Valued Customer”. But even with that, they are more educational than interactive. Unlike email forwards which elicit an action, mass emails from companies tend to be educational.

Although email forwards have become somewhat passé in my opinion, they have developed into something more, a marketing tool.

Bargaining

Before I came to Italy, I was warned about a few things.  First, Italians don’t believe in standing in line.  Second, make sure to bargain for EVERYTHING.  Somebody even said that it was an insult not to bargain.

My second weekend I went to Florence and to the leather market (like all tourists).  I found this leather bag I wanted and attempted to bargain like I had been taught but sadly, the man I was bargaining with did not seem interested in the bargaining.  All my friends wanted to get leather jackets and didn’t bargain.  Was this bargaining advice a lie?  Was I not bargaining correctly?  Or, was the bargaining just not fitting in the circumstances?

This got me thinking about bargaining and flea markets and everything in between.  The way flea markets and such are set up is the perfect environment for bargaining.  Everyone is energized from having to hold their own and get to the booth/table they are looking for, so bargaining fits in perfectly.  That bottle of soap that you probably wouldn’t bargain for at the pharmacy is now bargain-able.  The environment of the flea market makes bargaining for every day items OK.

The only time I see bargaining in a department store for example is when somebody comes up to the service desk to ask for a discount because of the tiny hole in the item.  Other than that, no one seems to bargain in these stores.  The environment for bargaining seems to make all the difference.

I believe I was in the right environment for bargaining in Florence but, because I was a tourist, the merchants were not interested.  I shall return one day and try again.

 

Marketing is Everywhere

I finally started my first college Marketing class this week!  One of the first questions our teacher asked us was to “name something that didn’t have any marketing in it”. Then another student would have to find how marketing really does effect it.

What was the point of this?  To prove that marketing is everywhere!

Every pen you pick up, every door that you use or even where you park has some hint of marketing in it.  Why did you choose that pen?  Was it the grip?  Or, the way it writes?  How about the color?  The design of this pen was inspired by BIC’s (for example) consumers.  Consumers were looking for a pen that was comfortable to write with for long periods of time, writes well, and is a pretty and hip color.  BIC discovered this through there market research.  Then, BIC created just that, told their customers about it in an innovative way and made it available.  This is when you and I went out and purchased the pen.

How about the door?  The designer choose to put that particular door there for a certain reason.  Maybe it was random but he/she definitely wondered at one point or another “where are my customers going to want to enter?”  There is an actual whole science behind how stores are set up and the positioning of each and every bit of it. This also applies to the parking lot.  Where should each space face and how much room is needed.  This depends on the “type” of customer, what types of cars they tend to drive and if they are good drivers or not.

I am reading a book about just that now called “Why We Buy:  The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill.  If you get the chance I definitely recommend reading this one.

What I am trying to get at is that marketing has an incredibly large influence on the world we live in and what we do.

Now I want to play the same game that I played in class (the one I told you about at the beginning of this post).  Give me an example of something, anything where you think marketing has no influence.  In response, I will try to point out how marketing has efected it.

Facebook: The Movie

They are finally making a movie about Facebook and how it all started.  The movie is called The Social Network and is set to come out on October 1, 2010.  See the trailer below:

I don’t know if this is going to be a good movie.  I definitely think it looks interesting and that people will see it but I don’t think it will be a hit.  People want to know the history but probably won’t flock to the theater’s on opening night to see it on screen.  The rle of Mark Zuckerberg is played by Jesse Eisenberg.  To some, a movie about Facebook seems over the top…maybe it is to some extent, but at the same time it is a brilliant idea!  Facebook has become a way of life and there is no reason not to take it as far as they can.

Not only did Facebook inspire this movie, but Twitter inspired a new sitcom.  Have you heard of the Twitter profile @shitmydadsays?  How about the book?  Well, now they are turning it into a sitcom on CBS which will be starring William Shatner and set to begin this fall.  Justin Halpern’s Twitter profile is what started it all.  I definitely recommend checking out some of his tweets, they can be pretty hilarious.  Check out the preview for the show below:

The show looks cute and I hope to turn in to a couple episodes but from the trailer it seems a little forced.  I don’t know if it is the acting but the jokes seem a little forced.  Maybe Sh*t My Dad Says should have only gone as far as the book.  None the less, I still look forward to seeing how the show pans out.

What are your thought about The Social Network and Sh*t My Dad Says?

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