Social Media and Technology in Marketing

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Over the past few years, marketing has changed dramatically because social media has grown very fast and has affected many aspects of the world. Advertisement through social media is less costly because it combines the existing technology and involves social interaction among audiences. Social media marketing is usually internet-based or mobile-based, and some popular platforms that are often used in business are Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Social media offers marketers a way to communicate with peers, customers and potential consumers. It helps to boost brand awareness faster and to get more engagement/interaction with users. With social media, people can share whatever reaction they have towards a product/service and companies can use this information to better improve their performance. Social media has changed the way to market businesses, and more marketers are now adopting social media as parts of their marketing medium.


Contents

Brief History of Marketing

Generally, the history of marketing can be divided into three stages: before 1996, 1996 to 2003 and 2003 to present.[1]

Before 1996

Traditional media dominated the marketing before 1996. There are four forms of traditional media: newspaper, radio, television and word of mouth.

1996 to 2003

The AOL and the internet were developed by 1996, so brands invested in their own channels such as website and e–mail marketing channels.

2003 to present

Since the rise of social media, customers can interact much closer to other customers and the brands. Also, social media has grown at very rapid pace and affected on many aspects of the world.


There were four forms of traditional media in the past:[2]

Newspapers

The newspaper is a cheap option to market the business. It provides local marketing advertising, such as product introduction and promotions. In the past, newspapers were a main channel to spread the information around the world. Since most people read newspapers, newspapers were virtually all over the place and the advertisements in them will spread like wild fire.

Radio

Radio is a good way to market your business and is not an expensive option. Most people listen to the radio on their way to work, or at home while working or relaxing. Marketers should plan on which specific time they want the ads to be played. Marketers often choose between 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM every day for a whole week because people are commuting to work at this time.

Television

Television advertising is a costly option to market the business. Although, it will cost you a larger sum than the other alternatives, you will undoubtedly get better results. Television also reaches almost every corner of the world, so it is a very good opportunity for businesses to explode, if they have sufficient resources.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is the cheapest way to market your business, but it still is the main way for freelancers and small businesses to market. People can inform their friends and family about the products or services by sharing their great experiences.


How Social Media Affected Marketing

Emergence of social media affected marketing. In this section we will discuss key aspects of change.[3]

The Reach of Social Media

Social media has taken over in the past few years. Currently, it is hard to find someone who has not signed up to at least one of the social media websites, so it makes sense that companies have created their own pages to market their products and services. 30% of the world’s entire population is now online, and social networking is the most popular and time consuming online activity—with users spending more than one fifth (22%) of their time engaging on social media channels. This means that more than 250 million tweets and 800 million Facebook status updates are now published every single day. In 2007, only 20% of marketers used social media. In 2012, up to 90% of marketers use social networks in their marketing efforts.

Information

Users can interact with people and companies through social media, so social media acts as an outlet to channel information between people and their opinions. Companies can ask the users their opinions about the products and services they consume, so they will obtain valuable information which can improve their marketing strategy.

Promoting a Positive Image

The positive messages will be posted to promote brand images, but sometimes negative comments can also promote it. Word spreads fast with social media, so when negative comments are posted brand managers can respond and tackle the problem. Therefore, these negative comments can be better controlled to reduce its impact on organization's or product's brand image. This will also help in showing potential customers on how the companies deal with products/services problems.

Marketing to the Target Market

Up until now, marketing has been done through publications, newspaper, television and radio. The audience for this media is broad and diverse, so marketing using these media helps businesses to reach wide range of audiences. In contrast, marketing through social media can be targeted towards a niche audience. This allows for a greater personalization of ads and appeal more specific group of people who ignore the normal ads.


Examples of Marketing Nowadays

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence.[4] The term viral marketing is relatively recent but the concept is not.

After WWII, barnstormers’ stunt shows were popular in the rural area of America. Prior to the show, barnstormers’ pilots were flying low over the town where the show will take place to catch people’s eyes. Since planes were new technology that is unfamiliar to people, news of the magic flying machines spread fast and many people came to the show.[5]

Another example of viral marketing of the past is psychedelic rock band from 1960’s - The Grateful Dead. At that time, fans were not allowed to bring recording devices to the live shows. The Grateful Dead decided to allow fans to bring recording devices to the live shows, so they would be able to share the concert experience with their friends and family. That enabled a loyal fan base to be developed over short period of time that stayed with The Grateful Dead up to disbanding in 1995 when singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia died (2).[1]

Nowadays two main techniques are used for viral marketing: Consumer Online Brand Related Activities (COBRAs) and electronic Word of Mouth (eWOM). COBRA is placement and promotion of the products and brands online.[2] Some examples of COBRAs are Old Spice posting videos on their YouTube Chanel, Ikea tweeting on twitter and Converse uploading pictures of new snickers to Facebook. eWOM is the same concept as usual word of mouth except that it uses social media website as a tool for users interactions. Examples of eWOM are restaurant review website like urbanspoon.com or discussion on the Facebook about new Skittles commercial.

A good example of successful use of viral marketing is Old Spice’s YouTube channel. The channel has 319,160 subscribers and 417 videos uploaded that have been viewed 307,536,533 times overall.[3] The most viewed video has 49.393.257 views. Video posted a month ago has 3,953,113 views. [4] The YouTube channel is heavily trafficked, however, oldspice.com shows downward trend in visitation.[5] The trend could be partly due to more popularity of YouTube as video streaming service. Overall, through the YouTube channel old Spice caught attention of many internet users whose attention they may be lost by other advertising methods.

Viral marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing, has much more exposure and people are willingly watch viral ads. However, it is not trivial to make a viral ad.


Virtual Advertising

Virtual advertising was referred to the use of digital technology to insert virtual advertising images into live or pre-recorded TV shows, often in Sport events.[6] Virtual advertising allowed to target geographic areas where TV show with virtual ads was broadcasted to. Now it is also applied through social media websites, in-game advertising and advergaming.

Pepsi Wars - one of the first advergames

Virtual advertising on social media websites, such as Facebook or YouTube, is utilized through insertion of advertising banners on the pages that users visit. The benefit of social media virtual advertising is that now you can target users according to their Facebook activity. This type of virtual advertising becomes less and less effective since users install adblock extension on their browsers or simply ignore displayed ads. There is new development in social media virtual advertising with YouTube playing an ad prior the video that you request. This model forces user to watch an ad. However, browser extensions that block such ads already exist.

In-game Advertising (IGA) refers to insertion of virtual ads into the video games. It works similar to original virtual advertising but differs by the audience exposed to ads. In the past, game developers tried to release their retail games for free with many ads inside the game. Nowadays, this model is utilized in smartphones apps, where you have a choice of a free version with in-game ads or commercial version with no ads. Increased popularity of smartphones increased the use of IGA.

Advergaming (a mixed word of "advertising" and "gaming") is the practice of using video games to advertise a product, organization or viewpoint . Advergaming differs from IGA. In IGA, ads are added to the video games developed by others for retail purposes, while advergame is usually created or contracted out directly by the organization that is being advertised. Advergames are usually given out on a free basis or relatively cheaper than retail video games of the same category. , Advergames promote repeated traffic to websites and reinforce brands.[7] Also, they provide some experience that can be associated with the product, brand or organization.


Blog Marketing

Blogging Marketing Introduction

A blog is a discussion or informational site on the Internet that consists of discrete entries called “posts”. [8] Blog marketing becomes more and more popular for marketers as one of their efficient marketing strategies to promote products and services.

The graph on the right hand side shows the social media tools that marketers are considering according to Social Media Examiner's 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.[9] Blog was ranked as the second place which is accounted for 59% on the list. This means that marketers are eager to learn more about blog for business since it supports the purchase process, provides content that feeds social media, and supports search optimization.

Benefits of Blog Marketing

Blogs “push” information and provide an important medium for information dissemination not available in traditional print media. They are efficient means that significantly improve overall business communication.[10]By combining it with RSS, users and potential customers can see and acknowledge the most up-to-date and relevant advertising messages from the organization.

Blogs are a low-cost marketing channel that can be maintained on hosting sites all over the web for low or even no cost. Compared to traditional HTML coding websites, blogs require little computer knowledge to create, edit or manage. A small business owner can create a company blog to enhance products and service awareness in an efficient way and reach targeted readers and customers at any time in any place.

Using blogs as marketing tools can improve customer interaction with its comment features since it is a two-way communication tool where marketers can receive valuable comments and suggestions about business development. It is also a way to hear complaints as well as conduct customer base research and further determine their needs.

Blog marketing is extremely useful for increasing product exposure for a company. The product line can be the main subject of a company’s blog. It is a place where companies can educate prospective customers on the product features and provide them with future sales or promotion information. This can be an inexpensive and effective way to grow product awareness. [11]

Corporate Examples that Use Blog to Promote Business

Many companies have corporate blogs to convey corporate stories, increase brand awareness, and communicate with the customers, .

Here are some examples of companies that use corporate blogs: [12]

1. eBay uses its blog to post corporate's main events, items for sale, corporate social responsibility stories, and regular news updates surround how technology and political affect eBay’s business. The blog also provides handy tips and tricks for using the site and how the company works. eBay's Blog: http://ebayinkblog.com/


2. Starbucks employs its blog as a global brainstorming platform. Customers are encouraged to submit their ideas for new drinks, food items, packages, and store designs. The company blog has generated creative ideas (approximately 100,000 so far) where readers build on the ideas through comments and ratings in its blog.Starbucks'Blog: http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/apex/ideaHome

3. GE’s blog is aimed at telling interesting and entertaining corporate stories along with photography, video, and even art and music to enhance its brand awareness.GE's Blog: http://www.gereports.com/

Adverblog

Adverblog is a very interesting digital marketing blog web site that delivers creative advertising ideas across the globe. It was founded by the Italian professional marketer Martina Zavagno in 2003.

The Website of Adverblog is http://www.adverblog.com/

How does it work?

A group of professional marketing specialists contribute posts to this blog when they found interesting marketing campaign ideas. Each post has embedded YouTube videos and includes the blogger’s opinion of the advertisement. Visitors can also share the marketing campaigns they like on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. This blog has a lot of traffic: there are nearly 100,000 visitors every month, delivering more than 300,000 page views. Visitors connected with each other all around the world: Europe (40%), North America (22%), Asian and Oceania (25%).[13] In addition, Adverblog has a loyal following from top agencies and brands such as Nike, Coca-cola, and Volkswagen. Business owners can market their companies by putting their advertisement on the banner or other places on the blog to increase their brand awareness and product exposure.


Drawbacks of Blog Marketing

Blog marketing can be time consuming because managing a good blog is a permanent commitment. Advertisers need to allocate a significant amount of time and resources to generate high quality content for readers in order to achieve good results.

There are also lots of legal issues associated with blog marketing.[14]

Disclosure Policy

The blog disclosure policy came into effect in December 2009. Advertisers need to make sure they disclose relationships that they have with any products and services they promote. Therefore it is better for companies and marketers to create a disclosure policy page on the blog and regularly review products and services for safety purposes.

Copyright infringement

Bloggers also need to pay attention to copyrighted materials. It is crucial for bloggers to follow the guidelines on web sites where there are clear policies in copying content. Therefore, bloggers need to make sure that they have the rights to post any content from other web sites before doing so.


Location-Based Marketing

Location-based Marketing introduction

Location-based marketing is a marketing method which uses customers’ location, preference and proximity to help marketers in building customer loyalty. They also perform free word-of-mouth advertising, generate referrals, deepen customer engagement, and generate more revenue.

The information gathered by marketers from customers can be divided into three stages until now. The first stage is Demographics, where we can get to know customers’ sex, age, expenditure, where they live, etc. Day-parting is the second stage, which shows when someone was viewing something. And the third stage is customers’ real time location. Location- based service has already become a new trend. [15]

Because of the economic globalization, marketers face more people than before and location based marketing becomes more important. A research provided by JiWire’s latest Mobile Audience Insights Report on 1,200 surveys showed a fact that 20 percent of the customers generate 80 percent of revenue. If you are capable of knowing people’s real time location, you can aim at people who are close/nearby and having high potential in consuming your products or services. According to the research in 2012, 74% of US smart phone owners use location-based services and 18% of them use the check in function. Most importantly, 75% of mobile shoppers take action after receiving a location-based message. So, it is a good opportunity for a business. By adding location-targeted promotions to a loyalty program, businesses can drive incremental revenue by more than 4%. [16]


Location-based service application

Location-based service is applications that use the geolocation functionality of a mobile phone to provide people with information and entertainment. [17] There are different options for location-based service, such as Foursquare, Facebook place, Yelp and Where. Businesses can use it to improve customer loyalty by rewarding frequent customers with free coupons or discounts. Customers can use it to find places they want to go and even get specials from companies.[18]

Foursquare (https://foursquare.com/) is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, which launched on March 11, 2009, and has already released its fourth edition on October 12, 2011. As a consumer, you can use Foursquare to search for places, find friends, get specials, have your own lists and see other comments. As for a company, there will be different options offered. Businesses can use Foursquare to claim venue, reach customers with local updates, create specials and get real time data about their customers. On June 7, 2012, Foursquare launched a major redesign, which allows users to browse locations by category or to conduct a specific search like “free Wi-Fi”. [19]

Check-in is an essential step for location-based service applications. In order to engage more customers to check in, businesses need to give them incentives/reasons to do it. There is research of primary reasons why people use location-based application. It shows that many of them use it only for passing time or simply letting friends know where they are. [20] So marketers can make good use of this by offering specials, discounts or prizes to their loyal customers while they are waiting in line for their turn to enjoy their coffee.


Location-based Advertising

Location-based advertising is a new form of advertising that integrates mobile advertising with location-based services, which is used to provide location-specific advertisements on customers’ mobile devices with the help of their location. [21] While location based services is more of a passive check in, location based advertising is a more active way by pushing messages to customers. However, marketers need to find and give more reasons to customers so that they agree to opt in to receive messages.


Shopalerts, launched by Placecast (http://placecast.net/), is an example of using location based advertising. ShopAlerts, just as its name implies, is a service using geo-fencing to alert shoppers with relevant nearby offers via text-message or mobile websites. When an opted-in consumer is within a geofenced area, he/she will receive a message from the business, including a discount, notice of a sale or directions to a store. According to a research, ShopAlerts can reach 92% of all mobile phones in the U.S. with location-based offers and all without an application. [1]

Many brands have implemented Shopalerts, including Starbucks, Subway, The North Face, etc. Recently, Placecast launched a service called Shopalerts Wallet. It is a white-label service combining local offers and mobile payments. It provides another reason for using mobile payments as there are special offers to help customers save money. [2]


Location-based Marketing Drawbacks

While 81.9% of mobile users are open to receiving coupons on their device, 44.8% say location-based promotions have a privacy concern. Drawbacks of location-based service can be viewed from three aspects. From the social angle, it generates a trust issue. As trust is the essential part of social life, monitoring someone with tracking system has a negative impact on human relationship. From the ethical point of view, privacy is the main concern. As a human being, everyone has the right to preclude intrusion from others. We need to make sure that everyone’s personal information can be protected from misuses by unauthorized people. From the perspective of technology, a strong and foolproof security system is needed so that highly sensitive information is stored securely in its database. There are several technical approaches to protect privacy using privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs). However, it is still an open question how users perceive and trust these kinds of PETs.[3]


To sum up, although location based service provides opportunities for marketers to generate more revenue and to attract more customers, we can not ignore the privacy and security issues it may generate as it deals with confidential personal information including location, personal mobile number and concerning address.


RFID

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a tiny computer chip which uses small antennas track the location of items [4]. RFID has been around for a long time, and it was mostly used in the supply chain. Technology advancement allows RFID to become smaller and to be placed in various materials, including liquids, metals, and even integrated with temperature sensors [5]. This technology advancement has led to RFID’s fast-growing popularity in the past few years. As RFID technology becomes less expensive and more advanced, companies and RFID vendors develop various applications to solve business problems, including its uses in the payment systems, in security and access control, or even in the marketing [6]. RFID is a technology, and it need to be integrated with social media to functionally work as a marketing tool. Many businesses choose Facebook as their social media platform because of its prevalence; thus, RFID is often tied to Facebook. Enon Landenberg, who is a Chief Executive of Publicis E-dologic advertising agency, said that their focus in marketing now is to be innovative in continuously looking for ways to combine the physical world with the virtual world to create a unique marketing experience. The integration between RFID and Facebook is a great way since it allows one’s Facebook friends to be involved and to get the experiences in the event he attended in a real time [7]. RFID technology is mostly embedded in public events such as concerts, trade shows, sporting events, and so forth to allow attendees to interact with each other or to connect to their Facebook friends through kiosks and various touchpoints. All the attendees are usually given a badge or a wristband with RFID tag sealed inside which connects directly to their Facebook or other social sites. Once inside they can tap the badge or the wristband to check-in at several touchpoints, to update their status, to upload photos, to like the events and to converse on their experiences with other attendees instantaneously [8]. This allows them to update their friends with details of the event they are at in a real time.

Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel is one of many businesses which incorporated RFID technology as a marketing tool for its business.

Advantages for Ushuaia

From Ushuaia’s perspective, partnering with social networks allows its brand awareness spread rapidly. RFID wristband is so handy that guests will be encouraged to just swipe their wristband as many times as they want. The real time updates allow guests’ friends on Facebook view what exactly happen in the resort and it eventually will increase Ushuaia’s brand awareness. Moreover, those people who look at the Ushuaia event updates on Facebook could potentially become its future guests too.

Advantages for Guests

Guests, on the other hand, will be able to share their wonderful holiday moments without carrying a laptop or a smartphone around. It is quite difficult for guests to share their exciting real world experiences through social network because they then need to take out their phone and sometimes there is even no connection to the internet. By simply swiping the RFID wristband, it creates a new fun and attractive way to keep their fun activities recorded on Facebook in a convenient way.


QR Code

QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a 2-dimensional bar code invented by a Japanese company, Denso-Wave, in 1994. It was initially used to track automobile parts during manufacturing process, but now it is found everywhere [1]. QR Code has large storage capacity that enables it to store a link, contact information, video and so on. This broadens the implementation of QR Code in various applications, including advertisement, product or service information and even business card. In order to access QR Code, there are few steps that users need to follow. Firstly, users need to download a QR Code reader on their smart phone or tablet equipped with a camera. To read the code, users simply line up the camera with QR Code they want to scan. The application then will automatically recognize the code and show any information stored in that code. The process is very easy, and it has successfully brought new way of advertising into business. This technology is mostly applied in the retail stores whose shoppers are looking for teen or young adult fashion, beauty products, and mobile electronics [2]. QR code would definitely benefit businesses because it has bridged offline and online media while also make print media more interactive. Readers can now comment on an article they read in print media on a Web 2.0 site. They can also get much more information that prints media would not be able to provide [3].

Retail Store

A code on the retail shelf can take shoppers to a mobile website that gives them detail information about the products. Some shoppers go to the retail store to see and feel the actual products, but then they would prefer to read further information about the product on their own rather than asking retail sales person.


Restaurants

Restaurants and food service industry are also looking for better ways to connect with their guests. Some QR Codes are available on a front door of a restaurant which allows passerby to scan it and quickly directed them to the restaurant’s website. This allows passerby to look at the menus, special deals, coupons, or restaurant info. It would be very convenient for those who want to get information without necessarily entering the restaurant.



Digital Publishing

Publishing company saw an opportunity to use QR code as a marketing tool. QR codes are usually printed on the cover of a book. When people scan it, they can be directed to the information of the book or author; or they can also get an access to sample chapters of the book. It was all done to help increase sales for book.



Real Estate

QR code is now can be found in the for sale lawn sign. Majority of houses are sold by having potential buyer saw the lawn sign and then called the owner [4]. In order to give a better experience for potential buyers, many lawn signs have a QR code on it so that they can simply scan the code and get all the information needed about that property instantly. They are able to access the interior photos or price information of that property and this absolutely helps the process of selling property in real estate industry


Successful Marketing Campaigns

Contiki

An example of successful marketing campaign that uses social media is Contiki – a travel company. They used Get on the Bus Facebook contest to attract customers during critical-booking season. The contest involved creation of a bus that will go to the one of the eight available locations. Users created a name and a background story for the bus. The buses were then shared over Facebook and users were able to vote for the best bus. Two most popular buses won the trip of their dreams to the destination of their choice and $10,000. As a result of this campaign, there were 116,000 Facebook app users; 1,500+ buses created; 10 million impressions through shares and mentions on social media websites, blogs and press; 25% lift in brand sentiment during the contest period. Through this campaign Contiki attracted thousands of potential new customers from email sign-ups and led for future bookings.[5] Wiki does not allow to embed videos from vimeo, so here is a link to the video case study .

Eddie Terstall Fundraising

Eddie Terstall, dutch film maker, wanted to raise 20,000 euros for his new short movie, Deal. He set up a page on a crowd funding web site for movie makers to raise the funds. However, crowd funding did not go well and he decided to promote funding of his movie through twitter. A person who sent a donation and twitted Edie would get a mini movie directed by Eddie based on the tweet. For 10 euros backer will get 10 seconds of film; for more than 60 euros - 1 minute film. The twitter promotion went viral and was covered in blogs, radio, TV, Amsterdam No.1 newspaper and endless tweets. Many mini movies were created and posted on YouTube and Vimeo. By the end of the campaign, Eddie raised 120,000 euros and decided to shot a full length movie instead of a short one.[6]

C&A Fashion Like

Brazilian fashion retailer C&A has chosen a unique way to use the Facebook “like” to generate sales. This interesting marketing campaign gives C&A an effective communication channel between its online shopping sector and bricks-and-mortar store, driving sales and increased brand awareness as well as building multi-channel shopping experiences for customers. For this campaign, the fashion retailer posted photos of a number of the clothing items it sells on their Facebook page and invited customers to “like” their favourites. With special hooks on the clothing racks in its bricks-and-mortar store, the retailer can display those votes in real time, giving in-store shoppers a clear indication of each item’s online popularity and creating a creative shopping experience. The Fashion Like marketing campaign has achieved 8,800,000 impacts—which could mean impressions or reach—1,000 new fans added per hour and part of the collection sold out in one day.[1]

Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race

Mercedes-Benz’s Tweet Race campaign used twitter to fuel cars. Campaign began by teams signing up for a race on Facebook. The selected teams then needed to race to finish line; however, teams needed someone to tweet about them on twitter in order to get fuel. Every 4 tweets give contestants fuel for 1 mile. One team had especially strong support so they became a trending topic. Overall, the results of the campaign were 27,953 active participants, 72,588 likes on Facebook, 77,726 followers on twitter, 150,739 tweets generated, 1,999,927 videos viewed, 24,919,118 people reached on twitter and 545,425,558 twitter impressions.[1]


Future of Marketing

Marketing is undergoing a powerful transformation via social media tools. There are needs to be met, ideas to be created, and revolutions happening. We will discuss below some of the popular future trends in marketing.

Mobile Marketing

The potential growth of global mobile marketing is huge and it is constantly reshaping how we interact in our everyday lives. It has been five years since the first smart phone was introduced by Apple. Since then, smart phone and tablet penetration have increased, and they are expected to account for half of all phones this year. There is a huge potential growth in mobile marketing as people start to use their smartphones as personal computers and real-world sensors, which help in unlocking valuable information around them every day. Thus, many companies develop applications for smartphone so that customers get better access to their services. A new word “phablet” has emerged, and it refers to touch-screen devices that combine the capabilities of a smart phone and a mini tablet.[1] The invention of this kind of technology will help to strengthen smartphones' position in the market.


The statistics below give us an idea of how much mobile apps can influence people’s everyday life.


Advertising on a smartphone is just like Web advertising on the PC, despite the size of the screen. Therefore, consumers are comfortable and familiar with this kind of advertisement. Mobile advertising is even faster and people can check the updates on the go.

Many companies have developed mobile applications for mobile subscribers; people can check promotions and new product information and even make transactions through their apps and have fun while playing with them.

Although the technology for location-based services is emerging, it is expected to bring in $10 billion in revenue from consumers and advertisers by 2016, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.[2] Location-based services such as Yelp and Four Square push advertisement for consumers based on their preferences, location, shopping history and other signals after consumers give their location data. Consumers can check the locations of the stores nearby when they go to a new place. The app also allows users to make payments on the app with Starbucks cards.

The H&M mobile application lists new products seasonally with the brand’s retail price and updated fashion news. If consumers shake their phone on the application screen, they can probably get a user friendly dialogue for discount or promotion news. This function allows the users to engage with the brand and adds more fun to their reputation.





Augmented reality

Augmented reality has become one of the hottest new advertising trends. ABI Research which is a market intelligence company specializing in global technology markets estimates the market for augmented reality in the US will reach $350 million in 2014. That is a huge increase from what we had in 2008, which is only $6 million. [1]

Augmented reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Augmented reality allows smartphone or tablet users to point their device's cameras at certain objects -- that trigger a 3D video. Processor, display, sensors and input devices are four main hardware components for augmented reality, so modern mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablet computers are suitable platforms since they contain all these elements. [2]Moreover, the mobile computing devices are also the tech trend in the future.


Personalized Marketing

Along with the appearance of Web 3.0, personalized marketing, which is also called one-to-one marketing, there will be another new trend in our discussions. Personalized marketing is based on interactive media, and internet is used most widely. The web will become more and more intelligent and some experts believe that the web 3.0 browser will act like a personal assistant. As you search the web, the browser can learn and memorize what you are interested in, and then provide you with advanced options that suit your buying habits. The more you use the web, the better your browser knows about you. It can actually organized information and prioritize it based on your own liking. [3]


There are four steps of using personalized marketing: identifying, differentiating, interacting and customizing. First, you need to collect reliable data to learn about customers' preferences and buying habits. Next, based on the data you collect, divide your customers into different groups. And then, you need to find a way to get customers involved, which is by finding a way that he enjoys the most. Finally, you just need to put everything you know into practice, customer needs, preference and habits, in order to give customers exactly what they want and what they need. [4]


Amazon is a classic and the most popular example that performs personalized marketing. Based on your searching, browsing and buying actions on their website, they are able to collect your information, learn what you want and offer you a more suitable and specific option.

In our opinion, the two major issues of personalized marketing are uncertainty and security. Firstly, a single customer is not like a business. His/her needs and preferences change over time. Moreover, each person is unique, so sometimes it will be difficult to put some of them into a restricted group. If the options and advice is not useful and does not suit customers, they may turn to annoy customers rather than being helpful. Secondly, we need to make sure that the information collected by a website can be protected from misuses by some unauthorized people. It will still be a threat for a machine knowing everything about individuals.


Conclusion

These days, social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. We can see that many businesses today have shifted their focus from some traditional advertising ways like newspaper and television to some other medium of advertising including social media. Location-based marketing allows businesses to target advertisements to specific customers who are located within radius. Viral marketing has also been around for a long time because it was just amazing how fast a successful viral promotion can reach a great number of people. Other than that, RFID and QR code have also been a great technology to be implemented as a supplementary advertisement tool to create an interactive engagement with customers. Marketing trends nowadays have shifted from a passive way, where only one-way of communication involved between business and customer, to a more interactive way, where customers are expected to be more engaged and spread the message as far as possible. With YouTube’s and Facebook’s massive audience, YouTube and Facebook are great marketing tools that marketer should consider for launching their social media campaign. Many people now watch YouTube as their entertainment rather than television, and they often share what they found interesting on Facebook. So, this is a shortcut for marketers to reach their target audience faster.

References

  1. Augmented Reality Ads
  2. Augmented Reality Hardware
  3. How Web 3.0 Will Work
  4. Personalized Marketing Introduction
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