A look into 2015. Digitally.

digital-marketing-social-mediaThe new year is coming up quicker than we think, and many businesses may be inclined to copy last year’s strategy and all will be good. BAD IDEA. Why? Because digital is fast moving. Sujan Patel from Forbes interviewed 20 Digital Marketing experts  in this article, and came up with the following 5 predictions, alongside my opinion!

  1. Content Will Be More Important Than Ever
    This shouldn’t really be any news to us as we have covered this in class over and over again. I believe this is point number one as I was able to experience this first hand while I was working on Heineken’s Facebook strategy. Good Content = Relevance = Happy Fans = More Sales. In the end let’s not forget, were investing money to get a ROI, not to get likes on our posts.
  2. Marketing Channels Will Be Even More Connected
    Content creation, search optimization and social media will become more intertwined than ever and potentially not even looked upon again as separate things but one giant resource. Everyone likes interconnectivity, so no complaints there.
  3. Mobile Will Take Over
    That one should be no news to us.  But analytic’s are becoming more and more and important part of this as well. And at last the wearable tech trend that requires mobile function will play a factor in an increase of mobile usage once more.
  4. Marketing Campaigns Will Be More Data-Driven & More Hyper-Targeted
    Targeted messages for just YOU – based on who, what, were you are. Creepy right, but its coming, and its powerful. 
  5. The Laggards Will Finally Adopt
    Funny, because our guest speaker’s company A&W was technically a laggard. Pretty much every company will realize that Social is no longer a phenomenon but a must instead. 


Picture Credit 1: http://blog.meraevents.com/2014/08/05/digital-marketing-demystified-workshop-in-bangalore/
Picture Credit 2: http://www.businessesgrow.com/tag/digital-marketing-research/


Ads on #Insta

Alright, let’s face it. Were all curious how this whole advertising business will look like on Instagram. We knew it was coming, simply by the fact that Facebook now owns Instagram. But how exactly will it look like? Well Canada, the CBC officially stated in this article that Instagram ads launched in Canada this past Monday, November 10th. The Canadian companies that jumped right on the opportunity according to CBC are: Air Canada, Hudson’s Bay, Mercedes-Benz, Sport Chek, Target and Travel Alberta. These ads are going to look something like this:


So far I haven’t received an ad yet from one of these companies but I’m looking forward to it and well for the first time ever there will be some way to measure how successful these posts actually are? Given that instagram included an analytics part. As explained in one of my older posts you can see that analytics these days is everything in digital marketing. Its the only way of knowing if what you’re doing online is working for your ROI.


The first Ad Instagram launched itself

The reason why Facebook included Instagram in its advertising scheme is simply because they wanted to utilize the platforms 200 million users and make it profitable? Facebook = public company, therefore revenues are important remember?

Anyways Instagram has been one of my favorite social platforms since it launched and the amount I’ve seen it grow has been incredible. I do believe that advertising on Instagram will be highly profitable but also effective. But what does this mean for companies? Most are already present, or highly present such as Victoria’s Secret but others are lagging behind. With advertising in the mix I believe more companies will take the opportunity to brush up on their picture skills and add this platform to their sets of brushes to continue to paint the overall picture we call marketing.


Image 1 credit: http://www.dailymichael.be/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Instagram-Logo.png
Image 2 credit: http://media.tumblr.com/460a09e0788999bef92f29fd2436cbf7/tumblr_inline_mv6seroPPL1qm4rc3.jpg
Image 3 credit: http://resolutionmedia.com/us/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Instagram-Ads.jpg

my two cents about #Ello

We discussed the new Social Media Platform Ello a while back in class. Scrolling through Ally Anderson’s Blog and through the Digital News reminded me that well I also would like to state my opinion about Ello. I briefly mentioned it in one of my past blog posts but lets get into the nitty gritty of things.

elloWhen you log onto https://ello.co/ the first thing that hit’s your face is: A smiley without eyes and the slogan “Simple, beautiful & ad-free”. And then you have an option to request an invitation – which by the way I had done two months ago, but nada. Great…

But one thing Ally mentioned that grabbed my attention was this “You can follow people as ‘friends’ or ‘noise’ but they will never know which section you categorized them into – again further allowing you to customize the content that you want to see”. Its like the Facebook feature where you turn off the notifications from the annoying people on your wall (we all have them right?) but this seems like they stepped it up a notch.

Overall the layout of Ello is very simplistic yet powerful. I went into one of the profiles and liked the high quality images that were the center piece of his profile. It cuts out all the unnecessary things Facebook has added over the years it seems. As an outsider it looks like a very nice platform and of course I would love to have the opportunity to try it soon. Only then can I give my full opinion on how the platform is.ello.jpg

For now I will stick to Facebook instead. I do adore Facebook. And I already have all my friends, family (including Grandparents) on there, so in order for me to switch Ello will really have to prove itself to the world and how its worthy of our precious time these days. From my side and from what I’ve seen I do not think this will be the “Next Facebook”. But only time can tell…

Image Source: Both Screen Shots from Ello directly

My Personal Brand

18382009For Class 20 prep I was happy to see something refreshing, inching a bit away from Digital and pulling back in Marketing side of things. Having always been my own ambitious self, and someone who started to build my own brand the minute I entered University I thought this article was a good example of how powerful branding can be in today’s world. I’m a bit of a hypocrite in the sense that one year ago my vision for my life was completely different from now – but even though my vision changed I never stopped having one. And that is the essence to building your personal brand. Never stop having a vision.

The article mentioned something important ” You have to separate yourself from the competition. You have to be more appealing to your target audience and you can achieve it by creating a recognizable personal brand.” Competition ranging anywhere from your fellow Sauder students to people across the world. I realized automatically that I have a competitive advantage in the European Job Market because I’m both Canadian & European and used European Companies as my Target Market. And Voila, I have completed both my internships in Europe. It may sound simple – and its not but at least I knew early on that I was extra competitive in Europe and was able to use it to my advantage.

Next is my Digital presence. My digital spaces represent who I am. So what my Gmail and Twitter is pink? And yes my Facebook banners are mostly branded of me standing at a scenic point facing with my back – so you can’t actually see my face. But its my personal brand. Its now I choose to represent myself to the world. I don’t have a problem with having my past & future employers on Facebook either. My past boss likes almost all my picture and posts because she is  still interested in me as a person but also my digital presence. vienna

Mentors. Yes the article covers this as well. I just recently got a new mentor and she’s definitely a #GIRLBOSS! I was a little bit intimidated meeting her first, because part of my personal brand is wearing bright lipstick colors. That day I wore pink. My Mentor entered the coffee shop and she was wearing bright red lipstick. I knew from that moment on – we would get along just fine.

Which leads me into my final note about personal branding. That day I could have chosen to wear a nude colored lipstick – but I didn’t. Why? Because it wouldn’t have been me. I’ve always been true to myself and maybe that is what ultimately has driven the ambitions within myself. But I’m on this planet for a reason. My reason surely isn’t to try to be someone else, rather its making an a lasting impact that people will remember for the lifetimes to come.


Lipstick: http://phone.todayonline.com/lifestyle/beauty/pucker-neon-coloured-lip-lacquers

the importance of analytics in the digital space

Back in September I read this article on AdWeek about how Social Analytics are transforming the digital space. I’ve known Analytics in Digital Marketing are of up-most importance as I worked with them all summer (especially so Facebook analytics) but it hasn’t occured to me how important Analytics are until A)  Until we covered it in depth during Class 17 and B) I started running my first ever AdWords campaign. So let’s briefly look into both aspects:


image by: http://www.edsocialmedia.com/services/google-analytics-bootcamp/

A) In Class 17 we discussed that measuring Social Media = measuring Value. This we do either through Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics and HootSuite. With all 3 platforms we can gain so much knowledge about our consumers or audience, what they do, how they dig and if our content is relevant to them. We track post views, unique views, viral views etc. We ultimately learn everything about our audience, who is responding and who isn’t. As a brand this is key information when running any campaign and especially so when you want to talk to people who actually care. While working with StarCom MediaVest this summer analytics is all we talked about, and its funny how this now keep appearing in my life. Kudos to my internship, I actually learnt something 🙂

googleadwordsB) AdWords is not easy to navigate at first – but definitely fun to play around with once you get the gist of it. But its fun because you always see the changes immediately and how they affect your campaign including the %served, impressions, CTR etc. This way with the analytics coming into effect immediately you have the chance to craft your perfect advertising campaign. Let’s see how successful I actually end up being with this!

Nevertheless, Analytics are everywhere and even platforms like Instagram are starting to adopt them as everyone clearly sees value in being able to hammer down what’s working and not working for them. Talk about taking advertising to the next level. I wonder how they measured all this 50 years ago, counting people? I’m kidding… Let’s make sure to fully take advantage of the gifts technology provides us with today, such as anayltics!


Image Source: http://www.connectedanalytics.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/analytics-blog.png

From the “Like” Button to the “Buy” Button


Part of today’s class prep was doing a reading on the infamous Buy button we have all been anticipating, and well now its here.  Mashable nicely covered some small aspects of the process in their article. I personally think, great now I can do it all in once because: facebook-buy-button2

A) I love social Media
B) I dig anything digital
C) I’m an avid online shopper

So bingo, there goes my piggy bank. Overall, this Buy button is obviously there to help businesses drive sales through the news feed. But immediately what appeared in my head will be the safety of this button. Facebook right now for me is a space where I communicate with my friends, and even to keep in touch with my grandparents. Its somewhat sacred as its a place where I share my personal information. facebook-is-testing-a-buy-button-that-lets-users-purchase-products-straight-from-facebook-pages

I had never viewed Facebook as a direct e-commerce site. It makes sense as the algorithm already knows so much about each of us – but at the same time it could be a serious breach of personal data. Also how secure will my payments be? There is so much fraud online these days, that safety is really going to play a big part in making this a success. So I did some research and found this on Facebook’s page: “None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases”. Great – so Facebook is going amazon style.

I know I mentioned above that I will be a fan of this particular button, which I believe I will but at the same time, it seems like Facebook is becoming more and more commercialized. Let’s not forget, Facebook’s mission statement is: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” – so my question is, does e-commerce fit with this?


Image source: http://mashable.com/2014/07/17/facebook-buy-button/

Picture 1 source: http://socialfresh.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/facebook-buy-button2.jpg
Picture 2 source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-testing-a-buy-button-on-pages-and-ads-2014-7
Picture 3 source: http://mashable.com/2014/07/17/facebook-buy-button/

Skype the most human tech platform?

“Can’t fly off to a Bavarian beer garden for Oktoberfest? Raise a glass over Skype.” – That’s how Skype introduces its social platform to users. This makes sense since Skype has become so versatile that it’s even used for therapeutic appointments. Pretty incredible right?

This article by AkWeek nicely covers some of the reasons why Skype has become so successful and the stats are mind blowing too. The article mentions that “Skype accounted for 40 percent of the entire conventional international telecom market”.  You’re probably thinking why is my Canadian phone bill still so high?


Image courtesy of: http://prashanthontechnology.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/improve-customer-experience-using-skype-with-oracle-crm/

But with competitors entering the market such as Google Hangouts – Skype needs to watch its back. But partially what still makes me like Skype over other communication platform (besides Google Hangouts -as I love this one) is that back in 2010 they turned down a $200 million ad opportunity, making it one of the only forms of Social Networking left, without advertising. In class we talk about the power of advertising, but we never bring up the power of not advertising. From a consumers perspective, this is actually nice and refreshing.

But all this brings me back to the Article “How Automating Your Social Media Content Can Hurt Your Brand“. This article covers the sad and ugly truth of automated messages, which has become troublesome for many brands. Its annoying, frustrating and not worth you time. I know that with Skype that will never happen, because the beauty about this Social network simply is, that it relies on the power of human connections. And only that to survive. Sorry automated messages, you’ve lost this one anyways.









#hongkongers social stars

Its hard to focus on your life when constantly you’re being swamped with updates from the protest in another country. Specifically Hong Kong this time. Having spent some incredible months there with amazing people and I believe their issue needs to be heard.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 12.02.28

Source: Personal Facebook. Credit to: Jain Sarin Richie Thap

While reading the Article: Introducing The New Social Technographics®: The First Step Toward Social Success via the Forrester database I noticed that there are different types of consumers who qualify as different users of Social Media to interact with companies and ultimately the world. The article mentioned that different countries, earn very different scores, and that “People in Hong Kong rate as Social Stars, with Technographic Scores between 40 and 56”. I know that this is not related specifically to a company – but it shows that Hong Kongers are standing true to their digital status. They want to make sure that their issue of Democracy does not go unheard and taking every social action of doing so. The Government is noticing this – blocked Instagram immediately to allow for some damage control, also cutting off internet during sites of demonstration.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 12.03.41

Source: Personal Facebook. Credit: Ruby Cheng

There are a lot of controversial issues happening all over the world today, but never before have we been able to stand so close. We watch and learn by scrolling through our Newsfeed on Facebook, our twitter accounts and Instagram – forming our own opinions, leveraging the voice of social media. We read many articles mentioning how powerful social media is, but through issues like these I can finally see the true power of this digital age.

Here for more information on the issue and a Canadian stance.






microsites – the next big thing?

Adweek is by far one of my favorite sites to check daily brought out another interesting article yesterday titled “Brand Publishers Are Ditching Facebook in Favor of Microsites” by Michelle Castillo.

This article brings up an extremely important point in regards to Facebook’s recent change in organic reach, which results in companies having to use paid media. We talked about paid media in class and the article we read as a class prep suggested that brands use a more holistic approach called “Convergent Media” (a mix between paid, owned & earned) – but Brands are creating a completely new set of rules by using Microsites.


Image sourced from: AdWeek

Basically Microsites as mentioned in the article are a Brand owned spaces, where as Facebook is considered a rented space. There’s a great analogy in the article that really sums things up: “By and large, I view owned spaces as the farm and rented spaces as the market where you sell the crops—you can personalize your stall, but you can’t design the market.”

And that’s how everything is changing now. People do not want to be owned by Facebook rather they want to have their own space to be creative with. Facebook then is simply used to drive traffic to the site – but keeping other advertising to an absolute minimum.

If this will be successful – I don’t know EA Sports has started testing it – and who knows maybe other brands will soon follow.




Facebook – communistic advertising?

I love Facebook, and I am a very heavy user of it – but recently I’ve had my fair share of thoughts about the platform and so did this article I recently read, which emphasizes the changes for businesses especially.


Image sourced from: http://internet.wonderhowto.com/how-to/finally-thumbs-down-things-you-dislike-facebook-0150997/

I’d briefly like to touch on their mentioned Facebook changes, in the sense as organic reach for all brands may soon reach zero. Brands knew this day would come, but I think the reality hit harder than expected. Back in the day, I as a consumer liked a Facebook page of a brand / company because I was sincerely interested in seeing their content. Yet Facebook in January took that away from consumers, and is now fully controlling things we see. This reminds me of almost a communistic approach to advertising – where only the big guy decides what we see, unless brands are willing to pay the big bucks and this in a real life situation could be seen as a form of “bribing” – if you understand my analogy. The more you pay as a brand, the more you get, and if you don’t pay – your information to the world is withheld. Scary right?

Before starting my internship in Digital Marketing @Heineken this summer, I had no idea how expensive advertising on Facebook actually is. Right now a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) ranges from about 0.50 to about 6! That for a big or small brand can add up pretty quickly.

So what does this mean for the future? I guess we will find out, but I believe brands are already taking next steps to branch away from Facebook advertising. Read my next blog to find out how!

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