weal \WEEL, noun:
1. Well-being, prosperity, or happiness.
2. A raised mark on the surface of the body produced by a blow.
3. (Obsolete:) the state or body politic.
So, after talking with some Boomer/Gen X colleagues today about some “problems” Gen Y has, I was going to write a post about technologies or business tools that won’t be around by the time Gen Y is the current age of Boomers (about 60). I was thinking 40 or so years from now, calendars, watches, alarm clocks, email, computers, etc., won’t exist separately.
They’ll all be in this one little device we call a mobile phone, cell phone, or something else.
But I started jotting down a few ideas and felt a teeny-tiny panic attack hit me.
The year 2048. That’s when I’ll be 60.
And writing that year down just freaked me out. Just like writing the year “2010” did back in, say, 1998 or 1999.
But it’s coming, just like it came for others before. And that thought just kind of made me think … maybe I don’t really want to write about scary future things right now?
Make your own app (for not too much money!) -
This is awesome. I’m definitely going to consider using it for my thesis project!
Are marketers neglecting Baby Boomers? -
I don’t think so - I never would. But I found this article interesting, even though it makes marketers sound like those Eskimos or whoever that leave their elderly grandfather out in the winter snow to freeze to death…
Although seemingly ancient in online years, “The Big Red Fez” by Seth Godin presents plenty of tips and pointers for creating user-centered websites that marketers can still apply today.
The book’s clean format and concrete examples, although outdated, made it an easy and enjoyable read. After reading the book, I felt like I had taken a short amount of time to learn plenty, including the following 10 points.
The last two are self-explanatory, in my opinion, and I had a tough time finding examples. And saying much more would violate that last pointer I provided!
Maybe location-based services aren’t as up-and-coming as marketers first thought.
According to a MediaPost article, a recent study shows only about 4% of adults use location-based programs and many who don’t use it cite privacy reasons. I agree that could be an issue. If I’m hanging out at a cafe or bar, I might not want some creeper who sees my check-in to come find me. Or that somewhat sketchy neighbor to know I’m not at my house.
But I think this hasn’t taken off completely for another reason, something I believe will begin to resolve itself in the near future.
Although all the talk is about smart phones, there are still a lot of people without them. I’m one for example. Two of my roommates are two more. In fact, thinking seriously, the only close friend that I can think of who has a smart phone is my boyfriend, who just got a Blackberry for use with his new job. (Is a Blackberry even considered a smart phone? I guess, in my opinion, it is.) This will probably change soon; in fact, I’m hoping to get a Droid or some kind of smart phone with internet for Christmas. I have tried using Foursquare on my regular phone but texting it got so confusing. Perhaps this will be easier once I have a smart phone.
Group coupons through sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com may seem like a Godsend for businesses and customers alike.
They allow people to receive great deals and discounts on certain products and services while businesses get more customers. But is it all so good?
According to an article on msnbc.com, group coupons may actually have a negative impact on small businesses that can’t handle a large, temporary surge of customers brought on by group coupons. For example, a small business that’s used to only 50 customers per day will surely have a customer service problem at hand when 500 customers show up instead. When customer service decreases, so does customer satisfaction, leading to a decrease in loyal repeat customers.
So, what should businesses do?
They shouldn’t give up on the idea of group coupons, not just yet.
The MSNBC article says Groupon suggest capping the number of coupons. Another suggestion might be to wait until a business gets a bigger shop or hires more employees to service customers.
In the end, if these “fixes” aren’t possible, it might be smart to hold off on group coupons. After all, I’m sure another trend will come along soon enough!
Without a doubt, contests are a great promotional tool to generate sales and increase consumer brand awareness. Consumers are more likely to buy something they think might make them rich or give them something they want. For this reason and others, many companies employ the promotional contest tactic. Recently, Sara Lee’s State Fair Corn Dogs launched a particularly successful contest, through which participants could win a $500,000 dream home and other instant prizes (TVs, grills, etc.)
While the contest aspect of the State Fair case is interesting, I found two other aspects particularly intriguing. The first aspect is how integrated the contest’s campaign was. According to a MediaPost article, State Fair used package messaging, free-standing newspaper interests, mobile and a microsite. All of these methods together, to me, signify the importance of IMC. It’s not enough to do a contest and run an ad about it in the paper.
And the results of this contest prove how important the combined aspects are, which is my second point. According to the article,
“Through the promotion, the microsite received more than 250,000 unique registrations and 1.65 million game plays while increasing the brand’s consumer e-mail database by 400%.”
400%! That’s huge. And that means not only did State Fair reach its target consumers (moms) through the contest, but they can use the contest’s effects/results to continue to reach that market.
What do you think about promotional contests like this? Have you ever been involved in them?
Are your company’s products green and sustainable? Probably not. Just like Tom Sawyer convinced Jim that whitewashing a fence is fun when it’s really not, companies may be convincing consumers they’re sustainable when they may not be.
According to a recent study, 95 percent of consumer products provide buyers with misleading claims about how green the product is. Some companies simply offer no proof of their claims and some use vague or confusing language that misguides consumers. The big question, though: Is this ethical? Is it OK to make information fit as long as it’s based on an original truth?
My initial reaction is that it’s not OK. Saying something is true when it’s only half true must be half lie and, therefore, not fully truthful. Sounds philosophical, huh? Some might argue that marketers don’t have that “full truth” obligation. If it has an element of truth and consumers believe it, what difference does it make?
The difference is having a conscious. Consumers should be able to trust that companies they purchase from are telling the truth. And if they aren’t people will find out (eventually) and should take their money elsewhere.
Political attack ads are far from new; in fact, they’ve been so overused, many people have become practically numb to them. But what happens when someone crosses the line? There’s a big difference between calling someone a liar and a baby killer.
One of this year’s political candidates just may have crossed that line. Missy Reilly Smith, whom CNN dubs “the long-shot Republican candidate from the heavily Democratic District of Columbia,” aired an advertisement in the D.C. area heavily criticizing pro-choice activists. (See the ad on YouTube here. And a warning: It contains graphic content!) She calls President Obama and Sen. Pelosi, among others, “advocates for killing these babies at any time for any reason using abortion,” while an image of bloody, dismembered fetus arms are shown on the screen.
The interesting issue for marketers here isn’t about abortion but rather about how political campaigns (and accompanying laws) work and what may be in their future. The D.C. network had to run this commercial because Smith is a legitimate candidate. A CNN article says,
“According to the Federal Communications Commission, broadcasters can only reject a federal candidate’s ad if it contains a copyright infringement, or is defamatory.”
So, fearing legal trouble, the network ran the ad with two disclaimers: one warning the ad contained graphic content and another stating the ad is required by federal law without modification.
These days, politicians are very rarely seen as possessing class; most Americans view them as mudslingers who’ll do whatever it takes to win the race. It may be challenging to see this issue without a bias depending on how you view abortion, but consider this:
What if political advertising moved away from slamming their political opponents to showing grotesque, disturbing ads like this? Is this highly emotional and highly sensitive form of advertising a way of taking advantage of the public by not showing both sides to an issue? And does this even matter anymore?