Geolocation marketing to counteract online shopping. blog no. 6 COM0011

Is geolocation marketing the solution to save street retailers from closure?

 

As we enter the holiday season with its unavoidable  shopping madness, it does not surprise me that more and more people turn to online shopping in order to avoid crowds, lines at the cashier, parking problems, out-of-stock items, etc.   Let’s face it, even though we are propelled into the holiday mode from mid-October, it does not make it easier to gather the long list of presents that we have to buy.  There is still too many of us frustrated & impatient as we have to go through this ordeal every year.  I have not yet turned into the Grinch, however, unlike many girls that I know, I pretty much loath the whole shopping experience.  I am excited to get new garments, however, the “getting it” stage does not excite me one bit!

Now that we have access to so many online shops, I am in heaven!  I can do the shopping from the comfort of my own home (sometimes office) without too much pain. The variety of products available, the suggestions and constant promotions are significant incentives to purchase online.  Recently, we have witnessed the alterego to  “Black Friday” with  “Cyber Monday”; It is no surprise that this behavioral trend is now a threat to storefront retailers.  Just to name a couple, we have seen this year the closure of Jacob Stores and, soon to come, Smart Set.   Retailers have to find solutions in order to stay in the game.

onlin shop vsgeolocal

 I think it is rather ironic that the threat could be as part of that solution.  If we consider that  virtual shopping poses a major problem, a “hair of the dog” cure might just be what the doctor ordered!  Consider “mobile shopping” for a minute.  Our smart phones have become the extension to our hands, and most of us couldn’t live without.  They are our cell, mp3, entertainment console, social media hub, GPS and many more.  I no longer have a use for my 2005 Christmas Present (Garmin), as I just use Google Maps from my beloved iPhone.  With apps like Foursquare, we already get personalized recommendations of the best places to go from our current location.  Wouldn’t be handy to get “e-coupons” as we just pass by our favorites restaurant & stores?  The integration of mobile marketing strategies for specialty shops (especially fashion boutiques, bookstores and restaurants) could be a solution to reinvigorate some commercial avenues in decline.

According to Leger (The Research Intelligence Group), fifty-eight percent of Canadians are interested in receiving promotion and product notices as they are looking at a product in a brick and mortar store.  Groupon has, in a reverse way, understood this tactic. They had the coupon idea first, then they match them to your location.  With the Groupon App, you get to know what special offers are in your area.

Do you think this is the future?  I would like to know where most of you will be shopping for your Christmas purchases this year, online or on-foot?  Is using e-coupons a part of your shopping ritual?

 

Source:

http://www.sas.com/offices/NA/canada/downloads/Mobile-Survey2013/SAS-Digital-Wallet-report-July-2-2013-EN.pdf

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A blog about Assignment 2 COM0011_blog no. 5

I have to start with a confession.   As I was reading the first few lines of the article The Brand Called You by Tom Peters,  I thought to myself; “here we go, I won’t have the choice to oblige and embark onto this self-promotion business.”   Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not a debutante when it comes to ensuring a social media presence, but my bashful personality combined with many years spent in the old “Blighty”, have made me self-aware. I was brought up in a world where children should be seen and not heard.  Add to this a few more years of that kind of reinforcement, as a housemistress in a proper “stiff upper lip” type school, where flaunting was frowned upon, I had made an excellent job at conforming in order to fit in.

You pretty soon get the overall picture of my character.   On a professional level, I have never been really good in interviews, selling myself is not my cup of tea and therefore it transpired as lacking confidence. However, when it comes to me, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  My employers have always been very satisfied with my productivity and dedication to the organization.

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What I have come to realise by reading the article is that one has to take a broader view.  It is, in fact, a rather logical process.   You wouldn’t go fishing with a hook and no bate. Having a LinkedIn profile is not exercising zeal, it is paramount. But that is no longer sufficient.  In order to make an impression, you have to be involved. You have to branch out to people because your skills on paper are important; however, putting them into action is what really matters.  Even though I am uncomfortable with the whole idea of self-branding, I know that I ought to embark on the bandwagon. Social media now provides this advantage and it would be silly to shy away from it.

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Even though I am one of those who is very judgemental when it comes to analyzing what people put on their Facebook page or tweet about, I have to say that I ought to share a bit more. I think there is value in putting nurturing our online presence without necessarily embarking in the whole “look at me” or “look at my kids”trend. I am sure that you would know the type, it is the posts of; “I am eating at this posh restaurant (with the Google map showing the location of the restaurant)” or this is me in St Kitts and Nevis, here is my karate black belt, look at my new Michael Kors watch, etc.

So, I am curious to find out.  What is your social media type?  Have you increased your online presence since embarking on this course?

 

 

 

When the vogue is in the vlogs. COM0011 blog # 4

Now that we are more than halfway into our bogging assignment, we, students of the “Introduction to Social Media Course”, have (or should have) a   pretty good idea on how to express ourselves with out blogs.  We have somewhat become digital reporters and have the power to reach out to people. The other interesting part is the contribution to other’s blog and the discovery of what is out there.  I have, since the beginning of my enrollment, wandered a lot more on the web than I used to and have become a follower of a few blogs.

Over the weekend, since the weather is turning  cold, wet and miserable, I thought that I would spend some time cocooning, watching videos with my daughter under a thick duvet.  Rather than looking through our usual Netflix selection, she has introduced me to a brand new world of media.  Forget the blogs, get onto the vlogs!  With the latter you: 1st become a producer of your daily show, 2nd get enough followers to become “a partner”* on You Tube, and finally, make some serious cash by endorsing brands.   This seems simple enough for the wannabe celebrities and consequently, there is an increasing amount of  vlogs out there.

 At the turning of the second millennium,  I clearly remember when reality TV started to take a preponderant place on the cable.  We were introduced to shows like Big Brother, which was  then revolutionary.  It opened the doors to many other genres (Survivors, Dancing with the stars, The Voice, etc.), but all had one thing in common;  the possibility for Mr and Mrs Nobody to become a TV persona overnight.

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shey

 With vlogs, things are even easier.  No need for casting, tv production, agents, etc.  All you need to do is to make a video and post it on You Tube.  Seems simplistic, yet it is highly effective if you know how to market yourself.  In 2007, Jenna and Jesse Wellens, a normal young couple from Philadephia began to play  pranks on each other and posted videos of them on websites, eventually forming a channel on YouTube (prank vs prank) which later on led to another channel Boyfriend vs Girlfrend (BF vs GF). Both channels have respectively 6 and 5 millions subscribers.  It stated off as a competition of pranks and then, as we ‘tubers’ got fond of this fun pair, matured into daily extracts from Jeanna ad Jesse’s lives (cats also making cameo appearances).  Another example is the daily SHAYTARDS vlogs which started in 2009 and with close to 3 million viewers on You Tube.  Through watching the videos, we learn many things about the “Tards”. Shay and his wife, Colette (or Mommytard), have 5 children and the came up with the “tard” suffix  because of Shay’s obsession with unitards.  Why not?  This family have become experts in product placement; I suppose they have to feed the little mouths!!

Watching those videos can become very addictive.  My daughter is a full on, self-admitted, vlog junkie.  This addiction of hers has turned into the best punishment method.  I guess, one has to see the silver lining!

Would you be prepared to create your own vlog?  Is so, what would be your motivation; desire to become famous, venting your daily happenings or the desire to generate some revenues? 

*Making money off  advertisements is based on becoming a YouTube partner, where YouTube shares their profits with their partners from the number of subscribers they have.

Lest We Forget #nathan cirillo #patricevincent Blog no. 3

Today, as I am sitting in my office, feeling somehow perturbed by yesterday’s events in the National Capital, I could not help myself but to read all the comments written about Nathan Cirillo on Facebook and Twitter #NathanCirillo

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It is actually very hard to hold my tears as I feel that this young man has died unnecessarily.  My brother in law is a member of the Canadian Forces and this week’s events really bring home the fragility of life, especially for the ones who serve our country.  I was thinking about my sister who, not only has her husband part-time due to his postings and training away from home, but I was also reminded of the danger and perils that he faces on a daily basis.

As Canadians, we are very fortunate to have people like Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who considered their job a vocation.   The comments on Facebook exude so much compassion and good wishes to their families.  It is heartwarming to see how social media can be the forum for recollection and prayers.

This also led me to the discovery of another social media site: Change.org  which is an online petition site.  http://www.change.org/p/stephen-harper-place-a-plaque-at-the-national-war-memorial-in-memory-of-corporal-nathan-cirillo

Since yesterday, a petition has started going around, asking Mr Harper to commemorate Cpl. Cirillo.   «His last act of duty and sacrifice on this earth was to bravely stand guard at Canada’s National War Memorial. We, as Canadians, have the responsibility to remember this brave man and what he represents to our country.»  I think that this is a great idea, it would certainly add to the Cenotaph; from the tomb of the unknown soldier to the the soldier that we all came to know and don’t want to forget!

The photo shown below was posted on Social Media moments before shooting.  Let’s wear are #poppies earlier this year!

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Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10/22/nathan-cirillo-photo_n_6031290.html?

How else would gazillions of people have chucked a bucket of iced water on their heads? Post no.2

Social media is just a new way of doing what humans have done for many many years : discuss and exchange views on the world around them . This is Oral marketing (power to the tenth) , where the discussion at the local bar is transposed on a forum Global online.  I think that the best use of social media award for 2014 should be going to the viral success generated by the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of the ALS disease.

You might have done the challenge yourself, whether you have donated or not.  One thing for sure, it has created awareness for the disease and has amassed more than $115  million in donations since July 29th.  That’s a 3,500% increase from the $2.8 million that the ALS Association raised during the same time period last year.

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The idea had all the key ingredients that a fundraising campaign should have;  the celebrity endorsement, the nomination of friends to take the challenge, the use of several social media platforms and the information provided on the ALS website.

In spite of all the good this campaign has done, the negative blogs inundated the web.  Several bloggers thought that the Ice Bucket Challenge was just another podium for the common mortals to have their 30 seconds of fame, emulating celebrities by following suit and posting their version online.  Others, more cynical, thought that this fund raising would only truly provide a small percentage to the cause, as most of the donations would pay the charities’ administrative fees.  There was also the injuries and the firefighter death from Kentucky, where the latter brought a damper on the story.

What is interesting is that the “not doing it” was the idea behind raising money for the charity. President Obama and Chalie Sheen  have given more than their faire share for the cause by bailing out.  On the other hand, most people who have chucked the ice water over their heads ended up doing both; the challenge and raising the money.  There was certainly a sense of community behind this summer trend and what I find compelling, is the fraternity and unity which emanated from it.  Peter Frates’ video could not leave you indifferent.  Him and his family wanted the raise awareness for ALS and hats off to them, it think they can proudly say : «we nailed it»!

Even though the craze has died down, donation can still be made on the ALS website.

 

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2014/08/29/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-has-raised-100m-but-its-finally-cooling-off/

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/21/us/firefighters-ice-bucket-challenge/

Do people realize? (COM 0011)

I work for an Insurance Broker where I wear various hats.  The one I will be talking about today isn’t, unfortunately, the lovely Trilby  from my favourite shop I have been yearning to possess, but the human resource hat which sits on the coat hanger, next to my marketing hat, my communications hat and my broker hat.  It’s a small office!

As the  human resources advisor, I am responsible for the advertising of career opportunities and jobs available within our company. I also prepare and conduct the interviews assisted by the director.  Since the latter is more old school than yours truly, I have been put in charge of seeking talent on the web.  This task is pretty easy considering the various tools available nowadays.  We have initially posted job opportunities on the obvious dedicated sites such as Workopolis, Monster and «Emplois Quebec».   We have also posted on our Web sites which, very often, leads to success stories as we know that the applicants have walked the extra  mile by finding out more about us. 

Recently, I have reversed the roles where, in lieu of posting a job, I was the one doing the window shopping.  I guess it would not surprise you if I were to make the blunt statement that most of social media users are voyeurs rather than exhibitionists.  I guess I am not different than the majority.  Although, I am not, as the following blog states http://thecommentnewspaper.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/social-media-voyeurs-and-exhibitionists-take-over-the-internet/ “a creep”.

So, once upon a Monday morning, I was looking at the array of Insurance Brokers Résumés posted on Workopolis.  After skimming through the extensive list, I thought I had found an ideal postulant.  He was qualified, bilingual and had years of experience.  In fact, he was perfect if it wasn’t for one minute detail; he was already working for us!  Needless to say, it was rather steamy underneath my HR hat!

Interview with social media

Do people realize that the World Wide Web on which social media keeps afloat is open water and that anyone can take a boat tour of your activities/interests/social life/career intention/culinary tastes?  I don’t think most people do. I have encountered on several occasions Linked In profiles not matching résumés.  I have also seen Pinterest profiles which revealed several pins about eyebrow raising activities. You can find out so much information about people nowadays before you have even met them.  I know that I am stating the obvious here but there are still a lot of surfers who do not understand the security settings of their Facebook account? 

Does your social media profile reveals too much about you?  Are you confident that you would get a job based on the information available on your social media sites?