COMM0015 – Assignment 5

Name the event with a link and explain why you chose this event to attend.

Due to working 52 hours a week plus being a full-time night student at McMaster University I was unable to do a workshop during this course period. However, I would like to reflect upon my past experiences from a marketing conference I went to. In April I went to the Retail Council of Canada’s Retail Marketing Conference. My colleague and I went to this event to better our understanding of retail marketing for our jobs at the McMaster University Campus Store. Ultimately, our goal was to learn how to target our demographic more specifically in the retail world.

More information can be found here:

Who did you meet or interact with at the event? What did you learn from that interaction and what did you contribute to the interaction?

This event had representations from hundreds of retail organizations from small stores to huge competitors. Particularly, my co-worker and I made it our mission to first talk to other representatives from college and university stores as we could connect with them most. Next, we mingled with other individuals from retail organizations as well as panelists who were at this conference.

It was most helpful talking to other school retailers, as they could connect with our demographic of students. We learned that most schools are looking at doing more digital marketing than traditional print. Additionally, we could that a ‘street team’ to help promote the message around campus using part-time staff. This idea was great, and we used it this September during our ‘Welcome Week’ promotions.

What ideas have you walked away with from the event?

My favourite ideas from this conference were the suggestions of a loyalty program and blog surrounding our retail operation. Both of these concepts are something that our store has talked about, however for such a small business it would be a large investment. This is because the framework of our website and POS would need to change to accommodate these additions. Since April, our store is working on the framework for the blog to engage with students on a more creative level. The loyalty program is still a conversation, however requires more time, effort, and money.

Collect a quotable quote from the event.

My quote from this event is ‘the fear of missing out.’ This sentence kept reoccurring multiple times throughout many different presentations as fear is a large pulling factor for retailers. This means that retailers often suggest that consumers must purchase a product as soon as possible before it sells out. Now at the McMaster University Campus Store, we bring in limited edition apparel to create that buzz throughout our platforms.

Will you attend a similar event again in the future? Explain why.

I found that this event was helpful to some degree for or organization, however I do not think I would attend this type of conference again. Although some of the information was applicable to our organization, most of the marketing strategies would only work for big block retail units. Having such a specific demographic on a university campus a lot of the information discussed at this event could not directly apply to our business. Overall, I think this event was still a great experience for my co-worker and I to learn more about the retail marketing industry.

Additional Notes from the Conference.

  • Tackling negative perceptions of your store through content
    • High prices of textbooks
      • Solution: address through blog postings
    • Campaign pushed by the product not the medium
      • Often our store expects the medium (social media) to push sales of undesirable products
      • Ultimately repeating these posts causes us to lose followers
      • Example: expectation avid tank tops will have the same reaction as onesies
    • Not only push the same things in the same ways
      • Try new sale release styles
        • The flash sale for high value products ex. onesies was a great idea, however did not work for avid tank tops
      • Loyalty program
        • We saw this idea at the retreat last year and it seemed successful
        • As far as reaching millennial this tactic seems to increase sales
      • Website Search
        • Capture information from the search bar to see what products are most wanted
        • Use this data to push sales on desirable items
      • NO BOGOS
        • Huge takeaway from this conference
        • I think we can relook over our Christmas promotions to be fun and creative, but still easy for buyers
      • 6 Principles of Percussion
        • Most importantly we need to ensure we are emotionally connecting with our audience
        • Using aspects such as ‘fear of missing out,’ ‘selling out of a product,’ or ‘curiosity’
        • “Get more out of McMaster” – inclusively
        • These elements can be used to build brand loyalty through giveaways, blog postings, and approach to sale tag lines
      • Less than 2 seconds to engage with audience
        • We should look at creating videos that have
          • Movement
          • Fast cuts
          • Hyper lapse
          • Titles – Sound off
          • MSU expansion video
        • Blog
          • Tips for students
          • Use a form to push information but not sell products
        • CASL
          • Must send out an email before July 1st to current subscribers
          • Keep documentation, archive, audit templates
        • Millennial Consumer
          • Huge purchasing power
          • Not interested in traditional marketing techniques
          • 2 seconds to grab their attention in creative ways
            • Videos
          • Other noticeable points:
            • Email discount coupon for subscribing
            • Creating a sale that is meaningful, not just to have a sale
              • Some MUSC sales this year
            • Having buyers and marketing work together to find what type of sales work for what products
              • Let’s be creative and try new things!


COMM0015-Blog 4- Virtual Reality Promotional Videos

Doing marketing for events at a university has its advantages as you get to see a lot of the new technology before other marketing sectors would. I think the craziest concept of marketing for me was introduced to our group last year at a conference. The unexpected application was virtual reality marketing on social media of past events this school had done. By this, I mean that they made promotion videos using the concept of virtual reality games to promote their events.

                                                                                      Photo: MSU Campus Events


The school invested in state of the art 360-degree cameras that could capture events from all angles. Then through hours of editing, they could produce videos that made it look like the viewer was actually at these concerts or other live events. From a marketing standpoint, it was amazing to see what this group of students did. Even better, the attention that their department at their school got was crazy. Their social media feed blew up all because of the concept taken from virtual reality video games.

For me, I believe this is exactly what events departments should be doing. It is not enough to be promoting a concert or guest speaker to students. Our job is to create a culture and provide a good time for students aside from learning. Through the use of virtual reality university’s can show students, first hand, what events are like and why they should come. Even taking it a step further, this idea can be used for the university as a whole.

With the idea of raw video footage taking off for social media marketing, I hope to be able to embed cool footage such as this to my marketing plan. I feel like students want to be engaged, but you also need to listen to their needs. By being able to introduce them to the engaging promotional material it will add to their university experience as a whole.

Have you ever experienced virtual reality? Could you see this as being a promotional tool for the future of your organization?


COMM0015-Blog 3: The Future

Post-Secondary schooling is the most important thing – or so we tell our current generation. But what is a piece of paper without the valuable life skills to support it? At the age of 22, I now have a double major and am working on two certificates. Although the education has gotten me to where I am, it’s the job experience that gives me the confidence to succeed in today’s market.

Photo by Author

To further extend my opportunities to succeed, I hold two part-time jobs at my university. These jobs are both directly related to my field of interest and have allowed me to make connections with others in the marketing industry. As I end my schooling in April I aspire to continue making connects at the university with other job opportunities. I will be applying for a leadership position in one of my current departments, which is a one-year contract with the school. *Fingers Crossed*

Moving into the virtual world, my online presence is also strong due to skills I have established when volunteering for NASCAR related positions. Through writing for NASCAR, tracks and micro level sports blogs, I have had the privilege to connect with tons of people. I aspire to continue this in 2018 during the new NASCAR season by writing for a blog and contributing race photographs online.

Although these are all aspirations I wish to carry forward, my current responsibilities are my focus. Aside from work and school, I volunteer with 3 high profile organizations/clubs on a weekly basis. Whether it be online with Michigan International Speedway, or in person with our local radio station or program society, these volunteer opportunities have given me more than just a piece of paper come April.

6-12 months may be a long time, but I am excited about what the future holds.

COMM0015-Blog 2: KFC or Apple?

Impressive Social Media:

The organization that stands apart from others in their social media strategy is Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). This company is unlike many others in the fast food industry. KFC does not push their product or specials on you but creates stories with their iconic figure to draw consumers in.

Photo from KFC Twitter. 2017

Using short videos, single pictures, contests and so much more, this organization is social media gold. KFC has the ability to take social media viewers on a journey while using their products to help tell a story. With Kernel Sanders as their primary character, everything this organization does come back to him and their product. Such a simple idea, right? Just have a mascot.

Yet, KFC’s promotion is so much more than just a mascot. It is the effective ways this organization allows social media users to engage and participate in their marketing campaigns. For example, on November 1st, 2017 KFC did a Periscope video that reached over 76 thousand viewers in its 20 minutes live. The video’s purpose? A ‘KFC Auction’ where Twitter users could ‘bet’ by commenting on prizes being given away. Engaging and promoting their product – Genius!

Check out their video here: (KFC, 2017).

Adopting a Social Media Strategy:

I am going to critique the choices of one of the most known brands, Apple, but hear me out before you stop reading this. I would bet more than half of the people reading this post have an Apple product, I am even typing on one right now. However, the lack of social media interaction from one of the technology conglomerates baffles me.

Photo from Apple Twitter. (2017).

Bring up Apples Twitter page. NOTHING. No tweets at all. Slide over to Instagram. It is better with 62 posts to date. I understand the product sells for itself, so why waste the extra time and money on social media?

I believe Apple needs to consider interacting with consumers on social media to ensure they are brand loyal. Often, when someone has a negative experience they turn to social media to share that information. With Apple’s lack of social media engagement, I believe they are missing risky situations like this that could be solved.

Finally, Apple’s marketing is AMAZING! They always have innovated ideas for presenting new products, signage and so much more. It is a shame that they are missing out on social media platforms to further express that creativity. I believe, like KFC, they could engage consumers on a new level through creative social media campaigns if they give it a shot.

Check it out for yourself!

Apple Twitter:

KFC Twitter:

COMM0015 – BLOG 1: The Social Media Realm


Social media can be a complicated process. When someone says social media tools I am thinking of the applications that make my jobs easier. How do you know if your hard work is benefiting the business? Thankfully, the use of social media tools can provide answers to this question.

Image found from

First, I turn to Hootsuite for accurate statistics about my social media postings. Hootsuite is an online application that provides the user with an interface to be able to schedule posts. As this feature is just scratching the surface, Hootsuite also provides users with a backhouse of statistics regarding their posts. My favourite function allows a marketing team to track clicks on any link posted through the Hootsuite application. For the retail world, this is very important so we can work towards improving our online sales.

Although Hootsuite is great for analyzing statistics in terms of social media posts, it does not take into consideration what the consumer on the other end is thinking. Luckily for our organization, we have the funds to produce a semi-annual survey. Using Survey Monkey, our marketing team searches to find out the consumers thoughts about our social media and website. This tool allows us to create custom questions that we would like to ask the participates. This customization element of Survey Monkey makes the online tool versatile for any organization. This product is great to use so that companies can ensure they are listening to their consumers.

Best sources for news:

Years ago, the 6 o’clock news used to be a must watch for all modern families, however as times are changing most individuals are straying away from this tradition. As a student with night classes and two jobs, watching the news on television is no longer an option for me. Luckily, social media platforms allow me to get this same news, at the touch of my fingertips.

Many say that Twitter is dying, however, this is still my go-to platform for news. Whether it be sports, politics or international affairs, Twitter seems to have it all when I need it. One must keep in mind that anyone can tweet in real-time, therefore all information may not be credible. However, I believe this outlet is the fastest way to get an idea of what is going on in the world.

Additionally, I believe that Facebook is great for short clip video content. In comparison to 40-minute newscasts, Facebook gives you the ability to watch a short video about the news that interests the viewer. Overall, this expands the digital ages ability to cater to unique audiences.

Overall, these social media platforms not only help with day-to-day news but can help a business reach consumers. For me, it is important to look at how versatile these social media platforms can be. As an organization, this makes it important to have unique social media content that is fun and playful. You want to capture your audience’s attention, however, do not want to come off as you are pushing a product on them.

What are some of the best social media campaigns you have ever seen?


Facebook. (2017).

Hootsuite Media, Inc. (2016).

Survey Monkey. (2017).

Twitter. (2017).

COMM0014 – BLOG 7: Opportunities Await

This past weekend I got the opportunity to work with the NASCAR social team, which made a lot of course concepts come to life.

                                            Photo by Author

Why is storytelling important to creating great digital content?

Storytelling helps to create an overall brand for the digital content of your business or organization. By connecting with the bulk of consumers over social media it is important to clearly articulate your companies vision with each post. However, with many others also striving to succeed in this area, one must be able to set themselves aside from the competition. With great storytelling, this is possible! The little bit of extra thought into an ad campaign does make a difference!  By connecting to consumers on a personal level you create an emotional relationship with them.

How will your content be guided by story?

The most important thing I learned about content is that one cannot be too controlling over the creation of it. To capture the truth of a story you need to let the creators be themselves. For example, this past weekend NASCAR worked with drivers’ children to create gifs for a Kids Driver NASCAR campaign. Little direction was given to each child, as that creativity from a kid’s mind is what tells the whole story of the campaign.

What kind of stories do you want to tell?

Moving forward, I hope to continue to tell organic stories. I believe that as the digital marketing continues to dominate individuals will begin to tune out media at an even faster rate than they already do. With this in mind, I hope to keep stories short, to the point, but incorporate that ‘wow’ factor right away. I think stories need little scripting when it comes to organization, rather I’ll push to capture the ‘truth.’

COMM0014 – BLOG 6: Regret or Forget

What choices have you made that you regret?

Everyone has something in their life they regret. Whether it be a failed relationship, poor career choice or chance they never took back in the summer of 2013. (I am talking about myself in that last one in case you didn’t notice.)

Leading up to University I had it easy. I got 90% or higher on all assignments, had a core group of friends, and got accepted into the school of my choice. Not to brag or anything but everything was going great. However, the real world hit me in the face when I had to pick what my major would be in University.

Being a first-generation student, there were a lot of firsts with this whole University experience. I had no clue that suddenly the system changed and there wasn’t core classes I had to take every year.

                                                     Photo by Author

Naturally, having no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life I chose a generic root, Sociology. Nothing against any Sociologist out there, but partway into my degree I soon questioned if this was all there was to University.

At this point in time, I started exploring my options, about 2 years too late. Within this journey, I found the stream of Communication Studies and fell in love. Now in the Marketing side of things, my regrets hold in that moment of 2013 when I did not further explore what McMaster University had to offer me. Had I found the Communications program sooner, maybe I would have been able to add Multi-Media skills to my framework as well.

Sometimes I believe that I am at a disadvantage without a Multi-Media certificate, but I will overcome this feeling! Regrets are in the past, I now push for the future.

COMM0014 – BLOG 5: The Brand of Me

Have you ever noticed that it is so easy to judge others without evening knowing them, but when you try to label yourself you are speechless? I sure hope I am not the only one that struggles with this.

                                                                   Photo by Author

Let’s try starting with personal characteristics that make me different from others. I could say shy or friendly, but I won’t. Personally, I think of myself as self-motivated, mature, and opened minded. Both on the job or with family/friends, what you see is what you get with me. I am very passionate about what I do and the excitement of reaching success further pushes me. However, I am always looking to put others best interests in front of mine, as long, as it does not disturb my path.

To stand out is an interesting concept to someone who would identify herself as shy. However, over the years I have been able to make a name for myself in the NASCAR community through Twitter. By engaging with teams, race car drivers and tracks, I have had some amazing opportunities to get involved. Now by volunteering with organizations on race weekends, top notch owners know my face.

Photo by Author

My best trait? I am always up for a challenge. Taking on new tasks in the only way you learn, whether it is on the job or just in everyday life. 9/10 times I will be scared to death of stepping out of my comfort zone, but I never show that in my execution of tasks. Testing new waters is the only way to grow as a person, which is never an easy task. Yet, through determination and strength, I push through to become a better person.

COMM0014 – BLOG 4: Red Bull Marketing Magic

     Photo: Red Bull

The B2C, business to customer, relationship that I find most effective on social media comes from Red Bull. This energy drink company is decades old but is no fool to the marketing industry. Since its arrival to the energy drink market, Red Bull‘s television commercials have always grabbed the attention of their target audience. Flash forward to today, Red Bull still manages to take its original brand identity and translate that to social media platforms.

Photo: Red Bull Instagram                             @redbull

Specifically focusing on Instagram, one of the fastest growing audience platforms, Red Bull does an amazing job connecting to its youthful audience. With over 7.5 million followers this brand is clearly giving consumers what they want.

Using all short films, Red Bull is feeding into the reoccurring takeover of video advertising. These eye-catching videos draw in users as they are scrolling through their feed. If this isn’t enough to pull you into Red Bull‘s post, try reading the captions. With little to no words, Red Bull leaves their audience wanting to watch their videos to make sense of the cliffhanger.

Ultimately, it is amazing what Red Bull’s brand is doing. Watch a video or two, do you even see the product shown? Besides the subtle displays of drink cans or logo banners, Red Bull’s whole aesthetic is built with little association to the product. Their power in the extreme sports world allows customers to make associations between these types of videos and their products instantly.

Now hear me out. I am not an energy drink person, but Red Bull catches my eye. That right there is some good marketing friends.

COMM0014 – BLOG 3: A Community of Left Turns and Beer Drinkers

I am a NASCAR fan.

Right away I know most of you associate NASCAR with left turns and American rednecks. I hate to break it to you, but sadly that is an overused stereotype. Sure, you have some NASCAR fans that drink beer and have a southern accent, but there are core values in the sport that many fans hold close to their heart.

Photo Credit: Author

NASCAR has always been a family sport. From drivers to teams and now fans, the organization continues to push the family dynamic. A race is no longer a ‘guys weekend’ but rather a family experience with a large focus on kid’s activities. In 2016 NASCAR announced that all children under the age of 12 would be free to Xfinity and Truck races, a huge cost saving for families.

Staying true to their roots over time is why the NASCAR fan base is so loyal. Despite, many obstacles in their path fans still follow the sport week in and out. Although many fans only attend a race or two a year, staying active on social media is the way to engage with the NASCAR community. By using the race weekend hashtag or simply #NASCAR, you can connect instantly to thousands of fans via Twitter.

Although the NASCAR community seems unique, it is just like any other consumer market. This group of individuals have specific interests, you just need to learn what those are. Personally, I recommend starting on social media. That place can work wonders.


NASCAR. 2016. Retrieved from

NASCAR. 2016. NASCAR to Offer Free Youth Tickets for Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series. Retrieved from