Showing posts with label business marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business marketing. Show all posts

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mining Marketing Information from Web Conversations

Marketing in the era of the World Wide Web is still a growing field. Many great ideas came, worked for a while, declined in value, and disappeared. New technologies are always developing that provide additional opportunity and value in creating stronger methods of developing and marketing new products through understanding web conversation.

Web conversation is something we see everyday but don't really notice. It is everything people put on the web when they discuss products, needs, and other opinions about ideas and concepts. It is a type of user generated content that stays on the web and is good for analysis. A study by Tirunillai and Tellis (2014) show that user generated content is ripe for market analysis.

Consider the idea that you desire to understand what people are thinking about a particular product and its features. Popular products and features often develop forums that are used by interested members to analyze and discuss their ideas and opinions as they relate to that product. By reviewing the material it is possible to gain greater insight and value.

The problem is that it is time consuming to try and follow online customer chatter. Certainly it is better than nothing but it isn't the whole solution. By using analytical tools it is possible gather a wider array of information and use that information to understand products and services better. Scanning the web for a better sample of customer preferences is extremely helpful in decision making.

The process works a little like this.Using proper software and algorithms it is possible to calculate and analyze the types of works being used to describe products. If done over a longer period of time it is also possible to create trends that can be used in determining new product cycles, features, and overall brand exposure. The process is beneficial for those seeking to understand consumer sentiment.

New technology brings new opportunities for companies to develop higher levels of analysis. Brand image is the total collective perception of the product/service in public. In this case, consumer generate content acts as a type of speech while the analytical software seeks to break apart and understand the overall conversational trend. It is like listening to thousands of people at once to gain insight for future product and marketing development.

Tirunillai, S. & Tellis, G. (2014). Mining marketing meaning from online chatter: strategic brand analysis of big data using latent dirichlet allocation. Journal of Marketing Research, 51 (4).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Improving Online Brands with Contextual Advertisement

All businesses must advertise to survive and those that do it effectively are likely to draw more business. Building a brand image and getting the biggest bang for your buck can be difficult in the online world where millions of companies are competing for similar markets. However, by engaging in contextual advertising it is possible to raise brand image and purchase rates through pre-selecting candidates that are already interested in your product or service (Chung, et. al. 2014). 

Contextual advertising uses content matched with an advertising display such as a banner ad, video, music, etc… to attract visitors. It is most commonly offered through companies like Google AdSense, Amazon, and others that provide contextual advertising on web pages. Those who are reading a page exposed to similar advertisements that are more likely to draw their interest.

The authors found that there are two factors in successful contextual advertising. The contextual prime and stimulus as well as the complexity of the advertisement have an impact on the ad’s success. In other words, the placement of the advertisement in a context of language and using appropriate display technology for the audience can improve consumer interest.  

Think of contextual prime and stimulus as something that prepares you to be aware of something later. For example, the contextual information primes the advertisements contain on the page. As a visitor reads about outdoor fishing (prime) and then offered advertising displays on fishing trips or fishing equipment they are more receptive to such information. They have been primed and selected based upon their interest. 

The complexity of the advertisement should also be considered. Complexity can be seen as the amount of pictures, video, sounds, etc… that attracts attention to an advertisement. Sometimes more is not necessarily better. There is a U type relationship where simplicity or complexity should be based on the target audience. Try not to stick too much into one advertisement. 

Creating brand image online is not easy. Some programs work well and others flop in our faces. Research helps us weed through all of the claims these advertisers make. Contextual ads appear to help online branding and overall sales. Advertisements should be placed well within the contextual information and have an appropriate use of technology that is not too high or too little for the target population. 

Chung, K., et. al. (2014). Are contextual advertisements effective? International Journal of Advertising, 33 (2).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Bloggers Foster Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is a method of transferring knowledge about products and services through social networks. Companies are moving toward using social media marketing methods to encourage their messages to spread into difficult to reach groups. A study of bloggers by Kozinets, et. al. (2010) shows how social media communication works within groups cultural norms. The character of the blogger takes on a new form of endorsement or criticism of products. 

In 2008, companies spend $1.54 billion on WOMM initiatives and the amount is expected to increase to $3 billion in 2013 (PQ Media, 2009). The market has a positive impression of independent bloggers and social media users who promote or reject products based upon their unique perspectives. 

The types of blogs vary depending on their personality. Some blogs focus on one concept in a niche market while others focus on multiple concepts. The different being the topics of interest to bloggers and what they find interesting enough to write about.  The process of writing on a blog has become known as “Identity Projects”.

Bloggers fit within a social network based upon their interests and vantage points. People interested in similar ideas, concepts, and products read blogs in order to understand and obtain additional information. 

The collection of likeminded individuals in a social network helps companies sell products and ideas. The same process that exists in face-to-face communication is similar in the online world. Bloggers become opinion generators that foster or squash products in their social network. 

Word of Mouth (WOMM) in online media is a secondary but significant source of developing opinions about products and services that can have an influence on public opinion and purchasing behavior. The researchers found in their study of 80 bloggers that they are not only social networks that use communal vs. commercial norms but they also become opinion generators based on trust, friendship, and alliances.  Bloggers as opinion generations can 1.) communicate the message; 2) stake reputation on the marketing message; and 3) convert the message into language, substance and tone that their readers understand.

Kozinets, R. et. al. (2010). Networked narratives: understanding word-of-mouth marketing in online communities. Journal of marketing, 74 (2). 

PQ Media (2009). Exclusive PQ Media Research: Despite Worst Recession in Decades, Brands Increased Spending on Word-of-Mouth Marketing 14.2% to $1.54 Billion in 2008 retrieved from

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Effectiveness of Push vs. Pull in Online Marketing

Marketing strategy is arguably one of the major components of running a successful business. Without customers you have no sales, revenue or reason to exist. Online marketing is still in its infancy and will continue to grow and develop for the foreseeable future. A study by Spilker-Attig & Bettel (2010) analyzed the effectiveness of push and pull strategies at an online retailer by using 2.7 million orders across different price points. 

People regularly confuse the subtle but important difference between marketing and sales. Marketing is the long-term oriented strategy and sales are short-term customer-specific transactions (Homburg, et. al., 2007).  Marketing focuses on a larger demographic and casts a wide net while sales is focused more on specific activities that pin-point customers. 

All sales are based on interactivity between the company and its customers. Connectivity is seen as an important variable in online advertisement (Roehm & Haugtvedt, 1999).  The way in which the customer is attracted to a particular product/service and how they find that offering is the connective reaction between customer and company. 

Advertisements can generally take a central or peripheral route. The central route is used when customers are highly motivated and are willing to cognitively process the ad which changes attitude toward the product (Tam & Ho, 2005). The peripheral route is taken when low motivation is present and can temporarily change the attitude. 

Advertisements seek a central or peripheral route based upon the advertising channel used. For example, push strategies are more akin to centralized routes and make use of pop up displays, emails, and other company initiated methods. Pull strategies focus on search engine ranking, sponsored stories, and other customer initiated contacts. Think of putting it in your customers face or drawing your customers’ interest. 

The authors found that there was a significant differences of effectiveness between push and pull strategies. Clicks on price comparison websites, affiliate loyalty sites, and search engines produced higher purchase responses. Both cheap and expensive products responded well to search-engine market position. Higher cost products responded to affiliate loyalty programs. 

The study helps highlight how a number of push channels do not get the response rate companies desire. The internet is an amebic system that holds hundreds of millions of users it is generally better to develop organic methods of pulling customer interest. Focusing in areas where your target market is likely to be found, catering to your customer demographics, and drawing interest through key concepts and words seems to have the highest return rates.  

Pilker-Attig, A. & Brettel, M. (2010). Effectiveness of online advertising channels: a price-level-dependent analysis. Journal of Marketing Management, 26 (3/4). 

Roehm, H., & Haugtvedt, C. (Eds.). (1999). Understanding interactivity of cyberspace advertising. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Tam, K.Y., ôc Ho, S.Y (2005). Web personalization as a persuasion strategy: An elaboration likelihood model perspective. Information Systems Research, 16(3), 271-291.