All posts by Lesley Anne Foo

Just another marketing student giving a crack at blogging.

Introducing Dom, the ‘Siri’ of Domino’s

Fast food. Pizzas. Domino’s. Words that all uni students love… As what fast food is about, it is essential for it to be convenient. With that, we know that instead of actually going to the fast food restaurant itself, we can order it online. This service is available for brands like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and so on. Particularly for Domino’s, they offer the service of ordering food online, both on a website and an app. So… I thought that was it. I mean, that’s a lot of convenience as it is on our part and a great effort from Domino’s to provide such services. But no, Domino’s had to make our lives so much easier, or rather, have us be lazier than what we already are.

As some may have said that typing on a keyword may be entirely eradicated in the future, Domino’s wanted to be at the front of the line in technological advancement of their services. With that, on July this year, Domino’s had introduced Dom. Think Siri of the Iphone, but now for the Domino’s app. This feature is designed by tech company Nuance’s Communication and “delivers a human-like, conversational customer service experience that allows users to speak an order and quickly add items to their cart.” 

In the process of ordering a pizza, it is basically the same thing. But now, you don’t have to type anything. Just speak to your phone as if you were ordering pizza at the restaurant itself. The entire process can now be done through voice ordering, with the exception of entering your card details by hand. In order to enjoy this service, you would need to download the app, which is available on both Iphone and Android. If you already downloaded the app previously, you would just have to update the app in order to make use of the voice ordering feature.

In my opinion, I love this idea. I think it truly encompasses the idea of ordering food online. Marketers of Domino’s have definitely recognised that consumers of Domino’s want a low involvement product that provides convenience, speed, and that the brand’s interfaces are user-friendly. It is such that mobile and online ordering accounts for around 40% of Domino’s US sales”.  Also, according to the chain’s CEO Patrick Doyle, “people who order digitally also tend to spend more and return with greater frequency because they like the convenience”

Through the use of the voice ordering, it is so much faster to order your pizza. It might even be more efficient as Dom will further clarify with you what specific topping you wanted. For example, if you wanted capsicum, Dom will ask if you wanted green, red or yellow. Also, it might even avoid any sort of miscommunication or mistakes as you review what your order is.

With that, I think this app is a great example of how a brand is to empower their consumers when they purchase their products. It is such that the consumer can feel as if they have full control of what they are doing. In addition, they can do it with ease. It is important for the process to be simple and easy enough for anyone to use. At the end of the day, it is about convenience and as a brand, you want to satisfy your consumers needs.

To end off, here is a cheeky ad Domino’s made that not only showcases what Dom is all about but also presented it in a very humorous way.

Win a Volkswagen Polo through #Polotag

Volkswagen cars. We’ve all seen them, we’ve all heard of them but not all of us own one.

Just this year, Volkswagen came up with a newer version of Volkswagen Polo. On the outside, it hadn’t changed as much. But on the inside, there was a drastic change. With that, Volkswagen wanted people to test drive the car so as to experience the new interior and the overall car. However, we all know regular test drives are boring and dull. So Volkswagen South Africa came up with a social media game that would amp up boring old test drives.

This campaign revolved around the Volkswagen Polo in which consumers were not only given the opportunity to test drive the car but were actually given a chance to win the car! It was implemented in the 3 major cities of South Africa ; Cape Town, Dunbar and Johannesburg.

What did they have to do to win?

It was simple. It only involved 4 steps. All of which could be found on the website dedicated to this campaign

http://www.polotag.co.za/how

Step 1: Spot it

The car would be driven along a designated route making it relatively easy to spot and find the car. Hints were given through social media on the whereabouts of the car and you could even track the car online on real-time.

Step 2: Tweet it

Once you’ve spotted the car, you would have to quickly tweet #PoloTag to @VolkswagenSA in order to become ‘IT’. If you are lucky, @VolkswagenSA will tweet you back ‘#AlmostIT’ updating you if you were selected. If you were selected, you are just one step closing to winning the car.

Step 3: Drive it

After being selected and finding the car in time, you simply have to drive it. Sound easy? Yes it does. So, of course, there is a catch. Once you start your drive, you will be officially timed. The aim is to drive the car for longest time without having to be spotted by another person. However, if you were spotted, and the person successfully tweeted it to @VolkswagenSA, it means you would have to stop driving. If the person manages to find the car in time, your drive is officially over. But if they do not, you get to continue your drive and are still in the running of winning the car.

Step 4: Win it

Every drive will be timed and the 10 longest drives will be put in a draw to win the car. From there, a winner would be chosen.

This campaign was highly successful as it turned a boring, old test drive into something creative and innovative. It brought out the competitive side of the consumer but still maintained the campaign to be friendly competition. In just 1 month, Volkswagen was able to generate R6.1 million in PR.  Over 27 million people were exposed to the campaign which meant a massive increase in brand and product awareness. The hashtag #PoloTag was trending on twitter. And lastly, Volkswagen experienced a 243% increase in test drives.

I would say this was a great campaign as it was innovative and definitely succeeded in interacting with their consumers  by giving them a purpose.  This is what, as a marketer, is crucial to understand and always bear in mind. It is that, one way to always entice consumers, is to let them experience your product first hand. It is all about consumers creating an experience with your brand, in which can turn into a loyal relationship if it was a great experience. It is no longer about just showcasing your product in an ad and expecting them to be encouraged to buy your product. If the opportunity permits, I would say consumers physically interacting with the product is the way to go.

Recipe for the best social media contest

With the rise of social media, means the increase in social media contests too. To a consumer, social media contests are an incentive, a chance to win something from a brand that they like or are loyal to. For a brand, it means meticulously planning and creating a successful social media contest. In many cases, these contests have great potential of attracting a high reach and frequency of consumers. If it does, it only means so much more benefits for the brand than what there is for the consumer. It is important to incorporate all essential elements to successfully design a social media contest. With that, these are some of the ingredients I think are crucial for marketers to bear in mind.

Social media platform

Before planning anything else, marketers must first decide what media platform they want to use. There are endless options… Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. It is important to consider who the target audience is, what social media platform that group tends to use the most and other factors that might affect the extent to which the contest actually meets the intended audience.

Name of contest

When deciding the name of the contest, you definitely want to be creative, but at the same time be clear on what is the purpose of the contest. As a marketer, it is important to make sure that the name isn’t too long but is instead short and sweet. A name that is humorous will definitely be a bonus in catching the attention of consumers, and maybe even non-consumers. At the same time, even having a contest name incorporating a hashtag is definitely valuable.

Entry/ participation of consumers

After deciding the platform and the name, the next logical step is to figure out how the audience is actually going to participate in this contest. There are many ways in which they can enter the contest. Some of which are commenting on the posts, sharing and liking the content, following a certain social media account and even having them to create original content and having them to upload it on the site. At the same time, it is crucial to bear in mind that by having consumers to do a lot will prevent them to participate. This is because if it involves too much of an effort, that is greater than the benefit, it is considered a turn-off.


Duration of the contest

As for the duration of the contest, it is best not to have the contest run for too long. This is because after a while, the excitement of a contest just dies down. On the other hand, if it’s too short, there is the chance of the audience not being aware of the contest actually existing, or even enough time for them to enter the contest.

Design/ Graphics

Along with the other elements, the design and graphics involved in the contest is equally as important. If the page looks dull and boring, it would not be appealing to the audience and wouldn’t encourage them to participate. However, if it was very visually appealing, consumers can be easily lured into joining the contest.

Prize

It wouldn’t be a contest if there wasn’t a prize. Or at least a prize that is worth winning. Because it is a contest, it is crucial to offer a prize that is appealing and valuable to the audience. The brand could be offering something that is limited edition and isn’t always readily available to consumers. Perhaps something that isn’t directly related to the brand itself, such as the chance to win an Ipad or Iphone. Or even offer a prize that is intangible like meeting the celebrity that represents the brand. Overall, the prize is essentially what draws the audience into entering the contest.


Rules to follow

In order to ensure that the contest goes smoothly, it is important to establish some ground rules. This is just to avoid anyone from cheating. For example, if the contest revolves around racking up the most Facebook likes. A possible rule could be that it is not allowed for the same IP address to like it multiple times.

Promotion of the contest

This promotion of the contest is a crucial step in creating a social media contest. If people don’t know about the contest, no one is going to participate in it. With that, marketers need to promote about the existence of the contest prior to it actually starting. Not only that, on-going promotion of the contest is necessary. Awareness of the contest could be further promoted on the brand’s other social media platforms.

So as you can tell, social media contests involve a lot of different elements and factors. However, through thorough planning of a social media contest, it can bring about great benefits to the brand. It can generate brand awareness, increase sales, increase customer loyalty, increase engagement with the brand and create a positive perception of the brand. The benefits are endless. However, it is also important to recognise it’s downsides. There is the chance of cheating and if the measurement of how the winner is not clear, there could be problems of deciphering a winner. Overall, social media contests have been utilised by many brands. Some of which are Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, RedBull and Sephora.

With that, social media contests are definitely becoming more popular among brands but is still yet something that all brands are to use in their marketing strategy.

GIFs are the way to go

We’ve all seen a GIF, whether it was something you saw on Facebook or had a friend show you one that they thought was the funniest thing on earth.

So what are they?

GIF is actually an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format and are basically images that are compressed into a small video that will loop… forever.

We all know GIFs to be something very informal, mostly used for humour. However, it is also recognised to be an ingenious tool for marketers to use. Instead of just simply posting an Instagram pic or uploading a Facebook post, why not use a GIF? If a picture speaks a thousand words, I reckon a GIF speaks a million or billion.

GIFs can be found on social media like Facebook, Tumblr and Reddit. But the most popular social media platform that makes use of GIFs would definitely be Twitter.

Now, let’s talk about some brands that have absolutely nailed it using GIFs as part of their marketing strategy.

I mean, who could ever resist a giant chocolate chip cookie. And we have to admit, that would probably be the amount of time it will take us to finish the chocolate chip cookie.

This is a personal favourite. I like to think of it as a GIF-ception. Am I right or am I right?

I mean come on, who wouldn’t want a cold beer on a Friday night. No, any day at any time.

Girls, we all know that’s exactly how we react to any sort of clothes sales.

These are just a few brands who have utilised GIFs to promote their brand and products. Through the use of these GIFs, it can generate more brand awareness. This is simply done by people retweeting or sharing the content and even through word-of-mouth as people share it with their friends. GIFs also does what any other sort of advertising would do, it shows off the product and brand. Maybe even in a more efficient and informal way in which consumers may appreciate a lot more than just traditional print or television advertising. Also, GIFs are really easy to consume. It is mainly graphics and it goes for a very short period of time, which means it will take little to no effort to process the GIF. Lastly, GIFs are able to portray the brand’s personality. In most cases, it’s about brands showcasing their creative, witty and humorous side.

With that, GIFs at the moment are not the top of pick by marketers, especially with high-end brands. However, there are definitely benefits and opportunities that GIFs can bring to a brand if used on the correct medium and to the right target audience.

To end off, I’m pretty sure this is how we feel right now, leading up to SWOT Vac.

http://giphy.com/gifs/community-thinking-12bdpEsvl5OEDe

#Howtohashtag

#

I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen this symbol everywhere, and when I mean everywhere, I mean #EVERYWHERE.  This symbol is commonly used (if not overused) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr… the list goes on.

Now what exactly is it?

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 3.45.20 pm

So there it is. Now, I know you’re thinking : “I already knew what it was”. But what I want to know is,

Do you know how to properly use it?

You see, speaking from personal experience, I honestly did not know how to use hashtags. I was misusing, if not abusing, hashtags all over my social media like Instagram and Twitter. And I think its safe to say I wasn’t the only one. Not only did regular people like me not know how to correctly use hashtags, but so did businesses.

One great example was a hashtag blunder by Susan Boyle’s PR team. They were trying to promote her album party in 2012 and thought a hashtag would totally get this topic trending. And they were right… but not for the right reasons. They had a brilliant idea to use the hashtag #susanalbumparty. (do you see what I see?)

Another great example was by our best friend, McDonald’s. They had started the hashtag #McDStories as they wanted to start a trend of consumers sharing their positive experiences with Maccas. However, this too did not go to plan.

Because businesses have made such major mistakes on using hashtags, it got me thinking what are the #do’s and #don’ts of using hashtags. Let’s go.

 Do’s

🙂 Keep it sweet and simple.

🙂 Make it punny if possible (we all love a good pun)

🙂 Make sure it’s right to the point and is meaningful

🙂 Make it original

Don’ts

😦 #Nevermakealonghashtag #Nobodyeverhasthetimetoreadit

😦 #Don’t #Overuse #Too #Many #Hashtags #At #Once

😦 Don’t word it such a way that it could mean something else

When marketers correctly use hashtags, it can lead to something so big that they did not even expect it. It could lead to a worldwide trending topic and maybe a drastic increase in brand awareness. The hashtag can also spark online conversation between fellow consumers.  But at the same time, if marketers were to misuse hashtags, it could bring about backlash and ridicule from customers. Thus, although hashtags seem to be such an easy thing to use, it requires quite an effort to make sure it will serve its purpose. It’s all about designing a hashtag that is short and simple to read but is right to the point.

Lastly, I just wanted to leave you with this funny video by Jimmy Fallon with Justin Timberlake that I think best represents our habit of overusing of hashtags. Enjoy!

#Comment your thoughts of how businesses use hashtags!

Sources:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hashtag

‘Cars that feel’

In most car advertisements, it’s about incorporating a cheesy theme, showcasing the car’s features and making it seem like its the car to have. As much as we love (or hate) watching these ads, Toyota went about showcasing their cars in a much more innovative way.

So what did they do?

Toyota partnered with Soap Creative to create an innovative campaign called “Cars that feel” that revolved around their Prius cars. This campaign was presented this year at Vivd festival in Sydney and was displayed at the south end of the Harbour Bridge.

What was this campaign about?

Toyota modified 3 Prius cars into sentient beings that would respond emotionally to human interaction. Instead of simply just showing the cars, they transformed the cars to be like human by naming them Peter, Vicky and Carly.

  Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 4.17.52 pm Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 4.17.48 pm

Each car had an individual and unique personality that would ask the audience for hugs, tickles, kisses and even a selfie to be taken. In addition, the cars engaged with audience by portraying different emotions on the screen of the car. Different colours represented different emotions such that pink was love, purple was excited and green was happy.

To further humanise the cars, each car even had its own Twitter and Instagram accounts. This involved the audience to jump on to the respective social media accounts to share their pictures, retweet tweets and even get tips on navigation to the festival itself. In addition, the tag #carsthatfeel was integrated throughout both social media accounts to further engage the audience.

IMG_4636      IMG_4641     IMG_4639

 What was the aim behind this campaign?

Toyota wanted to increase the innovative perception of the Prius cars. With that, this campaign encompassed experiential marketing to engage the audience. It was such that it involved the audience to involve as many of the human senses as possible. It was about getting them to interact with the cars in a much different way than you normally would. This is so that the audience would have a memorable interaction and experience that would hopefully generate customer loyalty and a positive perception of the Prius brand. Also, through the use of experiential marketing, it can increase brand awareness and create a positive relationship with current and future customers.

Overall, this was a very successful campaign as it was the winner of IAB Australia’s creative showcase and had a bout 1.8m Prius interactions over the duration of the campaign. There was also an estimated amount of 50,000 people who directly interacted with the cars and 200,000 people who viewed and observed them.

With that, in my opinion, if more brands were to incorporate experiential marketing into their marketing strategies, I would think it would change the entire perception of marketing. Being bombarded with ads is not fun, but having the ability to actually touch and interact with the product brings the experience to a whole new level.

Share your thoughts on experiential marketing and whether you think more brands should start incorporating it into their advertising.

Sources:

http://www.iabaustralia.com.au/creative-awards/creative-showcase/item/1735-soap-creative-wins-creative-showcase-9-1-with-cars-that-feel-toyota-campaign

http://www.soapcreative.com/au/case-studies/cars_that_feel

 

Ralph Lauren joins the world of wearable technology

Wearable technology. What is it? How do I use it? Will I actually use it? Is it the new trend?

Let’s define it quickly, just in case the words “wearable technology” does not explain it all.

According to Wearabledevices.com, wearable technology refers to :

“electronic technologies or computers that are incorporated into items of clothing and accessories which can comfortably be worn on the body.”

Right now in the market, there are already a number of wearable technologies that have made a significant presence. To name a few, there are:

Fitbit Flex
Fitbit Flex
Pebble Steel
Jawbone Up24
Jawbone Up2

 

 

 

 

 

So I’ve noticed that most of the wearable technologies out in the market are small gadgets, mostly watches or wristbands. However, very recently, at about the end of August, Ralph Lauren with a collaboration with OM, introduced their wearable technology – Smart Shirts.

ralph-lauren-polo-tech-shirt-1-537x402

 

 

Looks snazzy yeah? (but sadly no, the shirt doesn’t come with the hunky models).

 

The Smart Shirt is made with silver sensors that allow it to track data through a small device that is plugged in the shirt and it is sent to an app via bluetooth.

polo-ralph-lauren-wearable-app-100410057-large.idge

RalphLaurenSmartGiron250

Ralph Lauren debuted the Smart Shirt at this year’s U.S. Open with a number of ball boys sporting the shirt and also even professional tennis player Marcus Giron wearing the shirt during his practice sessions.

 

 

 

So what’s the big hoo-haa all about?

Well, wearable technology is just wearable technology. But now with the Ralph Lauren’s Smart Shirt, it’s LUXURIOUS wearable technology. The brand name and its reputation is adding a whole new dimension to this product.

As David Lauren himself have said, ““Ralph Lauren continues to be at the cutting edge of fashion and culture”. In addition, the Smart Shirt is marketed for 3 things; fashion, healthy and active lifestyle and a high-end product. It is such that the video that Ralph Lauren posted on their YouTube page encompasses  these 3 points, describing it as the “next evolution of  wearable technology”.

With that, it’s no longer just a sports shirt, it’s a Ralph Lauren Smart Shirt.

 

References:

http://www.plusplasticelectronics.com/SmartFabricsTextiles/ralph-lauren-wearable-technology-shirts-debut-at-us-open-119246.aspx

http://www.cio.com/article/2489094/wearable-technology/fashionable-wearables-ralph-lauren-unveils-smart-shirt-at-u-s-open.html