Building Trust

According to recent statistics, there are now more smartphones on the planet than people. With this enormous growth of mobile devices, privacy concerns have also been on the rise. Even teenagers, the group known for their mobile usage, is becoming concerned about their privacy. The Pew Research Center revealed a study that reported incredibly interesting statistics. 


Photo Credit: Inviqa Blog


  • 58% of U.S. teens aged 12 to 17 have downloaded apps to their cell phone or tablet computer
  • 51% have avoided certain apps due to privacy concerns
  • 26% have actually uninstalled an app because they found it was collecting personal information that they didn’t wish to share.
  • 46% have turned off location tracking features on their cell phone or in an app because they were worried about the privacy of their information. 


With this increase of privacy concerns, marketers need to find a way to ensure that their tactics do not alert further suspicions. With inventions like Apple’s Passbook and Samsung’s Wallet that allow users to store things such as event tickets, boarding passes, membership cards, and coupons in one central location, this opens the door to a wide variety of marketing opportunities. For example, tactics such as location-based marketing have increasingly been on the rise. 

While many may welcome the opportunity to receive relevant notifications and promotions from marketers, others can find it intrusive. That said, privacy is a key way to differentiate one’s business. Providing privacy policies that are clear and straightforward is a major starting point. By building trust with consumers, marketers will have more success in keeping their apps downloaded and their relationships evolving.


Google vs. Bing

When it comes to Internet marketing, there are a variety of options available. One major consideration is the level of investment in search engine marketing (SEM). This type of marketing increases the visibility of a company’s website in search engine results pages.  

The first major decision may be which search engine to invest in. Two major players, Google and Bing, have long battled it out to be the number one search engine in both consumer and marketers’ minds. In fact, Bing challenged Google to a challenge called “Bing it On” to prove that they are the preferred search engine. 


Google has many beneficial features such as its Knowledge Graph, whereas the search engine attempts to determine exactly what it is that a user is searching for. It does this by pulling information from knowledge databases such as Freebase, Wikipedia and Google Maps and looks at topics as a whole rather than simple keywords. Google also offers businesses AdWords. These are pay-per-click display ads or sponsored links that companies can purchase in order to enhance their website traffic. 

Bing also has many advantages. This search engine taps into the interconnected world that we live in. It incorporates social media searches and integrates information from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Quora and LinkedIn. Information is categorized into various groups such as “What Your Friends May Know,” “What Bing Knows,” and “What the Web Knows.” This gives users an opportunity to get recommendations from not only their friends and sources on social media sites, but also combine those recommendations with information from the web. 

In terms of search engine preference, which one do you favor? 

“The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer…!”

In the words of Buddy the Elf from my favorite Christmas movie, Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” This holiday season, one company is doing just that with the help of some emerging media. The WestJet airline decided that it would play Santa this year and grant Christmas wishes for 250 unsuspecting passengers at two Canadian airports. The airline set up 19 hidden cameras at the Toronto airport. When passengers checked in, they were greeted by a huge gift box that asked travelers to scan their boarding pass on the screen. Santa would then pop up on screen, address them by name, and ask the travelers what they each wanted for Christmas. The responses ranged from Thomas the Tank Engine toys to a big screen TV. These responses were captured on the hidden cameras, and then WestJet volunteers took it upon themselves to make sure all of these wishes were granted! The volunteers ran out and purchased all of these gifts, wrapped them, and had them shipped to the travelers’ destinations. Check out the video and watch the surprised and ecstatic reactions when these presents arrived at the baggage claim!

This incredible gesture was also part of a new promotional video for the airline and is part of their community investment program. The hope is that the video will go viral. The video can be found on WestJet’s YouTube page, and the company is doing an incredible job of keeping the buzz going on social media. On WestJet’s promoted Twitter page, they personally thank fans individually who have shared and commented on the video. If the video receives at least 200,000 views, WestJet says it will donate flights. The video has only been on the site for two days and already has 6,517,132 views. Talk about a Christmas miracle! For more information, check out this post on Mashable

Word-of-Mouth Marketing 2.0

The use of social media has become pretty common among companies and marketers alike. In fact, 87% of content marketers use social media platforms as part of their marketing tactics. Consider these statistics: 

  • 91% use LinkedIn
  • 85% use Twitter
  • 81% use Facebook
  • 14% use Foursquare, Tumblr and Vine

If used correctly, social media can have a plethora of advantages. Social media sites can help facilitate the spread of content by allowing customers to share information with other potential customers. Thus, it takes “word-of-mouth” marketing to a whole new level. 


Source: Mashable

All sorts of companies are using these sites to their advantage. Brands ranging from grocery stores to board-games to news stations have their own dedicated and interactive pages. Recently, Coca-Cola was named the number one brand on Facebook with over 1 million fans talking-about and engaging with the brand. Currently, Coca-Cola is using their Facebook page as a “collection of stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today.” Some of the brand’s most recent posts include a tribute to Nelson Mandela with the hashtag #rememberingmandela, and a link to the Coca-Cola sponsored site, Coca-Cola is actively getting its fans involved with the brand, while making sure its content is timely with current events and also aligned with its target market’s interests. This gives the company’s fans more reasons to revisit and interact with their page. 

There are a variety of other beneficial tips for advertising on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to hear how you market your brand (whether personal or professional) via social media!

Look to Your Fans

Creating a marketing campaign that cuts through the clutter can be a daunting task. These days, it is more important than ever for marketers to come up with creative and innovative ways to get their messages across. When searching for clues as to how best to reach their target audience, often times marketers should look no further than to the fans of the brands themselves.

There are a variety of ways that marketers can tap into this pool of ideas. Marketers may first want to search for “unofficial” blog pages for their company. Most big brand names have these. Check out these unofficial blogs for the Royal Caribbean and Disney. These blogs were created by fans who turned into brand advocators. By looking to what the fans have to say about the brand, marketers can gather valuable feedback and market research that could be incorporated into their campaign.

Crowdsourcing is another tool available in which marketers are able to obtain information or input for a particular project by enlisting in the services of (usually at little to no cost) the public. You may remember Mt. Dew’s iconic “DEWmocracy” campaign a few years back, which allowed fans to choose the next Mountain Dew flavor. This was how Voltage was introduced. In 2009, Mt. Dew then took this a step further with with DEWmocracy 2 campaign. Fans had to record and then upload a 12 second “dew inspired” video in order to be one of 50 people chosen to participate in this project. Those lucky winners were shipped new flavors to test out, and were invited to choose their favorite one. 

What do you think? Is this a valuable way for marketers to build effective campaigns?

Photo Credit: BevReview

Photo Credit: BevReview

Fashion Made Easy

For all of the avid shoppers out there, have you ever watched a movie or a TV show and thought to yourself…”I love that outfit! Where can I find that?” or maybe you’ve simply watched a commercial for one of your favorite retailers, but when you go to look for that perfect home décor piece in the store you never have much success finding it. With new forms of emerging media, retailers especially are becoming increasingly savvy to solve these very problems. 


Source: RetailWire

Introducing the “shoppable film.” Thanks to an integrated part of YouTube functionality, consumers are now able to click on an item, whether it be furniture, apparel, cosmetics, etc. straight in the video itself. Then, an embedded hot link takes the consumers to a product page, or puts the item in a browsing basket for them to look at later. 

Brands such as Gucci, Target, and Juicy Couture have already begun using these features. Consumers are enticed with these short films, which can range from a romantic comedy to a mystical dream world. However while watching, consumers have the option to pause the video and either save the item from a specific scene, or be directly linked to where they can purchase the products if they please.

This trend doesn’t just apply to women, either. Check out this shoppable video introduced by ASOS. This video was the brand’s attempt to reach its male audience after finding that they take their fashion trends from street culture and sports rather than fashion magazines. This tactic had immense success for the company as 14% of visitors purchased within seven minutes of watching the video

What do you think, are these shoppable short films the future of social commerce?

The Perfect Ad

According to Forbes, one of the top online marketing trends that will dominate 2014 is that ad retargeting will grow in effectiveness. Many companies are already utilizing this trend, but it is becoming even more popular as many are beginning to see its value. Have you ever done some shopping on Maybe you were searching for the perfect pair of shoes and even went so far as to put the item into your cart. However, maybe you got distracted before you finished your purchase. Later, you might have noticed some ads popping up on various sites such as YouTube, Facebook, or reminding you about those shoes at Zappos that you have yet to purchase. This is ad retargeting. Retailers such as, B&H Photo,, and also use this tactic of following surfers to other sites to keep their brand top of mind. 

This is a marketing strategy that works by utilizing browser cookies to track the websites that users visit. Once they leave a certain site, the products or services they viewed will be shown to them again in advertisements across different websites. Ad retargeting works to increase the overall conversion rate of web traffic by reminding consumers of the product or service that they viewed. 

For further explanation of ad retargeting and how it can assist in growing sales, check out this video by AdRoll, a leader in ad retargeting.