Social Marketing Risks and Challenges it Presents Brands

When a brand or company decides to move forward and implement a social marketing campaign there are inherent risks that need to be taken into consideration.  When a brand goes social it means more than just extending the brand awareness and reach, it means the company is giving consumers more opportunity to impact the perception of that particular brand or company.  This alone is a risk companies need to measure prior to even getting involved in social marketing, do they want to create an interactive atmosphere that broadcasts potential negative feedback and views to consumers?  Aside from just the external factors that create risk for companies looking to go social there are a number of internal contingencies that need to be addressed as well.

One company that has recently had some struggles with the nature in which they launched social media marketing is Motrin.  Motrin decided to implement YouTube Video campaigns to highlight International Baby Wearing Week.  One of the risks a company needs to address before taking charge and launching social media campaigns does not fully know how the public will respond.  In the case of Motrin the company took a risk and launched the videos without fully having a grasp of the knowledge of actual consumer interests, leading to little connection between campaign and consumer.  This created a situation where Motrin did not understand its audience and underestimated the reach social media has in terms of pure number of people it impacts.  The result of the campaign was major discontent amongst Moms who say the ads as using children as fashion statements.

The launching of social media marketing campaigns as one can see present a number of risks and challenges prior to the launch of the campaign, however this is not where the risks and challenges stop.  As a result of the YouTube video Motrin launched a number of angry Moms and consumers posted negative comments and began their own social media campaign against the advertisement.  One of the inherent risks of going social is just that your open to the public and you can create a target on your back if you misstep.  Motrin also made a few more follow up mistakes by not addressing the negative feedback and waiting days to pull the advertisement from running.   Risk can be limited if companies and brands dedicate more time and resources prior to diving into the social marketing trend.

 Challenges will always present themselves regardless of the marketing endeavor however companies and brands can forecast these with better planning and devise different out routes when these issues arise.  In the case of Motrin the company was taking a risk playing of a popular week for Moms and was trying to connect with that segment of their market.  Unfortunately Motrin did not realize the magnitude of the impact the commercial would have in a negative way.  Once something goes social you cannot go back and reverse it time, someone somewhere will see which is both an advantage of going social but in this case a disadvantage when mistakes have been made.  Social marketing costs money and Motrin wasted a lot of it by not coordinating the launch in a way that had trial runs prior to going live.  Motrin took a risk without fully be cognizant of the reaction its target market would have.  In a way it seemed the consumers were more social media savvy than Motrin as the company was not fully aware of the reach and how to deal with the negative response as shown in its lack of response to the negative feedback and the slow reaction time to pulling the commercial.    

You be the Judge is this YouTube Social Media Advertisement release show poor judgment by Motrin?

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmykFKjNpdY&feature=player_detailpage

Here are two links to great articles regarding social media failures:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/feeds/nine-worst-social-media-fails-of-2009-thus-far/1204 

http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/05/02/a-chonology-of-brands-that-got-punkd-by-social-media/ 

Resource:

Parr, B. (2009, March 8). 5 examples of social media blunders and what to learn from them . Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2009/03/08/social-media-blunders/  

 

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Qwoosh Driving Business!!

Qwoosh is a mobile application made available by a company named Fanggle.  Fanggle was founded on the vision of being able to supply vertical tools to help companies conduct better business. Within the vertical platform a number of applications are made available to businesses such as QWallet, interactive media and social media applications.  Essentially Qwoosh is a coupon application that takes advantage of mobile phones and social media.  No more are the days of searching through flier after flier for coupons and having to hold on to all of them.  Now the coupons come to you via your smart phones, these can still be printed incase consumers want that option.

Screen Shot

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Qwoosh uses the GPS that comes standard in most if not all phones and immediately sends the user of the phone a list of coupons that correlate to the area which you are in.  Qwoosh supplies consumers with the best couponing deals closest to them. Qwoosh calls this system location based couponing and it is something that takes into account the convenience desire of consumers and the ability for businesses to attract consumers’ right outside the doors.  One of the better features about Qwoosh is that the user only gets the coupon updates when you request them and the user can also add in preferences in order to get the specific coupons desired.

How it works for Businesses:

Businesses have complete control over the entire couponing process, everything from choosing the location to putting the details in about the offer. 

 First the business must choose a location:      

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Next the business must build the coupon offer:

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What success has the application enjoyed?

The measurable success for Qwoosh is still up in the air as the company is still new to the industry however business signs show promise.  Qwoosh is continuing to evolve and become more applicable to different froms of media outlets and technology.  The fact the Fanggle is continuing to invest time and money into the product stand to say that it is returning profit to the company.  Aside from internal success Fanggle partners as well as users of Qwoosh have seen success in terms of immediate profit and in some cases reaching fundraising goals.  Qwoosh has also expanded in terms of what services and analytics it can provide a business.  As a result a product that is in demand and continuing to improve it’s offerings to consumers is none the less a product that is seeing success in different ways. 

How was success measured?

Qwoosh has a built in analytic system that all users of the product get rights to use. From screen shots that measure statistics and display them graphically (See picture below) to data reports.  The success is measure in the amount of sales these coupons bring to the businesses using the application.  Aside from getting brand awareness which is something all marketing campaigns look for Qwoosh also provides that opportunity to manage the coupons on the fly as well as look at which coupon campaigns returned more profit etc.  This analytic system can measure conversion rates which is very useful both for the businesses using Qwoosh and Fanggle.   

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Have you ever used Qwoosh?If so leave me a comment as I am interested to learn more about the product reviews directly from its target market base.

Resources

http://fanggle.com/platform/qwallet/qwoosh/

Social Media in the Sports Industry

Social Media & the Sports Industry-Twitter & Facebook

Social Media stand to impact nearly every industry in some state or fashion whether it ends up driving more business or just more attention to a product or service, the fact remains that social media is more and more being a mainstay in the sports industry.  Nearly every facet of the sports industry currently implements some sort of social media tool or service.  Athletes take to the twitter airways just as much as anyone and teams are using social media to drive ticket sales and merchandise sales.  Social media has provided outlets for expression and revenue growth for literally everyone from the fan/consumer to the athletes and owners.  One part of the Social Media implementation into the sports industry that is clear is that clubs and teams can take a number of different approaches to how they actually use these tools.

Social media has created an environment within the sports industry that allows for such business practices such as marketing, sales, event broadcasting, and branding to go to new heights.  Social media for an easier way to think about its implementation into the sports industry can be viewed in three different parts, the owners, the players, and the fans.  The owners in this scenario are either professional sports team owners and or the owners of sports brands.  These individuals use different social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to reach out and connect with the people buying tickets and merchandise from them.  Sometimes owners reach out in the event of controversy or two make a big announcement about a team or player.  Sometimes owners are looking to fans and consumers for advice or feedback on certain events and games.

One major phenomenon currently trending through the likes of Facebook and Twitter is the way athletes are getting involved.  Self branding is a major tool being used by athletes as a way to interact with fans and grow the potential market base for them.  Players are also using these social media outlets to voice opinions as well as break news to people.  Fans and consumers are using social media tools for a number of different reasons.  Some search social media sites for news and updates while others look for deals and specials offered on these sites.  Consumers in the sports industry can use certain deals on brands and teams Facebook pages in order to redeem coupons etc. for merchandise and sometimes tickets.

Social Media has also created a platform for teams to launch marketing and advertising campaigns with a distinct advantage of getting direct feedback.  With seemingly immediate responses from consumers teams can gauge success and catch failed marketing campaigns before too much damage is done.  Every sport and every sport company within the sports industry is looking into how it can tap into the social media business.  Social media reaches global which is the goal for most professional sports franchises and brands is to go international in order to gain the most brand recognition and market share.       

Examples of how Social Media is being used in the Sports Industry:

Building Event Awareness through Facebook:

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“For its midseason showcase, the Winter Classic, the league in January partnered with NBC to conduct a Watch-and-Win promotion on Facebook, blending social media with the traditional on-air broadcast. Fans were asked to register at the league’s Facebook page. During the game, names of selected winners would appear on the TV screen. Those fans would then receive phone calls from NHL staffers with questions related to the Winter Classic game. Prizes including a Honda CR-Z and a trip to the NHL All-Star Game were awarded for correct answers.” (Fisher, 2011)

Consumer Feedback through Twitter:    

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Construction of the master MLB schedule is a complex affair that involves months of work and endless compromise to balance many competing interests. But the Boston Red Sox this spring, during the playoff run of the neighboring Bruins, went to Twitter and Facebook to conduct real-time crowd sourcing about a game time change under consideration for June 4. The club quickly received more than 4,300 Facebook likes and 650 Twitter responses from fans overwhelmingly voting in favor of moving the game against Oakland from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. The shift enabled fans to watch the Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final that night.”(Fisher, 2011)

Creating a Connection between Athlete and Fan with Twitter & Facebook:

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“The NBA is well-known for its strong social media position within the sports industry, with a combined Facebook and Twitter following of more than 23 million at the league level. The NBA conducts daily social media strategy sessions and is as aggressive as anybody in the space. But what truly fuels the league’s presence in these forums are the players. No other property has as many of its highest-profile superstars prolifically and skillfully tweeting and posting on Facebook as the NBA.” (Fisher, 2011)

Building a Brand and Following on Facebook:

GETTY IMAGES

“Like many other sports entities, the UFC employs help from social media consultants, and the UFC itself works with Phoenix-based agency Digital Royalty. Specific social media-fueled initiatives for the mixed martial arts property include streaming live undercard matches on Facebook, and rewarding fighters a total of $240,000 in cash for creatively tweeting and building larger followings.”(Fisher, 2011)

Example and Photo Resources:

Fisher, E. (2011, August 1). 20 great uses of social media in sports. Retrieved from http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/08/01/In-Depth/Social-media.aspx

Social Media Who? What? Where? When? How Much?……..and why does my company not want to use them?!?!?!?

Social Media Who? What? Where? When? How Much?……..and why does my company not want to use them?!?!?!?

Social Media tools are a relatively new way companies are relying on in order to reach out to consumers as well as obtain vital data for marketing, sales, and development analysis.  The company which I use to work for was adamantly against the use of social media and claimed it costs too much money and that no company worth its shirt is going to use it.  I have since moved onto a new company which is a little more receptive to the social media concept.  One factor I noticed was that using the big names such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace drove away my employers because they did not associate those tools with business practices.  As a result I compiled a list of well used but maybe not well known social media tools that could convince the not so ready employers to start considering social media tools.  The links at the bottom of the blog are a great way to show any employer real life examples of social media tools working for big companies. 

Does your company think no big name companies use social media tools? Show your employer the Table 1 Chart and let them be the judge:

Table 1

SM Tool Current Clients
Radian6 Pepsi, Southwest Airlines, Red Cross, and H&R Block
Lithium Coca Cola, Motorolas, Stubhub, and Best Buy
Alterian SM2 Pursuit, Rosetta, and YouCast
Crimson Hexagon AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and Microsoft
Spiral16 Toyota, Lee, Cadbury
dna13 Wachovia and Miami Heat
buzz capture TNT, BMW, Nissan

This table not only shows that companies within the same industry can use different SM Tools to gather similar types of information but that a number of these companies are major brands.  For example Toyota, BMW, and Nissan are all listed however Toyota uses Spiral16 rather than buzz capture.  Likewise the same can be said for Pepsi and Coca Cola with Pepsi using Radian6 and Coca Cola using Lithium.

In order to have my employers better understand the different uses for the technology these social media tools allow for; the following table illustrates the technology and the uses.

Table 2

SM Tool Technology Behind SM
Radian6 Offers an engagement console that allows you to coordinate responses

internally to external activity

Lithium Lithium monitors search specific mentions and then inputs the data into graphs
Alterian SM2 Monitors daily volume, demographics, location, tone, and emotion of

conversations surrounding a brand.

Crimson Hexagon Taps into billions of conversations for better understanding of where

a company can improve. 

Spiral16 Uses 3D displays and a standard dashboard to min large amount of data
dna13 Uses MediaVantage to monitor all media coverage and present it in

 an easy-to-read format

buzz capture Uses Buzzcapture to track companies buzz in their markets

This table breaks down the inner workings of each individual SM Tool.  As you will notice some SM Tools have the same practicality as one another.  For example Lithium and Alterian SM2 both monitor conversations pertaining to a business or product.  Another example would be how dna13 and buzz capture look to document media coverage surrounding a product or business.

As previously noted my employers where very cost wary of going into a social media specific marketing and branding plan.  Below are some potential costs that a company will incur in order to use certain social media tools.

Table 3

SM Tool Cost
Radian6 $600/month
Lithium Base plan of $249/month for five users and five searches
Alterian SM2 Ranges from $500/month to $15,000/month depending on the desired volume of results
Crimson Hexagon Based on number of searches
Spiral16 $500 for five queries
dna13 $560/month with a $500 initial set-up fee
buzz capture Between $13,000 to $91,000

This table allows everyone to view the different pricing structures each SM Tool has, some are a lot more affordable than others.  SM Tools like Lithium and Crimson Hexagon charge by the number of searches.  Other SM Tools like dna13 and Radian6 have relatively low monthly fees.  Alterian SM2 and buzz capture can grow up to the tens of thousands depending on the client need.  Depending on the company some may choose one SM Tool over another or even combine two in order to save money.

Examples of the previously List Social Media Tools being used in Real Life

Interesting Case Studies

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