Marketing vs. Branding

Outbound marketing is not what it was years ago. In todays world, a large amount of people rely heavily on technology and marketing that comes through technology. Human/personal contact similar to outbound marketing isn’t as useful to those people who prefer technology marketing. So many people rely on inbound marketing because it is the direction most marketing tactics are going in. Businesses can create Facebook pages, Twitter pages, websites, blogs, and can be contacted through any of the various social media outlets. Finding information out about a brand is now easier than ever. We don’t have the need to have outbound marketing. I personally think however it should remain a marketing tactic because there are people who prefer this method. This is a great article that explains Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing Inbound vs. Outbound Article. I personally like the pictures 😉

I follow my favorite brands on Facebook and Instagram. I like to see how my favorite products (mostly clothing from brand names I like) look on people, so Instagram and Facebook are perfect tools for doing this. I’ll check out how a certain person wears a clothing piece and draw inspiration from it. I am an online savvy person, so I follow many brands, companies, and businesses online. I actually inspire to do online marketing so I like following brands and companies to see how they do their online marketing. Following brands is a good way to stay connected and see what is new, what is going on, and what the brand is following.

I don’t really know if I consider myself loyal to any specific brands. I really like Apple products. I have nothing but fantastic things to say about my Mac, my Iphone, and my Apple TV. I want to continue buying their products – but I am by no means an “Apple Person” as some die-hard fans are. Another brand I would maybe consider myself potentially loyal to is Forever 21. I have shopped at forever for years now and have always been satisfied with their products, prices, and amount to chose from. I guess I would be loyal to Forever21 because I always tell myself not to buy a clothing item without checking to see if Forever21 has any cheaper alternatives. So to answer the question straight forward – no I don’t fully consider myself loyal to any brands. I have brands that I love and support, but are not solely loyal to them. Maybe one day I will find my perfect brand, whatever it may be.

From working in a restaurant I have witnessed people be very loyal to either Coke or Pepsi products. Where I work we carry Pepsi, so we can see all of the loyal Coke drinkers. People actually get so pissed off that we don’t care Coke products. They refuse to drink anything else and will only have water. I personally don’t taste a huge difference between Coke and Pepsi and would never not drink one or the other because of my loyalty to the brand. But trust me – there are loyal Coke and Pepsi people out there. Kind of the people we despise at work (JK). This article shows exactly what I am talking about Coke vs. Pepsi.

 

Why people follow brands graph:

whyfollowbrands

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Don’t Press Send

Social media has value to employers because social media is how one presents themselves to others virtually. I personally do believe employers have the right to scope out potential candidates through social media. Some jobs revolve around online presence, so ensuring your employers have a good online presence can be important. I don’t believe a person should be determined if they get the job or not based upon their social media though, because social media doesn’t describe a person. My boyfriend is a perfect example of what I mean. His social media outlets look horrible because he never uses them. He hasn’t logged on to Facebook in a year, so employers might think he is lacking skills, when really he just does not care about social media. I think looking at employers social media accounts all depends on what the job is and if it relates to having social media accounts.  This article explains how social media can both hurt and help your job process How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You in Your Job Search I don’t think it is professional for employers to be posted negative, bad, or inappropriate content on social media accounts. I believe employers then have the right to talk to the person, but don’t have the right to take down their account.

Too many people are using social media as a factor to determine a persons value. As I mentioned, some people simply do not keep up with or care about their social media. For this reason I believe determining a persons value to a job or a college based upon social media is wrong. Colleges need to grant admission based upon the students academic achievements, not on their social media. Colleges twenty years ago were not scoping out their potential candidates Facebook accounts, so why should they now? It has no educational value.

I am currently in the process of cleaning up my social media history actually. I was one of those people who didn’t use social media right when I first started, so I would say stupid and immature things and now looking back I regret it. I am cleaning up my history because I want to work in a social media marketing industry, so it is important for me to delete stupid posts and start fresh. All of my stupid 2am drunk tweets from my freshman year need to go…  This article describes some good tips for cleaning up your social media Social Media Spring Cleaning.

Speaking of cleaning up social media, I have been embarrassed by my social media. When I was recently reading through all my old tweets from three years ago, I was like “omg I can’t believe I said this”. Now I would never “drunk tweet” or post stupid and immature postings. I think a lot of it has to do with growing up. Now that I am an adult and almost graduated, I want to have a mature online prescense. I don’t want to be tweeting about “rap songs” and “drunken mistakes” I want to be tweeting about valuable things. When I am 50 I think I will be saying “I was such a fool” I think as we get older, we look back at what we have done online and think “thats so embaressing”. As time goes on time changes and people find different things to talk about, its just a part of life. In 50 years who knows what will be considered cool. I’m sure if I look back at my Facebook account I will be saying “omg I can’t believe I wore that!!” and it could be a shirt that is very in style now, but not in 50 years. Determining what I will think about my social media accounts so far ahead I can only guess I will be emabressed because things are always changing. What is cool now will not be cool in even ten years from now.

future computer Our computers in 20 years could be everywhere! Our dining room table could be a computer, and while you are eating dinner you can surf the web and use social media. Social media has so much room to grow, no one knows what we will be like online in 30 years from now… Scary!!!

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You Are The Product

Why is it that Ben and Jerry’s in Pittsford went out of business due to lack of customers, but on Free Cone Day there were hundreds and hundreds of customers waiting in line to get a ice cream cone. Because people love free things. It is no surprise that the Grammy winning band Radiohead’s most successful commercial album was released for fans to name their price online, ranging from nothing to $20 (Anderson 114). Why was it their most successful album? Because it was essentially free. Knowing these two pieces of information, one could guess that if given the option to chose between using a free service and a paid service, users would most likely chose the free option. Google provides its users with free services such as search engines, maps, Youtube videos, and more.  The idea that “if you are not paying for the product, then you are the product” is true for Google’s users because Google turns their users into products to sell to advertisers.

Gaining something without losing money is an act that our society thrives upon. However, there can be negative impacts to the idea of free. While utilizing a free service people need to take in to consideration that free of monetary value does not mean free of consequences. Companies like Google offer many free services to the public. The thrill of using a service without having to pay for it could blind some to the hidden agenda’s of these companies. People often don’t care as much about things they don’t pay for, and as a result they don’t think about how they consume them (Anderson 52). Google does not provide its services out of the kindness of its heart, they provide them because they make money from them. Google generates its income from its advertising. “Advertising is its main source of income, boasting $38 billion every year” (Goodson). Advertisers pay big bucks in order to be seen on Google because such a large population use Google daily. Google tracks its users searches and data and supplies its advertisers with this information in order to sell advertisements (Miller and Vindu). As users, we are the product to Google. We are what Google is truly selling in order to make a profit. Google is not making its billions of dollars from selling their services, they are making their money from selling their users. This can be a negative consequence to users who do not want their personal information and searches tracked. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it, so we either have to avoid Google or deal with the facts.

 [This video explains Googles Privacy Policy and how its works by selling its users information to advertisers] 

On the contrary, some users find the partnership between Google and its advertisers to be positive. The advertisers adjust their advertisements to meet the users information provided by Google. “Google can deliver a product to advertisers tailored to their exact needs” (Newman). This means that a male who searches for things like the Buffalo Bills and Metallica could be shown advertisements about ticket sales. His advertisements could be very different from his neighbors, who frequently googles Kim Kardashian. Her personalized advertisements could be shown the store Lipsy that sells the Kardashian clothing line. There is a large community of people who find the personalization of advertisements to be useful. An economic blogger with a large following, Liz Gannes, says that this relationship can teach us about ourselves. Gannes says Google “analyzes our habits so we can know more about ourselves and learn” (Maybe Being the Product Isn’t So Bad). Gannes, her followers, and people who agree with this believe that Google makes it easier to find what we are looking for. As long as they can obtain what they need to, they are okay with Google selling our information to companies and advertisers.

How Google Ad’s Appear [In this video Google explains how they generate ad’s tailored to our needs found from our search engine results]

People may feel inclined to continue using Google’s services even though they are aware of their privacy policies because of the quality and price of its services. For being free, Google offers efficient and high quality search engine results. Googles privacy policies have been headlines in the news for a long time now. Most people are aware of their policies but continue to use their services. Google is the most used search engine (UC Berkeley Library). The refusal to switch to another search engine domain serves to show how users truly are the product. Users are aware they are the product being sold by Google, but continue to use its services anyways. Scott Goodson in his article If You’re Not Paying For It, You Become the Product says that “next time you’re browsing the web or enjoying a video on Youtube, remember that Google is watching your every move; because that’s the price you pay”. We are not paying cash for Google but we are paying the price of providing them with our personal information. We are paying the price of knowing we are the product that makes Google money, not their services.

google   [Google has its users chained to them. Thats the price they pay]

The statement “If You’re Not Paying For It, You Are The Product” is accurate for those who use Google’s services. Anytime something is searched on Google or Youtube, it is traced and sent out to advertisers. Google sells its users to advertisers in order to make money because their services are free and therefore they can not make money off of their services. In our economy today big companies are mostly concerned with making money. Google, the most used search engine, is one of the largest companies in the world. Of course they are going to do what they need to do in order to make a profit. Some people are appalled and up-roared about Googles policies, while others don’t care as long as they can remain to get the same great quality service. The decision is ultimately up to you. Do you mind being a product?

Citations:

Anderson, Chris. Free, The Future of a Radical Price. 1st ed. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Archive. Community Books, 7 July 2009. Web.

Goodson, Scott. “If You’re Not Paying For It, You Become The Product.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 05 Mar. 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2014

Newman, Nathan. “You’re Not Google’s Customer — You’re the Product: Antitrust in a Web 2.0 World.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 Mar. 2011. Web. 09 Mar. 2014

Gannes, Liz. “Maybe “Being the Product” Isn’t So Bad: Why Data Harvesting Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare.” AllThingsD. Dow Jones & Company Inc, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.

Miller, Claire Cain, and Vindu Goel. “Google to Sell Users’ Endorsements.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2013. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.

“Recommended Search Engines-The Library-University of California, Berkeley.” Recommended Search Engines-The Library-University of California, Berkeley. University of California Berkeley, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.

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Going Mobile

I’ve recently started noticing myself using my phone more often than using my computer. The reason is because I am on the go so much that using my phone is more convenient. I prefer to use my computer because it has a bigger screen and is easier for navigation, but because of accessibility I use my phone more. I’m not a tablet person. I kind of don’t get the point of them. I have a iPhone and a Mac, so I personally have no use for a tablet. If I didn’t have a computer I would probably purchase a tablet to do online shopping, play games, and use the internet. At my internship I wrote a blog post for the business’ website where I described the importance of businesses going mobile. More and more people are using their mobile devices versus computers. The numbers I found were surprising to me because I am such a computer person and I thought more people were too. But no, mobile devices are beginning to take over. Here is the link to the blog I wrote about businesses going mobile Mobile is the New Black.

Companies are so focused on going mobile because they have to meet their customers standards. Companies have to shift their ways in order to tailor their customers needs. If companies didn’t switch to meet their audiences needs than they would not be successful.  More and more people are using data on their phones as a means of internet and are not using computers anymore. Companies have to develop mobile sites so their customers will continue using their products/services. If a company is not mobile the customers will move on and find a company who is mobile compatible.

I don’t think people will ever get tired of their phones. Phones are such a big item. Phones are our lives in a sense, they carry all of our information we need and allow us to connect to the world via applications and the internet. People wait in a line for days to be able to purchase a new phone when it comes out. That right there says something about how people feel about their phones. Also, phones are outrageously expensive because they know people will pay that money for the product because people love their phones. As for other tech devices such as wearable watches/trackers, I am not into that. I personally would never spend money on such a device. Thats just me personally. I know a few people who are very interested in similar devices. A woman I work with wears her Nike ID bracelet all day long, everyday and swears by it. Technology is general is one thing that people go crazy for.

I personally don’t believe our mobile phones effect our social skills. If anything affects our social skills it would be the internet, not a phone. The phone is just a way of accessing information provided by the internet. Phones in a way are the middle man. However, some people spend too much time on their phones. If they don’t have their phone right by their side they might get anxiety. I believe thats where a problem starts. People are too used to relying on their phones. Phones can be a sense of comfort when in an awkward situation (which I am guilty of). I believe being on your phone too often and taking advantage of your phone can effect social skills to a degree. For example, if you are out to dinner and don’t engage in conversation with the person you are with because you are glued to your phone, then there is a problem. This article cracked me up. It talked about a restaurant in Lebanon that gives a discount on the meals if you don’t have your phone with you (the purpose is to let the people enjoy the food and atmosphere) Parting with Phone for Discount.

It’s sad but I have gotten so used to my friends pulling out their phones while talking to me that it doesn’t even phase me anymore. Honestly I do that myself to others. I guess it’s something we don’t even notice we are doing. I find myself looking at pictures on Instagram while my boyfriend is asking me about my day. Thinking about it, it is rude and its a habit I need to stop. Maybe its because seeing someone on their phone while engaging in conversation is something I have grown accustom to that I don’t even realize I am doing it myself. I’ve been guilty of getting mad at my boyfriend when he is playing a game when we’re watching a movie. I always say “put your phone away” and he says the same to me often. I can’t even imagine what other people must be like considering my boyfriend and I don’t use our phones too often. Some people I know have an addiction to their phones. It’s so sad.

With all of the usage of our phones, its scary to think about a company or the government tracking our every moves. I can tell that Google and Facebook have been tracking me because of the advertisements that are tailored to me. I get advertisements for all of these online clothing stores because I like to do a lot of online shopping. Other than that I haven’t directly noticed anything with tracking my information. This article talks about NSA tracking cell phones NSA Article. From my understanding I believe we are being tracked but not to a tee. It’s not like someone is listening to everyone of our calls writing down what we are saying, or someone is watching me do Facebook stalking. I don’t oppose NSA tracking our phones because I believe its something that should be monitored to protect people. Being able to locate a person by their cell phones can help save a life in in a dangerous situation, so I am all for it. 

 

kids-cell-phones-240a-030810   “Just teaching myself how to type my name Mom” LOL.  Hopefully we don’t see children younger and younger using phones as time goes on. That is something I do not agree with.

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