Wednesday, 22 March 2017

It’s Time To Get With The Program

Welcome to the future, fellow marketers! 

Hi, I’m Alyce! As one of your new ‘Marketing Matters’ bloggers, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and my fellow bloggers- Bowie and Hazel. We want to welcome you to the University of Sydney, Business School’s official blog- your go-to source for all things marketing related.

It’s always good to keep up-to-date. There are exciting times ahead for all of us here in the Master of Marketing program. For this reason, I want to encourage each and every one of you to get involved and enjoy all that the pr`ogram has to offer. Don’t just sit on the sidelines. Interact, interplay and keep connected with each other via every platform that’s available to you. 

If you haven’t already, start reading and commenting on the blog. Connect with each other on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, the Facebook group- Master of Marketing USYD, and don’t forget to update your student profile on Blackboard.

So what do we have to take-away from the course to date?

Our industry is fast becoming respected as more of a science than an art. We know that marketing is complex and it requires a huge breadth of knowledge, a complex skill set and of course some ingenuity. We are pretty much the magician’s apprentices, being trained in the art of foresight.

However, unlike fortune-tellers we not only have to read the numbers, but make strategic decisions based on more than just guesswork.

The issue here is that not everyone we encounter in the workplace has caught on to the fact that marketing is integral to the performance of the whole company. Even though it’s an out-dated view, individual departments are still perceived as being separate to one another. Many forget that these cogs are all part of the same machine.

So… am I talking about Internal Marketing?

After spending the weekend in class, I’d hope that at least the current students are familiar with ‘Internal Marketing’. For the rest of our readers, well, I’ll give you a refresher just in case you have forgotten.

With Internal Marketing, employees are regarded as ‘internal customers’ who are just as valuable as ‘external customers’. The goal is to align every aspect of a company’s internal operations to provide maximum value to customers.

Perhaps some of you have already found this out the hard way, but believe it or not, the biggest hurdle is the implementation. Ideally in this situation, every single person, no matter his or her role, is responsible for internal marketing. 

But what if everyone doesn’t want to get out board? Well, that’s when things start to go pear shaped.

I know there are those who are resistant to change, so I keeping in spirit with Stan and Kim, I thought I would leave you with this meme to enjoy.

Have you ever encountered resistance to an internal marketing campaign you were involved in implementing? Use the comment button to share you stories below.

Alyce Brierley
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Yeezy Boosts - The perfect example of Celebrity Endorsement

It’s only fitting that since my previous blog talked about Influencer Marketing that today I’ll talk about Celebrity Endorsements - particularly in the fashion and sneaker industry.

In December 2013, Kanye West left Nike for Adidas. Fast forward to today, Adidas is riding a buzz-wave of sneaker and pop-culture. It is both directly and indirectly tied back to Kanye and his Yeezy clothing and shoe line. Adidas was set on using a different endorsement technique from Nike.

Instead of limiting the creative control of product development, Adidas saw this collaboration as a ‘joint venture’. It is to give the celebrity partner the sense of having creative input and strategies. This includes them having a say in the go-to market strategy and tactics.

If you ask any ‘sneakerhead' about the coolest ‘kicks’ around, the answer will very likely be the Yeezy Boost 350. In 2015, the Adidas Yeezy Boosts won the FNAA Shoes of the Year Award, another evidence of the success of the Kanye West and Adidas Originals collaboration. It is no surprise that Adidas sales increased by 14%.

How exactly did the Yeezy Boost 350s sell out in 12 minutes and become the most coveted sneaker out at the moment?

1. Target the right celebrity for endorsement to make sure the product is always in the media’s eye.

Celebrity endorsement is one of the most powerful word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing tool available and generates engagement amongst today’s tech-savvy, trend-conscious youth. The target audience of the Yeezy collection are fashion-conscious millennials with high purchasing ability to keep up with the trend. And the way to keep up with trends are by keeping up with celebrities on their social media feeds.

Image: Faded Fashion

2. Kanye personally endorses the brand, wearing his design in concerts, award events and what not.

Kanye is highly regarded as a celebrity fashion icon. He has a huge following for his provocative views and tastes. Weeks prior to the launch of a new collection of Yeezy, Kanye proudly wears his personal design to events where paparazzi and fans are eager to catch a glimpse of the sneakers. This is a way to build up the hype way before the official launch.

Image: Footwear News

3. Limited number to build exclusivity and hype.

Yeezy Boost might be the perfect definition of demand exceeding supply. With each seasonal release of the Yeezy Boost, only a limited number of pairs are made available worldwide. The ‘average consumer’ can’t simply hope to walk into the nearest Adidas store to purchase a pair.

Time and effort are needed to keep up with the pre-launch news and the actual launch date. Getting a pair at a retail price would require you to count on your lucky star. This exclusivity generates tons of WOM around the product because everyone will likely be talking about trying to get it or how they got it.

Image: Footlocker UK

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Importance of Influencer Marketing

A recent study revealed that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2017. But what exactly is influencer marketing? Well to put it simply, it’s that middle territory between a legitimate testimonial and mentioning a product subtly, which is usually done in passing.

Not to be confused with celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing creates word-of-mouth advertising using people that are trusted in their industry/social circle. With this marketing strategy, influencers are building up the brand’s image in the minds of their followers. Whereas celebrity endorsements attaches the fame of a celebrity to a brand or product so that they are associated with that product — as a result people want to buy that product. Both strategies use well-known people to influence the target market. But the way they are executed and how they influence their target market is very different. Today we’ll focus on influencer marketing.

Influencers are specialists in what they do. Different from celebrities, they build communities around themselves in a very niche space. For example, when a brand sends food bloggers their newest cake offering as part of an influencer campaign, the intent is not from their fame but rather the true recommendations within the targeted community.

But why Influencers?

Influencers are deemed to be more authentic as they are perceived to be creators of the entire message. From beginning to end, the message is considered theirs and that lends it a certain credibility. Go and scroll through your Instagram feed now — You can still see your favourite influencers representing products and promoting brands, all while still staying true to their unique voice and story.

Why influencer marketing?

Consumers trust recommendations from word-of-mouth more often than the brand itself. It makes sense if you think about it on a more personal context. Let’s put it into a scenario — You don’t usually trust a person at a party who comes up to you and brags about themselves, but you often believe your mutual friend who vouches for that person. An influencer is the mutual friend connecting the brand with the target audience.

What brands will get in return is targeted exposure to the right consumer, one who is already interested in that particular area and will likely be paid attention. Speaking of paying attention — 47% of online consumers use ad blockers nowadays, giving brands even more reason to put their money behind influencers instead, as they are the ones holding everyone’s attention.

Social media influencers exist on all the primary social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. These platforms have given birth to Internet famous celebrities and influencers. They are becoming more and more savvy about how to properly collaborate with brands for their own creative campaigns.

In 2017, the use of influencer marketing is rising. Collaborations between brands and influencers are only to increase. It’s only a matter of time before social media shifts into a social marketplace.