Retailers Find Facebook Advantage

April 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Digiday daily recently published an article about how retailers can achieve distinctive advantages by being on Facebook

This article talked about a report developed by a market research company called Morspace. It said that retailers who were actively involved in marketing their products and/or services on Facebook might get a competitive advantage over their competition in terms of product recommendations. Nowadays consumers are more likely to offer and receive product recommendations online than before. There has being a change in the purchasing-decision process from asking family and friends for word-of-mouth to discuss options via social-networking sites like Facebook.  Also, if a company knows that its target audience is on Facebook it could be an effective tool to directly communicate with this segment.  And by knowing what customers want retailers can offer them product information and discounts according to their needs to increase sales and create viral product buzz among Facebook consumers.

The study also showed that some of the reasons consumers join a Facebook fan page are: “To let my friends know what products I support,” (41 percent) and “To receive coupons and discount offers,” (37 percent). More than 36 percent of consumers consider Facebook to be a useful tool for researching products. Nearly 68 percent of consumers say that a “positive referral from a Facebook friend makes them more likely to buy a specific product or visit a certain retailer.”

I would suggest that before jumping into Facebook or other digital channels companies evaluate where there customers are. If its target market’s characteristics and behavior meet Facebook features then it is definitely a media channel to take into account. Facebook could be an important tool to know what your customers are doing and interpret what they are saying-mining online discussions and asking online feedback.

Categories: Week 10 Tags: , ,

Interactive ads

March 29, 2010 1 comment

Trying to find an example of an interactive ad I came across  several ads like the “Lookbook“, an application from Facebook created to promote the 1969 Premium Jeans GAP Collection that enables people to find the perfect denim match. You have to rollover to find out the look you want by combining different tops and bottoms.

The Lookbook by GAP

Another interactive ad I found was one from Nikon displayed at a Seoul subway station which had life-like images of paparazzi trying to take the best celebrity picture.  When people passed by the ad flashing camera lights were set off.  Then people could follow the red carpet all the way out of the station and into a mall – directly into the store where they could find and purchase the new D700.

D700 by Nikon

One ad that surprised me was one that tried to get people to join the health club chain, Fitness First. This ad was displayed at a Rotterdam bus stop featuring people’s body weight in bright lights while they were waiting the bus. Personally, this ad goes a little too far to try to get people to go to the gym because most women do not feel comfortable with their body weight so I imagine they would not be comfortable especially if their body weight suddenly appeared while waiting the bus and everyone else around could see it.

Fitness First

After seeing a couple of examples I found that offline interactive ads were more interesting than online interactive ads. If you have other examples especially for online ads please share them!

Following celebrities

March 28, 2010 1 comment

Following up companies that provide location-based services to people and businesses, I found an article about Foursquare at that said how Foursquare is now enabling people to follow celebrities. At first I thought that this was a little strange because I was picturing celebrities like Brad Pitt telling where they were but then I realized that the article referred to celebrities from shows such as the Jersey Shore, the Hills, among others. I guess it makes sense for these “reality-show celebrities” then.

Foursquare has developed marketing deals with MTV and VH1 that include a new Foursquare feature that allows users to follow people without a reciprocal friendship. So, if for some reason you want to follow Jersey Shore’s DJ Pauly D, you can see where he is checking in and follow him.

Also, MTV and VH1 fans can earn special badges on Foursquare. And celebrities can also leave tips about their favorite venues. I guess this will benefit somes businesses and also celebrities. 

It is interesting to see how Foursquare is creating new features to keep its audience engage especially if they recently added almost 100,000 users in 10 days.

Personally, I won’t be following these “celebrities” anytime soon…would you?

Categories: Week 9 Tags: , ,

New technology for shoppers

March 5, 2010 2 comments

One of the trends for mobile advertising for 2010 is the development of shopping applications such as price comparison, user product reviews, etc that will modify in-store shopping experience.

There are several mobile applications that consumers can use to make their shopping more efficient, productive and enjoyable.  For example: mobile price comparison applications such as ShopSavvy and Red Laser that allow shoppers compare prices at a store against other nearby stores and online retailers. If you are undecided to buy something there are also crowdsourcing tools like BazaarVoice’s MobileVoice that help you get outside opinions and feedback. One mobile application that combines price comparison and reviews is ScanLife. So, next time you are in a store and want to see if you are getting a good deal, just scan on the product. Also, it allows shoppers stand outside a store, point their phones at a merchandise they like in the window and buy it. 

Then, there are  mobile coupons such as Zavers and Yowza.  Another similar product is called Presence by IBM that allow shoppers who sign up be detected when they enter a store enabling it to offer real-time mobile coupons.

Beyond privacy concerns, retailers recognize other potential problems. It the phone for some reason gives bad information then consumers will most likely be annoyed hence reliability will be an important factor to consider. Also, there are stores that cannot yet afford such technology.  On the other hand, marketers could leverage on this new technology to deliver more effective personalized messaging derived from prior purchase decisions.

Not Just Twitter and Facebook

March 4, 2010 2 comments

When we hear about social media we usually hear about Facebook and Twitter however there are other social media sites that are capturing the market. Brightkite with more than 2 million users is one of them.

Brightkite is a location-based social networking site that is available on mobile devices. It is a system that allows people to keep up with friends and places. Moreover, it lets people see where all their friends are and discover places in their neighborhood. For advertising, Brightskite constructs a geo-fence around a specific location and only targets people checking in within that area.


According to the article: “Brightkite Launches Ultra-targeted Advertising Solution after Successful Pilots with a Range of Brands” published on, the system targets according to a wide range of significant criteria including:

  • Location and Place
  • Demographics
  • Behavior and Activity
  • Conversational Context
  • Time of Day
  • Weather
  • Media Usage

In addition to these criteria, Brightkite provides three types of time relevance to their campaigns:

  • Historical
  • Current
  • Future

Here are some examples of companies that are developing local promotions:

  1. Gap offered local customers a mobile coupon for 15 percent off for in-store purchases at new Gap stores.
  2. Ben & Jerry’s gave their customers who were close to their retail locations offers such as $1 ice cream Bars.
  3. Brightkite users visiting Las Vegas received discounted hotel rooms from Trump International Hotel and 50 percent off tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows.

I believe that besides being seeing as a little intrusive system, Brightkite could leverage on its local advertising to enhance user shopping experience by offering products/services relevant to their needs. Plus, Brightkite’s ultra-targeted campaigns can help marketers to minimize wastage and communicate to local audiences more effectively.

JetBlue and Whole Foods on Twitter

February 28, 2010 1 comment

For next class we are going to talk about Twitter. We were asked to observe a specific brand on Twitter and via the Dashboard we created a couple of weeks ago. So, for this assignment I chose to follow JetBlue and Whole Foods.

With more than one and a half million followers, Jet Blue is using Twitter to communicate with customers about travel problems for example this weekend the conversation was mainly about weather cancellations and press releases announcements to give people the information they needed.

Moreover, JetBlue customers are engaged with the brand and want to help JetBlue deliver a better product for them. As I joined the conversation, I could see people knew they were being listened, helped and talked through specific questions or issues.

On the other hand Whole Foods, the largest retailer of natural and organic food in the US, has nearly one million eight thousand followers on Twitter. Whole Foods has official tweeters throughout its organization depending on their specialty. It manages localized information tailored to individual stores or cities. It also uses its account for news, updates, special events and customer feedback.

Topical Tweets

@WFMCheese – global cheese specialist, Cathy Strange.

@WFMWineGuys – wine & beer experts, Doug & Geof.

@WholeRecipes – automated recipe feed.

Whole Foods has a Facebook fan page and a blog that uses to promote its editorial content. It uses these media to expand what it is posted on Twitter like longer posts, photos, and videos. It also has an iPhone app which is called Whole Foods Market Recipe which is a recipe application. It also has a store locator. After finding the nearest store, it takes you out to the page for that store. From there, that page links out to the Facebook account and the Twitter account as well.

With almost 10,000 tweets in two days, we can say that Whole Foods’ customers are responding and I believe that the reason of its success is the content they provide to their followers.

Twitter Case Study: Tasti D-lite

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As many brands that are not sure how Twitter actually works and how to use it to benefit their businesses, they first start by analyzing what people are saying about their products, brands and competitors. This was the case of Tasti D-lite, the popular frozen chain from New York. After having some idea of what was going on, BJ Emerson, director of technology information, decided to jump into the conversation and participate. Emerson hoped to “engage customers on their terms, be relevant and have fun.” Also, he advised “a three “m” approach to getting started on Twitter – monitor, then mingle, then measure.”
Twitter allows Tasti D-lite to interact with their customers on their terms, thus creating relationships and also generating customer insights that might ultimately lead to sales. In fact, in addition to create relationships and loyal customers, companies want to translate those accomplishments into more sales, continue to grow and be ahead of their competitors.

Tasti D-lite Twitter campaigns

Tasti D-lite launched a rewards program called TastiRewards in which consumers can get extra rewards by connecting their accounts to Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. By sharing their Tasti D-lite experience with friends and followers, they can earn extra rewards for a free Tasti D-Lite dessert.


Tasti D-lite often tweets Twitter-exclusive coupons for customers to print out and redeem at their favorite tasti location. They are also thinking to introduce paperless mobile coupon options and Twitter accounts for individual stores.

This video revealed the location of a hidden $50 TreatCard. This announcement was promoted on Twitter and the winner found the card within 7 minutes of posting the link to the video.

I think the key here is to not publish sales messaging, quite the opposite it is to think creatively about how you can add value for your followers.