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#FindNewRoads and #CruzeToLA

Company Analysis: Chevrolet

When someone says describe Chevrolet, one mark seems to always come to mind with consumers and that is the Chevrolet bow-tie emblem. This slanted plus sign has been the logo identity for the company since 1913 and is featured on the front of most if not all Chevrolet models. Wiki defines Chevrolet as the following, “Chevrolet colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors (GM)”. In North America, where we will focus on the Domestic marketing efforts of this project, Chevrolet produces a variety of automobiles from compact cars to trucks to sportsters. Chevrolet has been around for over 100 years selling cars under the GM brand. Chevy became a volume leader in 1919 selling mainstream vehicles to compete with Henry Ford’s Model T. By 1929, Chevy became known as the best selling car in the United States overtaking Ford. Since the company’s inception, the goal of the company has been to be a leader in the automotive world. Despite fierce competition, Chevy has done a great job at remaining mainstream. That’s not to say that in years past, Ford and Dodge haven’t edged Chevy out for best vehicle awards and overall brand popularity, but Chevy is making it’s way back to number one. In 2015, Chevy had three vehicles rank number one for the J.D. Power Initial Quality Award. The Silverado LD won in large light duty pickup category, Malibu took the midsize car category, and Equinox for the compact SUV category. For 2016, Chevy won Motor Trend Car and Truck of the year for their updated design and innovative features in the Camaro and Silverado! With momentum like this, it is imperative for Chevy to continue marketing their vehicles to consumers with an integrated marketing approach. It isn’t 1913 anymore where newspapers were the primary form of advertising for cars. Now more than ever, it is time to think about television everywhere and how every screen and platform is an advertising opportunity.

The goals and objectives for Chevrolet’s overarching brand are as follows:

Goals/Objectives

  • Reach moms and families and build awareness of Chevrolet brand.
  • Increase purchase intent for Chevrolet vehicles especially the Cruze and Equinox.
  • Build awareness of the cool factor and connectivity of Chevrolet vehicles.

The primary target audience for a campaign featuring the Chevy Cruze and Equinox is moms and families. The vehicle features for these models entice both moms and their families when purchasing such a big-ticket item. Everything from gas mileage to innovative technology features to comfort is analyzed before signing the purchase or lease agreement of a brand new vehicle. Moms want to know if the vehicle will entertain their children, is it safe to drive from point A to point B, and is it cost effective. Kids influence the model purchase by the cool factor.

Notably, the automotive industry as a whole is very competitive in design and available features. The biggest rivalry in American Motor history is between Chevrolet and Ford, closely followed by Dodge. The American automotive industry has the most competition between US brands, but lest not forget about the various other automotive companies out there vying for a piece of the auto pie like Toyota, Honda, BMW, Volvo, and Volkswagen just to name a few.

With such a competitive environment comes much opportunity!

Opportunities

  • Ability to create innovative features and products offered first or only available in Chevy models.
  • Become more innovative and try edgy attention grabbing marketing promotions that resonate with the current market.

Strengths

  • For 2016, Chevrolet won two categories… Motor Trend Truck and Car of the year. These awards help boost sales and visibility of the brand.
  • Integrated Technology – Keeps moms and families connected to everything and everyone by introducing Wi-Fi feature within the vehicles. (Up to 7 devices)
  • As of May this year, Forbes noted Chevrolet as the sixty-second most valuable brand in the United States.

Why Leverage an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Plan Traditional marketing has always been about brand awareness and having the media platforms push advertising campaigns out into the world for people to consume. Traditional advertising campaigns are time-consuming on the front end due to the production lead-time required and the extensive planning of media buys.

With a growing number of social media options, which are far less costly than traditional media, the question arises about why spend so much money on those pricey TV, radio and print ads. However the answer is simple, using both traditional and new media together, as opposed to one versus the other, you can move your message further and reach a larger audience.

“IMC is not a new concept, but it’s more important than ever, as there are now more marketing channels than ever before. Back in the 50’s, marketing campaigns relied heavily on print, radio, and television. It didn’t take much to keep these aligned. But, now with digital media, we have everything from newsletters to social media campaigns. Our marketing tool sheds are filled with new and effective tactics that range from broad messaging (your website’s homepage) to targeting more niche groups (via Instagram),” states Kyle Eliason from Pi Portent.

Quite simply put, your social footprint is just as important as having a website for consumers to find information about your company as is the television spot for additional brand awareness. The platforms all work together to reinforce your marketing message to your targeted consumers.

Additional Integrated Marketing Communications: Ideation 

Additional IMC marketing efforts that I would love to see executed in this cross-platform #CruzeToLA campaign are Print, Outdoor, Email and Social.

Flyers

At On The Road To events, custom co-branded flyers would be passed during the festival and to those that visited the Chevrolet booth on site. These flyers would provide all the details for the #CruzeToLA sweepstakes from what you could win to how to enter and earn more entries. The backside of the flyer would call out all the new features of the Chevrolet models they want to tout during this promotion. Additionally, due to the partnership with Nokia Theater, flyers can be handed to those leaving other events held at Nokia Live during the week of March 14 – 20 prior to the sweepstakes closing. Again, these flyers would be co-branded and tout features of the Cruze, but also the #CruzeToLA promotion. Granted these folks are probably from LA, but they can still be entered to win tickets to the RDMAs and a chance a keys to a new Cruze!

Email

Send sweepstakes promotion to the current Chevrolet email-marketing database to provide their super fans the opportunity to enter and just general awareness of the promotion.

Outdoor

Produce co-branded flag banners featuring the Chevrolet Cruze and RDMAs along the surrounding blocks of Downtown LA. This brands the outdoor space of the festival at Ardy’s Pre-show Party and adds to the overall brand awareness of Chevy’s presence and sponsorship of the RDMAs. 

Pin-Party

Chevy and Disney to host a week long Pin Party encouraging moms to re-pin the custom promotional pin (found on Chevrolet’s Pinterest page) to their own boards for a chance to win $1,000 and a trip to the RDMAs. Should any of the Pinners also write a blog post about the promotion, and Tweet about it on their social handle hash tagging #CruzeToLA, they will receive 5 additional entries to the sweepstakes. This will be promoted on Chevy’s Facebook page and one of the main hero images on their website.

Pre-roll on YouTube

:10 second Chevrolet branded ad as pre-roll placement prior to main performance at the RDMAs.

For example, their branded spot could lead in to custom video content such as this:

View Here

Proximity Marketing

Those that opt in and accept to receive the offer from Chevy at the On The Road To tour and Ardy’s Pre-show Party will receive a free oil change at any Chevrolet dealership. This gets moms on Chevy lots to look around at the new models they saw at the RDMAs. There would be on-site signage at the pre-show festival about the opt-in offer.

Analysis: #CruzeToLA Sweepstakes Promotion

Analytics would be measured by sweepstakes entries, page views from the digital site and social engagement and impressions pulled from Sprinklr.

Thank you for your time and consideration of the pitch #CruzeToLA Sweepstakes presented by Chevrolet. This IMC promotion will meet your objectives and provide brand awareness to the cool new features of the Cruze!

 

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Learnist is a place for learning and sharing what you know

Learnist…Builds Brands and Shares Knowledge

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Let’s Take It Back To Inception:

Farbood Nivi, a former teacher of the year for the Princeton Review and academic advisor at Kaplan, founded a company called Grockit in 2007.

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Grockit was created as a social learning game company designed to help learners educate themselves through technology. In short, Grockit was an online test prep service geared at aiding students in their preparation to take standardized tests and help them earn their best possible scores. On December 18, 2012, Grockit announced a strategic $20 million dollar investment from Discovery Communications, best known for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC television channels. The announcement also included Uber and Scribd as additional investors along with previous investors Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, GSV Capital, New Schools Ventures, and Integral Capital Partners. Then in 2013, Kaplan acquired Grockit. Kaplan, being a test prep company itself, found the acquisition was a natural fit in the progression of shared learning through technology. With Grockit’s primary focus as instructional online learning for test prep, the acquisition allowed Nivi to focus on a new social learning tool for the company, which he called Learnist. Learnist differs from Grockit and Kaplan in that, it’s a social learning tool championing collaborative learning through sharing with others.

Learnist Has Grown:

Nivi originally developed Learnist for K-12 teachers and students alike, to help users create ‘learn boards’ to assist with studying and learning core curriculum.

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In May of 2013, Learnist had around 700,00 registered users with 200,000 of those users being active monthly participants. Additionally, the company disclosed that each month, they received approximately two million page views. In February 2014, Learnist had roughly 10 million users. Talk about growth of the audience and users of a technology product! Today, Learnist is for users that want to share knowledge and collaborate with other subject matter experts. There is a lack of statistical demographical data for Learnist available to the public, but one could argue the target audience is reflective by the type of content that is highlighted on Learnist.

Articles all over the web compare the content communities Learnist and Pinterest to one another. In many instances, Learnist has been dubbed ‘The Pinterest for Education’.   CEO Roy Gilbert cites the two communities are very different, but if you explore the functionality and look of the two social platforms, you’ll find they are very similar!

Nivi stated, “The word “integration” means to make something whole, and I think that’s an important point. The goal is for the organization to be optimized — not the individual parts.”

What Learnist Can Do For Your Brand:

Farbood Nivi, stated the following on his LinkedIn account, “We want to be the Instagram of knowledge-sharing… like a smart RSS.”

And that is what Learnist is working towards and striving to do. It is a content community of curious people sharing knowledge about anything and everything. It is taking individuals or brands and brings them together as a whole unit in a synergistic learning environment. Learnist believes in collaboration, that everyone is an expert in something, and that Learnist is the go-to platform to share knowledge with other folks that have the same passion or those that are just curious in nature looking to learn something new.

Learnist offers brands the opportunity to provide value to their consumers through the sharing of knowledge.  The Learnist platform establishes brand credibility for all users creating content since they are viewed as the experts in their area of expertise.

Functionality of the site allows for simple browsing of categories or a specific search of a topic. Each board gathers content from multiple sources and complies the content for easy reading and computation. The Learnist app then provides the full article if the user wants to read more about a particular topic. One of my favorite features is after you are done reading an article you can save a board to your reading list and reference it again and again. There are so many times I’ve read content online that I would like to reference at a later date so I print the article not having a virtual bookmark to use, which leads to a stack of paper that eventually gets thrown away…the article never to be referenced again.

Learnist provides content viewing, how-to guides, and educational videos on a variety of subjects. A user can add things to a reading list, create boards, collect things, and follow subject matter experts or brands that the user finds interesting. Lessons or ‘learn boards’ can be annotated with notes and explanations and organized sequentially if needed. Another feature is the virtual checklist, which allows one to mark off learnings that are complete, or suggest new learnings. In addition to this ‘bookmark’ feature of learn boards, content from Learnist can be shared socially across Facebook, Twitter and email.

Learnist On Social:

Available When You’re On The Move:

Learnist is offered through Google Play for android phones and the iTunes Store for iOS devices. Learnist audience grew exponentially when it was available through mobile apps for people on the go, especially with the Android version for those that are located internationally. The mobile apps were recently updated to make the experience more immersive and easier for the user to create their own learn boards.

Learnist Is A Money Maker and Has Celebrity Status:

In a strategy to have users coming back for additional content, the Learnist app features premium boards created by topic experts and celebrities.

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Currently these premium boards may be purchased for ninety-nine cents. Some of the celebrities being featured are Olivia Wilde, Gus Van Sant, and Dhani Jones.

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Nivi’s goal for Grockit and Learnist was to make high-quality education accessible to everyone, and that is what he is accomplishing through these educational learning tools.

Check out my Prezi!

Doggone Best Products USA is ‘Paw’rrific

Whether or not you are marketing yourself or a brand, you must define your objectives and strategizes to achieve your marketing goals. The objectives and strategies you outline act as a guideline for creating all the integrated marketing communications for a particular campaign.

For this week’s assignment, I choose to help out a friend of mine and create marketing elements and further the social footprint for their dog supplement company.

DOGGONE BEST PRODUCTS USA (DoggoneBestUSA.com is coming soon!)

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Doggone Best Products is a pet supplement company dedicated to the health and happiness of your four legged friends. Let’s take a closer look at the company and their marketing strategy.

Objectives:

  • Further awareness of Doggone Best Products
  • Create and further Doggone’s social footprint keeping the brand message, look and feel of the content consistent yet customized for each platform
  • Create and distribute email communication for their newest product, a 5 million count Probiotic

Strategies:

  • Update product information on Amazon
  • Create Pinterest account to target women
    • Pin health tips for senior dogs, the right amount of exercise your dog should be getting, and tips for weight management
    • Pin boards that further promote the Doggone brand and doggie parent interests
  • Target customers that have previously purchased the Joint Supplement with product information regarding the new Probiotic supplement

Let’s take a look at the IMC elements created to promote and market Doggone Best this week!

Amazon Product Info:

Doggone Best had two different formulas for their joint supplement. After many focus group testing’s with beloved pets, the original formula which was chicken liver flavor won out over the beef flavored formula. To market that the original formula will be in stock as of October 6, I crafted position statement about it being back by ‘Paw’pular demand and the discontinued use of the beef flavored supplement.

BACK BY ‘PAW’PULAR DEMAND: Your furbabies have spoken and we listened. We are exclusively offering our original joint supplement formula that your dog loves so much!

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Pinterest: Created the entire Pinterest footprint for Doggone this week

I created 8 boards for Doggone this week, and many more will be added in the future – but it’s a great start in creating a pet loving community for Doggone Best. The first set of pin boards are creative ideas for fall images with your pups, Pet Care with a focus on joint health for senior dogs and weight management, inspirational quotes about dogs, and of course a board about puppies is cuteness overload!

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Email Marketing:

In the previous week’s lesson for integrated marketing platforms, we studied email marketing. Email marketing is not dead and is a great way for companies to boost sales and distribute the latest product information and sales to their consumers.

Email is the most dominant way of sharing information. Back in the day, one of the best parts of logging onto AOL was the knowledge that after minutes of agonizing squeals, you’d be treated to that wonderful phrase, “You’ve Got Mail!”

If you stop to think about it, email has become a mainstay for most businesses and how the majority of business communication is conducted. Email has replaced faxing documents as well as replaced many face to face and telephone communications. Email makes it easy to document communication, and reference it at a later point in time if necessary.

More than one in five people worldwide use email. That’s about 1.9 billion people. It’s predicted to increase to 2.5 billion email users in the next 2 years. Yup, email’s popular. The Radicati Group, who came up with that info, also reckon that the world sends about 294 billion emails daily. 192 billion emails sent daily, that is an incredible amount of electronic communication!

Here is a screenshot of the email I designed that went out to Doggone’s distribution list.  The two main points of the email is to promote the Probiotic and drive customers to connect to Doggone’s social sites. The email also reminds the audience of the free shipping and returns feature when ordering.Week6_Doggone_E-blast

Facebook:

The strategy for this social channel is to continue to update the main content of the page including updating the brands imagery. For example, the use of the image with the golden retrieving the stick is the same image that was prominent in the email communication. I’ve also set the social post strategy for the next coming weeks that will drive to Doggone’s Pinterest board, promote the buy 2 promo offer, as well as posts that promote the overall health and care of your pet!

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I encourage everyone to follow Doggone Best on Facebook and Pinterest as their social footprint grows in the world of happy, healthy furbabies!

And, don’t forget to check out these great pet videos!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/AJFRvkNF6Wg“>http://

https://www.youtube.com/embed/XZ8M6o46KO4“>http://

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Nupfxo2ihQc“>http://

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fipadBqIiQ4“>http://

Thanks for tuning in this week!

My Three Favorite Blog Sites

This week’s lesson in my Multi-media Communications class was to learn about different types of blogs and then target three of my favorite blogs to discuss in this post.

There are five different types of blogs, which are:

  • News
  • Professional/Semi-professional
  • Recreational
  • Aggregator/Link sharing
  • Group

Successful blogs are those that have posts that are published often because new content drives traffic, and their articles have a lengthy word count (around 1,500). Most bloggers have multiple social sites linked to their blog, however, the top 25 bloggers all have one social channel in common and that is Twitter!

Below, find 3 of the top blogs I check frequently.

  1. BarkPostcategorizing this blog as Professional

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“The BarkPost helps dogs share their stories with the world, using the power of the hoomans.” It is a place where you can get your fix for funny, cute, or heartwarming doggie pictures and stories.

  • FACT: Dogs do pawesome stuff.
  • FACT: But there was never a place where all this pawsomeness was shared with the world before BarkPost.

BarkPost touts being the first site that gathers all doggie related content, stories and photos and shares them with the world. If you love dogs and stories about dogs, there is an article out there for you on BarkPost.  Also, I love how organized BarkPost is with their content.  They have the blog articles categorized and make finding specific content very easy.

BarkPost takes doggie lingo to the extreme with changing every regular word to a ‘puptacular’ version of a word such as autumn was recently changed to ‘pawtumn’ in a BarkPost email on the first day of fall. I feel that their creativity in how they position their blog articles and unique doggie language makes them stand out from other pet oriented companies.

Bark and Co has a family of brands that include the following: BarkPost, BarkBox, BarkShop and BarkLive. I think the most well-known of the family of brands is BarkBox, a monthly subscription service. Pawrents can have treats, toys and other goodies sent to their pet monthly. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest all drive to the blog site. Instagram isn’t a driver, but is used as a visually appealing brand presence on the social channel.  Social sharing chicklets are located at the top of the blog site making it very easy to stay connected. Facebook advertising and word of mouth are two of the main BarkBox marketing methods, which led me to discover BarkPost when researching whether or not I wanted to try BarkBox for my dog.

From this week’s lecture, BarkPost seems to do most if not all the things that were outlined in having a successful blog. BarkPost posts entertaining content and they post often. Their social footprint drives people to view the full articles.

BarkPost has extensive advertising opportunities that are outlined on their site and seen in the images below. At the top of their page they a sponsored by call out that they label ‘spawnsored by’ and they have a ‘pawtners’ section as well.

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  1. Oh My Disney – categorizing this blog as Professional
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Disney Interactive launched 4 blog sites in February 2013, and they are; Oh My Disney, Disney Insider, Disney Playlist, and Disney Style.  They all link and pull content from each other, however, I find Oh My Disney more relatable and entertaining than the other Disney blog sites.  Oh My Disney is known for all the Disney inspired Quizes and Disney inspired custom video content. Think Buzzfeed, but for Disney fanatics.

The purpose of the blog site is to create compelling content and have a deep reach with moms. With great reach and impressions, it provides greater sponsorship and advertising opportunities for third parties.

Because the blog site is owned by Disney, the content if of high value and in my opinion speaks to Disney super fans. Disney is great at telling stories. Through the content they produce, they are able to engage fans and play on emotional experiences they’ve had with Disney brands since childhood.

Here is an example of the custom content Oh My Disney releases, click on the image and you can watch the most adorable little pups dress up as their favorite Disney characters!

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The menu bar titles are clever and the icons are trendy, keeping it relevant and hip for moms! Let’s be real, this blog is all Disney inspired content, if you love Disney, the articles and quizzes are quite entertaining.

If you google Oh My Disney, every social channel for Oh My Disney comes up, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. Paid media on Google and SEO is working to the fullest for the Oh My Disney blog site.  The main Disney page on Pinterest also has a dedicated pin board called Disney Quizzes that drives to Oh My Disney’s site.

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Advertising, yes there is! The Oh My Disney blog site has a 728×90 and 300×250 banner display ad opportunity. Additionally, articles themselves can be sponsored by advertisers with logo integration and organic brand messaging.

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  1. Good, INC. – categorizing this blog as Group and News
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“Good pursues the mission to convene, connect, and empower all of us who give a damn. GOOD is a place to share creative solutions for living well and doing good. GOOD Worldwide chronicles and champions the emerging identity of the global citizen and creative change maker.”

There are two parts to the Good Inc site, the group blog sharing side which Good labels as Community and then the other part is Magazine. The Magazine part of the Good leans more towards the news sharing type blog sites. Just like with BarkPost, there are different categories and sub-sections to the company that lends itself to generate revenue.

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I think their purpose of doing good makes Good, Inc. unique because usually that isn’t the end goal for most people let alone companies. Believing there is good in everyone and everything gives us hope in the world we live in. Does anyone listen to KISS FM in the morning with Ryan Seacrest? He has a call-in promo for listeners when he asks them to call in and tell him something good. Hearing what’s good in other people’s lives has the opportunity to make people generally feel good and genuinely happy. I think it is great to hear good things versus negative ones, which Good, Inc does a great job at leveraging the power of social and advertising to make a difference, and bring people together to do good together!

I interviewed for a position with Good a few years ago, and I can tell you their social footprint has flourished. Good stays true to their mission statement in empowering and bringing people together to give a damn and feature good doer bloggers. They also make it very easy to share on their site.

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Because I have been following Good on Twitter for years, I’ve never had to google and search any content about Good until I started researching Good, Inc for this blog post. With the word good being so common, many different things come up in a google search that are not related to Good, Inc. I believe Good could improve on their SEO especially with their social footprint. It almost feels like they are trying to manage more platforms than they have bandwidth to upkeep. Unlike Disney, the google search produced links to all the Oh My Disney social platforms whereas Good falls short. Now, Good uses social to drive to their articles and posts, but they are not driving people to their social sites from google.

(Note: After writing about their SEO and search, I went to take a screenshot to drive home my point, and now Twitter is showing up in the list.  I honestly believe it is because I’ve been on Good’s Twitter page at least 10 times today! Either way, only one of their social channels appears in the search unlike the other two blogs mentioned in this post.)

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You can find Good on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Flickr.  What’s interesting is that on their main site they only link to the main 4 social channels; Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram and do not link out to YouTube, Pinterest or Flickr despite their presence there.

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On the magazine side of Good’s site, I did see that ads were integrated into the article list. Good also utilized a 728×90 leaderboard and 300×250 banner media on their homepage.

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In closing, I hope that everyone can enjoy some of the content produced by these sites just as much as I do!  I consider all three of these sites, the BarkPost, Oh My Disney and Good successful.  They all are posting engaging content, posting often, posting articles with more than just a sentence, and all engage social media to drive to their sites.