Grad Student

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!)

Doggone_Logo

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.

Push, Pull, and Integrated Marketing

A push marketing strategy is when a brand advertises its product to garner awareness from their target demographic, while the pull strategy released content in the market to reach audiences, which have an existing interest in the brand or product. Below is a closer look at the integrated marketing efforts that Best Western International currently has in the market and I will be identifying which of these marketing platforms are push and which exhibit pull marketing.

“The newer pull strategy has been viewed as a shift in power from advertisers to consumers, and so requires a more adaptive approach by marketers.  With the increase of social networking platforms and users, social networking has become a major and focal part to music marketing adopting the pull marketing strategy. Pull marketing shifts the emphasis and attention onto the customer, trying to market in the correct places by knowing who the target audience is. Consumers are increasingly customizing to better suit their individual needs.” (Wikipedia)  The main idea here is that Best Western is hyper focused on the needs of their customers and are pushing content across all of their digital and social channels which then draws or pulls their audience to their brand.  Most businesses will use a combination of push and pull strategies in order to successfully market a product as Boundless points out. In my opinion, Best Western falls in this successful combination of marketing for their hotels.  Most of the items below are examples of pull marketing, but Best Western does have quarterly promotions that they push out such as their partnership with Disney Media every summer (which is showcased in my previous blog post).

BestWestern.com:

Best Western’s website includes links to all their social sites. The website also includes a booking widget and hotel locator to assist in planning your next vacation. In addition to their hotel directory, the navigation bar includes travel tips, member rewards and travel deals to assist in planning your travel. The latest offer available is located in the hero slider touting the stay 2 nights and earn a $25 gift card. In reviewing Best Western’s sites, you’ll find that this offer is being promoted on multiple media platforms. This offer is a smaller promo compared to bigger tent pole marketing efforts executed by Best Western. Best Western continues to execute integrated marketing efforts no matter the size of the promotion.

In addition to Best Western’s website being the hub for all the social link outs, it has so much information located within the site. Not only does the site allow you to research and book your next vacation, but you also have access to the history of the hotel-chain but also their senior leadership.

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The social media marketing Best Western has in market is a combination of push and pull marketing, however, leans more heavily on the strategy to focus on the pull.  In the social media platforms below, you will see that Best Western is providing a ton of information (specific to the social platform and audience) without a hard sell on booking travel accommodations.  Yes it is about the bookings, but it goes further with the Best Western brand with the focus on the traveler and their experience.

Facebook:

The cover photo touts the current promotion.  Multiple posts daily keep content up to date.  Best Western does a great job of sticking to current events.  In today’s post, they remind their audience it is Talk Like a Pirate Day and share a short pirate inspired video to go along with their post.

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Twitter:

Best Western just recently hosted a Twitter chat with two travel experts asking their audience travel questions, and had the two travel experts answer the chat questions.  Best Western is an industry leader in the hospitality vector because they truly are targeting their audience and communicating with them on each of their advertising platforms.

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Pinterest:

Pinterest boards can be seen as a great example of pull marketing.  Best Western created a travel dream board showcasing their hotels and available destinations. Their pins are incredible and when planning a vacation, you could find a ton of information on locals, not specifically Best Western hotels.  This shows how Best Western is providing information about these destinations and popular things to see and do while visiting.

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Blog-site: You Must Be Trippin’

Best Western is digitally versed and you can find a presence on social platforms that include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ as well their own blog-site named You Must Be Trippin’. Best Western’s You Must Be Trippin’ blog-site has fresh content that is relevant to current events and trending travel topics. Way to go Best Western with the catchy blog-site title!

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YouTube:

Best Western leverages YouTube as a hub for all their video assets.  Everything from travel tips with Tessa to linking to their You Must Be Trippin’ blog articles with video.

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The Mobile Experience:

I was expecting Best Western’s mobile site to be responsive and look like the home page of their website, Facebook and Twitter branding, however, BestWestern.com on mobile takes you straight to the booking feature. I believe that the mobile experience could be enhanced to allow for Best Western branding and easier navigation of the mobile experience.

Email marketing:

E-blasts are examples of push marketing.  Best Western sends out weekly email blasts with their top deals and promotions that are being offered.  The email includes links to all of their social sites to help easily connect their consumers to their content.

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About Best Western International, Inc 

Best Western International, Inc is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,000-plus* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers five types of hotels to suit the needs of our guests for any travel occasion: BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS®, BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, BEST WESTERN PLUS EXECUTIVE RESIDENCYSM and BW Premier CollectionSM. 

Integrated Marketing Summer Promotion

I love Best Western International, Inc because not only do they want the best experience for their customers when they are traveling, but they also want the very best for the individual hotel owners.  I also love the Best Western brand because they are a travel and hospitality leader in digital and social executions.  I believe BWI has found much success in leveraging multi-platform marketing efforts to promote travel during summer months.

Their most recent summer promotion with Disney Media was anchored in the property Teen Beach 2.  Looking to target moms and get their families excited about summer vacation, BWI offered a promotion for 1 lucky winner to have the opportunity to meet Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell at their very own dance party on the beach.  BWI knows the keys to success when it comes to integrated marketing and spread the word about this promotion across linear, digital, radio, social and in the lobbies of their hotels across the United States and Canada!

Let’s take a look at some of the marketing they did this summer!

Linear Platform

Custom television spots promoting the sweepstakes and chance to meet Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell.

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Branded sponsorship on Disney Channel (click below)

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Digital Platform

Sweepstakes Destination, Co-branded Media, and Custom Video Content 

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Click below to see Extreme Poolside Sports

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Radio Platform

National sweepstakes spot and promotion on Radio Disney App

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Social Media Platform

Twitter Party with talent, Promotional Posts across Facebook and Twitter, and Talent Engagement 

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Organic Fandom re-sharing of sponsored content and Teen Beach 2 content

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In-hotel/Retail Platform

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In the lobbies of all Best Western’s in the US and Canada, you could find branded standees and tent cards.  These in-hotel marketing pieces triggered an augmented reality experience allowing you to take a selfie with Ross Lynch and/or Maia Mitchell. The app also had custom content and a quiz featuring who would your travel BFF be from Teen Beach 2!

Additional Social and Digital extensions

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Comparison: Social Media vs. Traditional Media

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Below are two aspects of marketing that will be looked at a little more closely for both Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

 MarketingAspect

Classic Marketing v. Social Media Marketing

The social media world is opening doors for companies to generate revenue from a platform that was not even a consideration a few short years ago. Social media is really a paradigm shift or change in worldview rather than simply a new set of tactics2. Marketing via social media is new to most companies, and many advertisers are in the process of figuring out how social media fits in to their overall media mix.

Not only are the audiences different for every platform so is the execution lead-time, reach, and creative restrictions. I am a true believer in multi-platform marketing and how both classic and social media marketing truly can compliment each other if executed properly. During campaign analysis, I usually find that the metrics are greater when you use multiple media platforms to work together versus choosing one over the other to advertise. That’s not to say that the media landscape always should have a true integrated marketing approach because with most things it depends on the objectives of the campaign in question. For example, if you have a marquee campaign that includes a sweepstakes, television is a great driver for sweepstakes entries over social media drivers. Time and time again, television wins when a brand or company is measuring entries to the sweepstakes layer of their marketing plan. The audience still isn’t there on social to move the needle like we see in TV.

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Type of Marketing

Traditional marketing has always been about brand awareness and having the media platforms push advertising campaigns out into the world for people to consume. Due to the lead time necessary for traditional advertising, brand messages aren’t very flexible — they don’t change often, media buys are committed far in advance, and brands can’t easily adjust to take advantage of new opportunities2. Especially with television or print platforms, the production schedule is usually more than 8 weeks to produce. A traditional media plan is time-consuming mostly on the front end (planning, creating and buying) and back end (quantifying and analyzing) of the campaign. Once a traditional media plan is put into place, it is a mostly hands-off affair3. The guidelines and stakeholders that have to review television ads are far more extensive than social media posts and campaigns.

With a growing plethora of social media options, which are far less costly than traditional media, some of you might be questioning spending money on those pricey TV, radio and print ads to encourage business. However, using both media together, as opposed to one versus the other can move your message further and reach a larger audience3. These days every company has a social media footprint, and exploring how to utilize the platform. Because social media is new to the media mix, companies are testing reach and engagement from Twitter chats and brand awareness campaigns. Companies and advertisers are experimenting with the types of posts that resonate with their audience to generate more likes, comments and shares. The good news is that because social media is an emerging platform, the cost to execute a social campaign is considerably less than that to produce a television spot.

Unlike traditional media campaigns, a social media campaign needs to be worked every day. Monitoring what your customers are saying and doing and then responding accordingly takes time. Most experts’ recommend spending one hour every day with each social media outlet you utilize3.

Language

Traditional marketing goes through many rounds of review with various stakeholders that could include the creative director, legal, standards and practices, brand franchise, or sweepstakes administrator. It is a very formal process and strict to keep the marketing language adhering to the guidelines set forth by the networks and advertising sites. Additionally, the marketing message is more reflective of full thought out clever tag lines or messages. When you look at social media the marketing lingo changes slightly. Everything is abbreviated, shortened, or just a small piece of the overall marketing campaign is shared. Social media also asks the audience their opinion and phrases the marketing language in such a way that it promotes responses to the posts which is true to the platform in having an open two way communication. Social campaigns are still planned in the initial stages of posts people post in response to the marketing posts.

What Should You Do?

With any strategic marketing campaign, you must first know what the goals are and what the advertiser will deem a measurement of success. Once you know their objectives you can start building a marketing campaign to fit their needs and hope to deliver results to meet their expectations. Is the advertiser looking to grow followers? Are they looking for brand awareness? Do they want to create an experience with their brand. These are all very important questions to ask at the launch of any campaign execution.

Thanks for reading!

Links:

  1. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873
  1. https://www.hausmanmarketingletter.com/social-media-versus-traditional-media/
  1. http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/traditional-vs.-social-media-making-the-right-choices

UF Grad Studies | Masters in Social Media

Introduction to Multimedia Communication 

My first blog post ever is happening right now!

I’ve returned to school in order to further my education as strongly believe in continuous learning and development. I have a huge passion for social media and the Florida Gators, therefore, combining my love for both culminated in perfect pursuit of this Masters degree at the University of Florida.

I am really looking forward to collaborating with my fellow classmates and exploring emerging media together. I currently work in a multi-platform ecosystem, and can’t wait to learn new things together! #GoGators

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Find out more about me here!