What I’ve Learned from BUSI-343

Introduction

First of all, I want to state that this semester has BY FAR been the most difficult semester of my college career. From school, to fraternity duties, to searching for internships, it has been a challenging semester. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, projects of my semester has been my research project for Marketing Research and Strategy (BUSI-343). At the beginning of the semester, we were informed about our final project early; a research project to figure out why student enrollment has went down at West Virginia Wesleyan College. There are many theories as to why student enrollment has went down, everyone has their own personal opinion. Putting bias aside, we were tasked with conducting marketing research on the topic, and truly figuring out why student enrollment has went down over the past couple of years. In this blog post, I will discuss with you our research project, how it went, our objectives and whether we accomplished them, plus much more.

How the Project Ended

To create an analysis for our final project, we had to send out surveys to incoming college freshman who are 18 years of age. Our group focused on traditional, high school students, both from the state of West Virginia and from other states, such as Ohio. Traditional students (incoming students) can be defined as students who plan on attending a 4-year college/university after they graduate from high school. We asked them several questions in our surveys, such as: how important is the price of college, how important is the availability of receiving financial aid, how important location, and several other questions pertaining to making the decision of choosing a college or university. We also asked out-of-state students several questions about what drove them to either choose a school in their home state, or a school outside of the state. The results came back in exactly as we expected. Students main factors of choosing a college came down to the price of the institution, the availability of receiving financial aid, and the employability of graduates 6 months after graduating. We found out that a majority of students from other states find out about colleges and universities through the web, which was not a surprise because of the rise in social media. One thing that surprised me, was that 39.1% of the respondents from out-of-state said they first thing they look for in colleges/universities was the list of majors and programs. Initially, I figured cost would be the main factor. Overall, I thought the results were pretty accurate, and our group did a fantastic job of working together to analyze the data and place the information in power point and an outline

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Learning Objectives: What Were They?

Back in February, we wrote a blog post that talked about the objectives we wanted to accomplish. The first thing we wanted to accomplish was figuring out the real reason why student enrollment is down at WVWC. The second objective was to figure out the proper way to conduct marketing research. The last objective was working on a group project with people that has high importance. I thought these objectives were good ideas to focus on because the school is using our research to base their future ideas on increasing student enrollment, and learning how to conduct marketing research is a tool I could utilize in my professional career. Also, learning how to work with a group of people during a big project is also a lesson can utilize in my professional career

Did We Accomplish the Objectives?

In my personal opinion, I felt that we accomplished every objective. From the survey we sent out, I felt like the results showed us the main concerns of incoming students. From the results of our survey, we can conclude that the answers high school students provided are things the administration can work on and focus on to change the way students think about Wesleyan. For the second objective I set for myself, I definitely learned the proper way to conduct marketing research. I realized there are many more steps to marketing research then I previously thought there were, and that marketing research is time consuming. I also learned that working on important project with a group of people will be tasks that I will potentially face as a professional, and this experience gave me great practice of what I may face in my professional career. Learning how to properly conduct marketing research is a tool I will more than likely have to use in my professional career, because with any marketing job, to solve a problem you may have to conduct research to figure out the solution to your problem.

Lessons Learned 

Although this project brought my group and I plenty of success, there were many lessons learned. As I previously mentioned, marketing research has many more steps and takes more time then I previously imagined. During the semester, while we were simultaneously working on our project, we would learn about marketing research in our text book and lecture videos sent by our professor. One thing I learned about marketing research is that you should work in advance. One thing our group did not do well is work in advance. With our surveys, we did not send them out early enough and allow our respondents a surplus of time to respond. Yes, we did get responses to our survey. However, we got them very late towards the due date for our project and barely finished the project on time. We finished the project on time, and I now know to work in advance so it will allow yourself time to make corrections to anything you need to fix, and will allow yourself to prepare for any further actions such as a presentation.

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Pictures from this post were retrieved http://www.buckhannonwv.org & http://www.talkroute.com

How to Make Better Marketing Decisions: Unthinkable Wisdom Review

“How to Make Better Marketing Decisions: Unthinkable Wisdom” was a great podcast, a podcast I would recommend to any business/marketing professional. From the beginning, they provided quality information about using items such as “Emojis” for social media use. Emojis provide humor to any social media post, allows you to emotionally connect to your users, and can bring more life to your posts and attract followers/attract users to your posts. They referred to it as “Emoji Builder” that helps you build your own personal emoji. Using this tool could help me connect better to my audience, if I were to obtain a social media marketing job. A huge lesson that I learned from this podcast was to not make marketing decisions based off trends. If someone were to make a huge decision based on a trend, and the trend dies down, the marketing decision you made based off the trend will do you no good, and you will be stuck in your problem. They discussed how marketers tend to cling to existing trends, and exploiting it. Making decisions under stress could cause a professional to make poor decisions, so to fix this problem you need to study your context and make a decision based off your findings. In my professional career, I now know not to panic when making a decision, but to study my problem, then make a better decision from my findings.

Marketers tend to act as experts, instead they need to act as an investigator. Instead of believing you know the answer to every problem, marketers need to study the context of the problem to make better decisions. I think this is crucial to marketing, because it will increase the probability of finding the right answer for your solution. From the context of this post, something that stuck to me the most is the word innovation. The field of marketing changes every single day. Many marketers tend to stick with the conventional way of doing something (conventional wisdom), which was referred to as insanity. To be a good professional in marketing, you need to be able to adapt with the change in marketing. One thing I will make sure of in the future is to stay up to date with the changes in marketing, because if you do not stay up to date with the innovations you will struggle to make progress in your profession.

To make better decisions, marketers need to ask better questions. Marketers must know what questions to ask before starting to figure out a solution to their problem. It is important to ask questions because you want to have evidence in the solutions you provide, you do not want to go off a “gut feeling”. I find this essential in the terms of becoming successful as a professional. I will utilize this practice to ensure I come up with a solution that I have studied and researched.

How to Make Better Marketing Decisions: Unthinkable Wisdom featuring insights from Jay Acunzo on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Information from this post was pulled from http://www.SocialMediaExaminer.com, and from author Jay Acunzo

To Respond or Not to Respond? That is the Question.

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Issues with Surveys

During the calendar year, hundreds of thousands of surveys are sent out to Americans. Surveys can vary from a customers satisfaction to a specific product, or asking them a set of questions about a certain topic. In my Marketing Research and Strategies class, we are currently conducting a research project that requires us to obtain information from others through questionnaires and surveys. As many of you know, many consumers who are sent surveys/questionnaires do not take the time to respond to these surveys because it is “out of their way”, or “not relevant to them”. In this blog post, I will be discussing with you the plan my group has to determine the success rate of responses to our surveys, how we will determine errors and the success rate of responses, and the defense mechanisms we will use to address errors.

Control Mechanisms for Errors

For intentional fieldworker errors (cheating & leading respondent), there are several things we can do. When we send out the survey, an option we will use is sending a contract along with the survey, stating that the person we sent the survey to is the person filling out the survey, not someone else. This will validate that the right person filled out the survey and there are not biased answers or someone is just filling the survey out to complete it. We will not be able to tap in to the person filling out the survey, as we do not have the proper technology to do so, nor the legal rights to do so. For unintentional fieldworker errors (interviewer characteristics, misunderstandings, & fatigue), we will create a survey that is not excessively long to where they are fatigued, and place clear cut instructions on how to answer the survey and what we are looking for. When I say what we are looking for, I am referring to why we are conducting the survey. When pertaining to instructions, we will clarify if the surveyor is to select one option, as many as applicable, rate on a scale of 1-10 and how the scale works, etc.

For intentional respondent errors (falsehoods & nonresponse), we will ensure at the beginning of our surveys that the responses are 100% confidential, and personal information given to us will not leave the eyes and mouths of the group. Also, as I previously mentioned, we will attach a contract stating that the answers from the surveys are from the surveyor we provided them to, not from someone else. Since this project is not funded, we will not be able to provide incentives to the surveyor. This is a great way to get surveyors to answer the surveys, we just do not have the funding for it. We will ensure the surveyors that their responses will be referenced in our project, not individual people, but the sample size itself. Finally, for unintentional respondent errors (misunderstandings, guessing, attention loss, distractions, & fatigue), our questions will be direct and to the point, we will not provide questions that a surveyor will be confused with answering. With our surveys, we will make it clear of why we are doing our survey, and why their answers are important for our project, which is helping West Virginia Wesleyan College improve their enrollment numbers. We will also provide prompters towards the end of our surveys, to ensure the surveyor that they are almost finished with the survey. Another strategy we will use is to provide answers such as “un-sure” for certain questions in case respondents do not have an answer for the question
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Potential Nonresponse Errors

There are several errors that can occur when sending out a survey and there are several things my group can do to calculate how well people responded to our survey. One big error that could happen is simply, someone opening the survey and not paying attention to it. As weird as it sounds, some people cannot take 5-10 minutes out of their day to fill out a survey, which also is described as laziness. Another potential error we may face is the answers provided being valid, meaning the one who answers the question is not the person we sent the survey to. Also, respondents may rush through the survey to get it done faster. This could possibly hinder the validity of the survey and respondents may provide us with invalid answers.  There are several steps we can take to ensure these errors do not occur. 1. We can explain in the beginning of our surveys that it is imperative the respondents respond truthfully, because their answers will be used towards how research of helping Wesleyan improve their problem. 2. We can provide the respondents with a contract asking them to agree that they are the person responding to the questions, and that they will answer them truthfully. Also, in this contract, we will provide them the assurance that the answers are confidential so they will not be afraid of answering the questions with honesty.  3. We can figure out a way of knowing the time it takes for a person to finish the survey, so we know they are taking the proper time to answer the questions. The amount of time our surveys should take should be no more than 5-10 minutes.

Importance of Response Rate

Including the response rate in our results and in our project is very important. Showing the response rate can help us argue our claim, and validate our results. Me personally, I believe a response rate of over 50% is a valid rate. Anything below 50% hinder our claims, and make our assumptions less credible. Our goal for this research project is to obtain at least a 75% response rate. With a 75% response rate, our assumptions and claims would be valid and give our peers a good idea of areas they may want to improve on, and areas they may want to do less of.

Information from this survey was pulled from Marketing Research, 8th edition, Insights Association, AAPOR, customerthermometer.com, & slideshare.net.

 

 

The Struggles of a Private Institution. What Shall We Do?

Introduction

In the state of West Virginia, there are many colleges and universities one may attend. The Mountain State offers schools such as WVU and Marshall, which are Division 1, government funded public schools that host thousands upon thousands of students each school year. Aside from the two largest schools the state has to offer, there are several Division 2 schools within our states parameter. Such schools include Fairmont State, Concord, Glenville State, and West Virginia State. These institutions are also government funded public schools. Then, there is the college I attend. West Virginia Wesleyan College, a private institution that is not government funded, and relies on stellar academic reputation to recruit students into the school. Over the recent years, the student enrollment of West Virginia Wesleyan has seen a significant decrease. Currently, I am a student in Marketing Research and Strategies. Our class has paired up with school officials and we have been placed with a task of conducting a research project to figure out why student enrollment has decreased in the past couple of years. Our class has met with school officials, and we have came up with several potential reasons as to why student enrollment may be down. Now, it is our time to figure out the real issues.

Teammates and Responsibilities

For our group project, the class has been divided into four groups. Each group has a “Team Lead”, which is the group leader of each group. I was fortunate to be chosen by my professor as one of the group leaders. In my group, I have some intelligent members. My group member names are Cole Skaggs, Sam Ross, Nina Flores, Liz Fafiade, Hunter Rotarius, and Luca Falconieri. Each group has been tasked with taking a potential reason for the decrease and student enrollment, and figure out in details about that certain topic. We are tasked with conducting marketing research about recruitment, and the different categories/segments of recruitment. We narrowed down recruitment to 4 categories: traditional students, non-traditional students, and non-West Virginia citizens. We will be conducting research on the wants and needs of the four separate categories, and figure out the wants and needs of the marketing mix for these prospective students. We also want to figure out how promote these prospective students. Pertaining to our responsibilities, we will each conduct the same amount of research and do the same amount of work. We will operate like this because of the high caliber students we have in our group.

Our group has many strengths and weaknesses. To start with our strengths, we have a high level of intelligence within our group. Each of the students in our group strives for academic excellence, and has seen academic success in their times during college. Since each member of our group is at least a Junior in the classroom, I have had experience working with each individual. From working with each group member, I have noticed the drive and hard work ethic each student possesses. Each group member is also well time oriented. We are each in other organizations and sports teams on campus, so they know how to manage their time. Although every student has their weaknesses, I do not see many within our group. One weakness I do, which could be considered a threat, is that because we are all so intelligent, group members may be over controlling and try to make the group do as they want.

For my personal strength and weaknesses, I see several. I am extremely hard working. I am willing to do whatever it takes for my group to thrive and be successful. I am hard working, I will spend however much time it takes to get the tasks we have completed in whatever fashion it requires. I bring resources to the table, as in research experience and resources from the American Marketing Association. Regarding weaknesses, I tend to take over projects in fear that the group may not do well unless I do so, which means I need to place more trust in my group members. I am involved in many organizations on campus, which means I will have to manage my time better with other activities (another threat). I also deal with conflict poorly, so I will have to do a better job and deal with conflict better in my group (if any arises).

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Learning Objectives

There are three objectives during this project that my group and I want to achieve by the end of the project. The first objective we want to achieve, is to figure out the real reason why student enrollment is down. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, many students on this campus have their own opinion as to why student enrollment is down. To figure this out the proper way, we will be conducting marketing research on the recruitment aspect of the school. We will figure out what each category of the types of recruits want and need, and their preferences on the marketing mix, and also figure out the proper way to promote our school to them. Another objective I want to achieve is learning the proper techniques of marketing research, and the proper ways to conduct marketing research. I want to learn this field of study for the future work force I may be getting into. To do this, we will learn different forms of marketing research and strategies during lectures, and practice them within our project. The final objective I want to achieve is learning how to work with a group of people on a project with high importance. In the past, I have been apart of many group projects. Since this project is for the school, it is of the highest importance. I want to make sure my group and myself help the college in the best ways we can. I will do this by applying myself more than I have in any other project, conduct more than enough research to validate my solutions, and dedicate my group members. This will better prepare me for the work force.

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The pictures in the post are used from http://www.vecteezy.com and http://www.twitter.com/WVWCBobcats.

OKCupid: Ethical or Unethical?

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Summary

When it comes to social media, where is the line drawn between being ethical and being unethical? That is a question up for debate depending on the person. Two social media platforms in the past have performed unethical practices in the past: OKCupid and Facebook. Now, maybe there have been other platforms that have conducted unethical practices in the past (I’m sure there has been), but these specific social media platforms were highlighted in our Marketing Research textbook. In 2014, OKCupid conducted an experiment on its users. The experiment had three parts, one of the parts included the platform falsifying the match percentage for their users to make it appear users were a better match for one another than they actually were. A reason why OKCupid did this was to get users to connect. If two users are told they were good matches, they are more likely to connect than two users who are told they may not be a good match. After this experiment was conducted, OKCupid informed the users that had their scores manipulated about the tests, and then preceded to show them the actual match scores. Ethical or unethical?

There were two other parts to the experiment. In one experiment, the site removed all profile pictures from the users profiles to see how users would react. Even though the percentage of new conversations dropped, the percentage of message replies increased, according to the book: “Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)”. In another experiment, the site hid user profile text to determine what would happen to users personality ratings. Ethical or unethical?

Purpose/Codes Violated

The main purpose behind these experiments were to figure out how the company could provide their users with the best dating website they could provide. the question is, however, were these experiments ethical or unethical? From analyzing the experiments, and reviewing the Insights Association Code of Standards, I find these experiments to be unethical. To start, according to Section 3 of the Code of Standards and Ethics, “Whenever possible, passive data collection must be based on the consent of the data subject. In such situations, researchers must provide clear and simple methods for data subjects to grant and retract their consent”. By measuring users data from connecting each other with false matching results (without their consent), they are preforming unethical practices.

According to Section 7 of the Code of Standards and Ethics, “Honesty and Transparency”: “Be honest and transparent in all interactions”, and “Not use any data collected solely for a specific client for any other purpose without permission”. By falsifying match results with specific users, OKCupid gave users false result that could potentially lead to relationships with people that were not wanted or correct. Giving users incorrect matching results could lead users to start talking to other users that they either do not want to converse with, or potentially lead to relationships that are not wanted. Also, as I previously mentioned, this platform conducted this experiment without the permission of the users.

Recommendations

My recommendation to this company from the first code violation, would be to reach out to these specific users that were used in the experiment, and inform them about what they’re doing within the experiment. Before this however, they must receive the consent by the user. If not, they should not conduct the experiment. My suggestion for the second code used, would first be: do not change the results of matching for users. If a user does not match at a high percentage, do not change the percentage, it was not meant to be. Secondly, if you were to try this experiment (doesn’t make sense to me), be sure to get consent from the users you plan to use in the experiment. There is nothing worse than to be used in an experiment without your own consent.

Consensus: Unethical

As you could probably tell, I find this experiment conducted by OKCupid to be unethical. They violated two of the codes from the Insight Association, which is a big no go. A big red flag would be conducting an experiment without the consent of the user. I find it humorous that the company let the users know after the experiment was conducted that they were apart of it. “Yeah, we used you in this experiment, hope it’s okay”. Very questionable call by OKCupid. Using falsifiable information without consent could lead to potential lawsuits. Maybe this company should be careful next time and follow these codes so they do not seek future problems.

Information from this post was used from: Marketing Research (8th edition), http://www.insightassociation.org, http://www.nytimes.com, http://www.ilhumanities.org. Pictures were received from http://www.chuckgallagher.com, and ngonapoom.wordpress.com.

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Final Team Project

All graphs and pictures were used in our group Commspoint research

From the beginning of the fall semester, our Advertising and Public Relations class has been working on final team projects. Each group was given a company, particularly one that is local, and was responsible for conducting a marketing proposal to help their given company fix a specific problem or issue given by their company. My group, which consisted of four other classmates, were given GoMart as our company. GoMart is a gas station/convenience store founded in the state of West Virginia, and has expanded to states such as Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia. GoMart’s main problem, and the problem we were tasked with finding a solution for, was the in store traffic of Generation Z, and how we could increase the in store traffic and awareness for this target audience.

Generation Z is the generation I, including my team members, are apart of. The age of this group is 18-23, particularly college students. Generation Z is obsessed with technology. Nearly the entire generation has a smartphone, and uses some sort of social media. Whether it is Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or all of them, a majority of this age group uses some form of social media. Since adults our age utilize social media significantly, our group focused on improving social media to increase in store traffic and awareness of Generation Z. Our plan was to improve how GoMart uses social media, update the online website, hoping to attract our generation.

Earlier this semester, our group followed the Twitter and Instagram account of GoMart so we could evaluate how well they utilized their social media platforms. To credit GoMart, Instagram was utilized and updated every couple days, on average several posts were uploaded each week. Twitter, however, was not utilized to the best ability. It was very seldom to see a couple posts each week, which is something they can work on. After our analysis, we concluded that GoMart needs to work on how much they use Twitter, providing the users of Twitter with more tweets, graphics, etc. Our group wanted to develop ads to place on Twitter, which was costly for some advertisements, but we found a much cheaper way to place advertisements on Twitter.

One of the biggest parts of this project was Commspoint. Commspoint is a strategic planning software that helps agencies identify the optimal communication channel mix for a certain product, good, or service. We used this software to help further define our target audience, Generation Z. It is obvious that this generation is composed of males and females, ages 18-23. This was not enough for our group. We wanted to know as much about this generation as we could possibly find, things such as: marriage status, education level, whether they were enrolled in college or not, their net income, whether or not they had children, what type of media this generation used the most, and more importantly, who had a car. If consumers do not have a vehicle or a means of transportation, they would be unable to approach GoMart stores.

This project contained several assignments, countless hours of research and studying, and plenty of effort. We as a group believe our marketing campaign proposal is an excellent way for GoMart to increase the in store traffic and awareness of Generation Z. Who knows, maybe GoMart will use our idea and we will get Generation Z into GoMart!

 

 

 

Ads Everywhere!!!

Lets hop in my hot tub time machine and travel back to the 1960’s. The 60’s were very simple times. No one had a cell phone, social media was nonexistent, and the science of advertising was simple. Advertising was simple, it was based off of push media, meaning advertisers placed it in front of consumers. The only times a consumer was exposed to advertising were through the newspaper, the radio, and later in the 60’s (if your family had one) on television . Now lets hop back in my hot tub time machine and return to 2017. Because of innovation and an increase in technology, advertising has taken a complete 180 turn. Advertising is everywhere around us. It on televisions, radios, mobile devices, billboards, lap tops, the list could go on and on. According to ama.org, studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. 10,000?! That’s an outrageous amount of advertisements. To test and see if this was accurate, I spent an entire day marking down the number of advertisements i was exposed to.

I chose to conduct this experiment on a Tuesday. After waking up, I got on my cell phone and was immediately exposed to several advertisements. I opened twitter, and the first thing I saw was a video of Cheez-It’s promoting their new grooves crackers. I continued to scroll, and scrolled by an AMC Theater ad, promoting a popcorn and soda deal they are offering in selected theaters. Several more ads showed up on my timeline before I got off twitter and started getting ready for the day. While walking to class, I was listening to Pandora Radio. After skipping a song, a Giant Eagle advertisement came up, describing their fuel reward system, and how one can earn perks on gift cards by purchasing gasoline. Just like twitter, several ads were placed in front of me while listening to Pandora.

 

Billboards are an effective way to advertise, but I did not drive during this day so I was not exposed to this form of advertising. Later that day however, I continued to listen to Pandora, and again was exposed to more ads. The first ad I witnessed was from RAZE. RAZE is an organization that fights against the use of cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products. In this ad, they discussed how smoking tobacco and cause severe health problems such as gum disease, and even cancer. After a couple more songs, the same Cheez-It advertisement I mentioned earlier came on Pandora. I presumed to log back onto Twitter and the same Cheez-It ad came up again. Seeing the same advertisement multiple times in the same day annoyed me, and persuaded me to not try their crackers.

Throughout this casual Tuesday, I was exposed to several dozen ads through social media, Pandora, and walking around campus. If I were to right about every single advertisement I was exposed to in this day, it would take me a week to write this blog, so sorry to disappoint any viewer who wants to read a 10,000 blog, but you are not getting it from me (I’m not actually sorry). I expected to see many ads. However, I was almost certain that I would not see 10,000 of them. Maybe in fact the average consumer is exposed to 10,000 ads a day, but this number can be altered by the consumers themselves. Consumers today choose how many ads they are exposed to, by their actions. If you watch television for two hours a day, drive around for an hour, check Twitter all day, and watch YouTube videos often, chances are you will be exposed to a large number of ads. It did not surprise me that I was only exposed to a certain amount of ads, because I chose what media I observed, and how much of it I observed.

The advertisement I found most interesting was the RAZE ad. It really triggered the emotional appeal when discussing how the use of smokeless tobacco could cause severe health problems, and even cause death. In the ad, it showed a video of a man before he started to use smokeless tobacco, with a normal face. Then, after countless use of this product, it showed the man without his jaw. This ad triggered the emotional appeal, and really made its message evident. Out of every ad I was exposed to in one day, this one stood out the most by far!

 

NFL Rates: Plummeting!!!

 

 

The content I based my blog off of came from forbes.comsportsmediawatch.com , and businessinsider.com

Football is one of America’s pastimes, beside baseball. It has been an event for many years that brought families together, on a Sunday afternoon, to the living room to watch the game on the big screen. However, the NFL has seen a significant decrease in overall ratings and viewers this football season. Everyone has their opinion about the cause of this issue, but this is not meant to be political. One of the main issues of the recent decline in viewers and ratings of NFL games, from a marketing standpoint, is advertising.

According to Forbes, companies that broadcast NFL games such as Fox and CBS, have seen up to an 8% decrease in overall stock market shares. Ratings for the NFL have been worse this season in comparison to last, and attendance for some games this season has also seen decrease. According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, they estimated the recent drop in NFL ratings could trim the broadcasters earnings by $200,000,000 (you saw it correctly, 2oo million dollars). If the amount of viewers continues to decrease, advertising companies may find that sponsoring or placing advertisements during NFL games to be less significant, and eventually useless!

Lets get deep into the statistics of the recent drop of NFL ratings. In week 1, ratings dropped 13% from the same week in 2016 During week 2 of the NFL season, the league saw a 4% drop in average viewers from 2016, and a 14% drop in viewers during Monday Night football. Lets take things into realization, many aspects could have caused these ratings during the first two weeks. During the first two weeks of the NFL season, Hurricane Irma came through and devastated the southern part of the state. The storm could have caused issues with cable, but the downward trend of ratings make the speculation that this will continue.

It is crystal clear, overall NFL ratings are increasing and they are continuing to increase. It is not my place to provide the reason why, because the political side of this issue is not the topic being discussed, and there are too many arguments and sides to be taken. Regardless, the decrease in NFL Ratings has had a major affect on the industry of advertising. With receiving less views, what can advertisement companies do?

There are several courses of actions advertising companies can do. One trend we might start seeing, is some big name companies removing their advertisements from NFL games and placing them elsewhere, possibly other sporting events, or other television networks. Even with the recent decrease in viewership of NFL games, football is one of the most watched programs on T.V. Advertisers need to get creative, they need to start reaching more consumers. With the modern day consumer decision journey, consumers fall under pull media. Pull media is what consumers what to pull out. Advertisers need to revert back to push media, and re opening the eyes of consumers. This can also be seen as media changing. Maybe advertisers need to start placing their ads more on social media, and less on television. Time will tell the fate of advertising and how it is brought to us.

 

nfl_tv_ratings_001

Source

Reactions to “How An Agency Works?”

I used the website inneractionmedia.com to base my thoughts and reactions.

 

This past Monday, we had a guest speaker visit our class by the name of Michael Arbogast. He works for an advertising and digital marketing company out of Morgantown, WV called Inneraction Media. Not only is he an employee of this company, but he is also the Co-Founder. Michael gave a great presentation on how his agency works, and the things you need to apply and think about in order to find success in this field. I found this meeting with Michael to be very beneficial, as I am a marketing major. This presentation provided many great takeaways and lessons that I plan to use in the future.

One of the first things said during the presentation was “It’s not about me”. When working with customers, it is not about you. A customer’s main concern is what can an agency can do for them. How can an agency help them? And, what will the agency do for them? Arbogast explained that there are three things an agency needs more of, and three things an agency needs less of. They need more money, more customers, and more time. They also need less distractions, less stress, and less wasted expenses.

During the presentation, Mr. Arbogast divided the classroom to two sides, or two teams, and had us participate in an exercise. He gave each side of the classroom a stack of cards. Each card had a picture on it and the goal of the exercise was to put the pictures in the correct sequence. However, there was a catch. The card you were handed was the only card you were allowed to view. This forced the groups to communicate with each other in order to put the cards in correct sequence (the game was very fun, but also challenging). While each of the group members described the picture in hand, we slowly assembled the sequence, trusting each member in our group on their description. In the end, both groups made the sequence correctly without seeing another card but our own.

I enjoyed this exercise very much. This alone taught me several things about marketing and business. If you are working in an agency with other people, you have to trust their abilities and the decisions they make. When you work with a client, the opposite side might not be able to explain thoroughly or show thoroughly what they want or need. That’s why it is the marketers job to ask questions and work with the client to figure it out. Marketers should also work quickly and efficiently, you do not want to take too much time when you are working with a client. Each of these aspects were evident in the exercise.

This semester we are creating an agency as groups and working with clients in efforts to create an ad campaign. After listening to Arbogasts presentation, there are many things I learned that I can apply when working with my team and client. Michael explained that there are five things clients should expect: build trust, share information, learn and teach each other, accessibility, and partnership. In order to build trust, we must get to know our clients, find out where they are and where they want to be. Share information with your client, ask them questions and figure them out. Learn from your client and teach them what they want to know or do not know. Be accessible to your client, if they ask you a question, answer it as quickly and intelligently as you can. When it comes to partnership, bring a strategy or implementation. Let them know how you’re going to work and what you plan to do. Working with a client in this way will ensure your ad campaign is efficient, professional, and they way it’s supposed to be made. Another thing he implied was if you do not know something, do not fake it. This is a great way to lose customers. Avoiding this will also help our ad campaign work smoothly.

 

 

 

 

Takeaways from the Consumer Decision Journey

 

 

I use the textbook Media Planning Essentials by Beth Egan published by Stukent.

Over the past 60-70 years, the science of marketing has seen significant changes. Once upon a time, marketing was considered one way communication, which is marketer to consumer. As we moved into the 21st century, marketing has become a two way conversation. With the two way conversation, not only does the marketer interact with the consumer, but the consumer interacts with the marketer. The Consumer Decision Journey can help explain this. Due to marketing swaying away from one way communication, marketers needed to create a more sufficient way to satisfy customer demands and manage word of mouth. Thus, the development of the Consumer Decision Journey emerged.

From a personal standpoint, this process was intriguing to me. During this process, brands have the opportunity to impact customer experience. In other words, a brands relationship with a consumer does not have to end after the purchase of a product. Once a product or service is purchased, the consumer can build expectations based on experience to inform the next decision journey. The active evaluation stage is another aspect of this process I find intriguing. In the modern day market, a consumer can actively evaluate many similar products they may consider purchasing. Due to a huge help from social media, consumers today are able to see the many various products they are able to purchase. For example, there are many types and brands of football cleats. With the help of social media and advertisement, a consumer is able to access and evaluate several types of football cleats, thus working their way to making a decision on the purchase ahead of them.

The consumer decision journey also plays an important role in media planning. The job of a media planner is to make sure the advertising message is placed in front of the right consumers. Lets take a trip to the 1960’s. Before the major advancements in technology our country has seen recently, the main ways of advertising were based through radio, newspaper, and through television if your family owned one. To sum this up, consumers were very limited to what products and services they were able to see. Now lets speed up to 2017. Due to advancements in technologies such as the internet, the job of a media planner became very difficult. Instead of your family having access to five or six television shows, the average family has access to hundreds of T.V. shows, movies, and other entertaining items. This also allowed consumers to be more selective on what they were able to access. Because of this, media planners now have to be that more creative in attracting the attention of everyday consumers.

The CDJ allows media planning to come easier to consumers. Because there are so many products and services advertised, a consumer has so many to choose from thus coming up with an initial set of brands. During the active evaluation process, the number of brands are added or subtracted as they evaluate what they want. Then comes the moment of purchase, when a consumer selects the brand. The consumer evaluation journey is a helpful process that will help the purchase of goods and services to come easier.

What are your thoughts on the Consumer Decision Journey?