Category: Chapter 13 – Promotion Essentials: Digital and Social Media Marketing

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Free Services! Low Prices! … Kind Of

Advertising can pose a challenge to marketers. On one side, they want to present their products and services in the best light to appeal to customers. On the other, high prices or flaws in quality may be an unappealing aspect of their products and services, causing potential customers to choose competitors instead. Marketers have to balance highlighting best qualities in order to attract customers and being honest about the realistic – and possibly negative – features of products and services. Because of this, some marketers fall into a trap of false or deceptive advertising.

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The Subscription Bandwagon

The relationship between brand and customer relies on the value that brands create. And marketers are always looking for ways to prove that their products and services are valuable enough to purchase. What do customers gain from my brand, and how can I show them we are worth the investment? Subscriptions allow brands to provide customers with their products and services on a regular payment and delivery schedule. Newspaper deliveries or streaming services like Netflix might come to mind when you think of subscriptions. But really, everyone from airlines to social media platforms are giving subscriptions a try.

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Mental Health Marketing

Stigmas associated with mental health have been breaking down over the last few years, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic as stress, anxiety, and depression have risen to alarmingly high levels. While brands have previously either faced backlash for mental health in marketing campaigns or completely shied away from the topic, now consumers value brands that acknowledge and relate to their personal struggles.

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SEO Marketing

What is SEO marketing? Why is it important? With “67,000 users perform[ing] a Google search every second of everyday,” people have a heavy reliance on the internet for accessing information, communicating, and performing business transactions. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential digital marketing strategy for all businesses to increase revenues and gain the attention of customers. It allows businesses to optimize their websites for search engines like Google in order to improve their customers’ experience and their own bottom line.

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Flavors & Layers: Lessons from Lay’s

From fat-free chips to flavor contests, market research has both failed and supported the well-known potato chip brand, Lay’s, in their product development process. The Wow! “healthy” chip disaster shows that promising market tests don’t always spell success. Crowdsourcing campaigns, while beneficial for increasing customer engagement and boosting short-term revenue streams, can provide inaccurate insight into long-term consumer preferences. This year, Lay’s has released a new product line, Lay’s Layers, but only in two flavors presumably as a large-scale market test for their brand-new chip design.

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The Grande Escape

Taco Bell’s latest advertisement campaign pokes fun at market leader and competitor McDonald’s. The ad features singer Doja Cat escaping from a clown school whose ice cream machines are broken. Sound familiar? Using comparative advertising, influencer and social media marketing, and rewards program incentives, Taco Bell’s recent ad campaign not so subtly asserts their superiority over the fast-food leader plagued by broken ice cream machines.

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Rewarding Loyalty

Fetch Rewards is a company that allows users to earn rewards back on their purchases from several companies, eliminating the need to participate in brand-specific rewards programs. In exchange for a partnership with Fetch Rewards, companies can gain access to certain user data. User data analytics allows companies to strategically target customers based on their purchasing habits and favorite rewards, among other usage metrics. Would you give up data on your spending preferences for appealing rewards and personalized advertisements from your favorite brands?

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Greenwashing

Take a look at your shampoo bottle or an item in your pantry. Is the packaging recyclable? Is it “naturally derived”? Does it come from a “sustainable” brand? Chances are, you are being misled by those labels. In order to meet increased consumer expectations for environmentally friendly products and services and reach net zero emission goals, companies have taken a less than ethical approach when advertising their products: greenwashing.

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When Endorsements Go Wrong

Celebrities can attract new customers, boost sales, and be iconic in advertising campaigns. With increased importance placed on social media marketing, endorsements can also come from smaller scale stars like Instagram influencers. Consumers will buy a product or service because their favorite influencer raves about it on Tik Tok or to support their favorite actress’s new product line, regardless of the celebrity’s actual involvement in product creation. [i] Despite the enormous benefits to celebrity and influencer endorsements, marketers face equally great risks to partnering their brand or product with an individual. Scandal and controversy are difficult to predict and can damage a company’s reputation and sales.

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Jazzed Up Bubbles

Celebrity endorsements have been around for as long as the concept of celebrity has existed. Consider PepsiCo’s newest brand of sparkling water, Bubly. In 2019, the company contracted with Michael Bublé for a series of advertisements where he plays with the Bubly/Bublé relationship, insisting that the water’s name is pronounced “boo-blay,” like his last name. The Bublé/Bubly partnership applies a number of essential items for a successful celebrity endorsement.