Advertising In Your Pocket: Mobile Advertising

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Phones rule the world. People are addicted to having information at their fingertips and I can’t say  I haven’t been affected either .I usually can’t go ten minutes without checking my phone. I wish I could say I was checking for emails or working, but usually I am just checking my social media apps, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… Mobile marketing and apps have been improving so much that it is causing the society’s addiction to grow stronger and stronger.

Mobile promotions is actually very simple and something your business should be participating in. There are a variety of mobile promotion tactics that have been used successfully by businesses globally and locally. These include  mobile coupon incentives, sweepstakes, and user polling apps. . Each has different rates of success, but is best used with an objective that is the goal for the mobile promotion.

Sweepstakes have the objective of drawing in new potential customers. A mobile promotion sweepstakes generally invites users to send a text message to a short code address. They enter and there is a drawing for prizes at a later date. This encourages the users to keep in touch and offer more information about themselves in the process.

Mobile coupon incentives have the objective of gaining demographic information about a user’s regional shopping habits. This kind of mobile promotion enables marketing of customized coupons; it lets the customer participate directly in the process. This is always a big incentive to create customer brand name loyalty.

User polls and apps that allow voting are very popular. Consumers do appreciate being heard. The objective is to have the user reveal detailed information about themselves and their shopping habits. By answering the well-chosen questions in the opinion poll application, they are already fulfilling the goal and the objective.

There is little risk associated with any of these tactics, but the rewards can be amazing. Each is guaranteed to offer new insight into the users and customers that are interested in the promotion.

There are three key factors that mobile advertising strives on:

Location:  Unlike a computer, your phone will give your promotions to places of where you are currently located. Let’s say you’re a Washington native but are currently in Oregon. Your computer is going to make it look like you are located in Washington and only give you ads to there, which is pointless if you are located in Oregon. Phones will send you ads for Oregon and that is greatly beneficial for you business, so that customers can be presented with ads to your business.  This will help bring new customers into your business and create word of mouth advertising, especially if they go back to Washington and give a raving review. Your also not just targeting the natives, but the tourists. Tourists can bring in a large profit, depending on  your business.

Timing: The times that your ads go to customers phones is key. For example if you run a restaurant you wouldn’t want ads promoting your breakfast special to be sent to customers at 2 pm.  You want to schedule your ads at peak hours, so that you can target customers that are most likely to use the promotions at the specified time. Also timing is key because it allows for your ads to be immediate. Unlike computers you can just send your ads to the phone at the time you want and people will see it at that time.

Relevance: Like I have been saying all along your content needs to be good and it need to be relevant to the customer now, not in a week , but now. This is a moment to engage your customer and have them act now. Context is not easy to implement and if you provide it to the customer at the moment they are seeking the information than you are going to raise sales and ROI.  Offer your customers a text messaging surface. For example when you are in a movie theater and there is an ad to text a certain number that will find out what your phone is “dreaming” while the movie is going on. That is relevant to what  they are experiencing and is the prime time to get customers to participate in an easy and fun way.

Now lets talk about apps. I love apps. I think that they are awesome and they are the best way to bring customers to you. Your app needs to be up to date and it needs to be easy for the customer to use. There have been many times when I have attempted to use an app and they are not user-friendly. I would have to say my favorite app right now is the US Bank app. I can easily access all my information, deposit  checks, and make transfers. Why is this app so successful?

Well first thing is they provide  a great product and they create a great virtual opportunity where the user can be engaged at a moments notice. It doesn’t matter what time the user access the app but it is accessible for everyone. I know that iPhones are the way of the world and if you are anyone you are expected to have one, but 50% of the market has an Android. Make sure your app is usable for both iPhone’s and Androids.

Make sure that you don’t try to hit every person with your app. Choose a smaller market, people who want what your app offers will  make sure they will use your product. Smaller markets will allow for you to create brand loyalty and to bring new customers in. I talk about  my US Bank app all the time and if I meet anyone who has US Bank I tell them to get the app because it does everything I want it to do .

The next key to a successful app is to track everything. Last week I talked about database marketing and that applies to phones. Track the customers that use  your mobile site and what they use through that site. By tracking your customers you will know what aspects of your app they using and what they are not. This will allow for you to improve upon the features you offer and make people want to use them even more.  They will also provide you with information you want. If you have polls or surveys, that offer a chance for customers to give opinions on what they want improved, then you will obtain data that will improve your app without anyone publicly posting negative feelings.

The next key thing you need to have for an app is make it FREE. I download apps that are free because I am a broke college student and don’t want to pay for anything. By making an app free that doesn’t mean that you don’t earn profit off it.  This is like when you create a YouTube channel and everyone views it for free. Eventually you are going to make money off it. People are going to love the product you are offering and will eventually buy your product. That is the goal right?

App development  is not easy and it takes time. Make sure you keep developing your apps because someone is going to have issues with what you  are providing. I love upgrades because I know the product that I love is already improving.

Here is a link to learn how to improve apps.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/avidlarizadeh/2013/07/19/eight-tips-for-a-successful-app/

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A/B Testing: The Scientific Method Of Marketing

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A/B Testing is the scientific method of marketing. It is used to test different aspects of marketing techniques your business uses to find out which one is more successful than the other. Lets use the diagram from above as an example. Lets say your business is trying to figure out to gain more traffic to your website through subject lines in your email. You have a Group A (Control Group) and Group B (Test Group).  Group A is going to be your control group, so if you have a subject line that you  normally use or a constant format for your subject line then you would still use it here. For example I am responsible for sending out the emails for my marketing club. Typically I use the subject line “SMA Meeting (Date)” This is what I would use for Group A. Now Group B is your testing group. This is where you use your experimental subject line. For example to draw more members to come to the next weeks meeting I might use  the subject line: “SMA Networking Social”.

After you have your Group A and Group B it is time to pick who should be sent which. This should be completely random. You don’t want to be bias towards who sees what because that could cause your data to be skewed. Some suggestions would be just randomly choosing half and half or creating an excel sheet and choosing a random number and then counting the list till you get to that number. Once you get to that number take that email and start all over again.

Once you have your groups set make sure to set a conversion goal. For example with the email subject line you could use a conversion of how many people open the email or if that is showing little data, how many people go to your webpage through the email link. One thing to keep is mind is that you need to make sure you are testing both of these subject lines at the same time so that  everyone is getting the same information in the email and to minimize the outside variables affecting the users decision to open/not open the email.

When it comes to email a great site to use is MailChimp. Follow this link and it will give you the steps to creating a A/B campaign through their site : http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/how-can-i-run-an-a-b-split-test-campaign-on-my-content/. MailChimp can track how many people open your emails or follow the link on the email and other exciting things! If you are deciding to test variables on your webpage you can easily create a code to embed into your website. Visual Optimizer can take you through the steps  if you follow this link: https://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/ab-testing/.

So you have set up your conversion rate and now it’s time to get testing! Like I stated earlier, test both groups at the same time.  Make sure you don’t stop your test too early. If you end a test too early than you will not have as much information as possible and you may not be able to make valid conclusions. On that note make sure you don’t end too late because this could begin to make you lose conversion rates all together. I wish I could tell you what the perfect length is for your A/B testing but it really all depends on what your testing and what your goals are.  Luckily Visual Optimization has a handy-dandy calculator that  you can use to figure out a suggestion of how long you should keep your testing going. The calculator is located through this link: http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/ab-split-test-duration/.

Now once you have tested to the fullest you get to look at the data. To me this is the funnest part. Being able to analyze data and see if your hypothesis was right. Sometimes the results can be way different from your hypothesis but you do not know best. 

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Yes, really. Numbers tell the truth as long as you did your testing correctly. Granted there will be some skewed data and sometimes your A/B test is going to fail, but do not go with your gut feeling. Also if you do not like the numbers that are showing half way through your test DO NOT MAKE CHANGES. That will cause more variations in your data and you would have to throw all of your data away. So once you have analyzed your data the one that reaches your conversion goal the most will be the one you want to go with.  For example if one subject lines gives you 25 clicks and the other gives you 5 clicks, then you are going to want to go with the 25 click subject line.

That is A/B testing in a nutshell. Make sure you keep in mind that A/B testing does not work every time and you should not feel discouraged if it shows no results. You should keep doing tests over and over because you can only improve your marketing techniques. I think it is kind of obvious why A/B testing is so important  for your business. By partaking in this method you are going to improve your websites and your marketing because the users are going to be pointing out what needs improvement without even knowing they are doing it. This is only going to bring greater traffic and leads to your site.  This also makes sure that your business is focused on constant improvement. If you would like to read more about A/B testing and see some successful cases follow this link: http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/case-studies.php

Paid Media: It Has Not Died Out

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If you have been following my blog you will notice my posts lately have talking about utilizing owned and earned media. These types of media are essential to the success of your business but you should not stop there.  As a business you should still be utilizing paid media.  As you can see in the above image, by utilizing earned, owned, AND paid media you will create a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Paid media directs traffic to your owned media and promotes the content in order to gain generated earned media.  What is great about paid media is that it guarantees immediacy, has control and scale.  Granted you have to spend money but the amount you spend, if done right, will be nothing compared to how much you will make. Since social media is so popular it has given businesses another chance to promote or sponsor their ads on sites, like Facebook and Twitter. HubSpot, below, is a good example of paid media.

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An interesting form of paid media that is extremely beneficial is Native Advertising, which the HubSpot ad above is one of.  This is where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience,  in which it is posted. The goal is to not disrupt the user experience. The advertisers want to offer information that is helpful and similar to the other information on the site, so that the content is engaged and has a higher rate. Currently 62% of publishers and media companies offer some kind of native advertising program and the most popular forms of native advertising are sponsored blogs, sponsored articles and Facebook sponsored updates.

Cracked is a great example of  what good native advertising looks like. Brands work directly with  Cracked to create sponsored content. Currently fifth on the Native Advertising Leader board (http://nativeadvertising.com/#/leaderboard) is their story 5 Real-Life Stories of Twins Creepier Than Any Horror Movie. As you can see Cracked is known for writing funny and engaging material that is written in the same tone as a non-sponsored article.

Forbes is also doing very well in the native advertising land. They have decided to name their native advertising product  BrandVoice.  They do not want it to represent an ad but  leadership. To be authentic is their goal. They want to “foster an environment in which journalists, marketers, and audience could exchange ideas with one another.” Below is a graph representing the growing numbers that Forbes has had in their partners, posts, and page views since joining with SAP and creating their native advertising program.

BrandVoice-with-Labels

As you can see Forbes’s digital partnership has been growing and still will be. Like I have been saying content is everything and that is what drives native advertising. Also being transparent is a key player in being successful.  Since native advertising is a form of paid advertising this strengthens my point that paid media is not dead. Paid media is evolving and journalists should make sure to do the same. You should not cross paid or native advertising  out of your marketing strategy and if you haven’t yet started native advertising you should do it now.

Moving on to my last topic of paid media, a quickly growing sector,  is programmatic ad buying. Programmatic ad buying is as simple as it sounds. Businesses buy ads, like you would buy products on Amazon.  This type of buying is of action form and is in real-time.

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The only difference is the computer does all the work for you. It is like when you do your taxes on Turbo Tax, a few clicks and your ads are bought and you can go on your merry way.   What is great is that the advertisers buy ads individually so that a consumer is presented an ad tailored specifically to them.  You are enriching the consumer experience with tailored content and it is way easier than the traditional ways of buying ads because it is so quick and easy. You don’t have to buy ads that are tailored to a large segment of individuals with the hopes that some of them will respond and react.

This software does the work that humans just can’t do. This may sound scary because it seems that once again computers and software are replacing the jobs for humans, but that isn’t the case.  Computers can’t run all by themselves. The media buyers will still have jobs but instead of making calls between the buyer and seller they will be analyzing data on a computer screen. This will require that people learn more skills and I know that change is hard but it is essential. People need to be willing to change and learn new tricks. Programmatic ad buying is going to make their jobs easier, once they learn all the skills.

Not only is programmatic ad buying thriving on in the internet but it is moving to television.  This is going to help advertisers avoid the issues of the DVR. Soon ads will be so targeted to the viewers that they won’t want to change the channel.  There are still many bugs that need to be fixed before this becomes reality. Also the ad buying will most likely not be real-time, like it is now, but it will be way quicker.  I’m excited to see how this all turns out.

Below are some links that provide more information on the topics I discussed in today’s blog.

http://www.sharethrough.com/nativeadvertising/

http://www.cracked.com/article_20355_5-real-life-stories-twins-creepier-than-any-horror-movie.html

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140107180859-5853751-the-ultimate-guide-to-native-advertising

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lewisdvorkin/2013/12/02/inside-forbes-some-data-and-tips-about-native-advertising-the-ftc-might-find-interesting/

Tools And Etiquette For Using Social Media Effectively

Social media is not just for  tweeting your thought of the day or updating your status about the “amazing” lunch you just had, which  you just had to take a photo of. It can  be used to further enhance your business and get your customers more involved in your company than you ever thought possible.

I have never been a “social media guru” and have usually attempted to stay off of the social media “bandwagon” because I never appreciated the value that it can bring to ones image. I was very wrong with this mindset because there are so many different things that can be done with the different platforms of social media and  every business can stand out in a crowd, if used correctly.

The different types of social media that  is out there can be a bit scary to comprehend when you first jump into the online world, but they all follow a similar etiquette when it comes to promoting your brand and gaining leads. Like I have been saying in my last few blogs, it is all about content.

Your content needs to be informative but humanized. Don’t worry about always selling your brand and your product. Give the customers something fun and interesting to read. There are many different tools out there that will help track what your customers are talking about and what they found particularly interesting that your company has shared with them.

Google analytics(http://www.google.com/analytics/) is a great tool that can be very handy when it comes to tracking your blog or your Google+. It is a free analytics tool that will help provide insight into your user’s behavior, the traffic that your page receives, and the behavior on your website. This tool will help you by providing useful data that will help you get to know how you can better serve  your customers.

Pinterest, I feel, is very unacknowledged for its promotional benefits and generation of leads. All a business has to do is pin a picture and link their website to the picture. If you pin it to the right board and promote it to the right audience than you generate many leads. One thing to keep in mind, when it comes to your audience, is the gender that the site is most likely to be used by. For example,  women are five times more likely to use Pinterest than men are, while men are supposedly  more likely to use Google+. By knowing this you can customize your sites to bring in the right type of audience. Pinterest has many tools that you can use to get the fullest advantage out of your boards; Curalate (http://www.curalate.com/) helps measure your pin and board engagement. It helps find advocates and generate traffic. This is a great tool to use because it can  find out what types of pins are becoming popular and what are not.  This tool can also be used for Instagram. Currently in beta testing for Pinterest is promoted pins. These pins work like any other pin,  but have a little icon in the right hand corner. This icon is clicked on by the user and they are given more information about the pin and the company that it came from. What I feel is great about this type of promotion is that it is not pushed into the customers face and the people clicking on it genuinely want to learn more about the product and business that it came from.

This leads me into the next etiquette rule that you should always follow on any social media site: Don’t be pushy. Update continuously but know when to promote and how much to promote. If you tweet all of your information at the exact same time then you are going to flood your customers feed. They are going to eventually get bored and then ignore what you are trying to say.

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There are many tools out there that will help you with the scheduling of your posts. For example, Buffer is a scheduler for LinkedIn. This tool lets you schedule your posts, while also giving you a basic click/reach analytics for all of your pages.  HootSuite ( https://hootsuite.com/) is also a great tool for scheduling your posts. This allows you to post to many different websites at the same time. You can choose to schedule your posts or have them decide when would be the prime time to post a status. Scheduling is extremely important  because you don’t want to post something on your page when no one is paying attention. A fellow blogger, Belle Cooper, and team member of Buffer wrote  a blog about the best time to tweet, post, email, and blog. http://blog.bufferapp.com/best-time-to-tweet-post-to-facebook-send-emails-publish-blogposts

In this blog she stated some interesting facts like, the engagement rate for Facebook is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays and Twitter engagements for brands are 17% higher on weekends.  As you can see there is a bit of a trend here. More people are engaged near the end of the week, but that isn’t the case for blogs.  Mondays are the highest traffic days for an average blog. Not only should you focus on the day that you are posting but also on the time.  You want to post when there is the most users are one the site but at the same time you don’t want to be lost in the feed. Belle provides more information about the best times to post in the link I posted in the paragraph above.

One last very important rule of etiquette that you should always follow is: stay engaged. Don’t forget about the users and don’t ignore them either. If you allow for your users to comment on your pages then make sure you answer them back. I would answer back in 24 hours, if possible. You want to keep building and maintaining that relationship with the customer and make sure they know that you care about them and what they have to offer your company. If you leave a comment ignored that can result in the loss of a customer, but also make sure that when you do comment back you do it appropriately.

A bad example of responding to customer comments would be the very famous Applebee’s  incident.  Long story short a picture of a customer’s bill was posted on Reddit, making fun of the “10% tip for God” that was left instead of for the waitress. This picture went viral and Applebee’s responded by firing the waitress responsible, for violating the customer’s privacy. People were very angry and felt that Applebee’s was being hypocritical because they post positive feedback from customers on their page.  Negative opinions flooded Facebook and Twitter.  It didn’t get better from there because an Applebee’s employee decided at 2am to respond to the comments. Not only did they respond at that time but they made it a comment and not a Facebook status. They then being tagging people in their comments and ended up arguing with the customers.

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Applebee’s lost a lot of customers because of this incident and hopefully the employee who did this was fired. If they had responded at an appropriate time with an appropriate message and not have fought with the customers then they may have been able to salvage their image. This just goes to show that you need to make sure you are engaging with your customers in a well-mannered way and at an appropriate time. If you would like to read more about this incident and see some of the customer responses follow this link: http://rlstollar.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/applebees-overnight-social-media-meltdown-a-photo-essay/

There are of course more social media etiquette rules that you should follow but I highlighted the ones I felt were the most important to know. I would like to give a shout out to the people at MOZ. They just put out this very lovely beginners guide to social media, which is filled with techniques and tools you can use to further enhance your social media presence and your business.

http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media

Introductions with a little marketing analysis thrown in…

Hi, my name is Taylor Franks. I am a senior at Western Washington University. I am double concentrating in Marketing and Management Information Systems. To pay for college I work as a cashier at Albertsons and as the Assistant Business Director for the Associated Students. In my free time  I am involved in the IT Leadership program, where we spend the school year planning the annual WISC event and improving the MIS department. I am also the VP of Membership for the Student Marketing Association. I will not graduate  until Fall 2015, which gives me the opportunity to look for internships for the summer. When I grow up and join the real world I am unsure about what I want to do. I like to take opportunities as they are presented to me. . I would like to work in some sort of management position, either in Marketing or IT. I would love to work for Microsoft or Amazon. Maybe one day I will do some sort of consulting.

I am taking this Digital Marketing class mainly because of the feedback I have heard from other students. There has been raving reviews, which is hard to come by with some of the marketing classes at Western.  Also in this society having knowledge of technology and useful resources is the key to survival. This class will hopefully help me advance in my already known skills and teach me new ones. I also am very excited to obtain a Google Analytics Certificate. I heard that there is an opportunity to take the qualification exam at the end of the quarter. I have been meaning to get this certification but have lacked the  motivation.

The main thing I hope to learn and improve upon in this class is what I am attempting to do right now; blogging. I’ve never felt that I had anything to say that was interesting enough for someone to want to read. Being able to share my insights about the marketing world is going to be challenging but fun and I’m very excited.

Well I do believe I have shared enough about myself and it is time to move on to the marketing aspect of this blog post.  I was instructed to read three articles before the start of this class.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Marketing Jobs in the 21st Century*

This article was  written by Regina Pefanis Schlee and Katrin R. Harich.  This is  a study about the skills and knowledge required for different levels of marketing positions and how marketing courses need to better prepare their students. The study was done using Monster.com. The requirements and skills were compared for jobs starting at entry-level positions all the way to upper-level positions. Five metropolitan areas ( Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle) were used as a comparison as well. Before going into the conclusions that were generated from this study I would like to say that colleges do need to better prepare their students for the real world. As a college student myself I have had many experiences hunting for jobs that I wished I had been better prepared for. Reading textbooks and writing papers is not the adequate amount of knowledge or skill needed for the real world. A student needs to be placed in a real life situation and marketing classes, like this one, should target toward these skills.

The article mentions that advisory boards  are a crucial element of  business schools and that is defiantly what most of the departments at Western are missing. . Currently I am in the process of creating an advisory board for the MIS department. I feel that these are important because advisory boards allow for students to find mentors in their field of interest and learn the skills that may not be taught in the classroom. This article gives a fair share of data and information about skills and knowledge needed. I am only going to share a few that interest me but I have provided the link, below, in case you are interested in reading more about the findings from this study.

On Table 3 I found it interesting how little the concept of ethics matters in the business world. It is at it’s highest of 13.1% in the entry level jobs but lowers to 4.7% by the time someone advances to management.

Ethics(Rothschild)

With the dog eat dog world we live in now I wouldn’t find this interesting except for the fact that I will be paying money  to sit in a business ethics class this quarter. If ethics have little importance, when moving up the food chain,  than why am I wasting my hard-earned money to take this class? This is supportive in my earlier opinion that marketing classes need to target more towards the skills and knowledge needed in the real world. I’m not saying ethics are not important, they are especially important to me, but students shouldn’t be sitting in a quarter long class about the topic if it has little importance when finding a marketing position. This finding also says a lot about our society and the business world in general but that will have to be saved for another time.

Another finding that was presented in this article was that entry-level job’s require more technical skills than management positions. I agree with this finding and have always been told this from my professors. A book that I read recently,  Haunting The CEO, has a quote in it that says “Early in our careers, we use our technical skills the most, and our management and people skills only a little. When we move into management ranks, our use of technical skills drops while our use of people skills increases. When we move into executive ranks, as a CIO or CEO, for example, our use of technical skills is minimized and even our use of management skills drops.”Hughes, John. (Haunting the CEO. Seattle, WA: Spotless Books, 2011. eBook.)  This supports the findings in the article because the farther we move up in rank the more we deal with people and customer satisfaction. No longer are we coding or working through analytics but instead making sure the customer is satisfied and the employees are completing their work in time.

 US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016**

This article, written by Shar VanBoskirk,  states that by 2016 interactive marketing will be at the same level as television, at least the money spent will be equal. There were many factors stated  about why interactive marketing would increase but the most interesting reason to me was customer obsession. It is stated in the article that firms “Will invest to create customized experiences across their customers’ preferred touch points.” We as a society are becoming obsessed with having personalized items. For example we choose what apps and programs are put on our smartphones. We choose which ones we support and which ones work for us best.  A company can do all the advertisement they want but until they have an obsessed consumer base, like Apple, they will never be successful.  I like that it is all about the customer and the experience they will have with the product.

It is not surprising to read that ” A portion of marketers’ search budgets will move to mobile and social networks as users rely more on non-PC devices and nontraditional search engines like YouTube or Facebook for finding.”  This finding is supported by a study done by ComScore.  Below is a table showing the usage of different sites from 2011 to 2012.

portal use(Mcgee)

As you can see the portal sites raise from 57%, in 2011, to 69%, in 2012. This is a 12% difference. I agree with these findings. Most days I find myself looking up websites on my phone because of the locations I am in. Though this study was done in 2012 it can only be assumed that searches on phones will keep increasing, especially since phones are becoming better computers than PCs.

One point made in this article that excites me is “Marketers will create more relevant mobile ads.”  Every time I have a chance to talk about the ads on my phone it is never in a positive light. I do believe this will increase the level of positive outlook toward interactive marketing. When I am searching something or playing a game I am more likely to click on an ad if it actually pertains to anything going on in my life. If ads were more relevant to each person than we wouldn’t feel like this:

download(Joe)

There were many more forecasts in this article, but I only shared a few. If you are interested and would like to read more I have inserted the link to the article in the Bibliography section. I am now going to move on to the last but most important article.

Another Game of Thrones***

game of thrones(Parkins)

Just to make this clear I have never watched Game of Thrones and so there will be no references to the show in this section. Sorry if I disappointed anyone :(.  There are four main companies that are fighting for the power over the consumer internet: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.  This article was written in 2012 and there have been many changes to the four companies and their strategies. I have included the link to the article in case you would like to read about what happened in 2012. Here I will just be talking about the changes in each company.

Google has been very busy changing up their strategy so that people will focus on their “authority, semantic relevance, and the user experience” (Enge). This strategy change has some positives and negatives. One negative is that the ability to obtain keyword data for users who arrived at websites from a Google search has been taken away. This causes problems for the owner of websites because they are losing the understanding of how users got to their website and the thought process. This can affect the advertising that websites do because they will have a harder time knowing what attracts their consumers.

A positive for Google is the strengthening of their  platform by launching the Hummingbird Algorithm in September.  This allows for Google to understand conversational search queries instead of just putting in keywords. I love this new aspect of Google because I feel more comfortable putting in sentences when searching instead of keywords. Keywords can be tricky sometimes and cause irrelevant results. There is still some work that needs to be done with this algorithm but this has had quite a substantial impact for Google already. Another positive  is that  the Androids for Google has helped their  shares rise over the $1,000 mark. They have not struggled with the advertising switching over to mobile and this has been a great gain for them with the pay-per-click. Here is a link to a video that goes into more depth about the Google achievement. http://live.wsj.com/video/what-pushing-google-shares-to-all-time-highs/D21D8ACD-FA88-4644-8409-E0E431FA5876.html.

Apple has had a quite a year when it comes to phones. They have released the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. The iOS 7 operating system has had some mixed reviews. I have an iPhone but have yet to make the jump to iOS 7 because I do not like change and I’m very stubborn. I have heard mixed reviews about the new system.  Everything has been changed. The fonts, sounds, icons, etc… have all been changed. When the system was first launched there was criticism because of the bold, bright colors but it has since been accepted and pleases their users. Siri has also been updated to be more “human”.  They have added new  data sources for Siri like Bing, notice not Google… Below is a link that will show you all the new changes with iOS 7: http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/17/ios-7-review-apple/

Facebook has not gained the most positive feedback from its users lately. If you haven’t checked your privacy settings lately you better. They have removed the privacy settings of making you unsearchable. Your friends are not the only people who can look for you and the new Graph Search can lead anyone to your profile.

privacy

Another tweak that Facebook has made is the Facebook brand pages are getting less traffic and free advertisement is becoming less available. This is “screwing over the social media marketers.” (Carlson) The number of people who are seeing these posts are declining. I can see why Facebook is making this change because it builds up revenue but they cause brands to lose customers and risk angering them.

Moving to the last company is Amazon. They seem to have little changes since 2012. They have been talking about having drones deliver packages to your house, called Amazon Prime Air. I would have to say this is taking stalking to a whole new level! I would not let a drone come to my house because who knows what else that drone could be used for.

drones

Also let’s think about the jobs that will be taken away if packages are not needed to be delivered by UPS or FedEx. Don’t freak out yet though because these drones are not going to be ready for roughly four to  five years.

A rumor that I have read about is the Amazon phone to be created by HTC. This is likely to happen in 2014 but has yet to be reported on with much detail. I am excited to see what Amazon comes up with.

If you have made it to here I would like to say thank you for reading my first blog post. It was a bit long but I hoped you learned at least one interesting thing. May my blog posts only get more interesting and not as long in the future. 🙂

Bibliography

*http://markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/knowledge-requirements.pdf

Rothschild, Evelyn. The Thing About Ethics Is, I Have None. N.d. MEME. diylol.comWeb. 6 Jan 2014. <http://diylol.com/meme-generator/evelyn-rothschild/memes/the-thing-about-ethics-is-i-have-none&gt;.

**http://markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/forrester_interactive_marketing_forecast_2011_to_2016.pdf

Mcgee, Matt. Search On Smartphones Up 26 Percent, On Tablets Up 19 Percent In 2012 [Study]. 2013. Photograph. n.p. Web. 6 Jan 2014. <http://searchengineland.com/search-smartphones-tablets-up-2012-153328&gt;.

Joe, Bobby. Mandatory Pre-video Advertising. 2013. MEME. cheezburger.comWeb. 6 Jan 2014. <http://cheezburger.com/7983770624&gt;.

***http://markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/technology-giants-at-war-another-game-of-thrones-the-economist.pdf

Parkins, David. 2012. Photograph. The EconomistWeb. 6 Jan 2014. .

Enge, Eric. “6 Major Google Changes Reveal the Future of SEO.” Search Engine Watch. N.p., 30 Dec 2013. Web. 6 Jan 2014. <http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2301719/6-Major-Google-Changes-Reveal-the-Future-of-SEO&gt;.

Carlson, Nicholas. “Facebook Slightly Tweaked How The Site Works — And It Screwed An Entire Profession Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-screws-social-media-marketers-2013-12