Marketing Through Marketing

What better way to market yourself than creating a list of popular marketing blogs? As I was making my search for an external blog, This was the first blog that popped up “The Top 75 Must-Read Online Marketing Blogs” on a blog. Well, technically it isn’t really a blog but this website, “unbounce”, has their own blog.

What’s even more interesting is that “unbounce” specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of optimizing a web page to position itself better when a user tries to search for a keyword. SEO can target different kinds of search for example, image search, academic search, and so on. By linking the 75 blogs, it benefits both “unbounce” as well as the 75 other blogs since they are being cross referenced, thus increasing both parties chances of appearing higher in a search engine.

From this blog post, I actually found quite an interesting post: “Bringing the in-store Christmas shopping experience online“.

With the holiday season already upon us, it is the crucial time of year where retailers can generate majority of their revenues for the year. The blog post author, Bernard Luthi, suggests that an emphasis on in-store customer service is a major draw for consumers to shop at a Brick-and-Mortar retail store, and how retailers should bring that same customer service to online stores.  For example, retailers can attempt to recreate the same customer service by having instant access to shop representatives via web chat.

While this solution may be a temporary solution for the retailer, it is hard to convey certain sense across the web – for instance the physical feel of the product. For now, I guess shoppers who really want to know their product will have to brave holiday rush in the malls.

Supermileage Positioning – Response to Ryan Gibson’s Post

This post will be a response to Ryan Gibson’s post about “Communicating the Value of Non-Monetary Exchange”. In short summary, Ryan is trying to obtain a sponsorship for his extracurricular team, UBC Supermileage, from a manufacturer of cycling wheel supplies. Ryan is trying to communicate the benefits of sponsoring a student team to the company, by emphasizing student learning through hands-on design as well as positioning Vancouver as a cycling hotspot to show of the brand sponsorship.

I agree with Ryan’s approach to obtain this European sponsor, as gaining a sponsorship is a two way street – both parties must receive some sort of benefit. That being said, there may be some cultural differences between that may not have been accounted for. For example, even though this company may have an office in Colorado, the company may not share the same values as other North American manufacturers when it comes to sponsoring student teams.

I think the proposal can be strengthened by showcasing the SAE Supermileage competition itself. Rather than highlight the benefits of showcasing their logo locally in the Vancouver proper, position the proposal such that it highlights that the Supermileage competition is international – thus giving their brand a much wider recognition.

The proposal can also be position in such a way that the European manufacturer can ride the momentum of bigger, more recognizable brands – almost as if there is a “social validation” between the brands. For example, lets say that Boeing is a primary sponsor, and this European manufacturer is a secondary sponsor. For an outsider, if they the manufacturers logo next to Boeing, then they might association an elitist feeling towards the European manufacturer as well.

Anyways, those are just my thoughts and opinions. Most importantly, I wish good luck for UBC Supermileage in the up and coming competition in the spring!

Creating a need through Obsolescence

A nifty short that starts out with a line a robots lining-up to purchase a new  “phone” (remarkably resembling an iPhone). With each scene, we see a robot either experimenting and buying a new app (the early adopters) and demonstrating its functionality to its peers, then following suit, the other robots also purchase the app (the early majority). All seems well, until the bigger grey robot starts to interfere with the functionalities of the phone, rendering the phones useless. Saddened, the robots question their existence, and their primary form of entertainment has been “rendered obsolete”, until the store offers the newer version of the phone (Version 5…. hint hint), and the robots, like in the first scene, line-up up to purchase the newest version of the phone. In the last scene, the big grey robot retreats back into background, with its backside displaying the logo of the company.

So what does this say about our society and how does it apply to marketing?

This video is a good overall look at today’s society as a whole, not just Apple product consumers which this movie short alludes to. The part where the big grey iDiot robot is basically pointing out the practice of “planned obsolescence”, where companies deliberately design products to last a certain amount of usage before they fail and design the product to be purposefully difficult or impossible to repair, and also leaving out key features just to put them in later versions of the same product. More often than not this forces the consumer to buy the new, “improved” product. Apple is the king of this design/selling tactic.