In case you were not aware the latest installment in the Star Wars movie saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is slated to be released on Thursday December 18th. With the release of the original three movies ranging from 1977 to 1983 and the release of the second batch of movies ranging from 1999 to 2005 different generations have been able to come together over a shared love of Star Wars. Due to this love of Star Wars being spread out over multiple generations the buzz surrounding The Force Awakens has already surpassed that of any other movie in recent history. Due to this buzz Disney, who purchased Lucasfilm, the studio behind the first six Star Wars movies has had to do little to no marketing for The Force Awakens. The single movie poster, three teaser trailers, and three full length trailers Disney has produced for the Force Awakens have been shared hundreds of millions of times on social media and have saved Disney hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing. The buzz being generated around this movie is also being noticed by some of the world’s largest companies. In recent months Verizon, O2, General Mills, Jeep, Subway, Toys R’ Us, and Lego have all created Star Wars themed advertisements in order to get a piece of the pie.
The amount of money already made on the sale of The Force Tickets just reinforces this idea of a cross generation worldwide love for Star Wars. According to Forbes.com as of November 13th, more than a month out from the release of the movie, The Force Awakens had already amassed $50 million in pre-sale ticket revenue. Star Wars is already expected to challenge (and probably shatter) the domestic opening weekend ticket sales record and challenge Avatar’s $2 billion mark for the top grossing movie of all time. According to Time Magazine domestic sales are expected to reach up to $220 million which would break Jurassic World’s domestic opening weekend sales record of $208 million.
The Wall Street Journal Stated, “The first Star Wars movie in a decade and the first in 32 years to feature classic characters such as Princess Leia and Chewbacca is so highly anticipated by the franchise’s huge fan base that advertising is arguably unnecessary.” A poster and an opening date might be all that are needed to make the Dec. 17 release the No. 1 movie of the year. Although Disney and Star Wars may not be doing an excess amount of Star Wars marketing and advertising, the same can not be said the rest of the world. From the tech industry with companies such as O2 and Verizon to the automotive industry with companies such as Jeep and Dodge, in recent months it seems as if everywhere one can be exposed to advertising Star Wars is there. With such a resurgence in one of the most recognizable brands in the world it was too good of an opportunity for companies to pass up building advertisements around. A true statement to the advertising power of Star Wars was the successfulness of a commercial that aired during the 2011 Super Bowl. A Volkswagen commercial titled “The Force” featuring a six year old boy in a Darth Vader costume has been called the “The Ad That Changed Super Bowl Commercials Forever” by Time Magazine and to this day holds the record as the most online shared television commercial of all time. This commercial came at a point in time when the most recent Star Wars movie was six years old and there were no new plans for the release of any new movies. This alone shows the recognizability and advertising power of the Star Wars brand
It is not just the giants such as Verizon and Volkswagen who have jumped on the Star Wars advertising bandwagon. Every brand no matter the size is working to get in on the money machine that is the Star Wars franchise. Buzzfeed recently compiled a list titled, “21 Pictures That prove This Star Wars Stuff Is Getting Out Of Control.” This list which gained 14,517 likes and 5,088 shares on Facebook in 14 hours features images of Star Wars themed products ranging from apples and oranges to paper towels and mouth wash. Whether you can’t get enough of the themed advertising or are already sick of seeing Darth Vader’s face everywhere you look, with two more movies slated to be released in 2017 and 2019 you can expect to see even more Star Wars advertising over the next four years and beyond.
On Monday December 7th LeBron James and Nike made history. Nike, the largest sporting apparel company in the world signed the current face on the National Basketball Association and arguably the greatest player of all time to a lifetime sponsorship contract. Over the past twelve years the James Nike partnership has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of dollars for both sides. This agreement for James to become a Nike spokesperson for rest of his life gives James the highest guaranteed amount of money in a sports sponsorship deal ever, while also giving Nike the ability to lean on one the most recognizable figures in sports for the foreseeable future.
After graduating from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron Ohio in 2003 James immediately turned his attention to the pros. After being selected as the number one overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft James was awarded with a $90 Million sponsorship deal from Nike, in what to this day is the largest sponsorship deal for a rookie athlete. Since that original deal Nike and James have continued to work together over the past twelve years collaborating on thirteen different shoe designs, clothing lines, appearances, and commercials.
In a statement issued after the closing of the deal Nike said, “We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand and shareholders.” Nike went on to say, “We have already built a strong LeBron business over the past 12 years, and we see the potential for this to continue to grow throughout his playing career and beyond.” An official figure on the deal has not been released it is expected to be close to the $500 million dollar mark. Although the speculated amount of money is staggering the historic Nike and James deal is just the next in a long line of athlete sponsorship deals in the hundreds of millions of dollars. With their competitors making deals such as Kevin Durant’s $280 Million deal with Under Armor, David Beckham’s $160 million contract with Adidas, and Dwayne Wade’s $100 Million deal with China based Li-Ning, Nike wanted to make sure they had they face of their brand locked down for as long as possible.
The James deal along with these other deals shows the power a face can have on brand. Although the numbers have gotten much higher companies have been reaching out to celebrities and athletes to represent their brands for well over one hundred years. Nike has plastered LeBron James’s face all over billboards, in magazines, and on their website and has seen the face of their brand drive them to be the largest sporting apparel company on earth. For over a decade during the 1990s LeBron James’s biggest rival in the greatest player of all time debate, Michael Jordan was the face of Nike. Although Jordan took Nike on his journey to six NBA championships and endless amounts of money, after his retirement Nike needed someone to take up the mantel. Although the giving of $90 million to an 18 year old did raise questions across the sporting world the gamble as without a doubt paid off. According to Forbes‘ Kurt Badenhausen, between February 2014 and January 2015 alone the sales of James’s signature Nike shoe totaled $340 million, making him the company’s highest earner.
This deal is historic not only for the ridiculous amount of money being thrown around but also because in sports lifetime sponsorship deals rarely happen. With the lives of athletes and celebrities now under the microscope like never before brands are worried to put so much money on the table due to the possibly of a scandals or other bad PR arising Although the possibly of something happening with James that could negatively impact the Nike brand is out there, taking past and current success into account Nike believes he is well worth the risk. In an article published to Forbes.com author Darren Heitner stated, “Nike is James and James is Nike, but as stated by Artistotle, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Together, locked in for life, Nike and James achieve more and are further destined for success.” By agreeing to this deal Nike and James are essentially saying, “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, till death do us part.”
This holiday season one of the largest retail chains in the country is doing things a bit differently. Homegoods, Marshalls, and their parent company TJ Maxx are collectively running an advertisement campaign to bring back the true sprit of the holiday season by putting an emphasis back on family. In recent years it seems as if the theme behind the holiday season has shifted from spending time with loved ones to buying gifts for loved ones. Gina Bollus, a spokesperson for T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. said, “There are few moments throughout the year when family and friends are in the same place at the same time, and we want people to put value on what really matters during the holidays… these special times together.” She went on to say. “Our stores offer thoughtful gifts at amazing prices every day so that you can cherish that precious time with your family and friends and shop on your time, instead of rushing out for the short-lived holiday deal.” Although this campaign does aim to put an emphisis on family during the holiday season, as you can tell from Gina’s statement TJ Maxx also hopes this campaign will create business for their retail stores. Throughout this “family first” campaign TJ Maxx will be pitching the idea that there is no need to go crazy for a sale due to their constant everyday low prices on popular brands. TJ Maxx is also pitching that their stores are the perfect place to shop during the holidays because “you can save on thoughtful gifts thanks to weekly arrivals of new products.” Throughout the month of December as a part of this campaign TJ Maxx will also be doing giveaways on Twitter for holidays travel vouchers, holiday home decorating, and holiday gift box giveaways.
Thanksgiving is the perfect example of the phenomenon in which the holidays are shifting away from being family centric. Thanksgiving, a day where people gather to give thanks for family, friends, and all else good in one’s life has also turned into the largest shopping night of the year. After eating dinner and spending time with family, people across the country flock to malls and department stores to fight strangers for the last fifty inch television or the lowest priced toaster oven. Black Friday has evolved to be the single biggest shopping day of the year and isn’t it ironic that it begins on the day of the year people are to come together to celebrate family, friends, and good health. TJ Maxx is trying to bring this idea of the holiday season now being more about buying and giving gifts than spending time with family to the forefront of society though their new holiday advertisement campaign. TJ Maxx is asking people to imagine a world where door-busters refer to loved ones pouring through your front door and the four-letter word that defines the season is L-O-V-E and not S-A-L-E.
One step TJ Maxx took to reinforcing this idea of putting the emphasis back on family this holiday season was to close all of their stores on Thanksgiving. Although Black Friday is technically the day after Thanksgiving more and more stores have begun to open up their doors on Thanksgiving to get a piece of the pie. This year TJ Maxx decided to remain closed through the entirety of Thanksgiving and reopen early Friday morning. Although knowing this call to close all retail locations for not only TJ Maxx but also Homegoods and Marshalls would result in a loss of a large amount of money, it shows that TJ Maxx actually believes in what is being pitched in their new holiday advertising campaign. By closing their stores TJ Maxx showed the public they believe that giving their employees the day off to spend with their families is more important than the possible revenue. As more and more companies begin to schedule their employees to work on Thanksgiving it is refreshing to see such a large and influential brand take a stand for family and the true spirit of the holiday season.
To go along with this advertisement campaign TJ Maxx has planned several holiday themed giveaways on Twitter. The three giveaways, “Get Me Home”, “Holiday Saver”, and “Gifts to Give Back” will all run at different times throughout the month of December. “Get Me” winners will receive a $2,000 travel gift card to go toward holiday travel arrangements. TJ Maxx hopes this giveaway will be able to help those who have an expensive road home to see loved ones during the holiday season. Second, TJ Maxx will transform the homes of the “Holiday Saver” giveaway winners into a festive atmosphere, complete with twinkling lights and perfectly wrapped gifts. Last but not least the five winners of the “Gifts to Give Back” giveaway will receive a special holiday delivery filled with unique gifts that focuses on the person that’s opening the present, not what’s inside the gift box. Nominaess for the “Gifts to Give Back” will be taken on Twitter in hopes of giving the gift boxes to those who really deserve them. TJ Maxx hopes these promotions will not only benefit those who receive them but will also drive traffic to their social media channels and create attention on their brand during the holiday season.
According to the Pew Research Center seven-in-ten Americans say that spending time with family and friends is what they most look forward to during the holidays. With so many companies putting an emphasis on sales and deals during the holiday season TJ Maxx is looking to separate itself by putting the emphasis back on family. Although this campagin is about family and helping those who need it the most TJ Maxx hopes that this campaign will also create a positive image around the TJ Maxx brand so consumers do their holiday shopping at any one of their thousands of retail locations.
In today’s world many people hold a negative connotation on marketers, viewing them as someone who is willing to do anything to make a sale and turn a profit. Many consumers hold the opinion that marketers use deceitful tactics to trick them into buying a product or a service they would argue they do not need or even want. Consumers see the use of data collection and analytics tools as an ethical overstep, where marketers on the other hand may view these tools as something that makes their job much easier. Although it is true marketers use tactics and tools to effectively target their marketing to better sell products, these tactics are not meant to be malicious in nature. Consumers who hold a negative opinion on marketers see driving profits to be their only goal. Although creating sales and driving revenue is extremely important many marketers such as myself hold ourselves to ethical standards which at times may come before the goal of generating sales. It is important to hold oneself to certain standards and that should not change in the workplace even if you may be prepared to overstep your boundaries into a moral grey area for the benefit of the business. As I prepare to enter the workforce one of my career goals I have set forth for myself is to work to change the negative light shed on marketers. I hope to achieve this by finding the middle ground between working to drive revenue for the company I work for while at the same time respecting the rights of my consumers and sticking to my own personal ethical code.
The largest reason many consumers hold a negative opinion on marketers is the utilization of Big Data for the benefit of the business. Big Data is defined as extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions. Big Data has revolutionized the way businesses and even whole industries operate. Many marketers and analysts believe that because it will have such a large impact on not only business but society as a whole, the utilization of Big Data is the single most important technological revolution since the creation of the internet. Many consumers believe the collection of this Big Data violates basic privacy rights and crosses the line of what business should have the right to do without actual consent. As both a consumer and a marketer I am one of few people who can attest to both sides of the debate. From a marketer’s perspective I know how large of an impact Big Data can have on marketing and sales. Big Data allows marketers to discover patterns and trends within mass quantities of data thus making their job easier while at the same time providing better targeted marketing of products and services to consumers. As a consumer however I can also see the side of the argument. Consumers myself included, do not want their personal information being collected, sold, and used without their consent. Finding the middle ground between these two sides of the arguments is something I hope to bring to any professional position I may find myself in after I graduate from Champlain College.
Everyone has their own code of ethics which they follow when making decisions on daily basis. No matter the decision and the impact left behind from the decision I try to stick to my own personal code of ethics and morals at all times. Although I must make decisions using my own morals and code of ethics on an everyday basis, I never considered that those same morals and ethics can transfer into my career in marketing. Sticking to morals such as, being honest and trustworthy, being courageous, and having integrity are all up the upmost importance to me. Sticking to the ethical guidelines I have set for myself is also extremely important. I try to treat my fellow humans fairly and just while trying to make the community in which I live better in way possible. I hope to stick to these morals and ethics I have set forth for myself as I begin a career in marketing. While driving business and revenue may be the single most important objective for a business I hope to achieve these goals in any position I may find myself in while sticking to the morals and ethical code which I believe have had a large impact on who I have become as a over the course of my lifetime.`Speech bubble with the word marketing on white background.
The rise of Big Data, over the past decade, has lead to hundreds of new companies being founded with the purpose of collecting and utilizing data for the betterment of not only other businesses but society as a whole. These businesses have come to be know as data management companies and are already starting to make an impact on society. One company in particular based in my very own backyard, has made serious strides in a very short period of time. Faraday out of Middlebury, Vermont has already gained many investors, received multiple research grants, amassed hundreds of thousands of records, and totally flipped the customer acquisition methods of one rapidly growing industry on it’s head, all in under two years.
Although now exploring possible applications for their software and records in many different industries Faraday got it’s start by working to revolutionize customer acquisition within the solar energy industry. The
rise of solar energy has lead to the foundation of many new companies looking to make a splash within the industry. The rapid rise of the solar industry has lead to a need for a more practical and effective customer acquisition model. According to Bill Morris, Faraday’s Digital Cartographer, from the very beginning Faraday has been collecting records on demographic data, physical suitability, building permits, social media, web presence, and geographic location data. Faraday then inputs all of these records into its machine learning based software to find correlations and patterns to show which households would be more likely to purchase and install solar panels. Faraday’s software has revolutionized the customer acquisition methods of companies within the solar industry. According to Bill the companies Faraday has partnered and worked with over the past two years have seen a thirty percent improvement on the cost of acquiring a customer. In practice that has been a reduction from $4,000 per customer to $2,800 per customer. The use of Big Data by Faraday has allowed to find a customer niche within the solar energy industry and to this point be very successful.
Faraday’s mission as stated on their website reads, “The grand promise of the data revolution has left organizations of all kinds feeling . . . left out. In corporate boardrooms and corner stores everywhere, customers have names and faces, not cookies and IP addresses. All over the country, Faraday is helping marketers use data to bring meaning back to commerce.” The work Faraday has been doing to meet their goal of revolutionizing e-commerce has not gone unnoticed. According to PRNewswire, in 2014 Faraday received a one million dollar grant from the United States Department of Energy under the SunShot Initiative. According to the United States Department of Energy’s website the SunShot Initiative is a one hundred and two million dollar project undertaken to tackle challenges related to solar energy and to expand overall access to clean electricity. The funding received under the SunShot initiative by Faraday shows that people are in fact taking notice that what Faraday has set out to accomplish is in fact working. The United States Department of Energy taking notice of their efforts shows the work Faraday is doing is truly revolutionary. Faraday’s President, Robbie Adler said, “Acquiring a solar customer today is five times more expensive than for other home upgrades, the SunShot award allows us to apply powerful Faraday technology to this important challenge. We’re honored to have been selected by the Energy Department and grateful to Secretary Moniz for his ongoing support of the remarkable SunShot program.” As more research grants and investments continue to come in, you can expect Faraday’s platform to become even more effective.
Since already having accomplished what they set out to do in the solar industry, Faraday has begun to do research into other areas of society it’s data analytics platform may be able to have a positive impact on. According to Bill industries such as automotive, health, financial, renovation, insurance, education, travel, and retirement are just some of the industries Faraday believes their technology could improve. On their website, Faraday states, “With built-in data on one hundred million U.S. homes, including demographic information, income levels, credit scores, property details, and much more, so you can explore your markets, construct promising segments, target households predicted to convert, launch outbound campaigns with trusted partners, and capture leads the minute they respond.” Faraday believes that their technology will allow almost any business in any industry to reach consumers who are willing and able to buy their product much easier and at a fraction of the cost.
As businesses and sales representatives know too well a lead may not allows convert to a sale. Although there are clues business can use outside of the utilization of big data to target specific customers, conversion into a sale ultimately does not always happen. In an e-book titled Science sells: How to use data to identify your next customer published on their website Faraday outlines how their services can give your business leads which have a high probability of converting into sales. The e-book states, “Whether a sales lead converts into a customer is ultimately something that you cannot predict with certainty. While factors such as a person’s mood will always be uncontrollable, there are scientific tools more effective than manual cross-referencing or guesswork that will allow your campaigns to move significantly closer to that 100-percent conversion rate” (Pell and Pellegrini). Faraday believes they are the solution that will help you to easier reach your target consumers for a fraction of the cost, and with the results they have already show who can deny them.
Baseball may be considered America’s pastime, but Football is the sport of both today and tomorrow. The National Football League or the NFL has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry and has placed itself at the forefront of the American sporting world. Since the NFL regular season is only sixteen games long happening for the most part on Sunday afternoons, a “game day” mantra has been placed on Sundays by football fans across the country. The NFL promotes each game as an individual event while at the same time promoting Sunday’s as a day long event with the football games at the center. Being such a large industry, as one can imagine business both big and small want a piece of the action. Companies such as Bud Light, Pepsi, Visa, Gatorade, and Doritos had all thrown down millions of dollars to jump in on the Sunday game day event montra and become official sponsors of the NFL. An article recently posted by the Tampa Bay Business Journal focuses on the how the grocery store chain Publix is capitalizing on this Football Frenzy.
Over the past few years Publix has become an official sponsor of four NFL teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Atlanta Falcons. Partnering with these teams allows Publix to use their logo within their stores and in the promotional material to attract fans of each team. Every week Publix hosts tailgating competitions in the parking lot of each team’s stadium, naming the “Publix Tailgater Of The Game” at the end of each competition. Publix has also dedicated a page on their website dedicated to tailgating theme recipes as well as displays in their stores selling burgers, hot dogs, ribs, beer and grilling equipment. Tailgating is an event which thousands of fans partake in before each game every week. The upside for a company, especially a grocery store chain to get a in on the tailgating fad is enormous. The tailgating competition allows Publix to associate their brand with an activity many of these fans partake in every Sunday for the duration of the NFL season. By associating their brand with tailgating Publix hopes fans will then go to their stores to stock up on the necessary tailgating supplies each week. Publix spokesman Brian West said, “It [Tailgating] is centered around great food, and that creates a natural pairing for us.” Publix has even gone as far to create a signature sandwich for each team in their deli section within each market. As a result of Publix’s success with the NFL other grocery store chains around the United States have begun to use similar tactics. Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. has worked with the Bengals, buying tickets to ensure a sold-out stadium, then donating them to military veterans. In Texas, H-E-B offers a Dallas Cowboys-themed ice cream flavor, “Sack, Tackle, Crunch.”
I found this article extremely interesting as I have noticed a rise in NFL sponsored products at grocery stores. From beer cans featuring the New England Patriots’ logo to cardboard cut outs of players towering over a display of cereal with a the players face on the box, grocery stores are without a bout capitalizing on the popularity off football and the NFL to generate revenue. Grocery stores are not the only ones capitalizing on the football frenzy sweeping across the country right now. Some of the most well know brands in the United States are working the NFL into their marketing material. Bud Light for instance worked closely with its twenty-eight NFL team partners to create the new team can designs for the current NFL season. Each design features a customized scroll message that speaks directly to each team’s passionate fan base. The new cans are on shelves now. Throughout the NFL season I have made sure to buy a case of Bud Light featuring my team’s logo to drink during game time. Since consumers are buying the NFL themed products and because the use of the NFL as a marketing technique has worked so well for companies such as Publix, going forward I expect more companies to follow suite.
Since a rapid spike after a successful initial public offering almost two years ago, Twitter has seen its stock price steadily decline. Market analysts contributed the steady decline to a smaller amount of new users signing up each month. Analysts have also noted that compared to other social media platforms people just really don’t understand how to Twitter. In an effort to turn things around Twitter recently appointed co-founder Jack Dorsey to be Chief Executive Officer. In one of Dorsey’s first big moves as CEO, Twitter recently launched a new feature called Twitter Moments. This feature is aimed to create a way for users to easily gather news content, which was the original purpose behind Twitter but has been difficult for users. Although Twitter hopes Moments will fill a need for its users, they also hope this new feature can change the negative view held on on their company by those on Wall Street.
A blog post published by Twitter outlining the new feature stated, “Moments helps you find the very best of Twitter as easily as tapping an icon – regardless of who you follow. Just visit the new tab called Moments, where you will discover stories unfolding on Twitter.” Twitter has been promoting their newest feature by staing moments will allow you to get the best of Twitter in an instant, get it all at a glance, see what everyone’s talking about, and finally get the best tweet’s delivered. These four key concepts are what Twitter has been based on since it’s inception, but has struggled to convert to its users.
When you first open the Moments page on Twitter the top news stories which are currently trended will be displayed with a picture or a looping video. From this main dashboard you can then click into any of the moments to see live tweets featuring pictures and videos. You can also click “follow” to follow the Moment and get personalized tweets pushed directly to your personal Twitter feed. Twitter directly pulls the top few news stories from categories such as sports, music, movies, style, travel, finance, politics, U.S news, world news, and politics to push to the dashboard of your moments page.
So far I have played around in the sports, news, and, entertainment categories and been very impressed. I followed the Major League Baseball National League Championship Series Game 1 moment and was thoroughly impressed with its functionality. When I first clicked into the moment I saw tweets from the Mets and the Cubs, players, sports analysts from companies such as ESPN and Sports Illustrated, as well as fans at the game. I really enjoyed the mashup from tweets from a variety of sources as it provided a balance of content. I also really liked the follow function. Throughout the night as I would check Twitter I saw Tweets in my feed updating me on the score of the game and multiple tweets with short video interviews with coaches and players from the dugout. Since I really did enjoy my first experience using Twitter moments I do expect to use it more going forward.
Social media users are always in search of news. They want to remain up to date on everything from what’s going on within their friend group to what’s going on in the region in which they live. By combining a news tool with one of the most popular social media platforms used by hundreds of millions of people around the world Twitter Moments is positioned to make a splash in both the Social Media and News industries.
Twitter is hoping that most of its users will find Moments useful as I have. Although Twitter is not struggling by any means of the word the constant fall in their stock prices has shareholders worries. Although Moments does act as a new feature for Twitter’s everyday users, the main focus around the implementation of moments was to attract marketers and advertisers. Although not currently part of Moments, in the near future Twitter is planning to roll out curated moments. These curate moments will be available for anyone who is willing to pay to own a moment of their own. Julia Greenberg of Wired.Com gives a great example of how Twitter Moments can be utilized by businesses. Within the sports section for example Twitter could include a Promoted Moment from, say, a sporting goods store, which would live for 24 hours alongside Moments about upcoming NFL games. The sponsored Moment would be curated by the brand, including tweets, Vines, and photos. Twitter hopes that users will flow moments as they follow other users and hashtags they are interested in giving advertisers another method to get in front of a specific audience. Although it has not been officially announced, it is expected that Twitter will sell advertisement spots within certain moments. Buying an spot within a specific moment will allow your advertisement to be seen by a specific audience who is interested in that moment. Moments has the possibility to be a great feature for users and advertisers alike as it can be utilized in many different ways for a variety of different reasons. Although there is high hopes for Moments, as we have seen in the past many new features rolled out by social media companies fail to gain traction and die off. Will Moments turn things around for Twitter of will it be just another useless feature that disappears after a few months? Only time will tell.
This week in my Digital Marketing Metrics and Analysis class we were fortunate enough to have Google’s Analytics Evangelist, Justin Cutroni in class. In the world of digital marketing and data analytics Justin is a rockstar, it was amazing to have him in class to pick his brain and answer our questions. Out of all the speakers I have had throughout all my classes so far this semester Justin Cutroni was by far my favorite. The usefulness of what he had to say to what I am learning about and working on in my classes was unreal. I was able to take some notes not only on the overarching theme of data analytics but also on how to better prepare our semester analytics recommendation project to present to Champlain College’s marketing team in a few short weeks.
Being able to learn firsthand about data analytics from someone as well respected in the field as Justin was truly amazing. During Justin’s talk I was able to take almost two full pages of notes that will without a doubt help in the future. One analytics tool which Justin uses on a regular basis that I had not heard of was site search. Site search is tool built into analytics which allows you to see the most searched terms and keywords on a site. This tool is extremely important as once you know what people are searching for the most you can optimize your site accordingly. Optimizing your site based on the most searched terms will allow you to better tailor your site to the needs of consumers. Another topic Justin covered was the idea of Micro and Macro conversions. Although we have covered conversions in class Justin gave us great real world examples of different micro and macro conversions he deals with every day at Google. He also laid out some conversions he thinks Champlain College should be looking for within in their own analytics data. The micro and macro conversions Justin thought Champlain should be looking can help us when sifting through Champlain analytics data.
Throughout Justin’s talk I was also able to jot down many points and ideas which I plan to implement into our analytic recommendations project for Champlain College’s digital marketing team. Champlain College currently does not have the Google Analytics site search tool set up to receive any data. Site search could be extremely useful to Champlain College as it would allow them to see the most search terms and keywords on the website. One of the recommendations we make to Champlain College in a weeks time will definitely be to implement and use site search. We will also be making a recommendation to Champlain College to better optimize their site for mobile use. From the analytics data we gathered there is no denying that mobile use on Champlain College’s website is on the rise. When Justin first open Champlain’s website on his mobile phone he was taken back and said, “the main page of the website to me does not scream prospective student.” Although the desktop version of the website could use some tweaking, it is relatively easy to find what you are looking for as a prospective student. The mobile version of the site however is slightly dull and hard to navigate. We will without a doubt recommend these key points Justin brought up during our presentation to Champlain College’s digital marketing department.
I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity. I am especially grateful to Justin for giving up his free time and for professor Young for convincing Justin to come in and talk to our class. Being able to learn from Justin and discuss analytics face to face was a surreal experience. Anyone one in the digital marketing and data analytics fields would be extremely lucky to learn first hand from Google’s Analytics Eva
As I approach the end of my senior year I can not help but feel nervous for what lies ahead after graduation. Kyle Judd, a Champlain College alumni with a degree in marketing recently came into my capstone class to talk about the transition to life after graduation. Kyle who now is the head of digital marketing for Zero Gravity Craft Brewery in Burlington, Vermont shared his experiences on his time at Champlain College, his transition into the workforce, and his work at Zero Gravity all in hopes of making our own transitions out of college a bit easier. Kyle’s talk was especially interesting to me as his job at Zero Gravity combines Digital Marketing and Event Management which are two fields I am particularly interested in. I was also able to connect much of what Kyle had to say to concepts we are covering in Capstone this semester.
One aspect of Kyle’s talk I really enjoyed was the sharing of his experiences during his time at Champlain College. Kyle talked about how many of the classes I have already taken or am currently taking prepared him for life in the workforce after graduation. It was amazing to learn that a project he undertook for Zero Gravity in his Digital Marketing class his Junior year turned into a full time job within his given field of interest. Kyle specifically mentioned how his classes such as Digital Marketing, a class I have already taken really help him to prepare for life after college. Kyle went on to say that because classes at Champlain College are very much experience based he felt more prepared than students coming out of different schools at the same time. More than most colleges or universities, Champlain College works to get its students out into internships within their given fields. By the time graduation rolls around most students at Champlain College have may already had one to two years of professional working experience. It was awesome to see how Kyle used the professional experience he gain while at Champlain College to further his career. Similar to Kyle I too hope my real world experience that I gained during my time at Champlain College will propel me into a successful career after graduation.
This semester in class we have been assigned to read The Start-up of You written by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. This book primarily focuses on the idea that you must treat your personal career as you would treat your own start-up company. The book outlines the steps that one must take to invest in yourself for the overall goal of career advancement. As I prepare to enter my last semester of college and later the workforce, there could not be a better time to read The Start-up of You. Another reason why I think Kyle’s talk was so interesting was that I was able to make connections from what he was saying to The Start-up of You. One point made in the Start-up of You that connected to Kyle’s talk was the idea of the connection between assets, aspirations, and marketing realities. Assets also know as what you have going for you right now, asspirations or where you would like to go in the future, and marketing realities or what people will actually pay for you and your services all are interconnected and can not work without one another. From his work and projects at Champlain College to his internship at Zero Gravity Kyle was well prepared for the position he now finds himself in. Kyle most definitely has the knowledge, experience, and resources to do his job to the best of his ability on a daily basis. Kyle also has his aspirations piece of the puzzle figured out, for at least the near future. During his talk Kyle mentioned that long term he sees himself staying at Zero Gravity. He went on to say based on their already amazing level of success, Zero Gravity has a plan for where they would hope to be five years in the future. Being such a large part of the breweries recent success Kyle is definitely an important piece to the five year plan. I would also argue that along with having a firm grasp on his assets and aspirations Kyle also recognizes the realities of the market around him. Kyle knows he is a valuable asset to Zero Gravity based in large part to the successful work he has done for them in the past. Not having to worry about the selling aspect too much Kyle has done a great job of building the Zero Gravity brand. I believe Both Kyle and Zero Gravity know that their partnership is a driving force behind the success they have already seen as well as the success they will see in the future. After reading the Start-up of You and hearing what Kyle had to say I definitely am planning on laying out an outline of my current assets, future aspirations, and market realities as it can help me find the path I would like to be headed on.
Besides his work at Zero Gravity Kyle also mentioned how he undertakes other outside work for local companies such as VIS Major Arists and Signal Kitchen. He mentioned that he not only takes on extra work to diversify his portfolio but also his time. Kyle talked about how it is important to divide your time between your day job and other hobbies to maintain an interest in what you are doing and to keep your work from getting dull. I believe this point by Kyle directly relates to a point made by Reid Hoffman in The Start-up of You. Hoffman says, “When you’re doing work you care about, you are able to work harder and better.” Diversing my time is something I have already began to do. Over the past two years in my spare time away from school and work I have worked as a promoter for several venues, artists, and festivals. One day in the future I would love to work on the marketing or event promotion side of the live music industry, and I hope the connections and experience gained during my time working as a promoter can lead me down a career path in the music promotion industry. Taking the advice given by both Kyle and Reid Hoffman I will continue to look for work in fields I am interested in to diversify both my portfolio and my time.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to have heard from a recent graduate from the marketing program at Champlain College. It was awesome to know that the experienced based curriculum within Champlain College’s business program really helped to lead Kyle on a path to success. The success Kyle has found in his career since graduation gives me reassurance that I too will be just fine come May 14th.
Last weekend for my Event Publicity, Promotion, and Sponsorship class I was tasked to volunteer five hours of my time at a local event, Eat by Northeast. Eat by Northeast or Eat x NE is an annual celebration of local Vermont food and drink in the form of a two day festival. With many different activities such as beer tastings, live music, and seminars all happening over the weekend, Eat x NE was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how to manage the many different moving parts of an event. Although I am a digital marketing major event management is a field I am very interested in, but have had little experience in prior to this semester. I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to volunteer at Eat x NE this year as it is the type of event I could see myself working or managing post graduation.
One of the most important things for anyone planning and running an event which we have discussed in depth in class is to know your overall goals or objects for the event. At it’s core Eat x NE is a celebration of local Vermont food and drink, which the event organizers did a fantastic job of incorporating into every aspect og the festival as well as the management process. Throughout the weekend Eat x NE hosted dozens of local food vendors, beer tastings from twenty plus Vermont breweries, a chocolate and beer paring featuring a local gourmet chocolate company, Lake Champlain Chocolates, nine different bands from around Vermont, and countless seminars on gardening, cooking, shopping, and living local. All of these different vendors and activities hosted by Eat x NE only help to add to the overall local theme thus creating a one of a kind and unforgettable Vermont experience for both locals and those who wanted to be locals for the duration of the festival.
Another integral part of event management which Eat x NE did a fantastic job of, was knowing and effectively marketing to their target market. Eat x NE’s organizers and sponsors knew a celebration of local fare in a community with a “eat local, drink local, and buy local” mindset would be a hit. All of Eat x NE’s marketing strategies from running advertisements in local newspapers and on local radio stations to using their local sponsors social media accounts did a fantastic job of conveying local theme Eat x NE represents. Many of EAT x NE’s main sponsors such as Burlington’s local live music venue Higher Ground and Burlington’s top rated restaurant on Yelp, The Farmhouse Tap and Grill all have large social media followings which EAT x NE used to it’s advantage. EAT x NE For example marketed the live music aspect of the festival to Higher Ground’s followers while at the same time marketing the local food and drink aspect to the Farmhouse’s followers. Learning who your customer base is and how to effectively market to them is extremely important as it can make or break an event. Getting a first hand look into how EAT x NE’s organizers generated hype for Eat x NE as a whole was extremely valuable as it is a lesson I can take into any future career I may have within the event management industry.
In class this semester we have also talked about the importance of choosing the right venue as it can make or break an event. Eat x NE took place on the water at Oakledge Park in Burlington, Vermont. Being right on the edge of Lake Champlain, Oakledge Park truly embodies the sprit of not only Burlington but Vermont as a whole. Looking out over the water across the lake and seeing these massive mountains never failed to remind me where I was and what I was celebrating. Eat x NE’s organizers also did a fantastic job of organizing and utilizing the space they were given to its full potential. Even with ten plus vendors, a dedicated area for beer tasting, a stage, several seating areas, and much more there was plenty of space to move about and take everything in even as more people stared to pour in. Although I believe the event organizers did the best they could with what they were given my only recommendation for Eat x NE next year would be to develop a better plan for parking. Forcing people to have to walk or take a shuttle from their car that could be almost half a mile from definitely created some issues. I would also recommend having a couple volunteers work the offsite parking lots to inform guests where they could park and that there was in fact a shuttle running. Several people who were not aware there was a shuttle running came up to me to complain about the walk as well as that there was no signage for offsite parking. If anything the section of Oakledge Park by Eat x NE’s organizers and sponsors definitely reinforced the importance of venue selection to the project management process.
I am extremely pleased to have been able to volunteer my time at Eat by Northeast as I was able to get a glimpse at the effort needed to organize and manage an extremely successful event. Knowing the purpose and goals of the event, your target market, how to effectively market, and the importance of the choosing the correct venue are all extremely important to the overall success of any event. Although we have discussed each of these integral parts of event management in depth in class, getting out of the class to witness the importance each facet first hand was invaluable to developing my knowledge of the event marketing process.