Mobile Payments

People always have their cell phones on them. And as stated in my prior post on mobile advertising is a growing industry. Even businesses are incorporating the use of mobile devices in-store by accepting mobile payments. What?! People’s smart phones are now being used as credit cards. Through different apps, such as LevelUP, Google Wallet and Square, people no longer need to carry a physical credit card on them.

Benefits of mobile payments:

  • Lower costs
  • Increase transaction speed
  • Collect customer transaction data
  • Increase Revenues

According to Juniper Research, global mobile payment expenditures are currently at $240 billion dollars, and are projected to reach $670 billion by 2015!


Different mobile payment apps:

  • LevelUp
    • LevelUp uses QR codes to indirectly (to keep credit card information secure) store users payment information that can be scanned by merchants
    • Benefits: richer experience for customers, including a reward/mileage system. Also doesn’t charger the merchant a processing transaction fee and can run virility campaigns for companies
    • Drawbacks: not every merchant uses LevelUp
  • Google Wallet
    • Google Wallet stores credit card information in its application, and a customer needs to enter their pin and scan tap their Android phone against the terminal to make the transaction
    • Benefits: used in some big retailers such as Macy’s, Walgreens, CVS and Old Navy
    • Drawbacks: limited reach only compatible with newer Android phones that use Sprint as a carrier
  • Square
    • Square requires users to input their name, credit card number and a picture of themselves, used for identification purposes at the time of the transaction
    • Benefits: extra security for users, and can be used on almost any Android and Apple phone
    • Drawbacks: Not all merchants use Square


While the payment apps allow merchants to gain insight on their customers, there are a few issues with mobile payments:

  • Not all merchants use mobile payments
  • No one really needs them
  • Require merchants to purchase extra hardware necessary to process transactions


Size matters: Big Data

Significant data (big data) can be derived through customer analytics, giving organizations insight on their audience’s online traffic and behaviors. This information allows digital marketers to optimize their tactics and personalize their users’ experiences.

Marketers’ main goal is personalization – being able to provide customers products and offers that represent their needs. Forrester’s white paper Use Customer Analytics To Get Personal (for Customer Intelligence Professionals) lists the analytical techniques used in personalization and popular applications of web personalization:



Benefits to using customer personalization

  • Customers are acknowledged and served appropriately (through knowledge of past interactions)
  • The ability to offer relevant content and offers to enhance customers’ experiences and promote customer loyalty
  • Increased customer retention, and new customer acquisition
  • Increased returns from growing customer base

The New York Times article, How Companies Learn Your Secrets, is a story about how through the use of analytics, marketers discovered that “new parents are a retailer’s holy grail.” It is hard to change a person’s brand loyalties and buying habits, but new parents are overwhelmed and preferences can be easily swayed.

The article explains how “timing is everything. Because birth records are usually public, the moment a couple have a new baby, they are almost instantaneously barraged with offers and incentives and advertisements from all sorts of companies.” One of Target’s statisticians was able to predict when women were pregnant based off of their purchases. This was an advantage for Target because they could personalize offers towards women during their pregnancy, beating their competitions’ offers they were to receive after the birth of their child.

The Wall Street Jounral’s article, On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels, is another example of a company turning information into insight. Orbitz, an online travel agency found that “people who use Apple Inc.’s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels.” Orbitz started personalizing offers towards Mac users, who would be shown “different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors.”

Even Obama’s 2012 campaign used big data, to come up with the probability of swaying votes one way or another. With this information they were able to personalize the campaign and capitalize on their digital marketing. Read more about it in Time’s article, Inside the Secret WOrld of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win and the Wall Street Journal’s article Crovitz: Obama’s ‘Big Data’ Victory.

i-use-big- data

SQL: Learn to Communicate with Databases

What is SQL? SQL, (sequel) or Structured Query Language according to Vault Analytics, “is the de facto standard coding language that is used to communicate with databases.” Or it can be thought of as another important coding language to know in the marketing industry. SQL communicates directly with databases, and through codes it can extract specific information. Running SQL queries are an easier, faster way to manage and filter through data than Excel.

How does SQL work? The article, Learn SQL The Hard Wayexplains how SQL understands the fields of tables, and can find data based on the contents of the fields. All SQL operations are based off of four general table commands:

  1. Create – inserting data into tables
  2. Read – query data in a table
  3. Update – change data in a table
  4. Delete – remove data from a table

Benefits of knowing how to leverage SQL:

  • Differentiate yourself when applying to jobs
  • Need to understand to execute projects
  • Speeds up process of finding information
  • Can better analyzing information and identify relationships within data
  • Fix your own problems with websites
  • Can create and execute your own marketing campaigns
  • Can communicate better with developers, designers and analysts

SQL 300

Living in a digital age, marketing now has large role online. And as a marketing student, learning technical skills that are applicable to the marketing field are important for me to know. Moz’s article Every Marketer Should be Technicalexpands on the importance of having technical skills. Moz suggests the following are important technical skills to know:

  • Databases & SQL
  • Web Technology
  • Web Development
  • Web Design & UX
  • Copywriting
  • Analytics
  • Forecasting/Statistics
  • Excel
  • Technical SEO
  • Content Platforms
  • Email Technology
  • E-Commerce Technology


Code Academy: an easy FREE way to learn coding!

Coding: a tool that amplifies intellectual abilities – “the ultimate mental amplifier,” as put by David Evans in his Introduction to Computing textbookThroughout the ages, humans and animals have created tools in order for to help their physical abilities to become faster, stronger and better.

As said in the text, “tools that amplify intellectual abilities are much rarer… Only humans have developed tools to substantially amplify our intellectual abilities and it is those advances that have enabled humans to dominate the planet.” The two examples that were given were language, and writing. Language allowed humans to communicate thoughts, and use their minds more effectively. Writing created documentation, allowing people to share thoughts through time and over distances.

Then there was technology. Computing mechanizes “any intellectual activity we can imagine…” and “pervades nearly all human endeavors.” Which is why coding is so important!


Coding is a very useful and differentiating skill to have. A non-profit Coalition for Queens recently started a program called Access Code. A training program that teaches the Queens community how to code iOS applications. “Six months after the first Access Code class of 21 students completed the 18 week course, the 15 graduates who accepted job offers have seen their income rise from under $15,000 to an average of $72,190; the other six students are either still in college or have chosen to launch their own startups.” That is a tremendous income increase, just having the basic knowledge of coding. 

And guess what? Learning to code, isn’t hard. You can learn it yourself! Code Academyis a a website that has numerous coding tutorials, all for FREE! You can learn to code different languages such as Javascript, HTML/CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, and API.

I made an account, and spend two hours on the site. In my two hour trial, I was able to get through multiple tutorials, and over 50 exercises! (I have had some previous experience with coding, having taken a couple of computer science classes) I really enjoyed these tutorials, they were very easy to use and follow along with. They are all hands on do it yourself tutorials, that provide extra help if you need it. Here are a few screen shots of some of the tutorials I completed, and what they look like!

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In summary, coding is important and a excellent skill to know in the digital marketing realm. And if you don’t know how to do it, go make an account on Code Academy!


Paid, Owned, Earned and Shared Media

It is known that consumers nowadays are more aware of being targets for advertisements, and often ignore them. Although they are still popular, marketers have been finding ways around direct advertisements. Using inbound marketing, content marketing and social media marketing, businesses are able to engage customers with different methods that are less invasive, more interactive and still get their message across, and achieve the ultimate goal of building an audience. When people think of traditional media promotion, most people think of paid, owned and earned media. Well what are they exactly? Here is a table from Sean Corcoron explaining the different types of ‘traditional’ media: Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 12.01.29 AM

Owned media is the channel that has the most control, is versatile and allows for high customization. Paid media is paying a third party to reach their previously accumulated audience. Its primary goal is awareness, bringing traffic to your media. It is beneficial because it is immediate, and the message is controlled and reaches the market. Earned Media: allows communication between you and your customers, which not only builds relationships, but also provides feedback. It builds trust, and is free advertising. The negative is that it can get out of control, and doesn’t have a concept of scale.

The primary differences between the three are the content control, and how you’re getting your audience. Today, marketers do not think knowing the difference between the three will be as beneficial to the development of your digital strategies. Instead, according to an article by Steve Kerho, some believe that digital content development and management should be considered through the terms paid and shared media.

Shared Media: media that is shared between the marketer and the consumer, ultimately taking away the divide between earned and owned media. This brings up the idea of user-generated content (UGC) and how consumer should be able to contribute to the content that is created on different channels. Customers want to have a voice in media channels, and want to be able to contribute. A good example is Starbucks’ “My Starbucks” page on their website. My Starbucks is a platform for customers to submit their feedback and ideas for new products, services, and offerings. This allows customer engagement and interaction between the company and the consumers. Consumers now have higher expectations about how they should be able to interact with brands.

Paid media is ‘touchy’ form of marketing, because many look down upon the use of “cookies.” Cookies, are not the kind you eat, but according to Mark Staton, “pieces of code that track your online behavior.” This makes paid media a controversial form of marketing because some think it is invading people’s privacy. An article by Ad Age goes into detail how the European Union started regulating cookie usage, and explains how your every move online can be tracked. For example, Amazon uses cookies to track your past purchases and to recommend new products, Netflix uses cookies to recommend you new movies, and without cookies this wouldn’t be possible. Google would give you search results in wrong cities!

cookies patrick star

Now what happens if cookies become regulated everywhere? Ad Age‘s answer is through native advertising. Native advertising is advertising content that doesn’t look like advertising. This is beneficial for businesses because “users are more likely to respond positively to marketing tactics that don’t look like advertising – but instead take the form of the rest of the content on the website or platform.” This marketing tactic is engaging, builds an audience, and people aren’t necessarily aware they’re looking at an ad.

hide and seek cats

The down side of native advertising is that it is very time consuming to create rich content, and it takes time for it to produce results. Although sometimes difficult to produce engaging content, a good example of well executed native advertising is Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has rich and captivating content, along with advertisements that most users are unaware of. In the following screenshot of a Buzzfeed page, you can see the article about PlayStation, and then the ad for Sony Entertainment circled, and also makes multiple appearances along the right side of the page:


It’s apparent that marketing has taken a digital turn. People see over 3,000 advertisements daily whether they are aware of it or not, and the Internet only increases this number. Social media has sponsored posts all over the pages, friends are frequently sharing content on various social networks.

No one loves Google more than Google: Google+ the New Network

Google Plus, you might have heard about it, but like many people still might know what it actually is… Well what is it? Google Plus is a social media platform that extends past the social network itself, also connecting all of Google’s properties. You no longer need an invite to join, but you’re probably thinking that it’s just another social network. You’re already on Facebook and Twitter, so why would you need to have yet another social media account?


According to Social Media Today, Google Plus is “arguable the most important social network for businesses and marketers and should be integral to content-focused SEO strategy.” Google Plus is important for businesses because it can increase their online presence. In an article on Forbes, Linda Sherman, a consultant and former CEO of ClubMed Japan made this statement about Google Plus, “people who are ignoring it are falling behindGoogle Plus can give you access to influencers who might not notice you elsewhere…There is a nice spirit of camaraderie that people seldom feel with well-established platforms.” You might not be on Google Plus, but your customers still are. 

“No one loves Google more than Google.” Having a Google Plus account can help you be searched on Google. It can build your audience, help you make connections and increase your ranking.

Reasons to be on Google Plus:

  • Integrated Content – Google+ makes it easy to share content across all of Googles platforms (Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Google Play and YouTube)
  • +1 button – If Google Plus was Facebook, the ‘+1’ button would be the same as the ‘like’ button. This is good for SEO rankings for a business. The more +1’s a page has, the more popular the page is and the higher the page ranks
  • Google Circles – This feature allows users to categorize who they are following and their followers, which makes it easier to target messages to corresponding or relevant audiences. Circle examples are “Friends,” “Family,” “Work,” and “Local Businesses.” Extended circles allows friends of friends to see your shared content; again, extending your visibility and reach.
  • Google Authorship – Google Authorship links your Google Plus profile to the content you create. The more you share the more visibility you get, resulting with a better ranking.
  • Hangouts – are essentially group chats through text or video, allowing communication with a maximum of 10 people at once. A Hangout on Air is a broadcasted hangout that can be seen during or after the hangout. This is beneficial for promotions through email and Youtube.
  • Communities – are chat forums on specific topics, products or services that are created by brands or individuals to converse and share information. Communities are good for relationship management, getting leads, building authority, creating brand awareness, and getting customer feedback.
  • Events – Google Plus events are similar to Facebook events, easy to share and create, but they are more interactive. Users on other Google properties can easily transfer events to calendars and emails on Gmail and Google Calendar.
  • Business Pages and Places – these help Google find your page and share your information such as, store hours, location, phone number, also providing a Google map. These are important features of Google Plus because “97% of consumers search for local businesses online.”
  • Insights – are statistics for your page traffic. For example, number of views and in what area, number of interactions, and what activity worked. This is really important for businesses because it gives them feedback on their content, which allows them to alter future content to help them build authority and their audience.


Social Media Today offers some tips to optimize your Google+ usage:

  • Be Visual – post engaging content, adding pictures and videos
  • Start a Community – can promote users to promote knowledge, and share interests and your brand, as well as get customer feedback
  • Set up Google Authorship – is a very important rank signal, and can increase rank in organic search
  • Share content from a range of sources – posting and sharing adjacent content, other or related content  that your customers would look at, builds your authority
  • Make the most of your profile – be sure to include all your business information (including your other social media networks) on your About page on your profile and use intriguing images to captivate users attention.
  • Improve the images you post – images are a good attention getters, and Google Plus offers image editing options

It is important for businesses to have an established online presence in today’s technologically integrated society. Being on as many social media platforms you can, and posting valuable and engaging content increases your visibility. Google Plus is an important growing social network to have a presence on in order to build relationships, your authority and your brand. If you don’t have an account now, you need to make one!


Authority Rules: Content Marketing

6It’s not about what you sell, but about how you sell. With the access to abundant amounts of information, potential customers are proactive in the search process. More often than not, they already have framed companies and their competition. Consumers value information over advertisements. With content marketing, your company becomes the media – by using good content to inform people rather than to sell, enables people to get to know, like and trust your brand, ultimately reaching the main goal of building an audience. People want to learn before they buy; being the resource of knowledge gives you the opportunity to generate authority within your industry.

There are three main aspects of the content marketing process – content, social and search. All three are important and interconnected; social and search results derive from content.

  1. Content – Providing valuable information that speaks the language of your audience – needs to influence them to use your solution to solve their problem
  2. Social – Distributing content by word of mouth publicity helps improve ranking – provides natural links, gains quality and relevance signals
  3. Search – Making content available for Google to decipher and reach the “right people” – improves your ranking and increases traffic

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 6.54.20 AM


Authority Rules. Authority is defined as “the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.” According to Brian Clark, from Scribe Content in The Business Case for Agile Content Marketing, “people want to do business with the foremost authority in the field because it makes them feel more satisfied with their choice.” Authority is educating prospects of your core competencies, letting them get to know, like and trust you. Being an authority, like inbound marketing, gets the prospects to come to you, engaging them with your content and solution to their need.

The potential customers’ intent makes the difference. People who are looking for something specific are more valuable than those people who are just browsing social media. Therefore, targeted search traffic is preferred over random social traffic. If someone is specifically searching a product or service, there is a purchase intent. By educating them, there is the opportunity to turn transitory traffic into loyal customers.

The internet is a platform for direct marketing, allowing businesses to directly communicate with and build their audiences. Clark states, “the job of any smart marketer is to enter a conversation that is already taking place, and channel existing desire for solutions and benefits onto a specific solution.” To do this effectively, marketers need to understand how their desired audience think, feel and view the world.  They need to be able to communicate to them in a way they understand, optimizing the level of trust they have in you. The following diagram shows the levels in Circle of Trust, with the obvious goal of obtaining repeat customers and clients (they are your advocates).

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Redbull is a perfect example of content marketing, becoming the media. The company has built their brand and become an authority figure around excitement, energy and extreme sports. You can find Redbull on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and they even have their own magazine. Not only is Redbull on every form of social media available, they also have accounts for different states or regions. Redbull even has college campus reps, that go around handing out Redbull, especially during finals week!

One thing that really reaches out to the audience is Redbull’s “Red Bulletin” Magazine, that focuses on sports, people, art and culture. They turned it into an the iPad app, allowing more audience interaction, offering videos, animations and exclusive content. Redbull does an excellent job providing good content in order to get a lasting audience.

redbull mountain bike

Content marketing is important aspect of inbound marketing. You need to identify the need, and in order to attract and keep an audience you have to offer something of value. Whether it’s information, or engaging and interactive content, it is necessary to make your product or service the chosen solution to their problem. By doing this, you become the authority, which makes you the go-to for your product or service.


They want you, to want them – Inbound Marketing

Lets face it, marketing has changed. Everyday people see thousands of advertisements whether they are aware of it or not. Marketers are no longer focused on finding you. They want you to want them, they want you to need them, and they want you to find them. The intrusive traditional ways such as cold calling, print advertisements and trade shows, also known as outbound marketing are being replaced. Instead, marketers have made a transition towards inbound marketing, getting you to come to them.

According to Marketo, “at its core, inbound marketing is about creating interesting, informative, and even entertaining content and optimizing and distributing it across online channels so it can be found by – and hopefully engage – prospective buyers.”

honey boo boo content-marketing-meme

How does inbound marketing work? Hubspot, a leading developer of inbound marketing tools, describes inbound marketing with four marketing actions:

  1. Attract – You need to attract the “ideal customer.” Getting the right traffic is important because your whole business is based around these customers. Important tools:  blogging, social media, keywords, and webpage optimization
  2. Convert – This is where you turn your site visitors into potential leads. Obtaining contact information is crucial, so you need to offer them something of value, such as ebooks, whitepapers or tip sheets. Important tools: calls-to-action, landing pages, forms and contacts
  3. Close – Turn leads into customers. Giving each lead a personalized experience in their lifecycle stage is important. Keep track of which efforts brought the best leads. Important tools: lead scoring, email, marketing automation, closed-loop reporting
  4. Delight – It is important to maintain a relationship with customers even after they make a purchase. To do this you need to provide context – or engaging content to give them the inbound experience. Important tools: smart calls to action, social media, email and marketing automation

hubspot inbound marketing actions

The last step of the four marketing actions is delight. Dharmesh Shah, the chief technology officer and co-founder of Hubspot stated in the “2013 Inbound Keynote,” that the most important goal is customer “delightion.” Strive to give an exceptional buying experience so the customer is more than delighted. This is bigger than customer lifetime value (CLV) because not only does it result with customer loyalty, but it turns the customer into an advocate. Shah stated “the most valuable customers are not those who buy the most, your most valuable customers are those who sell the most.” Customer advocates tell their friends, who tell their friends = free advertisement.

inbound marketing vs outbound marketing

So what are some of the benefits of inbound marketing?

  • Interactive communication
  • Non-intrusive way of getting customers to come to you, therefore making your target market is more easily reached
  • Provided value, entertaining and educating (potential) customers
  • Content can be shared via blogs, third party sites and social media
  • Cost effective (no costs for print or TV ads, internet is viral)
  • Easy to track return on investment (ROI)
  • No blocking techniques (do not call list, spam filters)

Touching back on Hubspot’s “2013 Inbound Keynote,” they introduced three new inbound marketing products.

  1. the Social Inbox
  2. the Content Optimization System
  3. Signals

The Social Inbox

Browsing Twitter feeds for particular subjects is like searching for a needle in a haystack. But with the Social Inbox, Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of Hubspot says it’s “all needles, no hay.” The Social Inbox is a new way to personally organize content on social media such as Twitter. Not only does it allow you to filter through specific topics, but it also allows you to differentiate the users who are doing the talking.

How does it do this? Well first, you create a social media stream. You start a new stream, which is designed around three three simple questions

  1. Who do you want to listen to? e.g. leads, customers
  2. What do you want to listen for? e.g. keywords Hubstop & inbound marketing
  3. How do you want to be notified? e.g. email vs. app

This is beneficial because it let’s you get to know the customer on another level, allowing you to give them the best inbound experience possible.  Regular websites, and social media can’t tell the difference in their visitors or the devices they are using to access them.

The Content Optimization System (COS)

This may sound familiar, but what you’re probably thinking is CMS (content management system). These are different! A typical CMS system in Halligan’s words “turns your brochure into a website or online presence.” In this case, when a visitor visits the page, they get experience A. When a lead visits the page, the get experience A. And when a customer visits the page, they get experience A. It provides the same experience to everyone.

The content optimization system on the other hand, tailors content to specific people. The goal is to give people the best experience possible by understanding their relationship and the device they are using. COS allows companies to provide custom home pages for visitors, leads and customers, and personalize it by adding different tags such as their name and company. This gives visitors experience A, leads with experience B, and customers with experience C. This adds to the inbound experience, and benefits your company.


Signals in a new innovative technology that works inside of other applications. It gives you real-time notifications, providing better communication with leads and customers. It is similar to the Facebook messaging feature where you can see if the recipient has read the message or not, combined with the subscribe feature of being notified when someone posts a new status.

With Signals, you can “watch” new leads on platforms such as their LinkedIn. You will be notified if any changes are made to their page, and if you send them a message, you can see if they have read it, or have clicked on any links. Sales people struggle with following-up with customers and potential clients. With Signals, there is no mistake of forgetting to follow-up and no need to spam, it makes communication more efficient and effective.

These products were very interesting to learn about, because they are very interactive, and almost invasive. The word invasive might be too strong of a word, but the amount of information that can be yielded off of Internet tracking is unbelievable. I thought the tools were very innovative, and spins off of existing technology used throughout social media (in some aspects), but it will be interesting to see how crucial they become for businesses.

To reiterate, inbound marketing “helps potential customers find your company – often before they are even looking to make a purchase – and then turns that early awareness into brand preference and, ultimately, into leads and revenue.” (Marketo)

cat high five gif

If you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen… #DigiMark2pt3 #FirstPost

MARI SETIJONO — born and raised in the greater Seattle area, I am grateful to call the Pacific Northwest my home. Currently a senior at Western Washington University, I am working on obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus in marketing and a minor in communication. Can I stay in college forever? Just kidding, get me out of here… (just not back to my parents’ house)

This quarter I am enrolled in Digital Marketing, with Mark Staton, PhD. I am stoked to be taking this class; I have heard nothing but great things about it! Last year I had Staton as a professor for Principles of Marketing and he undoubtably was one of my favorite professors, which is also the primary reason why I wanted to take this class. His teaching style really appealed to my learning style, and with his use of case studies and examples he made everything applicable to “real life.”

In today’s and age, media is immensely integrated into our lives. To the point where “six out of every seven people in the world have Internet access,” according to Google’s Squared Online’s 2013 infographics on social media engagement. How dependent people, myself included, are on the Internet is almost frightening. “If you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen.” Hashtag, hashtag hashtag. People’s lives are exploited on the internet. Stalking people on the internet through social media is a daily occurring, nonchalant thing. What did you do for spring break? Oh wait, why did I ask? I already saw it all online.

facebook stalking gif
There are massive amounts of information that can be derived from Internet usage, and through analysis of web searches, key words, transactions, etcetera,  companies can learn or predict almost anything. For example, Target predicting pregnancies. Kind of creepy, huh? But brilliant! Which is also what makes this so interesting!

Because of this, I am really looking forward to learning more about digital marketing. More specifically, obtaining the technical skills, becoming Google Analytics Certified. This is also exciting because it was heavily talked about in Principles of Marketing.

With this rate of data analysis, look at what ordering pizza has the potential to be like!

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

Through the analyzation of five different metropolitan areas, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, this article differentiates skill and knowledge requirements for entry-, lower-, middle-, and upper-level marketing jobs. This deemed to be a very insightful article, because I and I’m sure many of my fellow classmates are nearing graduation.

An overall summary of the research findings were that advanced technical skills were a high requirement for all levels of jobs. It was interesting to learn that many of the skills necessary were not in the “marketing curriculum.” This also made me grateful for Western’s marketing program because I have learned about the importance of search engine optimization, pay-per-click and analytics — and am really hoping to expand that knowledge through this class. Marketing is not just advertisements, there is a lot more behind it. Where does market research come from? Analyzing data and behaviors.

This brings me back to the Target article. Through the use of analytics, they can predict consumers’ buying behaviors, and also analyze the company’s behaviors as well. With such information, marketers can distinguish purchase patterns and consumer’s purchase processes in order to predict future needs. It was very interesting to read that during pregnancy is the perfect time to try sway consumers out of their habits. You can learn almost anything about people through the analyzation of information. Having a technical skill set can really distinguish one in the job market.

Article: Forrester Interactive Marketing Forecast 2011 to 2016

Interactive marketing such as, social media, mobile and email marketing, online video, SEO (search engine optimization), and PPC (pay-per-click) are becoming the major player in advertising in comparison to traditional marketing tactics through mediums such as, television, direct mail, magazines, radio, newspapers and telemarketing. The article states that in 2016, it is predicted that $77 billion dollars will be spend on interactive marketing in the United States, which leads to be 35% of all advertisement spending.

This further shows how integrated different forms of media are in our lives. Referencing back to Squared Online’s infographics, an average of 5.2 hours are spend on social media globally. I’m also in a Communication Media Studies class, and we had an ice breaker to get to know the rest of class, by asking each other about our media involvement. Not a single person in the classroom grew up without a TV, and not one person didn’t have any social media platform. The majority of the class consumed more than three hours of social media per day.

I really enjoyed the statistics this article provided. It was dense with information, but the numbers and graphs really put the importance of interactive marketing into perspective. The importance of interactive marketing for a business is crucial. Companies need to have an online presence.

It is interesting to think how much goes into a good website, or good ads. When using Google, people generally don’t think about how the top search results get there, but most web-surfers would agree that the top results are always the cream of the crop. And then you learn that it was all on purpose, it was planned. It is a strategy. Either someone paid for the the ranking, or added some special words into their website for it to show up more. It’s almost as if it’s a crazy mind game. (Marketing is so cool)

google search rank meme

Article: State of Digital Marketing Talent

The gist of this article under my interpretation was basically “You are what you eat.” The  marketing industry is what it is made up of. Listed I have summarized the seven main findings of digital marketing talent discussed through this article in my own words:

1. There’s a digital marketing talent gap – Employee’s do not live up to employer’s expectations in all skill areas.

2. Employees are lacking necessary skills – Technical skills are important skills to have in the Marketing field. More specifically, knowledge of analytics, mobile marketing, and  marketing automation are needed.

3. It’s about who you know – With a large talent gap, it is deemed a hard task to differentiate between employee candidates. References will get you jobs.

4. Inadequate employee training leads to miss opportunities – Without established programs, organizations investments through their employees don’t result with substantial returns or benefits.

5. Inconsistency throughout an organization hinders the business as a whole – Because there are no industry-wide standards, businesses need to be clear and consistent through their expectations and requirements for employees, and their assessment criteria on these expectation and requirements. There needs to be a mutual understanding on clear and concise goals.

6. Have a good attitude – You get what you earn. Not everything is handed to you, and if you work hard, and are open minded it will eventually (hopefully) pay off.

7. Digital education programs need to be implemented for marketing students – the talent gap needs to bridged. What is taught in school should be applicable to real life.

After reading this article, I was sure happy I am enrolled in Western’s Marketing program! College is increasingly getting more expensive, with the goal of obtaining knowledge and skills that will (or at least should) help me in life. The main point of this article was that there is inadequate talent. Whether it be graduate students who didn’t learn the skills, or the organization isn’t teaching the skills,  there are skills lacking.

To tie all three articles together, digital marketing is the new “thing.” And more importantly the technical skills that contribute to digital marketing are crucial for the industry.

ron burgandy meme