Friday, April 29, 2011

The Scariest Thing ..

Some people are scared of spiders and others are scared of germs. Some people are scared of small, tight spaces, while still others are scared of the dark. Admittedly, I am one of those people who are scared of the dark sometimes, but I find that the scariest thing is change and the unknown.
With this school year coming to an end in a few weeks, it's been pretty difficult trying to find an internship for the summer and not knowing where I'll be living for the next three months. As of now, I'll be living at home with my family, which I was hoping for, and I'm still waiting to hear back from my internship possibilities, which just makes me nervous I think because I have no control right now over what's going to happen. I'm excited for school to be over and not have to worry about homework and papers, but it's going to be awful not seeing my best friends here everyday and that changes things too. All relationships change when distance is added to it, and I've had my fair share and more of dealing with that and it's really rough. But with that, I guess there's Facebook for a reason!
I'm also looking forward to next fall to be back here with everyone and living in a house with my two best friends. I'm still scared of that change though too, because a lot of different things could change in that time and I know that next year I'll be put with additional responsibilities and trying to line up a job on top of all of that too. I've only got one more year until I enter the "real world," and I don't exactly know what exactly I want to do or where I'll end up at. It's scary to think that I could be in a big city or far from my family, but there are so many positives to that too that it's weird to have to wait and see what happens. I guess that all I can do in this moment is to just put my faith in God that everything will turn out the way it is supposed to and everything will be okay. It's definitely difficult to not stress about the future and knowing what's going to happen.

"Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better."  

I saw this quote and I really like it because it pretty much captured exactly what I've been feeling and thinking.

"You're right, things are gonna be different, but different doesn't always mean bad, it just means different."

This other quote that I found, though, helped me realize that change can be a good thing, and can lead to better opportunities and things that you can't even imagine. I mean, I am who I am now because of the decisions and changes that I made in the past, and I couldn't be happier and wouldn't change anything that I've done. I suppose I just need to quite stressing about life and let it happen and know that it'll all work out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Rules.. No P's?

So according to Scott in The New Rules of Marketing and PR, the four P's of marketing are outdated and the new technique I guess if to focus on the buyer rather than the product, or more so than. I understand the definite need to focus on the buyer and their wants and needs. However, as a marketing major, I must say that the four P's are still just as important to the successfully marketing and selling the product to those buyers. It's essential that you know who your target market is and who will or could be interested in your product offering, and with that you can make the important decisions that you need to about the product, place, price and promotion.
I checked out Pleo, the dinosaur robot baby, online, which was the example used at the end of chapter ten. It was a very interesting product and one where really having a defined persona profile would be useful. But even with this product, I would still say that the four P's are important once those profiles are determined and you can tailor the four P's to make the product as attractive to your potential buyers as you can. With Pleo, though they initially though it would be more for 7 to 12 year old kids, they found adults to be their main target because of the robotic, complex, technological nature. This is the reason, I think that the price tag can be the $469 that it does. I wouldn't think that most parents would run out and buy something that expensive for their kids just as a toy. The company also focused it's promotions in tech magazines and people created blogs and websites about them too. The product was very interesting, so if you haven't, I recommend that you check it out here!

Behind the Times.

While reading this Wall Street Journal article this afternoon for my advanced marketing class, I discovered a pretty interesting fact about one of our favorite social media sites, YouTube.
Though it wasn't a front page story or anything, actually it was in the Marketplace section (really the only section I usually flip through), the article was pretty big and even included a large colored picture. Basically the article was telling about how Youtube has been renting movies since 2010 -- something I was not aware of -- and is planning to increase their collections and add in more recent movies to be available at the same time that they come out in video stores. This new addition would be great for YouTube and make them more competitive with video stores, television shows and OnDemand programs. Also, by offering the new titles that it hopes to, it would also be competing with Netflix, which only offers older films that you can watch online for a monthly fee.
This came as a surprise to me, though, as well as the fact  that YouTube was the number two search engine on the net. It's a great idea for Google to use YouTube for renting movies as well as a video sharing site and I think that it will continue YouTube's growth and influence on the Internet. The only thing that concerns me with renting a movie from YouTube is how the video will load, because here at ONU and with a less than reliable connection all the time, it can be a terrible pain trying to load a four minute video -- let alone an hour and a half worth of a video.
So if you're behind the times like me and not too familiar with all of YouTube's options and offerings, then go check out the YouTube Store, which apparently you could have rented movies from since 2010 and soon to more and more recent movies too! You can also watch some of the really old movies for free in the movies tab.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just a Normal College Student Complaining about Classes

Classes are frustrating. It's hard to balance out classes, schoolwork, working, working out, going out and finding any time for just hanging out. Sometimes it seems that professors don't care that you have other things going on or that students would like to have a life other than homework and studying. I greatly dislike textbooks. They're not easy to read and they're hardly ever interesting. I don't like when professors assign 30 or more pages a night for you to read in your boring textbook, because if that's the required reading due for one class, you know that you'll have the same amount to read for all of your other classes as well. Because textbooks about the economy or chemical elements are difficult to read and most of the time are hard to comprehend, it usually takes a long time to read and understand the material. It will normally take me a few hours to get through assigned those pages for one class, and god-forbid I retain any of what I just read. There really just isn't enough time in the day to do all the required readings for all our classes, which is exactly why most students just don't read any of it at all. I really do try to read what I can for my classes, but usually I have to pick and choose which classes I would benefit the most in from doing the readings. In my economics class, for instance, my professor gives a quiz every morning on the chapters we were assigned from the previous class. In order to do well on these, I must suffer through his awful textbooks and chapters filled with incomprehensible jargon and gobblety-gook. The other reason I have to read these chapters is because the man just stands at his podium and talks for two straight hours - with no powerpoint or anything to help the students, except for the same drawing of the supply and demand curves that are drawn several times each lecture. I've tried my best to take good notes and to understand his large vocabulary and economic jargon - speaking at a super speed - but it's very difficult. I've recently had to bring in my laptop to try to type notes rather than write them and I must say it's definitely helped out, but the class is not easier by any means. For the first and hopefully only time in my life, I just wish to pass this class and be done with it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For the Kid at Heart

I don't know about you, but even though I'm in college, I still love watching Disney movies. Some of my favorites are the Lion King, Finding Nemo, the Emperor's New Groove, and Cars.
Naturally, when I heard that Disney-Pixar was coming out with a new sequel - Cars 2: World Grand Prix, I was pumped. In this new movie, the star race car, Lightening McQueen, and his tow truck friend, Mater, head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world's fastest car, but on the way, Mater gets involved in some kind of adventure dealing with international spies and espionage.
The really cool thing about Cars 2 is how they're promoting it. I saw a YouTube video advertising the the new sequel and though it was kind of weird and didn't tell too much about the new movie coming out, but there was a hidden message/video clip hidden in the ad. If you paused the clip and typed in the code, you would be taken to a new video which is "leaked" footage of the new movie. I thought it was very creative and goes along with the sequel's theme of espionage and is pretty clever if you can catch it. (and if you didn't, then type in the URL to see it)
The Hidden Message - From Unnecessary Umlaut
I can't wait until June 24th when the movie comes out so I can go see it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Engage: The Final Chapter

Actually I'll be covering more of the final part - Part Six - not just Chapter 25.
I found it interesting that with the change to Web 2.0 and thus CRM 2.0, there was much more focus put on customer relations management. There was, however, another shift and this time from CRM to sCRM (social customer relations management) and ultimately to just SRM (social relations management). I can completely see and understand how sCRM is important because it shows that it's necessary for all parts of the company to be involved in promoting the company's brand identity, answer questions and build relationships and loyalty.
With the change to just SRM, this relates to managing your social relations with customers, vendors, employees, experts and partners. Though it will obviously take more work to maintain and manage all of these relationships, you and the company will benefit from the additional attention to others' needs and wants. For SRM you'll need more collaboration than just conversation, really listening instead of intermittent researching, action and resolutions over just monitoring, and personalization, not just automation, is key.
I like this because realistically it applies to everything - any company and any person. Yes, your customers must be happy and have expected service provided, but relationships with friends and the people that may be able to help now or in the future must be maintained to keep everything running smoothly. Contact should be kept consistently and should be mutually advantageous to benefit both parties and keep everyone happy and happy to help.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gotta Love That Chocolate!

Nestle's Willy Wonka Chocolate line has come out with a new promotional game and prizes based on the Willy Wonka Movie and the golden ticket. What a great way to advertise their chocolate! I think it's going to be successful because people will relate this contest for the golden ticket to the movie what they watched as a kid and remember and can sort of live it themselves. The only difference in the prize is that there is no tour in a magical candy factory, but instead a tour around the world. There are still five golden ticket winners who can take three guests with them on the trip and multiple other prizes being given away as well.
The other great thing about this golden ticket contest is the amount of buzz going on around it. There are all kinds of articles being written about the promotion including ones from USAToday, Perez Hilton, and many more. With names like theses writing about Willy Wonka's new chocolate, word is sure to spread like wildfire!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Listen up!

I made this podcast for my social media class. The purpose of our assignment was to interview an expert in our field of interest about social media. I chose to interview one of my marketing professors, Professor Ron Tatham. In this blog we discuss the importance of marketing your products and how companies use social media to do that. Enjoy!

Lucky Seniors

With only like three and a half weeks of classes left this spring quarter and then the dreaded week of exams, this school year is coming to a close pretty quickly. I know that the seniors here are dreading leaving and I completely understand that. I am absolutely grateful that I have another year in the college world, but I must say that you seniors are kind of lucky. I say this in regards to scheduling.
Next year we're switching to semesters and scheduling classes for next year is such a pain! Most of the classes are offered only in the fall semester or only in the spring semester. It's a good thing that I have almost all of my required classes finished this year and should be completed this fall, but there are probably three different classes that I would have liked to take that are not offered in the spring, so I just can't take them at all.
Also because I've taken most of the classes required for my marketing major, it is extremely difficult to find electives to take that are going to be interesting to me. I will not take another math class, another western civ or chemistry anything. Those classes are not my major for a reason. It also aggravates me when I finally find a few electives that I would like to take, then find out that they overlap in times and I have to choose which of the two I would rather take. Talk about frustrating.
So to those of you who are graduating this May, be grateful that you at least get to miss out on the stresses of picking and choosing classes in a brand new trial system for the first time. Luckily for me though is that I only have to deal with this for one year!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just Tagging Along

In Chapter 9 of Paul Gillin's book, New Influencers, I learned some pretty valuable information on tagging. Gillin told us how to properly tag blogs and videos and podcasts, and he explained exactly how tags worked and how they could be used effectively. Before I read this chapter, I would just pick out some keywords that I used throughout my blog and use those as my tags. These tags are used so search engines and websites can judge the content of your blogs and make them available to the people who want to read about that subject.

When checking out my tag list - the list of all the tags that I've used in my past blogs - I found that I have used 64 different tags! Of course most of them were only used once, but a few of them, like AdRants, AMA, New Influencers, ONU, viral and social media were used a couple times. YouTube, however, has been tagged in 5 of my blogs.

My list consisted of pretty general terms, and after reading Chapter 9, I realized that I could actually get more in depth in my word choice and tags don't have to necessarily have to be topics. Gillin used Volvo as an example and they tags that he used would be, "Volvo, car, sedan, Eurpoean, 4WD, snow, safety, vehicle, upscale." If I would have written an article about Volvo, I never would have thought about using those words as tags.

After gaining a much better understanding for the usage of tags, I have a better idea of what to do and plan to implement that to increase the effectiveness of the tags that I use for my blogs.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Few Days in the Life ..

After having such a busy and eventful weekend, I'm thoroughly exhausted.
You see, Friday, April 8th, I turned 21 years old. I was very excited to finally be able to experience The Beagle and see what all the hype was about! So Thursday night at midnight, a few of my friends who didn't have exams and whatnot on Friday, accompanied me to the bar for my first adventure!
Admittedly, Friday was a bit rough for me, though nothing that an great buffet dinner at Golden Corral and 2 hours of catching up with my family and boyfriend couldn't fix. I loaded up on mashed potatoes (my favorite) and of course some fish (no meat on Fridays). All in all it was a nice meal and wonderful to see my mom and dad for a few hours. After the trip to Lima, I got to relax a bit and watch a movie, then my roommate and I hosted a birthday celebration get-together. I made another trip to the bar with my pal, Marsha, that night, though I just wasn't able to stay out too late in consequence from the night before.
Saturday remained pretty low key for me. I attended the Lady of Loudres Catholic Church in Ada with three of the girls from the cheerleading squad and then we met some friends at El Campo for dinner. Then after watching two movies, my friends and I turned in for the night, in anticipation of a long day of cheerleading in the morning.
Today, Sunday, was ONU cheerleading tryouts. The whole ordeal began at noon, when we proceeded to lead stretches, teach a cheer, two chants and a dance to the ONU fight song to 14 hopeful girls competing for a spot on our squad. Most of the girls were pretty impressive and did a really nice job picking up the material that we taught them. I know that after going through our fight song dance about forty times, maybe more, that I'm going to be completely sore in the morning. But thats not all! We also brought in the boys after lunch and practiced stunting. I had to demonstrate partner stunting with the guys and flying in the pyramids. It was so great to have the squad back together though, since we haven't had any practice since basketball season.
Around 4:30 in the afternoon we started the actual tryouts and judging. This lasted until about 7 o'clock when the results were finally posted. The squad took five girls and two alternates who will cheer only home football games. Everyone did a great job and I'm proud of everyone who tried out. Most of the girls were really nervous and had never stunted before, so it definitely took lots of courage and hard work to participate. I'm really looking forward to our squad next year and seeing how everyone gets along and works together. Most of all though, I'm looking forward to some rest after this weekend. Hopefully this week will be pretty calm for me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Will Throwbacks Fumble or Score?

According to an article I found in USA Today, both Pepsi and Frito-Lay are going retro. This seems to be the new craze in advertising, heading back down memory lane and using designs that are nostalgic for older generations and something new for the upcoming ones. You won't just be seeing a change in the carbonated beverages' appearances though, you may actually be able to taste the difference since Pepsi is also changing the pop's formula. Instead of using the hotly debated high fructose corn syrup, they will be switching back to the use of real sugar. This is the new trend going around basically because we're placing importance on being simple and being genuine.
Pepsi is far from the first company to be issuing throwbacks and marketing their products with former designs and promotions. The candy industry has been doing this for years. Hershey's is a great example of the candy industry going retro. Other industries implementing this marketing plan are the snack industry, like Doritos bringing back their Taco flavor from the 1980s, and the sneaker industry and Nike bringing back the Air Jordan shoe.

The fashion industry is also especially effected by this trend and in many different aspects. Multiple college football teams have gone retro to honor their former teams and victories. In 2009 playing against Michigan, the Ohio State University donned uniforms based off of the 1954 OSU national championship team. Ohio State also commemorated the 25-year anniversary of the 1968 team by wearing throwbacks in 1993. Though these weren't permanent changes in the football teams apparel, changes seem to stick longer and more prominently in the fashion industry. Floral prints, long dresses, skinny jeans, leggings, and even the bell-bottomed flare jeans have made a considerable comeback.

I think with Pespi and Frito-Lay targeting their customers with these vintage ads from their yesteryear, they are going to be successful because of the nostalgic factor. Also, the fact that the design has been used before, but is still new to the younger generations in the sense that it's not like what they're used to seeing. Plus I think that seeing all the old ads and wrappers or cans that my parents and grandparents used to buy and see on a daily basis is really interesting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How New Influencers Influences Me!

Well as you may know from one of my previous posts, I have an internship with the Ada Chamber of Commerce coming up this fall. Now even though I don't officially start until the fall, I've still been working on an assignment, a company fact find/data sheet and meeting with members of the board. While reading the chapters on podcasting in our New Influencers book, I was able to get some really great ideas that I can use and implement on the chamber's website and Facebook page. Using some of these ideas will help us to connect with followers and members and offer interesting facts and information about the companies around Ada to help promote their business, products and services.
What I found especially helpful in the chapters were all of the examples of the small ideas turned thriving businesses with the use of something simple like a podcast. It was pretty incredible to read about all of these success stories, and I'm sure there are countless others out there that weren't featured in the book, as well. I think the tips from the book on how to start up and offer something interesting to the public is the most beneficial and what I can use most toward my internship this fall. I'm getting very excited and am starting to brainstorm for all the fun things I can bring to the Chamber.

Check out our website and look for our updates on our Facebook page!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Animation and Alcohol?

So Three olives walk into a bar... Oh wait.
Actually, the Three Olives Vodka has a new campaign based off of the old joke about three guys walking into a bar. I think the short advertisements are clever and fun, and really capture the brand's personality. So far, there are three animated clips on YouTube (for now) featuring cowboys, sugar daddies, and sportscasters. I found these videos from a post on AdRants, and though most of the comments on the post and videos were positive, there were quite a few expressing concern about the material and the fact that the ad was animated. Some of the comments were in regards to promoting an alcohol in an animation because it would appeal to children.
Despite this little gripe, the Three Olives website actually won't let you on unless you enter your birthday and are over 21 years old. If you type in a date thats over 21 years ago, you can get in though. Three Olives Vodka is a premium imported vodka from the U.K. and comes in over 15 different fun and colorful flavors, including Bubble(gum), Purple, Dude, Rootbeer and Triple Shot Expresso.

From the article on AdRants, "Explaining the campaign's approach, Proximo (parent company to Three Olives) Senior Vice President of Marketing Elwyn Gladstone said, 'It seems that all the fun has been taken out of vodka with virtually all brands scrambling for the same crowded, so-called 'luxury' positioning. The Three Olives brand is set apart from that stuffy niche because while we're seriously premium, we're also seriously fun.'"

The only problem that I can see with advertising such a fun brand of fruity and exotic flavors with little cartoons is that, yes, kids may be more attracted to it, but they won't be able to purchase it until they are 21 years old and I would say that the use of the videos to advertise the drink should be very successful to adults who want to go out and have fun when they drink.

Here are the links to the three animations.

What do you think about Three Olives Vodka advertising with animations?