Source: copyblogger.com Written by Brian Clark Everyone’s creating all this online content, but does it matter? More importantly, are you accomplishing your goals with the content you deliver, or are you simply spinning your wheels? Well, if you’re doing it right, your content is highly effective and tightly tied to your ultimate business objectives. Otherwise, […]

via Are You Creating Meaningful Content? — Nicole Jones Development – Huntsville, AL

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The Zero Moment Of Truth

Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is a completely new term to me. Upon first hearing it, I first thought that it sounded like the newest primetime TV drama. However, after reading about the marketing phenomenon, I realized I was actually a poster-child for ZMOT. I am that person you try to maneuver around in the grocery store, as stand with phone in hand.

I just spent $5 on a single drink at Starbucks, but now I frantically scan my Kroger app to find the cheapest toothpaste possible- millennials are weird like that. You say, “Excuse me” for the third or fourth time and I finally look up in bewilderment as you give me that look of disapproval. You assume I am just caught up in my social media profile or trying to take a good selfie, but no; I am actually trying to make a very informed purchased decision.

ZMOT is the research that takes place over the Internet before customers make a purchase decision. It happens before the marketer even gets a chance to make an impression on the customer. ZMOT can occur anywhere and at anytime, as long as you have a connection to Google, social media, etc. It may be asking Siri to search for 5 Star hotels in your area, or doing a Twitter search to see what people are saying about the latest movie release. Social media marketers must learn how to wrangle in consumers who are taking part in ZMOT, because the consumer is already ahead of the game.

Marketers should focus on getting their trusted consumers who already know and love the product, to start talking about it on the Internet. Reviews, blog posts, and social media mentions boost search engine results for both B2C and B2B businesses. This generated buzz acts as a virtual billboard; just waiting to pop up once a prospective consumer hits the “search” button. Usually, the search engine can suggest a product before the user even finishes typing.

ZMOT is a never-ending cycle and must be thought about throughout the entire purchase cycle. Once a customer buys a product and uses it, they are entering the second and third moments of truth. They then go online and leave a review or endorse it on their social media profiles, thus creating a potential ZMOT for a brand new customer. This is why it’s important for marketers have dedicated social media teams that are constantly monitoring online activity and engaging with customers online. Browsing the very same content that the customers use will give marketers an idea of their company is being perceived and how effective they are in a ZMOT scenario.

The Importance of Marketing Integration

As the marketing world starts to shift from outbound marketing to inbound marketing, social media plays a vital role in interacting with, and drawing in customers. Marketers cannot just create an advertisement and throw it in front of a large audience, hoping a few leads stick. They must learn to weave their way into consumers’ everyday lives and get past all of the filtering that goes one.

Billboards are being ignored, radio stations are being replaced by streaming services, and television commercials are being fast-forwarded. Marketers need to use social media to reach their specific target markets, create a personal customer relationship, and turn that customer into a brand ambassador on their own social media platforms. Here are the three tips I chose from “26 Tips for Integrating Social Media Activities”.

Apps Increase Brand Awareness and Customer Loyalty

An app acts as the company’s own little social platform in a way. It is completely dedicated to content for one brand, and doesn’t have to compete with all of the other content on a popular social media site. Apps also encourage more action from the customer. For example, the Starbucks app allows the customer to create a personalized drink, order it, and pick it up with out waiting in line. Having your own space dedicated to someone’s phone screen is a great way to ensure they are checking in on what is happening with the business every day.

E(x)cellent Customer Service Can Be Provided Through Social Media

Social media can be used to immediately tackle customer concerns, complaints, and questions within minutes of them posting to your social media page. Long gone are the days when a frazzled consumer has to call a 1-800 number, and wait on hold for 20 minutes, just to get transferred to another person. Companies employ entire teams dedicated to responding to customers in real time. They can also seek out mentions of the company and reply with product suggestions, or simply thank the customer for enjoying their product.

Serve Your Clients though Social Business Integration

Social media should not just come into play after the customer buys the product. In the past, I would get excited if one of my favorite companies actually responded back to me on social media. Today, I think it should be second nature for social media marketers to reach out to their audience. It should be no different than a salesperson helping a customer in the showroom.

Integrating social media into the business process is not only convenient for the customer, it leads to more sales for the business. A Facebook page can now double as an online store where the customer can place an order without even going to the company’s actual website. If a customer is debating about a product, tweet them a link that takes them right to your review page. Several different pages can also be set up for different aspects of the business. Consider a separate Twitter page just for handling customer service so that it doesn’t clog up your main account’s timeline.

These are just three of the many approaches to jumping into social media integration. All of the tools a marketer would ever need are already out there; it is up to them to put them to good use.

 

Success in Segmentation: Under Armour

Under Armour has explored several segments as it has evolved as a company over the years. In the beginning stages of its existence, Under Armour used concentrate niche segmentation to target a more specific segment. They designed shirts for football players to wear that would wick away moisture. The initial goal was to market to those with the “tough-guy and football image” (Murray & Saghian, 2016).

As Under Armour grew, they were able to expand their business to a wider market of men. They made products that were not jus for football players, but the athletic male in general. The targeted men consisted of those looking for modern, and innovative apparel that still served a technical purpose (Murray & Saghian, 2016).

After succeeding in this market, Under Armour decided it was time to put more focus on another segment, and that was women’s apparel. Under Armour now uses a differentiated segmentation strategy. This means they target multiple segments in hopes of holding a large share of the market, in each segment (Kardes, Cronley, & Cline, 2012).

In Consumer Behavior, Kardes, Cronley, and Cline outline four things to consider when segmenting a market.

  • Consumer preference heterogeneity: Firms should think about how differentiated preferences are inside the market. When there is more variability within a market, the firm can increase segmentation and increase potential profits
  • Majority fallacy: Firms should think about pursuing smaller segments rather than the majority, or average segment. Smaller segments have less competition than the majority, and could prove more profitable, as a result.
  • Sales-cost trade off: Firms must consider when the costs of additional segments begin to exceed the sales they bring in. With each new segment, there are new costs associated with equipment, labor, and resources to product the new product line.
  • Cannibalization: when a firm targets to many segments, their products may begin to compete with each other.

(2012)

Where does Under Armour go from here? I think an interesting market segment that Under Armour could explore would be athletes with disabilities. They could create clothes for athletes who may be paralyzed in parts of their bodies, or have had amputated limbs that result in regular clothes not fitting correctly. This would be a niche-segmented strategy that could set them apart from the competition. The idea that Under Armour wants to be inclusive off all types of athletes could resonate with the hearts of others outside the niche, but still inside other segments who have not purchased from Under Armour in the past.

 

References
Kardes, F. R., Cline, T. W., & Cronley, M. L. (2012).Consumer Behavior(2nd ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage.
Murray, M., & Saghian, M. (2016, July 27).Under Armour’s Willfull Digital     Moves.Charlottsville, VA. University of Virginia Darden School Foundation.

My Consumer Profile

What kind of consumer am I? If I were to categorize myself I would say I am a loyalty-based consumer. For example, I will drive by several other establishments that serve coffee and go out of my way to go to a Starbucks. My loyalty to them is a result of the rewards program and my belief that they put corporate responsibility as a high priority. I also practice loyalty when I buy groceries buy shopping at the store I work for. I will try to find every thing I need at my company instead of going to Wal-Mart, even if it is cheaper sometimes. I always buy my store’s brand items rather than name brands because of the loyalty I have to my company. It is normally cheaper than name brands anyway. I am also not influenced by packaging very easily so neither of these are important factors in my buying decisions.

Because I choose products based mostly on loyalty, most of my purchase decisions stem from the problem recognition stage. This is where I recognize the issue and whether this is a need or want that needs satisfied. Once I make the decision to go buy the product, my loyalties usually make the information search and evaluating alternatives stages much easier.

I am most influenced by marketing research when I need to solve a new problem and I seek out product specifications and consumer reviews to compare different products. For example, I was recently shopping for a new face cleanser and wasn’t sure which one to go with. I looked at couple name brand ones at the store that I could do an Internet search to find which one was recommended the most by dermatologists and had the best consumer reviews. I was then able to find a product similar to the name brand under my store’s brand that was comparable.

If I am very displeased with a product or service I will try to contact the company or fill out a survey after the purchase. I work in retail and regularly receive customer comments. While some of them can seem like just someone complaining, they usually just want a better experience and feedback is the only way to know that a change is needed. If I am satisfied with a product or service I often just continue on as normal without thinking about leaving good feedback. I think this is the case for many consumers because they only feel the need to speak up if they were severely inconvenienced.

Marketing Research Project

For my marketing research class I am to pick a company and introduce a new product to market. For my final project I have chosen to create marketing brief for Procter and Gamble. More specifically, I will be focusing on their Crest line of toothpastes. Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 and has grown to the world’s largest consumer goods company. They own a number of billion dollar brands ranging from paper towels and laundry supplies to cosmetics and personal care items (Bender, n.d.).

I want to focus on Crest and creating a new toothpaste that could be very relevant in 2017. As consumers become more conscious of their bodies and the environment, I think adding all-natural toothpaste would be a great idea for Crest. It will be free of fluoride, artificial colorings or flavors, and other ingredients many consumers deem harmful to their bodies. There are already numerous brands offering this same type of product but they are much smaller and harder to find that Procter & Gamble brands. If they can harness their existing consumers and brand notoriety I think this could be a very successful product.

Bender, J. (n.d.). Topic: Procter & Gamble. Retrieved January 08, 2017, from https://www.statista.com/topics/1625/procter-and-gamble/