Hello? Are you there?


Right when I went to begin this blog post I decided to check my Facebook… Twenty minutes later I finally started my blog after I had managed to do a significant amount of creeping. Facebook, as well as the plethora of other social media outlets absorb an obnoxious amount of our free time. According to marketingcharts.com, the average social media user spends 3+ hours per day on various sites. This made me actually think about the various times throughout the day I tend to pull out my handy dandy smart phone or laptop and browse Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. At the bus stop in the morning, in between classes, sometimes in class (never in Digital Marketing), walking home, procrastinating on homework, bored at work, & falling asleep a night. After thinking about it, it is actually a bit concerning. How much is that actually impacting my psyche as well as my ability to socialize?

Social media has begun to perpetuate false relationships with the people around us. Social media allows us to interact with people we would not necessarily have a relationship with. Are these “friends”, “connections”, or “followers” really that important?

My generation in particular has grown to believe that non-face-to-face contact is a perfectly appropriate form of communication. We seem to have forgotten how to operate in a social environment without picking up our devices for comfort. On various occasions I have been having a conversation with someone when the next thing I realize they are on their phone answering that “oh-so-important” text…”


What sort of impact does this have on our social capabilities? We have become so use to being able to erase or edit what we want to actually say that actually having a conversation with someone we may not be familiar or comfortable with seems like a daunting task.

So, what does this mean when it comes to the future of our interpersonal relationships? Is the standard for personal relationships forever changed by technology or is time to realize that the person standing right there in front of you is who really matters.





Marketing within the Means


Growth Hackers excel at using techniques such as search engine optimization, web site analytics, content marketing and A/B testing. Growth hackers focus on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing. For example, utilizing social media and viral marketing instead of using more traditional media. To sum it up a bit, this new buzzword floating around the marketing world basically means growing a brand faster without using traditional marketing tactics.

Perhaps breaking it down will make it a bit clearer:

The term “growth” is used in the literal sense. It is about the company’s overall growth (primarily up and to the right).

The term “hacker” is a bit more figurative. They think outside the box, discover new ways to solve problems, and focus on creative aspects to defy the odds.

Basically, put together, a Growth Hacker needs to use both sides of the brain. Time to be creative as well as analytical!

Apparently Albert Einstein agrees…


What exactly does this mean for the up and coming marketer?

It is time to utilize analytical thinking, product engineering and creativity to significantly increase their company’s core metrics. It is necessary to have a love for data, creativity, and curiosity.

One prime example of a company that utilized Growth Hacking is AirBnB. This company is a service for people to put up their homes, apartments, and any other type of rental that other people can pay to use for an amount of time and it is a way to find other places to stay or live that might provide cheaper and different benefit than a hotel. They incorporated growth hacking by taking what they already had going and making it more accessible. They knew their business model had potential, but they needed a way to increase their visibility, so they chose one of the most popular C2C websites- good ol’ Craigslist. The engineers working for this company used reverse engineering to integrate AirBnB with Craigslist so that people searching on Craigslist would be directed to AirBnB as well. They flawlessly incorporated their listings into Craigslist, which in turn proved to be a monumental success.

Growth Hacking is the future for growing your brand without using traditional techniques. It is a comprehensive tool that utilizes social media and viral marketing.





On Edge.

After doing a bit of research on this nifty algorithm Facebook uses called Edgerank, I decided to scroll through my news feed and see if I could recognize any sort of pattern. Mind you, I still saw the annoying blasts of the people that continually blow up my feed but I did notice my roommates and family were very prevalent.

So, what exactly is Edgerank you ask?

Well, here is a nifty photo that sums it up:

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 9.53.09 PM

What exactly are these three variables?

  1. Affinity: a user’s past interaction with another Facebook, including clicks, likes and comments. Edgerank makes the assumption that if a user interacted in the past, and more recent the better, then they have an interest in your content and therefore your posts are more likely to show up on their News Feed.
  2. Weight: an individual post’s priority, based on type. A post has a certain “hierarchy” of influence: pictures and videos are the most engaging, and therefore take a higher priority. Links, plain text and statuses are of lesser importance and will have less weight. A user’s interaction with posts also takes weight. Comments rank higher than likes.
  3. Time Decay: This one is entirely based on the natural decay of your post. You have no control over it and it simply means that the longer your post has been  active the less likely it will show up on news feeds.

What does this mean for companies with a Facebook? Your brand will ultimately be judged by its ability to engage their audience. From a marketing standpoint, it’s another hoop to jump through in order to reach your intended audience.

Mark Cuban discusses how Facebook is a necessary aspect of social media when it comes to branding but it is vital that companies use all facets of social media, for example Twitter and WordPress. Edgerank allows your feed to be filled with only information that is engaging to you. This inevitably makes things more difficult from a marketing perspective… You now are dealing with an algorithm that is ever changing.


Next time we all check our Facebook we need to ask ourselves “Is this what I really want to see?”




Two Heads are Better than One


Cocreation, in theory, is every marketers dream. It enables consumers to be engaged in the creation of the new product, which allows innovation at a very low cost.  Consumers are able and willing to provide ideas and input for goods or services that have not yet been met by that particular market. It creates an open dialogue of that will hopefully lead to improvement on the existing offerings. Companies not only engage consumers at the creation of a product, they also can engage them throughout the entire product development life cycle.

When was the last time your favorite brand asked YOU what you desired from their product? The value of co-creation rises form the unique and personalized experience for the consumer. It makes the consumer feel as thought the brand actually cares about what they think as well as what they have to say. It incorporates a new, deeper relationship with the consumer. Not only are they a customer, they were a part of the creation, which overall generates more loyalty to the brand or product.

Before a firm can cocreate there are a few aspects to consider. How exactly do they plan on implementing this social interaction with consumers and at what stages do they want the consumer to be involved in. A few advantages to cocreation according to Consumer Cocreation in New Product Development, “consumer-firm interaction allows the firm to strengthen its relationship with its end consumers, monitor their experiences to improve its product and the associated marketing strategy, and save money in areas such as advertising and product support.” Listening to consumers makes the world of new product development much easier. Monitoring what they have to say about the product on various social media forums allows firms to understand the flaws of their products and what the consumers actually want.


Before we get too excited about cocreation, there are certainly some downsides to this entire concept. According to Understand the perils of Co-creation, “these programs are hard to run. Some customers “hijack” them—instead of offering real ideas, they seize the chance to ridicule the company. Such hijacking is one of the biggest challenges companies face. Prior research suggests that about half of co-creation campaigns fail.” Cocreation also creates an environment of complete transparency on behalf of the firm. Concerns about secrecy of the product have become an issue. There are also issues with ownership of intellectual property, which can lead to a debate with the issues behind this. This could also potentially lead to legal issues. Considering you are asking your entire population of consumers for input, this can also lead to an information overload. Also, many product ideas are sometimes entirely beyond the company’s realistic capabilities.

But really, the idea behind cocreation still has a lot of kinks to work out before companies can really appreciate the input of their most valuable asset, the consumer. If a company can find an efficient way to cocreate, then it is an invaluable edge to the future of new product development.





The Future of Transactions

nfc mobile payment norway

Mobile payment is the next big thing when it comes to efficiency and convenience when making a transaction. Most people do just about everything on their phones, why not be able to make a transaction? I can check my balance, transfer money, and deposit a check just by simply taking a photo. Mobile payments are becoming more and more common especially for those people who are willing to put all their information on their mobile devices.

Once all the flaws are worked out and people realize the importance of having secure passwords as well as implementing a way to immediately cancel everything if their phone goes missing, it will be more prevalent than it is now. Considering that fraud is one of the main concerns it is vital that people are actually comfortable with this concept before any decides to adopt it. The three main mobile payment apps on the market today are Google Wallet, the LevelUp and Square.

When it comes to the future of transactions it is time to really consider what is going on here. Banks are capable of being the middleman and charging businesses in order to make debit and credit card transactions. Due to this, the lovely Bitcoin was created. After doing a bit of researching on Bitcoin it made me immediately think of this local coffee shop I used to work for. About halfway through my time working there we implemented a new system where if a customer decided to use a debit or credit card they would be charged a whopping .53 cents! Considering this was on a 4$ latte this could add up really quick… Not to mention cut into our tips. My boss decided that if they spent over 5$ the fee would be waived. The moral of the story is, Bitcoin according Amanda Krystalovich on CBCNews, “It’s a lot cheaper than accepting, say, Visa or MasterCard. It’s very secure as well.” Any authority, such as a central bank, does not control Bitcoin. This makes transaction prices much cheaper. This sort of system is perfect for implementing in small business that makes hundreds of debit and credit card transactions everyday.

It is time to look towards the future when it comes to money transactions but it is also important to look at the security implications of these new products.