As the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are more commonly baked into products we buy, more and more companies are “spying” on their customers. The companies use the data to learn more about customers and sometimes to provide a more personalized user experience. Not everyone likes this idea as you can see in the video below. Watch the video and read the article, “ When Your Stuff Spies on You ” (Fortune, May 23, 2017), to learn about how some unhappy customers are fighting back. Is this unethical? What are the responsibilities of companies that spy on customers through their products? Most “inform” customers about [Continue Reading …]
One of the potential benefits to Amazon’s proposed purchase of Whole Foods is that the online giant might bring its expertise in data analytics and pricing: “Amazon’s wide-ranging data collection and sophisticated analysis helps it set prices and decide what offers to present to different customers” (from “ Amazon-Whole Foods tie-up could speed grocery transformatio n,” ABC News, June 19, 2017). Read this article and note the implications for Whole Foods pricing. What kind of pricing strategies could Amazon bring to the grocery market? In what other ways could Amazon leverage its online expertise at Whole Foods?
Chapter 17 introduces the concept of dynamic pricing – prices that change according to the level of demand, the type of customer, or the state of the weather. This article, “ Surge pricing comes to the supermarket ,” (The Guardian, June 4, 2017), describes how supermarkets may soon use dynamic pricing—even for everyday products like bread and milk. A version of this currently occurs with coupons and personal coupons (where different coupons are sent to different customers). Read this article to see where this is going. What do you think of dynamic pricing that is described in this article? It is fair? Is it [Continue Reading …]
Taco Bell is one of the more creative companies on social media. This article, “ How Taco Bell stokes the flames of fan love ,” (The Drum, June 15, 2017) describes some of the fast food (or QSR – quick-serve restaurant) restaurant’s efforts—including the video below. Based on reading this article and seeing some examples of Taco Bell’s promotions on social media, what do you think are Taco Bell’s promotion objectives with its social media campaigns? Offer specific examples to support your points.
Online advertising is dominated by Google and Facebook, accounting for more than 70% of all online advertising. Snapchat hopes to get a bigger piece of that pie. This blog post “ How to Optimize Snapchat Ads ,” (Taktical.co, June 5, 2017) describes the potential opportunities and offers a few examples of brands that have successfully advertised on Snapchat. What are some advantages and disadvantages to Snapchat as compared to traditional media (consider television and radio)? What are some advantages and disadvantages to Snapchat as compared to other social media (consider Twitter and Facebook)?
In Chapter 14, we introduce the idea of digital self-service (see Exhibit 14-3 and the related discussion). As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, more companies are using AI and intelligent agents to deliver on-demand customer service. You can learn more by reading “ 8 FAQs About Artificial Intelligence and Customer Service ,” (Customer Think, December 17, 2016). How could a cell phone carrier (like Verizon or Sprint) utilize the technology discussed in this article? How could a bank? Do you think this service is more effective than using real human beings?
Chapter 13 introduces the concept of integrated marketing communications, “the intentional coordination of every communication from a firm to a target customer to convey a consistent and complete message.” In launching its new Zinger sandwich, KFC sought to create a campaign around the Zinger 1 Space Mission. Read and watch elements of the campaign here: “ KFC #SpaceSandwich: Zinger’s So Out of This World It’s Going to Space ,” (branchannel, June 14, 2017). Then check out KFC social media channels to learn more. Choose three specific elements of this campaign (ad, video, Tweet, Facebook post, etc.). For each, indicate what you believe is KFC’s promotion objective.
There is no denying that many retailers and shopping malls are struggling ( cnbc.com , June 2, 2017). Already this year, RadioShack, Gymboree, and Payless ShoeSource (all in bankruptcy) have closed or announced plans to close more than 1700 stores. Is this the end of retailing as we know it? This Fortune article argues that the, “ The Death of Retail Is Greatly Exaggerated ,” (June 9) and points to several brick-and-mortar retailers that are thriving. For two other success stories, see “ Is brick and mortar shopping dead? ” (CNN.com, May 19, 2017). Why are some retailers doing very well while shopping malls and other retailers are having a hard time? Is it the market? The product they are selling? [Continue Reading …]