A couple of interesting stories about how retailers utilize high-tech analytics to better understand customer shopping behavior. I heard “ The secret life of discounts ” (Marketplace radio, December 16, 2011, link to listen or read the transcript) as I drove to the airport last night to pick up my daughter who was coming home from college. There are some examples about how stores use analytics to try to remain profitable with consumers conditioned to buy only at a steep discount. In “ Big Brother is Watching You Shop ” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15, 2011), you can read about retailers using in-store video cameras and tracking your cell phone to better [Continue Reading …]
Marketing is most interesting when you can see many of the concepts you learn tied together. This article, “ Philly Cream Cheese’s Spreading Appeal ” (Bloomberg Businessweek, December 12, 2011) shows how some of the different elements you have been learning about in marketing can be tied together – with successful results. Sales of Philadephia brand cream cheese were pretty much flat (mature or decline stage of the product life cycle) for most of the last decade. Then Kraft researchers (market research) noticed that heavy users of the product were using cream cheese (consumer behavior) as an ingredient in their cooking — not simply as [Continue Reading …]
Good question — especially if you think this might be a possible future career. In this article, “ How researchers explain their profession at a cocktail party, ” (Quirks, November 2011), you can read a wide range of answers from those in the research profession. Some of these are serious and some are funny (at least to researchers). Either way, they give some insight into this profession and you might find it insightful if you are considering pursuing a career in market research.
The business side of online games is quite fascinating. Zynga’s online games for Facebook including – FarmVille with 10% of all Facebook users growing virtual crops online. Zynga has been adding new games like FishVille and CityVille to appeal to others. The business has many interesting angles for learning more about marketing. Consider the following concepts: Price and the freemium business model. Freemium refers to a business model where most customers use a product for free, while a few power users cover costs. More than 95% of Zynga’s 150 million monthly visitors pay nothing to play its games. The other 5% [Continue Reading …]
Brain researchers at Emory University have found that brain scans can help predict the future success of new music. The article “ Songs Stick in Teens’ Heads ” (Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2011, non-subscribers click here ) and companion video describe the research. Is this a new type of market research? Should musicians (or record labels) be using it as part of the new product development process? What do you think of this? Does it take away — or contribute to — the creative process? Does that matter?
As social media began to attract more consumer eyeballs, marketing managers were confused about how to deal with it. Now some best practices are emerging. Marketing managers have a better idea about which marketing objectives different types of social media might help achieve. This article, “ Are You Talking to Me? ” (Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2011, non-subscribers click here ) suggests five best practices used by companies with some success in social media. Many of the lessons come from “listening” closely to customers via social media. The early heavy users of social media are listening, learning, and adapting. What marketing objectives do you see social media [Continue Reading …]
Here is a great case study. What happens when the company that holds 40% of the carrot market brings in a former Coca Cola marketer to run the company? Well, he conducts market research and then brings on big name ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Together they go after new ways to increase our consumption of the orange veggie — and not promoting its healthiness. An interesting marketing tale is told in “ How Carrots Became the New Junk Food ” (Fast Company, March 22, 2011). This story is still being written; we do not yet know if it will sell more carrots. What do you [Continue Reading …]
Zappos is one of our favorite companies here at L4Ps. We also feature them in the retailing chapter in our text book. The online retailer is always innovating. Now they are using their own employees in online videos — they have produced 58,000 short videos of employees (not professional models) showing off its shoes and other apparel. The use of employees can build trust — and seeing someone actually using a product can increase its appeal. Zappos also conducted an experiment – showing the same products with and without a video. They found sales averaged 10% higher when a video accompanied [Continue Reading …]