Gaining Experience in Emerging Media
IMC 619 – Emerging Media


So, I’m obsessed with finding a return.  But what kind of return?  And what is the return on?  What is my investment when making a social media addition to my marketing approach?  Will I calculate how many words I can blog per minute?  Will I look at the fully loaded employee cost of the blogger?  Will I track in anyway where the remarks were posted and differentiate one from the other to track effectiveness?  So many questions unanswered as marketers begin to incorporate this phenomenon called social media into their marketing mix. 

Searching for more opinions I came across an interesting blog by Debbie Weil.  It appears she has an opinion that it’s not the return on the INVESTMENT we should consider, but the return on the INFLUENCE.  Interesting approach.  Be sure to read her blog for concepts, she is a bit off the typical path, leaning more toward ideology, but it’s interesting just the same.  Meanwhile, I will continue to search for ways to incorporate social media approaches into my work, even though it is focused in the B2B space.


I am enabled!  With the download of a handy application for my iPhone at a measly cost of $1.99, I am now enabled to scan the  bar code of any item (containing one) and find the local shops and current prices of the item.  How cool is that? 

As someone who has worked with bar codes in the grocery industry, this is right up my alley (as they say).  I’ve been scanning items (books, soda, bread, milk, etc.) to see what the local prices are.  I am amazed at the differences in cost.  Designed for use by competitive shoppers, this handy application coupled with the GPS features of the iPhone make it possible for results to be customized to your location.   Created by Red Laser, this application may make my next trip to the grocery store much longer!  Watch the iPhone in action scanning bar codes…

Change of practice?  I recall when I was on the board of my son’s high school baseball team boosters, we were not permitted by folks in Wal-Mart to write down the prices of the products in their store.  When we asked them why, we were told it was for competitive reasons.  I can’t wait to have the store personnel see me scan their products!  This tool can be an interesting way to enable shoppers to make sure they are getting a good deal when they’re in the store.  It’s also a great way to scan a product you have at home, and make a shopping list based on the responses.


All things equal.  Looking for benefits of using a feature such as a social media approach to marketing will sooner or later circle to the question of ROI.  Just how will the bean counters approve use of such media without a tried and true or defined way to measure the results of a social media campaign–yet??  Well, great question that it is, it is still a thorn in the side of marketers who have navigated past the question of ‘why’ use social media and have now landed on how to define the returns on the investment made.  Searching the web for insight, I located several excellent blogs and articles specifically on this topic.  See Olivier Blanchard’s blog post remarks here. 

Drinking the Kool-aid.  It’s clear that strong opinions exist in the world of marketing on how to reach a calculation or even whether a calculator can be created to define returns on investments associated with utilizing social media.  The future of social media and its history are being written in an intertwined fashion, much like what I expect happened when online web advertising was a breakthrough phenomenon.  It’s exciting to be in the midst of such radical change.  Love it!


 Can you tell it bothers me?  Financially speaking, all campaigns used to market a product will have some measurement of their success.  This will involve knowing how things are currently going (a baseline) and the hope for how they will change (the goal).  What gets worked out in the middle are the aspects of measuring what affected getting from the baseline to the goal.  Although I’d love to be the original author of some of this thinking, others have already made their mark posting arguments for determining the best way to approach ROI in social media.  For an excellent presentation, see this presentation made by the author of the brandbuilder blog, Olivier Blanchard.


Just so you can see who’s lending advice to my blog… here’s a photo of Olivier from his website,


Move over Ally McBeal, and make room for the rollerblading babies.  This viral video is not only captivating it brings back memories of other successful uses of ‘animating’ babies beyond their years.  It’s been the most viewed video advertisement on YouTube and has never played on traditional media as an advertisement in the US (only in France–go figure).

As opportunities continue to arise in the world of marketing, I’m amazed at how fast the information becomes viral, then tried, then integrated into some form of communication.    I haven’t utilized YouTube as much as others, but this was a perfect example of how YouTube can be utilized in a campaign.


Online Grocery Shopping  is not new by any means.  Made somewhat sporadically popular in larger cities five years ago (or in some cases more) this approach to providing assistance to the shopper was moderately popular with the busy executives and less so with the older population on a limited income. 

Loyalty Programs.  Known to you, the user, as scanning your card before a checkout.  These loyalty programs can provide grocers with demographic and purchasing information to be used in marketing, or can even generated valid coupons for competing items.  More recently linked to cents-off benefits for co-branded offers such as gasoline, these loyalty programs can be flexed to be innovative and responsive to market conditions.


Mobile Marketing for real.  Most recently, Whole Foods Markets have taken the mobile marketing concept further down the path.  Creating a website optimized for web-enabled mobile devices, Whole Foods makes it possible for their ‘on the go’ customers to obtain information typically found only while on the internet.

But, I’m anxiously awaiting the next generation of truly mobile marketing in the grocery industry and the related applications developed to support my busy schedule.  I’m looking for maps of stores that will link my grocery list to tell me where to find the products and in what order based on store layout.  Link that together with information on specials advertised on brands within my category.  Let’s say I want canned pumpkin.  My ideal app will show me not only where it is in the store, but the choices I have based on advertised sales during the timeframe in which I’m shopping.  Link that information together with Loyalty records to provide a robust, demographically rich, economically sound mobile marketing approach for grocery.  ‘Scuse me, while I start creating that….


Unfair reputation?  Ok, I’ll beg forgiveness and ask you to cut me a break.  What for, you ask?  For sounding like what one recent author deemed as number four on his list of the six different “Twitter Types“.  I do believe that the article’s author pegged the types appropriately, or “hit the nail on the head” as it were, when he listed the following types: 

  1. The Newbie — as you can guess, this user is brand new to the experience of Twitter. 
  2. The Brand — yes, another good guess, this user is looking to use Twitter as a marketing tool
  3. The Smore — chuckle, chuckle, this user (Smore = social media whore) uses Twitter as self promotion.  The Smore, often focused on getting something from people has a counterpart — “Bubbles” who is identified as delightful.
  4. The Bitch — Just a complainer, often a guy–remarkably using the Twitter platform to generate angry reactions.  NOT what you’d want to follow in the way of an author.
  5. The Maven — an expert in their field, this author has much to say about their area of expertise.  They might also save you time. 
  6. The Mensch — not often aggressive tweeters, this type of user interjects to aid a user and can be thought of as the knight in shining armor.

Going toward Brand, Maven or Mensch.  Given that I’m not “Mensch-worthy” yet, I’ll stick to trying to become more Brand or Maven-ly to improve my Twitter experience.


The Six Twitter TypesGET A GRIP!  Evidently, everyone who writes about Twitter reads no other articles about Twitter.  That is the only explanation for the overuse of the word “tweet” in relation to describing how Twitter helped their marketing efforts.  Typically replacing the word “sweet”, this over use of Twitter lingo has me totally turned off before I even read the article.  I imagine the message to be the ramblings of a feeble-minded, lackadaisical, has nothing better to do author with little inspiration or imagination.  (Ok…ignore that I, myself, used the word “tweet” in this blog’s heading…)

Getting the most out of Twitter. Understandably, Twitter is an active, short message-communication tool that has been expanded beyond its original ‘keep up with an author’ content well into realms that exercise valid and useful content that can be ‘re-sent’ or ‘re-used’ (yes, “re-tweeted”).  The sheer imagination of those authors who build brand recognition, inspire timely contests and bring joy to those who “need-to-know” quickly and in less than 140 characters is an ever growing number.  I’m voting to see less of the “tweet” headings and more “meat” in the headings.  That would take this social networking phenomenon to the next level.  Go Twitter!


Finally!   Holiday advertising the way I want it.  PULLED, not PUSHED.  Let me link to retailers I’m interested in, let me decide what content clogs up my email inbox or texts.  The endless parade of printed ads can cease.  I’ll look at ‘this week’s ad’ online.  I’ll use my Facebook site to ask the opinions of people I trust prior to making purchases of importance or sizable expenditures.  Am I alone?  NO WAY.  The influence of social media in retail advertising is adapting and growing in leaps and bounds.  No longer just a way to post ‘feelings’ or ‘thoughts’, most social media outlets are being successfully tapped to enable willing recipients to take advantage of inside knowledge of discounts, future sales and new product releases. 

JOIN ‘EM.    Since it’s evident that this type of media exposure isn’t going away, most marketers are using social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook in increasingly clever ways that really resonate with the recipient.  Let’s consider them the ‘target market’.  Dissecting this target market can be more interesting when one considers that these forums are in use by the young (even earlier than the tweens) and the “older” (retired and wired) alike.    In a recent article authored by George Anderson of Retail Wire,  JC Penney is quoted as utilizing social media to keep pulse on active conversations between their shoppers on  That’s the biggest difference retailers must adapt to–social media advertising is more about active interaction rather than push advertising.  Those who can join ’em will keep ’em.  Those who don’t will lose.


Appalled. My cell phone rang one day and when I answered it, I was appalled that I was being bombarded by an advertising recording screaming in my ear about some opportunity regarding sports betting.  I immediately hung up steaming mad that my cell phone number, that I presumed was private, was on someone’s calling list.

Patience! About the third time I received this same call, I decided to listen to it all the way through.  To my surprise, at the END of the call was the part of the message that says that I could press a certain number to opt out of receiving this type of message in the future.  THE END!

Pull Advertising. I’m an avid iPhone user and constantly check iTunes to see what new apps are available for my iPhone.  In class, last week’s assignment focused on mobile advertising (no, not the kind where the picture is drawn on the side of a bus).  I do recall seeing ‘upgrade’ offers on free programs that I had downloaded and realized that this is a very easy way to reach an audience that is prequalified and interested.  Finding good deals is also part of my reason for being.  During the research, I located an iPhone application that aggregates coupon and code offers.  I’m looking forward to picking through it and saving some cash because I WANT to.  Not because I am forced to.  Keep the push advertising OFF my iPhone!