Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Evaluating Marketing Success

One of the most important yet equally frustrating aspects of marketing is evaluating the success of a marketing campaign. Millions of dollars are often spent developing and launching such campaigns, analysis and evaluation measures the success of the campaign, and gives the firm an idea of what future campaigns should look like. Should they change their messaging strategy? Should the firm magnify their efforts if the campaign is working? According to Kokkinaki, and Ambler, Given that a firm’s survival depends on its capacity to create value, and value is defined by customers (Day, 1990 and Porter, 1998), marketing makes a fundamental contribution to long-term business success. Therefore evaluating marketing performance is a key task for management, (2002)1. An example of a successful marketing campaign is Afflac, the duck campaign was launched in 2000, the company had a brand recognition of 12%,  As a result of the long-running campaign, Aflac’s brand recognition jumped from 12% to 90%, and increased sales catapulted Aflac into a leadership position in the supplemental insurance market, (marketing mo, n.d.)2. Through, analysis and obvious success of the marketing campaign Aflac could understand just how much success the “duck” brought to the company.

There are many ways that a company like Aflac can analyze their marketing campaigns. The best way in my opinion is through online evaluation, companies like Real Media Inc. will tailor the company’s ads and place those ads strategically to a specific demographic. Other companies will track how many times the ad was clicked, how long the consumer stayed on the page and what else the consumer may have searched. Even though I feel that this is a fantastic way for companies to get real time feedback, there are moral implications… “How much tracking of a consumer is ok?” Eventually this could become a problem as more consumers are becoming aware of how much personal data is being tracked. Another form of marketing campaign analysis is, behavior. Tracking in-store behavior, such as coupons used, or bundled items, for example: how many consumers who bought graham crackers also bought chocolate and marshmallows to make s’mores? A company can analyze this and offer future promotions for bundled purchases. The downside to behavioral analysis is the lack of consistent information. The data can be very sporadic and inaccurate making it a less reliable evaluation source.

1.      Ambler, T., & Kokkinaki, F. (2002). Measures of marketing success. Journal of Marketing Management, 20(4), 665-678.
Marketing Campaigns | Marketing MO. (2014, January 8). Retrieved June 30, 2015, from http://www.marketingmo.com/strategic-planning/marketing-campaigns/

Sunday, June 7, 2015

There are many inspiring stories of the small business once operated from a “garage”, transformed into a global multibillion dollar enterprise such examples are: Apple and Google. It is wonderful to see Capitalism in action, these businesses fulfilled a need and were richly rewarded for doing so. How did these businesses keep the momentum going throughout the decades? How did they manage to stay relevant with fast changing trends and constantly fluctuating consumer needs? I believe that it was through market research. Market research, however, is essential to you and your brand’s long-term success. Market research will keep your brand afloat while companies who fail to make research a high priority drown, (Fletcher, 2013)1 Without market research even these highly successful companies can face disastrous consequences, for example Blackberry, once the leading device in the mobile phone industry, they lagged behind the new technology of “touch screen” and quickly faded off into the sunset. Blackberry became overconfident in their success and did not continue to perform market research to better forecast new technology and popular trends. With the help of market research many companies big or small can bring out their potential. Bringing out hidden potential for companies is not only available for the technology market, other types of businesses such as Bath and Body Works has great potential for widespread name recognition, and increasing their commercial success.
Bath and Body Works is a specialty store that sells home and body fragrances, they have a great website that is eye catching, tailored to their target market, and easy to use. The firm has a limited advertising campaign, they have a very limited TV commercial, no radio advertising. The company focuses its advertising efforts towards returning customers, with mailers, and e-mail promotions. With the use of market research both primary and secondary, Bath and Body Works can develop a comprehensive marketing plan. According to Fletcher, when used properly, marketing research should tell you what’s most important to your consumers and help you to prioritize and maximize your time effectively, (2013)1. Since we are focusing on collecting data in order to implement new media outlets for Bath and Body Works, the first step should be to collect data, in particular a survey that would be conducted in malls where the store primarily is located. There the survey would be short, it would ask two questions:
1.    How likely are you to use a Bath and Body Works app?
2.    How likely are you to click on a web page banner ad for Bath and Body Works?
The results from the survey would help Bath and Body Works understand what the target market sees as more convenient form of new media. Interpreting the results would allow Bath and Body Works to confidently move on to the development of their new app, and or investing in banner ad promotions in targeted websites. Through this form of market research the information is highly specialized and tailored to the company’s needs.
Another beneficial method to gather data is, secondary market research. Secondary market research is the gathering of data that most closely fits the firm’s need for information. For example: The survey yielded some favorable results with its second question, but would still like some other information. Further research from financial data or from scholarly articles. Advertising Age has important information that could be used to help Bath and Body Works decide whether investing in banner ads is a wise move. Recently, banner-advertising has changed. SEM (search engine marketing) has become more advanced with new techniques that allow marketers to target their banner ads by location and by behavior. These techniques, called geotargeting and behavioral targeting, are great ways to get the most for your money, (Goosmann, 2014)2. Bath and Body Works would be interested in knowing that through targeted advertising the company’s advertising resources are working effectively and efficiently. According to Goosmann, We continue to design and serve online display advertising (including the occasional banner) as an integral part of any multichannel campaign. We run hundreds of millions of ad impressions and know display ads are solid "introducers" to brand messages and also act as "influencers." 
When we have stopped using banner display ads for clients, we've seen traffic, search and conversions plummet, (2014)2. The information is very persuasive and again confidence boosting. Bath and Body Works has a limited advertising campaign because they are afraid to move onto new media channels. Through market research the company can be more willing to step out of their comfort zone and into something new and promising.
With the new information that has been gathered for Bath and Body Works, it looks like a new-media advertising campaign, utilizing both the mobile application, and web page banner ad promotions Bath and Body Works will have a well-rounded marketing communications plan. As Fletcher has stated, market research, keeps you relevant and future-oriented, it helps Optimize brand strategy and positioning, and it elevates your messaging and communication. Through the use of market research, Bath and Body works stands to make greater profits and amazing brand recognition. With the utilization of these tools Bath and Body Works can stay relevant and present in the minds of their targeted consumers.
1. Fletcher, B. (2013, April 23). Five Reasons Why Market Research Matters (and Five Tips for Using It). Retrieved June 6, 2015, from http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2013/23874/five-reasons-why-market-research-matters-and-five-tips-for-using-it
2. Goosmann, T. (2014, November 10). In Defense of Banner Ads: Everybody Hates Them, but They Work. Retrieved June 6, 2015, from http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/defense-banner-ads-hates-work/295782/

Friday, May 22, 2015

When a consumer hears the word “rebranding” of a firm or product one may think, what is wrong with their product or business model that they have to seek rebranding in order to stay relevant? There is a certain negative connotation to the word rebranding, something has gone wrong with the company and it is seeking damage control. Apple is a great example of rebranding in a positive way. They have always maintained their reputation as a computer manufacturer and distributor. The firm then rebranded itself as a leader in the portable music market with the “iPod”. Now it has rebranded itself as the leader in cell phones with the new line of iPhones returning Apple to its glory days. Apple has rebranded itself many times but consumers don’t see their changes in a negative way, while when Radio Shack announced their rebranding as a “modern” tech shop no one believed them and saw right through their “Hail Mary pass” to stay in business. Unheralded marketing heroes renovate their brands while they are strong and growing. They spot changing market dynamics and address them as opportunities before they have time to develop into threats. Their reward is faster profitable growth without the negative headlines (Geyer, 2009)1.

Geyer’s candid explanation of why rebranding is necessary even while the company is healthy should be followed by firms everywhere. The concept of waiting until signs of trouble appear before making changes to the company’s image is a recipe for disaster. Let us look into the specialty fragrance company Bath and Body Works. It currently has 1558 stores that are mostly found in shopping malls. The brand image has not changed much since its founding in 1990. The company, although healthy could use some rebranding to keep it going strong:

1.  Update their logo: It The Company’s logo is simple and to the point, I am sure that it is a strategic decision but even a change in color or background to their logo would keep the firm looking fresh and modern.
2.    Bath and Body Works does not have a tagline such as McDonald's “I’m lovin’ it” I would give it one for example “Bringing Home the Happy” or “The Ultimate Spa: Your Home”.
3.    Using technology to the company’s advantage: There are “apps” for just about anything one could think of, but Bath and Body Works does not have one. It could list all their products, allow for mobile commerce and offer promotions and sales to all its subscribers.
4.    Social Responsibility: Bath and Body Works should lead the way in giving back to those in need. It can be in the form of hygiene kits, consumers could sponsor or a donation could be made with every purchase.
There are many ways in which a company can rebrand itself to maintain relevance in a fast moving and ever changing business world. Building customer relationships and staying on top of consumer and social trends is the key to a healthy and prosperous brand.


1. Geyer, F. (2009, March 24). Four Best-Practices for Renovating Your Brand Before It's Too Late. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from http://www.marketingprofs.com/9/best-practices-for-renovating-your-brand-geyer.asp