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Puppy Tweets!

Have you heard of Puppy Tweets? Yes, I said it…Puppy Tweets! Mattel is tapping into the social media realm with “Puppy Tweets.” Mattel, the popular toy company, designed a high-tech toy that will allow dogs to publicize their everyday activities on Twitter via a sound and motion sensor. Owners simply attach a plastic tag to their dog’s collar and it randomly generates one of 500 canned tweets when it detects barking or movement and it then automatically posts an update to your dog’s own Twitter page.
Puppy Tweets hit toy stores and pet shops nationwide for a price of $29.99. Retailers such as Inc. have signed on to sell the toy. “Our customer base tends to be active online and savvy with social media, so it will be a good match,” said Sarah Wood, director of Amazon’s toys and games store. “It’s definitely unique from anything we’ve seen before.” I think this is smart of Mattel to tap into the pet market because consumers are willing to spend a substantial amount of money on anything related to their pets. This toy could also be fun for kids as a way to interact with the family pet or see what their pet is up to during the day. Time will only tell what will happen next with social media. As Mattel has demonstrated, nothing is off limits!


5 Issues for Mobile Marketers!

Several big companies have been in the hot seat for their mobile marketing privacy practices. For instance, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble over patent infringement, Google is being sued over its mobile data collection practices and there have been congressional hearings addressing mobile privacy. There are also other lawsuits – proxy and direct – involving Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Nokia to name a few.

Here are some pressing legal issues facing mobile marketers:

1.      Disclosure
Disclosure is something that all mobile marketers should be monitoring. It is common for companies to get in trouble for failing to clearly disclose offer terms and have to pay to settle investigations.

2.      Privacy
Privacy is a related issue, with mobile companies increasingly under fire for not adequately disclosing their mobile data collection practices to consumers.

3.      Permission
Consent or permission is another area of concern and one that will likely grow in importance as mobile payments take off and companies deal with such issues as how to ensure that the person making a mobile transaction is authorized to do so. The courts determined that text message campaigns are subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, requiring companies to get consent before sending text messages.

 4.      Hidden Charges
A growing concern is unauthorized charges to a consumer’s phone bill.  The challenge for marketers here is a lack of standards and how to communicate the necessary information in a text message.

5.      Patent
The patent infringement issue, while a key one, is something more pressing for hardware and software companies more than marketers.

Have you experienced any of these issues?

Loyalty Program

When it comes to cosmetics, I am a loyal to one particular brand and that is MAC. For the past ten years, I have been a loyal MAC customer. For me, it is all about the quality and customer service that I receive. The MAC brand is well known and its image hasn’t changed in the past ten years. The logo, packaging and display areas are all sleek, simple and cohesive. One of my favorite things about being a MAC customer is that for every 6 empty containers that you bring in, you get a free lipstick. Those containers and then recycled and used to help build playgrounds for children. I also receive mailings on their latest products and promotions. In my opinion, knowing that a company recycles and gives back to its communities is an extremely valuable selling point.

Also, many celebrities have been known to wear MAC and also participate in MAC’s charity events. For instance, Lady Gaga created her own shade of lipstick for MAC called Viva Glam Gaga to help raise money for the MAC Aids Fund. The Viva Glam program at MAC Cosmetics works to raise funds for patients with HIV/AIDS. Each year, the products are updated and the products from the previous year are still available too. Viva Glam donates 100 percent of the profits to AIDS charities. By 2008, more than $125 million has been donated. Knowing that a company promotes such a worthy cause is another reason why I stay loyal to MAC. I am more loyal to companies that promote and give to a charitable cause than any other company that promotes a rewards program.

Check out MAC’s Facebook page:



This year I have been involved in the planning and fundraising process for my company’s involvement in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. St. Jude treats children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases with pioneering research and exceptional care. No family ever pays St. Jude for anything!

The St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign began on Friday, October 26th and will run until the end of December.

I wanted to share this video with you because it is powerful. If you do have a few extra dollars this year, think about making a donation to help the kids of St. Jude!

Design by IKEA blog

This week I have been thinking a lot about top companies who do not have an official blog. IKEA has a unique type of blog in that lovers of design can upload pictures and ideas to a “shared space.” You do not have have to be an interior designer to share! Check out this blog at:

Overall, IKEA uses specific and effective marketing channels such as websites, brochures, advertising and public relations. I also believe that IKEA is effective in embracing social media as a mechanism to connect directly with customers.For instance, IKEA’s Facebook campaign was developed during the opening of a new store in Malmo, Sweden. Rather than spread the word the old-fashioned way, they decided to go directly to the people using Facebook. A Facebook account was created for the store manager at the Malmo store and over a two-week period, showroom images were uploaded to a Facebook photo album. By using the “tagging” feature, customers were able to locate items in the pictures and put their name on it. The first person to tag an object got to take it home. The word spread through Facebook and users started embedding links and images in their own profiles and across news feeds. In turn, thousands of users willingly promoted IKEA and its new store to prospective customers. This social media campaign was success for IKEA.

However, IKEA does have several marketing challenges in regards to the United States. One of these challenges is the fact that the U.S. is a large country. IKEA is working on raising awareness all over the U.S. because they want more people to discover that there’s something for everyone at IKEA. In the U.S., their most important marketing tool, besides the store itself, is the catalog. Its 365 pages, more like a book than a catalog. They also do a substantial amount of television advertising.

Personally, I think IKEA’s key target market should be a younger generation such as the Millennials, which are ages 18-30. I chose this group of individuals because they are in the market for affordable home furnishings for their dorm rooms, first apartments, houses, offices, etc. Millennials are also very tech savvy and would respond well to viral marketing campaigns and social media initiatives. They also read a lot of reviews, comments and research related to potential product services. IKEA should use this information to their advantage and capitalize on it.

What do you think about creating a customer list for this Millennial demographic? Do you think the competitors are targeting this group as well?



BrainJuicer is a leading marketing research firm with an extremely fun, unique and innovative website. For instance, the information is presented with bright colors, animation and text in floating clouds. It is evident that BrainJuicer is highly qualified in research due to the fact that in 2010, BrainJuicer was awarded Best Research Agency from Marketing magazine and Best Place to Work in Research from Research magazine. BrainJuicer is the only agency to have won ESOMAR’s Best Methodology award twice in the last 23 years, as well as a number of other awards for innovation.

BrainJuicer’s methodology is all about the people. For example, it wants to know what motivates people, what drives a person’s decision-making process, and what people’s deepest desires and hopes and dreams truly are. This research company pursues unique ways to better understand and predict human behavior. In addition, BrainJuicer pioneered a quantitative method to assess the potential of insights & have tested over 3,500 insights for some of the world’s biggest clients, and identify the potent insights that can move a brand forward. Also, BrainJuicer uses the latest discoveries in psychology, neuroscience, sociology and behavioral economics, and turns them into tools that take advantage of technological advances to obtain the most accurate, the most textured and the deepest understanding of consumer behaviors.

 Take a few minutes and click through BrainJuicer’s website. I promise you will be impressed! 

Here is a link to the website:

I feel that BrainJuicer’s website does an above average job of promoting and describing its services. The design and layout brings a lot of attention and curiosity to its clients. I also think BrainJuicer’s website concept provides a learning lesson to all of us in the marketing field. For instance, it is okay to step outside of our comfort zone and test new ideas and theories. I’m sure someone gave BrainJuicer the advice to create a more corporate looking website, but that would have made the company just like all of the others.

Future of Marketing and Technology

Many businesses are using more direct/interactive marketing techniques to drive sales as much as possible. In the past few years, the economy has struggled which means that people are less likely to spend money on retail goods. Now, most people won’t buy something unless it is on sale or they have a coupon. According to the DMA Fact Book, 3.3 billion coupons were redeemed in 2010. I think this growth in marketing will continue for several reasons. One reason is the state of the economy and the other reason is the easy access to market via the internet, smart phones, and new forms of digital advertising. Personally, I get an overwhelming number of e-mails daily from retailers. Surprisingly, the average adult spends 11 hours and 33 minutes consuming media.

I believe that marketing and the use of technology can be an incredibly effective tool for engaging consumers. As more brands see the benefit of interactive marketing, more and more campaigns will pop up using those specific media channels. I think that the traditional model of marketing has profoundly changed. For instance, growing competition and the influence of social networks continue to shift consumers’ thinking and companies must keep up. For example, a marketing research study shows that digital spending is seen as having the largest potential gain – 17.4%, to $40.6 billion. Within this category, the youngest channels are showing the biggest increases: Mobile spending is anticipated to jump 50.2%, to $1.8 billion, while social technology and services will rise by 33.3%, to $2.1 billion.

I think the future of marketing will continue to show a more integrated approach.  In addition, I think that how consumers can participate in a marketing campaign will change. For instance, QR codes engage customers. Utilizing Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices might change how consumers and supporters participate in direct marketing campaigns. Also, search marketing has been shown to increase brand lift. A study states that brand lift increases up to 30% when a company’s name appears “above the fold in universal search results.” Compared to when a company isn’t present in search results at all, the study also found that intent-to-purchase increases 20% when, appearing above the fold, a company shows up on the first page of search results, and 10% when it appears below the fold.

With the advancements in technology and ease of publishing your own content, I think that campaigns will also rely more on consumer-generated content to support their business and engage people. Sharing real life stories, photos and videos will become increasingly popular, as will the use of online content, apps and mobile marketing.