It’s all about the content!

Marketers always say ‘it all comes down to content’.

 

“Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left.”

– Seth Godin

 

As nowadays the internet has become so ingrained in our lives and how we live them the world seems a much smaller place, marketers can’t stress the importance of content marketing enough. ‘We have to be a great storyteller and we have to create great content’, they say.

 

What is content marking exactly?

 

The Content Marketing Institute offers a clear definition:

…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action…

 

Unfortunately, not all content works and the question worth asking is why?

 

Content marketing is not as easy as it seems because in order to craft effective content you have to actually know who your target audience is, listen to your customers and recognize what their challenges are. Therefore, quite a significant amount of research is needed to be done beforehand.

 

At the same time, the core of the business is still the product or service you are trying to sell. Therefore, making sure that it is outstanding with the best quality possible is imperative. In the age of social media we’re living in today, only great products or services will get people to talk on social media platforms, including in real life. Putting together stories to establish  depth to it and creating an emotional connection with the customers is what will make your brand unstoppable. I mean, isn’t it better when people hear a brand’s name and they know the story behind it like when you think of Apple, Coke or Chobani? I believe small brands can create that too through the right content, engaging message, and most importantly, consistency.

tips for yourcontent marketing

You content marketing is your brand. Is your brand engaging with your audience? Or is it doing what everyone else is doing and not standing out in the overwhelming sea of social media?

 

After generating  engaging content for the right audience, there are a few more steps needed in order to push the content out. You can reach out to potential mentors or influences in the industry, study their work and learn from them. Moreover, networking is also necessary. Once you’ve become more familiar with the territory and the quality of your content, get involved on as many social media platforms as possible and reach out to new potential customers regularly. The more people learn about your brand and your story, the weightier your content will be. By staying true to your brand’s characteristics and getting published often, your brand should start to make bolder claims and drive newer things. Set your brand as a thought leader and stay in the industry’s front row.

 

“Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign”

– Jon Buscall

 

There are many types of content. You have to have clear objectives in order to execute great content. Is it for brand awareness, to build a brand, to create an on-going engagement, to provide information and solve problems for the customers or to sell a product or service? This will affect your choice of words, the tone, platform you use, and basically, everything!

 

I personally think that content marketing is the best long term marketing strategy because content influences almost every other online strategy; SEO/SEM, social media, email, etc. It also builds your brand’s personality and reputation, influences conversation and most importantly, it creates a bond and encourages faith and trust in your brand. This last factor, notably, is quite difficult to establish through any other marketing strategy.

 

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue”

– Andrew Davis

 

Despite all the trends and persistent technology evolutions that unavoidably penetrate marketing landscapes, of course the form of content might  (emerge doesn’t make sense Bo. You started the sentence with “despite”so there needs to be contrast and your next paragraph says content will never vanish totally?) This sentence isn’t coherent. However, it will never be redundant. Good content helps people make good decisions without feeling like they’re being sold on something.

 

Start planning and invest your time in content marketing people! This will surely help your brand stay competitive in this cutthroat world.

 

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Generation Z … Beyond the Millennials

One ordinary summer afternoon, I was spending time with my family back in Thailand. Amongst the adults who were casually chitchatting and enjoying afternoon snacks, there she was, my niece, almost 2 years of age, running around, playing and talking boisterously.

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To calm her down, my aunt put ‘the wheels on the bus’ song on through YouTube on her iPhone and handed it to her. She quietened down, enjoyed the song, and when it was over, she tapped her tiny finger on the screen to choose a new one, and being sure not to waste any of her precious pleasure time, she skipped the ad.

 

In this moment I found myself thinking of the future of marketing.

 

What would it be like?

 

Say hello to Generation Z, or anyone who was born during 1996-2010 according to NY Times. While Millennials were digital, Generation Z is the first generation to grow up with technology from the start. Therefore, they are open-minded, the most multicultural generation, gender-neutral and independent learners.

 

It is fairly important to the marketers of today to understand how Gen Z think because it effects audience segmentation, as they have their own uniqueness and shouldn’t be bunched together with the Millennials. By 2020, Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers, which makes it more essential than ever to successfully connect, engage and develop a lifelong relationship with them.

 

While Millennials are getting older, the younger Gen Z population is growing rapidly. Gen Zers represent a buying power of $44 billion, and influence an additional $600 billion of family spending. They hold the power to influence the way their parents spend more than Millennials ever did.

 

It is a fact that goldfish have a longer attention span than Gen Z (6-8 seconds) while approximately 11% of the generation have ADHD. The reason that the Huffington Post gives makes a very good point. Gen Zers have a faster media consumption pace than any other generation. They are highly selective and have a decisive filter, which is something that marketers have never experienced before. However, once Gen Zers find something worth their attention, they will become obsessively committed and engaged. Right there, that’s a chance for all of us, the marketers.

Keeping the Creative Juices Flowing at Home

Make the message quick, simple and to the point while leveraging visuals is the key. Brands need to pay close attention to trends and find a way to communicate with them in a unique and fun way while, at the same time, honesty-transparency and authenticity are equally critical. Despite the fact that this era offers the easiest and fastest way to communicate and stay connected, this generation still values relatable authentic experiences, good content quality, including two-way conversations. Don’t just create ads or campaigns…Create VALUE!

“Gen Zers are the most technologically fluent generation thus far,

and they recognize the value of their attention”

Forbes

Because this generation is way beyond tech savvy, they truly understand the power of technology and the Internet. Kids today start building their online profile even before middle school and some even start to plan how to leverage that audience and start building their personal brand. This changes everything! Not only 63% of surveyed Gen Zers say they prefer to see real people in ads rather than celebrities, it also means that they are not only your consumers, but they are your potential competitors too. Thus, instead of trying to sell the products or services to them, we should think about how to help them, empowering them and cooperating with them.

 

Furthermore, we have to keep in mind that we have to be in more places than just one as Gen Z’s attention is much more divided than that. TVs, laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones…they are everywhere! Therefore, make sure your platform is everything-friendly. This generation is extremely open minded and gender neutral. Instead of proving that you are right and someone else is wrong, it’s more about including everyone together.

 

They also have big dreams. According to a recent report from Mashable, 60% of Gen Zers want their jobs to impact the world. So it would be wise to make sure that your business is contributing something to the world and society because whether you are hiring or selling something to them, they will quickly realize whether they are actually a part of something special or not. This too, means that transparency is necessary.

 

As you can see now, as much as Gen Z seems quite similar to the Millennials on the surface, they are definitely not the same. Get ready for Generation Z marketers! They are on the horizon.

The 5 Essentials of Digital Strategy

Wondering how to tackle digital marketing strategy and to stay competitive in this fast-paced digital-oriented world like today?

Here’s an infographic summarizing what you need to know :

THE 5 ESSENTIALS OF-2

And now, as you are already fully equipped…It’s time for you to go out there and make your customer HAPPY! 🙂

Marketing & the Rise of Virtual Reality

 

According to the Digi-Capital, virtual reality (VR) will be a $30 billion market by the year 2020.

 

If you’re a marketer, it’s definitely the time to take notice because the future is now for the use of VR as a marketing tool in order to achieve brand objectives.

 

The digital world is ever-changing and the evolution of VR is just the latest example. VR has received a lot of attention from a marketing perspective because it has the potential to solve challenges marketers have in terms of engagement and awareness. It is on its way to not only reshaping how companies advertise, but also to greatly shifting how consumers engage with the brands.

 

Which leads to the next question…How?

 

First of all, it is immersive. We should all know by now that to use VR, we have to put on a headset. Same with the customers! Users wearing one are completely engrossed and immersed in the content with fewer distractions thus paying more attention to the message. This leads to the more impactful experience VR has to offer. It has stronger potential to generate greater emotions for its users which are linked to real behavior change. Moreover, we have to admit that VR is pretty memorable. There is scientific proof that human brains are built to remember events linked to locations. That means VR experiences should leave longer traces in the audience’s memory. And lastly, because VR is still considerably new and innovative, there is a high level of public and media interest. VR early adopters will have a competitive advantage and can benefit from favorable media exposure.

 

“We see qualities in VR technology that can take this from niche-use case to a device as ubiquitous as the smartphone.”

Goldman Sachs Research

 

Not only marketers are looking forward to seeing the VR role in marketing campaigns, more consumers are expecting to see the power of reality too! According to Greenlight Insights, 62% of consumers say that they would feel even more engaged with a brand that makes use of VR experience and 71% of consumers think a brand is forward-thinking if it utilizes the technology.

 

I personally think VR has the potential to change the future of content marketing and poses the ability to possibly be a powerful tool in selling products and experiences. Think about this for a second. All the famous writers learned early on to compel readers to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves in another world through verisimilitude – a reality they constructed through the five senses: touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. By making a compelling story with dramatic conflict as real as possible, writers can successfully hold the reader’s attention.

 

The same principle applies to virtual reality. People don’t just watch a VR story, they feel it. Story combined with VR is definitely a powerful tool. With virtual reality, the viewer is in control of the frame, not the storyteller and this fact brings content marketing and storytelling to a whole next level. It is very consumer centric.

 

However, there are some things that need to be taken into account. As of today, VR is still in its early stages and is still fairly expensive to produce. Therefore, the first and most obvious factor is the price of production. Also, as crucial as the price factor, marketers have to determine whether the content produced through VR would actually be relevant to their target consumer. Most importantly, we have to understand how our target audience interacts and what they are expecting from the brand. Is VR the best tool to reach the customers? Is it something that will meet their needs? Will it generate a better user experience and lead to buying decisions later on? These are just a few sample questions worth thinking about before coming close to any decisions.

 

 

VR is yet relatively new, has a long way to go and I am sure the best is yet to come. It is definitely here as a tool waiting for people in various industries to make the best use of, including us marketers. Through clear goals, objectives and consumer segmentation, marketers have a duty to find the best way to communicate to the customers via big data, valuable content and best user experience. When considering whether VR is the best way to go or not and will it help elevate your campaign, there are data and consumer insights to be acquired and we should consider them from as many angles as possible. Just because VR is new and exciting doesn’t mean it’s automatically the best way for the brand to connect with its audience.

 

With the right usage, VR has strong potential to change the future of content marketing and with it, brands now have more exciting opportunity to leave stronger yet more lasting impressions on audiences, be more engaging with unforgettable experiences.The world is no longer flat. The internet is fast-becoming a place you step inside. With the right handling, I believe VR could be part of the future and worth keeping an eye on.

 

For now, off to play this awesome guitar VR game and if you have not try VR yet, you should!

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Big Data – Quality or Quantity?

The term big data is being widely used.

 

“Have you checked the big data?”

“What can you tell from the big data?”

“Is that what big data tells you to do?”

 

First of all, what is big data and how BIG is it exactly?

 

Big data refers to the ever-increasing volume, velocity, variety, variability and complexity of information. The term “big data” doesn’t just refer to the data itself, but also refers to challenges, capabilities and competencies associated with storing and analyzing such huge data sets to support a level of decision making that is more accurate and timely.

 

The data has always been big. Think back to 20 to 30 years ago, marketers collected data from direct mail campaigns, coupon redemption and so on in order to help them make better judgements and decisions. Now think about the consumer data we are capable of collecting today, especially on digital platforms– online purchase data, click-through rates, social media interactions and many more. In a world where everything is measurable like ours today, the data never really ends!  The challenge is learning how to make sense of those colossal amounts of data, knowing what to use and what to ignore.

BIG data

Data is all about facts. Having big data doesn’t automatically lead to better marketing but the potential is definitely there. The key is how we interpret the data and gather insights derived from it. It’s about the decisions you make and the actions you take in the end after having a clearer picture of consumers that makes all the difference.

 

With big data, marketing decisions can be more effective with minimized costs and maximized results. Moreover, it can help marketers to gain a clearer picture of their ideal customer, optimize customer engagement -marketing campaigns and messages and improve content marketing including predicting the future. There is a saying “study the past if you’re to define the future” for a reason after all.

 

Because customers today are connected at all times and have more choices available to  them, big data can help marketers to be fully equipped by knowing specific touch points, including the moments that lead up to the purchase and be ready to tackle. Big data has changed the marketer’s roles in certain ways. Marketers today have to be just as technical and analytical as they must be creative. Big data can certainly help businesses leverage any situation and stay competitive in a global environment like the one we’re living in today which results in sales growth  and increased ROI which is the ultimate goal of every business.

 

However, just like everything else in this world, nothing is perfect. Big data also has its limitations such as the fact user data can be biased, asking wrong questions can lead to wrong answers, security issues as the data we gathered could get leaked and inconsistency in the data collection process. Therefore, it is crucial for marketers to be aware of these factors and always take them into account when making decisions or planning for the future. Otherwise, this might happen to you:

 

 

In my humble opinion, data alone is not enough for making a decision. We should  look at things from as many perspectives   as possible in order to make smart choices. After the whole process of collecting, interpreting and evaluating relevant information, it is equally essential to use gut instincts, perform a situation analysis, conduct a cost/benefit including risk analysis, and last but not least, follow-up, evaluate and be ready to make changes if needed.

 

One thing that fascinates me the most about marketing is that there are no rules and we, as marketers, need to be ready to change and adapt ourselves all the time. What’s got you here won’t get you there so we have to stay alert at all times. With clear goals and objectives, big data is here to help us acquire better insights and segmentations in order to communicate better with the consumers when in the end, it all comes down to content.

 

As many organizations are leveraging data from various sources to improve their digital marketing campaigns, marketers should be data savvy in order to remain relevant in the digital marketing landscape. However, at the same time, it is as important as ever to humanize that data with a marketer’s creative touch.

 

Keep an eye on the big data guys! It’s definitely getting bigger and definitely here to stay.

 

 

5 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Overlook Email Marketing

Percentage of Americans that check their email while still in bed : 50%

 

Definitely not a surprise for me as it is exactly what I do every day. Emails from school, my friends, from the shops I am subscribing to….each day I probably get around 100 emails, more or less!

 

Ray Tomlinson invented email back in 1972 and today email still is people’s preferred conduit of communication and prevails as the king of the marketing kingdom. Here’s the reasons why :

 

Invite supporters and foodies around a friendly culinary competition. Contestants create their best dishes and people pay to taste and cast their votes.

 

Panera Bread is Really Cooking on Gas!

A hypothetical situation to ponder:

 

It’s the middle of the night, and you happen to be on your computer. Then while browsing the internet, you stumble across an ad on a website with this amazing perfectly seared steak oozing with creamy Vermont white cheddar and topped with bright pickled red onions all grilled on Hoagie Roll.  Too irresistible to resist, you click on that ad, it links you directly to its website. After that, for the rest of the week, you see Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT, Roasted Beet-Quinoa&Citrus Salad or Bistro French Onion Soup following you on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and every other social media platforms.

 

What would you do? Make a dash to that place, maybe?

 

Let me put you out of your misery. Go to Panera Bread!

 

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Originally founded in 1981, Panera Bread is a fast casual restaurant with more than 2,000 locations across the United States and Canada. It is considered an amazing brand when it comes to the aspect of continued evolution and ability to adapt itself to the market as we saw with the setting of its goal to stop using any artificial ingredients last year with the “No no list” campaign or the launch of its “Rapid Pick-Up Program”. And how does Panera raise awareness of its aforementioned menus and new features?  This is where social media chimes in.

 

Panera typically spends around $90 million in media annually. Beyond the TV spots, there is radio, out of home ads and online ads including paid social media. Focusing on social media advertising, not only is it a great way to run targeted ads with real-time results but also an effective way to generate higher converting leads and build relationships with the customer. Let’s take a quick look at how Panera is on …

1.Facebook

Let’s take the Panera Rapid Pick-Up program for example. To bolster awareness, Panera Bread partnered with creative agency Anomaly and media agency Maxus to develop the ads then ran a video ad campaign that would convey a consistent message over Facebook (also Instagram). Instead of spreading the ads all over the place and running the risk of annoying the audience, Panera maximized Facebook’s core targeting feature’s potentials to direct the ads to a specific group of people who have liked the Panera Page, as well as health and fitness advocates and parents. Not only that, it also targeted people interested in competitor brands. With Facebook, it reached millions of people hitting 8 million video views within only 2 months.

 

2.Instagram

A great example for Panera’s ads on this platform would be a new clean Panera kids’ menu campaign. Why Instagram? Because for this specific campaign, the company aimed to achieve a creative and engaging way to share its Kids Meal Promise. It was a month-long campaign focusing on the idea that kids should know what’s in their food. It was educational in a fun and easy to understand way. The part I especially love about this ad is that ad copy directed its audience to the company’s microsite: PaneraKids.com where parents could explore Panera’s Kids Meal Promise for themselves. Again, it utilized Facebook’s core targeting tools to target its market.

IG

3.YouTube

Advertising in video form is my personal favorite. As people are reading less and have shorter attention spans, video advertising with valuable content is key. YouTube is a unique combination of video access, sharing and creates opportunity for audience engagement. Sight, sound and motion can evoke the emotional involvement with the content that the brand’s trying to convey. In this realm, Panera is epic as its video keeps replaying in the back of my mind. I love the messages it conveys through well-constructed short clips. It is clear, clean, simple, yet intriguing and I would love to see more of Panera ads on YouTube in frequency.  I mean, what could be a better way to make people crave for clean food more than this? However, last time Panera did something like this was a year ago. Panera, I am waiting to see something new here!

 

My suggestion would be for Panera Bread to be more active on Pinterest. Its account already portrays the brand’s core and food journeys beautifully. With Pinterest ads, it can capture intent and boost engagement with its Pins even more. Pinterest is the channel Panera should not be neglecting as its main users correlate with its target consumer. Also, Twitter can act as a great tool for interacting with the customer and getting the message out. Perhaps advertising there is not such a bad idea.

 

When it comes to reaching its target audience through social media platforms, Panera Bread definitely deserves a big round of applause. As each of them has its own uniqueness and target audience, Panera is choosing each of them wisely and utilizing it to the fullest extent. Most importantly, it crafts its content in the most engaging and interesting way to captivate us all. It understands its own brand positioning, goals and that reflects in all of Panera Bread’s marketing campaigns.

 

And now, I’m off   to Panera to satisfy my craving!

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Brand and Politics…yay or nay?

Here’s a question:

 

Should a brand be expressive about its political point of views?

 

Because of the internet and social media, the world is right underneath your fingertips and everything you say will probably go viral, become carved into people’s memory and shape their perception. In the case of Under Armour, the CEO and founder Kevin Plank has definitely made his standpoint pretty clear.

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“To have a pro-business president is something that is real asset for the country” – Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank on CNBC on Feb7,2017

 

After Plank expressed that enthusiastic statement for Trump, amplified by social media, the Under Armour topic became the talk of the town. The hashtag #BoybottUnderArmour went viral and people couldn’t stop criticizing it.  Shortly after, some of the company’s athletes such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Stephen Curry spoke out publicly against Plank’s comments. Although the comment was made on the television platform, it became rapidly widespread and got worse due to exposure through social media, especially Twitter, as Under Armour is highly reliant on Millennial shoppers who tend to be more socially liberal and active on social media than other groups. This is a great example of a brand’s reputation being endangered because of a social media crisis.

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We all do have opinions. Some we are better off keeping to ourselves or be sure to choose wisely when, where and how to express them. Whether it’s just Plank’s personal political point of view or that comment was meant to be a Trump endorsement, the decision to enunciate a view in a polarized political climate was a mistake. Working closely or agreeing with Trump, who some groups see as sexist, racist and homophobic can never be a good perception of any brand and there is absolutely no necessity for brands like Under Armour to discuss politics. In this case, silence is golden.

 

Consumers today see a brand as a person with personality and what that person does or believes in matters. This situation could most doubtlessly have been avoided. Just don’t talk politics! There is indeed a saying in Thai that there are mainly 3 things we all shouldn’t randomly discuss: love, religion and of course, politics. Just because media platforms have made it easier for us all to throw our two cents in, doesn’t mean that we have to voice all of our opinions. We have to be extra careful today as whatever is imprinted on social media will stay a part of us forever. In this situation, hopefully Under Armour won’t be associated with Trump’s unfavorable personality traits for years to come!

 

Even though Under Armour tried to fix the situation by issuing a press release clarifying that “We engage in policy, not politics”, its shares had already gone from neutral to negative. Plank took a step in an attempt to limit the damage done by taking out a full-page ad in the Baltimore Sun stating that “in a business television interview, he answered a question with a choice of words that did not accurately reflect his intent. Under Armour exemplify equal rights and believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation.” But trying to sway people’s perception of what has already happened through sagacious recapitulation …does it really work? And how effective is it?

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Brands should stand for all consumers as a unified whole and not take sides. There is no harm in staying neutral as in a world where content is king, there are already tons of opportunities and boundless space for creativity and pragmatic content. Plank coming forward to fix his first statement was the right thing to do, however, we must acknowledge that it takes time to recover when you drop the ball on social media these days.

 

When it comes to a crisis situation like this, marketing and PR should be working together in harmony as it should be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner, preferably on the same media platform as the dilemma happened. While PR should be doing its job handling with all the brand’s relations with the public, the marketing team should also help by coming up with new positive campaigns or messages to get the audience to move on and hopefully start focusing on a new topic and new journey as soon as possible.

 

I look forward to seeing how a global company like Under Armour attempt to turn this crisis into an opportunity through their future content but I am indeed sure that they are now in no doubt…. branding and politics in a Trump presidency era do not sit well together.

 

 

Snapchat – We ain’t seen nothing yet!

Here’s my secret:

 

I honestly didn’t know how to use Snapchat until a couple of months ago.

 

I actually learned about Snapchat through Instagram when people I follow started posting their versions of smiley puppy selfies. They even have video clips for them too! Every time they open their mouths, a giant massive tongue will pop out…. twisting and tilting their head a little bit, SUPER CUTE! I want one. How can I get one? I called my trend guru, my younger sister.

 

“It’s Snapchat and you have to HAVE it!”, she said. Apparently, everyone’s on it. As a future marketer, I felt the urgency to download it and explore how it functions.

 

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Originally launched in 2011 by CEO Evan Spiegel based on a unique idea of sending photos and videos to friends who can only view the snaps for up to 10 seconds then they will disappear forever, Snapchat rapidly became a huge hit among teenagers. Today, according to Statista, U.S. teenagers in Spring 2016 voted Snapchat as the most important social network of their generation and as of May 2016, it had generated over 10 billion mobile video views per day. Thanks to my sister, now I am part of the trendy youngster group and can proudly call myself a ‘Snapchatter’!

 

As recently as March 2nd, 2017, Snap Inc. has entered and begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange with an initial valuation of $24 billion and as a result is  once again  under the spotlight. The real question is, how can Snapchat sustainably thrive and stay cool among its competitors? I came across this article on Adweek about 7 Challenges Snapchat’s Parent Company Has to Overcome Before It Can Be Wall Street’s ‘New Facebook’ and it has some interesting points worth discussing.

 

Because we are living in a fast-paced world, I agree with the article when it says Snapchat’s user base must continue to expand, in regards to age base and internationally.  It’s actually very interesting for me to learn that Snapchat’s audience is growing thanks to older Americans in the 45-to-54 years old age bracket, while younger consumer groups like the Millennials are actually declining. Why? The answer is because Instagram is pulling some younger visitors away. However, I do think that there is a silver lining in this. Growing its customer base can turn into a great opportunity if Snapchat knows how to take advantage of this and monetize effectively. Growing its user base is surely key and make them stay competitive.

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Seems like Millennials aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good dog filter!

 

Instagram Stories is definitely Snapchat’s main competitor and biggest threat. I know a lot of friends who previously were both active on Snapchat and Instagram, but since the launch of Instagram Stories, they are not using Snapchat as much anymore. Instagram has really taken what Snapchat has and imitated it to the larger audience it already enjoys. Snapchat certainly needs to step up its game to stand ahead of all other platforms that can turn on ‘live video’ and unfortunately, in this case, only cute lenses and filters might not be enough.

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Another crucial point for Snapchat is to avoid ad fatigue as a recent study shows that more than 60% of Snapchat users skip ads. Guilty as charged, I do so too! Indeed, it is one of the reasons my friends decided to go for Instagram Stories instead. Snapchat should figure out how to bring brands onto its platform without disrupting consumer experience. At the same time, it has to keep up with ad metrics demand as its competitors like Google and Facebook are better known for their ad metrics. We are living in a data-driven world after all!

 

To keep up with its competitors, I think it is crucial Snapchat must not stop developing and adding new features to keep up with current trends. In the past, it did quite an amazing job releasing Spectacles, which are sunglasses with an embedded camera. Moreover, CEO Evan Spiegel has recently begun calling Snapchat a “camera company” and is reportedly working on a secret drone project.  In my humble opinion, Snapchat is letting off a young, innovative image by moving as fast as sending a snap to a friend. For me personally, I love consuming news via Snapchat as it is short, precise and fun. I think it has a lot of potential there. Anyhow, while tapping itself into hardware industry can be risky, I literally cannot take my eyes off the company and am definitely looking forward to hearing what they are up to next.

 

I personally think Snapchat has just started its journey and still has a long way to go.

 

HAPPY Snapchatting ! 🙂

 

 

4 Reasons why CHOPT App is Here to Stay

This is me –

When I come across an interesting brand or a brand that I like has an app, I download it.

When my friends tell me about an app they think is awesome, I download it.

And when I just happen to stumble upon interesting apps while using my phone,

guess what,

I download them!

 

We are the same, you and I. How do I know? Business Insider’s data shows that people download mobile apps on average 8.8 apps per month and of course, with that amount, it’s impossible to keep every single one of them in the end. Google revealed that 25% of installed apps are never used and 26% of installed apps are abandoned after they are first used. Boy oh boy, not only is it hard for businesses to create an app, make it stand out and get people to download it but it’s actually even harder to get them to keep using it!

 

Every business today most likely has its own app due to this huge mobile apps trend. Some apps have a great impact and change the way we live our lives, some make our modern lifestyles a whole lot easier, and some, unfortunately, are simply not worth the space they occupy on our devices. Nowadays apps are a dime a dozen and consumers decide their fate with the click of a button.

 

CHOPT app however is being discarded no time soon. For those who are not familiar with the brand, CHOPT is a delicious, farm-fresh chopped salad with 6 types of greens and over 60 toppings customers can choose from. It is healthy, it is fast, and it is fresh. We don’t have this type of healthy fast casual restaurant back in Thailand yet and because of its creative and delicious salad, CHOPT has quickly become one of my favorite places to grab a quick lunch since moving to New York.

chopt-line

OK, Back to CHOPT app. Why did I say it was worth the space on your phone and doesn’t deserve the click of death?  Here are 4 main reasons:

 

1. Clear, Simple yet Functional

Simplicity is the key. The design of CHOPT app is not only beautiful and visualized, but it is very functional. It literally took me no more than 10 seconds to figure out how to use it, seriously! As I mentioned on my A Scholarly Approach to Fascinate blog, the human attention span is now a second less than a gold fish. The aesthetic photos and all the practical interesting functions on the CHOPT app will definitely captivate you and keep your attention I’m sure.

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2. Makes your experience with CHOPT even faster and easier

The most important thing all businesses should take into account when developing an app is that the app should offer a unique value or add convenience to customers’ lives. On this front, I must say CHOPT is doing quite an amazing job. With CHOPT app, customers can find the nearest CHOPT, place an order or even request a delivery, pay with it, collect points, receive news and lots more. Even send a digital gift card! Like it isn’t fast enough to get food from a fast casual restaurant, CHOPT has raised its standard and has now succeeded in becoming an even faster casual restaurant through the use of its app. WELL DONE!

 

3. Takes you on a CHOPT journey

Here is my favorite part of the app. CHOPT app also includes ‘CHOPT Travels’ (#ChoptTravels) which links to its Tumblr. It’s a blog that is nothing to do with CHOPT. Instead, it takes you on journeys around the globe, exploring the world’s most craved-after ingredients, best local farmer’s markets and craftiest neighborhood specialists. Then CHOPT elevates those experiences and crafts its special ‘Destination Salad’ for each designated period. I must say it is very inspirational and creates this engaging feeling towards the brand and of course, the bowl of salad. This month is personally my favorite so far as the destination is…THAILAND! Spicy Green Papaya Salad, I absolutely cannot wait to go and try you out.

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4. Get you keep coming back for more

Every time you spend $100, you earn $10 which most likely equals one free salad. CHOPT creates this cute graphic of Mezzaluna (Met-Suh-Loo-Nuh) which is a half-moon shaped chopping blade it uses in store when chopping the salad for you. Once the whole Mezzaluna graphic is colored, you’ll know it’s time to go grab your free salad! I love it when there is this kind of function on an app as it’s a great loyalty function that will keep the customer coming back for more. Works on me!

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In general, the app is very useful and undeniably provides a lot of value to its customers while at the same time, adds value to the brand itself. My only constructive comment for CHOPT app is that I find it a little bit challenging to find a way back to its landing page after having too much pleasure exploring other cool functions of the app. While it is not overly innovative nor doesn’t utilize gaming to get attention from customers like some other apps, its overall performance is attractive and makes my experience with CHOPT easier enough to find it pleasant. CHOPT deserves a big round of applause for ensuring all its online platforms are integrated and enhance the omnichannel experience for its customer.

As a CHOPT Salad fan, I am HAPPY 🙂

When a girl falls in love with Five Guys

Raise your hand if you love eating burgers. Yep, that’s what I thought!

Don’t be shy! Me too! Eating a fat juicy burger with fries on the side and a Coke is one of my guilty-pleasures. It’s actually mine and my mom’s ritual for every Sunday evening, taking a load off and eating a burger together. This started when I didn’t want to go to my ballet classes when I was 4 so my mom promised me that she would take me to a fast- burger place nearby the dance studio after the class. It’s been going on ever since although I stopped dancing ballet when I was just 10 years old.

There is a study from Mintel showing that burgers are not only my own personal favorite but they also remain to be the Americans’ most favorite indulgence too. Did you know that ‘62% of consumers identify themselves as burger lovers while 37% say they like burgers and 79% of Millennials are saying they consider burgers one of their favorite foods.’ ?  The burger market is HUGE and when thinking of fast casual burger restaurants here, I am sure that ‘Five Guys’ is one of the first that comes to mind.

 

Five Guys started in Washington DC in 1986 when Jerry Murrell and his family opened a burger joint with the goal of cooking hamburgers and fries using only the best quality ingredients. It uses only fresh ground beef, peanut oil and there are no freezers in Five Guys locations, just coolers. I was completely blown away when I learned that there are more than 250,000 possible ways to order a burger because they care about their customer’s allergies! Today, 30 years after, Five Guys has expanded to 1,215 locations alone in the US and a few hundred spanning Canada, UK, Europe and Middle East with total US sales of $1.32 billion dollars in 2016.

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How does Five Guys keep its family-owned personality while expanding nonstop? The answer is, it connects directly with customers. Knowing Millennials, especially men, are the burger lovers, it is doing a wonderful job maintaining character which it best illustrates through its voice as being exciting, authentic, remaining fresh in the minds of its audience and making sure it’s consistent throughout all its integrated media platforms, especially digital.

 

The bright red color of Five Guys makes it impossible for you to take your eyes off its desktop-tablet-mobile friendly website. It is easy to search for, beautifully designed, very visualized, clear, simple yet functional. I myself especially love the part where it includes the Five Guys story on its site which gives me the feeling that when I eat a burger there, it’s not at just any fast casual restaurant but particularly at Five Guys; a warm family place that serves you a fresh home cooked, made from the heart burger. Content is surely key! Moreover, through the website, customers can check the locations, see menus, place orders and give feedback.

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Five Guys’ audience is definitely not passive. They are the ‘partners’ and a part of Five Guys’ journey.  Its website also engages and reengages customers with the brand by encouraging them to submit their photos to Five Guys. Then, it will select one loyal fan every Friday to be featured across its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as the #FiveGuysFanatic. Oh…By the way, did I mention it has 1M followers from those social media platforms? It’s pretty amazing there. Five guys makes full use of social media in terms of customer service and, guaranteed by Hootsuite, it is focusing on engagement metrics and tailoring content based on what works for each social network. Moreover, it also encourages Five Guys’ employees to get involved in the company’s social media, creating fun, local and sincere content. I look forward to seeing Five Guys have a bigger presence on Pinterest as it’s a great platform to post all the aesthetic food photos and recipes!

 

To create even better experiences for its customers, Five Guys also developed a mobile app which I find very useful location wise, and of course, for making orders.  However, I think there is still room for some improvement on this and it could be made even more awesome by adding location-based deals, click to call function, loyalty and referral programs including coupon redemptions.

 

‘Customer centric’ is surely one of Five Guys’ ways of managing. From the initial ordering to after the burger has been eaten, it most definitely aims to create the best user experience and this makes the company shine. By staying true to its value and culture, I am sure Five Guys will continue doing great in the market and continue to constantly fascinate us in a meaningful way for a long time to come…

 

For now, back to my burger.

Stay HAPPY guys! 🙂

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A Scholarly Approach to Fascinate

What kind of person do you think you are?

‘Tell me about yourself’

‘We want to know who you are.’

These are the questions I’ve been asked most over the past 4 years both recently and while working as an actress back in Thailand. Not as easy as they may look to answer, I have often been faced with a conundrum. Who am I?  How am I being perceived by others?

 

In the entertainment business, I myself was regarded as a product under my own name as a brand. Simultaneously with developing a product for the entertainment market, creating a brand is equally important since it is the only thing accounting for a consumer’s decision to choose one product over another. It’s imperative I really know myself in order to best present myself and strategize how to go about ensuring others recognize me in the light I want them to.

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Taking the Fascination Advantage Assessment by Sally Hogshead is a great way to discover how the world sees us. I was truly amazed and blown away by how 28 simple and easy to answer questions on a personal test could give me such accurate answers about myself and how the others perceived me as a person. Some portray the personality I’m already aware of, some personify what I have never been able to put into words before or have been hesitant to say out loud or admit to myself, and some, well frankly, I have been totally oblivious to!

 

Now you must be just the slightest bit curious what my results were…

 

Say hello to Thunyasupan (ME!) whom the world sees her as The Scholar; intellectual, disciplined, systematic, relentless and the standard-bearer. My fascination advantages are prestige (increasing respect) and alertness (creating a sense of urgency) while my dormant advantage is mystique (arousing curiosity)!

 
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OK, I know that sounds pretty tense but I swear I’m anything but.  I’m a cool scholar. Yes, I do set the bar quite high for myself and do expect the highest quality at all times with action to be taken promptly but on the bright side, that also makes me a highly motivated person with a constant drive to improve. I always set my goals and will stop at nothing to achieve them. Where the dictionary says tenacious my name should be next to it. Yet, on the other side of the coin, I tend to be risk-averse and tend to avoid any precarious new ventures.

 

It’s good to get to know yourself as your specialty is what makes you different from everyone else in your team or field. I also find it even more useful to analyze further and learn how the world sees you as they are your audience. This will help you present yourself, improve your self-articulation and generally assist you to communicate better. It allows you to know exactly where you stand, acknowledge your strengths and moreover, your limitations. With the consciousness of those limitations, you will be able to add value to yourself and become the best version of you.

 

I’ve long had an inkling that I can sometimes make people feel uneasy being around me as I can be very disciplined and systematic. However, because I am now fully aware of that, I can try to be more fun and relaxed, telling myself it’s okay not to try and be perfect all the time. I will hopefully find even more balance in life and eventually, be even happier.

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As we are all living in a world of too little time and too much information, human attention spans have become much much more compressed. The Microsoft Study claimed that the human attention span went from 12 seconds on average in 2000 to just 8.25 seconds in 2015.’ That means we all have 8.25 seconds to captivate others and get them to decide whether we are worth their further attention or not. The competition is higher than ever! We have to communicate and interact with other people effectively.

 

Communication is a 2-sided action and once you know how the world sees you, you can focus on what others value in you and use that to stand out and be remembered. I do not only find these facts useful in the field of marketing as it is crucial for marketers to captivate customer’s attention through various media platforms and content. This can also be applied to every single action in everyday life and typical routines; every time you write an email, leave a message or talk to someone. It all counts!

“You might have a genius idea, one that could alter mankind. But if nobody is fascinated by your idea, it will die”

@HowToFascinate

I encourage you to take some time and get to know more about yourself or take the Fascination Advantage Assessment! To me, this is greater than marketing as it is also a key life skill utilized by those in the know and neglected by those yet to realize the value it holds.  The way I see it knowing yourself and knowing how the world sees you will change the way you choose to live your life as you will be more aware and find balance more easily, increasing your own contentment and also the potential value others see in you. I’m confident and optimistic that you can live a better life by going down this road. You are your own personal brand. Go out there, present yourself, have fun, leverage it. Fascinate yourself and fascinate the world with the best in you.

And of course, stay HAPPY 🙂