Final Project Brief

Throughout the past 4 months, our Advertising and PR class has been split into groups to work on our individual marketing campaigns for our assigned companies. The company that my group was assigned to work with was GoMart, a gas and convenience store company based out of Gassaway, WV.

In early September, my team and I sat down with the Director of Marketing at GoMart, Terry Smith, to discuss what her situation and the things she wanted us to put together for our final presentation in December. She explained to us that GoMart’s biggest challenge was trying to figure out a way to increase the in store foot traffic from members of Generation Z, but they wanted to stick with their “hometown feel” vibe. Terry gave our team a budget of $25,000 to work with, but if she decided that she really liked our pitch, she agreed to extend it to $50,000. After collecting our notes from her, we began to do extensive research to try and get a better overall understanding of this generation.

We used a program called Commspoint to identify or target audience and to break them down to better define them as a whole. Some of the main characteristics that we found out were as follows:

  • Age 18-23yrs
  • Full time/Part time student
  • Education level (i.e. high school degree, college degree)
  • People looking for work, Full time/Part time workers
  • Annual Income level
  • People who own a car

Now having this information, we could move forward to increasing our knowledge about GoMart as a whole. We then took our information from GoMart and combined it with what we knew about Generation Z, and that allowed us to come up with 3 area’s that we thought GoMart could implement into their marketing department. Our main touchpoint that we thought would benefit GoMart most were:

Geo-Fencing

Geo-Fencing is an online software where you can select geographical regions by tracking people’s phone when they enter the selected area. For weeks after they enter the zone, they will see advertisements and deals from Go-Mart on any app they open on their phones. We plan on putting a zone around high schools and college campuses in order to increase impressions on Generation Z to give a better Brand Image for Go-Mart. We also want to put a fence around their competitors like Sheetz and other gas stations/convenience stores. By doing this, we hope that they see the ads of Go-Mart and see the appeal of Go-Mart over their competitors that they might not have much loyalty towards to begin with. In Buckhannon, we plan on putting a fence around WVWC as well as around Buckhannon-Upshur High School. That way we get the local young generations to see Go-Mart all the time. We also plan on putting a fence around the competitors in town on Speedway and Sheetz. We feel that this is the best way to get more traffic in Go-Mart for Generation Z.

Digital Billboard

We plan on renting out a local billboard around West Virginia Wesleyan College on North Locust Street by the Donut Shop. One of our classmate’s father owns a billboard company and offered to put an ad on that particular billboard for free for one month. However, we plan on renting it out for 6 months. The billboard will cost $500/month for an 8 second slot that will end up playing a couple 100 times a day. We feel that this could generate a lot of impressions especially when college students are returning to school in early January and late August, as well as Thanksgiving and Spring breaks. With these impressions, we believe that students will become more aware of Go-Mart, thus increasing in store traffic.

Social Media

There are two really big social media platforms that young people from Generation Z use, Instagram and Twitter. We looked through both of those accounts and they have a very strong presence on Instagram. But, on Twitter, the presence is very poor. We suggest that they really pick up their Twitter presence. People tend to pay more attention to ads on Twitter rather than Instagram.

After looking into all of these different marketing techniques, we ended up coming in under budget at $24,000, leaving $1,000 from our original maximum budget. Had our budget been extended to the $50,000 of course we would have then had an additional $26,000 to work with which could have been a great benefit and would have allowed us to do a lot more work. Overall, I believe that my team did a fantastic job at covering the areas that Terry wanted us to look into for her, and I believe that our physical marketing pitch presentation went extremely well too. The past 4 months were a lot of hard work but in my opinion it truly did pay off.

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Number of Ads in a Day

For this blog post, our assignment was to observe the amount of advertisements that we see in one day, which if you are a pretty observant person that potentially could be a lot (unless you don’t get out that much). Regardless of that, with taking the time to actually make sure to look out for different kinds of ads out in public, I was able to identify a variety of different ads that ranged from pop up ads on my laptop to driving past billboards on the highway as well as email ads from places that I’ve previously shopped at.

The first type of advertising that I would say that I saw most frequently during the day was pop up shopping ads online. Being a business student I use my computer pretty frequently during the day, as well as just for homework purposes. A lot of the pop up shopping ads that I noticed pretty often though were I had been briefly browsing on the online Nike website for a pair of potential new soccer cleats a few days prior to me starting to look out for ads. It seemed as if every time I opened a new website on the internet that a pop up ad would appear on the right hand side of my screen flashing through a few varieties of Nike cleats, as well as some of their other apparel on their online website. After keeping track of how many ads of this type that I encountered it totaled to a final 37 ads in one day, that was both between my iPhone and Mac computer.

The next popular form of ads that I encountered in a day was email ads. Typically when you order something online the company will strategically ask you to input your email during the ordering process as a tactic to be able to pest you to no end with future ads on what else they have to offer as far as products and services go. The last time I bought something online was from JustFab.com, which is an online fashion site that main just sells shoes but also sells other clothing items.  On average I receive 1-2 emails a day or every other day from this company alone. After totaling together email ads that I received from not only this company but other retailers, I received 22 emails in one day between 2 email accounts that I actively use.

I ended up doing this ad count on a day that I really didn’t get out much, only to really go to classes and then to the dining hall for meals. Some advertising that I saw on campus were posters for different clubs or organizations here at Wesleyan. I total counted about 16 posters between the buildings that I went into that day. So overall, I didn’t see as much as I probably would have if I was out in the city driving or at least walking off campus, for considering that I didn’t really leave my dorm room a lot that day I interacted with a fair amount.

NFL Ratings Drop Affects Advertising

I grew up somewhere where football wasn’t necessarily something that I knew much about, I knew the basics but not enough to understand how big of a deal watching a game on t.v. here in the United States could be. With that being said, I know enough to understand how big of an effect the drop in ratings is causing for companies that take advantage of NFL air time to run their advertisements.

The drop in ratings was something that the broadcasting company saw coming but they had no idea that it was going to be as serious as what it has turned out to be. Forbes magazine talks about how the drop was so bad that the broadcasting company plans to reimburse advertisers for this. On the positive side of this advertising companies won’t suffer from a loss on the cost for air time, but on the negative side they suffer from not having their ads being put out their for people to see, which potentially could result in a loss of business due to the fact that consumers won’t get to see what companies are offering through their ads. Business Insider also is able to confirm that the NFL and their major broadcasting partners will be losing at least $200 million or more due to having to pay back partnering advertising companies along with the loss of viewers for their networks.

After reviewing ratings for different broadcasting channels, Sports Media Watch was able to compare and contrast the vast range of percentages that viewer ratings have decreased or increased since the start of the 2017-2018 NFL season. It is clear that larger networks such as CBS and FOX are the networks that are losing viewers, which means companies that decide to run their ads on these more popular channels are losing out advertising opportunities.

A recent article wrote by Michael McCarthy from SportingNews talks about how on average per week viewing ratings drop by 7% a week when it comes to the amount of people actually tuning in to watch an NFL game. That includes all Sunday afternoon/evening, Monday evening and Thursday evening games. The unfortunate outcome from this is the fact that these companies and the NFL itself are not getting the exposure that they typically would which costs a lot of people and places money and time. People are trying to make a connection as to why these ratings are dropping so drastically, (which of course we all know the real reason as to why so many are deciding to not sit down and watch the game but I won’t go into detail about it) USA Today being one of many places trying to piece together that connection.

As unfortunate as this whole situation with the NFL is, it is something that all the people affected by this are going to have to adapt to and try to find a way to get past it. I feel as if it will eventually get back on track but it is of course going to take a while. In the mean time, unfortunately a lot of companies and networks are going to suffer from the loss of potential to reach out to any and all people who make the decision not to tune into any NFL games.

Learning from the Experts

Writing from the perspective of a college student, it’s always refreshing to get outside information from additional sources such as the seminar presentation that we received from Mike Arbogast, an employee at Interaction Media in Morgantown, WV. Mike was able to give our class a real life scenario of what is like to actually work in the marketing world and how to approach working with clients.

I feel that the biggest thing that I personally took away from his presentation was how to directly handle working one on one with a client and how to get to know them to be able to create and design what they envision for their business or even how to help them create a presence in the marketing world if they have no clue what they want to do. This is extremely important because of the fact that it helps to show your client that you are knowledgable and experienced in your profession and will help you to gain their trust. Trust is so important with the client/employer relationship because of the simple fact that if there is no trust then how will they be able to work together? It’s not possible. The client needs to be able to trust that you’re going to get the job done for them because of the fact that they are paying you to give them what they ask for.

Transitioning now from Mike’s presentation now to how my team is going to put this into action with our own client and the marketing plan that we are going to put together for them. Mike spoke a lot about how when you are putting together a marketing plan for a client, it is a lot like creating a blueprint for building a house. For our marketing blueprint that we create, it is going include a variety of different things such as:

  • Setting expectations for our beginning plan
  • Give everyone a layout of how we plan to stay on track and stay on the same page
  • Our plan/blueprint will hold us accountable for what we plan to do
  • Reduce our “scope-creep” so that we can focus on getting done what our clients want us to focus on overall

All of these factors will be brought up and discussed of course during what Mike called a “Discovery Meeting”. Discovery meaning that this is where we get the chance to help paint a better picture for the client of what we plan to do for them and to have them help us ultimately help them to create a new look for the company. During the meeting we will discuss their goals, where they would like to be at, what they consider the customer personas or Mona Lisa customers to be so that it gives us a better understanding of where we need to be putting our work into action. Online marketing is a big area that a lot of companies want to have their business advertised on because of the fact that we are living in a digital world now where a lot of things are done online and therefore online advertising will attract a lot of people, especially the younger generations of people.

Overall, a lot I would definitely say that I learned a lot of positive things that I will definitely utilize when it comes time for my team to interact with our own client and I think it is safe to say that we have a lot of helpful information under our belts to take a step in the right directly to help create an awesome marketing blueprint for them.

 

 

The Consumer Decision Journey and What It’s All About

As consumer’s of the modern world today, you wouldn’t think that buying a product as simple as a tube of tooth paste or shampoo could actually be in any way complicated or think that theres a reason as to why you bought the product that you bought. But in actuality, there is.

It’s part of human nature to have different thoughts and feelings about things that we encounter or experiences we might have. For example going back to deciding on what kind of tooth paste to buy, you might not like a certain kind because of an after taste it leaves or vice versa you might like the flavor or even you might have just always bought Crest so thats the brand you use. These are all factors that affect our decisions when actually going through the process of buying a product.

The Consumer Decision Journey Model helps you to get a better prospective on how the decision making process actually happens inside your head, even though you might not realize that you’re doing it. Everyone perceives each step in their own way of course, here is how I tend to look at it when I’m trying to decide on what to purchase. The product that I’ll use as an example will be deodorant which can be consider as a convenience product.

Step 1: “The consumer considers the initial set of brands based on brand perception.” This is the set where you decide if you are a brand loyal person or not. If you are then you automatically get filtered into the loyalty category (which just for the record companies love you cause they know you won’t sway), if not then this is where you try and visually decide what brand you’d like to purchase. Personally I would consider myself to be brand loyal to Dove because they have a lot of different variety to offer consumers of both genders even though they typically advertise to the female audience. For this though I will ignore my loyalty and walk through the whole process. So, I decide to look at Dove primarily but also want to see what other brands have to offer which moves us to step 2.

Step 2: “Consumers add or subtract brands they evaluate what they want.” This is basically the stage where you get to compare and contrast the brands that are available to you. So I would take the time to look at other brands such as Secrets or Degree and compare them to what Dove has to see if they have what I’m looking for.

Step 3: “Ultimately the consumer selects a brand at the moment of purchase.” Depending on the brand you pick up and decide to buy is the brand that you feel is going to give you what you want and is going to supply you with the quality that they promise to deliver. So Dove for example promises to give you a deodorant that will hydrate and moisturize your skin, leave you with smooth and stubbleless skin and also include the scent of your choice to avoid any odor.

Step 4: “After purchasing a product or service the consumer builds expectations based on expectations based on experience to inform the next decision journey.” So as soon as you purchase the product and go to use it, you’re expecting that that product is going to deliver what the brand promises for it to give you. This step can also allow you to decide if you are going to become brand loyal and continue to purchase their product or decide that that brand wasn’t for you and then to continue looking for something that you like better.

I feel that this model really helps people to understand how they make decisions but also how fast we as people are able to make decisions so quickly. I think that it is a great tool for explaining to people how important the decision making process is for companies and consumers as a whole.

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