Sunday, April 25, 2010

In Response to Gretchen

Gretchen asked if I think it's effective for a company to market to me while I'm already inside the store or if I find it annoying.
I think that to a point it makes sense for a company to market to people while they are inside a store, so the customer's will keep coming back and supporting the store. It would also make sense if they provided a good deal for the customer's so they will have an incentive to come back to buy more the next time they are shopping. They may go in to buy one thing, but it always ends up happening that the customer's see another couple of things they could use along with the item that they came in for. At grocery stores coupons generally print out for you for your next shopping trip if you buy a certain item or spend a certain amount. I always like getting a $3 off coupon at the end of my shopping trip because it will make me want to go back to get money off, especially since grocery shopping can get expensive.
I also find marketing to customers that are already shopping in your store can be annoying. Especially if you are pushing "your products" too much. Recently, I was shopping for a new car, so I went to the Kia dealership first because it's the first car dealership that I pass on my way to Honda and Toyota. I told the guy that I was looking for a used Honda, which they didn't have and I like the quality of Honda's so I wasn't willing to settle for a Kia. He kept pushing the Kia brand on me to the point that it go extremely annoying. I was at the dealership looking around, I didn't see the point of him pushing the brand on me, especially since I was there. I will probably never go back there because of that guy. If he had toned down his marketing just a little bit, maybe I'd recommend for people to go there, but instead I have told people how annoying he was and not to go there. By the time I got to Honda I was already sick of car dealerships, but the guy that came out to help me was nice and wasn't extreme on pushing a brand onto me because of that guy I will go to Honda again. Do you think marketing to people that are already in your store is annoying?

Jobs for College Grads

As college students around the country prepare for graduation, something they have worked hard for so they can get a good job, they will be entering a job market with an unemployment rate of 9.7 percent. This is double the rate that it was when all of these students started college in 2006. The good news is the job market has improved slightly from last year and some sectors like government, heath care and financial services are starting to hire more people. The job market for the 2010 class is better than it was for the 2009 class, but it's still weak. There just isn't the need right now to hire people as there was two and a half years ago. The graduates with the best chance of finding a job right away are the ones applying for health care, business administration, computer science and accounting or finance jobs. The accounting sector has seen a large increase in the need to hire people. Deloitte plans to hire 5,300 college graduates this year for full time positions and paid internships, this is a 10-15 percent increase from last year. One employer that is always hiring college graduates is the federal government. Government jobs are becoming more popular with students, partly because they are looking to seek a stable job in this shaky job market. For the graduates that can't find jobs, the best way to get their foot in the door is by doing an internship...even if it's unpaid. By doing this you can prove that you are a great worker and maybe the company will eventually take you on full time when they can afford it. If you are graduating this year, have you had a hard time landing a job?

Monday, April 19, 2010

In Response to Elizabeth V

Elizabeth asked the following question: do you think that having a coupon for a product will make you want to buy it more even if you weren't planning on buying in in the first place?
I would have to say that having a coupon would make me want to buy the product, even if it wasn't on my shopping list, but it would depend on the requirements that the coupon has. I usually look at the coupons every week that come out in the Sunday Sentinel, but the thing that bothers me is most of the coupons require you to buy two or three items of that product in order to only get one dollar off, so I usually talk myself out of buying it. It seems like a waste of money to have to buy three of the same product to get one dollar off, it's the companies way of make you buy their product to save one dollar. I never think it's worth it when the product costs three dollars, I will have to spend almost ten dollars to get a discount. Some of the coupons are good deals when you can buy six yoplait yogurts and get one free, but most of the time I would rather just buy what's on sale instead of going with the Betty Crocker brand just because I have a coupon. Do you use coupons or do you just buy what's on sale?

Airline Fees

Five major airlines have agreed not to follow Spirit Airlines in instituting fees for carry-on luggage. New York Senator Charles Schumer said he was hopeful other airlines would agree not to add extra fees for people that are flying. Schumer said American, Delta, Jet Blue, United and US Air are the airlines that will not be adding extra fees. He decided to reach out to the company CEOs after Spirit Airlines announced it would start charging up to $45 each way for passengers who bring a bag on board and put it in the overhead compartment. He is trying to make the fees nonexistent so people don't have to pay anymore money than they already are. The carry-on has been a known luggage that people bring to their seats with them and it's something they normally don't have to pay to have. Especially if you're only going away for a couple days, why would you want a huge bag? It makes sense for you to only bring a carry-on and bring it to your seat with you so you don't have to pay for it.
Since 2008, fliers have had to deal with a lot of extra charges being tacked onto their bills just so the airlines could make some extra cash with the slow economy. They have faced charges for everything from food to getting their luggage checked, adding the carry-on fee is making Spirit Airlines seems a little extreme in what they are charging people to fly. Right now, many airlines are trying to attract as many people as they can to fly with them, so adding a carry-on fee would be a very mad move because the flier can easily find another flight through a cheaper airline. Schumer and five other Democratic Senators: Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Rober Menendex&Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey are supporting legislation that would tax airlines if they charged carry-on fees. Schumer is planning to talk to the Spirit Airline CEO as soon as he can because he doesn't think it's right to charge people anymore than what they are already being charged. Flying is such a hassle for everyone, so why not make it a little easier by reducing the fees. Schumer said that the legislation would move forward until it becomes clear that no airline will institute the charges.
Do you think airlines have too many charges?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In Response to Chad Brown

Chad asked if I have ever been persuaded to buy an item because I wanted to buy something just for the logo. Honestly, I think everyone has been persuaded to buy something because of the logo. Even though we might be sad to say we have spent $30 on a t-shirt from Hollister, which we could have saved $15 on by just buying the same exact thing from Target...but we wanted the logo instead. I don't really think this way anymore, some of the clothes are just so expensive at stores like Hollister or American Eagle and I have other things to pay for, so it makes it hard to afford the big name brand clothes. When I was in high school and middle school I thought of it as a necessity to have name brand clothes because everyone else did, but by the time I was a senior I was over it. It's so much money for clothes at these stores and it's not really worth it. I'm so tall that I buy something and then forget it can't be put in the drier because it will shrink, and then I go to put the $50 pair on pants on the next day and they are up to my ankles. It's frustrating because you need clothes, but they are so expensive and what's so special about the "logo brands" that draws so many people in. They are all over campus, hundreds of people everyday wear these name brand clothes because of the name...maybe they don't even like the style of the shirt they are wearing they just want to fit in. Do you think name brand clothing has gone too far and is too overpriced?

Career Killing Facebook Mistakes

Facebook is arguably the most popular social networking site with more than 400 million active visitors. The site is known for the casual social aspect, but many users also use it as a professional networking tool. Facebook is a valuable tool for connecting with former and current colleagues, clients and potential employers. A recent survey suggests that approximately 30% of employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees, this percentage is even higher than those who check Linkediln, which is a professional social networking site. The following Facebook mistakes may cost you a great opportunity.
Many prospective employers or clients don't want to see their future employee or advisor chugging a bottle of wine with a cigarette in their other hand as their profile picture. They look at this as you being more interested in letting people know that you can drink wine, rather than having a maturer picture that shows you are ready to work. When you go to make a picture your profile picture, just think is this something you would want your grandparents or even parents to see? If your answer was no, you probably wouldn't want your future employer or client to see it either. They could get the wrong impression of you and pick someone else that has a more suitable Facebook profile picture.
Complaining about your job on Facebook is another big mistake. Chances are you are friends with someone you work with or someone that knows your boss. When you post something on your site about your job, that is then open to the public and people have access to it. If you want to complain about your job do it somewhere else rather than online because it will only come back to haunt you. Another thing you shouldn't do is post lies on your resume and then put the truth on Facebook. For example, if you put on your resume that you went to Harvard then the firm that interviewed you goes to check you out online and they see that you actually went to Keene State, there's a very good chance you will be cut from the interview list. Always be truthful on your resumes and Facebook because it will catch up with you and your work will eventually find out.
When you go to update your status, as many people do on a daily basis consider it before you do. Is this something you'd want your boss to see? For example putting something like "I am at work right now with nothing to do...I am so bored." If your Facebook friends with someone at your work, maybe even your boss that is not a very smart thing to put online. It would blow up in your face and could even cost you your job. If you don't want people to see any personal information about you change all of your security settings to private or have friends only for viewing your profile. There are so many potential employers checking on Facebook nowadays to see what kind of worker you could be and you should really think about what you're putting online for the world to see. It could cost you a job if they think you're too immature and not ready for the task yet. Do you agree with these Facebook mistakes?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

In response to Sam

Sam asked the question if I have any techniques when it comes to selling items on craigslist.
If I want to get rid of items that I don't need anymore, I always think about selling them first. I want to be able to make some money, especially as a college student I will take whatever money I can get. If I were to put something on I would try to advertise it to make it sound as appealing as possible. I want people to look into it and be interested in it, so I can sell the product easily. It's important to appeal to people and create a catchy phrase. By creating a catchy phrase, it lures people in to see what you have to offer. They will then be drawn in by what you have and how you explain your product. When I was looking for apartments I would constantly look at ads that lured me in with everything included in the rent or if something had pictures on their page. It's important to think of the needs of the people looking at the ads and what they want. What do you think the most important thing is to have in a craigslist advertisement?

Easter Sales

With every holiday comes an intense amount of shopping. People are always out buying presents, groceries and any other knick knack that they can find to complete the holiday season. With Easter taking place this week, it has given everyone a chance to see how much the stores are trying to sell their Easter products. They have had sales on Easter basket supplies and all the food that is generally associated with Easter-ham, asparagus, potatoes, etc...
When every holiday season comes around it seems that the stores are trying their hardest to sell their products. They are always trying to get people to buy more every year. Sometimes it gets a little out of hand, especially when they put Christmas stuff out three months early. I find it to be annoying, I know they want to sell their products but people don't really want to be thinking about Christmas in September, especially because Christmas is usually related to snow as well. It's important for them to sell their products and make money, but sometimes it just gets annoying for shoppers. We don't need to be ambushed by the sales three months in advance, especially since it seems so far. Do you think holiday sales are becoming too much?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In Response to Doug

Doug asked the following questions: What factors most heavily influence your impulse buying? Do you think companies can predict impulse buying, if so how? When it comes to buying stuff for myself, I am usually good about what I spend because I like to keep myself on a strict budget. Sometimes I just can't help myself though, if I see a great deal on DVDs, a Wii game, books, etc... I just have to buy them without even putting much thought into it. I think this happens to a lot of people, you go into a store expecting to buy the three things on your list and you walk out with ten more items than you had planned on. For the rest of your week, you can't spend any more money because of your impulse buying. The factor that influences my buying would definitely be my mood. If I'm in a great mood, I won't mind spending an extra 20 dollars for something that I consider to be a great deal. If I'm not in a good mood, then I won't be as willing to spend an extra 20 dollars because I will see it as a waste of money. I think that malls definitely benefit from people's moods because that is where a lot of shopping gets done. Generally, when someone is happier they are going to spend more money because they aren't thinking negatively when it comes to money. I think a lot of companies predict this happening, especially at malls. They plan to have amazing sales on things that aren't generally on sale, and it catches the eyes of so many people who think wow, I'd be crazy to pass that up. They plan to suck people in right away by having their sale signs out or another catchy sign, and it definitely works. The candy and soda companies have it made because their stuff is always at the checkout when people are leaving. I used to work at Shaws and I can't even tell you the number of people that would throw a candy bar in or a soda because they were looking at it and couldn't even resist it any longer. Do you think things through before buying impulsively or do you just buy it before you change your mind?

Summer Job Outlook

As many college students head home for the summer they will all be looking for one thing; a summer job. Unfortunately for those students, this summer teens and young adults are going to have a rough time landing a job. This summer, they are competing against people that are experienced and laid off professionals, who are all applying for the same jobs. Shawn Boyer, CEO of said it's not a summer to be picky about what type of work you do. If you find a job take it as soon as you can before someone else comes in and takes it away from you. The only advantage some teens may have over experienced professionals is that the experienced workers have too much experience, and the store that's thinking about hiring them might be scared to hire them for only a couple months until they find something better.
Last summer, 4.8 million young Americans worked in the leisure and hospitality industry. Some of these places include theme parks, hotels and restaurants. The other popular industries were in retail (3.9 million workers) and in education or health services (2.1 million workers). The number of workers came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The places that usually employ the teens and college students are also the places that are looking to cut back on spending because they have been hit so hard by the recession. The lack of cash coming in means they don't need quite so many workers because there won't be hundreds of people at Six Flags at a time. Only 29% of hiring managers intend to hire the same amount of workers as they did last year and 18% of hiring managers expect to hire fewer workers this summer. People are hopeful that this is as bad as everything will get, and that we are slowly recovering and next summer will be better as far as summer jobs goes. If you've been looking for a job, have you noticed how hard it is to find one?

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Response to Jason

The online world is now the norm for people to access anything and everything. You can order food from a restaurant and pay your bills online all within five minutes of each other. All you have to do is provide information about yourself and you are able to do anything. Is it becoming too much too fast? It is always good to look for the security lock at the top of the screen on the html bar, but does that mean no one is looking at your information? You are sometimes required to enter your social security number, phone number, e-mail address, home address, how much you make a month and the list goes on and on. When do you know you're safe?

The answer is you just don't. You have to trust that your information is being protected and no one is going to use it against you, but sometimes you just have to wonder. It's crazy that in order to apply for things people want you to type your personal information out for them, it would feel safer in a way to do it over the phone with that company, just in case your information was to land into the wrong hands and someone did something unethical with it. Do you think the online world has become too much too soon?

When to Hold off on the Debit

In our society today, there are so many ways to pay for your purchase. Do you reach for your check, your credit card, debit card, cash, or gift card? The most common way to pay for your purchases is by using a credit or debit card. It's important for consumers to remember that there are many differences between credit and debit cards when you use them to buy something. There's a difference in how the transactions are processed and the protections offered on the cards are different as well. It is important to know when you should and shouldn't use your debit card considering it is linked directly to your bank and as soon as that plastic is swiped, the money is deducted.

You should never use your debit card online. If your card number was to somehow get into the hands of someone with bad intentions, it will only end badly for you since the card is linked to your bank account. Yes, banks do have policies that will put the money back into your account if you notify them of the stolen card number, but it is such a hassle to call the bank and get them to put your money back into your account. It could take weeks to get your money back and maybe you will have to give up a form of entertainment since you don't have that money. Another instance when you wouldn't want to use your card would be when you are putting a sizable deposit down on equipment or another product. You wouldn't want to clean out your entire bank account by putting $3000 down, so instead it would make sense to use a credit card to hold the product you are interested in. It also isn't a good idea to use a debit card in a restaurant because of the amount of people around that could possibly get a hold of your card and have enough time to write down your card information. I never use a debit card at restaurants anymore because one time I was charged four times for my meal. The register kept freezing and the worker running the register assured me I wouldn't be charged more than once, and sure enough when I got home to check my account they had deducted it four times. I had to call the corporate office and it was such a hassle to deal with them, it took weeks to get my money back into my account.

It's also a bad idea to use your debit card for recurring payments. It would be awful if you forgot to put money into your checking account or forgot to subtract the bill payment from your account, then you would be left paying fees for overdrawing. It would be easier just to go to the website for where you are paying the bill every month and do it manually there for yourself, that way you will know you have enough money in your account and you will avoid the embarrassment or overdrawing fees. If you are planning to travel within the next year, but want to book early so you know you will have a place to stay, you should do it with a credit card. Hotels aren't immune to people hacking into their systems, so would you really want your information sitting there for months waiting for you to arrive. Do you agree with any of the reasons on why you shouldn't use your debit card?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In Response to Elizabeth Allaire

Elizabeth asked the following question: Do you think that the Ohio Department of Economic Development would be willing to work something out with John Smith or would they just take back their offer and go to another company who would just take the money and give them customer names?

I think the the Ohio Department of Economic Development would be willing to work with John Smith to a point and of course with a few conditions about customer privacy. I don't think they would be willing to work with him if he was fussy about giving over the whole customer list. You have to keep in mind that he either sells them his list or he lays people off. He also has to do what's morally correct, which would be to say no. He should say no because it violates so many laws by turning over the customer information just so a dealership can thrive on annoying potential buyers, who probably don't even want to go to THAT dealership. He could get in a lot of trouble with the authorities as well, especially if he didn't ask the people that he surveyed if he could give their information out to dealerships. When these people took the survey they probably thought they were only helping out a local firm and not thinking that a car dealership would want all their information so they could target them. All in all I have a feeling that John Smith will say no because it's the right thing to do and he will have to lay off people, but it will save him money. I say this because if the authorities found out about his deal with the dealership, which they would because they eventually find everything, then he would be facing legal fees, which could lead to even more layoffs. I think that the car dealership should just try to advertise to potential buyers in their own way rather than trying to buy a list from someone who took a survey on people that might buy cars. Yes, it is an easy way to target people that are looking, but it also causes a lot of problems because the firms taking the surveys probably didn't ask the customers permission to pass on their information. What do you think is the right thing to do in this situation?

John Smith's Firm

John Smith's firm is not doing well in the economy right now and he fears that he will have to start laying off a number of employees, like most companies at this point in time. John recently surveyed 2,000 citizens that live in Ohio to determine if they are going to buy a car in the near future. A car dealership heard about what John's firm was doing and has offered him $8,000 for the information on the people that said they were likely or very likely to buy a new car. John is facing a big layoff or he can hand over the information to the car dealership and breathe a sigh of relief because he just received $8,000. Should he do it?

I don't think he should do it. I know he's in need of money but that seems like a violation of privacy to the people he surveyed. Car dealers are known to be very pushy and try to talk you into buying a car, which is something most people don't want to deal with. The people that were surveyed might feel overwhelmed and slightly annoyed that they even participated in the survey because now they are being bombarded with a car dealership trying to persuade them to buy a car at their dealership. In the AMA Statement of Ethics one of the values is honesty. If John's firm was playing the honesty card they should have asked everyone that they interviewed if they wouldn't mind having their information released to a car dealership. That way the people that wanted to be bothered by the car dealership could be and the people that wanted to be left alone would not be bothered. It wouldn't be right for John to sell the information without anyone's approval first. I understand that he's in need of money, but it's not worth it to make the people mad that took the time out of their busy lives to complete his firm's survey.

I think the car dealership is also in need of money too, so they are getting desperate to have some cars sold. It seems that spending $8000 just to get a list of potential buyers is a waste of money. What if the people you are trying to persuade get so annoyed with your dealership that they just buy elsewhere? When people are shopping for cars they want to do it their own way and go to the dealership they want, whether it's Toyota, Honda, etc...they will go where they've probably always gone because it works for them and it's less hassle. Do you think it was wrong for the car dealership to offer John's firm $8,000 just for a list of people?

Monday, March 1, 2010

In Response to Sam

Do you think organic foods are worth spending the extra money for? Will the industry remain sustainable? Those were the questions that Sam asked at the end of his post on organic foods and my answer is yes to both of those questions. Organic food is so much healthier for you than a bag of candy. Yes, the candy might taste better, but if you're worried about staying healthy then you should go for the healthier brand of food. Organic food has come a long way in the past five years, customers can buy everything they want and most stores have a whole organic section that's all in a row, so customers don't have to wander all over the store looking for the food that they want to buy. Some of the snacks foods they offer are chocolate covered raisins, chips or peanuts...they aren't your typical junk food snack but they're still tasty and put the nutrients that your body needs into it. People that have health problems such as celiac disease can only really shop in the organic food section because most of the food is gluten free, unlike the rest of the unhealthier food in the store. Organic food offers an option for these people that have to be very careful of what they eat, and they can have a variety of things just because of the advancements that organic food has made in the supermarket industry, and the customers don't have to just keep eating the same foods over and over because now they actually have a choice on what they want.

I definitely think the organic food industry will last because more people than you think shop in that section. Even if they aren't buying a while cart full of stuff, they are still picking up things from the section here and there. I used to work at Shaws and most people had stuff from the organic section, whether it was for them or for their kids that they're trying to have eat right. Protein bars that a lot of athletes eat are in the organic section and we sold a lot of those in one day to people who were looking for the nutrients that they needs. I don't see the organic food industry going away any time soon, I think they will shock us all and make advancements that we haven't even seen yet.

Where do you think the industry is going?

Cellular Phones to Let Shoppers Point, Click and Purchase

Shoppers will soon be able to stand outside the designer boutique called Norma Kamali's, which is located in Manhattan, and they will be able to point a phone at merchandise in the window and buy it. They can even do this late at night when the store is closed. Ms. Kamali, the owner, is one of the leaders in the industry with the technological transformations which will be coming to many of the nation's retailers in no time at all. The retailers want to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web. They want to take an advantage of how tech savvy this nation is and make shopping easier to consumers and more profitable for themselves.

They plan on turning people's mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices. Even grocery stores are considering this form of technology. They think that if you can use a GPS on your phone to find your destination, then you should be able to find the flour in the store if you are having a hard time locating it. Supermarkets are also going to offer real-time coupons while people shop. They may have a promotion on milk and the moment you're in the dairy aisle; a coupon could be sent to your phone. If the department store is out of your size jeans, then the retailers are trying to make it simple by having you press a couple buttons on your phone and the correct size jeans you wanted will be shipped to your house.

The question is how will consumers react to this? They will have to download applications onto their phones and consent to being tracked electronically while in a store. Many stores are hoping consumers will go along with it. They are backing it up by the fact that people wander city streets guided by maps on their mobile phones, so why shouldn't technology lead them to the flour or jeans they're looking for. Some chains are reluctant to discuss their plans because they want to use it as a competitive advantage. Some retailers that are in the process of testing out mobile technology are Wal-Mart and Disney. Technology companies behind the products are telling consumers to expect introductions to this new world this year and wider deployments in 2011 or even 2012.

Ms. Kamali is using technology called ScanLife and it was installed in her boutique a few weeks ago. It allows people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the clothes through videos. The part about buying items day or night will come in another week or two when they get used to the new system. Other retailers have started testing a product called Presence. The shoppers that sign up for it can be detected as soon as they set foot in a store, which enables Presence to offer real-time mobile coupons. Presence can also track the shoppers spending habits and browsing time in various department, and it will help the system figure out what customer might be moved to suddenly buy a discounted item. Presence can also make product recommendations. If a shopper was buying cake mix, Presence might suggest frosting and sprinkles to go along with that.

The retailers have some privacy worries and other potential pitfalls. If the phone applications freeze or give bad information it will most likely frustrate the consumers, so reliability is a big priority among retailers, which is why retailers have already started testing the system. Another reason why the Presence won't be released in a lot of stores until 2011 or 2012 is the fact that most stores cannot afford that kind of technology right now. The daring retailers are viewing it by the potential benefits outweighing the risks. More aggressive profiling of shoppers could help increase sales in stores that are in drastic need of some help. The technology could also save stores money by cutting workers, by substituting electronic guidance for store clerks.

If you had the chance to download one of these applications would you and why?

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Response to Sam

In Sam's post he discussed how digital advertising is becoming more common in our society and he wanted to know if I thought it would be how most people start advertising or not. I think that digital advertising is a pretty creative idea, if you don't like what you're seeing when you're advertisement is digitally posted; you can easily change it. These days mostly everyone is trying to switch over to digital everything, so the companies that are advertising are trying to come up with something that will match the digital world. I think they came up with a pretty creative creation. They can also add animations or scrolling text, which will definitely grab the attention of someone looking at the advertisement. My suggestion to companies would be to not go too overboard with animations because if a person has too much to look at in an advertisement; they won't get to see everything. Plain and simple with a catchy phrase usually does the job for advertisements. The one thing I don't like about digital advertisements is that if you're driving and looking at them on the highway they can be somewhat distracting. I know as a driver you shouldn't be looking around, but if you see something flashing in the corner of your eye; you're most likely going to look at what it is. Maybe they can somehow regulate the advertisements on the highway to be simple and not so flashy so it doesn't distract drivers. Do you think digital advertising is a good idea?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Electronic Means of Marketing

The world that we live in today is very different from what it was ten years ago. Everything is going electronic and a lot of companies are starting to look for ways to cut costs, which results in taking away their paper mail. A few companies noticed that when they took away their quirky postcards or letters with reduced fees they were starting to lose clients. A few clients even called the company that took away their humorous postcards to ask where they were. After thinking about how many clients they were disappointing with their lack of postcards and not sending letters offering reduced fees, these companies decided to bring back their direct mail. I think direct mail is good to a point. It goes a little too far when the stuff you're getting in the mail comes more than once, and you always end up throwing it away. Credit card offers would be a good example of this. I think most college students can relate to this because credit card offers are constantly coming in the mail, but the annoying part is if you fill out a form for them more often than not you're rejected because you don't have enough credit to actually get your own card.

Some companies are including bar codes in their advertisements which are found on magazines or letters you can get in the mail. The article said that some cellular phones are capable of scanning the bar codes, which takes you to the website that they're advertising. I think this way of marketing is pointless. I say this because not every cellular phone user has a blackberry or iPhone that is capable of scanning these bar codes to visit the website. It would make sense if they just said what they wanted to say on the advertisement page they are paying for rather than sending you to a website, most people aren't going to take the time to visit the website or they will forget about it.

I think right now companies are really trying to push electronic marketing and messages because they want to save money, but I also think they're struggling with giving up direct mail and phone calls altogether. People are so used to getting things in the mail and letting them sit around without "erasing" them, which is something you can usually do with an e-mail message. I think in five or ten years everything will be completely electronic when it comes to contacting people, but for now I think the companies will be split in half when it comes to sending electronic messages and direct mail or phone messages.

Do you think that in five or ten years everything will be done electronically?

Monday, February 15, 2010

In Response to Doug

Doug asked the question: Am I influenced by e-marketing and do I find myself reading reviews before I buy a new product?

I would have to say that I am definitely influenced by e-marketing, it's so easy to access and I can find what I'm looking for within seconds. I don't have to waste my time walking around a store trying to find something; I can easily type it in at Google and it appears instantly. I think that's the direction this country is moving in because it seems that everyone now has access to the internet and they sometimes find it easier to use than going into a store. E-marketing easily targets thousands of people a day and their advertisements are online all day long for all those people to look at. I think it's a very good way to advertise to people and get more customers for their company.

Recently, I have been looking to trade in my current car and find a new car that fits me better. I have found myself to be online whenever I can reading reviews for all different kinds of cars. Of course, all the reviews are pretty mixed; the customers like them and the customers don't like them. I feel that by looking online I'm getting some sort of idea on what I'm looking for and I like to see what other people thought about the particular car that I'm looking into. It's really hard to buy the first car you look at and put all your trust into the dealer because they are just trying to sell a car and earn money for themselves. I would rather know what the reviews online are saying, and then decide how I feel about it from there. Do you find yourself reading about reviews when you are looking for a new product?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympics always sets the tempo for the two weeks that the Olympics runs for. It's a time for a country to show the world what they're really about and they try their best to impress all of their viewers. This year, the Olympics are taking place in Vancouver, Canada, and they had a 3 1/2 hour presentation during their opening ceremony to show the world what Canada is really about.

Before the ceremony started, they showed all the beautiful mountains and lakes that Canada has. During this part, I think their goal was to try to attract people that are interested in hiking, camping or fishing to come to their country. They know that people are watching the opening ceremony that are interested in these activities, so they are using it as an advantage for their country. They also said that the United States and Canada have a friendly alliance because we're allowed to cross the boundaries coming from both sides. Maybe some people haven't been informed on the fact that we can cross boundaries, so it was a good idea for them to let people that live in America and Canada know that they can cross the border by having a passport.

When the ceremony started they tried to "glamorize" Canada and portray their history as best as they could. They came out in costumes and all sorts of outfits, while they were dancing along to music. This might have grabbed the attention of some viewers who like to learn about countries and go explore them on their vacations. It could lead to people vacationing in Canada for a week and going to their museum's or other exhibits that they may offer with an explanation of their history.

Overall, I think it was an okay ceremony, a little slow at times, but it was good for Canada to show the rest of the world about their culture. It will probably open many doors for some tourists to visit their country, which will result in them spending numerous amounts of money there. Do you think that the opening ceremony was a chance for Canada to attract tourists?

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Response to Sam

Sam asked the question: where do you think the future of transportation is going, after he explained the new car that Honda has come out with. It's a Honda FCX Clarity that is an electric/hydrogen powered car. The Clarity doesn't need to be recharged after taking a trip, it only needs to be refilled with hydrogen, which powers the motor. I believe that this car is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to thinking outside the box of filling our cars up with gas, but I'm not sure if it will work. I think a lot of people will be apprehensive about buying it because what if for some reason it rejects the hydrogen, and you're stranded someplace with no way of getting a ride home. It seems too good to be true and it will be interesting to see how people like it.

People have gotten too accustomed to using gas for everything; snow blower, lawnmower, recreational vehicles, etc... and they know that they can rely on gas to run their machines. They probably won't be so willing to spend a lot of money on a new product that might not work. Like most things, people will probably wait to buy a hydrogen powered car until they've been around for a while, maybe five years or so, to see if they really do work and how many problems come with them.

Maybe the car will take off and people will love it. The Clarity has the potential to open many doors for transportation, and it's an amazing accomplishment that the car industry has come so far, but will it really work as well as they hope. What do you think will happen with the future of the car industry?

Super Bowl Advertisements...Gone too Far?

Super Bowl advertisements are a big part of every Super Bowl, it gives companies a chance to advertise to millions of viewers in a different way than they normally would. Their main goal is to make the commercials comical, which in return will hopefully give them more customers. I understand that gaining more customers is what every company wants, but is it really worth paying anywhere from $2.5-3 million to advertise for only 30 seconds.

That amount just seems so ridiculous to me. Most companies aren't doing so well right now, and most of them had multiple commercials that played throughout the Super Bowl, so they were paying a lot to advertise, but will it really make a difference for them? In my opinion it won't. Even if the economy wasn't struggling why would any company want to put out millions of dollars for only 30 seconds. I don't understand why the price is so high and why it isn't cheaper, it's not like a variety of companies are advertising; it's mostly a couple of companies and then a few others here and there. They do probably have a deal with the network so they don't have to pay $3 million for every commercial, but it's still really pricey.

It does provide a lot of entertainment for viewers, and I think it definitely keeps some people watching the Super Bowl because they want to see what Anheuser Busch or Doritos will do next. For example the commercial that had the kid telling the boyfriend to leave his mom and his Doritos alone was really funny, but the commercials advertising internet sites weren't funny at all, and I doubt they will attract many customers.

I think that the prices for advertising during the Super Bowl need to be brought back down to a happy medium. Everything is all about money, and it would be nice if for once a big event didn't revovle around a lot of money being spent all at once. It puts too much pressure on some advertisements that run, and they only end up being flops. Do you think that the Super Bowl advertising has gone too far?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Response to Conor

Connor asked the following question: do you think the effects of environmentalism can make a company that was once not eco-friendly, and re-image themselves as an eco-friendly company?

Environmentalism is becoming something that everyone is becoming more aware of with each passing day, and companies are starting to catch on. They are looking for ways to cut back on using products that aren't so environmentally friendly, so they are beginning to re-image themselves as a company that cares about the environment and what's polluting it. It won't be any surprise when in the next couple of years almost everyone has switched over to being more environmentally friendly, it's what is right for this country and I think more people need to be aware of the possible problems that we could face in the future.

Do you think the companies will look to re-image themselves to keep up with the rest of the industry?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Environmentalism as an Opportunity

Is environmentalism seen as an opportunity or a threat to marketers? When I first read this question I immediately thought about environmentalism being portrayed as a threat to marketers because once another company comes out with something environmentally friendly; they leave the rest of the companies scrambling to come back with something else. All I was considering were the costs that a company would have to come up with to be able to compete with the company that came out with the better idea first. It would be a struggle at first for a competitor to come back with something else, and it would take a lot of time to think of an angle you want to go with, but in the end it would be worth it.

I wasn't really satisfied with my explanation, so I thought about it for a while and kept going back and forth with my decision. If only I could argue both sides. I finally settled on environmentalism being considered as an opportunity for marketers. The environment is a very important thing that we have to protect it and look out for it because we don't want to be breathing in unhealthy air for the rest of our lives or polluting the air more than we already are. By taking a step in the right direction when it comes preserving the environment, it is making companies stand apart from the rest that aren't really doing anything about the environment yet.

The companies, such as Toyota, Honda and Ford have come out with more fuel efficient cars, which has caught the eyes of so many potential customers. I think the big allure of these cars is that it is drastically cutting the cost of gas for people because they are getting more miles to the gallon, so the companies that designed these cars are lucky people are looking to save in any way that they can. It also helps them that gas is starting to climb back up to almost $3 a gallon. They have made a good product that has been so successful in our economy, especially during the cash for clunkers. These businesses were thriving off of people that wanted more fuel efficient cars, and they made them to fit the needs of customers; it seems like everyone has been satisfied with switching over to a car that is more environmentally friendly.

Another example of an opportunity that businesses have done pretty well with is all the grocery stores that are selling their own bags, rather than wasting twenty plastic bags to bag one persons order (multiply that by all the customers that come through in one day). I used to work in a grocery store and I was so surprised by all the new bags that were coming out for customers to buy, they were being sold for 10/$10, or $1 a piece and people loved them. At first I thought they were really annoying and there wasn't a point to them, but after a few months of having them around I grew to appreciate them. I noticed how many plastic and paper bags we went through and what a waste it was to our environment, and in no time at all I was glad when customers had their own bags because it showed they cared about the environment and they didn't want it to waste away to nothing either.

I think that a big allure to customers is showing that you are "going green" and trying to care for the environment. It's a really big opportunity for businesses to stand apart from the rest that haven't caught up with the movement yet. Once you start being more environmentally friendly in a business you can keep improving your goals every month and achieve even more things; it's better than being left behind to catch up. The industry is changing everyday, and whatever you can do to get ahead of the businesses will only help you survive.

What do you portray environmentalism as?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Response to Nicole

Nicole asked what the most important P is to consider when looking for a job. I think they are all important in their own way, but if I had to pick one it would be price. I don't want to sound greedy, but when I'm done with school I'm going to need a somewhat higher paying job so I can pay off all my loans and my other monthly payments.

Loans are something that most people have had to take out over college, and as soon as you're done with school; it's time to start paying them back. In order to pay them back I will need to be making enough money to pay the monthly fee on them. Along with paying loans I will have to consider affording rent, utilities, car payment, car insurance, and the list goes on. There are so many expenses that everyone has to pay these days it's getting a little out of hand and it's pretty sad that when you go for a job interview you have to think about how much you'll be making, and not if you like the job or not.

Do you agree with my view on price?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

After I have completed college, it will be time to look for a full-time job so I can start paying off those wonderful student loans that all of us have accumulated over the years. When I'm looking for a job I would classify it as a product, so along with that I will be looking for the place, promotion and prices that come with it. This is an important thing for everyone to consider when they are looking for a job, sometimes things might seem like they're better right away, but after researching all the benefits that go along with the jobs you are applying for another one may seem better in the long run.

When I decide what I want to do with my major and get an interview, I am definitely going to consider the place because that is a very important thing to keep in mind. Is the location at a reasonable place for me to get to? Will it be worthwhile travelling an hour to work each day or should I find a better location that's closer to me? These are things that may not be considered right away because you are so excited about landing that first job right out of college, but is it really worth it if you're spending more in gas than what you're really making?

The next thing that I would take time to consider would be promotions. I would look at it from two different viewpoints: the advertisement of the company and how I would move up to a higher position in the future. I would look at the advertisements of the company because in order to get a paycheck, you need customers. If the company is promoting good advertisements for themselves I would be very pleased with that because that means they are catching the eye of potential customers, which is supplying me with a paycheck. For example Verizon and AT&T are butting heads with their advertisements by trying to put each other down, but it's catching the eye of potential customers. AT&T has proven that they have faster downloading than Verizon, so if you need to download a lot of things from your phone, then AT&T is the way to go. Meanwhile, Verizon has proven that they do get more coverage than AT&T, they went to court over it and Verizon won. That's just an example of something I would look for when it comes to advertising. The other part that I would look into would be the possibility of moving up in the company. I think that's something everyone should strive for. I wouldn't want to start out as a bagger and never move up to a cashier. I want the possibility of moving up to the position of a cashier, supervisor or store manager because it give me something to work hard for.

The last item that I would consider when looking for a job would be the price. Am I going to be making enough money every week to pay all my bills? How often a month do I get paid? When you are in an interview (most likely if you get called back for a second interview) it's important to find out how much money you are going to be making. You should have a basic understanding of how much you owe in bills each month, so make sure you are going to be making enough to cover them. It's also a good thing to find out how often you get paid; it could be weekly, bi-weekly or even once a month.

What do you think is the most important thing to consider when you are looking for a job?