Mrkt 4160 E-Portfolio: Personality, Culture and Sales

Sales Over the past three months I have been taking a Marketing course in Business Development that has trained me in sales,  specifically managing and obtaining strategic accounts. Projects in which I garnered techniques and strategies for obtaining accounts included a global cultural project and a Key Account Manager (KAM) strategic account plan. The foundation of each project however, required in depth communication and an analysis of the company and its employees. In order to be successful at this, I realized that the ability to identify and communicate with different personality types and different cultures  was essential. Thus, the most significant knowledge that I have obtained was to research the cultural background of the client and next, utilize the following personality style characteristics in order to make the product or service appealing to them; after all no two people are the same and therefore, it is essential to satisfy each client’s needs if you want to be successful. The most significant and impacting project that I did was my global cultural project, here my group and I examined business practices in Iran. Upon utilizing the basic culturally acceptable practices, I realized culture and personal styles go hand in hand.

In order to increase your ability to close a sale, it is necessary to be able to adapt your personal style to that of your client. Once you have met the initial cultural expectations in terms of greetings and basic culturally acceptable practices, categorizing the client into one of the following, will enable you to adapt your sales approach to be more appealing to them. The following are four typical personality styles:

The Thinker: This person values logic, ideas and systematic inquiry. This individual is generally very neat and dresses rather conservatively. Therefore in order to be more appealing, you should present the facts of your service or product in a logical manner, and should you not close the deal on the spot, then encourage them to “think it over”.

The Intuitor: This individual values ideas, innovation , theory and concepts, and can be identified by their rumpled attire and any abstract art adorning their office walls. Therefore, when appealing your product or service to them, it is essential to demonstrate the purchase according to buyer’s big picture or objectives. Moreover, when closing a deal be sure to make the buyer aware of how time sensitive the purchase is.

The Feeler: This individual is sensitive towards people and therefore, it is essential to demonstrate the impact your proposal has on people. It is easy to identify feelers, they typically dress in current or informal styles and generally they will have mementos and photos adorning their office. Finally, to make your proposal more appealing, you should be more EXCITED and appeal to the individuals emotions.

The Sensor: Individuals with this personality value action, thus, to make your presentation more persuasive, be specific and to the point. These individuals are typically associated with desks that are chaotic and rather a mess, while their attire is generally more casual and relaxed work clothes (no jacket, loose tie etc.) .

Taking this course and learning how to appeal to different cultures and identify and adapt to different personality types has provided me with sales skills that enable me to obtain customers’ trust. This is evident, as I utilized these skills at my new sales job at a jewelry store, where my manager was impressed and complimented my approach in dealing with customers. Thus, i believe that my new skills are an asset in the sales industry.

For more information on business practices in Iran, click on the link below:

Global Culture Project: Business in Iran

Advertisements

Social Media and Piracy

pirateSocial media has changed the way we communicate and  the way organizations advertize. However, the benefits social media provides us with ie: posting and sharing videos, photos etc., may actually result in the illegal act of copyright infringement. This act although illegal may actually benefit the owner of the material in return.

Copyright is a form of legal protection. It provides owners with exclusive rights to: duplicate the copyrighted work, distribute copies of the work to the public either through sale/lease/loan/or rental, as well as use the copyrighted item for personal advertising.

Currently social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube enables users to share or distribute copies of music videos, video clips, photos and articles on the social media platform, each of which makes social media fun to use. As a result of social media platforms being patronized by millions of individuals, many organizations have implemented social media pages and sites into their marketing strategies; which if not done correctly, may result in the organization facing copyright infringement liabilities.

Oftentimes businesses post content online, that is not their own work. They do this to generate more leads and to make their marketing campaigns more interesting and diverse. Here’s an example of how one can breach the copyright law. Imagine you own a restaurant and Leonardo DiCaprio comes in for dinner, he takes a photo at your restaurant and posts it on Facebook. Excited about this, you utilize the photo in your marketing campaign either online, for example on your Facebook page, or in a restaurant brochure. By using the photo without permission or without giving credit to Leonardo DiCaprio, who is the official owner of the photo, you are actually partaking in the illegal act of piracy.

Based on a class discussion, the following segment describes the benefits associated with piracy, as reflected in my previous post “Piracy: Free Advertising or an Illegal Act”:

  •     “What you don’t know, you don’t miss” Present day social media has enabled music and other materials to be shared instantaneously across the world. This poses as a benefit to many artists, especially those who are new in the industry, as their materials can be shared across the globe, thus, increasing their brand image and popularity; which in turn will increase a demand for their materials. However, the likelihood of individuals wanting to purchase material from an unknown artist is slim, compared to those who have sampled the material and grown accustomed to it. Thus, by breaking copyright laws, and engaging in piracy, individuals are able to sample relatively unknown material and by sharing it with friends, they end up making the artist more material (Techdirt, n.d.). This is what has been happening in the entertainment industry. With sites such as YouTube and Facebook enabling individuals to share copyrighted materials, artists have become relatively popular. Some of which ended up becoming famous and getting a record deals (Ex. David Choi), while others became popular to the point where their concerts are now being sold out across the globe.
  •     “Steal from the rich and give to the poor” Some argue that piracy provides those without a disposable income, access to information that could enable them to make more money in the long run. As a result of them growing accustomed to this material, their trust in the producer and material would encourage them to purchase the material later on, as apposed to them purchasing material from other producers.

Negative aspects of copyright infringement and shown in my previous blog post “Piracy: Free Advertising or an Illegal Act” :

  •  Stealing! Copyright infringement is an act of stealing revenue from artists,producers etc., who have worked hard for that money. These individuals have utilized their creativity and skills in producing materials, that through copyright infringement, results in them incurring costs for a revenue that they will not be receiving. As stated in a hot topic discussion in ENTR 3211, over 80% of Canadians engage in piracy. This is a huge percentage of people who are obtaining free material, from individuals who relied on the materials to generate them an income.
  •  Job loss  When music is copied and shared online, who will purchase a CD?
  •  When books are printed and given to friends, who will purchase the book?
  • When there is no need for certain things, individuals who would have previously made their income doing that, will no longer have a job. If this were to continue, this could negatively impact the economy as a whole.

Thus, although piracy is illegal, it can benefit the copyright owner. However, caution must be taken when utilizing social media sites for advertising or distribution of material.

References:

U.S. Government Recognizes Benefits of Piracy | TorrentFreak . (n.d.). TorrentFreak | Torrent News, Torrent Sites and the latest Scoops . Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://torrentfreak.com/u-s-government-recognizes-benefits-of-piracy-100413/

Cushing, T. (2012, September 7). Three Artists On Piracy: Sharing, Disruption And Turning Filesharers Into Your Street Team | Techdirt. Techdirt.. Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120906/18581520306/three-artists-piracy-sharing-disruption-turning-filesharers-into-your-street-team.shtml

Sanford. (n.d.). Copyright Infringement Risks Associated with Using Social Media. IRMI Risk Management and Insurance Education and Information. Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://www.irmi.com/expert/articles/2011/warren06-intellectual-property-law.aspx

Web Design Adjustments for 2013

web response

In the last year PC sales have decreased, while the sale of tablets have increased exponentially. According to Pete Cashmore, by the end of 2012, tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million in sales; and according to Nielson, smart phones are a hot commodity, with a majority of U.S. and Canadian mobile subscribers choosing a smart phone over a feature phone (Cashmore,2012). So what does this mean for web designers and business organizations?

Well, in the last year over a million new screens were made available, therefore, websites need to be created to appeal to those device users.  The current and standard web page is not compatible with smart phones and tablets, as one would need to zoom into the page in order to tap into the information that they are trying to browse, while on the other hand, zooming into a website is not necessary on a PC, as traditional websites are designed for PC screens. Thus, according to Canada’s News Media Trend Watch, 94% of computer users use their device to surf the web, while only 67% of smart phone users will browse the web through their phone (News Media Trend Watch, 2012).

In order to reach out to mobile and tablet users, it is recommended that individuals in charge of website development, utilize responsive webdesign techniques much like those currently used by “Mashable”.

The following are responsive web design requirements (Cashmore,2012):

  • Media Queries- it is necessary to find out the resolution of the devices the website will be used on. To identify what the main devices are look at sales for tablets and smart phones to determine the most popular ones and their screen resolution. Ensure that there are flexible images and fluid grids before sizing it correctly to fit the screen.
  • Adaptive Design Functions-  it is necessary to change the website according to the device being used. For example, if using a touch screen, it is necessary to enable swiping between column functions.

By enabling a website to adjust according to screen size and resolution (ps: you can test this on your PC, by merely adjusting your screen size and seeing how the content readjusts itself), you are merely building a website once and enabling it to work across thousands of different screens.

Tips to Make your website more effective (Jackrabbit,n.d.):

  • Include your website address on EVERYTHING- ie: flyers, social media sites, refrigerator magnets etc.
  • Include pictures and graphics to enhance text
  • Ensure pictures have a low resolution in order to prevent the website from lagging
  • ensure the “Contact Us” and “Location”  section is easy to find
  • Include search engine optimization techniques- ie: include text on web pages (not pictures with text, text must be typed), in the upper portion of the “home” page include text that you expect people to search when looking for your site, try to refrain from using Flash introductions (a majority of individuals skip this as it looks like an advertisement)
  • Emphasize the “benefits” associated with what you are promoting, in order to differentiate it from competitors
  • Use pictures, videos and a simple CALL TO ACTION

Hope you found these tips helpful and I wish you all the best with your 2013 website(s)!

Resources:

10 Tips to make your Website more Effective from Jackrabbit Technologies. (n.d.). Jackrabbit Class. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.jackrabbitclass.com/docs/jackrabbit-more-effective-website.pdf

Canada – New Media Trend Watch Long-Haul. (n.d.). New Media Trend Watch – Provided by the European Travel Commission. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/markets-by-country/11-long-haul/45-canada%3Fstart%3D2

Cashmore, P. (2012, December 11). Why 2013 Is the Year of Responsive Web Design. Mashable. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/12/11/responsive-web-design

We Like Games

Gamification

If you could discover life on another planet by playing a game, would you want to?
Well, a not-for-profit research organization, namely DSRW (Deep Space Radio Wave Project) is on a mission to “capture deep space radio waves and analyze them for patterns and messages”. The organization shares all finding with the public, on their website, enabling the community to get involved and help answer the age long  question: “Are we alone in the universe?” (Warren, 2012).

Midway through the articel, Warren mentioned that the website features a Warner Bros. Entertainment Copyright logo on the page. The logo suggests that this space mission, is part of a broader campaign for a TV show or feature film;  And most likely a gamification marketing element (Below is a screen shot of the game).

dsfw

In the past year, there has been a growing trend towards applying gamification elements towards the marketing of feature films (Warren, 2012). From movies like The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, and Toy Story 3 puzzles and other game qualities were applied to their social media marketing platforms.

So what is Gamification:

Over the past couple of years, marketers have been implementing game-like qualities into a number of social media apps, which are made accessible through one’s browser and mobile device. Elements of gamification include: levels, leader boards, badges or points, rewards for participation and competition amongst gamers using the site (Armano, 2011).  According, to Armano, 2012 was the rise of the gamification marketing trend, as a majority of organizations began implementing it into their marketing strategy. By utilizing gamification elements, organizations are better able to engage with customers who are aware of tricks associated with traditional advertising. The most critical advantage of this strategy however, is that individuals are returning for more! (Rollason, 2011).

Gaming Statistics (Rollason, 2011):

  • “M2 Research have predicted that the gamification market will be worth an estimated $1 Billion by 2015”
  • “An estimated 20 million of the more than 25 million 12 -17 year olds in the US are gamers”
  • “20% of the US population have played a game on a social network sites. And what’s more, that 35% of these social game players are first time gamers who have never played any other kind of video game”
  • “Americans are now spending 22.7% of their online time on social networks, which is far more than anything else, including email at 8.3% “

So now that you know the space mission is potentially a marketing strategy, if you are curious as to what movie it is associated with, start cracking the code!

References:

Armano, D. (2011, December 12). Six Social Media Trends for 2012 – David Armano – Harvard Business Review. HBR Blog Network – Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/six_social_media_trends_for_20.html

Rollason, H. (n.d.). OPINION: What is Gamification, and should you bother finding out? | Useful Social Media Blog. Home | Useful Social Media | Corporate Social Media Best Practice for Business & Marketing. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://usefulsocialmedia.com/blog/future-focus/opinion-what-is-gamification-and-should-you-bother-finding-out/

Warren, C. (2012, December 10). Is This the Next Big Viral Movie Campaign?. Mashable. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/12/10/dsfw-project/

Digital Shadows

shadowBefore the online world became populated with social media tools and web 2.0, we were more private as individuals and therefore, we protected our information and security a lot more. However, as the online world established social media platforms enabling friends and family throughout the world to communicate at no monetary cost, we voluntarily handed over our information. By doing so, we were able to do things like: chat, share photos, express our opinions and  play games together online. All these social media benefits were easy to use, and saved us the costs associated with international calls etc.

We received so many benefits using these online tools, that providing our personal information to online users, companies and platform hosts has become worth it. As situations change, and people start looking for a job, enter new relationships etc., we’ve noticed that some information available online can not be removed very easily; reason being, you may delete it on your site but the content could’ve been shared to other people or used by organizations who have paid the platform hosts for this information. Thus, over time the information we post online becomes like a shadow, it always follows us.

For many individuals social media sites has made their world a lot smaller and a lot more fun. The information you post on your Facebook page, for example, enables people you hardly know to see how you’re doing, sympathize with your misfortune or wish you happy birthday etc.; all of which makes an individual feel cared for. In addition to that, organizations are now accessing your information, and providing you with tools to make your daily living “easier”. KLM Royal Dutch Airline, for example, has announced that they will be enabling passengers to choose their seatmates based on social media profiles. This step will be taken to ensure passengers have an enjoyable flight (Paur, 2012). While this sounds like a brilliant idea to some, to others its sounds incredibly creepy and dangerous; firstly they can’t figure out where the information about them is coming from and secondly, they are unable to opt out of providing the information. This makes us more vulnerable to stalkers, hackers and various other online threats.

A few things one can do to minimize the negative effects are:

  • Be cautious as to what you say or post online
  • Become familiar with the platforms privacy settings and use them according to your requirements

If you are a Facebook user, it has been announced that a new privacy setting will be made available, below is the update so be sure to privatize your account (Fitzpatrick, 2012) :

  • the previously scattered privacy setting will all be in combined into a single section
  • the activity log will include more information about where your personal information and photos are spread across the Facebook social graph
  • A request removal tool will enable users to ask friends to remove photos of them from their accounts
  • “In-context notices will alert you if content you choose to hide from your Facebook Timeline might still appear in news feeds, searches and elsewhere”
  • You will no longer have the ability to remove yourself from Facebook search

Hope you enjoyed this post, and remember… becareful what digital shadow you leave behind!

References:

Fitzpatrick, A. (n.d.). Here’s What the New Facebook Privacy Settings Will Look Like. Mashable. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/12/12/new-facebook-privacy-settings/

Paur, J. (n.d.). KLM Passengers Can Facebook to ‘Meet & Seat’ | Autopia | Wired.com. wired.com . Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/12/klm-passengers-can-use-facebook-for-meet-seat/

What are Digital Shadows and Why Should the Matter?. (n.d.). myshadow. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from https://myshadow.org/what-are-digital-shadows-and-why-do-they-matter

Social Media’s Impact on the Television and Film Industry

tv movies social medialWatching  television shows and going to the movies, has always been a social experience; one enjoyed by individuals of all ages. Recall the opening night of your favorite movie, for me it was Harry Potter. In anticipation of the movie, my friends and I stood in line discussing the actors and the scenes we couldn’t wait to see; and shortly after the movie, every single one of us raved about it to our friends and family. The same happened when one of my favorite shows, The Vampire Diaries, started; I got about 4 of my friends hooked on the show, so between our university class breaks, we would watch episodes online or read the comments on the show’s Facebook page- in anticipation for the next episode.

Since movies and television shows have always been a social experience to me, it’s quite natural for me to see studios working and being influenced so greatly by social media platforms.

According to Kay M. Madati, head of entertainment and media and global marketing solutions at Facebook, although the top 5 broadcasting networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the CW) each launched between 25-30 shows this season, only about six shows will do well. He further stated that television ratings have been decreasing; which may be attributed to the breaks taken between seasons (Petronzio,2012).  Thus, many content producers in the entertainment industry have resorted to social media marketing as a strategy for improving their television and film launch.

On average, individuals spend about 8hrs per week visiting social networking sites (Social Media Today,2012), therefore, in order to make those individuals aware of the shows content, and distribute the content across multiple platforms, producers are aligning their strategies with major social media platforms, such as Facebook.

Social media sites enable friends to obtain and  share their opinions about movies and TV shows watched. Thus, permitting discussion and questions regarding the movie or show to be distributed through a social media form of word-of-mouth advertising. In addition to word of mouth advertising, social media campaigns are put up throughout the show’s airing as well as during periods whereby there is a break between seasons. Examples of platform campaigns include: telling a longer story associated with the featured show on social media platform pages, encouraging discussion by posting clips and pictures of popular scenes after the show has been aired, and providing contest and promotions for the show/movie on social media pages etc (Petronzio,2012).

Results Associated with Peer Influence and Social Media (Kessler,2012):

  • 73% of movie fans trusted their friends and family members for movie reviews while only 27% trusted movie critics and reputable websites
  • 3/4 Facebook users discover new movies from friends
  • 63% of fans responded that contests and sweepstakes influenced them to “Like” a movie’s Facebook page
  • 50% of fans purchased movie tickets online as a result of social media recommendations
  • 46% of influencers update their Facebook status during a movie

Based on the statistics and the current state of the television and film industry, it is evident that social media plays a central role in marketing shows and movies.

References:

Kessler, B. (2012, September 11). How social media is changing the business of blockbuster movies [INFOGRAPHIC]. SOCIAL FRESH, social media conference, social media training. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://socialfresh.com/how-social-media-is-changing-the-business-of-blockbuster-movies-infographic/

Music, Film, TV: How social media changed the entertainment experience. (2012, May 17). Social Media Today. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from socialmediatoday.com/briansolis/506188/music-film-tv-how-social-media-changed-entertainment-experience

Petronzio, M. (2012, November 30). How Social Media Impacts TV and Film Ratings. Mashable. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/11/30/social-media-entertainment/

 

Social Media Influences Action

Social-Media-Icons

Social media interactions appear to influence the actions one take. According to a survey of 500 individuals, it was found that over half the users on four of the top five social media platforms have taken offline action as a direct result of an online interaction. According to Ned Smith, the three most popular offline actions taken as a result of online interaction are: to contact a person directly, attend an event and participate in activities such as sport and class (Smith,2012).

The five major social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, however, of the five, Facebook appears to have been  the most influential in gathering offline action. A survey of 500 individuals suggests that Facebook was able to generate more donations and in-person contact than any of the other platforms (Smith, Ned). Evidently,  a study at the University of Carolina found that social messages on Facebook, posed as a reminder for 300,000 individuals to go out and vote (Al-Greene,2012).

How to Harness Social Media for Social Good:

“Each day, over 250 million users of us log on to Facebook. Each minute, twenty hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Each second, over six hundred tweets are “tweeted” out onto the Web, to a worldwide audience. And these numbers are growing exponentially” (Aaker and Smith, n.d.).

The first step necessary for influencing individuals to take social action, outside of the social media platform, requires having a personal goal. This goal must be translated into a story of passion, one that will generate interest and stay in the mind of readers long after the reader has commented on the post of Facebook page. By doing this, you generate participation,growth and networking. However, in order to maintain a readers interest or to get them to read a post, ensure that the story is no longer than 6 lines(Aaker and Smith, n.d.) .

In addition, when publishing stories, it can also be useful to publish short stories related to the cause in a timely fashion. For example, if you are running a breast cancer campaign with an event taking place a month from now, then each week leading up to the event, you can post short stories or facts relating to the cause.

Secondly, at the end of your story or description, be specific, and clear in providing easy to understand information as to how an individual can get involved and participate ((Aaker and Smith, n.d.).

When creating events, limit the amount of inbox messages and tagged messages that are sent to individuals invited. A majority of individuals who receive mass messages drop out of the conversation, and therefore lose interest in the cause.

So…

If you are an organization,entrepreneur, philanthropist or friend in need of generating some offline action (this can include anything from getting people to visit your store, party of volunteering for a cause), make certain you are using Facebook (since it is currently the no.1 Social media platform in generating offline action), and ensure you have event or fan pages created, with timely stories published.

References:

Aaker, J., & Smith, A. (n.d.). The Dragonfly Effect: Take Action. How to empower others, enable them and cultivate a movement with social media | The European Business Review. The European Business Review. Retrieved December 3, 2012, from http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/?p=3325

Al-Greene, B. (2012, October 26). Facebook Inspires Young Voters to Take Action [INFOGRAPHIC]. Mashable. Retrieved December 12, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/10/26/facebook-vote-infographic/

Smith, N. (2012, December 3). Social Media Use Leads to Real-World Actions. Mashable. Retrieved December 3, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/12/03/social-media-real-world-actions/