October 30, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments


My mother texted me: 'What does IDK, LY & TTYL mean?' 

I answered: 'I don't know, love you, talk to you later.' 

Mother: 'Ok, I'll ask your sister'. 


Social Media Marketing

October 30, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Social Media Marketing

Relatively new field

Definition of Social Media Marketing: Creation of content that attracts attention and encourages audiences to participate and share it with their social networks.

Social Media Marketing is powerful, as a corporate message can spread from user to user, because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the company itself. It’s driven by word-of-mouth.

The barrier to entry is low, and can level the playing field especially for small businesses.

A key component of social media marketing is building social authority, or opinion leadership.

This is developed when an individual or organization establishes themselves as an ‘expert’ in their given field, or is able to influence consumer behavior due to their popularity.

The most effective social media marketing efforts revolve around genuine building of authority through providing accurate and timely information on an ongoing basis, without any overt associated marketing angle.

Why Social Media Marketing?

- Customer Relations Tool, to connect and network with customers

- Help business go viral – By befriending a user, stand a chance of being spotted or recommended to hundreds of other users

- Easier for curious people to gather information about the company, products or services

- Feedback channel – Gather customer’s perspective to improve

- Low cost of entry, but not completely free:
      Equipment (Internet Connection, Computers, Software),
      Ad Space,
      Manpower (Consulting, Monitoring, Updating, Design & Copywriting)

- Can make company look ‘cooler’, provides a starting point for an online branding campaign

Social Media Marketing Plan

1. Research
  • Who are our customers?
  • What influences them? How many of them use social media?
  • What are our customers saying about us and our competitors online?

2. Plan
  • What’s our objective?
  • What platforms are we using?
  • Can we get the username?
  • Who is allowed to post?
  • What are the rules?
  • How frequently should we update?
  • What’s our message? And tone?

3. Launch
  • Make it SEO-friendly
  • Make it easily searchable through Search Engine Marketing

4. Participate
  • Be transparent and authentic
  • Update regularly
  • Reply promptly and politely
  • Have a conversation, not a monologue
  • Don’t focus excessively on selling, focus on brand building and reputation management

5. Evaluate
  • Have we met our objectives?
  • What’s the return on investment (ROI)?:
    • Financial: More Enquires, More Sales
    • Tangible: More Fans, More Social Mentions
    • Intangible: Better Reputation, More Recognition
  • Monitor the outcome with tools:
    • Free: Google Alerts, RSS Feeds, Facebook Insights
    • Paid: Web Analytics
  • Shall we continue, discard, or refine?


The Starfish Story

October 29, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

The Starfish Story

The Young Person wandered the beach, lost in thoughts. Ahead lay a strange sight – millions of starfish washed up on the sand. They stretched as far as the eye could see. The Young Person couldn’t help but be impressed.

A little further on was a figure bent over the beach. The figure was an Old Man and, as the Young Person got closer, it became clear that the Old Man was picking up starfish and tossing them into the waves.

“What are you doing?”, the Young Person asked.
The Old Man looked up. “Saving the starfish.”
He threw the starfish he was holding into the sea.
“If they stay on the sand, they’ll suffocate and die.”

The Young Person looked up and down the beach at the millions of starfish, then laughed.
“But look at them all. There are millions. What’s the point? What difference can you make?”

There was a long pause. Then the Old Man bent down, picked up another starfish, and held it up to the Young Person. 

“I can make a difference to this one.”

Moral: You can make a Difference!


The Horse And Donkey Story

October 29, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

The Horse And Donkey Story

A story was told of a farmer, who owned a Horse, and a Donkey. One day, the farmer had to travel to the city, but he could only bring one of the animals with him. The other would have to stay and grind mill for that day.

The Donkey said to the Horse: "The city is so far away, I think I would rather stay home and grind mill."

And so, the farmer hitched the Donkey to the mill, took the Horse, and left for the day. 

Evening came, and the farmer returned. When the Horse saw the Donkey, it said, "Donkey! You wouldn't believe all the sights I've seen in the city! It's full of lights and laughter! You should have gone!" 

The Donkey replied, "Well, I've seen nothing all day but the four walls of this mill... I'm extremely tired of all this grinding." 

The Horse said, "We both have walked the whole day, but while I've seen the world, you have just been going round in circles." 

Moral: We are busy everyday. But what are we busy with? Productive activities that will eventually help us reach our goals? Or time-wasting activities that cause us to go round in circles? 

Be clear on what you are doing daily!


Survey Results: Using Groupon

October 29, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Survey Results: Using Groupon

We did a survey of Groupon users, here are the results: 

Awareness of Groupon

Types of Groupons Consumers Will Buy

How Often Consumers Purchase Groupons

Reasons For Using Groupon

Without Groupon, Would Consumers Still Purchase Chosen Item

Groupon Refunds


Marketing Online

October 29, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Marketing Online 

4 ways of marketing online / through new media:
  1. Banner Ads
  2. Electronic Direct Mail (EDM)
  3. Online Classified Advertising
  4. Paid Search Advertisements

Banner Ads
- Ads on sites with similar content are 61% more likely to be remembered.

- Social Networking, Shopping and Food sites generated the highest recall levels of 29% to 39%.

- Search and Portal sites generated the lowest recall levels.
63% of banner ads were noticed by Web users.

- Assuming TV Commercials have 100% notice value (it’s the most powerful medium), then Magazine Ads have 83%, and Internet Banner Ads have 16%. It’s a good ratio considering the price of producing a banner ad is much lower than a TV commercial.

- Banner ads can stand out with contrasting color to the rest of the page (Blend, Contrast, Complement). Or with smart technology that changes the content of the banner ad based on date, time, location, or season, etc.

Best place to place a banner ad: A, B, G, E
Worst place to place a banner ad: H, I

Electronic Direct Mail (EDM)
- Encourages customer loyalty and repeat business 
- Acquire new customers 
- Add ads into email message

Advantages of EDM:
- Exact ROI can be traced
- Cheap, can reach substantial number of people quickly
- Over half of internet users check their email daily

Disadvantages of EDM:
- Delivery rate of 56% 
- Must comply with local SPAM regulations 
- Possible negative impact as customer may consider it spam, and business reputation suffers as a result

Online Classified Advertising
- Specialized websites providing advertising platform for niche markets, eg: Food, Jobs, Cars, Hotel Stay, etc. 
- Useful for attracting audience looking for specific products / services

Paid Search Advertisements
- Search engine charges fees to display sponsored links at the top of the search results page, or when links are clicked through 
- Increases relevance of advertisements through targeted marketing 
- Able to track effectiveness 
- Click Through Rates (CTR) for the ads are about 8% for the first ad, 5% for the second ad, and 2.5% for the third ad.

Most popular items bought online are Books (1), Airline tickets (2), Clothes (3), Household Items (4), and Music (5). 

Traditional Media still continues to reach people in all demographics, despite the growth of new media. As such, traditional media still holds significant portions of ad spending. 

Mobile platforms with location-based networks can take social marketing to the next level, in the form of personalized marketing or location-based marketing.


New Media And Social Media

October 29, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

New Media And Social Media

Definition of New Media: Broad term covering the different forms of electronic communication made possible through computer technology.

On-Demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device.

Content production can be done in real time.

Interactive user feedback, creative participation and community formation around the media content.

Difference between New Media and Traditional Media (Radio, TV, Print) is the digitizing of content.

Definition of Social Media: A digital channel / medium for social interaction, using accessible techniques of web-based and mobile technologies. “People having conversations with one another online”. It is a Channel of communication.

Communication is in the form of interactive dialogue.

There is an element of community and group, not just two-way dialogue, but multi-step flow, and the blurring of lines between producers and consumers.

Not all types of New Media started as Social Media, but they all have the potential to convert to Social Media.

Social Media is NOT THE SAME as Social Networking.

Definition of Social Networking: Peer to Peer interaction using Social Media.


Media Effect Theories

October 28, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Media Effect Theories
3 Types: Strong Effect, Limited Effect, Varying Effect.

Strong Effect:
1. Hypodermic Needle / Magic Bullet Model
2. Cultivation Theory 
Limited Effect:
3. Two-Step Flow / Multi-Step Flow Model
4. Selectivity Theory 
Varying Effect:
5. Agenda Setting Theory
6. Media Determinism Theory
7. Uses And Gratifications Theory

Media effect study is a relatively young field. Media scholars don’t have a unified theory that will explain mass communication effects. Each theory only attempts to explain only particular aspects. As media evolves, there is room for new theories and more scientific research on how far existing theories can be applied to new media.

1. Hypodermic Needle / Magic Bullet Model
Consumers are strongly affected by media, and have no say in how media influences them. 
Suggests that the mass media could influence a large group of people directly by ‘shooting’ or ‘injecting’ them with messages designed to trigger a desired response. 
Images of a ‘bullet’ and ‘needle’ suggest a powerful and direct flow of information from sender to receiver. 
Message is wholly accepted by audience, assumes audience is passive. 
Response to stimuli is uniform, assumes audience is homogeneous.

Case Study: Orson Wells: 1-hour radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” in 1938 – causing mass hysteria.

Hypodermic Needle / Magic Bullet model still applicable today, in closed media economies (eg: North Korea), or in times of uncertainty (eg: Natural disaster strikes, Miners trapped by cave-in).

Implication: Marketers should use Media channels responsibly and ethically.

2. Cultivation Theory
Exposure to media (television), over time, subtly influences audiences’ perceptions of reality. 
George Gerbner studied long-term effects of TV on audiences, particularly TV violence. 
3 categories of TV viewers:
Light: Less than 2 hours daily
Medium: 2 – 4 hours daily
Heavy: More than 4 hours daily 
Heavy viewers tend to hold opinions similar to those portrayed on television. Example: People who watch a lot of crime thrillers expect more crimes in the real world.

These effects are small, gradual, and indirect. But over time, subtly influences TV viewers’ sense of reality. 
Audiences are influenced to have similar opinions – Mainstreaming
These opinions are reinforced if TV representations coincided with reality – Resonance 
Example: TV characters are portrayed having pre-marital sex. Viewer then discovers friends having pre-marital sex (Resonance). Therefore, viewer is led to believe that pre-marital sex is ok, or common (Mainstreaming).

Cultivation Theory demonstrated the compound effect of media influence – TV had formed a symbolic environment to bound diverse communities together, socializing people in to standardized roles and behaviors. Power of Television is similar to Power of Religion.

Implication: TV is considered the most effective medium available to Marketers. Sufficient exposure time must be given for messages. Portrayal of certain characteristics could lead to desired buying behaviour.

Which Medium Is Most Powerful For Marketers?
Comparison between TV, Newspapers, Radio and Online Banner Ads. 
Ads reach audience without requiring any action from them
TVC is more expensive and takes longer to produce
Can target those who aren’t literate
Limited length of exposure, most ads only 30 seconds
Greater ability to convey message with sight, sound and motion
Limited amount of information conveyed

Fast and easy to produce
Words aren’t as engaging as moving visuals
Can include detailed information
Sometimes, demonstrations are easier (show rather than tell)
Audience can re-read information

Audience is more engaged

More educated audience suggest higher disposable income

Ads reach audience without requiring any action from them
Audience may be disengaged (Multi-task)
Ads reach audience even if they’re busy (Multi-task)
Ads may have to be repeated
Good platform for catchy commercial jingles

Online Banner Ads
Fast and easy to produce
Not mass market yet
May be interactive – Click here!
May not reach older generation  
Can spread to other netizens quickly and globally
Lack of intrusiveness – easy to ignore
Easy to track conversion, measure ROI and earn money – pay per click
Accessibility – incompatible software or long download time

Less gatekeeping means less credibility

Audience Fragmentation
Division of Audience into increasingly smaller groups due to wider spectrum of media choices. 
“Mass” media is getting increasingly specialized and niche – Cable TV channels and Internet. 
Problem – Marketers reaching out to mass audiences now have to consider more media channels to reach the same number of people. 
Opportunity – More targeted reach in dedicated cable TV channels and free innovative publicity through social media. 

Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan (Minister for Community, Development, Youth and Sports), 7th Annual PR Academy Conference 2008: “The communications industry is sitting up because audience fragmentation – from ‘catch-all’ broadcasting to ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ narrowcasting – changes some rules of the game.” 
New attributes that need to be considered for the new media landscape:
  1. Presentations have to be short.
  2. Use images and music to engage at an emotional and visceral level.
  3. Content had to be customized to suit the tastes of specific subgroups and stakeholders.
  4. Most effective distribution of a message is virally, through peers word-of-mouth.

3. Two-Step Flow / Multi-Step Flow Model
Katz and Lazarsfeld’s (1940) study of political communications. Media doesn’t always alter attitudes and behaviors, instead, social relationships have a strong influence. 

Information moves in 2 distinct stages: From mass media to opinion leaders, then to a wider population. (Indirect flow) 
Opinion leaders pay close attention to the media, then pass on their own interpretations in addition to the actual media content. They influence others to change their attitudes and behavior. 
Opinion leaders could be: Friends, family, colleagues, club members, celebrities, politicians, etc. Opinion leaders tend to have higher education, social interaction, risk appetite or social status.

Limitations of Two-Step Flow Model:
- Places too much weight on social relationships, people sometimes do absorb information directly from the media.
- Not all opinion leaders pay attention to the media, they could be experts in their own field.
- People aren’t merely opinion leaders and passive followers. Thus, this led to the Multi-Step Flow Model.

In the Multi-Step Flow Model, communication flow is flexible and takes place:
- Vertically (Leaders to Followers)
- Horizontally (Followers to Followers, Leaders to Leaders)
- Direct and Indirect (Linking people through a 3rd party)
- Downward (Leaders to Followers, Media to Public)
- Upward (Leaders to Media)

Implication: Word-Of-Mouth Advertising is the most effective publicity, so Marketers need to focus on opinion leaders, eg: Pay Jamie Oliver to shop at Sainsbury supermarket.

4. Selectivity Theory
People choose media based on their own personal bias. “Only hear the good stuff”. 
Thus, media along cannot play a solo role in changing attitudes and behaviors.

Selective Exposure Theory:
People prefer exposure to arguments that support their position over those supporting other positions. People don’t want to be told they are wrong, so they select media outlets that agree with them. 

When they do seek out opposing points-of-view, they often don’t do so with an open mind. Rather, they do so for the purpose of gathering information so they can refute it later. 
Therefore, media content reinforces individual disposition and is chosen based on its congruence with existing beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

Selective Perception Theory:
People interpret facts to suit their existing biases, beliefs, attitudes and motives. Thus, the same information carries different meaning for different people.

Selective Attention Theory:
People select which messages they want to pay attention to.

Selective Retention Theory:
People remember messages that support their opinions, or are more meaningful or important to them. Opposing messages are unconsciously forgotten or set aside.

Implication: Marketers need to craft messages that are easily available, stand-out, consistent with the beliefs and attitudes of consumers and help consumers remember them.

5. Agenda Setting Theory
The media tells people what to think about – Sets the Agenda for public discussions. 
Although different people may feel differently about an issue, they still feel the same issue is important. Eg: Education, Politics, etc. 
Thus, Media Agenda transfers to Public Agenda, and sometimes, eventually to Policy Agenda.

Media agenda are issues discussed in the media. The media gatekeepers filter reality and decide what to focus on. Public agenda are issues discussed by members of the public. Policy agenda are issues that policy makers consider important. 

Exposure to a topic increases its salience / importance through 3 dimensions:
1. Attention: Amount of coverage
2. Prominence: Credibility of media outlet and interviewees
3. Valence: Affective elements – Trigger Words (Suicide, Raped, Strip, Beauty, etc.), Sensational Bold Headlines (She’s rated X)

Case Study: NKF Saga 
Media: In 2005, T.T. Durai sued SPH and his misuse of donations surfaced. 
Public: Outrage over his extravagance and dishonesty. Other Charities declared their transparency of donation usage. 
Policy: MOH replaced NKF management. In 2006, the Commissioner of Charities was tasked to check for abuse.

Implication: News Media has a large influence on consumers by their choice of what stories are newsworthy enough to be featured, and how much attention and space given to them. It is important for Marketers to have access and good relations with media gatekeepers to get messages out.

Media Relations Guidelines
3 Roles: Reactive, Proactive, Interactive.

Reactive Guidelines: During a Crisis
  • Avoid immediate contact and remarks
  • Don’t badmouth competitors or speculate on blame
  • Keep files of issues likely to get attention
  • Understand deadlines and stick to them
  • Always be contactable
  • Think from a reporter’s perspective
  • Provide balance, or know where to get it
  • Know relevant background information
  • Keep records of contact with Media
  • Never Lie
  • Focus on Human Element, then Environmental Impact, never on how it affect business profits

Proactive Guidelines: Promote the Organization / Brand
  • Know what message you want to deliver
  • Make message clear, concise and straightforward
  • Prioritize media options
  • Address your contact / the editor by name
  • Offer an exclusive, and deliver on it
  • Emphasize why your message is newsworthy
  • Advise journalists how to package the story
  • Provide useful additional materials – Press Release, Media Kit, Photographs, etc.

Interactive Guidelines: Develop a relationship with the Press
  • Discuss issues other than your news
  • Be a source, comment as an expert
  • Converse in depth on news topics or trends
  • Look for non-news reasons to interact
  • Don’t ask for favors, make suggestions

6. Media Determinism Theory
Marshall McLuhan proposed that a person’s choice of media channel determines their lifestyle. The physical properties of the medium / media channel make a difference, rather than the message. “The Medium is the Message”.

Advances in media technology can cause social change – how society thinks, feels, acts. 
Radio led to a greater appreciation of music and sounds. 
TV led to people becoming passive spectators and tunnel vision. 
Cell phones led to expectations for instant, around-the-clock connectivity to others.

Limitations of Media Determinism Theory:
- Too simplistic and rigid
- Ignores other audience influence factors – Messages do matter
- The process of change that media technology exerts on society is unclear

Implication: Marketers need to adapt and use new media technologies. Consumers who choose a certain media channel will likely share similar characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with other consumers of the same media channel.

7. Uses And Gratifications Theory
Katz and Blumler’s theory of uses and gratifications asks “What People do with Media”, rather than “What Media do to People”. 
Gratification is the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfillments of a desire or the attainment of a goal.

Audiences aren’t passive, they actively interpret and integrate media into their lives. They have many media choices, and are responsible for choosing which media meets their needs. This theory suggests that people use the media to fulfill specific gratifications.

Media compete against other information sources for Audience attention. It assumes an active audience.
- We choose what to use, and if we want to use it or not
- We chose what content to view / hear / read
- We decide how to interpret the content
- We decide how to respond

Implication: Attention is earned, not given. Cost of usage of media shouldn’t be prohibitive. Medium has to be user-friendly, and give audience enough autonomy. The greater these attributes, the greater the gratification. Thus, Marketers have to utilize new media and social media to engage consumers.


Consumer Attitudes

October 24, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Consumer Attitudes 

Attitude: A learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object. 

The "Object" could be a category, brand, model, etc. 

Attitudes are learned / influenced by: 
- Personality, Knowledge, Beliefs
- Family / Friends (Word of Mouth Advertising)
- Personal Experience (Samples, Trials)
- Mass Media (Ads, News, Marketing Influences)

A simple consumer attitude model: ABC

Where your attitude towards an object is a combination of: 
Affect: How you feel towards the object
Cognition: How you think about the object
Behavior: How you act towards the object

Fishbein's multi-attribute attitude model
Attributes are features that an object might have. 
Companies want consumers to perceive their products as having desirable attributes. 

The key assumption in this model is: People's attitudes towards an object depend on their beliefs about its various attributes. 

Fishbein Model summarizes overall attitude into a score: 

A consumer's overall Attitude (A) towards an Object (o), is determined by weighted sum of the Evaluation (E) of the goodness of a particular attribute of an object, and the strength of Belief (B) that a particular object has said attribute. 

The consumer's Total attitude (T) towards an object is the sum of all attributes. 

Ao = (E x B)
T = Ao + Ao + (Add all Ao)

Weaknesses of Fishbein Model
- Requires all attributes and beliefs to be broken down neatly.
- Assumes consumers are rational and engage in such thinking, at least implicitly. Eg: Impulse buy.
- Does not differentiate between attitude and action. Change in attitude does not always lead to change in action, only change in beliefs.
- Sometimes, behaviour leads to change in attitude.
- Does not take into account the environment and external influences. Eg: Do my parents approve of this purchase? How important is my parents' approval?