“The more passionate and argumentative I get the more followers and friends I make online.”

Friday, October 11, 2013

Technological Advancements Pave the way for Proximity Marketing

 Technology is always evolving and new channels for communication are constantly springing up. One thing is evident for sure: Change will always be constant when it comes to technological advancements. In regards to technology and communication marketing, Alex Romanov, CEO of iSIGN Media, summed it up best, "Print ads in newspapers, radio ads, television commercials and direct mail flyers are still prominent in the advertising toolbox, but electronic communication channels have opened up new avenues for messaging, including web ads and email campaigns." In almost all Integrated Marketing Campaign, we will always see ads via the traditional marketing channels like Newspapers, TV, Radio and mail, but the invention of the Smartphone has caused many Brands & Companies to think outside of the box and come up with creative strategies to market to their target audience via the sole medium that more than half of Americans own: a Smartphone.  Most of us eat, live, sleep, and breath through our Smartphone; Companies and Brands know this and they are using this knowledge to create more personalized ads in order to get our attention. Technological advancements and marketing through email and Smartphones have led to what we now know as Proximity Marketing which  "merges the physical and digital domains by using mobile devices to reach consumers at the greatest point of influence, providing bargains for shoppers and increased sales and consumer insights for retailers". So basically this is what happens: when we become within a certain range of a store, restaurant or business, a message is sent to that Business via a transmitter and then we are sent an alert about an offer/promotion/deal at that particular store. Sounds cool right?

I've been a target of Proximity Marketing by several establishments through a GPS app I use called Waze. I love to travel but I am horrible with directions, I have an out-dated TOM-TOM that takes too long to upload, I don't like Apple's GPS system nor do I like Google Maps, and I don't have the time or patient to print out directions from Mapquest or even worse buy a map at a convenience store. To say the least, technology has spoiled me and Waze is definitely my #1 choice when it comes to navigating across the country. Not only does the app provide me with multiple routes to my destinations, it also  provides me with information regarding wrecks, police stops, and traffic jams. If you think the app is solely focused on navigation, you're wrong: it is an integral part of many Brands' & Companies' Proximity Marketing Campaign. Waze's VP of Platforms & Partnerships, Di-Ann Eisnor, said the company rolled out their ad/marketing platform for Brands & Companies to take advantage of because Waze "want to make things efficient for our Wazers to find the things they need". In analyzing their data from their users, "Waze found that 80 percent of its 30 million users stop for groceries on the way home from work multiple times per month; Waze  uses that insight to enable a supermarket to promote a coupon to those users when they're leaving work at the end of the day." It is a great way for Companies & Brands to reach out to a wider range of an audience in real-time as well as based on location. Several Brands like Best Buy, Taco Bell, Home Depot, & Target have taken advantage of Waze's ad platform by running "promotions within the app that pop up while users are setting their routes alerting drivers to a nearby store and dangling a coupon to get them there. Drivers can then click the ad to navigate to that store, letting Waze report back to the advertiser how much foot traffic their ads drove and how many coupons were redeemed." I'm always targeted by ads from several companies via Waze. While I'm not too fond of advertisements (especially when I'm in a rush or focused to get somewhere), I must say I have personally benefited from Brands utilizing proximity marketing through Waze when I am traveling and I'm hungry! I can't explain how many times the offers/promotions that Fast Food Restaurants place on Waze have contributed to making my tummy happy.

Aside from fulfilling my hunger craves, proximity marketing has several benefits for both consumers and Brands. While I don't use traditional more popular channels like Foursquare, Facebook Check-in, or yelp, I definitely see how everyone benefits in the end from all of this proximity marketing apps.

We benefit as consumers by receiving promotional offers and deals from companies, restaurants, & businesses that we are actually interested in. Not only do we get awesome bargains, but some of these channels like Foursquare offer personalized discounts based on how much we frequent a particular location. Who doesn't like customized offers specifically for them? It lets us know our business is appreciated and reinforces our loyalty to those companies and Brands. One of my favorite benefits from proximity marketing is its' ability to reduce clutter. I purposefully avoid my emails sometimes because I know I am bombarded by so many ads from brands/companies. Even though I like those Brands/Companies it is extremely annoying when they send multiple messages throughout the day that just clutters my email--I don't have this problem when I use proximity marketing apps like Waze and I love it. If I don't want to take advantage of an offer, I just decline it and keep it moving.

There are several advantages for Companies/Brands in utilizing proximity marketing that actually give them the upper-hand over their consumers. Proximity Marketing allows for Companies/Brands to:

  • adjust their marketing strategies in real-time as inventory fluctuates
  • gain insight into customer preferences
  • obtain data regarding consumer buying habits
  • obtain data regarding the effectiveness of proximity marketing messages
  • market to consumers (both loyal and new) in real-time, based on location in an extremely cheap, inexpensive way which in the end yields higher monetary returns
  • drive traffic based on location--which is instrumental in creating customized messages

Nobody loses by using proximity marketing. Incorporating proximity marketing into an Integrated Marketing Campaign should definitely be seen as a necessity in these times and those companies who are having second-thoughts and consider it a "risk" should know that it is definitely a risk worth taking. I don't foresee any of us getting rid of our smartphones anytime soon and with inventions like the Samsung Gear Smartwatch-- which comes "preloaded with more than 60 apps, including a step-counting pedometer and S Voice, a voice-activated app akin to Apple's Siri" and allows "users to read messages, check the weather and take photos on the smartwatch, which will be synchronized to the smartphone" --it looks like companies need to start coming up with more creative proximity marketing campaigns that will be compatible with watches as well. This will definitely open up more doors for Companies and Brands who are searching for more ways to constantly reach out to their consumers.....it doesn't get any better than combining time, location, and a consumers' interest in one carefully crafted marketing message. Almost psychic.....

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brands & The IMC Approach

This week we are taking a look at Brands and their presence on Social Media to see if they are really taking the IMC approach. Integrated Marketing Communications is defined as "an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other". I'm taking a look at three different brands to see if they are truly following the IMC approach as well as making suggestions as to what they can do better to improve their campaigns.


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ShopDressUp
Twitter https://twitter.com/ShopDressUp
Instagram http://instagram.com/shopdressup
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/112649699513786804923/posts
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/shopdressup/

 Dress Up Boutique is definitely making an effort to have an Integrated Marketing Campaign by establishing their presence on different social media outlets and they are using these various outlets and media channels to reinforce the other. They are doing a good job of using each of the media channels in which they are active on to drive traffic and sales to the website as well as to the store.  One of the things that I commend Dress Up Boutique on is being consistent with their Brand Messaging and Imagery. They definitely have the same voice and overall brand message throughout their entire campaign. Consistency is key. Especially when it comes to marketing. You don't want to have your channels sending out different messages to your audience. The images across all of the social media platforms are definitely consistent and in sync, which is great since this is a clothing boutique...we definitely wouldn't want to see one channel advertising fall clothing while the other has already jumped ahead into winter. So Dress Up Boutique is doing an awesome job in ensuring that the overall Brand Message and Imagery is consistent.

The content is definitely up to date on all of the channels except for their GOOGLE+ Account. I'm not sure if they do not know how to effectively use Google+ to stay consistent with their Brand Message and Imagery but there is virtually nothing on their GOOGLE+ Page which is definitely not good. If they are not going to use the page or social site then they need to delete the page completely. It doesn't look good to have a page on a social media site that they are not using. Aside from their GOOGLE+ Account, the content on all of their other pages is up to date and looks awesome!

I love how they use links and photo posts to drive their  users to the other social channels. For example, they post their instagram pictures on their Twitter account and they have links directing users straight to their website on their Pinterest and Facebook pages. They also are very clever in using their social networking sites to get their customers to the store. They're growing exponentially and I love how they tease their customers with layouts of their new stores on their social sites.
Sometimes, I just get an urge to go to the new stores just to see how they look on the inside and then once I'm there I'm sucked into buying something.

They also do a great job of incorporating hashtags on their Twitter and Instagram accounts. I think this is awesome because when people are searching for certain things that relate to their boutique it is easy to drive traffic to their pages and sites and this is a great way to gain new customers.

My only recommendation for Dress Up Boutique aside from figuring out if they need/are going to use their GOOGLE+ Account is to be consistent in answering their customers across all platforms. I notice that they interact with their customers more on Twitter and Facebook and I think they need to be consistent across the board. Other than that, I think they are doing an awesome job!


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nike
Twitter https://twitter.com/NIKE
Instagram http://instagram.com/nike
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+nike/posts
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nike

Nike is one of those companies who is definitely on top of their "A Game" when it comes to taking an IMC approach. They are using every social media site available to drive customers to and from their stores, website, social media sites as well as driving traffic/sales for the Brand and they are doing it all effortlessly.

Their Brand Message of "JUST DO IT" is consistent throughout all of their campaigns and they imagery and content is up to date on all of the social outlets listed.  Their content is up to date and they post regularly across all of their social media platforms although they could post a little bit more than what they are doing. I did notice that there are some lapses in between days on some of the sites. They use hashtags and social bars/buttons that link their audience to their other social networking sites.
They also post pictures on one site in order to drive traffic to another social media site or their website. I think a lot of companies can learn from Nike by mimicking their IMC.

One thing I did notice is that they do not interact with their audience much on any of their social networking sites. I think they need to do a better job of engaging in active listening and paying more attention to what their audience is saying as well as actually responding to them in order to keep them engaged an interested. No one wants to follow a Brand who is just talking about themselves or retweeting themselves all day.


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wix
Twitter https://twitter.com/wix
Instagram http://instagram.com/wix
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Wix/posts
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/wixmypage

Wix is one of my absolute favorite brands because I love building websites and their templates are awesome! They are so helpful and provide so much detailed information to their users on their website so it's no surprise to me that they do the same thing across all of their social networking sites that they use to carry out their Integrated Marketing Campaign. They definitely take an IMC approach and they use all of their social networking sites to reinforce the others as well as to drive traffic to their website in order to get their audience to use their templates.

They are consistent in their messaging and imagery. Their imagery is one of my favorite things about the Brand. They are so colorful, bright, bold, and fun and it shows through all of their social networking sites. It definitely alludes to the types of templates their audience can expect to find on their website and I think that is awesome! I'm a visual person and the fun colors make me more intrigued and interested in seeing what they have to offer.

One of the other amazing things I noticed about their site, is that their content is always up to date and they post a lot. Not only do they post a lot but all of the information that they post is extremely informational and educational. I learn so much from their posts on how I can improve my websites and what I can do to make them look better. The thing that I think is amazing is the fact that their audience can expect to see different educational and informational posts across all of their social networking sites. Each one has something new and informational.

To me this shows, the time and dedication they are putting in to make sure that everything is fresh and relevant and this keeps their audience visiting each site because if I know I am going to see the same tips and tricks you post on your GOOGLE+ account on your Twitter account as well then I am just going to visit one of those sites as opposed to both of them. The only social networking site that I saw where they are not as up-to-date as the others was their Youtube channel. There is so much they can do on their to keep their audience interacting and I think they are missing out big time. I saw more videos from other Youtube users instructing wix users how to get the most out of their Wix templates than I did from the Wix page and I think this is a place where they can improve. You don't want others to market your Brand and message better than you do. I think they should make some more instructional videos to go along with the educational/informational posts they are making and use the other sites to drive traffic to their Youtube account so their audience can actually watch the videos and learn visually how to do things.

They use hashtags regularly on their sites and they drive traffic with links and social bars/buttons.
I love everything about this fun Brand and I am always interested to see what they have to post each day. I think they are doing an amazing job aside from the few recommendations that I have.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


"Self-Proclaimed music lover seeks to lead your network by giving Revolt TV's audience the music & features they want to hear and see"

Tammy's Passion

I've always had a Love for MUSIC! Music keeps my heart beating....music is my air! I enjoy listening to all types of music; No one genre defines me: From Chaka Khan to Teena Marie; Mariah Carey to Adele; From Journey to Bone Thugs n Harmony, Nas to Carrie Underwood; Pitbull to Notorious BIG.... I LOVE IT ALL! I honestly don't know what I'd do without music. Music is and will always be my first love.

I have created this Board for Revolt TV!

How Music makes Me Feel...
It is more than the lyrics or melodies with me. Watch this clip to get a scientific understanding of how music  truly makes me feel.

"Revolt is a multi-genre, multi-platform music network..."

Why Revolt TV Should Hire Me
I'm a multimedia journalist. My experience includes working in the newsroom, writing for newspapers, leading social media campaigns, and more recently blogging. What makes me stand-out from other journalists is my ability to play "Devil's Advocate"! I'm that reporter who will push the envelope to make you see things from a different perspective. I love uncovering hidden truths & getting down to the nitty gritty. I've reported on everything from environmental news, politics, sports, crime-you name it, I've done it! However, my true passion & dream lies in reporting and writing about music.

I've had the opportunity to interview some amazing artists & I love going to music industry networking events that allow me to hear new music as well as see how the industry is evolving in this digital era.


I'd be a great fit for Revolt TV-not because of my experience as a reporter or journalist, but because of my deep, rooted love for music enhanced by outgoing, fun, crazy personality! Music is more than a beat or melody. I dance & vibe to the sounds of music but I know music is way bigger than that. I have a song lyric for every interaction or memorable moment in my life and I'm always signing along to my favorite songs--However I understand there are deeper meanings and undiscovered truths behind each word.

I want to be the Revolt TV Host that shows people how music is another life for Music is MY LIFE and I want to help music lovers discover the inner musician in them...I believe we all have some musical talent--even our heart skips to a beat.

I have my gameface on and I'm ready to lead Revolt TV, are YOU ready to hear what I have to say?

Visit my personal website at www.tammytlay.com to Contact me & learn more about my communications and social media skills. Interact with me via Social Media by clicking on the links below.

Blog Highlight: Latinos in Social Media

I am bilingual and I am in the process of launching my Spanish learning boutique, "Say Goodbye to Adios. I love reading blogs relating to the Hispanic Community and one that I particularly enjoy is Latinos in Social Media. It is a news blog and it reports on the latest announcements and developments in regards to overall issues in the Hispanic Community as well as advancements in Education, Technology, Business, Health and Philanthropy.

The Latinos in Social Media blog is dedicated to advancing the social, civic and economic status of the Latino community. I think the mission statement of this Blog is what makes them unique and separates them from similar Blogs. In their ABOUT US page, they make it known that they are focused on several things:

  1. LATISM actively engages in digital communities to ensure that online discourse more accurately reflects the rich diversity of thought, heritage and culture in our changing society.
  2. Our mission is to empower the Latino community in the areas of Education, Health, Technology and Business through the use of tech innovation and social media.
  3. We help Latinos adopt and make full use of online social networks and applications by providing capacity-building opportunities, information, resources and networking platforms. 
The website reflects the Brand Image/Voice and Mission Statement because all of  the content that is posted on the blog achieves their respective objectives. Every posts listed empowers the Latino Community through the use of tech innovation and social media. I think this is awesome because a lot of times there are not many blogs that are focused on minorities and their respective advancements.

They have social feeds like Facebook and Twitter as well as a subscription to their content that drives traffic to their website.
They also have a feed that lists all of the articles and editorials that feature them--thus subsequently driving traffic to their site as well. The content on the site is very informing and enlightening. 

The Blog is fairly successful because of the amazing content, they are active on social networking sites and they make it easy for readers to connect with them on social networking sites from the blog, they create fresh original posts and it is definitely easy for readers to subscribe to their content and share it. I do think there are several things that they can do to improve the success of their Blog. For one, I would like to see all of the content written being presented in both Spanish and English.
I find it a little strange that a Blog whose mission statement is to empower the Latino Community has more posts written in English than Spanish. I think the Blog writers should posts all content in both languages. I also think they need to add their Twitter feed to the website. They also need to make it easier for readers to connect with them on Social Networking Sites. I didn't find any social buttons until I actually clicked on an article to read.
I think there should be a way to connect with them socially on the first page. The writers also need to do a better job of posting often and staying up-to-date. I noticed that sometimes there are days with no posts or new content and they need to ensure that they keep producing fresh, original, innovative content in order to keep their readers engaged and coming back for me. It is an awesome blog with great ideas and I love their mission statement, I just want them to keep it up! 

Blog Highlight: Hip Hop Dx

Music is my life! I literally have a song for every memorable moment or event in my life! I'm that girl who rides in her car singing at the top of her lungs! I bet you're wondering if I sing in the shower too right? Of course that is a part of my daily ritual to getting dressed. What's a shower without an awesome lyrical performance by Tammy? I've loved the sounds and melodies of music since I was little, so I had to include a blog focusing on music in my "Blog Highlight" segment. Hip Hop/Rap is one of my favorite genres of music and the Hip Hop DX news blog keeps me up-to date with the latest news, songs, mixtape, artist interviews, and happenings in the hip-hop industry.

News Blogs generally look and feel like traditional online news site, reporting on the latest announcements and developments. There are several authors contributing to the content on the Hip Hop DX blog and they have several social media channels that they use to distribute and share the content on the news blog. Hip Hop Dx does an amazing job in covering all things hip-hop! The purpose of this blog is to provide music lovers like me information regarding new music, breaking news in the Hip Hop industry, up-to date interviews and music reviews.

The content, artists features, and song recommendations contribute to making the site unique! They are truly focused on everything that has to do with Hip-Hop and I love it!
From album reviews to mix tape recommendations, the audience knows that they will receive a raw-uncut opinion and if a song is listed on the "Singles" section, then it is definitely a song that needs to be downloaded onto your ipod!  The news articles, song highlights, album reviews, artist interviews, giveaways, video content, and release date information all contribute to reflected the overall Brand Image and Voice which is Hip Hop Dx being everything that involves hip hop. They are one of the few Hip Hop blogs that truly cover every aspect of the hip hop industry and I love it!

Their RSS Feed and social media presence help drive traffic to the blog. They have a Twitter, Facebook, Youtube account....they even go so far to have and maintain a Myspace! Who would have thought people still used Myspace? Well, I think it is smart considering the fact that several artists got their start from their myspace profiles. The blog has also been featured in several editorials has one of the top hip hop blogs as well.

I think it is a successful blog because although the content is about Hip-Hop Music it is presented in the same style and format as traditional news. This makes me feel like this is some important stuff that I am reading and I don't feel as bad when I would much rather read about my favorite artists as opposed to reading about what is going on at my county commissioners meeting. The blog also posts very often, their content is original and complete with photo images and video content as well as links for sharing, and the reporters are definitely committed to being all things hip hop!

My only suggestions for the site would be to include their twitter feed of course. I would also recommend them to possibly add a page that is dedicated to giving us music lovers dates to upcoming tours, events, and music festivals across the US that involve our favorite hip hop artists!

The site does include a few advertisements but I think the few ads they have is enough considering the type of blog it is. I don't want to see a bunch of ads when I'm reading an album review. I want to read what the critics have to say and hear some beats! If you're ready to vibe and bop your head to some of the best sounds in the Hip-Hop industry while reading the latest happenings, check out http://www.hiphopdx.com

Blog Highlight: Young House Love

I’m Young but I LOVE old, vintage things! I believe in Horoscopes and I am a Pisces so you know we are all into arts and crafts and anything DIY! You can bet your bottom dollar that “Young House Love” is one of my absolute favorite top blogs!

If I ever get the opportunity to be featured on “MTV Cribs”, you will see that my house is decorated by my very own DIY décor that is enhanced by vintage furniture! Young House Love is another recreational blog and it focuses on DIY projects and décor. If you know me, you know I am in heaven whenever I am visiting this blog!

The purpose of this blog is gives the audience fun, easy, and financially friendly DIY project ideas as well ideas for home décor. The energy that shines through the content and blog posts is what makes the blog unique. I can tell that the authors are fun, high, energy people just from reading the posts and viewing the images that are posted on the sight. I’m always motivated to get up and start a project whenever I visit this site!

The slogan of Young House Love is “One young family + one old house= love” and that definitely shines through every aspect of the blog. From the vibrant colors, to the word choice of each post to the crisp sharp yet fun photos, the overall energy and vision of the Brand is apparent to the readers. I think this is amazing because you always want your Brand Image to resonant throughout the blog….You want the Brand Voice to be “loud & clear” to the audience!

The social feeds (along with the overall greatness of the Blog itself) is what drives traffic to the website. I did a Google search for “DIY Blogs” and “Top DIY Blogs” and while Young House Love wasn’t among the top results, it is definitely receiving tons of hits from its dominating presence on Social Networking Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram. They also have feeds on the right side of their site that include their instagram feed, their sponsors, discounts of the week, projects their working on as well as fundraising and philanthropy that they are contributing to. I think this is awesome and I think all DIY blogs should have feeds like this. When I think of DIY blogs, I think of tons of visuals and this site definitely has tons of visuals.

My only suggestion would be to make the social bar with the Social Networking Site buttons colorful. I would also include a running twitter feed on the account. I would even go so far as to suggest that they create a Vine account. I think it would fun and it would add some more personality and spunk to the site. Aside from those few suggestions, the blog is definitely among the many successful DIY blogs because they have fun, energetic, original posts,  they have multiple social sites where their audience can connect with them , they are committed to the blog, and it is easy for the readers to share the content the view on the Blog.

There are tons of top advertisers on this blog and the layout of the blog even highlights the sites Sponsors. I think this blog does a great job of making everything visually appealing---even the stuff like Sponsors and Media Clips that is usually boring to read.
If you want to add some bright, fun, energy to do your day, I would definitely recommend visiting this site! You won’t be disappointed….

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blog Highlight: Pinch of Yum

Pinch of Yum:

If you know me, you know I enjoy eating and cooking all the time. I get a lot of recipes and dinner ideas from Pinch of Yum. This food blog is a recreational blog that is characterized by a passion for food. Even though the majority of recreational bloggers aren’t out to make any money, one of the coolest things I like about this blog is how the author includes a section on how much money she has generated each month since she first started blogging.

Lindsey, the author of the blog, lists several reasons for Pinch of Yum’s purpose and they are as follows:
learn more about food, cooking, and photography
share yummy recipes with other food lovers
offer practical food ideas that are approachable for any kind of cook
help others start their own blog
share photography tips in a food photography eBook
develope the blog into a source of income
use a portion of that income to support causes near and dear to our hearts
show others how they can do the same in our monthly income reports
help other bloggers get started and grow through Food Blogger Pro

I think the simplicity of the Blog layout, content, along with how transparent Lindsey is with everything regarding the blog is the reason why her Blog is so unique. I also think the fact that readers can also receive tips, ideas, and help with constructing their own Blogs is also a reason why this Blog is so unique.
We readers get a sense that not only are we gaining new recipes or cooking ideas but we are also learning how we can incorporate our own favorite recipes and dinner ideas into our own blog!

There are several things driving traffic to this blog. Blog Her, Food Blogger Pro and RSS feeds drive traffic to the blog.  Pinch of Yum also has a Facebook and Twitter account as well. The tasty recipes and the fact that she teaches her audience how to start their own Blog is what gets people to read. I think it is a very successful blog because she posts on the site often, the food images are sharp and edited nicely, her content is original, and she is definitely sticking to it and is in it for the long haul!

If those characteristics aren’t enough to describe why the blog is successful we can definitely tell by the increases in the revenue over the years. However, regardless of how much money is coming in, I believe there are some things that could be improved to make this Blog a little bit better. For one, I would include the twitter feed on the Blog site. You want to be able to connect and share with your audience on as many outlets as possible. Pinch of Yum doesn’t have many social media accounts to begin with, so I think it is necessary to have as much exposure as possible to the ones that they do have.
I would also look into creating an Instagram account as well, and if she does already have one, I would definitely put the links and social buttons on the website so that the audience can connect with the Brand on those sites as well.  I also noticed that it is not very easy to share the content on the blog with others. For example, if I want to send you one of my favorite recipes on the site, I can either save the recipe or print it….that’s not very up-to-date in this “digital era”. What happened to the option of tweeting it? Emailing it? There needs to be an easier way to share this amazing, delicious content. 

Aside from my few suggestions, I want to point out that the overall success of this blog has lead to Pinch of Yum having advertisements from Brands like Capri-Sun, Kraft, Progressive, and many other top companies. These companies know their advertisements will reach thousands of people if they are placed on this blog because this blog definitely generates a lot of traffic.  Overall, I give it 2 thumbs up! If you’re craving something yummy for your tummy, check it out!