Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New social media platform may create unique advertising medium


By Lisa A.M. Bauman

Tunepics, the new social network created by former Topshop marketer Justin Cooke was launched globally on May 22nd in 150 countries. The Apple integrated app built by AKQA has caught the attention of both celebrities and popular brands2.

The main vision for the media platform comes from the idea that pictures are moments of our lives and that music communicates the emotion related to that moment. The company communicates this with its inspirational tagline “These moments are our lives and our lives have a soundtrack1.”

Users create this “soundtrack of their lives” by uploading a picture and searching for music using keywords to locate music tracks on iTunes. They then embed the image with the soundtrack. More interestingly, users use a rainbow-colored "emotion" wheel to select a color that communicates mood2.

Although the app generates its profits as an affiliate marketer by leading users to iTunes songs, Tunepics says that it is in talks with other music services to expand profit lines.

This article made me aware of a “storytelling” trend in social media and helped me understand the relationship of reliance of music in social media and therefore marketing and advertising. Since music requires useful technologies and use permissions, social media platforms do not currently supply sufficient use for such media. This opens up creative outlets for media using music – a media which seems to be universally understood to tap into human emotion, a powerful tool for advertisers and media. planners.

Because of these strategic insights, Tunepics may have hit gold with the new social media platform but it may also need some tweaking before it becomes a big name success. Let’s look at how the company’s strategy measures up to the “Five Rights” of marketing: Audience, Cost, Media Mix, Exposure, and Timing3.


The Right Timing: Kirkham mentions that Tunepics is tapping into the current trend in social media for enabling personalized storytelling and they are not the only one. Even Facebook recently launched a storytelling app called Paper2.

The Right Audience/Cost: Tunepics started out small and strong. They worked a deal with Apple knowing that the music supplier could provide more than 35 million sound tracks and a steady stream of income. Meanwhile, the audience had already been attracted by the company as music lovers who have an attraction to style. Now, to expand the profit margins Tunepics must expand its marketing budget and look into ways to attract more users and different types of music lovers2.

The Right Media Mix/Exposure: So far Tunepics has relied on support “from celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Will.i.am and Lily Allen – who Tweeted about the network to her 4.7 million Twitter followers – and brands from Red Bull to Hunter.” The strategy seems to be working well for the company as long as it plans to stay within the Apple-only profit scheme. If the company wants to expand and get more exposure, other media will be needed. Also, some skeptics believe that Tunepics should integrate video to attract the right type of user. “Leo Burnett’s global head of social and mobile, James Kirkham, says he believes that social networks need to piggyback on existing human behavior – in this case, watching music with video2.” 


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Sources:
3 Media Strategy & Planning Workbook, DL Dikinson, Chapter 1 pages 105-106


** For MKTG 441, Media Strategy, Portland State University, Fall, 2014-2015

Monday, May 19, 2014

Consumer Behavior Study for the Humane Society


By Lisa Bauman

Over the summer and early fall of 2010, visitors to a local humane society were asked to participate in a survey, sharing feedback based upon their visit. The client wanted to better understand the motivations for people who visit the shelter and what factors influenced the selection of pets. Below are graphs given to me by the researchers which I used to develop a target market analysis and conclusion.

Primary motivations for people visiting an adoption shelter
The poll indicated that the prompter for 41% of all visitors was the need to visit the shelter to adopt a pet or make a purchase in the retail store (242 adopters + 11 retail shoppers/620 visitors). This indicates a utilitarian motivation. However, the purchase itself may not have been utilitarian in nature. The other 59% indicated a hedonic motivator such as pet shopping, visiting a pet seen online, or a return visit . These findings lead me to believe that the majority of visitor’s motivations for visiting the facility are hedonic in nature (pg 87, Poll Q1).

The motivations according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs seem to coincide with these findings. Although there were other variable reasons for visiting, it appeared that most visitors fell into the Belongingess/Love/Home/Family (let’s call this BLHF) category. BLHF motivated visitors who brought a friend, family member, or even a pet with them to make sure that the pet would fit in well with his/her world was an astounding 83% (19.76+18.53/224.48 visitors who came alone – negative 100) (pg 87, Poll Q2). Also, among the four most sighted emotions felt during the visit related to feelings that are sought for within a relationship: Affection, Love, Compassion, and Happiness. This was consistent in both sexes. Male  respondents carried a mean of near 4.3 and women had mean scores between 4.3 and 4.51 (Poll Q4).

Solo or group event analysis

As mentioned above, an astounding 83% of visitors brought someone with them (Poll Q2). In addition to this, many did a “pet meet” where they tested their potential adopted pet out on family, friends, or other pets (Poll Q6). Even 13% of adopters sighted the pet’s ability to “get along with others” as a factor influencing the pet selection (7.28+7.43/54.86+55.37 = 13%) (Poll Q7). Finally, about 90% of all visitors ([10+20.09/99.99+100.82]--100) live in a home where a spouse, other family members, or friends live with them. All of these things seem to suggest that the visit may have been a family event (Poll Q11).
Those involved in the decision-making process

As indicated before, 90% of all visitors live with other people and 83% of visitors brought some of these members or even pets with them while shopping for a new pet (Poll Q1-2). Even 13% of adopters sighted the pet’s ability to “get along with others” as a factor influencing the pet selection (Poll Q7). Also, over 30% of both male and female visitors brought a spouse with them for the visit (Poll Q2). This means that members of the family work as gatekeepers for adoptions; especially spouses and possibly children but they were listed as “family members” in Q2 making children too difficult to measure.

Fifty-eight percent of visitors live with a spouse and/or children (117.22/200) (Poll Q11). The 28-54 age group, which tend to be forming and living with families, comprise 55% of all visitors (223/403) (Poll Q12). Also, older visitors appear to be visiting with spouses. For example, exactly 16 visitors were recorded in the 55-64 category for both male and female visitors and 7m/12f of the 65+ category (which may represent male death rates) were recorded. Although this information does not prove that decisions are made between an adult couple ages 30 and older, it certainly leads to the assumption.


Most popular areas
The Dog Kennels are the most popular area. Between 64.38-68.64% of all surveyed visited it. The survey indicated that the Cattery was second popular with between 50.89-57.08% visiting and the Retail Shop third with between 42.49-54.56% visiting (Poll Q3).

Feelings most strongly experienced
As mentioned before, among the four most sighted emotions felt during the visit are related to feelings that are often sought for within a relationship: Affection, Love, Compassion, and Happiness. This was consistent in both sexes and the standard deviations, which fall between 0.81-and 1.01 in all five categories, seem to indicate that the feelings were not recorded as dramatic extremes. Men tended to sight at a mean of near 4.3 while women had higher mean scores (4.3-4.51). Joy just fell short of making it into the top four emotions with a mean between 4.09-4.24 and a similar standard deviation range (0.94-1) (Poll Q4).

Feelings least strongly experienced
Sympathy fell in between the five most sighted emotions and the two least: Sadness and Guilt with a mean of 3.64m/3.92f. Overall Guilt was the least experienced emotion, which ranged between 1.97 and 2.19. Also, the least experienced feelings seemed to be more extremely felt for both genders. The standard deviation was the highest for these three between 1.2 and 1.4 for both sexes (Poll Q4).

Are women more emotional than men?
There is some indication that women can experience feelings more intensely than men in this survey. For example, men tended to record at a mean between 0.12 and 0.28 less than women in all categories except for Happiness where they scored four points higher. However, the results may reflect a social schema or social stereotype believed about genders that may tend to influence the participant to vote according to these expectations. For example, US men are not often described as joyful, compassionate, and sympathetic. Other words such as happy, ethical, or generous might more commonly be used to describe a male with these attributes. These three categories along with Guilt had the greatest difference in mean scores (0.22-0.28) while Sadness, Affection, and Love, ranged only 0.12-0.15 points above the female mean scores. A specific study related to the subject would be able to better answer such a question (Poll Q4, page 83).

Top three factors that influencing pet selection
The top three factors that influenced a pet’s selection were the 1) pet type (17.73/110.23 = 16.1%), 2) pet temperament (16.74/110.23 = 15.2%), and 3) the pet’s ability to get along with others for both genders (14.71/110.23 = 13.3%) (Poll Q7). The data could also be lumped into more understandable categories: Cost, Physical Characteristics, Personality, and Good Deeds by lumping answers related to that category into sections (see figure 1). When doing this, we find that the Physical Characteristics were the top deciding factor on choosing an animal. The second deciding factor was Personality and the third was Cost.

Cost
Physical Characteristics
Personality
Good Deeds
(3) Adoption Cost
(1) Breed
(4) Temperament
(9) Save Pet
(6) Care Costs
(2) Size
(5) Get Along

(8) Promo Offer
(7) Type


22.01 or 20%
43.67 or 40%
31.45 or 29%
13.08 or 12%
Figure 1

Least influential factor in pet selection
Looking directly at the data in Q7, it appears that the promotional offer was the least desirable reason to adopt with only 5% sighting is as a motivator (5.53/110.23). However, since cost is the third most influential factor that leads to adoption, promotional offers may still be valuable for marketing purposes.

Pet promotional offer, men or women?
The data suggests that men are more attracted to promotional offers. Men who were swayed by the offers are 2.7% (3.01/110.23) while women are 2.55 (2.5/110.23) (Poll Q7). However, since these numbers are so close, more thinking is needed to determine if the assumption is true. Lets use another table that looks at those surveyed who were identified cost sensitive and divide them into gender groups (see figure 2). As you can see, a more significant correlation is made with men who are price sensitive being about 10.23% and women 9.7%. Still, both genders are so close to 10% that I would not change my marketing plan to target only one gender when using promotions.

Indicator
Men influenced by cost
Women influenced by cost
(3) Adoption Cost
4.29
4.34
(6) Care Costs
3.96
3.89
(8) Promo Offer
3.03
2.50
TOTAL: 22.01 or 20%
11.28 or 10.23%
10.71 or 9.7%
Figure 2

Target Market Analysis 
WOMEN and COMPANION PAIRS
Women tend to visit and adopt pets more often than men. Out of 408 surveyed, 236 were women (57%) and 22 more women than men said that they came with the intent to adopt (Q1, and 13). Women tend see more animals. The survey revealed that women saw 81+ animals while men only saw 77+ during the data collection period (Q5).

Besides women, families and couples appear to have strong presence. Fifty-eight percent of all visitors live with a spouse and/or children (Q11). The 28-54 age group, which tend to be forming and living with families, comprise 55% of all visitors (Q12). Also, older visitors appear to be visiting with spouses. For example, exactly 16 visitors were recorded in the 55-64 category for both male and female visitors and 7m/12f of the 65+ category (which may represent male death rates) were recorded. For these reasons, the target market should be women with families and companion pairs.

28-54 COMPANION SEEKERS
The four most sighted emotions felt during the visit are related to feelings that are often sought for within a relationship: Affection, Love, Compassion, and Happiness. This was consistent in both sexes and the standard deviations, which fall between 0.81-and 1.01 in all five categories and seem to indicate that the feelings were not recorded as dramatic extremes. This suggests that the target market is seeking companionship.

In Q12 the age disbursement seems to show that both men and women visit the shelter most between ages 18-54. When you look at the information while also realizing that most visitors come with other family members and most often with a spouse and/or children, you will see that these ages and genders arrive in pairs. Understanding this, you will see a spike in women between ages 28-34 and men 45-54. These categories commonly represent single mothers and single aging males and indicate when the target market should end. For these reasons, the target market should be companion seekers in ages between 28 and 54.

EDUCATION
The survey shows that 27.3% (169/620) of the visitors visited after viewing an animal on the website (Q1). This indicates that nearly 30% of visitors are technically savvy enough to navigate a modern website. Also, 53.8% of all visitors surveyed have a four-year degree education or higher (44+16+31/169) (Q13). This indicates that the target market tends to be educated at an undergraduate level or higher and may have intellectual ideals and capabilities for understanding. They may also require more credible sources in marketing and find value in thoughtful advertisements. This can be reflected on how Guilt was the least experienced emotion, which ranged between 1.97 and 2.19 since the feeling of guilt is not logically related to the act of adopting an animal (Q4).

LIVING HABBITS: URBAN RENTER
The third most important thing for adopters was cost (figure 1) (Q7). This means that the cost of an animal is in the consumer’s mind but not the most important factor. In Q10 we see that 96% (386/402) of all visitors live in single family homes, apartments, duplexes, or townhomes which also support the idea that families and couples are in the target market. We can also assume that at least 1/3 of all those in the target market are urban dwellers since 32% live in apartments, townhomes, and duplexes (132/402). Additionally, we found that the single most influential factor to an adoption is the type of animal it was and it’s physical characteristics (figure 1), which is a common need for renters and urban dwellers (Q7). This leads us to believe that the target market is largely urban and renters.


NOTE: CAT LADIES
Our target market is families and couples, but we did find that women tend to buy and visit more cats. In the survey we saw that women visited 26+ cats while men visited 19 (Q5). Women visited the area 7% more then men (Q3). Also, we know that in the US women tend to more often be single parents then men. As a sole parent, women tend to be in more families and deserve special attention in this analysis. However the point may be less strong since men tend to give the organization higher satisfaction ratings. Sixty-six percent (66+147/229) of women were pleased or very pleased while an astounding 95% (158/166) of men represent this category. This means that men may be more likely to give better word-of-mouth advertising.

Conclusion
People in the family building ages between 28 and 54 visit this animal shelter looking for a companion to fit in their urban family. These couples and single mothers will be educated and likely share the responsibility of making a pet decision with a spouse or roommate. Other members of the household, such as children or pets, have and interest in the adoption which makes them act as a gatekeeper in the transaction. 


** For MKTG 363, Consumer Behavior and Consumer Satisfaction, Portland State University, Spring Term, 2014