March Madness a Marketers Dream

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March Madness, arguably the best 4 weeks in college sports, is seen as a marketers dream. With 68 teams, from 68 different schools across the country, the follower and fan base is a huge market for companies. ESPN has utilized the tournament with it’s online streaming of all games for $3.99. They also have live updates and scores with their new Bracket Bound application. You can stream the games directly on your iPhone or Android device. The groups section of the application lets you create a group of friends and fill out a bracket for the tournament. This is always the most popular feature, being that no one has ever obtained a perfect bracket throughout the tournament. This is a huge opportunity for all the conferences to build their name and following as well. With the new B1G logo and layout, this tournament is huge for commercials and advertisements. Also, apparel sales will increase the farther your college team goes into the tournament. For example, Elite 8, Final 4, Semi-Final, and Champion apparel. The tournament gets the entire United States involved by splitting the basketball games into 4 different regions (South, East, Mid-West, and West). With multiple games being played at the same time, numerous television providers are needed. This is a great opportunity for TBS, TNT, TruTv, and CBS to gain a high number of viewers during the month of march. I have enjoyed the tournament so far and only have one thing to say, Go Green.

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A deeper look into the Harley Davidson culture.

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When visiting Harley Davidson’s website, they have a slideshow of 6 picture slogans. Number 1 was the new Freedom Custom bike: The Seventy Two. Number 2 was the introduction of another new bike, the Softtail Slim. Number 3 used the movie the Avengers for consumers to create their own custom bikes. Number 4 focused on celebrating the rich history of African American Riders. Number 5 focused on a new segment for motorcycles, women. Number 6 let you explore the 30 bikes in Harley Davidson’s line.

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Here is a picture of their two newest models, The Seventy-Two (front) and the Softtail Slim (in rear). Also here is a creative ad for the Avengers and Harley Davidson here.

They seem to do a great job of involving their customers with the brand, just from their website. For example, here is a creative print ad (below) that is a great example of Harley Davidsons culture. Harley is so big into building long term relationships with its customers. From a marketing standpoint, this should be your goal with every company you work for.

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I looked at a couple of their competitors and noticed that Yamaha doesn’t sell just motorcycles. They sell atvs, dirt bikes, boats, and even golf carts. Suzuki’s homepage focused on financing and cash back, trying to draw it’s customers into purchases. I didn’t get a good sense of company culture like I did when I visited Harley Davidsons page. They also sell ATV’s and dirt bikes as well. Honda does the same, displaying ads for motorcycles, ATV’s, Boats, and new models it is releasing. Harley Davidson, Inc is currently at $47.04 on the NYSE. Honda is selling at $38.50. Harley Davidson is kicking off the riding season at Dayton Bike Week 2012. This is where they will show off their new models and build the Harley Davidson culture. Harley Davidson participates in many events throughout the riding season and you can find events near you on their website. They have demo ride events, events for women, the Laconia motorcycle ralley, the Sturgis event in August, and it’s holding Harley’s 110th Anniversary Celebration in Rome in 2013! You can visit Harley Davidson’s events page for more information.

Coca-Cola’s New Marketing Campaign

In December, Coca Cola decided to change it’s marketing message with the hopes of bringing back its beloved polar bear mascot. They teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to put on a save the polar bear campaign. They are donating $2 million to the World Wildlife Fund over the next 5 years and are matching consumer donations up to $1 million. They decided to alter the classic red and white Coca-Cola can with a fresh new white can design.Image

The number one problem with the new can design was the confusion it left with consumers of the product. They noticed a slight resemblance to the Diet Coke silver can. By altering the Packaging of the product, there was an obvious disapproval in

ImageCoca-Cola consumer’s minds. The Promotional campaign was a fail for coke as they saw how consumer’s reacted to their efforts to bring the polar bear back. One month after this new campaign launch, they decided to recall the project and reissue a red version to the original can design. I think the concept of teaming up with the WWF to bring back the polar bear was genius, but they should have tested the product first to see how consumers would react to this major change in a classic can of Coca-Cola. They could have placed the product in different places to see how it would respond. For example, placement in grocery stores, convenience stores, or vending machines.

Pepsi also had a change in their marketing message with their Pepsi Refresh Campaign in 2010.

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Pepsi was criticized for investing in philanthropy and a more global approach over Super Bowl Ads and America. Pepsi was giving away $20 Million to non-profits and to individuals who receive the most votes for their charity campaigns online. The purpose of Pepsi was to invest in America, which is why in 2011 they focused it’s campaign and contests on more close to home topics like the arts, music, communities, and education. This was a good way for Pepsi to respond to the negative criticism and that’s what you need to be like to keep your brand name strong. I also find the cola wars between Pepsi and Coca-Cola interesting as well. It is like they are playing a game of chess. When Coca-Cola makes a move, Pepsi needs to also to keep them in check. When Coca-Cola releases a promotional campaign, Pepsi soon follows. If Pepsi comes out with a new drink, Coca-Cola matches. It is a never ending game that helps both survive in the industry

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New Dashboard for Tumblr

Through building up these social network sites I was able to learn the effect online media can have. By setting up my Google+ page I was able to see a very nice feature, the +1. This was a very useful addition to the site as it let people in your circles see what pages, links, pictures etc. that you are recommending. I hope to see Google+ continue to grow with it’s clean format and new technology. Twitter is a good site to utilize keywords. You can search to see what people are talking about on the site and this can be very useful for promotional campaigns for companies. My favorite profile to build was Linkedin. Your Linkedin profile is basically your online professional resume. You can follow companies and learn about new positions that they post in the career section of their profile on Linkedin. A very convenient application is the ability to apply for positions right on the website. This is a great way to network and communicate with recruiters and even CEO’s of companies.

Tumblr DashboardI decided to create a Tumblr to add to my blog arsenal. I found that you were able to customize the blog layout into whatever you wanted. Thedashboard is a very organized way of showing you how to post. You are able to post words, pictures, links, reblog others, and set a custom background. Also, you can add a background playlist for music using outside applications.

Netflix and the Industry

Netflix provides a streaming and mailing service of dvds in the movie rental industry. They have a large target market and also a number of competitors including: Comcast On Demand, Direct TV, Apple TV, and Blockbuster to name a few. A lot of commonalities between these companies are that they are able to stream and rent movies online. There is a low product differentiation between these companies because they all basically offer the same service. We are in the digital age where everyone is online, which explains why the streaming media market is expected to grow 135% in the next 5 years. This is a huge opportunity for Netflix and other companies to gain substantial revenue.
Through analyzing Porter’s Five Forces we were able to see that the threat of new entrants was very low. This was mainly due to the high start up cost and high competition between the big companies in the industry. The bargaining power of suppliers is very high due to the fact that movie studios are producing the product that consumers want to see. Netflix acts as a middleman between the movie studios and consumers. This results in movie studios having the power to pick the price and who they want to sell to. The bargaining power of buyers is average being that there are a limited number of distributors. The threat of substitute products is high due to illegal downloads and sites where you can stream movies and shows for free. This can become a big problem for Netflix in the future. The rivalry among competing firms is high and forces companies to be innovative and fast. They need to keep their movie and show selections current and be the first to bring new titles to market. This can be costly but it is necessary for companies to survive in this industry.

Growsmart Media

Being that it is my last semester of my senior year I found myself lucky to end up with a social media marketing internship with Growsmart Media. I am learning a lot through managing clients social media accounts and seeing how important this sector is in every business. Who knew Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Blogs could change from a social to business site? Every company in today’s world can benefit from online marketing and I hope to land a position where I can make a difference.

MSU Men’s Volleyball Clinic

My teammates and I are running a volleyball clinic tomorrow at St. Joe’s Highschool as a part of a fundraiser to raise money for nationals. We will be teaching kids, teens, and adults the basics and fundamentals of volleyball.

Here’s a link just in case you want to come out next year!

http://www.stjoevolleyball.com/pdfs/Volleyball_Skills_Clinic_Pre-reg_-2-12-2011_MSU.pdf

Go Green!