Author Archives: Cass Fanara

Are you spending enough on Positive Costs?

Greg Canty Fuzion Blog

In my accounting days (yes, I know most of you won’t believe it – I was!!) we had a few different ways of looking at the costs of a business.

The most popular of these was a very simple analysis – Fixed Costs, which were those costs that would not vary with volume and Variable Costs, which were the costs which did vary according to volume. This was quite a simplistic model, which didn’t always hold up!

We then had other methods of looking at costs such as Zero Base Costing and Activity Based Costing .. interesting stuff indeed!

Since the recession has kicked in I have witnessed first hand clients being advised to cut back on expenses by the accounting fraternity and often they just do it themselves automatically – the types of costs that get chopped first are those that are deemed to be “unnecessary”, which…

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Digital Natives

What is a Digital Native? How do they differ from Non-Digital Natives or ‘Digital Immigrants’? What impact will this generation have upon society of the future? and how might society adapt to the new, more technologically advanced generations?

What is a Digital Native?

Digital Natives are outlined as “Digital Natives – People who have been raised on the Internet since late 1990 – will relate to the internet in markedly different ways than do most of today’s adults. Members of these web-savvy ‘Net generations’ will tend to view the Internet as an extender of their own cognitive capabilities and as a portal to a virtual experience.” (Chaffey, 2012) (Rueda-Sabater, Derosby, 2011).

The Digital Marketing Room - Digital Natives - Digital Immigrants

What is a Digital Immigrant or Non-Digital Native?

The definition according to the Oxford University Press: (Noun) “A person born or brought up before the widespread use of Digital Technology: Chances are many Digital Immigrants will find managing online privacy a daunting prospect”. (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Digital Natives from infancy have been exposed to a huge spectrum of technology and technological advancements. Starting with the earliest Personal Computers with Black and Green screens (1990’s), Landline Telephones, Cassette Players/’Ghetto Blasters’, Walkmans and Video Players. Progressing onto Compact Disk Players, Mini Disk Players, MP3 Players, higher resolution Computers, Laptops and ‘Brick’ size and shaped mobile phones.

As we have progressed through the 90’s, 00’s and are now well into 2013 – Technological devices are becoming more advanced everyday. They are ever increasing in memory; and yet decreasing in physical size!

The way in which Digital Natives think, learn, adapt to technology and interact on a social level; may be potentially different in contrast to Non-Digital Natives. Thought processes, cognitive behavior and methods of social interaction; may differ also.

For example; Their is no more requirement for Blackboards or Typewriters in Modern Day Education. Todays learning is largely achieved via the Internet, Email/Websites, Information Portals and Social Media. Devices like White Boards, Projectors, Multimedia/MP4 Recording, Computers, Tablets and Smartphones are now starting to replace the traditional use of Pen and Paper.

The Digital Marketing Room - Digital Natives - Computer - Tablet Device

How will Digital Natives and Advancing Technology impact upon Society in the future?

An excellent example of this is shown via Channel 4’s Television Mini Series ‘Black Mirror‘. These programs outline how advancing technology, social media and popular culture may impact upon modern society. The episode ‘Fifteen Million Merits‘ is an excellent representation of what the future may hold for society.

See IMDB (International Movie Database) Link here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2089049/

Channel 4’s Black Mirror outlined overall on IMBD: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/

View the episode here via YouTube 4OD:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vsYnaqpIpE

The Digital Marketing Room - Digital Natives - Black Mirror - Fifteen Million Merits

Ultimately, How are Advancing Technologies, Media and ‘naturally adapted’ Digital Natives going to progress in the future? What impact will this have upon Digital Marketing, Advertising and Social Media? Will society as a whole become bored of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter? and progress onto more Interactive and Engaging online methods of Social Interaction?

The Digital Marketing Room - Digital Natives

Digital Natives – Will society as a whole become bored of Social Media Platforms like Facebook and Twitter? and progress onto more interactive and engaging online methods of Social Interaction?

What is Digital Marketing? – The Evolution of Marketing and Advertisement.

What IS Digital Marketing? How has it evolved from Traditional Marketing as we know it? and what impact has this had upon Online Marketing and Advertisement overall?

What is Marketing?

The official definition of Marketing according too The Chartered Institute of Marketing (www.cim.co.uk) is: “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

What is the Marketing Mix?

According to ChaffeyMarketing Mix: The series of seven key variables – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence – that are varied by marketers as part of the customer offering.”  (Chaffey, 2012)

‘Traditional’ Marketing is predominantly used in the offline sense; e.g. Print Advertising, Newspaper Adverts, Posters, Leaflets, Direct Postage Mail, Television, Radio, Customer Service/Human Interaction. With the introduction of the Internet, and therefore the ever increasing need for consumers to interact and engage online. Marketing as we know it; has evolved into catering for an online audience. Hence the progression into Digital Marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

The definition of Digital Media and Marketing:

Digital Media: “Communications are facilitated through content and interactive services delivered by different digital technology platforms including the internet, web, mobile, phone, interactive TV, IPTV and digital signage.” (IPTV – Internet Protocol Television). (Chaffey, 2012)

Digital Marketing: “The application of the Internet and related digital technologies in conjunction with traditional communications to achieve marketing objectives.” (Chaffey, 2012)

Ultimately, “Digital Marketing can be simply defined as: Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies.” (Chaffey, 2012)

Essentially, Digital Marketing is the utilisation of the Internet in order to reach the desired target market, via some of the following channels:

  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter).
  • Websites/Blogs (WordPress.com).
  • Multimedia Advertising (YouTube.com).
  • Online/Search Engine Adverting (Google Adwords, SEO).
  • Email Marketing.
  • Interactive Marketing/Apps (Online Competitions, Polls and Gaming – A great example of this is ‘Angry Birdshttp://www.angrybirds.com).

What is Digital Marketing?

The introduction of modern technology e.g. Smartphones (Android/IPhone/IOS), Tablets, Laptops, Mobile Devices and the development of ‘Apps’ (Online Applications) allows consumers to be constantly connected online – anytime, anywhere (Internet connection permitting; of course!). Therefore, it is hugely important that Marketing and Advertising Strategies evolve and accommodate; to keep up to date with this trend.

The Evolution of Advertisement

What is Advertising? “Persuading audiences to take action with respect to products, ideas or services.” (Curtis, 2011). This can also be extended, but not limited too; Advertising: “Paid Search, Display Ads, Affiliate Marketing and Digital Signage”. (Chaffey, 2012). E-CRM is also strongly related to Marketing and Advertising, please see the following definition:

Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E-CRM):
“Using digital communications technologies to maximise sales to existing customers and encourage continued usage of online services through techniques including database, personalised web messages, customer services, e-mail and social media marketing.” (Chaffey, 2012)

Companies, Brands and Organisations alike, have all had to adapt from offline to online Marketing and Advertising Strategies. A great example of this is ‘Guinness Ireland‘ (http://www.guinness.com/en-ie/). The following reflects how they have developed their advertising campaigns both on and offline over the years:

Guinness 1930’s Advertising Onwards: Predominantly; hand illustrated print campaigns e.g. Newspaper Ads, Posters, Billboards, progressing into Lithographic/Mechanical Print Processes and Film/Darkroom Photography.

What is Digital Marketing?

Guinness Present Day Advertising: Modern Digital Printing, Online Channels and Design. Including Vector Design (digitally created artwork), Digital Photography and Multimedia (e.g. YouTube.com Social Media), Television and Radio Advertising.

Guinness.com – Early Television Advertisement (Circa 1955): Guinness Ireland Website Link – http://www.guinness.com/en-ie/Adsdetails.html?adid=130

Guinness.com – Modern Day Television/Viral Online Advertisement (Circa 2013):

As illustrated above, there is a a clear progression of Guinness Advertising from the 1930’s, (where it all began), to the present day forms and methods of advertising, that have evolved both visually and technologically.

See also these examples of Cirque Du Soleil’s print advertising progression:

What is Digital Marketing?

In conclusion, Where is Digital Marketing and Advertising headed now? What is the future? – will everything be accessible online only? or will there still be a niche market for Print Advertisement and Communication? Will people still appreciate having something tangible; like a Book, Newspaper or Leaflet in their hands to peruse?

The following is a quote that is quite relevant overall:
“Innovate, Seperate – You innovate to be the best, to seperate yourself from the rest.”
B. O’Carroll, 2013.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this article, and I welcome your thoughts, discussion and any comments that you may have!

Cass

Visual Communication: Creating an Effective Brand Identity.

Whether you are looking to develop an existing Logo into a fully fledged Brand or create something for personal use, or for business; this article will outline the relevance, importance and execution of creating an effective visual brand identity, that strongly affirms ‘Who YOU Are’ across offline channels (e.g. Business Stationery, Signage) and multiple online channels (Website, Marketing/Advertising and Social Media).

What is Visual Communication?

“Visual communication is described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon”. (Galang, 2012)

Image transcends language, both written and spoken. No matter which language is communicated – people will always share a natural understanding of the visual image. Studies suggest that “As human beings, our brains are wired for images. According to research from 3M Corporation, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This is because we take in all the data from an image simultaneously while we process text in a sequential fashion.” (Burmark, 2004)

“Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information (plus or minus 2). This is why, by the way, that we have 7-digit phone numbers. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long term memory where they are indelibly etched.” (Burmark, 2004)

When applying this in practical terms, the most effective way of communicating a brands identity is through the use of visual media, in order to maximise awareness and ultimately increase revenue streams.

Creating an Effective Brand Identity:

As a starting point, the brand concept must be conceived; so that it directly communicates who or what it is? what is it’s purpose? and who is the target audience? The logo design must visually encapsulate and represent all of these elements.

It is hugely important that the design and style of the logo fully reflects the brand message, to ensure that the target audience recognises it immediately. The logo must be simple enough to be perceived quickly and with ease, and also have enough visual content to be memorable so that the audience creates a strong visual association with the brand overall.

The following outlines key elements to consider when creating a Logo Design:

Symbolism: Create an original and unique visual device that illustrates your brand effectively.  You can rarely go wrong when using clean lines, strong shapes and a simple, modern Sans Serif Font Family. Ensure that the design isn’t too complex, so that it reads well up close and from long distances. I recommend initially creating the logo in Greyscale, as use of colour can be distracting. If the logo works in black and white; it will work in colour.

Digital Marketing Room - Visual Communication

Colour Theory: It is well known that use of colour can evoke subliminal and even emotional responses. Be aware of which colours you are using and what they express. For example: Using red predominantly in an Organic Food Company logo may detract from what the brand is trying to represent. Using natural tones like green or brown may be more effective and coincide with the brands ethos. Also, note in what circumstances will these colours be used? and choose appropriately. e.g. Colour Blind people find it difficult to see certain colours together.

Digital Marketing Room - Visual Communication

Text Content: Keep the text within the logo concise and to the point – Name and Tagline. Note any other relevant information like specific contact details as a separate entity.

Digital Marketing Room - Visual Communication

Ultimately – cater to your target audience. Through market research; ascertain their likes, dislikes and what would visually create the strongest response and call to action.

Developing your Brand Identity:

Once the logo has been created, it can be shaped into an effective brand by adapting its design concept naturally across all related visuals and media, e.g. Business Stationery, Email Signatures, Signage and across all online platforms.

Consistency is key. Stick to the specific design concept, style or theme of your logo and create further visual accents (e.g. backgrounds, borders or images) that enhance the brand image rather than detract or confuse your audience. Choose a specific set of style guidelines (fonts, sizes, shapes, related imagery) and keep to them. This will ensure audience brand recognition and enhance the perception of credibility and professionalism.

Digital Marketing Room - Visual Communication

Applying your Brand Identity in practice:

When you are confident that your Logo and Brand concept is 100%, its now time to unleash it too the world! The following is an outline of potential steps you could take to promote your brand both Online and Offline.

Offline:

  • Start off with branded Print Stationery; like Business Cards, Letterheads and Compliment Slips. Then if relevant; create, develop and promote printed advertisements in Newspapers, Magazine publications, Signage, Calendars etc. If your business/brand is really starting to thrive – perhaps look into television and radio advertisement.

Please note that as a trend; an increasing amount of visual forms of advertising and promotion are being expressed in the online world (rather than the offline) due to the increasing popularity and enhancement of modern technology – e.g. Smartphones, Tablets, Mobile Applications etc. Therefore, you should assess which medium of promotion will maximise brand awareness; with the best value for money.

Online:

  • Start of by creating an original Website or Blog. ‘WordPress.com’ (http://wordpress.com/) for example is an excellent medium for creating your own website/blog.
  • Blogging about your brand and related topics is also a hugely effective way of creating audience engagement, loyalty and awareness.
  • Social Media: Create a Facebook Page (not a Personal Account!). When using a Facebook Page; you can avail of Facebook Insights and engagement statistics. Access the link to the Facebook ‘About Page Insights’ here: https://www.facebook.com/help/336893449723054/
  • Create a corresponding Twitter.com account and Tweet regularly. Depending upon the relevance to your brand; create a YouTube.com, Foursquare.com, LinkedIn.com, Instagram.com, Pinterest.com or Google+ profile. There are so may to choose from – these are but a few!
  • Websites like Hootsuite.com and TweetDeck.com are great tools to Monitor, Maintain and Manage your online social media channels. Mailchimp.com and Polldaddy.com are very effective if you wish to send out email newsletters and create polls aimed towards your target audience.

As a further consideration it is also important to note the ever increasing presence and importance of Online Multimedia Channels; for not only advertising, brand promotion and entertainment. But also the increase in Audio Visual Media for Teaching/Tutorials, Learning and Understanding.

For example; YouTube.com encapsulates all of the above and is a hugely valuable online resource. As are websites like Slideshare and Mashable.com. Some effective examples of this can be seen via the following links:

YouTube: Entertainment and Social Engagement: “YouTube is partnering with Cowell’s company Syco to launch the first-ever online global talent competition.” (Mashable.com, 2013)

Article Link: http://mashable.com/2013/03/18/simon-cowell-youtube-you-generation/

‘The You Generation’ YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/yougenerationtv

YouTube: Teaching: ‘Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce.’ An Absolutely Fantastic example of learning through Audio Visual Media. YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIiAAhUeR6Y

YouTube: Brand Promotion: Three – The Pony #DancePonyDance.

YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ekr05T9Iaio

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this article, and that you’ve learned a bit more about Visual Communication! I welcome any comments, queries and feedback,  and I look forward to posting about another Digital Marketing related topic very soon!

As always, thanks for reading!

Cass