Let’s Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle Through Nutrition Food Labels

By: Abbey Stacey

Obesity has continued to be a major national health concern and it’s increasing the chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancers. Since there is a link between dietary habits and obesity, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has attempted to introduce changes to nutrition food labels to make it easier for consumers to comprehend. If the FDA is able to promote greater utilization of the nutrition label to regular food and calorie intake, it could take a step in a positive direction to improve peoples’ dietary choices.

Self-efficacy, response efficacy, and prior nutrition knowledge have all been shown to be important determinants of consumers’ information search and behavior. Self-efficacy is when an individual believes they have the required skills to successfully perform a task. Consumers who have high self-efficacy will have confidence in themselves to read a nutrition label and be able to make that healthy choice. If a consumer doesn’t have high self-efficacy, they are less likely to use the nutrition label to make a decision because they don’t believe that they would know what the right choice is based off of the label. Response efficacy refers to an individual who believes a certain behavior is effective in yielding a required outcome or preventing a negative one. This goes to show that consumers believe that reading nutrition labels and information on food products prior to purchase will be effective in maintaining a healthy diet and will prevent diet-related diseases. Lastly is nutrition knowledge, which means people who have prior knowledge are apt to engage in more information search compared to consumers who have less nutrition experience. If consumers have prior knowledge they are bound to make better food selections, more nutritious food choices, utilize nutrition information, and improve dietary behaviors.

Four Hypotheses in the Study

H1: Consumers’ perceived self-efficacy will lead to a greater intention to use the nutrition label when making food consumption decisions.

H2: Consumers’ perceived response efficacy will lead to a greater intention to use the nutrition label when making food consumption decisions.

H3: Consumers’ prior nutrition knowledge will lead to a greater intention to use the nutrition label when making food consumption decisions.

H4: Consumers’ intention to use the nutrition label when making food consumption decisions will lead to more healthy nutrition behavior.

Making a decision can depend on the consumer’s level of involvement and how often they purchase certain items. For low involvement situations, habitual decision making may occur, in which a consumer may not make a healthy choice because of the habit of getting the same type of food each time. Sometimes this can be due to low cost, the brand being familiar to the customer, or of there is little thought, search, or time given to the purchase. These consumers could potentially be an example of those who possess little nutrition knowledge in which they don’t look at the nutrition facts and are only looking for what they are familiar with. This also connects back to having low self-efficacy because they don’t have the confidence to turn the package around and read the food label. If a customer has too much knowledge on nutrition labels, a perceived risk could be that it takes them longer to make a decision. When it takes customers longer to make a decision, it becomes more important to them, and it ends up taking more resources than are required.

In the study, all measures were assessed on seven-point Likert-type scales (strongly disagree and strongly agree), with a total of 18 questions split up between self-efficacy, response efficacy, nutrition knowledge, intention, and nutrition behavior. What the study ended up finding was that all four hypotheses were statistically significant. For hypothesis 1, P-value was <0.05, hypothesis 2, P-value was <0.01, hypothesis 3, P-value was <0.01, and hypothesis 4 was P-value <0.01.

The results of this study highlighted the importance of self-efficacy, response efficacy, and consumers’ nutrition knowledge in utilizing the information on food labels. If the intention to use the food label is there, then the use of the nutrition label is related to more healthful eating behaviors and choices. For future directions, consumer nutrition education campaigns may find it more effective to focus on communicating and explaining specific nutrient information as opposed to presenting more general information. If consumers know what to look for when reading a food label they are more likely to use it and comprehend the information in a constructive way. Educating consumers about diet-disease relationships and other specifics of the nutrition structure of food products empowers consumers with the knowledge that may enhance their likelihood to use food labels. If practitioners, public policy makers, and marketers were able better understand what consumers are looking at before purchasing a food product, they would be able to target those certain areas. To better educate and emphasize messages to consumers, they could also design programs that target people will lower levels of nutrition knowledge. Aiming to better educate consumers on food labels will create a healthier population and we will eventually start to see chronic illnesses and health costs decrease.



Understanding Mindsets for Smarter Marketing

By: Latika Karnani

Implicit theory of intelligence refers to the fundamental underlying beliefs regarding whether or not intelligence or abilities can change. According to this idea, there are two types of people: people who have fixed mindset or who have a growth mindset. People with fixed mindsets believe that intelligence and skills are inherent. People ‘are who they are’ and there is nothing one can do about it. Since these people are concerned about whether they have good traits or not, their main focus is to demonstrate their abilities. If they don’t possess it, they may go at lengths to hide it. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe people can substantially change and that learning and experience can foster development. These people are willing to make mistakes or appear foolish in the short run in order to maximize their development over time. There are various ways to leverage the knowledge of implicit theory of intelligence. It influences product interest, brand preference, manager’s behavior and even company image.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets

Since skills are inherent, according to fixed mindset people, efforts is something they feel is not required. They enjoy effortless success. Whereas people with a growth mindset believe that efforts foster development. So products that display that they are effortless in use would interest fixed mindset people. Products that need effort would be attractive to people with a growth mindset. If a product can be fixed or the service improved, people with a growth mindset may be more likely than those with a fixed mindset to give the establishment an opportunity to do so. For example, growth mindset individuals may be relatively satisfied with information about how an organization plans to improve in the future. They may be more willing to try the service again, accepting relief in the form of a coupon or voucher for future service. In contrast, people with a fixed mindset, having had a bad experience, might be more skeptical of whether the company can improve its products or service in general. Because of this, people with a fixed mindset may insist on monetary compensation for their loss or dissatisfaction.

If this information is leveraged properly it could reap exponential benefits. If sales persons are trained to identify such people, they could sell their products differently. For example, if you are selling Hydroxycut- a weight reducing pill, to make the product more attractive to a fixed mindset person, you might show before and after pictures. But if the sales person figures out that the person has a growth mindset, he would talk about the active ingredients of the product and how ephedrine in it would boost their metabolism, so that they can run more and be more active; the product will be more appealing.

While people chronically adopt one mindset or the other, mindsets can also be situationally activated. Clear and salient information in the local environment can shift people’s mindsets at least temporarily. It is an interesting empirical question as to how ads may most effectively induce a mindset in consumers. Ads that begin by featuring the development or change of the actor (e.g., “I was once a 97 lb. weakling, but now…”) may put viewers in a growth mindset when considering the message that follows. Other ads that encourage consumers to imagine what traits the product will confer on them may induce a more fixed mindset in the moment.


Mary C Murphy (2015.06.05). Mindsets shape consumer behavior. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057740815000650


An App is an App, or is it really? How Apps Drive Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategies

By: CJ Enos

We live in a world of apps.  Our day-to-day activity at some point revolves around an app.  In the beginning, apps were primarily used for gaming.  Today apps have evolved to much more and, for the most part, whatever you want to know, track, play or do, there’s an app for that.

If you have a tablet or smart phone then you have used an app for one reason or another.  Banking, driving directions, keeping notes, music, gaming, reading, shopping and the list goes on.  These corporate branded aps are changing the way brands are connecting to consumers and the company’s marketing approaches.  In addition, apps can have a large impact on a company’s bottom line.  It has been estimated that the average person spends about 30 hours per month using mobile apps and 40% of smart phone users browse app stores for apps to download.  Apps are a key role in the, “I want to know, go and buy” moments.

A study from Iowa state university showed a direct link between app use, purchase behaviors of consumers and an increase in sales.  The study also found, the more engaging the app, the more time customers will spend using the app, and thus the more money customers will spend, whether direct or indirect purchase from the app.

The study was conducted on a mobile app used for a loyalty reward program.  The study looked at data, such as number of times consumers looked up their points balance, transaction history, and reward items available to them and location check INs at stores affiliated with the rewards program.  The goal was to see if spending was influenced by the interactive features on the App.

The results found a correlation between consumer behavior and the bottom line of the company, even without apps that included a purchase feature.  The interactive features were enough of a draw for consumers to use the apps and drive sales.

Key takeaways from this study are corporate branded developed apps should not be ignored by companies.  (It is estimated that by 2017 the number of apps will rise beyond 268 billion.) Branded apps are a powerful way for companies to build a deeper relationship with customers.  Apps also change the marketing strategy in that they can complement a brands offline experience with in store special offers, drive sales and help connect the brands with its customers.

I agree that apps are a powerful way for brands to build deeper relationships with customers.  I also agree that they can significantly increase the bottom line.  If I can use an app that is readily at your fingertips and it is engaging enough, then the first place I go is to the app.  Searching websites, and logging onto websites, for me are a thing of the past and I only use a website when I have to.

Articles used:





Why go to the convenience store when you can goPuff?

By: Gabrielle Pecher

goPuff , an on demand delivery app, was created by Drexel University students, Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, in their sophomore year of college. These best friends, college roommates, and business partners sought an opportunity to capitalize on todays “on-demand” society upon realizing there wasn’t a business that offered everything you need 24/7. The app originally launched with hookahs and munchies, but quickly pivoted due to a high demand and interest in other products. However, they decided to keep the name “goPuff” because it sparked interest among consumers.

Today, goPuff now offers over 3,000 products that fall into 20 different categories. These products include eggs, pots and pans, iPhone chargers, toasters, cleaning items, and much more. Most recently, goPuff introduced goBeer, in which customers can have a 12-pack of brews delivered directly to their front door. These 3,000+ items have been noted as being the most popular among consumer convenience needs and are priced comparatively to convenience stores. This new service offers these items at affordable prices, with the convenience of delivery, without the upcharge.

goPuff’s fleet of independent drivers can easily grab and deliver any of these products within 30 minutes or less, and most customers claim their order typically arrives in about 20 minutes. The delivery fee is a low cost of $1.95, and for an order over $49, the delivery is free. Customers can pay with cash or can link their credit card to goPuff’s app, which is available on Apple, Android and Google phones. goPuff drivers make about $130 to $140 in an eight hour shift between $2 per dollar delivery and then tips. Currently, goPuff delivers Monday- Sunday from noon to 4:30 a.m., but plans to extend those hours to 24 hours a day within the next three months.

Today, goPuff has about 100 employees and is operating in 8 major cities: Philadelphia, Phoenix, Boston, New York City, Austin, Denver, Washington D.C., and Seattle.

Why does this service matter to marketers? Companies like goPuff are targeting a specific demographic – the millennial generation, who want high quality service, but want the process to be quick, easy, cost- effective and –  most of all – they want it now without having to wait. These companies are catering to today’s “on-demand” society’s needs where convenience within convenience is becoming a trend to accommodate these types of people and those who live an on-the-go lifestyle who may not have the time to get to places such as the convenience store. When consumers chose a service such as goPuff they are looking for 3 elements. The first element is how the product or service reduces time, consideration, and energy. The second element is the availability of the product or service at the most convenient time, such as not having to wait. Last, the third element is one which concerns the specific timing of the convenience, such as the purchase and the transportation involved.

Today, convenience is everything, given the fact that people now seem to live life on a whim. We have become so accustomed to instant gratification due to advancements in technology that now we don’t want to  wait or take the time to do anything, when a service like goPuff can do it for us at a low charge accompanied by a short wait time. Given the success of these services, especially among the millennial generation, I think this has forced marketers to think about whether this kind of service will shape consumer experiences in the future. Will people, at least millenials, eventually stop shopping at supermarkets and making fewer and fewer trips to the convenience store? Will the in-store experience become obsolete in the next several years? These are questions for researchers and marketers to think about going forward as demands are increasing and constantly changing. Given the fact that I am 23 years old and part of the millennial generation, I can say that this service is ideal for us 20-something year olds who are constantly on the go, and when we need or want something, we want it now – at a low cost, of course. New and upcoming companies like goPuff understand that, which is why they have been so successful. More and more people are catching on to this, which is why these types of services, I think, will become increasingly more popular in the next few years.

At goPuff, they take convenience seriously, and for them it’s about bringing you what you need, as soon you need it, with nothing but a few taps and 30 minutes in between. goPuff allows you to carry a sleek and effortless convenience store, smoke shop, and mini-mart right in your pocket. Now, how convenient is that?

To learn more about goPuff take a look at these articles:








All Marketers are Liars

By: Jin Wang

When I saw the title of the book for the first time, I felt that it was very interesting. Although I know that many people think marketing is to lie to customers and to trick them to buy products, it is the first time for me to see an author being so straightforward to tell the readers that all marketers are liars.

Unlike the traditional textbooks, this book is not to teach the readers about product positioning, or the 4Ps. The author of this book also did not talk about boring marketing theories. Instead, he put forward a creative ideal: marketers should start communicating with their potential customers with an almost-true story that can arouse the customers’ interest in the products. Marketing people need to tell stories. A good story’s purpose is to win the trust of the listeners. Successful marketing people never simply talk about products’ features or the benefits of using the products. They tell stories that consumers are willing to believe. They are not trying to change the worldview of the consumers’, but instead they create their stories in accordance with the consumer’s worldview.

In other words, the author believes that in marketing strategies, the description about the products’ quality, characteristics and prices can not influence consumers and make them have the desire to purchase. The main factor that can influence customers’ decisions is whether or not the products are in line with the consumer’s worldview. Each product has a story behind it, and creating a good story plays an important role in the product selling process.

After stating the importance of the stories, the author then taught the readers how to create such stories. Firstly, marketers need to understand the consumer’s worldview, because the world outlook is relatively fixed and it is hard to change people’s worldview. But it is easy to find and meet the customers’ worldview. Just like the fact that it is difficult to force other people to accept your views by refuting your ideas, but it is easily to convince others to agree with you after acknowledging their opinions first. Meanwhile, the author of the book also emphasized that such stories are not  lies. A good story can make people recall personal experience that is similar to some parts of the story. Such connections can inspire consumers and awaken their curiosity about the products you want to promote.

In the book, the author described how Coca-Cola promoted their products during WWII as a example of such marketing stories. Due to the impact of the war, Coca-Cola had difficulties to expand their market both domestically and internationally. The company’s second president Robert Woodruff set a goal and promised that every American soldier can drink Coca-Cola whenever and wherever for only 5 cents. After the goal was set, Coca-Cola sent 248 people abroad with the army. This move helped Coca-Cola to expand their market to all over the world. The company also built  64 new factories during the war period. Coca-Cola noticed and made a good use of the fact that U.S. soldiers missed their normal life back home. The company’s right decision helped themselves to promote the products effectively during the war.

According to the author, if marketers still think they should advertise the features and benefits of using their products, they are probably wrong. And this book explains how the market shifted from fulfilling customers’ needs to giving products that they are curious about and eager to know. Customers have countless options to choose in the marketplace. And they have everything they want. They are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day. Marketers would not break through by yelling louder. The amount of information and the complexity of the marketplace have made it hard for marketers to communicate a product’s positioning in one sentence. So framing the right story for target customers can let the marketers explain effectively what they are promoting and what they can contribute to the customers’ lives.

This book explained the important role of stories in marketing strategies. Nowadays, when shopping, people care more about how they feel than what the products can actually do. As the book described, the reason behind buying a pair of Puma is to make oneself feel more confident but not for the quality of the shoes. Another example in the book was the Silk manufactures’ strategy. They put their products in the refrigerators of supermarkets not to keep the milk fresh but to make customers think that their products are fresh. It works very well. These are some examples of the power of effective story-telling in marketing.

In the book, the author emphasized that marketers are not liars, and they are just storytellers. Contrarily, the book argued that the consumers are liars as consumers lie to themselves every day about what they want to wear, where they want to live, and what they do at work. I agree with the author that successful marketers are just the providers of stories that consumers choose to believe.


Godin, Seth. “All marketers are liars.” New York: Portfolio (2005).

Why we ‘fall’ in love and why we ‘raise’ a question?

By: Aish Gunti

Emotions and rationality are fundamental elements of life, yet difficult to define and interpret because of their abstract nature. Thus scholars from all over the world from centuries have associated physical elements to understand such abstract concepts. A recent study showed the existence of conceptual metaphors and their association with rationality and emotion. For example, love is a journey where abstract domain of love is made meaningful by associating it with the concrete domain of the journey. “This metaphor might lead one to think of lover as a fellow traveler, or of a shared life goal as destination.”

“In The Wizard of Oz, The Tin Man desires a heart because of his lack of emotions and Scarecrow desires a brain as he lacks intelligence.”

For centuries, humans tend to associate two concrete body parts- the head and the heart- with the more abstract concepts of rationality and emotion, respectively. Thus over time people tend to develop a conceptual link of rationality with ‘up’ or ‘higher’ and emotion with ‘down’ or ‘lower.’ Scholars like Plato and doctrines like Neo-Platonism claim such association have had an immense impact on contemporary culture, affecting even the vocabulary such as ‘falling in love’, and ‘thinking on a higher plane’.

Although rationality and emotion as drivers of human behavior have been intensively studied in consumer behavior since 1994, their relationship with physical verticality has been in the limelight only since 2015. Physical height is a type of concrete experience that has been linked metaphorically to a number of abstract concepts, which include but not limited to power, valence, morality and rationality. Experiments have been conducted to study the existence and association of such metaphors and the verticality domain. Results show that rationality is associated with a higher positioning than emotion along the vertical dimension and such a match will generate a greater positive response.

How different would it be if the word ‘hope’ was at the top of picture rather than the bottom in iconic Hope poster of Obama’s 2008 campaign?

Literature from marketing corroborates with such finding by how a match between physical position and product information increases product evaluation. However, such metaphorical association between verticality and rationality/emotion will be attenuated when people become aware of associations or brands. Thus when a consumer views an ad for an unfamiliar product, he/she forms an opinion based on cues from the ad when compared to a familiar product or brand. In the ‘Hope’ poster, placing hope at the bottom matches with its strong emotional association may not had influenced people with prior strong opinions about Obama, however, led to more positive attitude for those who were undecided or less opinionated.

Association between verticality and rationality/emotion is bidirectional.

Association between verticality and rationality/emotion is bidirectional unlike other abstract domains such as power or morality which are unidirectional. Thus to create an emotional appeal for a product it is recommended to position it lower rather than higher. Likewise a lower placed position is subconsciously associated with emotional domain and not associated with the abstract domain of power, i.e., regardless of positioning, power is always considered higher.

However, caution is suggested when using such metaphors to imply desired abstract domain. Such metaphors exert maximum influence when introduced subtly rather than blatantly, thus deserving more attention.

Information obtained can be applied to all elements of marketing communication as all visual formats from a printed page to a smartphone are an integral part of the process to integrate vertical placement.

It is recommended for marketers to take into consideration rational-emotional association while deciding on vertical positioning of products or information. However, verticality may at times have less of an effect on interpretation when individuals are familiar with a brand.

In conclusion, history has proved the existence of metaphorical association of abstract domains like rationality/emotion with concrete domains like head/heart, respectively and this association is vertical and bidirectional. Unfamiliar stimuli usually have a higher positive response based on such association, whereas previously existing knowledge of familiar stimuli is taken into consideration for decision making. Future research could focus on a subtle introduction of metaphors for maximum response versus a blatant approach.


Cian, Luca., Krishna, Aradhna., Schwarz, Norbert. (2015), “Positioning Rationality and Emotion: Rationality Is Up and Emotion Is Down,” Journal of Consumer Research, Dec2015, Vol. 42 Issue 4, p 632-651.

Snap Decision: The Best Way to Market on Snapchat

By: Chris Cimmino and Sharon Masucci

Snapchat is a messaging app that allows individuals to communicate and share photos and videos with both their immediate friend list as well as the general public. This popular app was launched in 2011 by Evan Spiegel of Stanford University. He created a photo sharing app with his friend Bobby Murphy, who is now the cofounder and programmer behind the app. When a friend of Spiegel said, “I wish the photos I am sending this girl would disappear,” the idea of a photo sharing app with self-destructing pictures was born. After being told by so many that what happens on the internet, stays on the internet, consumers were looking for a loophole in the system and found one with Snapchat. Originally the app was named “Picaboo,” before later being renamed to what we now know as Snapchat. After seeing the short success of Snapchat, Facebook launched an app called Poke in 2012 that was almost identical to its competitor. Poke had failed quickly and Zuckerburg offered Spiegel $3 billion dollars for the app to later be denied. Spiegel knew then that his app was something special that could benefit both the consumer and marketer.

In the world of Snapchat, we must understand that photos and videos are not permanent to view. The sender can select a time window of 0-10 seconds to allow access for a specific recipient before the photo disappears. The user can also place a video on a 24 hour personal story that can be viewed by every person on the individual’s friend list. A user can share their entertaining photos with the general public as well by posting on a “live story” that may only take place in select areas depending on location.

Snapchat has become a powerful social media tool that has its users sending over 700 million “snaps” a day. Snapchat has popular features that keep its users coming back for more. Not only can you send your Snapchats to a select audience of your choice, but you can also edit photos with filters, text, or even a hand drawn doodle with the pen tool. This allows the user to maximize their creativity by giving it their own personal touch with the edit tools. User to user interaction can be fun and easy on Snapchat, but interaction between marketer and user can be a challenge without a clear understanding, of who your audience is and how to reach them in a tight window of opportunity.

Consumer to Consumer interaction seems to vary on Snapchat.  Originally there was concern that Snapchat was just a sexting app, but statistics have proven otherwise. Some of the most popular content that users send on Snapchat include events, people, selfies, and funny things. The majority of users tend to consistently use Snapchat to send their friends funny content. This could include the use of a variety of Snapchat’s new filters that change daily. New filters keep the consumer coming back each day. There is also a wide variety of filters to keep the user busy for an extended period of time.

Consumer to Marketer interaction is done through Snapchat Discover as well as swipeable ads, sponsored content, and geofilters. Snapchat discover provides multiple channels such as CNN, Cosmopolitan, Comedy Central, ESPN, National Geographic, and more. This provides the consumer with multiple outlets to please their entertainment needs. Marketers can advertise through Discover by providing ads that the user can swipe through and provide sponsored content in specific Discover channels to gain brand recognition. Individual channels also allows marketers to target their viewers. They can gain information on the type of person that might view the National Geographic channel, and what other kind of activity they may engage in on Snapchat. This makes it easier for marketers to target their advertisements and gain a competitive advantage through this gathered information. Geofilters can also promote a specific brand. For example, Dunkin Donuts had a geofilter that could only be unlocked at or near Dunkin’ Donuts stores. This geofilter would provide users with a free medium coffee on National Coffee Day. The filter can create awareness and drive interest for Snapchat users to get to their local Dunkin Donuts.

Snapchat is growing at a rapid rate. The real target market for those marketing on Snapchat should be users between the ages 18-34 years old. This age group occupies 71% of all users on the app. Not only are we noticing young people on Snapchat, but an overwhelming majority of users are women at 70%. This does not mean that marketers should only focus on women between the ages of 18-34, but they should understand who their audience is. In order to reach the male population on Snapchat, marketers should utilize sports and live events to gain unique views, which measures the number of people who have opened up the first frame of your Snapchat story for at least 1 second.

The best ways to appeal to your audience on Snapchat is by capturing key moments, offer rewards and coupons, preview new products, inform customers about special sales and events, and behind the scenes footage. A key moment to capture on Snapchat could include something like the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City. Many people tune in across the country to watch the ball drop, and Marketers could provide a live story to help those who are not their experience the excitement of being in New York City.

Snapchat brings people to the action. Who doesn’t want to see Tom Brady or their favorite football player in pregame preparing for the Superbowl? With Snapchat live stories, we are able to get an inside look as a consumer that has never been offered before. With regular TV there can be preparation and editing that doesn’t capture the raw material that can be shared in numerous 10 second snaps. Marketers can create awareness of an event or product through these live stories that can be subtle but effective.

Geofilters have become a huge way for marketers to advertise on snapchat. Geofilters are based on your current location. Certain locations such as Times Square and Las Vegas have geofilters that users can take pictures with. The geofilters could include pictures, logos, and town names. These filters can be created by Snapchat, the given community, and brands. If you are a local restaurant in a popular area it could benefit you to create a geofilter with your restaurants name in order to create awareness.

When considering to advertise on Snapchat it is important to recognize the costs associated with each type of plan. Geofilters can be purchased at a minimum of 20.000 square feet to a maximum of 5 million square feet. The advertiser can choose to keep it active for an hour or up to thirty days. Filters start at a cost of $5 dollars, but can change depending on select location. If a marketer would prefer to create a collection of user based content through a live story they must pay a hefty fee of $250,000 dollars a day. During holidays ads can cost up to $750,000 dollars a day.

There is no doubt that with the growing popularity of Snapchat that marketers must now find a way to utilize this took in their marketing plans to stay on top of their given industry. Snapchat has risen to 10th on the Apple App Store download list. As the number of smartphones rise across the globe, the number of users on snapchat is going to rise. The question is not if marketers need to utilize Snapchat as a marketing tool, but what is the best way to do it? Is the best way to spend as a marketer on Snapchat through geofilters, sponsored content in discover, or is it through live stories that they must pay a larger fee for?
















Why Marketers Should Care About a Crowdsourced Driving App

By: Brigette Houghton  Erique L’Heureux

People have always wanted to know the best way to get from point A to point B. As maps are phased out and our cars and driving habits seem more and more dependent on technology, people are looking for the best driving app on the market. But how do you evaluate that? Is it the app that consistently gets you there the fastest or maybe just the one with a funny computer generated voice to keep you company on those long road trips. The answer, in my opinion, is the one with the most up to date data. How many times has your GPS told you to turn down a city street that was closed for repairs leaving you in that terrible state of driving purgatory while the GPS reroutes. With the driving app Waze bad data is a thing of the past.

What is Waze:

“Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute. Waze. Outsmarting Traffic, Together.”

Waze versus Other map apps:

They reason why more people are choosing Waze over other navigation apps is because Waze is interactive with a community.  While these other map apps may get you to your location, they may not tell you how much traffic you will get stuck in along the way. They also might not inform you of police speed traps.  Waze is the app that can do it all and then some.  Waze can give you multiple route options, inform you on how heavy the traffic is in certain locations, can tell you about road work ahead, and can warn you of a police officer ahead! Waze’s maps are constantly being edited by its users as roads are being closed and built in different directions. It can do all of this, and you can also connect to your Facebook friends to see if they are in your area, and where they are as long as they are connected as well.

About Waze:

Waze is a community based navigation app that was created in 2006 in the country of Israel by Ehud Shabtai.  The company was originally called “FreeMap Israel”.  The name did not last long, and two years later they changed the name to Waze.  In 2013, Facebook tried to buy Waze for $1 billion when they only had 36 million users, but Waze decided not to take the deal because they did not want to have to move their headquarters to California; they wanted to stay in Israel. Later in the year, Google offered Waze $1.3 billion, and offered them to keep their headquarters in Israel, but to have some offices in California.  From the time Facebook placed an offer to the time Google placed their offer, the amount of Waze users increased from 36 million to 50 million users.


The fun thing about Waze is that by connecting with your friends on Facebook, you can challenge them with the number of miles you drive, and boost your rank within the app.  The higher your rank, the harder it is to remain there though! This aspect of gamification provides a social incentive in addition to the functional one. When users can complete milestones and see how they stack up against others they want to open the app on more of their drives to increase their score.


As mentioned before, Waze allows you to stay connected to your friends, and your community.  If there is a better way to get somewhere, you can edit the map to come up with the better route, and you can share it with the community.  If you are stuck in traffic, let the other users in your area know so they do not have to get stuck in it as well.  And, if you are attending a Facebook event that your friends are also attending, you can connect to Waze and see what their estimated time of arrival is, or you can pick them up along the way.

Waze also has a self-serving ad buying page where businesses can buy “location pins” to advertise their businesses whether they be local or chain businesses.  Waze sells these location pins for $1 per 1000 pins.  Big chain companies like Shell, Starbucks, Wyndham Hotels, Yum Brand, Dunkin Donuts, and AT&T are just a few of the chains that have location pins on Waze.  This may be a risk for Waze because of the fact that these large companies can take advantage of the fact that the location pins are such a small price compared to the rest of the companies expenses. However for companies buying the pins a service that literally directs people right to their front door is indispensable. It solves the marketing problem of location. A small business without the capital to open a store on a main road can buy a pin and have every waze user in the area still know where they are located. A person can travel down the same street every day their entire life and not realize that there’s an amazing business on the next street over. Now with Waze they can! Waze has also introduced another channel of advertising that they call “Ad Takeovers.” This is a pop up that is intended to be unobtrusive to the user while they are driving. Accordingly they only appear before the user starts driving and after they have been stationary for more than five seconds. These pop ups use the location data provided via the user’s phone to target consumers geographically. Brick and mortar businesses can buy ad takeovers so that consumers in their area are exposed to their brand. It wouldn’t make much sense for McDonald’s to advertise to drivers when the closest store is fifty miles away. Waze’s location data eliminates this problem and ensures that business will experience a greater return on investment for their marketing dollars. Waze has also found a way to incorporate other types of data to enhance its marketing capabilities. Dunkin Donuts, who was one of the first companies to adopt Waze’s marketing, uses both weather and time data to tailor its advertisements. In the morning when it is cold they can push ads for hot coffee and in the warmer afternoons they can offer coupons for a sweet frozen drink. This targeted approach further increases the return on investment that marketers will find appealing. The future of Waze’s growth in the marketing will depend on the level of data that they can provide. Users can already sign into Waze via Facebook and the prospect that Waze could add Facebook data into its arsenal could present some interesting possibilities. Marketers could possibly find out the interests of people who are close to their businesses and make it even easier to get people in through the front door.


A risk that could hurt Waze is that the app may promote texting and driving; although the app can recognize if you are in a moving car. And if you are, there is a window that can pop up that basically tells you to pull over in order to use the app.  This pop up window gives the user the option to say if he or she is a passenger in the car. The driver does have the ability to bypass this window by falsely indicating that they are the passenger and are capable of safely using the app. It’s a widely known fact that humans really are awful at multitasking and the use of mobile devices while driving has been linked with numerous, needless deaths and even more non-fatal accidents. If there is ever any indication that a driver was hurt or injured while using Waze they no doubt will take a serious PR hit. Any brand that looks to utilize Waze’s marketing aspects need to seriously consider if their brand image is in line with a driving app that could be the center of some controversy.

Alternatively, another aspect of Waze that is steeped in controversy, is the app’s function to identify the location of traffic officers. The same way that users can identify hazards and traffic on the roadway gives them the ability to identify where there are police cruisers parked. The function’s purpose is to help Wazers avoid speed traps which could ultimately lead to a hefty fine. A good idea for those of us who like to get from place to place a little faster than the law allows. But it also disarms and even endangers police officers and their ability to effectively do their job. Police officers aren’t just on duty to ruin our day with a speeding ticket, they’re there to enforce the law and protect society. Suppose that a drunk driver opens up Waze and sees that there is a police checkpoint so he decides to take another route. He endangers himself and everyone around him and Waze has granted him the opportunity to avoid getting caught. Police officers all over the country have already expressed that they want an end to this function. Afterall, people who would otherwise break the law as a rule tend not to do it when they know there are police officers around. Waze has steadfastly neglected to make any statement in response to the controversy surrounding their police function. One can’t be sure if this is because the company recognizes the negative implications and simply won’t address them. The function is very unique to anything on the market and the draw that it provides to consumers is understandable. Download a free app and possibly avoid a two-hundred dollar speeding ticket? Sounds like a good investment to me. But likewise as with the risk of distracted driving brands need to consider the possibility that a PR disaster or even federal regulation could cost Waze its customer base and leave people invested in their marketing out to dry.

Bottom Line:

Marketers are always trying to reach consumers on a more personal level. Big data is the future of finding out exactly who your customer base is and how best to reach them. The location based data that Waze provides opens horizons for brands to completely change the way they bring people into their stores. We could see Waze bringing about the end to those giant inflatable tube men or people who spin signs outside of businesses as the app does all the work for you in bringing customers right to your door.

Twitter as an Effective Social Media Marketing Tool

By: Justin Flory and Matt Kelling

The first message on Twitter, commonly known as a tweet, was published on March 21, 2006 by current C.E.O and co-founder, Jack Dorsey. With many new launches in the next few years for the social media platform, (such as promoted tweets and hashtags) Twitter quickly became one of the most popular social media networks, as it changed the game for traditional media.

In 2009, an airplane crashed in the Hudson River of New York City. Twitter user Janis Krums, also known as @jkrums, picked up on the nearby crash and tweeted out to his followers, “There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy” along with a photo of the crash. Without even knowing it at the time, Krums shared breaking news on his personal Twitter account and broke the story before traditional media outlets and organizations even got to it. Krums changed the way news was gathered and proved that Twitter is a successful media and marketing outlet. The rest is history.

While Twitter has become a place where users gather information, listen to others, and engage in conversations, it’s also a place where people keep in touch with their favorite companies, brands, celebrities, and events.  The platform has become a common place where companies can participate in unique marketing initiatives that their consumers can relate to.

To sum it up, Twitter has a short list of key features that connect its users. A tweet is simply just a message that users send out to their followers, or to everyone if their account is public. These messages are crafted in 140 characters or less and might be made up of photos, links, or videos. Users can respond to other people’s tweets by replying and they can share others’ tweets my retweeting. Retweeting enables users to put someone else’s message on their own feed and also allows users to comment or quote others’ messages. Users can acknowledge tweets without sharing as well, as a simple like does the job. Users can direct messages at other users by mentioning them publicly or sending them a direct message in a private inbox.

In terms of similar ideas spread on Twitter, hashtags are simple messages in the form of a word or sentence without spaces. The message is attached to a # symbol and allows users to search for a specific conversation on a specific topic. Popular hashtags appear in the trending topics section of Twitter. The site provides a search forum for users to look up keywords, as well as hashtags and users. Twitter users might also use lists, which are collections of users with similar interests that they can create, subscribe to, or become a member of. While seeing what their followers have to say on their own feeds, users can also scroll through Moments, which are top news stories selected by Twitter.

With over 320 million monthly active users, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have Twitter right at their fingertips. Through Twitter, consumers and marketers can build prosperous relationships with each other. Consumers can engage with brands in both positive and negative ways and users are able to tweet at companies in hopes that they will get a response. For example, many users tweet at airline brands when they’re unhappy with their travels. Often times, brands like Delta and American Airlines have an employee that is able to respond to angry and (sometimes) happy consumers. By tweeting at these consumers, people feel that they are being taken care of by a brand they use or trust. Companies are able to make their brand look good or bad through their responses because of this.

Other than interacting with consumers and building relationships, companies are able to participate in many marketing activities on Twitter. These include customer service, promoted and sponsored tweets, brand building, and promotional efforts. Using Twitter for customer service is done through responding to customer complaints, feedback, questions, or sharing (retweeting), and liking their content. Through purchasing a promoted tweet, companies can target specific audiences to reach more people, both followers and users who don’t necessarily follow the brand. Promoted tweets can help Twitter users become aware of a company, can help drive website traffic, as well as make users more familiar with what a company or brand does. Sponsored tweets are a little different than promoted tweets, as a company can pay someone else (an influencer) to promote their brand.

According to Twitter internal data, “69% of users are likely to buy from a business they follow on Twitter.” Twitter helps consumers decide what they like and dislike about a product or service and then act on it. Through Twitter, companies can create a consistent voice for their brand. This voice might be sophisticated or excited, depending on what the company is selling or trying to get across to its followers. Through a company’s account, customers can see pictures, logos, videos, and more, which teaches them about the company they like or are interested in.

Many companies also participate in putting their own promotions on Twitter. These might include free giveaways, contests, prizes, special deals, discounts, or one-time offers. For example, Applebee’s recently tweeted out to its followers, “Busy? We’ll meet you at the car with Applebee’s Carside To Go. Download our NEW app now & save $5 on your 1st order.” Companies are able to get more people in their door by providing special offers on areas where people will see it, such as on the official Applebee’s account.

Along with these marketing activities, companies also work toward marketing objectives that include building those same customer relationships, launching new products and services, building brand awareness, and targeting new customers. To carry out these activities and objectives successfully, Twitter provides Twitter Analytics for its users, both individuals and companies. Analytics consists of impressions to show how many times users see certain tweets and engagements that show how many times a user clicked on links in a tweet. Along with these features, audience insights shows companies the demographics, lifestyles, interests, consumer behaviors, and mobile footprints of their followers. Companies can use this data to compare their followers with other Twitter users as well. Twitter Analytics captures who is really following a specific company and how they can successfully engage with them on a daily

These lead to marketing tactics and how a company can use Twitter to successfully market their brand on the site. Companies should keep their tweets short and to the point. Users are limited to 140 characters, but the shorter, the better. Companies should use quality photos and videos because this makes their brand look better and more attractive to audiences. People like seeing pictures more than words as well, so these will capture more people’s attention. Companies should also be using relevant hashtags that relate to their brand and messages. They can use hashtags through regular tweets or can even create polls to ask their followers questions. Finally, companies should be connecting with their audience and followers. This involves replying, retweeting, and liking what their consumers and followers have to say. These actions will encourage better relationships and connections among consumers and brand interactions.

Marketing on Twitter can be both expensive and inexpensive, depending on how much a company chooses to bid or spend on promoted tweets, accounts, trends, or ads. Promoted tweets will appear in users’ feeds and can bring increased site traffic or brand awareness. These tweets typically run between $.50 and $2.00 per engagement (per click). Promoted accounts encourage users to follow them, as they appear in the ‘who to follow’ section of one’s Twitter account. These usually cost anywhere from $2.50 to $4.00 per follower. A little more expensive are promoted trends, (popular topics) which can cost close to $200,000 per day. Lastly, Twitter ads have no exact price tag because companies are encouraged to bid, but Twitter suggests that companies pay anywhere from $.10 to $23.00 for ads that include advertising methods like website clicks, follower campaigns, or video view campaigns. Either way, advertising on Twitter can be affordable for businesses of any kind, small or large.

Plenty of companies have succeeded with using Twitter as an effective marketing tool. Clean Air London, a non-profit organization, works to better air quality in London. The organization had hopes of increasing brand awareness by trying to reach out to more audiences with their message. They did this by targeting people they thought would be interested and used geo-targeting to reach people across the United Kingdom. They also targeted Twitter users who followed similar accounts like @MayorofLondon and @BBCBreakingNews. Clean Air London ended up getting double the amount of followers they originally had before the campaign started. From this, they found that three times more of users clicked on their links and 20% more users engaged with their posts.

While organizations like Clean Air London have done well though, some companies have failed with using Twitter as a marketing tool. The official Chrysler Autos account tweeted profanity out to its followers and the employee was later fired because of it. In return, the company apologized to its followers for the tweet, but the tweet can still be found all over the internet as a Twitter fail.

With the capabilities to better customer service, target audiences with promoted and sponsored tweets, promoted trends or accounts, and building a brand, Twitter is an effective marketing tool for all companies and organizations. Twitter allows companies to target new audiences, while keeping it interesting with their current consumers. Twitter has proven to help companies with great social media marketing success and continues to do so year after year.


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Internet of Things (IoT) – Our Future

By: Jennifer Buonarosa

The Internet of Things is one of the hottest topics in 2016 and is being referred to has the 4th Industrial Revolution, the convergence of digital, human, and physical domains.  These internet of things are changing the way we go about our business in our everyday lives.

We can now adjust the heat in our homes from an app on our smartphones, or if we forgot to set the alarm before we left, not a problem – we can set it from our phone. This interconnectivity between things and wireless networks are providing endless options for what we will be able to control remotely.  Connectivity today focuses a lot on home, health and most recently transportation, but analysts are predicting buildings and cities to enter the market as well.

Marketers are loving this new technology, as it is unlocking endless resources regarding their consumers’ purchasing habits. Marketers are able to monitor consumer behaviors more closely than ever before.  They can now see what, when, how, where, and – most importantly now – why we as consumers are purchasing goods and services. Marketers can detect, sooner rather than later, when a product isn’t doing well and can make smarter decisions as to whether to continue with the product.  With this technology, they can also tell if we are looking into a product and if we did not purchase, they can send a notification to our smartphone making recommendations as to why we should proceed with our purchase. They can even go as far as sending us a coupon or promotion about the item to entice us to buy.  This technology is definitely a plus for marketers, but also comes with its challenges.  How are these devices tracked and monitored?  Just about anything these days can be connected to the internet.  Analysts are suggesting that by 2020 there could be 20 to 75 billion things or devices connected. Today it is estimated that there are ten billion connected devices.  How do we prevent this technology from being hijacked and losing all connectivity?  There are also privacy issues as well.  All of these connected devices are gathering information about us: how do we ensure that all this information is safe?

As consumers, we may love the fact that we don’t have to worry about running out of certain items because our apps will advise us when we are running low and reorder them for us with a click of a button on our phones. We can start or lock/unlock our vehicles from an app on our phone. The Apple watch and other fitness devices can calculate our every step and monitor our heart rate and transfer that information to the app on your phone and allow you to track your history. Nest is a Wi-Fi connected thermostat for your home and we can control the temperature of our home from a remote location.  These are a few examples of internet of things that make our lives just a little bit easier everyday.

Are you as a consumer comfortable with all of this technology? Are you ok with all this information being collected about your daily habits?  There are great convenient applications here that definitely make our lives easier, but do they come with a high price for us as consumers?