Digital Marketing Certified

It is hard to believe that my last semester at Siena College is one week from being over. As the semester comes to an end, so does my Digital Marketing course taught by Dr. Michael Pepe.

For our final project, we had to take the 60 question quiz to be certified in Digital Inbound Marketing by Hubspot Academy. I passed this certification on my first attempt with minimal studying!

hubspot-certification

With thanks to Dr. Pepe and Siena College, I am now certified in various inbound strategies such as search engine optimization, creating content with a purpose and email marketing.

This certification had a relevant impact for when I was interviewing for a job at GreyCastle Security in Troy, NY. Now, I will directly be able to apply what I have learned in the classroom to benefit my organization!

College was a great experience, but now it is time to start my professional career.

Dean’s Email Marketing Analysis

In today’s market, an effective way for marketers to reach current and prospective consumers is through email marketing. Not only does email marketing incur small costs, it can be used as an effective tool to drive revenue growth and yield a high return on investment. Email marketing, along with many other digital marketing tactics, is easily measured through analytics.

As a consumer, I have experienced email marketing campaigns to try and sway my purchasing decisions. Most recently, I have been receiving marketing emails from Constant Contact (this is ironic because they are an email marketing software provider). The reason that Constant Contact has access to my email address is because I use to volunteer for a local non-profit where I wanted to leverage their email/contact list. I initiated the company’s account and used my personal email address for the account’s address.

Usually, I never open Constant Contacts’ emails directed to me even when they usually send about two per week. With this assignment – it has driven me to open and analyze the last two emails I have received. The subject line of the last email was “Visit us at the New York Expo next week.” This subject line was enticing to me because I am always looking for conferences to increase my knowledge. The content of the email (below) did match the subject line.

constant-contact-email-1

By studying the content of this email, the call-to-action is for me to click on the red button and register for their expo for free. The timing of the event did not work for me so I did not click on the link. The design of this email was simple and straight to the point.

The obvious goal of this email was to advertise their event to users that are familiar to their product. In that regard, this email succeeded. I believe, however, that this was sent to a segmented list as it is advertising an expo in New York City. Since the event is only one day, it is not worth advertising nationally or internationally. That is why I believe that this list was geographically segmented to all users in New York State. In the future, I should expect a follow-up email about the same event.

Constant Contact sent me a second email with the subject line: “Discover the great features in your account.” The email is shown below:

constant-contact-email-2

 The purpose of this email was to bring awareness to their newly implemented features. I believe that although effective, there is too many links. Since I am already aware of many of these features, I did not click on any of the links. In my opinion, this email was also sent to all the users and was not segmented.

In conclusion, both emails provided me with a path to unsubscribe to give me the option to no longer receive these emails. If you wish to read more about email marketing, I suggest you read Hubspot’s blog on email marketing as it provides further analysis on effective tactics to use.

Lions Blog: On-site SEO Ranking

blogWe are in the process of wrapping up week four of the young NFL season. It is hard to believe that we are already about 25% done with the year and I can speak for all Detroit Lion fans when I say what a disappointment for our team (1-3).

So instead of talking about the Detroit Lions, let’s talk about how I can take my blog to the next level and make it “Billy Fuccillo Huuuuge” by using digital marketing and SEO.

Search engine optimization ranking can be increased by focusing on three criteria:

  1. Keywords
  2. On-site SEO
  3. Off-site SEO

To find suitable keywords, I used Google’s Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords with high traffic to consider using throughout my blog:

keywords

Now, I need to focus on my on-site SEO which can by leveraging my chosen keywords above through my URL, header tag, main content, blog tags and more. For example, as you can see, my URL is www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com. This will work for my keywords “dean” and “siena college.”

As for my site title, “Dean from Siena College,” and my tagline, “Detroit Lions Blog,” are also remained constant with my keywords. In fact, site titles and taglines carry more weight when determining page rankings for Google.  The content of my blog also speaks for itself as it matches with several keywords mentioned above.

Another sect of on-site SEO is the quality of my blog post which is measured by:

  1. High click through rate
  2. Low bounce rate
  3. Fast load times
  4. Original content
  5. Good spelling and grammar

The last facet of SEO rankings is off-site SEO. Since I am unwilling to pay for Google Ads, I rely heavily on off-site SEO to boost my page rankings. The popularity of my off-site SEO depends on the number of backlinks to my blog. I have connected my blog with all my social media accounts as well as have family and friends share my link on their accounts.

I hope this short blog post provided you with some basic information on search engine optimization. If you are eager to learn more, please read Daniel Louis’ “13 Super-Easy Ways to Immediately Improve your SEO” and Dr. Michael Pepe’s blog.

In conclusion, I have a lot of work to do with my blog and I can not do it without your help! So please, share my site, share your thoughts in the comment section and have fun!

Detroit Lions: The Business

We are all huge fans of the National Football League and our respective teams. The simple reality check that all fans need to know is that the National Football League and the Detroit Lions are – and operate as – a business that requires an inflow of revenue.

lionsThe main product sold by professional football teams are the players on the field – that’s obvious. In order to create more revenue, all of the teams branched out into selling team based apparel.

With the increased use of the internet by consumers, all NFL teams use their own website as a source of e-commerce to sell their products. My Lions use http://shop.detroitlions.com/ as their e-commerce site.

So how effective is the digital marketing of the Detroit Lions’ organization?

If you are associated with an NFL football team, you already have national brand recognition – but where exactly does their traffic come from. I know – through experience – that if you follow the Detroit Lions on social media, they advertise their online store heavily. This is known as unpaid referrals and it makes up a large portion of their traffic (it is also completely free).

Another large source of traffic is through searching in Google. When you google “Detroit Lions apparel,” it is the second website listed. This organic search lags behind only www.Nflshop.com. Although it seems counterintuitive, NFL Shop is a competitor of the Detroit Lions’ website as the revenue will go to the NFL instead of the Detroit Lions. The Lions need to improve their SEO strategy

The next criteria are conversions that lead to their revenue. Below is a picture of the Detroit Lions’ website:

Lions Website.PNG

As you can see, it is a very aesthetically pleasing website that is easy to follow, it has a large call to action “Shop Now” and has a large promotional banner right on top. All of these factors are put in place to boost conversions and click-through rates. This website holds true to the Lions’ brand with the unique Lions’ Honolulu Blue and the “One Pride” banner on the left.

Overall, I think the Lions have an effective website and should be more proactive with their SEO campaign. Especially because their team is the biggest disappointment in professional sports.

If you would like to go into a more in-depth analysis of the use of digital marketing in the National Football League, I encourage you to read the work of Dr. Michael Pepe’s analysis of the Minnesota Vikings. Anything from Dr. Pepe is worth looking into!

Stafford is Starting (Finishing) Right

If you need to know anything about me, it is that I love my family and my Detroit Lions. If you would like, please read the “Why the Detroit Lions?” tab to see how this weird obsession started.

Throughout the semester, I will be blogging about the multiple facets of the Detroit Lions whether it is a recap of their game or questionable marketing/business decisions. So please, relax and enjoy my blog as I want to spark conversations and debates. It is going to be a great semester!

The Detroit Lions earned their Week 1 win on the road against the Andrew Luck and his Indianapolis Colts, 39-35, on a game-winning field goal.

Matt Prater

As a Lion enthusiast, I saw this win coming from months away and it was obvious.

Almost every “expert” picked the depleted Colts to walk all over the lonely Lions to kick off the 2016 NFL Season. Why? Because the Lions’ star receiver, Calvin Johnson, retired from the football field and was hired to the dancing floor (check him out on Dancing with the Stars) leaving the Lions’ offensive “clueless.”

My bold prediction for the Detroit Lions in 2016 is that Matthew Stafford will have his best season statistically – and yes, without Megatron. How can this be? Because of Johnson’s departure, the Lions now have over $20 million dollars of salary cap where they can allocate to find multiple, meaningful contributors whether it is linemen or new weapons on both sides of the football.

I know everyone is looking at Marvin Jones here. I get it – replacing Megatron with Jones is like replacing your 1970 Ford Mustang with your Uncle’s 1999 Honda Accord with 150,000 miles. But think about this, Megatron’s departure and the addition of Decker, Bush, Boldin and Jones is like adding subwoofers, detailed interior and auto-park feature to your 2017 Tesla. We are moving in the right direction here.

Now because week 1 is over, I can even provide proof. Stafford had an 80% completion percentage, 128.6 passer rating and a game-winning drive that moved faster down the field than any Tesla on full throttle ever could.

All of this… Stafford without Calvin Johnson.

The NFL season is long and requires consistency on the Lions’ part, but if each player can contribute and perform their roles correctly, then maybe, just maybe, the Lions can become strong closers in the fourth quarter and give their fans a Super Bowl victory!

Why Does Nobody Care About Customer Satisfaction?

Hello friends, this is it, my tenth and final required blog post of the semester! There are less than two weeks left until the Fall 2015 semester is history and I will be on winter break relaxing with my friends and family. I am fifteen views away from my semester goal. ONLY FIFTEEN VIEWS!! That is practically nothing. Please help me with one final push to get the necessary amount of views! SHARE MY LINK: www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com. I would also like to again thank Professor Scardillo for being innovative and pushing his students, for not only participating in this assignment, but really helping us excel with our writing and spreading our individual messages in our blogs. I have had so much fun with this assignment that I will continue to grow my blog and spread my ideas so that we can all learn together.

One of the reasons that I have really enjoyed this assignment is because of the praise and the compliments I have received from a lot of my readers. It is my job, as the writer of this weekly blog, to create not necessarily customer satisfaction, but reader satisfaction. I have really tried to write about both interesting and intriguing topics so that I could attract new readers and maintain repeat readers. Without readers, this blog would really lack a true meaning. Because of this, I would even try to engage with my readers to gain insights on topics they would be interested in or include some of my readers so that they could feel a sense of pride as they read along. I’m not trying to brag, but it would be really nice if businesses had a fraction of the customer satisfaction that I have displayed with my blog.

Customer satisfaction is such an underrated and underfunded form of marketing that, unfortunately, not enough businesses honor. Customer satisfaction can be defined as the measure of which a company’s products or services meet or surpass customer expectations. There is one easy saying that summarizes customer satisfaction, “the customer is always right”. It is essential to an organization’s survival that they have the ability to encourage repeat purchases of their product or service over their competitors. I just feels that companies do not honor or truly care about their customers today. There are always going to be those marketing “slime-balls” that will try to show the public that they sincerely care about their customers. These messages are made to be believable, but they are derived from ill intentions and frankly are not sincere.

Companies have to understand that customer satisfaction is a form of marketing. Marketing, typically, tends to cost money and sometimes a lot of money. However, customer satisfaction is worth every penny, since the cost to retain customers is about 80% cheaper than the cost of trying to gain new customers. Often times, it takes a small effort on the side of the firm to solidify a long-term relationship with their customers. For example, I was at a local Sprint store this past weekend and honestly, had one of the worst experiences. The service workers were rude, pushy, and did not care about my needs. This experience really diminished their chances that I will ever return to that Sprint store in the future. Not to mention, that I will tell others how my experience went (as I am in this blog). It is known that people are ten times more likely to tell people negative information than positive information. Word-of-mouth communication is already such a powerful tool. If the Sprint workers, provided a little bit of effort, I would feel completely satisfied, maybe have purchased more accessories, and ultimately would have come back. It is a shame that as consumers, we are shocked and relieved when we receive genuine customer satisfaction.

That concludes my last blog! I would like to thank all my readers for taking the time out of their busy lives to read my multiple blog posts. Please stay tuned as I may make special additional blog posts. Also, do not be surprised if you see me start my own customer satisfaction consulting firm in the future!

Best,

Dean Maloney from Siena College

Why Does the NFL Promote Themselves?

Hello friends, we are rapidly approaching the end of the Fall 2015 semester and my weekly blog posts. First off, I hope everybody enjoyed their Thanksgiving and enjoyed quality time with friends and family. We are already into the month of December and the last day of classes is December 14th which is followed by a few days of final examinations. I am blessed with the support I have received with expanding my blog. I would like to extend a ‘thank-you’ to all my friends and family that have taken the time out of their busy lives to post and share my blog to increase my readership. I am about 50 views short of my semester goal, so the challenge continues! Let’s get my blog rolling!
Reminder: Please continue to share my blog with everyone you can think of! As stated above, this semester is quickly winding down, meaning, that we have very limited time to reach my goal. www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com.

This week, I am going to bring up something that you probably have not noticed before (and no, it is not more subliminal messages hidden in company logos). I would consider myself an above average fan of the National Football League. With that being said, I have never noticed how many times that the National Football League runs advertisements about the National Football League while their games are on TV on Sunday afternoons. It is quite shocking actually. Why does the National Football League do this? Is it effective? Does this technique work and change their brand perception?

Lately, the National Football League has been under great scrutiny due to many scandals that may have ruined their brand image. In 2010, the New Orleans Saints were found guilty of placing wagers within the team to intentionally hurt the opposing players, ultimately promoting malicious violence. In 2011, the National Football League Players’ Association went on strike after being felt taken advantage of by the National Football League. In 2012, the NFL referees similarly went on strike for the same reasons. In 2014, the NFL had ineffectively dealt with the suspension of two players who were accused of domestic violence, Ray Rice and Greg Hardy. Throughout the hardships, the NFL was led by, what was perceived as, weak leadership through its commissioner Roger Goodell.

It is known, however, that football is the fastest growing sport in the United States and the NFL has even been success in their early efforts to increase their awareness in international countries such as England and Mexico. Just last year, the NFL received over $1 billion from corporate sponsorships. So as a business, it is only predictable and knowing that the NFL is going to continue to grow.

In their efforts to grow, by nature, they need to gain new consumers. They are primarily targeting the female population of the United States and the population of other countries (England and Mexico). If these people are on the “outside” analyzing the NFL, there is a strong probability of being turn off by the recent events. This is why the NFL promotes itself during their games with their Play-60 campaign, “Football is Family” campaign, and their “No More” campaign to bring awareness and end domestic violence.

I would like to raise a question. Why does the NFL run these video promotions throughout their games? It does not make logical sense to me. The NFL is advertising to already established fans. In my mind, they are wasting their time and money. If they want to grow, they need to attract new consumers. This is why I believe that the NFL should run these video advertisements perhaps during other sporting events or during evening TV shows.

Maybe the NFL will listen to me, but I strongly doubt it. What they are currently doing must be working because (I would hope that) a corporation the size of the NFL would have smart people making smart decision.

That’s all for this blog post. Stay tuned for next week when I write my last blog update of the semester!

All my Best,

Dean Maloney from Siena College

Radio – Is it Still Effective?

Hello Friends, we are quickly approaching the end of semester and I only have two more required blog posts! My number of viewers/readers have been steadily increasing as the weeks come and go. I only need about 100 more clicks to reach my semester goal! Again, I would like to thank Professor Scardillo for posting the link to my blog on his LinkedIn profile. He’s a great mentor and professor. I encourage you all to take his a look at his LinkedIn profile!

Reminder: Please continue to share my blog with everyone you can! The semester is quickly winding down meaning that we have limited time! www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com.

Before I get started, I just wanted to praise WordPress.com for a minute. WordPress just updated their website so now their users can easily track how many views and visitors they have. It is also more aesthetically pleasing. As I am writing this current post, it looks modern and sharp. Exciting stuff!

First, I would like pose the question about the effectiveness of radio advertising. After the first known broadcast was introduced in August of 1920, the effectiveness of the radio has greatly diminished after the inventions of the television, computers, internet, and cellphones. Some experts have even predicted the use of radio to be extinct when the television was introduced in the 1950’s. This theory was clearly disproven as people continue to consume radio messages. The radio industry has seen a gradual increase in advertisement spending.

Using the radio today still provides businesses with sufficient advantages such as, targeting certain demographic groups, relatively low cost (compared to TV advertisements), and the greater possibility in running repeating messages that will build awareness or develop brand knowledge. These advantages, however, may be offset by some limitations. For example, by targeting certain demographic groups may lead to a very small percentage of the whole population. Also, generally speaking, consumers only listen to the radio in two main parts of the day, morning and evening. The scarcity of consumers listening to the radio throughout the day also provides some degree of worrisome.

I would like to take some time and talk about my personal experience with radio. I love to listen to the radio. I am a big fan of NPR, or National Public Radio. NPR provides their listeners with the latest news, weather, and advertisements. My love for the radio stems from the convenience that it provides me. It is so convenient because I am always in my car when I listen to it. As a commuter student, I am frequently driving back and forth to either school or work. When I drive, I also need background noise. Radio is a perfect solution to my personal problem!

Fun fact of the day: Albany, New York is the United States’ 58th largest radio market.

I want to thank you again for reading my latest post on the internet. Stay tuned to see what Dean from Siena is going to say! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Best,
Dean Maloney from Siena College

 

Top 5 Subliminal Logos

Hello Friends,

It is hard to believe that this is already my eighth installment of my blog! First, I would like to thank Professor Scardillo for informing me of the great importance in maintaining my weekly blog at a high level. I would also like to extend a genuine ‘thank-you’ to my repeat readers who have supported my efforts while writing this blog. This blog has been a great outlet to really express and show all of my Advertising knowledge that I have learned from Professor Scardillo’s class.

Next, I will exhibit my gratitude by writing a top ten list of subliminal advertisements. My first blog post on subliminal messages in September was highly praised by you the readers. Also, in Scott Stratton’s book UnMarketing, he writes that a key factor in creating an effective and popular blog is to provide lists. Research shows that American’s are more likely to be engaged in reading a list rather than large readings in paragraph form. I hope you all will appreciate my kind gesture.

Reminder: I am still well under my semester goal of 1,000 views! I need your help in sharing my blog to spread my thoughts and ideas so that we can all learn and have fun together. Www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com 

5.) Wendy’s Fast Food Restaurant

Wendy's logo

Everyone is very familiar with Wendy’s and their mascot Wendy Thomas, the daughter of founder Daniel Thomas. With society’s recent push of a healthier lifestyle, the fast food industry is often perceived as unhealthy and avoidable. If you notice Wendy’s collar, you can make up the word “Mom” being spelled out to encourage the idea of a healthier home cooked meal.

4.) Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins logo

Baskin Robbins is the world’s largest specialty ice cream chain. One of the many reasons of their success is the association of the number “31” that is clearly visible in their logo. Baskin Robbins is best known for their 31 unique flavors that give the consumer an option of trying a fun and new ice cream flavor every day of the month.

3.) FedEx

FedEx

FedEx is one of the most iconic supply chain and logistic companies that used by millions of consumers daily. A creative strategy when designing their logo was to position the letters “E” and “x” next to each other so that they could form an arrow. FedEx hopes that their consumers perceive this arrow as forward direction, speed, and precision.

2.) LG Electronics

LG Logo

Depending on the person, the LG Electronics’ logo could be perceived as a winking face with the “L” as the nose. This face is used to promote positives brand associations by potential customers of LG. It is also common to associate the LG logo with the iconic video game character, Pacman.

1.) Tostitos

Tostitos

Everybody eats Tostitos Chips. Let’s be honest with each other, they are absolutely delicious. But you may have missed a couple friends sharing a chip and salsa in the Tostito’s logo. Still can’t see it? Look at the two lower case “ts” in the logo. Tostitos did this to reestablish the social gathering of consuming Tostitos chips. This idea also reinforces the need to buy a complementary Tostitos’ salsa!

I hope you all have enjoyed reading my list as much as I have enjoyed writing it. If you recall, subliminal messages are so powerful because they fall under visual communication which is the most powerful communication for advertisers. Visual advertisements can also be used in all communication channels (broadcast, print, and digital).

Please comment your ideas and thoughts. Perhaps there is a great subliminal logo that I have missed! Again, thank you for reading and expect me to be back next week!

Best,

Dean Maloney from Siena College

Photoshopping – What an Effective Tool

Hello Friends,

It is good to be back on WordPress. This is my first blog post in over two weeks! Thankfully, my readers have been great and consistently generated more views by sharing this blog with their friends and family. My total views has now grown to be more than 330 hits. Although I still have a a lot of progress to make in order to get 1,000 hits, I am still confident that I can reach my goal, easy.

Reminder: Please continue to share, share, and share my link: www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com.

The purpose of today’s Advertising class was to discuss the importance and relevance that visual communication has in the advertising industry. In today’s fast-paced society, an individual is exposed to over 3,000 advertisements a day! Since we are not super humans, we can not remember and recite all of the information contained in all 3,000 messages that we encounter throughout our day. Meaning that it is the job of advertisers to create a message that has the ability to grab one’s attention and stick in their memory. This concept is known as an ad’s stopping power. To effectively create the idea known as stopping power, many companies have turned to using visual communication. Visual communication is known to be twice as effective than textual or audio communication channels.

One way to maximize the impact of stopping power through visual communication is by photoshopping to enhance your message. We all know what photoshopping is and why advertisers use it (visual communication is twice as effective than other forms of communication). A lot of people often take issue with the use of photoshopping in our society and we will look at a few examples of photoshopping that have backfired on advertisers later in this blog. Photoshopping, however, usually has a positive impact on photography that many people many not even realize. It is most likely subliminal or under one’s threshold of perception. For example, the photoshopping technique allows visual messages to have the correct lighting and color scheme. This correct lighting of contrast, color selection, and saturation give the advertisers the power to prioritize, emphasize, and highlight exactly what they want their audience to see.

Axe Example:

As you can see in the Axe shampoo advertisement shown above, the color selection of every aspect of the advertisement (background, water, etc.) was chosen carefully to emphasize key components of their product such as brand name, packaging design, labeling, and brand quality. The precise selection of the color and brightness versus contrast was determined and executed through the use of photoshopping. Axe has seen the rewards from effective advertising as their stock price has increased 17% over the last quarter.

Now let’s have some fun and look at some results of sloppy photoshopping. It’s very funny to see!

In conclusion, there is a lot more that goes into photoshopping than just trying to distort one’s body image to make it more “socially acceptable.” When using photoshop, it is important to check for errors, because effective photoshopped pictures, as shown above, can have such strong stopping power. A simple error in photoshopping can lead to brand disloyalty and a lack of credibility to that brand. Even for the large, established brands shown above such as Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret.

I hope you enjoyed my blog about the use of photoshopping. Stay tuned to see what I am talking about next week! See you then! Share my blog: http://www.deanfromsiena.wordpress.com

Best,

Dean Maloney From Siena