Why Customer Satisfaction Matters

America’s market is definitely a unique one. There’s ultimately no specific product that is entirely unique, which inflates the competition of everything. Because of this, the experience that customers have when they are buying these products has turned into one of the most important aspects of sales.

Customer satisfaction is how you get returning business. At this point, it is no longer about the product, but about how people are treated when they are investing in the product. Customers who are satisfied by customer service is how you get first time customers to become returning customers, and how you get returning customers to keep coming back.

This is where new marketing skills come into play. A big part of this is due social media and business-to-customer interaction that is different than ever before. Customers can now report their satisfaction of products in so many different ways, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, E-mails, and contacting businesses via their websites.

A lot of research goes into how to properly satisfy customers, such as return rate, products that are bought over and over again, and how customers ultimately rate the business’ customer service. This is why reaching out to customers to gain insight before they contact you is ultimately one of the best things you can do to get more business.

 

5 Times Product Placement Showed Up in Our Favorite Movies and T.V. Shows

Have you ever watched a movie or television show with your favorite actor and noticed the computer he or she was using was the same computer you’d been thinking about purchasing? What about the cellphone he or she used, or car he or she drove?

Well, if you have, you are recognizing product placement. Product placement is “an advertising technique used by companies to subtly promote their products through a non-traditional advertising technique, usually through appearances in film, television, or other media.” The purpose of product placement in film is plain and simple: companies use it as a way to increase engagement, create market strategy, and develop brand image.

The Internship

When Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) get an internship at Google headquarters, the multinational technology company receives exposure of the internship program and how it runs. This is product placement because Google is advertising what it would be like to work at Google. By centering the film on an internship at Google, Google is reaching and engaging with all audience members who watch the movie.

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Twilight

Twilight, like most films, sneaks product placement into the technology devices the character uses. For example, Bella Swan, the main character, uses her Apple computer to search about “Vampires.” Apple frequently utilizes product placement in movies because of the brand recognition of their products. Product placement is beneficial for Apple because it may push consumers and customers to purchase one of their products.

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The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada is a classic movie about a monster boss and a hopeful employee. In a scene, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is forced to pick up coffee for the office. And, that coffee of choice: Starbucks. Starbucks uses product placement in movies in effort to get audience members craving their beverages and food.

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Modern Family

Television also participate in product placement. In an episode of Modern Family, they have an entire episode dedicated to Claire (Julie Bowen) buying an Apple iPad. Again, Apple benefits from the product placement in this episode. People that watch this episode are laughing at the comedy in Modern Family, but are being marketed to by the Apple company. 

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Mean Girls

And last, but not least, we have Mean Girls. Mean Girls, throughout the movie, has product placement. Examples include: the Lexus Regina George drives, the Diet Coke the Plastics drink, to the Louis Vuitton purse Cady Heron wears. Each of these products have a purpose of not only creating the characters in the movie, but engaging how the audience perceives the characters based on what they have, eat, or wear.

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Product placement has become the norm in the film industry due to its ability to market to the target audience of that movie or television in a subtle way. It differs from commercial advertisements in the sense that the audience is naturally following the course of the movie with these small instances of product marketing, versus the abrupt advertisement change used during television program.

– Stephanie Spencer, ’18

Images provided by: Xfinity, Cinemablend, Adworldgems, Brandchannel, and QatarCultureClub

 

 

Facebook and Twitter: A Look Into Modernized Marketing

Before the era of the smart phone, or even the era of the computer, advertising was meant to be strictly visual. It was ads in the paper, billboards, the occasional bench plastered with a celebrity’s face enjoying some sort of high-end product. As technology advanced, so did marketing and advertising. It was no longer just shoving an advertisement into the world by saying to the public, “Look! This is cool. Try it and love it because of this reason here”. The ads became complex in the sense that they were newly versatile and the ads became, most importantly, interactive.

Fast forward to the latest era of businesses joining Facebook and Twitter: social media has become king of the marketing world. Now, marketing cannot carry the weight of selling a product or brand by itself; engagement is also key, where the aspect of social media steps in, big time.

Marketers now face the challenge of addressing the 4P’s of marketing (product, price, place, promotion) while also keeping the message they want to get across short-and-sweet for the social media world. Marketing is no longer having an ad with a presumed appeal to a certain audience but instead, creating an environment of relevance and ability to respond between a company and its current customers and potential customers.

So here’s a breakdown of what making marketing interactive with social media is all about and why people choose to do it:

Facebook is an ever-changing online world where businesses and people can interact via posts, comments, pictures, likes, and private messages. Long story short, it is a website that has the potential to be an absolute dream for any company trying to get the brand of their product(s) out there. Creating a brand on Facebook can be tricky because so many posts flow in and out of news feeds by the seconds. Businesses and companies can pay Facebook to create a page and from there they utilize their new Facebook authenticity to post promotions and news on their current or up-and-coming products. What makes it interactive is there’s opportunity to “like” and “comment” on posts, giving the post more credibility within the news feed. Posts can also be shared which will give anyone the opportunity to spread the word of a company they really enjoy.

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Twitter may be the social media site that keeps advertising the most to-the-point. With only 140 characters to work with, marketing on Twitter from companies and businesses is all about the pictures and the hashtags. Companies will often strive to create a specific persona on Twitter that can earn them “likes” (formerly known as “favorites”) and “retweets” so their tweets will appear on different news feeds. Attaining this persona can be tricky with such little space to work with, which is why creating alliances with other companies and loyal customers on Twitter is essential as well.

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Marketing will continue to change and grow in many forms, social media being one of them. Interaction and responses from customers will only become more key in IMC.

 

-Parker Navarro, UNCW 2017

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Images: npr.org, businessinsider.com

Reclaiming Ethos: Hope Solo’s Contract Termination

Hope Solo is widely recognized as the best goalkeeper in the world. The thirty-five-year-old has been a member of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) since 1996 when she was player on the U16 Junior National team, and began goalkeeping for the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) in 2000. Since that time, Solo has competed in numerous international tournaments as well as stateside games for both the USWNT and her current state team, Seattle Reign. In 2015, Solo was recorded to have some of the most impressive statistics in history, including 202 caps, 153 wins and 102 shutouts (http://www.ussoccer.com/womens-national-team). She, alongside her fellow teammates, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008 and 2012) and a World Cup champion (2015).

Solo’s career took a turn for the worse, however, following the USWNT’s loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals of the Summer 2016 Rio Olympics. Typically, this team dominates on the international front. They had performed their best through the first matches of the tournament, winning their group and advancing into the final rounds. On August 12, tensions were high when they tied with Sweden 1-1, playing into over-time, and subsequent penalty kicks. The loss hit hard for the players, coaches and fans. Unlike the rest of her team, though, Solo was vocal about her grievances stating, “We lost to a bunch of cowards. The better team did not win.”

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In reaction to this show of poor sportsmanship, the decision was made by the USWNT to suspend Solo’s contract for a six-month period, in which she could not train with the team or compete in any stateside friendlies. This shook many fans, myself included, and arguments were made that this was just another example of gender inequality in women’s sports, highlighting the lack of critical decisions made by the NFL for the actions of prominent football players.

For years prior to this incident, however, Solo had proved to be a risk to the reputation of the organization. During the World Cup semifinal in 2007, Solo was reprimanded for speaking ill of her coach Greg Ryan in an interview for starting the backup keeper, Brianna Scurry, instead of her. In 2012, Solo criticized former U.S. player Brandi Chastain on Twitter. And most notably, in 2014, Solo was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of domestic violence against her sister-in-law and nephew. Prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Solo also shared these two controversial posts on Twitter:

Despite these marks on her record, she was allowed to keep playing. Unfortunately for Solo, her most recent actions officially crossed the line, and not long after word broke of her suspension, the federation terminated her contract. USSF president Sunil Gulati remarked in a New York Times article, “Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner benefitting a U.S. national team member, U.S. soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.”

In order to function as a prominent organization and to be respected in society, ethos, or credibility, must be continually maintained. The USSF is a prestigious group, but with this prestige comes the responsibility of its players to uphold the high standards and values, and Hope Solo posed a dire threat to their credibility. Since her first incident in 2007, the leading members of the organizations bent backwards so that they could maintain their image and hold together a women’s team that performed so well together. At the end of the day, however, Solo’s continual actions displayed, according to Gulati, “conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles.” The USSF could no longer stand to have its credibility tarnished.

This verdict caused lots of uproar. As a die-hard USWNT fan, I was shocked when I heard the news. When viewing the situation through a rhetorical lens and considering Solo’s history, though, the decision becomes justifiable. And as much as it hurts to watch the world’s best goalkeeper walk off the international field for good, I can understand their motives.

She will forever be a loved and commended soccer player.

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Images retrieved from:
http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2015/06/02/hope-solo-usa-womens-world-cup
http://bobbyromanoblogs.blogspot.com/2012/05/lolo-jones-and-hope-solo-2012-olympic.html
https://twitter.com/GrantWahl/status/764187928851582976
https://twitter.com/hopesolo/status/756322142128594944/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
https://twitter.com/hopesolo/status/756316008558854144/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
http://wifflegif.com/tags/133147-hope-solo-gif

– Hannah Ewers

A Quick Guide to Interviewing

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Do you want a job after college? Of course you do! It’s what you’re here for.

Back in the fifth century, the Greeks decided they were tough enough to defend themselves physically. This was followed by the realization that it was time to learn how to defend themselves intellectually. Fast forward a couple centuries later, when Aristotle coined the term rhetoric. This study advances how individuals articulate themselves; it creates a way to persuade through the use of language. Aristotle came up with the three basic ideas to describe each rhetorical appeal: ethos, logos, and pathos.

Paired with an impressive resume, this is how effective rhetoric can help get you a job after graduation:

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Ethos is the most important part of interviewing. You want to be able to show your credibility as a professional. This comes from having experience in the workforce, jobs relevant to your career interests or jobs that have granted you with the skills you need for that career. During the interview, focus in on what will boost your credibility. Let’s pretend you’re interviewing for a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency in Wrightsville Beach. If you know beforehand exactly what skills they are looking for, you can directly reference what jobs you’ve had before that can prepare you for the role. You should have a number of references on hand. From past employers or even professors, anyone that can vouch for you will help boost your credibility.

Next is logos, the logical appeal of why the employer should hire you. While there may not be colorful charts and graphs filling up your resume, logos is still on your side. Small numbers, like how long you were at your last job can show a sense of loyalty and dedication to your interviewer. It speaks volumes that you commit to a job and stick with it through the ups and downs. It’s a lot easier to hold on to a good employee for years to come. Coming informed with their facts and figures can also increase your odds of getting the job. Knowing the company’s background information is something interviewers look for and value. Taking an advertising firm for example, know how many clients they have represented and how large their area of coverage is. Being educated on the company you aspire to work for can help you stand out against the vast numbers of applicants.

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Pathos is the last appeal in your rhetoric arsenal. Don’t be afraid to show your feelings and emotions towards your past work and what you hope to achieve through the company. Employers want to hear that you’re passionate about the job you’re applying for, that you actually care whether or not you get it. You may just be looking for a way to make a living, but remember the reasons you got into that area and express your personal desire to pursue a certain career. Keep in mind they will be working with you if you get hired, and nobody wants to deal with an emotionless robot from 8-5. Finding that passion for your career will guarantee they remember you fondly.

We hear rumors about the lack of job opportunities, and how we are constantly in competition with experienced workers who have been let go. Using the rhetorical approach gives you an advantage over the competition. Whether you’re looking for a job in IMC, accounting, or anything else, you need to be able to persuade the employer that you’re the right person for the job.

-Eva Mewborn

(IMAGES: tweakyourbiz.com, www.limeconnect.comhttp://asalesguyrecruiting.com/)

The Beginning of a Wireless World: iPhone 7 Release

Are you the type of consumer who upgrades their smartphone every couple of years or earlier? If so, you’re an early tech adopter who welcomes new gadgets with open arms (and you probably budget for the ever increasing price of our beloved handheld devices.) On the other hand, if you’re the type of person that only upgrades when necessary, you are probably clinging on to your iPhone 5…or 4?

The iPhone 7 released earlier this month. After a lot of speculation on the new generation, you have probably noticed your news feeds cluttered with mixed messages about its reception. With Apple pressing to increase sales, their campaign to build excitement has been evident this year.

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www.apple.com

However, the release of this generation left many confused and distrustful of this year’s new iPhone. Despite a new list of updates such as its water resistance, impressive camera lens, and stereo, some things didn’t go over too well with consumers.

Arguably, the most notable change was the elimination of the headphone jack and the introduction of the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods. The issue is that people who look forward to new Apple products are typically introduced to an addition rather than a subtraction from the design of the phone. Apple didn’t appeal to logos enough by convincing consumers that taking away the outlet feature is actually an advancement. They could have framed this “too much too soon” move by emphasizing that this change is leading up to something beyond what we know now- a completely wireless world.

“From the start we designed Lightning [iPhones charging portal] to be a great digital audio connector,” said Apple’s marketing chief Philip Schiller. His justification for Apple’s decision was one word: “Courage.” Instead, the former comment which attempted to appeal more to pathos doesn’t give consumers total confidence in the switch.

Ethos driven statements lacked in the company’s announcements and explanation of the new iPhone. It was unclear why they are “fixing” something that in our eyes isn’t broken. Regardless, if you are adamant about using your headphones and want the new phone, you can use the Lightning adapter. The catch? You can’t charge and plug up to listen to audio at the same time.

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Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

If you’re Team Apple and have the iPhone 6/6s, tech experts don’t think you should feel an urgency to buy into this next generation. If its time to upgrade, this may be the best time to take the plunge (no pun intended…because the iPhone 7 is water resistant.) What do you think about the move to wireless and parting ways with your headphones? Could you justify upgrading?

-Laura Rojas ’17

 

Fake News and Social Media: A Dangerous Mix

Social media usage has skyrocketed over the past decade, and it seems now that everyone is on at least one social media platform. What most social media users are not aware of however is the fake news epidemic that has been plaguing all forms of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. Many users are unaware that they are reading fraudulent news and accept it as fact, causing massive shifts in popular belief. For instance, last month, Facebook promoted a fictitious news leak reporting that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly had been fired from her position for supporting Hillary Clinton in the ongoing presidential campaign. Another, more laughable, example is depicted below.

fake-iphone-newsactual-iphone-tweet

Recently, Facebook and Twitter, joined a group of over 30 companies that have banded together in the fight against illegitimate news stories, and this coalition is titled First Draft. They define themselves as “experts sharing top tips and training in handling eyewitness media”. On their site they outline how to spot these fraudulent articles, fun ways to train your mind to spot them, and trending fake news.

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News story posted by Breitbart News found to have used fake news sources

These stories are often successful through their use of the rhetorical appeals ethos, pathos, and logos. They develop ethos through the impersonation of ethical and credible sources, such as major news outlets. They then utilize pathos in the hopes that your emotional response will cause you to overlook the fraud, most commonly harping on fear.  These articles also exhibit logos, as they must create a logical enough argument to convince the reader it is factual. In an attempt to help cut down on the impact these stories have on a daily basis, here are some helpful tips on spotting phony news stories on your social media feed.

  • Check the date: Many fake news stories have been around for some time yet continue to circulate as new audiences view and repost the story, so make sure you investigate the links associated and manually check when the original story was posted.
  • Look at multiple hosts: A common way to spot these news articles is to look at where the popular sites that host them get their information. When a multitude of these popular sites post the same breaking news and all of them only cite the same original source, it’s time for some vetting.
  • Beware of Fear Mongering: Often times fake news will spread quickly due to fear of a recent outbreak or disaster, such as the Ebola outbreak of 2014 where various stories emerged falsely reporting the spread of the virus.
  • Examine source URLs: Some of these stories may seem credible as they appear to be provided by major news outlets. However, upon looking more closely, users will often notice the URLs are spoofs and not to be trusted.
  • Check the Images: Many fake news posts use convincing images to mislead readers, but a quick reverse image search (https://www.tineye.com/) can unveil any falsified imagery.
  • Scrutinize the Geographic Location: The last tip in this list asks that you consider the geographical location the story takes place, as many of falsified reports tend to originate from locations where news reports can be difficult to corroborate.

 

– Daniel Walsh