Is the future location of retail in Facebook? Maybe it is one more channel for many retailers. This article, “Fashion Retailer Asos Sets Up Shop on Facebook,” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, February 17, 2011) describes one retailer’s efforts to target “moppers” (mobile shoppers). Online fashion retailer Asos has a store in Facebook with a smartphone app on the way.
In the new edition of our book, Basic Marketing (which published last week – hurray!) we emphasize the role of useful content as an element of online promotion. Branded content ties a brand to some form of entertainment or useful information. It goes beyond sponsorship because typically the content is “found” when customers search online — or it is passed along to friends (think viral ad). See our new book for more. Levi’s gives an example of branded content when it brought rock band Nada Surf live to the Levi’s Facebook page. Levi’s picked up 45,000 new “Likers” with the promotion. As you may know, after a Facebook user indicates they “Like” a brand, the brand’s content appears on the user’s Facebook news feed — and can be seen by the user’s friends. Read about it in “Levi’s Rocks Facebook With Branded Content,” (ClickZ, October 29, 2010)
Duh! Not sure I find this very surprising – “For ‘B-to-B’ Companies, Finding Facebook ‘Friends’ Can Be a Struggle,” (Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2010 – non-subscribers link here and click on article). While I believe there are some opportunities for B2B communication via Twitter and Facebook — and this article offers a few success stories — I think there are other social media vehicles that work better. At this point most people use Facebook for personal connections and possibly to keep up on brands they enjoy as consumers — not as business buyers. That may change. What do you think? Where are the opportunities for social media with B2B? Some discussion of this might fit in when you cover social media in a class on Promotion — when offering for B2B examples. Note: also posted at Learn the 4 Ps.
Regular readers of Teach the 4 Ps know that one of our favorite topics is Facebook. One of the reasons we write this blog is to help instructors stay up to date. Many marketing practices are changing quickly — too fast for our text books to keep up. So here is another update on Facebook. This Bloomberg BusinessWeek cover story “Facebook Sells Your Friends” (September 22, 2010) gives you the latest on how marketers use Facebook. All this just in time for the new movie about Facebook’s founders- “The Social Network.”
I am not yet convinced about mobile commerce. But we are seeing increasing experiments in this area – particularly in Asia and Europe. Toys “R” Us, which apparently does pretty well in Hong Kong , has launched a new multimedia campaign that utilizes QR codes, vidoes, and rewards. The toy retailer has 18,000 Faceboook members in Hong Kong and its YouTube channel (HKTOYSRUS) is one of the 10 most viewed in Hong Kong, and there are more than 700,000 Hong Kong members of its Star Card Loyalty Program.
The article, “Toys “R” Us unveils multichannel mobile CRM tactics” (Mobile Commerce Daily, September 9, 2010) offers a good example of integrated marketing communications that utilizes a variety of new media in a foreign country. One element of the campaign is an iPhone app — the video below shows how that works.