Big Data & How Businesses Are Utilizing It

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“Big data refers to the ever-increasing volume, velocity, variety, variability, and complexity of info. For marketing organizations, big data is a fundamental consequence of the new marketing landscape, born from the digital world we now live in.” Having big data doesn’t automatically lead to better marketing. It is about the insights that are derived, the decisions that are made and the actions that are made are the difference in big data. Having big data allows for marketers to pair it with integrated marketing strategies that can make a substantial impact. It first has an impact on customer engagement. This allows for marketers to know where their customers are, who they are, what they want, and how they want to be contacted, along with when. Second is customer retention and loyalty to a brand. Having data looking into this allows for marketers to create segments to discover what keeps a customer coming back. Third is the marketing optimization and performance that can be done. This has the ability to determine the optimal marketing spending across channels and to optimize programs through vigorous testing, measurements, and analysis of the data.

While looking at data sets it is important for marketers to look at the most crucial data. These data sets consist of the consumer’s behavioral, operational, and financial data. Behavioral data can be collected by a point of sale machines (POS), websites, surveys, social media, online communities, and loyalty programs. This is all information that can lead to attitudinal and transaction metrics for campaigns. While looking into operational data it can reveal objective metrics that give the ability to operations, resource allocation, asset management, and budgetary controls. Lastly, when looking at financial data it gives the ability to view sales, revenue, profits, and other data that can measure consumer’s financial health of the organization. These all lead to insights that can grant the ability to create a successful marketing campaign. By utilizing this data and getting into the hands that make it useable allows for companies to move onto the objective.

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Many professionals have expressed ways in how marketers can leverage big data into their market strategy. Mark Harrington (Vice President of Marketing at Clutch) describe that by centralizing and synthesising fragmented customer data across multiple platforms; POS systems, e-commerce, mobile applications and social accounts, it allows for marketers to view their customer’s preferences and interactions.This also allows for marketers and data analysts to segment the data and create sophisticated personas in order to create strategic, targeted campaigns that both engage and motivate their consumers.

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Jason Park (Owner of the Media Captain) has also touched on this. With the ability to gather information towards companies websites marketers have the ability to place a retarget pixel on the backend of the site to gather further information about their users. This allows for the company to target customers that could be future ones, and retain those that keep coming back.

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Bhavesh Vaghela (CMO at ResponseTap) reminds us that it is not only just online where marketers have the ability to utilize the customer experience. This can also be done by taking it to the customer that are calling into the business. Having access to the user’s previous search history means that their call can be suited towards the agent that is suited in that interaction. Also by combining click to call with the innovation of analytics it allows for marketers to see where the best leads are coming from and who are the Most Valuable Customers (MVCs). Along with this marketers have the ability to combine this data with a bid management system software that leads them to see the best keywords that lead to phone communications. With this data, it allows for more data to be implemented to adjust Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns, as well as to improve the Click Through Rate (CTR) on landing pages.

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Other ways that big data is being implemented into companies making decisions is by determining the company’s customer lifecycle and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Don Maclennan (Co-Founder and CEO of Bluenose Analytics) touches on how by having the ability to access consumers health and usage data it allows for marketers to determine the entire lifecycle of their customers. Tony Faustino (Digital Strategist at Creelio.com) talks about how Amazon has been doing efforts in calculating the CLV. Amazon had done efforts with this with the progressive amount of college that use their service. As more of college students graduates move into more urban areas Amazon is offering their other service Amazon Fresh. This is an application that allows for users to order groceries directly to their door. It is almost as if they never left the dorm life from college.

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Along with keeping up with what your customers are doing, big data also offer the ability to see what your competitors are offering to the market. Rachelle Van Soset (Co-Owner and Consumer Research Leader of Immortology) talks about this by using the application called SpyFu. With the application SpyFu, it allows for marketers for to look at what their competition has bought through Google Adwords over the past 9 years. This application also gives the ability to discover the adwords that are successful that competitors are using, that you might have missed out on. It allows for companies to adapt. Marketers are able to search domain and see where their company appears on Google. As of April 1, 2016, SpyFu is indexing over 4 billion results across 69 million domains.

 

The Underground Community of Street Art

Street art has been considered as a group of delinquents defacing public property. But it is actually a tight niche group that is trying to promote themselves in a visual way. Throughout any city, you can see street art tags all around. Are they just there for the artist to get that sense of going against society by tagging a wall. Or is there something more there to the art. Whatever the tag is it brings some sense of enjoyment from the one that has created it. Nowadays there are an infinite amount of forums that artists can go on to communicate to other artists about their new work. Through these forums, they are able to send sticker packs between each other. From that, the artists can take the stickers and post them around their local area. Through this, it allows for the artist to be promoted in areas that they can not reach. It could be another state or even another country. Through this street art, it allows for the artists to promote themselves and who their artistic identity is. Over the years or even months artists will changed up their tag or sticker just as companies update their logos. Each artist transforms as companies do.

Here are photos that I have taken over the past year of different street artists around the greater Burlington area in Vermont.

Is Print Media Dead?

For the past couple years, with the push towards more digital media, people have been saying that print is dead. It might not be as popular as it had used to have been, but print will never disappear. Print is a tangible piece of media that consumer can interact with and is kind of like a traveling salesman. It allows for people to be informed about events, sales, up and coming launches, and much more. People do not need to be connected to WiFi in order to receive the message that is being projected. Next to that print is a very effective media. This is because with most of the promotions that are being sent through e-mail most consumers either delete it or mark it as spam. They aren’t even reading the content that is being created. Without the use of the internet, digital media is dead, print still is sufficient. Print media can also be used in consumers daily lives. This can be done through the use of direct mail use it can include magnets, a card to fit in a wallet, or even a notepad with the companies logo on each page. Print media has been around forever, as it might have gone down a bit in this generation it will never fully go away. Here are a few examples of print media still being used today:

These are examples of boards that are posted outside of businesses that are promoting either upcoming events, sales, or what the shop is.

Each of these is painted advertisements on the businesses building either creatively saying the businesses name or using the logo to promote it.

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Posters being posted on boards and telephone poles around the city has been happening over the ages. It is also a very easy media outlet to use to attract attendees to events around the area. Just looking at these boards you can see how many prints have been posted throughout the years.

Here are two separate types of advertisements that can be posted in the windows of businesses. On the left is a bunch of print achievements that the business has achieved over the years. On the right is a business that allows for others to promote their media in their window in order to attract business or attendees.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the Gaming Community

Video games throughout the years have sparked different types of communities based on the games that are played. With the invention of online multiplayer games it has helped shape those communities more and more. Some of the communities are very helpful, respectful, and caring. But there are some others out there if you don’t know what you’re doing you will get ripped limb from limb by the players. Let us take a look into some of these communities.

1. Call of Duty

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Within the realm of Call of Duty you can find yourself with a couple of different members of the community. The first is the screaming twelve-year-olds that somehow magically obtained the game. They are usually always being loud and obnoxious, always saying that the way that they were killed was a whole bunch of bullshit. Some of these young ones have some rather dirty mouths on them, saying things that you would never think of. Another member of this community are the adults. This group can vary in the way the communicate. Some of them whenever they hear the younger community members will instantly start making fun of the young-ins in the lobby. They will continue to do this until they leave. The other member of the adult community is usually always communicating with their team to make sure their team will secure the win.

2. The Elder Scrolls Series

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This community is one of the most helpful within the gaming community. These players are always posting on forums informing others about secret locations, chests, and items that average players might not be able to find. Along with this, they are posting the best builds for each of the classes that players can choose from. There never is any criticism for a player that might be a newcomer, it is a lot more welcoming than Call of Duty’s community. You will always be learning new aspects of the game and the upcoming expansions that you might not have ever heard of.

3. Grand Theft Auto

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This game has been a hit for the past decade ever since the third one that came out on the Play Station 2. Ever since the online capability that was brought into the game back when the fourth one had been released it has changed the community a bit. It used to just be about the glitches, tricks, and secret items that were in the game. Nowadays with online it is filled with a whole bunch of immature, obnoxious trash talkers. If you are not a high rank in the game, you will find yourself in a world of pain. As soon as you spawn some high ranking player will come along and either gun you down with his high powered rifle or run you over with their tricked out vehicle. Players would think that this will happen just once and then it won’t happen again for a while. This is not the case. They will continue to follow until you leave the lobby. This just detours beginners from playing the online aspect of the game.

4. Minecraft

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This game has sold millions of copies and has even made its way onto consoles now. The community game is filled with helpful and inspired members. There are forums all over the internet that provide players with building tutorials and tricks to help beginners and intermediate players. The community is very welcoming and helps foster creativity with the ability to make anything your mind desires. Community members are always creating new forums that will lead members to new game types, skins, and mods that are being created to enhance their experience.

5. Left 4 Dead

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Left 4 Dead started out on the Xbox 360 and fostered a community that was built on teamwork. This community has always worked together to try and make it through all of the waves of zombie hordes. There weren’t any of those players that were trying to be Rambo by taking on the entire horde by themselves. It never works out to try and be the hero in this community. Even with the difficulty of the game new-comers were always welcomed with open arms no matter how bad they might be. This community has been growing smaller and smaller with the newer zombie games coming out. But those members that still play are a close knit group that are always working together to survive till the end.

 

Restaruant Week from the Worker’s Perspective

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Restaurant Week is famous all around the U.S.A. every year, where restaurants put out a set menu for a fair price. They are usually decadent dishes that aren’t served at any other time, with the exception of specials. Consumers flock to this week long event to try out different restaurants delicious menus. It is always a great experience and has the enjoyment of trying new dishes. But it is a totally different story when working in the kitchen, then being the consumer.

Every day in the restaurant before opening it take long hours of prep work for the up and coming storm that is about to hit. Employees are already rushing around in order to be prepared. Along with this preparation, it  takes lots of precision to make sure everything is just right. The last thing any restaurant wants is to be out of a dish halfway through service and have to go off the line and start whipping up backups.

Once the gates of hell start to open people will just start flooding in and the ticket machine will be relentless. Once you’re done with one order three more tickets will be popping up. It seems like it is never ending.

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(This is what the chaos looks like in the eyes of the line cook. You never want this, but it is happening every night.)

In the middle of all this chaos, you’ll be dealt with tables that have more than 15 people with vast orders. So even though you might be trucking through the order when this hits, it will cause for a huge backup. These are some of the orders that come in:

Just for an idea of how busy it can really get here’s a peak inside the dining room.

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The tickets might take longer to make because of the vast amount of them, but the food is always made to the same perfection. Being a line cook is kind of like being a multi-tasking ninja. Sometimes I do not understand how we pull it off sometimes.

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After making dishes for over 300 people it can get your self wondering why did I ever choose to sign myself up for this. And will leave you with faces like these.

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These are the faces of Restaurant Week that live and breathe for the week of hell they go through.

The Evolution of Brand Logos

BMW

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There isn’t a clear story behind what Bavarian Motor Works’ logo was based on, but there is a lot of speculation behind it. As you can see above the logo has changed much throughout the years, besides the use of different colors and text. This iconic logo has a couple of stories of its creation. First being that the company had first started off by creating aircraft engines. The propellers could be seen flying through the air and that’s where the blue and white first come into play. These four quadrants could either represent the sky, but it is more believable it was based on Bavarian colors.

Mercedes

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Just as iconic as its competitor’s logo is, Mercedes has a just as easy of a logo to spot. It has been through a lot more different phases, though. It first started off very basic when created back in 1902, by just using the name in white, with a black background. It was later changed to the three-pointed star, which is the basis of today’s now used logo. The meaning behind this three-pointed star is for the company’s dominance in air, land, and sea.

Pepsi

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Pepsi one of the two biggest colas in the market has gone through quite some changes since the creation of the product. The name did not come about until it was renamed from Brad’s Drink. The first Pepsi logo that was created started out from a scribbled down version of the name that was picked by the CEO at the time. In 1950 is where we first see the iconic Pepsi swirl come into play. From there on out it has become a part of the company identity. The new current logo that was released back in 2014 was also revealed alongside with the Live for Now campaign.

Coca-Cola

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Just like its competitor Coca-Cola or Coke has gone through some drastic changes in its logo. The logo created back in the 1980’s is very similar to that of today. but the swirls are a bit different. As the logo progressed it became more and more standardized in the script. The only thing to change through the creation process was the use of different background and in 1985 only using the word “Coke.”

Nike

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For Nike, they have had little to no change in their logo. This brand has stayed consistent in using its famous swoosh logo to promote itself. What has changed with the logo is the placement of “NIKE” and whether it has a box around the logo or not.

Adidas

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Adidas’ logo can be clearly be seen when wore on the sports field because of its classic three stripes. The name of the company was originally called Dassler, but the two brothers that created it split apart. Adolf Dassler creating Adidas and his brother Rudolf went off to create Puma. The first logo had should off the cleat that the company created with it being between two lines. This was a representation of the company splitting into two. In 1971 is where we see the first usage of the leaf with three slits in it. It is still the logo today for the company’s Original line. From 1980 and on the logo became more and more simplistic.