Tag Archives: ethics

Should Marketing Mention the Coronavirus?

Let’s face it – marketers are always on the lookout for new opportunities to sell products and services to consumers. This is true in bad times as in good. However, marketers must also be sensitive to what is happening in consumers’ lives and in the general marketplace. It is not wise (or ethical) to take advantage of someone’s suffering or fear in order to make a sale.

It can be tough though. Retail sales have been declining since March and had their largest drop in April as employees worked from home and stores and restaurants were shuttered. Shopping has also shifted from brick-and-mortar stores to online and ecommerce. People are nervous and anxious about their current situation, and about their future. They are also isolated at home and crave human connection. What should a marketer do?

This brings us back to basics: focus on the target market. What is the message the customers want to hear, need to hear, and will respond to positively? Messages should be calm and positive, not scaring to consumers. Stay with the basics of marketing principles: understand the customer, stay connected, alter the tone of messages, stick to the facts, and listen.

Stay connected with consumers. Be honest. Be safe.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about marketers’ responsibility in times of crisis?
  2. Specifically for the coronavirus pandemic, should companies promote their goods and services by using a painful situation to their advantage?
  3. Show a video about marketing during crisis: https://youtu.be/vmEJZ08rBoM
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team research how various companies are addressing the coronavirus pandemic in their advertising and marketing. (Suggestions: Nike, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Tide, etc.)
  5. What is being done correctly? What should be changed?
  6. In teams, assign a product to the teams and have the students develop a marketing campaign that uses the pandemic in a way that shows a value to consumers.

Source: Ad Week; New York Times; other news sources

 

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Amazon’s Echo Glasses Frames

Does it seem like there are more wearable devices than ever in the marketplace? Well, get used to it. Already there are headphones, ear buds, jackets – there is a lot, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. One of the latest wearable device are the new Echo Frames smart glasses from Amazon, with always-on Alexa voice control.

The glass frames gives the wearer hand-free access to the Alexa services at any time. Alexa – Amazon’s digital assistant – can answer questions, take reminders, and even operate smart home gadgets. The frames let the wearer interact with Alexa, listen to music, podcasts, and more. The frames are controlled by swiping along the earpiece and microphones can be shut off on command. The sound is subtle; only the wearer can hear the Alexa replies.

Priced at $179.99, the frames can be customized with subscription lenses at any optometrist outlet. They currently work only with Android phones; no word on connecting to iPhones at a future time.

If you remember the Google Glass, one of the criticisms was the display with cameras. These Echo frames do not have that capability and there are no cameras.

Now our glasses not only help us see better, they also can cooperate and provide additional functions. How is your vision?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impact of wearables, including smart glasses.
  2. Show the Amazon Echo frames: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G62GWS4/ref=sxts_snpl_1_0_cb5e5e76-63c9-4995-ba6c-9e5dc465d041?pd_rd_w=96hzn&pf_rd_p=cb5e5e76-63c9-4995-ba6c-9e5dc465d041&pf_rd_r=DVD6DZKRH8TCMHNGS97B&pd_rd_r=2515e17b-55cd-4dd3-8278-8dabcc07c7ae&pd_rd_wg=eioFb&qid=1571077129
  3. Show video: https://youtu.be/gmVgPF4ofsE
  4. What are the opinions of the students about this device?
  5. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  6. For the Echo frames product, what is the target market?
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for the product. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  8. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  9. How should the product be marketed to this target market segment?

Source: Amazon.com; Smith, D. (8 October 2019). Amazon Echo frames – here’s what you didn’t know about Amazon’s new smart glasses. C/NET.

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Marketing Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations

Marketing for a nonprofit organization can present challenges to marketers. While basic marketing principles follow the same guidelines for products, there are differences in marketing for organizations that are nonprofits providing critical services, versus products from for-profit organizations. For-profit organizations can focus marketing messages on the delivered value and benefits of the products for the consumers. It’s relatively clear-cut.

On the other hand, nonprofits have a wider audience and often have no tangible product that can be delivered to its supporters. And, instead of more easily identified consumers, nonprofits must attract and retain donors who may be giving funds only when the spirit moves them. These are not necessity purchases per se; they are donations given to support something that is important to the donor. While donors and consumers can both be considered target markets, donors are driven by passion and causes rather than immediate needs and wants. They psychology is different.

Nonprofits need to use compelling visual marketing to appeal to donors. Top nonprofit marketers use powerful videos and photos of those whose lives will be changed by the organization. Testimonials and infographics are also important tools along with clear, targeted communications in order to retain the donors. A disaster may drive donations to quickly mount, but how are the donors retained over time?

Social media is an important tool for nonprofits to reach and engage donors. Branding is also critical to build and maintain a clear identity. And, social media campaigns have the added benefit of possibly going viral. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? That was one of the top campaigns ever produced, generating $115 million in the summer of 2014 and garnered celebrity participation and donations.

All that from a bucket of ice.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of marketing for nonprofits.
  2. Show several nonprofit campaigns:
    1. Make a wish: https://www.youtube.com/user/MakeAWishFoundation
    2. Water is life – 1st world problems: https://youtu.be/fxyhfiCO_XQ
    3. Project life jacket: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectLifeJacket/
    4. Truth: https://twitter.com/truthorange
    5. Water Aid: https://www.wateraid.org/us/get-involved/give-a-shit-donation-country-page
    6. World Wildlife Fund: https://twitter.com/wwf
    7. ALS Ice bucket challenge: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team select five different nonprofit organizations that they admire.
  4. Have each team delve more deeply into one of the nonprofits, making sure that each team has a different organization.
  5. Finally, have students develop a storyboard for a nonprofit organization.

Source: Allen, Z. (15 August 2019). 8 top nonprofit online campaigns that rocked social media. Socialbrite.org.

 

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