Assignment 6

Reflections on the Digital and Social Media Marketing MOOC

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Objectives before the MOOC

Before I started this MOOC I had very limited ideas of how to use digital marketing. My objectives didn’t go further than putting my logo on Facebook and sending out a tweet asking people to look at my logo on Facebook.  My real goal was to get customers for my startup.  It wasn’t really SMART

  • Specific – I had no idea of what type of customers I needed
  • Measurable – I didn’t know how many customers I needed to create a viable business
  • Achievable – I had no idea how to create a proper campaign so my ideas weren’t achievable
  • Realistic – With the limited knowledge I had my goals weren’t realistic
  • Timely – I had no idea what time frame was reasonable to achieve my goals

Course Impact

This course totally changed my theoretical understanding of digital marketing. I understand now that my goal isn’t to push my product onto my customers but to get people to want to join my network and want to try my product because of the compelling content and engagement I provide them.

It also changed my practical understanding. Instead of trying to reach as many people as I can on as many social media platforms as I can it taught me to focus on the specific platforms and content that appeal to a new type of  person I learned about called a buyer persona.

I also learned you need to plan your digital marketing campaigns and also monitor and change them depending on the results they are achieving.

I didn’t make as much personal contact as I hoped. I’m not very social and a MOOC doesn’t lend itself to social contact. Even if there are like-minded people among the thousands of people doing this MOOC how do I find them and engage with them?

Objectives after the MOOC

I’m still thinking about my future plans but they’re a lot more realistic than they were before the MOOC.

  • Specific – My goal now is to identify my buyer persona and get a minimum of six of them interested in trying my product before the end of February 2016
  • Measurable – There has to be a minimum of six people
  • Achievable – If my content is right it should be easy to attract a minimum of six people
  • Realistic – I now have the knowledge to make this happen
  • Timely – I now have a definite time frame

I have decided to be conservative with my new objectives and only use the Twitter platform. Being a small startup I have to do the work myself. I have created the following Gantt Chart for my campaign:

Project TasksPerson and Percentage ResponsibilityCampaign Months
MeNovDecJanFeb
Plan Twitter Campaign100x
Send Out Initial Tweets100x
Monitor and Change Tweets100x
Finalize and Assess Results100x

 

The following table shows the two main risks influencing the successful performance of the campaign.

Risk IdentificationProbabilityImpactAssessmentMitigation/Management
Not enough people responding to the campaign343 x 4 = 12Increase number of Twitter hashtags
Wrong type of people responding454 x 5 = 20Revise content of tweets

 

Conclusion

Although I have learned a lot in this MOOC I feel that I’ve only started to learn about digital marketing. I see my exercise over the next few months as a continuation of the learning experience which hopefully will result in significant sales for my business.

Assignment 4

Advertising Campaign for Second Edition of MOOC

Socisl Media Marketing

This blog describes a targeted two-month campaign to attract people interested in social media marketing and digital marketing to the second edition of our MOOC through outreach on relevant social networks.

The campaign uses a marketing strategy. The buyer persona targeted by the campaign has the following characteristics:

  1. Understands the terms digital marketing and social media marketing.
  2. Is active on multiple social media platforms

Because of the limited budget a limited campaign is suggested.

The campaign will consist of an email mailing about the course to everyone on the Iversity mailing list together with a Google AdWord campaign directing people to the Iversity page for the course. A number of tweets to appropriate hashtags on twitter will also be sent out.

A Gantt chart of tasks is shown below. It is assumed that six people are available for the campaign.

Project TasksPerson and Percentage ResponsibilityWeeks in November and December 2015
12345612345678
Plan email mailing5050    x       
Plan AdWord campaign  5050  x       
Plan Twitter Campaign    5050x       
Create first emailing5050     x      
Start AdWord campaign  5050   x      
Send out weekly tweet    5050 xxxxxxX
Weekly review meeting171717171717  xxxxxX

The following table shows the three main risks influencing the successful performance of the campaign.

Risk IdentificationProbabilityImpactAssessmentMitigation/Management
Not enough people responding to the campaign343 x 4 = 12Send out a second mailing. Increase number of Twitter hashtags
Wrong type of people responding454 x 5 = 20Revise keyword in AdWord campaign. Revise content of tweets
Overspending budget252 x 5 = 10Need to manage the budget from the beginning and react if it starts to go too high

The campaign is designed to get the maximum response with a limited budget and time frame.

Assignment 3

Buyer Persona for Adidas Sportswear

Adidas is a highly successful international brand. It is worth while looking at how they use digital and social media marketing so we can learn how to do it properly.

Adidas manufactures shoes and clothing for people who participate in sport. Their website says they strive to equip all athletes to achieve the impossible.

Adidas uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a blog as their social media platforms.  Each platform has different objectives. The blog focuses on the business of sport, LinkedIn focuses on careers at Adidas, and Twitter doesn’t have any specific focus and is a combination of different subjects. Facebook focuses primarily on sports people who achieve sporting excellence while wearing Adidas sportswear and is the primary platform for promoting their products.

The buyer persona for Adidas is a person who strives to achieve their highest potential in sport and is prepared to pay premium prices to get the quality and performance of Adidas sportswear.

Adidas Runner
Adidas ultra team member Paulette Stevenson on the cover of this month’s Trail Runner magazine

The primary search queries that this buyer persona would use include “sportswear”, “best sportswear”, “sport shoes” and “best sport shoes”. These search queries vary by type of sport. For example, a runner would use “running shoes” instead of “sport shoes”.

Adidas has a very focused group of customers that consists primarily of high performance sports people.

Those of us who focus on niche markets can improve our marketing by using similar techniques.

Keyword Exercise

I have a startup that markets asset management software.

I started my keyword search using the single word asset. I used a number of keyword tools. I didn’t find any of them better than the others. Each one offered different benefits.

With successive use of the tools my keywords changed from ASSET to ASSET MANAGEMENT to ASSET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE and finally THE BEST ASSET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE.

This final keyword had the following results:

  • Relevancy – 5
  • Specificity – 5
  • Popularity – 4
  • Competition – 1

I was happy with the results of this exercise.

 

Assignment 2

How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow a South African Software Company

There are three main groups of people your company needs to communicate with if you want it to grow.

  • Strangers – People who need your products but don’t know about your company
  • Prospects – People who know about your company but haven’t made a commitment to buy your products yet
  • Clients – People who have already bought one or more of your products and may buy additional products in the future

Different digital channels are appropriate for each of these groups.

Strangers – you need multiple channels because not everyone uses the same channels. Use a combination of search engine optimization, affiliate marketing and PPC (pay per click) all of which target strangers. Keep records of how many prospects you get from each channel and focus your marketing efforts on the ones that provide the most prospects.

Prospects – you already have contact details you just need to convert them. Use direct marketing to engage with them. In addition try and persuade them to join your community of practice.

Clients – persuade them to join your community of practice. In addition target them with direct emails whenever there are significant changes in your products or when there are events like conferences or training courses.

The best channels to start with depend on the status of your company. If you are a new business you probably won’t have any clients or prospects so you need to focus on strangers. If you are an established business you need to focus on all the different groups. Irrespective of your initial focus you must eventually focus on all three groups to maximize growth in your company.

Assignment 1

SWOT Analysis

My business is software development and I did some googling to see what are the biggest threats to the software industry. The most common answers were globalisation, the acceleration of technological change and innovation. To me this means that my business must stay small but act globally, always use the latest technology, keep finding creative ways to stay innovative and always be responsive to change if not the instigator of change.

SMART Objectives

I found it difficult to define SMART objectives for software development. In the past people used measures like lines of code written per day but these days software requirements are more qualitative than quantitative.  It is more important to have code that is accurate and fast than a specific number of lines per day. And qualitative requirements are more difficult to be specific and measurable.

Digital Business Maturity Model

Being a software business one would assume that it is more technically advanced than other businesses and must be at the highest level of the maturity model.  The problem is that software developers are technically oriented and not marketing oriented. And especially not digital marketing oriented. I’m not sure if the solution is to try and make software developers more digital marketing aware or whether a dedicated digital marketing expert must be recruited for the business. I suspect the answer is a combination of the two.

The Customer Journey to Online Purchase

The biggest problem with the new digital marketing approach is measuring intangible concepts like customer experience and relating them to physical business outcomes like sales. The organisations that try the hardest seem to do better than others. One document I read mentioned the interesting fact that organisations that do the best not only do better in sales but also in other areas like profitability and stock prices.

Online Branding

In my software business there are two products that can be branded – the software business itself and the software product that it markets. In practice the only brand that seems to matter to customers is the software product. Some papers I read suggested that branding is less important for software products than technical expertise. I think they’re wrong, technical expertise should be part of a software product’s brand.