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IMCCM Magazine Stenden University

Preface Index 2

The success of KLM with the use of social media


Purchase bottom in

Dear Reader, This is a very special edition of the IMCCM magazine; for the first time, the major has started in February, with a group of eight motivated students. All of these students have vast experience working and/or studying internationally.

customers’ brain? What is going on suddenly? 12

What is a Social Media

For us, the lecturers, teaching a small group of students has been a very good experience by providing us with much more opportunity to interact with them.

Manager actually doing? 16

The newest marketing trends in 2013


Going global


Apple – A giant, a love and a dictator


Cross-cultural Marketing Research


Generation Y Branding

Their company assignments have provided them with enough challenges to refine their thought process and apply their knowledge to write a strategic marketing and communication plan. This magazine will provide the reader with an opportunity to read articles written by these students, on a broad range of marketing, social media, and Neuromarketing topics. We wish all the IMCCM students success in their future endeavors, and we wish the readers an insightful reading experience. Pim Wolsink Drew Henderson Shilpa Samplonius Gert Jan Hummel



The Success of KLM with the use of Social Media by Marloes Kartner How important is the use of social media for companies these days? Can it really make a difference in the relationship with the customers? Can it increase sales or customer satisfaction? And what is the best way

KLM is 24/7 reachable via social media. And questions can be asked in eight different languages.

to do so? KLM Royal Dutch airlines is the perfect example of how social media and online marketing is been done nowadays. They show how it can make a difference in the relationship with the customers. Since 18 July 2011 KLM is 24/7 reachable via social media. KLM is the first and only airline who provides this service through Facebook, Twitter and the Dutch social media platform Hyves. They have been very successful with this new online strategy. In the past few years, KLM has won several awards and online sales have been increased enormously (30% in 2011). It all comes down to ‘interaction’ in KLM’s online marketing strategy. Interaction is the keyword and the whole strategy is built on it. KLM divided their online activities in three parts: web, social media and mobile. Web Just like many other airlines, KLM has their own webpage which provides the customers with all kinds of information. Visibly, there is nothing special about their webpage. However, KLM’s marketing department is aiming by using several acquisition channels to receive the highest possible conversations at the lowest price through the cheapest channels.

Impression of KLM’s Facebook page.

Social Media So there is nothing visibly special about KLM’s web, but when it comes to KLM’s social media activities, they are far ahead of their competitors and can serve as a perfect example for any other B2C company. Since the ‘ash cloud’ in 2008, many questions were asked via social media and KLM decided to make structural use of it. As mentioned before, KLM installed a 24/7 social media team. The social media team is available to answer any question and help with requests.

On the KLM’s Facebook page, customers can ask questions and they will receive a quick answer (at least within 24-hours). Furthermore, the page informs one about special offers, tells interesting facts, invites visitors to interact with them through games and it shows amazing KLM related pictures.



The latest news can be found on Twitter. But, besides telling the news, Twitter also serves as a helpdesk. One can ask questions 24/7 in eight different languages (Dutch, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian and Italian). On their webpage KLM is telling that they aim to react on questions within one hour and solve a problem within one day. There a three different KLM Twitter accounts first the general KLM account, second the KLM ‘Zakelijk’ account for entrepreneurs and doing business around the globe and finally the KLM Open account which is related to the KLM Open golf event.

Facebook and Twitter are the two main social media channels which are being managed by KLM to interact with the customers on an international level. KLM is active in a lot of social media platform such as: Instagram, Hyves, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and KLM Blog.

KLM Twitter impression

Mobile It sometimes seems that many companies still underestimate the power the ‘mobile phone’. While many people use their phone to search the web it is therefore important to have besides a normal webpage a mobile webpage. KLM created a mobile webpage and several apps for their ‘mobile’ customers. They created for example a ‘general’ KLM app where customers can book and manage their flight, create a user account which is linked to their frequent flyer program, search for flight data and look for special offers. Other interesting apps, especially for travel addicts, are the KLM Passport app and the KLMTripShake app. In the Passport app customers can choose the destination they have been to, upload pictures add a title, add travel mates and choose a theme and a video with music will be created. When customers want to go on holiday but, they have no clue where to go to, the TripShake app offers a solution. One can enter the departure airport and shake their phone and a destination will pop up. Filters can be used to concentrate on a certain continent and to select dates. For the collectors of the famous KLM houses, a KLM houses app is created. It shows a gallery with all the 93 houses including pictures, history of each house and a map were in Holland the houses are located. Collectors can add which houses they already have collected and which ones they still miss. So instead of carrying papers with all this information on board the collectors can just take their phone and browse through their collection.

KLM Passport app



A KLM Movies & More app is developed for passengers. It shows the entertainment program of the specific month for intercontinental flights, the journey already starts at home by choosing which movie to watch or which music to listen to on board. For the transport activities which KLM carries out an Air France – KLM Cargo & Martinair Cargo app and a KLM and Timeslot Mapping app is created. This shows that the online marketing strategy of KLM covers all aspects of their business. For the annual sport event organized by KLM, the KLM Open app is developed were scores are being tracked, a start list is presented and mentions interesting facts about the event. As mentioned before, KLM is keen on interaction with the customers. KLM mobile apps

Besides being 24/7 available for the customer, they constantly want to improve their services. With the special KLM Feedback, KLM is asking their customers to rate all kinds of things. From airport lounges in Curacao to what a customer’s experience was at the check-in desk in Athens. KLM Must See map

Banners, advertorial or nice pictures to convince people to book a flight does not work anymore these days. Therefore, in order to attract people to book a city trip, KM created a KLM Must See Map. The must see map is an online tool where one can enter their destination of the city trip. And finally you can ask friends through Facebook, Twitter and Email to leave their tips on the map. When the map is finalized, KLM will print it and send it to your home address. KLM was nominated for the Dutch Interactive Awards with this tool. KLM Meet and Seat KLM held a pilot on three intercontinental routes with the new KLM Meet and Seat tool. But currently this tool is already available on 13 routes. With the reservation number passengers are able to see who else will be on board through their Facebook or LinkedIn. The service is there for customers who would like to network on board, and therefore it is mostly used by business travelers. One can choose which details of the Facebook or LinkedIn page they would like to share. A seat can be chosen from 90 days until 48 hours before the departure, so there is time enough to contact one another. In the future this service could be used in many different sectors, for example for cruise companies, theatres and hotels. ‘Best online service B2C site’ KLM is currently very successful with their new online strategy. They have been nominated for many ‘online’ awards and won several in previous years. In May 2013, KLM won two awards: the ‘best online service B2C site’ award, because of their quick response through social media (23 minutes) even with over 25.000 interactions per week. And the second award for KLM’s Meet and Seat app the ‘best tools and applications’ awards.

Total online integration All these online tools and services shows that KLM has integrated ‘online marketing’ in the whole company. It shows that interaction with the customer is becoming more and more important because of the existence of social media.



Does social media work for your company? But it raises an important question: Is this level of online marketing applicable for every company or industry? Can it be used only for B2C or also for B2B? Does it work for your company? I believe it is possible for every company. Only what matters is till what extent. For smaller companies it will be too expensive to have several applications, but having a mobile webpage, Facebook and Twitter is a good option for each company. The use of Facebook and Twitter will be mainly done by B2C companies. But creating useful tools and applications is an option for both. For example in the logistic industry tools or applications for tracking a package or cargo would be interesting, since companies can than easily check at any time where their order is.

10 Social Media Marketing Tips: It still seems that companies are scared of using social media. Here are 10 useful tips to get your business into the world of ‘Social Media’. 1.

Be everywhere

There are still people who only use Facebook and twitter. Or people who do not have Facebook but do have a LinkedIn account. Therefore, try to be everywhere! Each social media platform is able to suit a certain target group and one particular platform could work better for someone or for a certain industries. Make sure you have all options available in order to serve each and everyone within your community. 2.

Interact with your audience

Social media makes interaction with customers or potential customers much easier. So, spend time talking to people within your community. KLM is a great example for the way this could be done. Try to respond to every tweet or comment on Facebook. Be polite no matter what the circumstances are. Make sure your response is within an acceptable time range. 3.

Provide something of value

Differentiate yourself from others, provide something that others don’t. For example special discounts for followers. 4.

Learn from your community

Use the people within your network to learn from them. Research them, ask feedback and try to meet their wishes and needs. 5.

Promote everywhere

Promote your Social Networks everywhere. This can be done for example by submitting your article on Digg, Reddit or Mixx. Or try to get a lot of Retweets or shares through Twitter or Facebook then your network will grow.




Write, write, write

Write as much as you can. Make sure your content is constantly fresh, updated and appealing to your readers. Write blogs and submit articles to sites such as: InfoBarrel, Hubpages, Associated Content and Squido. You can either write the blogs yourself or hire people to write for you. For example, KLM has several writers for their blogs such as, Marleen Veldhuis (former Olympian), Morena (a KLM employee) and Guest writers. 7.

Find niche networks within your industry

There are tons of little upcoming social media networks. Therefore, it is rather easy to become a leader within your niche 8.

Use tools

Use tools to support the social media networks. It will help to be organized and to have a clear overview. These tools could be:


Refollow for Twitter

Flicker Uploadr

StubleUpon Toolbar

Pass traffic to your website

Make sure all passing traffic leads to the company’s website. Make sure all social media platforms are linked to the webpage, since the company’s website is still the greatest sales tool. 10. Serve the community Do not only put messages on social media which benefits the company, but also message which are interesting for the followers, but which do not benefit you. This could be for example helpful links or information.



Purchase button in customers’ brain? What is going on suddenly? by Hilke Heitottink The most important key role of international marketing is the focus on the customer. Nowadays, 80 percent of the newly launched products fail, although an intensive market research has been conducted. Therefore, about 20,000 items must be withdrawn from the market after a short period each year. According to the market research organization, a total of ten billion euros are wasted, every year. Companies research, test and evaluate the market but at the end results are flat wrong. Besides the economic damage, companies face, the questions remains: What have we overlooked or what have we done wrong? What have we learned from this? What can we do better? Neuromarketing is the solution. A Google input of this term in 2001 led to a









engine market






manager or recruiters: the expectations of this new discipline are high. Companies are able to save money by Neuromarketing. Although brain Neuromarketing is the

scans are initially more expensive than to evaluate questionnaires, is it

solution. A Google input of

an efficient method to analyze customer behavior. The major problem

this term in 2001 led to a zero result- today the search engine shows over 400,000 Neuromarketing











unconsciously purchasing decision. Numerous studies have shown that our brain decides and usually customers do not know why they have chosen it. What is Neuromarketing? Neuromarketing deals with how buying decision arise in the human brain and especially, how to influence them. With the powerful and sophisticated methods, it is now possible to evaluate exactly the brain process. In addition, the graphic representation of the results provides very clearly and intuitively understandable results. Researchers evaluate the motives, emotions and driving forces of the customers’ brain. Therefore, companies influence the consumer decision of buying. Every person makes about 10,000 conscious and unconscious decisions a day. Decisions regarding the weekly shopping are mostly based on a gut instinct. Should I make rice or pasta tomorrow? Do I buy a piece of chocolate for the children? Shall I buy strawberries now, because they are fresh? While it was expected for a long time that customer makes a rational and conscious decisions, the current brain research shows that the unconscious content of a decision is greater than the conscious. The knowledge of this unconscious decision-making process and the underlying neural mechanisms is of great importance for marketing.



How do companies influence customer buying decision? Customers often cannot provide information about the real reason for their judgments and preferences. In order to clarify this aspect here a little experiment. In a seminar, male participants were asked the following task. ´Look at the three women in the following figure! Which woman is most attractive spontaneously? A, B or C? Which option you have chosen?

The Result: 70 percent of respondents choose option B. Because the difference of the images is not identifiable by the most people, they often choose the middle. The true reason for the preference is not available to the conscious experience. Therefore, many people may only speculate why they choose B. The resolution: The preference is the subtle relationship between waist and hip. At B, the ratio is 1 (waist) to 0.7 (hip). Nowadays, the ideal dimension is 0.67. Therefore, the higher the value differ from the ideal dimension, the less attractive the woman. Also, cultural differences can lead to different preferences and ideals. Thus, companies must generate cultural knowledge, and they have to be aware of different customer behavior. The brain registers the signal and the people respond to it, without being aware of the reason for the buying decision. The experiment with the three women is comparable to a typical consumer situation. In times of saturated markets, consumers are confronted with a variety of equivalent products. By what criteria they choose one or the other product? Which signals influence the decision making by the customer? The product differentiation is increasingly difficult, but as we have seen in the experiment with the three women, there is always a small difference. Therefore, brands and products are not interchangeable, but companies must pay high attention to the subtle difference and relevant importance for customer. Customers are exposed to more than 3.000 advertising messages a day, but customers do not have time for intensive examination of this advertising. How important is the new shampoo poster on the street, if I am just trying to get out of the city without an accident. Neuromarketing is important to convince customers in the 21st century, due to the variety of equivalent products and the decreasing values

The brain registers the signal and the people respond to it, without being aware of the reason for the buying decision.


PAGE 9 The bulk of advertising is perceived by the customer through the eyes. However, the visual impression is especially effective when combined with a further sensation. Granted, this is somewhat difficult to TV advertising but has been used successfully in traditional retail. More and more supermarkets place their bakery department at the entrance. What sometimes is coincidence is more often intentional. The smell of fresh bread makes you hungry and encourages the purchase of all kind of food. Therefore, the sales will increase significantly. A test in a building center has shown that smell of mowed grass makes the customer feel that the staff has more knowledge about their products. There are many studies that prove this example. Wine shoppers were

The most popular experiment in the field of Neuromarketing is the ‘Pepsi-test’.

roughly three times more likely to purchase wine of the same nationality as the background music. None of the participants were aware of the main determinants of their decision. Therefore, they could not give the real reason for their buying decision. This appears that much of the decision-making is driven by the thought process that occur ´below-thesurface´. Answers to the purchase decision are mostly justifications and not relevant reasons for their buying behavior.

Brands influence the minds? Many companies are trying to improve their brand image through Neuromarketing in order to generate brand awareness. The science of Neurobranding seeks to understand the fundamental psychology of consumer behavior and with that knowledge build extreme brands with maximum emotional impact. The most popular experiment in the field of Neuromarketing is the ´Pepsi-Test´. Therefore, test persons had to test Coca Cola and Pepsi blind, without knowing which coke belongs to which brand. Since the eighties, it is known that Pepsi is better rated in blind tastings than Coca-Cola. One answer is provided by the Texas neuroscientist Read Montague. He has repeated the Coke versus Pepsi test and monitored the brains of his test persons with help of the magnetic resonance tomography (MRI) scanner. Result: As expected, the reward center of all test persons was reacting stronger by drinking Pepsi. Immediately Montague expose the specific brand, not just the preference of the test persons but also the pattern of their brain activity changed. The brand name Coca-Cola clearly stimulated a region in the frontal lobe, the medial prefrontal cortex. This is responsible for higher cognitive functions and plays an influential role in the self-image of a person. Apparently, positive associations and self-esteem are associated with the name Coca-Cola. The name and not the taste make the brand valuable. Even if the coke of Pepsi tastes better in every way from the competition, cognitive biases can prevent potential customers from coming to that conclusion. Therefore, Coca Cola doesn´t sell a soft drink, they sell an attitude of live. Nowadays, market scientists are able to predict in advance the product for which consumer choose. By measuring the brain waves they know the decision rather than the subject consciously decides. This modern brain research has triggered another new marketing trend. Companies are increasingly relying of subliminal advertising. It is not necessary to show the logo of a brand. ´Shockingly effective´ is it to rely on images and sounds that are closely associated with the brand. For example, there was an experiment with several smokers. Pictures of a camel in the desert or a cowboy lead to stronger incentive to smoke than the logos of Marlboro or Camel itself. One of the reasons for this is that the brain does not realize this subliminal advertising as advertising. Therefore, the barriers we usually build toward advertising vanish. For that reason, mainly tobacco manufactures circumvent law regulations.


STENDEN UNIVERSITY Which neurons exist? There is no purchase button in the brain of the customers. The reason is the complexity of the brain. The approximately 1,500 grams heavy thing with the size of a cauliflower is the most complex object in the known universe. It consists of 100 billion individual parts (neurons). Two neurons are described as follows: Mirror neurons: These special little neurons deemed responsible for human empathy sure get a lot of press even though their very existence in humans is still in question and hotly debated. These neurons provide a strong effect: What I see, I want to have and ´I take the same thing as you´. In other words, mirror neurons, fire in the brain when merely observing another’s actions like stubbing a stub and feeling the pain of this person. One of the best examples of the effect of mirror neurons is the iPod from Apple and its white headphones. Until the introduction of the music player, there were just black cables available. After offering the white cables, the customers want to have these cables instead of the black ones. The brain reacts at the mere sight of a desirable product. Women go shopping and feel as a model during buying a dress. Men play ´Guitar Hero´ and feel like a rocks star. In both cases, the mirror neurons prevail over rational thinking-, and this is used by marketing professionals in order to generate brand awareness. Dopamine neurons: Thanks to the chemical dopamine, the brain gets a happiness boost at the thought of ´rewards´. Dopamine neurons have ´crucial cognitive skills´ because they gather many data that the brain would overlook. These will translate it into feeling. However, dopamine may also have disadvantages. Gambling based for example on the chemical dopamine neurons appear in predictable excitement. At discount sign has been determined that the control region in the brain activity decrease and the reward system increase. The mind seems to be incapacitated when a discount sign appears. The discount symbol suggests an optimal price performance ratio. In these cases, it inhibits the internally supervisory body for behavior, in other words, the price is no longer questioned by the customer. For marketers, the differences between spontaneous and planned purchased decision plays an important role. Therefore, an experiment exists where such a customer situation was proofed. The customer had to choose between two coupons - The first one was redeemable immediately and the other one in two to four weeks, but the latter one was more valuable. Brain scans showed that two completely different nerve centers were activated. While offering the valuable coupon, the prefrontal cortex was activated, so the rational center in the brain. For the immediately redeemable coupon, the dopamine system was activated. The region with the highest activity won. The majority choose for the immediately purchase and waived a part of the money.



Is Neuromarketing ethically?

The criticism on the new marketing strategy is getting louder; the ethically correctness is in dispute. The view that the customer may not be able to make a conscious and rational buying decision, but is controlled in a sense of his emotions, encounters ethical objections. There is talk of influencing human and buying behavior of customers. Marketers use this knowledge gained of neuroscience directly for marketing of their products. Products are designed in that way that they

. Neuromarketing uses sensory finding and methods from various disciplines and makes them available for marketing practice

appeal to the emotions and feeling of consumers and influence the buying decision. ´The glass consumer´ - this is for some marketing and advertising experts a wonderful idea, but this idea that people are absolutely transparent and manipulable is for many ethically and morally unacceptable.

But what can companies do in order to reach their customer in an ethical way? The only way to prevent that customers make an unconscious decision and are not influenced by Neuromarketing is to make buying decisions more contemplative. As you can see in the graphic, if customers have to give thought to every single buying decision, they would have died for hunger in the supermarket because they would have taken hours for shopping. In order to avoid influencing customer behavior, all marketing activities should be eliminated because all buying decisions are related to some kind of marketing activity even if companies do not want it. Nevertheless, there is no purchase button in our mind.

Customers have to give thought to every single buying decision?



What is a Social Media Manager actually doing? by Maria Coco Top 12 duties of a social media manager

People across the World Wide Web talk and exchange information






media strategy Managing social media sites


Monitoring customer issues


Monitoring trends and adoption



throughout diverse social media platforms. It happens very

answer within the shortest time possible. This is the moment

social media for the users is not just about posting to Facebook and Tweeting, it is about brand reputation management,

Searching for news and articles to post

customer relationship, marketing, brand representation and a whole lot more.

Implementation of social media campaigns



when a social media manager comes into action. Managing

of social media trends



frequently that users start to have questions and want to get an





It is evident that social media is not a fad; it will stay in our daily social



importance of hiring a social media manager to ensure that


Writing blog articles




lives. For this reason, more and more organizations realize the


their marketing is reaching the largest possible target group. If a networking

analysis tools 10. Monitoring the internet for brand

company is not present in any social media platform it will be seen as outdated. Nowadays, the presence on a social platform is vital to survive the competitive business world.

related topics of conversation 11. Provides feedback to higher ups 12. Promoting social media within the organization

Social media – an indispensable marketing application. This method of interaction among people is a preferred option to communicate and share information. The era of smartphones, apps and mobile internet also plays a big influence on social media platforms and the frequency of usage - this is what makes lives easier in this highly technological world.

The implementation of the right social media channels should be adapted to the respective target group to ensure beneficial results for both user and company reputation. It seems to be an easy job but what is a social media manager actually doing? What are their duties and responsibilities?



Implementation of a social media strategy A social media strategy does not appear out of thin air. It needs to be developed and implemented properly. To be successful in this field of marketing it is advisable to develop a plan for a corporate social media strategy. Furthermore, duties such as calculating budgets for social media activities and recruiting suitable staff belong to the most important duties. Objectives and implementation must be determined to round off the first step towards a successful social media strategy. Managing social media sites Out-of-date social media accounts and pages can form easily a bad image of a business and give customers the wrong impression of one’s company. This is the most crucial duty of a social media manager: guarantee that accounts are ‘feed’ on a daily basis with the newest information, news and articles to increase recognition and awareness from the customers. In this case, they will make use of social media tools (i.e. Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc.) to schedule tweets, to appear overnight and on weekends, to promote the brands to night-owls and clients in different time zones. These tools will make their life much easier to maintain a social media posting schedule. Engaging in dialogues and monitoring customer issues

In this day and age it cannot be prevented. People will post both good and bad things about a company. It is vital to monitor the internet for any positive or negative feedback about an organization. The social media manager will animate and show appreciation towards individuals for their positive feedback, and try to console unhappy customers. In most cases this needs to happen within only 160 characters to get straight to the point. It is all about eloquence and the ability to capture the best of the company in a nutshell without any contradictory elements. They have to sell and promote a company or a product in the most attractive way. Very frequently








conversations and answer questions.

Monitoring trends and adoption of social media tools Going along with the newest social media trends and using the best suitable tools is the key to success. The social media manager identifies and decides for which trend to go for and how to implement it in the respective strategy. This will ensure that the company is ahead of the competition and presents itself to its best, reaching the maximum amount of customers.



Searching for news and articles to post To make the own social media site more interesting it is of great importance to ‘feed’ the users and customers with interesting news and articles which will lead to interesting exchange rounds. Of course this depends on the nature of the organization but in general the social media manager should ensure a constantly provision of it. Furthermore, it is vital to monitor the activities of main competitors on social media. This will inspire to come up with new ideas, actions, write editorial contents as well as post and comment on relevant blogs. Moreover, they have to search the internet and the news headlines for articles, stories and tips that are industry related. This could also include creating and uploading videos.

Implementation of social media campaigns

Firstly, such social media campaigns need to be planned in advance and be double checked with the available budget. This is definitely not an easy task for a manager of a startup company that could use a bit more of attention. Social media campaigns are things like e-coupons, promo codes or the chance of winning a prize for ‘Liking’ a company on Facebook. Social media managers will develop these ideas and bring them to realization.

Managing social media campaigns As soon as the campaigns run for a certain period of time the results and effectiveness need to be shared not just with the head of the company, but also with the respective customers to show them what they achieved with their participation. Tracking and monitoring the results and success of online initiatives is important in order to calculate a return on investment. The social media manager has to analyze and evaluate what is working and what is not work as well as improvement possibilities. Writing blog articles To reach a major influence on the target group it is a great benefit to be a good writer and know what customers want to hear. Therefore, it is important to be able to write interesting articles or blog postings on topics relevant to the company or industry. The social media manager will identify and develop blog posts and other materials. In other cases, they maybe have to recruit and develop other bloggers and blog editors. Using social networking analysis tools To actually measure the impact and the success of social media channels, many social media managers will use useful tools to make life easier, for instance TwitterCounter, Google Analytics and other tools to measure traffic activity. The results will be an important source for a social media manager to identify if improvement or new trends are necessary to increase the success of the marketing application.



Monitoring internet for brand related topics of conversation The social media manager will actively participate in industry conferences, chats, blogs, wikis, video sharing, etc. to promote corporate messaging and increase brand awareness, which will drive brand traffic to company website. There are always conversations going on in the social media, which form a perfect space for managers to launch their own discussions and conversations about new technologies, products and services. This is ideal to promote itself successfully.

Providing feedback to higher ups A well-run organization has a strong internal communication structure. The social media manager should be in constant contact with the Public Relations, Marketing, Sales and Management departments. This will ensure a better communication on public feedback, complaints and conversations surrounding the brand and company that are taking place in the public space. Moreover, this kind of exchange will be very favorable to represent the same values and goals.

Promoting social media within the organization Inform the company staff about the importance of social media as well as the implementation of new technologies and campaigns. This is definitely a must when it comes to changes or adoption of social media. The manager will also promote these activities internally. To sum up, a social media manager is actually not just ‘hanging around’ on Facebook! There is a lot more than just ‘liking’ videos and posting some updates on Twitter. It starts deep down in the resources and capacities of a company to plan such a social media strategy. Throughout the whole process of a marketing strategy it is of great importance to represent the own company in the best possible way and insert the own abilities in a most efficient way. Thanks to competent social media mangers companies have the chance to reach a much higher amount of their target group and customers can easily share opinions and get information.



The newest marketing trends in 2013 by Nicki Mueller Marketing signifies in many cases to analyze, conceptualize and present something. It starts with an analysis of the market and the customer requirements, followed by an analysis of competitors. The next step is to conceptualize market entries as well as product positioning and presentation of the submissions to facilitate the decision-making.

From year to year marketing is changing enormously. This continuous development can be really frustrating and it requires a lot of effort to be always up to date with the newest technologies and trends of the coming year. A marketer has to ask and search for the answers of the following questions: ‘What does the customer want?’, ‘How will the requirements of the customer change?’, ‘What is the competition doing?’ and ‘How to react on trends and new technologies?’

Integration of all channels In 2012, many people were discussing about social and digital media. These are the ‘new’ forms of communication and one could assume by listening to the discussions that it cannot be unified with the traditional ones. In 2013 and the future, marketing specialists feel certain that marketing activities will naturally be integrated via all channels. Digital media will not be any longer experimental, it will be fundamental. Therefore, there will not be a distinction between online and offline media anymore, an integration of all channels will take place. Big Data Big Data stands for elicitation, collection and evaluation of a huge amount of data to refine analytical marketing. It was a buzz word of 2012, and simply means the support of a better understanding of customers and the overall business. The biggest difficulty according to M. Eric Johnson (Director of the Center for Digital Technology at Dartmouth University) is to determine ‘what’ one will analyze and the ‘how’ to do that. Companies are at the moment too inexperienced about the handling with the huge amount of data, but over the next few years they will learn how to use the data in an efficient way and especially for their own benefit. Social Media In the last few years it was common that every business wanted to be present on every social media platform in order to make people aware of their products and brands. Marketers now recognize that the availability on all platforms is simply impossible and does not make any sense because it requires too much effort to be up to date and besides that not every social media source suits to every industry. Due to this, a company should do good research and pick a specific platform that fits the best for their business and reaches the right target group. The desired result of such a specific platform will turn out in form of a greater return. People are nowadays permanently online and thanks to social media, blogs and review sites they want to control and be up to date at all times. Google Alerts started with their tracking tool for online postings years ago, but many other companies lie far behind or did not even start with it yet. Tracking is highly demanded by many internet consumers. Therefore, more and more companies should follow this trend, in order to increase their profit. In addition, reputation management also plays an important role at the social media sources and is increasing rapidly in the last years. It becomes more ingenious and absolutely essential. People ask family, friends or acquaintances for their experience with products or services and hope for recommendations or the advice against it.



These are the first contact persons because they are most trustworthy. In case no one of their real life network has experience with the good, they ask the internet. Statistics show that consumers trust more strangers in the World Wide Web than staff in a shop. By reason of online research, a company should always track what its consumers say about the goods or services they offer. Complaints and negative comments have to be avoided studiously for the purpose of not losing customers. Marketers could hire agencies, such as Skweal, that are able to keep everything what is negative offline of their websites. These companies not only hide the negative postings, they also forward the complaints in form of private e-mails or text messaging to the right person in the company. For that reason, the problem solving and the satisfaction of the customers will be guaranteed in the future. In sum, every company is thinking about collecting data of potential and already existing customers. One way and as a good example to do so is Facebook in form of counting the Likes. The next stage of companies is to set focus more on profit by moving away from solely concentrating on new customer acquisition and toward retention of existing and best customers.

Customer back in the limelight In 2012 the focus of marketers was on technology, tablets and online marketing. In 2013, the customer is back in the limelight of marketing activities. According to a study of TNS Infratest, the focus on customers is a priority and also a great challenge in 2013. Should not be the focus on customers the most important idea of marketing in general? It seems to be that marketers really lost their focus in the last years. A survey of Heinz marketing of marketing decisionmaker ‘2012 Marketing outlook’ reflects the same result. Two third of the interviewed people are using social media to disseminate information about the company. Only 28% of the companies use the new media for customer dialogues and customer support.This will change and must be changed in 2013 and the future. Simple is better Since 2012 people who are hyper-connected are totally overstimulated by their highly-digitized lifestyle. One example of the overwhelming media in the internet was the constant repetition of videos such as the ones of ‘Gangnam Style’ or the ‘Harlem Shake’ with their bright, twinkling, complicated sensory input that exhaust the consumer mind completely. Marketing of 2013 is going back to the roots because people love simplicity. Out of this reason, marketers should concentrate on marketing strategies that are simple in nature with no frills and furbelows. The products and services should be as well really easy, simple to use and the features should also serve to simplify the life of the consumer. Mobile marketing Today a customer is not only using his PC anymore. There are several electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, etc., which have to be considered. If a company wants to be successful, it has to invest heavily in these devices. A marketer has to keep in mind that every website and their content must be optimized for every device. As a matter of course it will require a lot of time and effort to be always up to date. The know-how for building apps and developing services that tie together big data, social media and other initiatives will be in great demand. Due to this fact, a company has to rethink the development and management of their tools and services. As a consequence the head of marketing has to work with all other departments in the interest of creating a fully integrated experience for their employees, partners and naturally their customers.



QR Codes get real

Within the last few years a new trend arose, the Quick Response code (QR code). There is a high potential given from these codes, but unfortunately many organizations are either not using this marketing tool yet or are not able to provide codes that are connecting the consumer with the right home page or landing site with the right information in which the scanning person is interested at that moment. Marketing managers have to learn about the highly developed ways of QR codes to be successful. Tesco a giant supermarket chain from UK is already using the potential of the codes perfectly. They introduced in the UK and Korea a virtual shop at subway stations where people can scan with their mobile devices life-like products and the delivery service of the supermarket will deliver the requested products at the desired time to their homes. Location-based services and mobile payment More than 50% of the cell phone users in Germany have nowadays a smartphone and the tendency is increasing. The interchange of location awareness, mobility and social media provides now many opportunities. For instance, at the point of decision-making a company can target its customers via smartphone and send him coupons or incentives which create a demand for the product. Furthermore, these tools are also offering the feature to listen to customers carefully and understand trends as they arise. According to Bonin Bough (Vice President of Mondeléz International) is to ‘buy quickly’ the future of all media buying, but companies must be especially aware of privacy issues because not every smartphone user is willing to share his location data. In addition, she said ‘It’s not entirely clear how all of this will pan out, but there’s no doubt that marketers will be at the center of the dialogue’. Besides, the localization of the customers, Google Wallet, Square, Apple, and other companies have introduced electronic payment, loyalty, and couponing systems. Unfortunately, the expectations are at the moment higher than the services which the companies offer. The technology is still evolving, but in any case marketing executives should keep an eye on mobile payment because it will be soon an enormous trend. To sum up, at the moment the GPS and ‘always online’ function of a mobile device is not used extensively. There is definitely a huge potential in knowing where the customer is at the moment and then communicate directly with him in terms of e-mails or short text messages. Due to this, location-based services and mobile payments will be definitely counted to the marketing trends of 2013 and the future. Booking a train or bus ticket via your phone and checking in on Foursquare are just the beginning of a new era.



Going Global by Patrick Schonewille Globalization – A process of interaction and integration


Nowadays many companies choose to expand their business beyond the borders of their native country. Globalization is important in current societies because cross-border trade, investment and cultural exchange are increasing. The world is becoming “flat� and shrinks together. This results in one big changing market. One of the main reasons is, for example the use of new technologies, such as the internet. This makes it a lot easier to share knowledge. This makes globalization very important for companies to operate in the international market. Becoming a global player can be necessary to survive in a market where not only native companies are your competition. To increase your market share, reputation and turn-over it is important to expand beyond the borders. This makes it very important to find new markets and to become the leader by conquering. When going global a company needs to deal with all kind of new issues. Today, Classical marketing is not enough and must be complemented with new techniques to overcome these issues. Going global is not something you decide from one day to another and this article will explain why?

What is Globalization?

Globalization is a growing phenomenon an mostly described as an integration of economic, financial trade and communications worldwide towards a more integrated economy. Other than most people think, globalization is not something new. Thousands of years ago people (and later also corporations) from all over the world already traded with each other. A well-known example is the famous Silk Road across Central Asia that connected China with Europe. The last few decades policy and technological developments urged increased trading beyond the native borders enormously that. Many experts think that that the current globalizing means a new phase in the global economy. The world trade increased with a volume of 20 times since 1950 and from 1997 till 19999 the investment of countries in foreign countries almost doubled from $468 to $827 billion. History

Naturally, this question is almost impossible to answer in a short article. Globalization can be studied from a historical perspective and is a process that found its origin many decades ago. By looking back on the history of globalization the historical analysis with look on the origin, growth and implications, can give more insight and better understanding what this phenomenon really means and gives the opportunity to discuss the current wave within globalization. when the first people were started traveling from Africa into the world. First, with short and later longer distances. Next people immigrated to different countries and of course with them their values, ideas, customs and products. This leads to adaptation and combination of different minds.



Behind the New View of Globalization

Many economists believed for decades that trade has played a significant role in the losses of jobs of middle class incomes. It does not benefit the majority of the world’s population. At the moment it is slowly growing to a deadly proportion. It benefits the wealthy, which are a small group on the total population. Instead of focusing on trade economists are stating that “skill-biased- technical change� played a big negative role in holding down the middle wages. Many top economists nowadays changed their view and think globalization could be the leading cause of the income stagnation. Impact of Internet

The internet is probably the most important technological innovation of this time and has a very important role in the emergence of globalization. The internet has become the capital city in the world where people are connected with each other. Internet is cheap and makes it easier to communicate.

Like any other village this means that people are

adapting more and more from each other for example, the behavior and values. On the internet difference between countries are minimal and that makes it easy to buy beyond the native borders. Consumers are more educated and know more about the products. They are not longer restricted to the local companies. Countries that had profit from globalization: China: Reform led to the largest poverty reduction in history. Between 1990 and 2005, poverty rates in the country fell from 60% to 16%, leaving 475 million fewer people in poverty. India: Cut its poverty rate in half in the past two decades. Uganda: Poverty fell 40% during the 1990s and school enrolments doubled. Vietnam: Surveys of the country's poorest households show 98% of people improved their living conditions in the 1990s. Source :

Some countries that failed to success with globalization: Many countries in Africa have failed to share in the success of globalization. Their exports have remained confined to a narrow range of primary commodities. Some experts suggest poor policies and infrastructure, weak institutions and corrupt governance have marginalized some countries. Other experts believe that geographical and climatic disadvantage have locked some countries out of global growth. For example, land-locked countries may find it hard to compete in global manufacturing and service markets.

Globalization provides many opportunities but not all countries are happy with it. In the United States and Europe there have been protest against the effects of globalization while other countries, for example Africa have a strong support of the different aspects of this phenomenon. 75 per cent of the households think that it is very good for their economy that foreign countries invest in their country.



Going Global? Why should a company choose to expand their business by going global? Globalization can provide companies a better image but it remains a challenging and difficult process to include as a company. Going Global means to achieve a competitively presence within different strategic global markets without deviating to much from the original values. With a global brand a company most of the time refers to the 70/30 principle. This means that 70 percent of the company values remain and that 30 percent will be adapted to the can be reflected to adaption of the market of operation. More companies incorporate the globalization with internet as most important tool within their strategic management. In the current rapidly developing market it is a matter of life or dead to be innovative and to search for new markets. A well-known example is the outsourcing of several processes to foreign countries the costs can be reduced and more profit can be made. Before going global Going global is a challenge for most companies. The process brings all kind of issues before succeeding in other countries.

Culture One of them is the process of convincing different cultures with a successful product does not mean that it will be a success in other cultures as well. Many people think their cultural values are superior compared with other. Before entering a new culture you need to know everything before an effectively promotion can be started in the business environmental.

The laws Countries have their own laws and what can be legal in one country could be illegal in another. Before entering a new country it is very important to do research and this can save a company a lot of money. It is important to consult with local lawyers and accountants in order to have no surprises.

Promotions This needs to be selected carefully in order to reach the new target group. In the past many companies lost their image because they did not adapted the local habits into their promotions. It is very important to know everything about the rules, requirements and habits of the new culture.

The budget Different legalities can cost an operation to another country more than you expected before. At the start of the operations it is possible to capture a lot of the legalities in order to make the operation run as smooth as possible.

Language Companies need to keep in mind that languages of countries can be an enormous barrier. As English continues to grow as the global standard for communication, changes to the language are unavoidable. “There is no such thing as a society lapsing into using unclear or illogical speech—anything that strikes you as incorrect in some humble speech variety is bound to pop up in full bloom in several of the languages considered the world’s noblest.” Like American scholar John McWhorter noted. Today there are about 6,500 different languages. Eleven of them account for the speech of more than 50 percent of the world’s population. Those eleven are Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, French, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, German, Japanese, Arabic, and English. The Sapir Whorff hypothesis states that No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered to represent the same reality.



Keys to success

The opportunities for global expansion are different and attaining success demands a strategic extension plan. One of the most important differences between failure and success are often the cultural issues.

The most important key is to start with a strategy and not with tactics. Any decision must start with a long term action plan when going global. This plan must contain the corporate vision, the mission of the company, and identifying opportunities in compatible and desirable markets. This makes it all about strategy and not tactics. To answer several tactical questions it is necessary to get the expertise about the market and understand the people and their culture.

Identify your competitive edge and use different techniques to achieve new goals. Stick to old techniques that led to old goals does not make an organization successful. Keep in mind that a new market has different players and needs a new kind of approach. In order to succeed a company should focus on its competitive edge, whether that be their product, strategy or a combination. Future

The world has become enormously interconnected. The way that our economic and political system has changed brings countries closer. The world is merging together and nations will interact more with each other. With all these connections the world is starting to look different. New opportunities and



become a well-known big player companies needs to go global and adapt culture difference.


There is no doubt that globalization contributed a lot to world we know today. It stimulates economies of countries all over the world and forces the world to stay innovative. Still there are many discussions whether it is a positive or negative process because like with many other things; the benefits of globalization comes with drawbacks. In conclusion, globalization has advantages as well as disadvantages. One has to weigh the one against the other. For big companies it is necessary to globalize and secure their market position. For small companies it is better to focus on a smaller market.



Apple – a giant, a love and a dictator by Carina Temmen Apple is one of the best known brands in the world standing for innovation, coolness and success. Everyone owning an Apple product feels like a member of a big community. But what is behind the brand? Apple Inc. was founded in 1976 by the Americans Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in California, USA. The company focuses on producing hardware and software

8 Astonishing facts about Apple 1.

Only 59 countries are bigger than Apple Apple’s revenue of $156.5 billion last year is bigger than the GDP of 128 countries (for example New Zealand, Belarus, Ecuador or Bulgaria)


Apple sold 125,04 million iPhones in 2012 That is 342,575 iPhones per day


Apple hired 8,700 industrial Chinese employees in 15 days That’s more than 24 per hour


After one quarter, Apple’s profit would be enough to pay the total government costs for education in a year


After two quarters, Apple would be able to pay the inflation adjusted costs of the Marshall Plan


The ‘disappointing’ revenue of $35 billion Q1 in 2012 was still more than the revenue of Google, Microsoft, Netflix and RIM together.


Each Apple store receives 17,000 visitors per week and generates an average of $11.1 million in revenue.


More iPhones are sold per day than babies born

products and counts to one of the leading producers for computer and entertainment. In the beginning years, the company concentrated on personal computers only. Even though, Apple was already a pioneer in producing computers back in the 70s, they came a long way since then. By producing customized products with a classic and noble design they became the world’s most valuable brand. Today Apple is selling a wide range of products covering computer/laptops (Mac), mp3 players (iPod), smartphones (iPhone) and tablets (iPad). The small ‘i’ at the beginning of the brand names is standing for internet, individual, instruct, inform and inspire. In 2012, the company employed approximately 72,800 workers. Compared to the year 2006 (17787 employees), it is an increase by circa 300 per cent. Viewing the change in turnover, the company grew by approximately 700 per cent during the last 6 years. This means, the turnover is 7 times bigger in 2012 ($41,733 million) than in 2006 ($1,989 million). Even though Apple is the 15th biggest company in the world, it is also still ranked as the 8th most fast growing company. Branding is Apple’s key to success Apple is by far the brand with the most loyal customers in the world. Ranking number one for tablets and number two for smartphones, Apple leaves Amazon on rank 3 behind followed by kindle on rank 4. Sure, Apple launches new and innovative products every now and then but are those products really way better than competitive products from Samsung, Sony or HTC? Do these

products really deliver the customer better possibilities and a better quality? There is one simple answer - NO. Actually, it is the other way around. Apple users are most of the time more limited, are charged different prices for apps like WhatsApp, and sometimes programs or formats are not compatible with Apple’s operating systems. Nevertheless, customers adore Apple. But what is the reason for Apple’s success?



Apple was always a brand standing for imagination, design and innovation, but there was a time Apple did not do very well. After Steve Jobs one of the founders of the company left Apple in 1985, due to an in-fighting between him and John Sculley, the company became more and more unsuccessful. John Sculley, former vice president of Pepsi Cola USA and from 1983 until 1993 president and CEO of Apple computers, turned Apple into the biggest single computer company worldwide. He marketed the brand like no one else, raise the marketing budget from $15 million to $100 million. But all the advertisement could not save Apple from the almost ruin in the mid-90s. A big decrease in turnover and no innovation in development nearly led to bankruptcy or a hostile take-over by competitors. Something had to be done. The recovering of the company has a name: Steve Jobs. The best what happened to Apple in the 90s was the comeback of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1996. 1997 Steve became manager of Apple and started restructuring the company: Managers were fired, the focus in products was changed and finally Apple made a deal with Microsoft, which was the most important step for the company to take back then. Apple started branding their company in every possible way. Their branding strategy focused on emotions. Emotion is something everyone has and by emotion Apple ensured to reach every single potential and present customer. The company’s brand personality is about passion, liberty, hopes, dreams and lifestyle. Furthermore, it is about simplicity and about reducing the complexity from people’s everyday life. Apple wanted to be seen as a kind of supporter who understands the customer and have a heartfelt connection to them. In addition, Apple created a real community for their customers. Apple still counts to premium price products which come with a certain kind of status for the owner. Nevertheless, mobile contracts made it possible, that almost everyone could be a member of the Apple community. Specific apps and features like Face-time were only possible to be used by Apple users. That was when the Apple hype began. Even though in time Apple became a mainstream product, it

Every Apple user is a part of the Apple family

still created a feeling of being special. Apple’s intimacy to the customer leads to the fact, that the customer does not just like the brand but love it. Their loyalty to the company increase to such a big extent, that almost all Apple users recommend the devices to friends and families and would never switch to another brand.

Steve Jobs – Not a dream chief There is no question about the most important man for Apple - Steve Jobs led Apple to another chapter. Despite his big support for the company, Steve Jobs was not the nice neighbor who invited you once in a while for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, but he was described as narcissistically moody and not interested in other people’s feelings. Experts stated, that exactly this characteristic was necessary to lead Apple to the company it is nowadays. Jobs made decisions which he did not doubt afterwards and HE decided what the customers want He never asked for their opinion.



Internally, employees called Steve Jobs a tyrant and the company dictator. He was the one who decided EVERYTHING by himself. Even the look of the new shuttle buses for employees was his decision. After a fail in launching the online service MobileMe, Steve Jobs convened a team meeting and said to their employees ‘You should hate each other for betraying each other.’ Although Jobs took every little decision by himself, he never was responsible for a failure.

Secrecy has the highest priority The corporate culture states, that no one is allowed to talk about his project or work in general. Most of the time colleagues do not know which projects the other colleague is working on. Furthermore, employees are not allowed to talk about work with their families. Who violate this rule, will be fired. A figure of speech which really exists in the circles of Apple is ‘Everyone, who is working for Apple wants to get out, and everyone who is out wants to get in.’

Overtime Bad work conditions in industrial countries Although Apple is selling fun with its products to the customer, they are more or less lacking any sense of humor in dealing with their employees. In Germany, work

Cameras everywhere

environments are not in the least comparable to other German employers. Depending on the location, employees working in Apple selling stores earn between 7€ and 5€ per hour. The salary is not appropriated for people, who have to proof for example perfect English skills. Furthermore, working overtime is nothing unusual in Apple departments and stores. Sometimes people work from 7am until

5€ per hour


5 toilets for 200 employees

Workers are monitored by CCTV cameras almost everywhere. Apple does not just use cameras to prevent shoplifting, but also to monitor what their workers are doing. What are they doing when they are in the lunch room? How often and how long do they use the toilet? Do they talk to their colleagues more than necessary? CCTV cameras are installed everywhere; Even in front of the toilets. In Munich, there are only 5 toilets for 200 employees, a small piled holding area and no changing rooms. Workers have to change in front of their locker. This kind of work condition is actually not expected from a company owning the most valuable brand and having the most loyal customers. Workers in developing countries are hit even harder.



Bad work conditions in developing countries Everyone knows that workers in Asia are often treated in a very bad way. No one cares about their health, their security, their private life (actually their life in general) and their families. No continent has as bad work conditions as Asia. Although a great deal of companies makes use of the lack of precise labor law and of the corrupt government, Apple is pioneer and role model for bad work conditions and no sense of empathy. Asian workers are intimidated by their team leader to listen to him very carefully and to carry out the orders without contradiction and counteraction. Officially, whippings are forbidden in the working area, but it is no isolated incident that team leaders wait outside of the working area for the workers to ‘get his just deserts’. Just about 38 per cent of Apple’s supplier sticks to the maximum amount of 60 working hours per week and circa 35 per cent of the suppliers are careless in using dangerous substances and standards to prevent injuries. Workers are not allowed to use the toilet whenever they have to. Going to the toilet is only allowed during mealtime and in two other timeframes during the day. Moreover, sexual harassment is not unusual in Asian fabrics. Apple agreed on the statement of 2 explosions in Chinese plants where 4 people died and 77 got hurt. Additionally, in January this year 300 employees of Apple suppliers threatened with a mass suicide. By jumping from the roof of the plant, they wanted to protest together against the work conditions. Unfortunately, this is not the only incident. There were already several workers committing suicide by jumping from the roof or out of windows. The only thing the plant leaders did against those actions was stretching a net around the building. Apple shows regret After test results from investigations in Asia were published and showed the bad work conditions for Asian Apple employees, Apple was the first manufacturer of electronic devices who joined the Organization Fair Labor Association (FLA). FLA tries to ensure appropriate work conditions worldwide. The company for example wants to increase the amount of annual inspections of their suppliers and wants to try to prevent child labor the best they can. According to Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook, Apple wants to be a role model for other companies and wants to set a good example for the whole industry.



Cross-cultural Marketing Research Technology, Equivalents & our marketable future by Afiya Simon Consider the following lyrics “I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man” (Kanye West) and ask yourself if this statement has any bearing on you as a consumer in this day and age. The future of the web, web 3.0, is already making its presence known. Not only is it affecting the way businesses currently conduct cross-cultural marketing research, but it is also affecting the social media consuming public at large, possibly inadvertently.

Marketing research is all about providing timely and relevant information. Technology is changing at an indescribable tempo, which, perhaps to some might come across as a cliché, but technology at this breakneck speed is not only bending time, but also (un)intentionally disrupting lives. In this regard, marketing research has always been essential, not for the disrupting of peoples’ lives mind you, but in that it is all about supplying timely and relevant information. At the same time, being versed in cross-cultural approaches can go a long way. The knowledge gained from the research can reward a marketer with insight in concocting the right marketing mix to target a specific group of potential consumers. As such, cross-cultural marketing research transcends borders. Understanding the cross-cultural environment is thus vital as it is a basic ingredient for attaining any goals pertaining to research objectives. Cross-cultural marketing research on the other hand, involves ‘looking with other eyes’ at potential consumers. It goes without saying that ‘marketing is a process involving communication and exchange,’ in that ‘consumers buy meanings as well as objects.’ Thus, if an organization is intent on going global, developing an understanding of how different cultures respond to stimuli could likely be the equivalent of winning the lottery. Hence, investing time, effort and money in cross-cultural marketing research is a prerequisite











Technological advances Technology for this reason has thus far also played a major role in the marketing research activities of 2013. The technological advances has impacted our lives in such a way that, if we need to know what the weather is supposedly going to be like in the next few hours, we can easily download an app just for that purpose. Thus, an app that tells us, not only the forecast for the next few hours, but an app that suggests what kind of accessories one can consider appropriating in view of the expected weather conditions. For a marketer, these new found advantages can add more value to their promotion strategies. The added value being again equivalent to having actual figures of how many people actually download and or actually use the weather forecasting apps. By having access to or insight into the actual real-time figures, the marketer can likely proceed in adapting its promotions to the weather conditions. As a result, the marketer can in turn target this ‘promising’ group of potential consumers accordingly.



In this regard, technology is as exhilarating as it is inundating. On the one hand, technology affords us enormous benefits, but on the other hand, because of the vast automation of business processes, technology has also caused millions of people to lose their livelihoods. Take for instance the present plethora of social media tools and platforms currently in existence. The technological advances that has brought us the likes of Facebook, pardon the play on words, serves several purposes. One example being the ‘bringing’ of people together, and another, the destruction of relationships and or reputations. The latter obviously being accidental. ‘Accidental’ in the sense that it can be surmised as being a source of discord amongst people, and or bringing a company’s reputation into question.

Twitter storm Consequently, underestimating technological advances can likely result in dire consequences. Another example where the extent of the advances in technology was underestimated, involves the US raid on ‘Bin Laden.’ The twitter storm that erupted when a Pakistani tweeter or twitterer twitted tweeted or twittered about noticing a commotion in the area where he lived. This, while unawares that a specialized US team was executing one of the most tweeted about missions thus far in history. That tweet thereupon could have likely lead to a disastrous situation of epic proportions. To that effect, cross-cultural research could likely have prepared or provided the US troop with backup plans from A to Z in terms of eluding potential setbacks. However, this is mere speculation, as the public will likely never be privy to such information. Then again, there are exceptions as is the case with the wiki-leaks.

Web 3.0 In essence, the future of the web, web 3.0 at that, is significantly influencing the way businesses and institutions conduct [marketing] research. To reiterate a statement from a previous paragraph, ‘if an organization is intent on going global, developing an understanding of how different cultures respond to stimuli, could likely be the equivalent of winning the lottery.’ This brings us to why the ‘equivalence’ theory has so much significance in terms of analyzing the results of cross-cultural marketing research. To expound further, Usunier & Lee (2009) state the following; “the feedback loop that links consumer research information to product improvement and to personal interest is as uncertain as it is complex. ” In other words, if for instance, a marketer were to interview two sample groups in two different countries, the survey questions would have to be worded in such a way that the meaning of the specific question could not be misinterpreted, by being lost in translation. One particular type of equivalence that poses as a major issue for our imminent and marketable future is that of data collection equivalence. Cross-cultural marketing research should arguably always supply timely and relevant information. However, because companies are developing more ‘intelligent’ technologies, they can simply bypass or evade the strenuous or time consuming methods of the traditional researching methods of gathering information.



So instead of a company continuing to invest in segmenting global markets and target groups, a company could instead rely on the masses of collected data to provide insight into how, what and where to approach consumers with their offerings. Analyzing such vast amounts of data leaves the potential for a great margin for error if the data is not correctly interpreted. To visualize this process, try imagining a scenario where, on one part of the globe, a citizen is looking up the word ‘bank’ via an online search engine. There is a possibility where a company pushes its advertisement of ‘banks’, in the Dutch language, meaning ‘sofa in English to where it irritatingly pops up in the results for that particular citizen. Meanwhile, the other results in the search engine rankings shows a ‘river bank’ as referring to lakes or rivers in the vicinity of the citizen’s residence, or yet another irrelevant result that depicts a ‘bank’ as a place where money is processed. In this manner, the erroneous results are never ending. All the while, the citizen could merely have been searching for an acquaintance with the last name Bank. Social settings Concurrently, ‘functional equivalence’ denotes that examining the social settings, in which a product is consumed, is essential in determining e.g. the right combination of product attributes. Hence, “the main difference between domestic and cross-cultural market research lies in the difficulty in establishing equivalence at the various stages of the research process.”

Moreover, our marketable future as ‘businesses’ is a very lucrative one. Companies will likely rely heavily on tracking consumer behavior even more than ever before in order to market their products based upon the analysis of said findings. What with GPS tracking software and Smartphones and ipads and wearable technology. Take the example of Nike using wearable technology in the form of smart watches for e.g. joggers. The idea is that the joggers can stay connected with their social media community during the entire run. This concept is a bit jaw dropping, because it is just another concept which is encouraging the saturation of irrelevant messages already in overkill. However, the idea of just about anyone being able to pinpoint your exact location at any given moment in time, without explicit permission just borders on irresponsible behavior. If you consider that third parties already have accessibility to private information via the sharing of information on social media platforms, it should inspire people to reevaluate the extent to which they allow themselves to consume the socially exploitable platforms.

Individual consumers or lucrative businesses?



Private Citizens The idea behind the trend of collecting information about private citizens is supposedly to enhance the product mix strategies in offering the right goods at the right place and at the right time. In other words, the key focus here is personalizing the marketing activities. In this situation, crosscultural marketing research may seem redundant, because companies will have direct access to information about individual consumer behavior patterns. In contrast, knowledge of cross-cultural marketing research can also help the marketer to tailor their offerings more suitably, in the event that a potential consumer finds the company before the company finds or locate them.

On the whole, cross-cultural marketing is a fascinating concept. The researching aspect helps in garnering an understanding of the subtle differences between cultures, as well as helping an organization with in accomplishing its objectives. Yes, technology is amazing and reaching astounding heights at breakneck speeds every day. However, it remains to be seen if consumers will be content with seeing themselves as businesses, thus a means to profit with currency signs on their backs, except they won’t be the ones making the profit. Somewhere some company’s now existent cashbox is going ca-ching. It does make you think, how will web 3.0 affect us in the long run?! But then again, web 3.0 is no longer futuristic, it’s right here, right now. Not quite visible yet not quite invisible. Possibly further food for thought?



Generation Y Branding Since I was born in 1985, I belong to the so called Generation Y.

Generation Y is brought up in an

environment full of brands, technology and commercial media. In the rise of digital media, this generation was able to create their own personalized view. The Generation Y has become increasingly powerful over the last years because companies are going to respond to the demand of this consumer generation. So what does Generation Y exactly stands for? If you are born between 1980 and 1996, you are a part of this Y generation. It is the first generation to come (young) adults in the new millennium. Generation Y goes by many synonyms such as Generation Search, Generation






generation. What makes this generation so increasingly important? Currently, 50 percent of the world population is under 30 years of age and will soon outnumber the Baby Boom








consequence, Generation Y will have the most purchasing power in the upcoming years.

Characteristics Generation Y


There are some characteristics of this generation which can

Generation X has raised their children as coaches

be distinguished.







empowerment. A result of such upbringing, is that Technical Intelligent

they are more critical and in general not easily to be

Like already was mentioned is that Generation Y is quite

Family Oriented impressed. Expectations are high and Generation

technically intelligent.

Generation Y was born into an

Many of confident the Generation children haveroles seenwithin their Yers are to takeY on important

emerging world of technology and have been brought up

parents making long hour begin shifts.working. This generation organizations as soon as they They see

in an environment surrounded with smart phones, laptops,

prioritizes family, overastheawork place. example They seek that to a Mark Zuckerberg perfect

tablets and other gadgets. Gen Yers are constantly

perfect balance enjoyable everything is possible,between and there are no limits. life

plugged into technology and has become an essential

enjoyable work.

aspect of this generation’s life. They are also attracted to organizations where technology is the forefront of the companies’ ethics. Traditional companies are less of an attraction for this generation


Family Oriented Many of the Generation Y children have seen their parents making long hour shifts. This generation prioritizes family, over the work place. They seek to a perfect


enjoyable work.







Good Team Players Generation Y wants to be involved and included and therefore like the collaboration of colleagues and fellow students. Constant feedbacks, gratitude, relaying to someone they are doing a good job are common characteristics of Generation Y. In generations before, this level of communication was unheard of In addition, Generation Y is more vulnerable for opinions of their peers. Especially, when it comes to their purchasing behavior. Mouth to mouth advertising is what they seek. Mouth to mouth advertising can be most found online with the help of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and forums.

New Branding Challenge So Generation Y is starting to dominate the planet. We leave standardization and mass production behind and welcome individualization and technology in this new era. But how will this affect marketing communications and brand management?

Brands are already intertwined in our daily routines. How often do we say: Just Google it, Can I have a Coke? Or I will send you a Whatsapp message. Probably far more than we are currently aware of. Over the years, powerful brands have gain major impact in our daily lives and have slipped into our language. Since organizations grow in size, influence is interconnected with that growth. Nowadays, brand manufacturers have ownership and control of their brands. This is gradually changing, meaning that in the future, more and more brands will be owned and controlled by the consumer. In the 1950s, branding belonged to the unique selling point (USP). Meaning that the tangible product, and not the brand , was the core product. By the 1960s,

the first signs of

emotional selling point (ESP) brands emerged. Products that were in fact similar were perceived as different because of emotional attachment. During the 80's, the organizational selling point emerged. The organization behind the brand became the brand and the organization’s objectives and philosophy that made the difference. For instance, look at Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola. People rather drink the label than the cola itself.

In the 1990s brands gained enormous strength and the brand selling point took over. The brand became stronger than only the physical aspects of the product. Every major brand invested in brand extension, and the consumer market was flooded with Disney toothbrushes and Harry Potter backpacks. The consumer has become more fixated on the brand itself, rather than the cartoons and the movies.

Branding as a religion There is even an indication that branding will move into something more sophisticated. Branding expert Martin Lindstrom states that this new world where the consumer desperately needs something to believe in. Martin mentioned the holistic selling point. Meaning, that brands actually adopt religious characteristics. Each holistic brand is trying to create their own identity which is expressed in every message, symbol, design rituals and traditions resemble the way religions do.









characteristics can be compared with religion? This way of thinking is actually not that strange. A couple of years ago researches applied the characteristic of the Stockholm syndrome to apple users. Everyone knows someone that is absolutely mad about every Apple product that is out there and is even willing to preach why Apple is the best. The company Strand Consult that has researched this phenomenon made the following statement: "Apple has launched a beautiful phone with a fantastic user interface that has had a number of technological shortcomings that many iPhone users have accepted and defended, despite those shortcomings resulting in limitations in iPhone users' daily lives." "When we examine the iPhone users' arguments defending the iPhone, it reminds us of the famous Stockholm syndrome - a term that was invented by psychologists after a hostage drama in Stockholm. Here, hostages reacted to the psychological pressure they were experiencing, by defending the people that had held them hostage for 6 days,"

So what has the Generation Y to do with this new era in branding? Well, everything! According to Joeri van den Bergh, author of ‘How cool brands stay hot’, mentions that brands should behave like friends connecting with them on the social network. It can be seen as a passive friendship while you get to know the other by watching and gaining an insight into the brand’s online life. Companies must be transparent, and the Generation Y tends to trust their friend’s opinion over a dictating organization saying that their product is the best. Generation Y finds it essential to have your own identity and will be more loyal to brands that touch their emotion and keeps their promise. According to Van den Bergh, it is up to the brands to fit into the complex identity of Generation Y rather than the other way around. This was actually the case in the previous years. Brands are not dictating styles and images anymore. Brands need to acknowledge this search for authenticity, stability and harmony. These aspects are what the Generation Y is also seeking in their own personal lives. Generation Y rejects global branding and mass marketing and Coca Cola anticipated quite clever on this trend. They recently launched a campaign of Coca Cola “Share a Coke”.



It seeks to drive up the personalization of the brand and Coca Cola made a good move. Coca Cola replaced their famous logo for 150 most common first names and words like ‘family’ and ‘friends’. Managing Director of Coca Cola, James Woods said: “It is a brave move to replace the world’s most iconic brand with 150 names. It will drive huge buzz and drive engagement. No other brand has gone to this scale of personalization." Generation Yers are ethical consumers but do not deliberately purchase more of a certain brand because they claim to be environmental friendly. This generation has become a bit numb regarding the explosion of charity issues. They have considered it another fiction that is not affecting their direct lives. More important is that they can make a difference by choosing certain charities to support. They will be more attracted by local and national charities than for instance, starving children in Africa. Successful brands do not offer products but they are the supporter of the Generation Y’s lifestyle. It is all about positive emotions and companies and marketers that target this segment “Y” will stay better connected with their consumers and therefore will more successful. In the last 2 years, the shift from Generation X to Generation Y has becoming more prominent. Still, many organizations do not see the importance of this shift. Social media has become booming and every company big, or small needs to be engaged in this trend. However, it does not mean every organization knows exactly what they are doing on social media. Generation X is in many companies on the steering wheel and do not feel and see the importance of customer engagement.

Make your Organization Generation Y Proof

Step 2: Be Present •See your (web) shop as your own home. You want

So maybe you found out that your company is not

to create an atmosphere where people feel at ease

Generation Y proof at all. Here are some ways to do so:

and get a positive impression, just like your home. •Integrate your advertisement campaign with social

Step 1: Make it relevant


•It still starts with your product. If your product does not

•A website is more than only a point of information.

do what is promised you can stop now.

Try to seduce your customers to pay a visit on a

•Express the values and norms of your company.

regular basis.

Authenticity and uniqueness have more added value than you think.

Step 3: Activate Conversations

•Create an experience. This experience will be shared

•Surprise your customers by sending a postcard on

with consumer’s peers and will provide a valuable

their birthday or post an inspiring video.

mouth to mouth advertisement.

•Give customers the floor and let them tell about your experiences in life.


Step 4: Stay Fair (FAst-Innovative-Rewarding) •Respond fast with your consumer. Fast actions show your affection and commitment. •Stay innovative and even let the customers be a part of that innovation. Keep asking for their opinion. •Reward them for their loyalty. It is essential that you show gratitude and appreciation for the fact they have chosen your company.

Step 5: Have Courage •Go a bit beyond your comfort zone and create a daring and relevant image. For a perfect example, just look at the current Heineken campaign.

So if you want to be or stay successful with your organization, you should acknowledge the (upcoming) power of Generation Y.


Magazine IMCCM 2013  
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