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THE DESIGN OF EFFECTIVE DIGITAL MARKETING —

by trudy vinson


THE DESIGN OF EFFECTIVE DIGITAL MARKETING — by trudy vinson

Graphic Communication Department College of Liberal Arts California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo June 2016


4 Introduction

16 Results

Statement of the Project

Demographics

Significance of the Project

Respondent Behavior

Interest in Project

Online Shopping

Connecting with Brands

Perceptions of Online Advertising

6

Literature Review

Why Digital Media?

Elements of a Successful Campaign

Leveraging Analytics

30 Conclusions

32 Appendix 14

Process Methodology

Survey Questions

Purpose

Works Cited

Sample Procedure


INTRODUCTION STATEMENT OF THE PROJECT

In 2016, tried and true methods of print advertisement have greatly declined in effectiveness, yet the digital marketing landscape is still largely being developed and established. In an increasingly digital world, it is important for marketers and designers to meet consumers where they are, and do so effectively. Whether it is an eye-catching image on a Twitter feed, a banner ad on a favorite blogger’s website, or a customized email campaign tailored to a user’s demographic, designers and marketers need to understand how to best reach their intended audience to meet business goals.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROJECT

This study is significant for brands hoping to effectively message their audience in the digital space. It is of the utmost importance to marketers and designers at these brands, who are hired to bring in sales with clever campaigns and beautiful design, to understand how to market their product digitally. Knowing which digital marketing tools are the most successful in reaching their target market is extremely powerful and has a major fiscal impact. It will save time, money, and effort to objectively understand the science behind what makes a successful digital campaign rather than arguing design elements based on opinion and feeling.

4

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction


INTEREST IN THE PROJECT My interest in this topic stems from nearly every job and internship I have had since coming to Cal Poly. While in school, my jobs have always revolved around using good design to market various clubs, departments, and organizations on campus. I realized that my job was not just to understand typography, col or, and the grid – it was also to understand how, when, and where the target audience will view the piece, and ultimately to drive an action from the viewer. I learned that design and marketing are essentially one in the same, and that a beautifully designed piece does not mean much unless it achieves its intended purpose. Additionally, both internships I have held outside of Cal Poly have also centered on digital marketing. At Dwell Media, part of my job was to compare Dwell’s digital presence to that of its competitors, and provide recommendations to increase their following on various online platforms. This informed my understanding of the multitude of ways to market things digitally, and

Digital banner advertisements

the increased focus from brands to drive revenue through these

created for Tiny Prints, Summer 2015.

means. At Tiny Prints (Shutterfly), my job was to create digital ads that would be placed on various sites that appealed to Tiny Prints’ target audience. I was always curious whether or not my designs would end up triggering a click or even a purchase, and if certain ones performed better than others. I was also involved in meetings that argued which style of advertisement would drive the highest engagement, down to every last punctuation mark and speck of glitter. I wondered whether or not these decisions could be made more easily by analyzing the data to see what worked or what did not work in the past. •

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction 5


02 LITERATURE REVIEW


Why digital media? It should come as no surprise that use of digital media has transformed the way brands reach their audiences. Currently, there are over 3.1 billion worldwide Internet users, with 1.55 billion on Facebook, followed by 400 million on Instagram and 320 million on Twitter (Statista). Of those users, more than half are under age 34. As the digital generation comes of age, effective digital advertising tactics will become increasingly important to brands worldwide. However, despite the mass migration of consumers to web and mobile, there is still a question of how to best invest in this new space and capitalize on ever-evolving trends.

CURRENTLY,

Social Media Usage, 2016 Source: Statista

THERE ARE OVER 3.1 BILLION WORLDWIDE

1,500,000,000

INTERNET USERS, WITH 1.55 BILLION FOLLOWED BY 400 MILLION ON

# of users

ON FACEBOOK,

400,000,000

INSTAGRAM AND

320,000,000

320 MILLION ON TWITTER. Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Literature Review 7


Why digital media? Though print media still accounts

claimed that digital advertising

for $2 billion USD in ad revenue,

is a priority area for investment.

digital marketing revenue has in-

Eighty-seven percent identified

creased from $54 million in 2014

a digital presence as an effective

to $74 million USD in 2016, and

vehicle for information exchange,

is expected to reach $100 million

stating, “The primary advantage

USD by 2020 (Statista). As tradi-

of the new digital realm is the

tional print media revenue begins

ability to create two-way com-

to slowly decline, digital market-

munication between brand and

ing revenue continues to grow at

consumer�. Rather than brands

a rapid pace, reaffirming the need

talking at users to tell them what

to capitalize on digital advertis-

they need, brandscan listen to

ing. The trends in digital adver-

what consumers actually want

tising best practices seem to be

through digital interactions (Tia-

evolving just as quickly. Though

go, Verissimo, 2014, pp. 705-6).

the perfect digital marketing

This fundamental shift is perhaps

strategy remains elusive, market-

the greatest catalyst towards the

ers and designers are up to the

next generation of digital market-

challenge. In a 2014 study, fifty

ing strategy.

percent of marketing managers

50%

of marketing managers claimed that digital advertising is a priority area for investment.

87% of marketing managers identified a digital presence as an effective vehicle for information exchange

8

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Literature Review


ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

Given that digital media is the

shares, and comments, creating

future of marketing and advertis-

an effect similar to Word of Mouth

ing, it is of the utmost importance

(WoM) communication. Since the

to understand how to create a

consumer’s comments, whether

successful campaign in the digital

positive or negative, are visible to

space. An effective digital strate-

anyone who sees a brand’s social

gy recognizes the inherent advan-

media post, the brand is at the

tages of two-way communication

mercy of the consumer’s opinion

and interaction with the consum-

of their content. There is a high

er. It also leverages analytics to

risk and high reward for brand

provide insight into how, when,

social media posts: they can go

and where customers are engag-

“viral” if done right, or tarnish a

ing with content and converting

brand’s reputation done poorly.

clicks into purchases. Though it

This creates unique challenges

may seem that “anything goes” in

and opportunities for brands us-

the digital realm, there is empiri-

ing social media.

cal evidence to prove that certain types of content produce the best

From their research, de Vries,

results and highest conversions.

Gensler, and Leeflang found several key attributes of successful

De Vries, Gensler, and Leeflang

brand social media postings. In

(2014) define the goal for both

this context, “successful” is de-

digital

advertisements

fined as a high level of engage-

and brand posts on social media

ment in the form of likes, positive

is to attract people’s attention

comments, and shares. For exam-

and then to induce them to click

ple, they found that the higher

on the post to view the promot-

the “vividness” and “interactivity”

ed content (p. 84). However, they

of the post, the more popular it

also describe a crucial differ-

was. The most “vivid” and “inter-

ence between these two forms

active” posts were videos, con-

of communication – brand posts

tests, and polls. They also found

on social media have visible likes,

that informative and entertaining

banner

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction 9


Elements of a Successful Campaign posts were more popular than non-infor-

Also from the MIT Sloan Management Re-

mative and non-entertaining posts. Finally,

view, Kumar and Mirchandari (2012) found

they discovered the post position relative

that,

to the brand page and the number of positive comments also affected a post’s success (2014, p. 84-86).

“AN EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY SHOULD CLEARLY DEFINE MARKETING OBJECTIVES, EVALUATE THE

A study conducted by the MIT Sloan Man-

OPPORTUNITIES, AND SELECT AND AP-

agement Review explores the concept of

PROPRIATE FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO

effective social media strategy, defining

COMMUNICATE” (p. 55).

certain design choices as being more effective given the type of product being ad-

Kumar and Mirchandari echo previous re-

vertised. Schulze, Scholer, and Skiera state,

search by citing the importance of select-

“When managers decide on the design of

ing the right form of social communication

the social sharing mechanism for their so-

to send tailored messages. Their research

cial media campaign, they must consider

also heavily indicates the powerful effects

two things: the type of product they are

of social media influencers, calculating

promoting (is it a fun product or is it pri-

how those individuals can provide mone-

marily useful?) and the nature of the plat-

tary value to brands by sharing promoted

form they will use for the campaign” (2015,

content with their followings and building

p. 9). Given these parameters, certain

“buzz” about a product.

strategies are more appropriate than others. For example, users are generally more accepting of direct friend’s recommendations for fun products, but are more interested in non-friend’s recommendations for useful products. Meaning, a typical social media user is more likely to trust a friend’s opinion of a fun online game, and a stranger’s opinion of a cleaning product.

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Literature Review


INFLUENCE OF MOBILE

There is also the task of optimizing a message for the seemingly endless number of channels within which users are engaging. Budikova states, “The creation of content that is easily consumed in a mobile environment will become a necessity, as mobile currently accounts for one fifth of the traffic on the Internet, and is expected to surpass desktop in two years” (2014, p. 58). As the digital marketing landscape moves off desktops and on to mobile phones, it is increasingly important to create mobile-friendly content that leverages a smartphone’s native capabilities. Taking it one step further, Tom Grinsted states: “BEYOND MOBILE, MARKETERS SHOULD BE GRASPING THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE MICRO-INTERACTIONS DURING MICRO-MOMENTS (WAITING FOR A BUS OR FOR THE KETTLE TO BOIL) ON WHAT ARE INCREASINGLY MICRO-DEVICES, SUCH AS WATCHES AND WEARABLES” (Wolny, 2014, p.2).

LEVERAGING ANALYTICS

Once a campaign is in motion, it is of equal importance to be able to measure and track its results. Without data analysis, there is no way to determine whether or not a campaign is successful. Web Analytics (WA) is defined as the “measurement, collection, and analysis of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage” (Jarvinen, Karjaluoto, 2015, p. 117). WA data is used to understand customer behavior, and optimize digital marketing tactics to induce customer behavior that is in line with business goals. Managing data about campaign engagement is crucial for marketing managers when crafting campaigns.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Literature Review

11


IN 2014:

90% OF MILLENNIALS WERE USING SMARTPHONES Source: Statista

12

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction


Leveraging Analytics However, Web Analytics is just scratching the surface of how digital marketing data can be tracked. In looking at digital marketing data, a survey of digital marketing managers responded that their key data metrics were brand awareness (89%), word-of-mouth buzz (88%), customer satisfaction (87%), user-generated content (80%), and Web analytics (80%) (Tiago, Verissimo, 2014, p. 706). This is in contrast to more traditional forms of engagement metrics, like page views, impressions, and click-throughs, representing a larger shift towards customer focus and interactivity. Though the metrics that the marketing managers cited are more challenging to calculate, they are more effective ways to measure a campaign’s overall success. Though most can agree that data and web analytics are important, “web analytics technology is still not used as widely to positively impact marketing as might be expected. The adoption levels of the tools by companies are high, but the usage of them remains surprisingly low” (Chaffey, Patron, 2012, p. 30). Considering how new digital marketing is, it is to be expected that usage of data analytics tools have not been perfected. Chaffey and Patron’s research suggests that lack of resources and tight budgets are the key barriers to brands adopting proper web analytics platforms. Even when brands do begin to use data analytics, it is considered a lower priority than other marketing activities, resulting in missed opportunities and lower conversion rates. (2012, p. 32-33). •

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Literature Review

13


03 PROCESS METHODOLOGY


Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine which digital marketing methodologies produce the best results in terms of engagement and conversion. A combination of focus group testing and an online survey were conducted to measure users’ responses to different styles of digital advertisements.

OBJECTIVES •

Gain insight into how users perceive current digital marketing and online advertising strategies

Examine how users interact with various advertisements that compare and contrast different digital marketing strategies

Determine which types of ads are most effective in terms of placement, design, copywriting, and overall strategy

Sample The sample of the survey ranges across demographic groups, with nearly 90% identifying as Millennials (ages 18-35). To dive deeper into how Millennials interact with online advertising, the sample for the focus group is a group of 6 college students ages 21-22.

Procedure SURVEY: A survey was created to gain insight into how potential users across demographic groups perceive various forms of digital marketing. The survey was given to 100 participants. FOCUS GROUP: A focus group was shown various digital advertisements, including digital display ads on specific websites, native social media ads, and email campaigns, and were asked to comment on their perceptions of each. It also discussed specific types of social media posts, such as influencer posts, to see which were best at grabbing attention and inducing action. Participants discussed the ads they felt most compelling and included comments about the reasoning behind their choices. •

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Process Methodology

15


04 RESULTS This section combines information gathered from both the online survey and a focus group session. Conclusions are synthesized from both sources, with survey data referred to as coming from “respondents”, and focus group data from “participants”. All data received was submitted voluntarily, and may be skewed as a result. The vast majority of survey respondents, as well as all of the focus group participants, are students at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.


TOTAL SURVEY RESPONDENTS: 100 Among survey respondents, the most common age demographic was between ages 21-22, followed by ages 18-20. A total of 80% of respondents are within the age range to be considered Millennials. Respondents were majority female, with 73% identifying as female and 24% identifying as male. The most common occupation was full-time student, with the majority being members of the College of Liberal Arts at Cal Poly. > 18 18-20

FEMALE

21-22

MALE

23-24

NONBINARY

25-35

PREFER NOT

36-55

TO ANSWER

55+

TOTAL FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANTS: 6 To learn more about the online behaviors of the Millennial generation, focus group participants were selected on the basis of age, with all six participants aged 21-22. Five of the participants identify as female, one as male. Five of the six participants were Graphic Communication (GrC) majors within the College of Liberal Arts at Cal Poly, with varying emphases and concentrations, including photography and photo manipulation, UI/UX, packaging, graphic design, and marketing. One of the GrC participants transferred from the College of Engineering within their time at Cal Poly. The sixth participant was a Mechanical Engineer within the College of Engineering.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results 17


Respondent Behavior The most commonly reported goods that sur-

Among survey respondents, the most commonly

vey respondents spent money on were food,

used social networks were Facebook, Instagram,

clothing, and events. The most popular brands/

and Snapchat. The least used platforms were

stores represented in the data were Target, Am-

Vine, Tumblr, and Twitter. This nearly resembles

azon, and Nordstrom. Interestingly, these three

the worldwide statistics on social network usage,

brands all serve different purposes, and touch

with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter being the

upon what people spend the most money on

most used platforms globally. However, respon-

(food and clothing). Larger retailers such as Tar-

dents use Instagram much more than the global

get and Amazon serve nearly all of the catego-

average, and use Twitter significantly less. Focus

ries listed. It also implies that respondents must

group participants echoed these findings.

purchase event tickets almost exclusively online.

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results


WHAT DO YOU SPEND MONEY ON? CLOTHING EVENTS FOOD TRAVEL ELECTRONICS MAKEUP/GROOMING OTHER

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS DO YOU USE? FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER SNAPCHAT PINTEREST LINKEDIN TUMBLR VINE

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 FAVORITE BRANDS OR STORES TO SHOP FROM?

AMAZON FOREVER 21

TARGET

NIKE

NORDSTROM

SEPHORA

TRADER JOE’S URBAN OUTFITTERS

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results 19


DO YOU PREFER ONLINE OR IN-STORE SHOPPING? ONLINE SHOPPING IN-STORE SHOPPING I DON’T REALLY SHOP OTHER

HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE ONLINE COUPONS OR DISCOUNTS WHEN YOU SHOP ONLINE? 30

20

HOW OFTEN DO YOU ONLINE SHOP?

10

0 NEVER

ALWAYS

EVERY DAY A FEW TIMES A WEEK MULTIPLE TIMES A MONTH MULTIPLE TIMES A YEAR NEVER

WHAT DEVICE DO YOU USE TO SHOP ONLINE?

PERSONAL COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET NONE

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results

74%

OF RESPONDENTS HAVE MADE A PURCHASE BASED SOLELY ON AN ONLINE DISCOUNT


Online Shopping Behavior The results for online shopping behavior were somewhat surprising. Over 50% of respondents stated they prefer in-store shopping to online shopping. The majority of respondents who stated this preference were female, with males generally favoring online shopping. The general sentiment for those who favored in-store shopping was that they preferred the ability to try on clothes to get a feel for the material and fit. Another common attitude was that returning online purchases can be a hassle that is best avoided if possible. Those who preferred online shopping enjoyed the ability to cross-check ratings and prices to get the best deal, as well as do their shopping in the comfort of their own home without pressure from salespeople. When it came to online deals and discounts, 74% of respondents stated they have made a purchase solely based on an online discount, underscoring the power of a good online deal and its ability to persuade people who may actually prefer shopping in-store. Overall, 45% of respondents stated they used an online coupon either always or almost always when they online shopped online.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction 21


Comments on social media habits: “MOSTLY PASSIVE: I'LL READ “Used mostly when I'm procrastinating or waiting

TRENDING NEWS AND THINGS around for something”

THAT MY FRIENDS SHARE, BUT “I don't often post original content, but surf other people's.” MOSTLY USE IT TO STAY IN “Typical level of attachment, rely heavily on my phone throughout TOUCH WITH PEOPLE/PLAN the day for entertainment and the feeling of a need to stay updates” PROJECTS/BUY AND SELL “On fb a lot, it’s where I get my news essentially. I love reading articles. THINGS ON MY UNIVERSITY'S I go through phases where I get too sucked in, then delete all the social

media apps on my phone for a while. Then eventually re download them

SALE PAGE” and the cycle continues... It’s nice to have a break though”

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction


HOW DO YOU CONNECT WITH BRANDS YOU SHOP FROM? VISIT THEIR WEBSITE FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA SUBSCRIBE TO EMAILS DOWNLOAD APP RECEIVE PRINT MAILERS NONE OF THE ABOVE OTHER

WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS DO YOU USE TO FOLLOW BRANDS?

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

PINTEREST

TWITTER

SNAPCHAT

NONE

Connecting with Brands As more and more brands attempt to connect

These responses are in line with what devic-

with shoppers digitally, it is crucial to note buy-

es respondents stated they use to make online

er’s behavior when shopping online. 85% of re-

purchases, which for 95% of respondents was

spondents stated they connect with brands by

a personal computer. Only 40% of respondents

visiting their website, followed by 47% following

use a smartphone and just 7% use a tablet when

on social media, and 41% subscribing to email

they shop. Additionally, only 14% of respondents

newsletters. When respondents do follow brands

download mobile apps for brands they shop

on social media, the majority stated they follow

from. Though mobile device usage is quickly

them on Instagram, followed by Facebook. 27%

outpacing that of personal computers, it ap-

of respondents stated they do not follow any

pears that shopping decisions are made almost

brands on any social media platforms.

entirely on the latter. This gap is one that should be closed with better mobile experiences when shopping on a mobile device by better catering to the native capabilities of mobile devices.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results 23


Perceptions of Online Advertising DISPLAY + BANNER ADVERTISEMENTS Survey respondents generally had a negative perception of online advertising, with nearly 60% rating their perception as negative or very negative. 26% felt neutral about online advertisements, and only 13% felt positive or very positive. Over 80% stated they never or almost never click on online advertisements, and 0% claimed they frequently clicked on them. As for social media advertisements, 40% stated they never clicked on them, though generally respondents were more likely to click on social media advertisements than online advertisements. This could be due in part to the fact that over 76% of respondents run an adblocker on their Internet browser, and social media advertisements are often viewed on mobile devices. When analyzing various online advertising strategies, respondents were generally more likely to click on an ad if a friend endorsed the product. This appeared to be the most positively influential online advertising strategy. Responses for how likely respondents would be to click on an ad that featured an item from a previous shopping experience were across the board, yet only 9.8% stated they would be very likely to click, and the majority feeling neutral about this strategy. Respondent’s comments on their perceptions of online advertising were generally negative. Many respondents found them easy to ignore, and felt annoyed when they did notice them. The general consensus among respondents and focus group participants was that it was “creepy” when advertisements for products they had just searched for begin popping up across the web. »

Fig. 4.1 Squarespace banner advertisements

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results


Fig. 4.2 Warby Parker digital ads

» Focus group participants understood how from a brand standpoint, online advertisements are necessary to promote products, and that advertisements keep web services free to use. However, they still felt that advertisements can be very irritating, especially when they prevent you from performing an action (like reading an article or performing a search). They agreed that subtlety is better than over-the-top, and those advertisements that try too hard for attention are instinctively avoided, almost out of spite. They also felt that they did not like being “tricked” by native advertisements like sponsored content that appear to be real content. They also stated they are wary of the “cookie trail” of data they leave behind by viewing products online, and despite feeling a little “creeped out” by personalized ads following them on the Internet, they felt it was better to see content relevant to them than completely random products. When focus group participants were shown two contrasting banner ads for web service Squarespace (Fig 4.1), they felt that both of the clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons were effective in potentially inducing a click. However, they felt the “Try it free” messaging was more effective than “Get started”, because “Try it free” implied less commitment. When comparing the banner ad vs. Facebook ad for Warby Parker (Fig. 4.2), participants liked the Facebook module’s ability to let you scroll through various products without being redirected to the website. Though they both showed the same amount of products, the Facebook ad was more effective.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results 25


FOCUS GROUP COMMENTS ON ONLINE ADVERTISING:

“Subtlety is better than over-the-top, in your face advertisements. Ads that really want my attention, I instinctively avoid” “Millennials think we’re so tech savvy that being tricked by native advertising makes us feel frustrated and manipulated.” “If [a video ad] relevant and engaging, I’m much more likely to view it all the way through. But if it stops me from doing something, I hate it.”

SOCIAL MEDIA/NATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS In social media advertising, focus group participants agreed that the engaging, quick, and high-quality advertiser content on Snapchat and Instagram are the most successful. They agreed that advertisements on those platforms are so well-integrated and require so little work on behalf of the user that they are not as annoying as advertisements on other platforms. On Snapchat, advertiser content is cleverly integrated into the Discover feature in two ways: news media sites are able to share their content, and brands can create short videos that are inserted into the news videos (Fig 4.3). This creates unique opportunities to increase brand awareness. Instagram is similar in that advertiser content must look similar to user content (Fig. 4.4). However, if the user does click on a social media advertisement, it must load instantly and have little time investment in order to be viewed and considered. If users already went out of their way to click on an ad and it does not load right away, they are likely to immediately click away. »

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results


FIGURE 4.3

Snapchat Discover

FIGURE 4.4 Instagram influencer – Native Instagram ad Promoted post by Levi’s

» Social media influencers are another tactic being used by brands to promote products. Focus group participants felt that they did not like the “sneakiness” of this strategy, and likened it to product placement in movies. They were not likely to be swayed by a celebrity posting a photo with a product, and actually felt that if a brand needed to pay someone to use their product it must not be very good.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results 27


EMAIL PROMOTIONS Among survey respondents, 44% rarely open email promotions. 15% never open them, and 11% always open them. When looking at various email promotional strategies, 30% stated they would not be influenced at all by an email being addressed to them personally, and only 4% stated a personally addressed subject line would very likely influence them. This attitude was also found in focus group participants, who felt that email promotions were intrusive, and that sending emails that used data mining was an invasion of privacy. They were not likely to be influenced by tactics like customized subject lines, and often unsubscribed from emails on a regular basis. Some participants felt that emailing discount codes or free shipping would be the only thing that would entice them to open an email newsletter. One participant did feel that brands who created a brand “character” who “emailed them” from time to time was a good strategy to generate a connection with the brand and make the emails feel less annoying. The participant cited Moo.com’s character “Little Moo” as a strong example of this strategy (Fig. 4.5). Of the emails shown during the focus group, respondents stated the best designs were ones with clear calls to action. Figure 4.7, an email by ASOS, had the clearest design, whereas Figure 4.6, an email by J. Crew, was hard to follow, and the user was not sure what it was actually promoting. •

“Moobot ‘checking up on you’ is a cute and friendly way to keep in contact with customers. Written in first person, it doesn’t feel as much like a brand trying to get something from you” Fig. 4.5 Moo CRM email

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Results


Fig. 4.6 J. Crew promotional email

Fig. 4.7 ASOS promotional email


05

CONCLUSIONS


FROM BOTH THE SURVEY AND FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH on Millennial’s perceptions of various digital marketing strategies, it is clear that there is much room for improvement in how brands connect with young consumers. The most common digital marketing strategies used by brands today fall flat or are filtered out entirely with younger audiences. Millennials prefer ad experiences that are engaging, humorous, and interactive. However, more than anything, Millennials do not want brand’s advertising to interfere with their online behavior. Anything that intrudes into their online experience is seen as an annoyance and is unlikely to be taken seriously. Additionally, Millennials can instinctively tell when they are being “marketed to”, and resent brands condescending to them. Millennials respond best to advertisements that make their message clear and have a distinct brand perspective. Overall, quick, clear, and non-intrusive messaging that requires little to no commitment is the best way to appeal to Millennials. FROM THIS EXPERIENCE, I have a much better understanding of how my peers expect brands to interact with them. While I initially sought out to determine exactly what digital marketing methodologies produced the best engagement, in the end I realized that digital marketing is as much an art as it is a science. I realized that despite brand’s best intentions to strategically message Millennials online, many times a clear, honest message coming from an actual person is the most effective way to communicate. Authenticity and genuine connection via social media is perhaps the best way to generate brand loyalty in the Digital Age. Though digital technology has destroyed communication barriers that once existed, it has become easy to forget that there are real human beings making those clicks and buying products. As humans, all of our purchasing decisions are made based on feeling, and a brand’s real job is to make that feeling as positive as possible. To that end, digital media is just a tool – not a solution.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Conclusion 31


06

APPENDIX SURVEY QUESTIONS

DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONS What is your age? What is your gender? What is your major/occupation?

RESEARCH QUESTIONS What do you spend money on? What are your top 3 favorite brands or stores to shop from? What social media networks do you use? What are your top 3 social networks? Comments on your social media habits: Do you prefer online shopping or in-store shopping? In 1-2 sentences, what is the reason for your preference? How often do you online shop? What device(s) do you use to make online purchases? How do you connect with brands you shop from? If you follow brands on social media, which platforms do you use? How often do you use online coupons or discounts when you shop online? Have you ever made an online purchase solely based on a discount code or coupon? If you receive email newsletters, how often do you open them?

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Appendix


Are you more likely to click on an ad or email if it is addressed to you personally? Are you more likely to click on an ad if a friend has endorsed the product? Are you more likely to click on an ad if it features an item from a previous shopping experience (like an item you left in your shopping cart?) Comments on your online shopping preferences: Do you generally perceive online advertisements positively or negatively? How often do you click on online advertisements? How often do you click on social media advertisements? Do you run an adblocker on your internet browser? Comments on your perception of online advertising:

FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS (Displaying a slideshow of corresponding advertisements, participants were asked to answer these questions and explain why) Which of these advertisements do you prefer? Which of these advertisements stands out to you? Does this style of advertisement appeal to you? Are you likely to click on this advertisement? Are these advertisements misleading? Are you likely to click on them?

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Appendix 33


WORKS CITED

Budíková, J. (2014). How digital trends are changing the marketing landscape. Central European Business Review, 3(2), 57-58. Carlson, A., & Lee, C. C. (2015). FOLLOWERSHIP AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 19(1), 80-101. Chaffey, D. , & Patron, M. (2012). From web analytics to digital marketing optimization: Increasing the commercial value of digital analytics. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 14(1), 30. de Vries, L. , Gensler, S. , & Leeflang, P. (2012). Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: An investigation of the effects of social media marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), 83-91. Jarvinen, J. , & Karjaluoto, H. (2015). The use of web analytics for digital marketing performance measurement. Industrial Marketing Management, 50, 117-127). Kumar, V. , & Mirchandani, R. (2012). Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(1), 55. Leeflang, P. , Verhoef, P. , Dahlstrom, P. , & Freundt, T. (2014). Challenges and solutions for marketing in a digital era. European Management Journal, 32(1), 1-12. Schulze, C., Schöler, L., & Skiera, B. (2015). Customizing social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(2), 8-10. Statista. (n.d.). Revenue of print advertising distribution (NAICS 54187) in the United States from 2008 to 2013 (in billion U.S. dollars). InStatista - The Statistics Portal. Retrieved February 09, 2016, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/293985/revenue-of-print-advertising distribution-in-the-us/. Tiago, M. , & Verissimo, J. (2014). Digital marketing and social media: Why bother? Business Horizons, 57(6), 703-708. Wolny, J. (2014). Marketing transformations: Re-thinking marketing, digital first. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 16(2), 150-151.

CREDITS

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The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Appendix


36

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing: Introduction

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing  

A senior project report on digital marketing + online advertising.

The Design of Effective Digital Marketing  

A senior project report on digital marketing + online advertising.

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