Facebook Probed Us! What the Experiment Means for Marketing



Profiling consumers has become easier than ever in the last 15 years due to technology and our emotional interaction with the internet. Most of us – myself included – offer up our emotions to the entire digital world on a daily basis. We share our angst and content. We share what is funny to us and what makes us gag. We also share our life events and what is going on in our communities.

With all our feelings and opinions out in the ether, it was only a matter of time before tech giant Facebook began to play with the data. By manipulating the tone of the information available to users, Facebook was able to show that emotions are contagious through networks. Negative emotions from one status update can actually change the mood of the person viewing it. Additionally, users “liked” more posts if positive information was available to the user. On the other hand, when negative posts were added, users were less inclined to “like” posts in general.

Without clues from body language or voice inflection, Facebook users are able to empathize with others based solely on words. Imagine what happens when someone looks at a happy video or happy photo. If words alone can cause a measurable difference in mood, what power does an image have? More importantly, how can you use this information to improve your marketing campaign?

Power of Positive

This controversial study proves that people respond more effusively to positive stimuli than to negative stimuli. To draw in potential clients, does marketing need to stay on the positive side? I think that the answer to that question relies solely on one thing…what is the definition of positive? Can marketing be edgy and dark but still be perceived as positive? Is a positive ad for a bank the same as a positive ad for a non-profit organization?

As marketing increasingly relies on observational data, it will become important to identify what consumers respond to best. To be effective, businesses will need to more clearly define what a positive experience really means for the majority of people in their largest consumer demographic. However, due to human nature, defining a positive experience will be a monumental task for businesses and marketing professionals.

Science, Math, and Marketing

The field of neuroscience, combined with advanced analytical tools, will help to shed light on consumer buying habits and motives. Determining why a sale is made (or not made) for the majority of your consumers based on statistical analysis will help your marketing campaign to have more solvency and increase revenue. This means that the days of relying on a gut feeling are over, ladies and gentlemen; it’s curtains for instinct and opening night for big-data.

If your company does not already use an analytics tool for digital marketing,  it is time to hop on the bandwagon, and find one right now! Facebook’s experiment proves what most marketing professionals already know; marketing is about the emotional response. Though some people are emotionally intelligent enough to inherently understand the motivations behind consumer purchasing, most people are not. To really understand the consumer, data is needed and a lot of it.

Don’t Be Upset, Use It!

Marketing is rapidly evolving to keep up with big-data and global consumers, and new sources of information about consumers pop up everyday. Don’t let the negative response surrounding Facebook’s experiment get in the way of your marketing success. It is clear that consumers respond better to positive information than negative, and it is now your job to make sure that is reflected in your marketing campaign.

Furthermore, as technology advances, Facebook will not be the only tech giant conducting social experiments. Social media platforms already analyze what is trending for their users, and it would only take a few algorithm changes to gather even more data about users. Taking advantage of the knowledge these platforms collect is essential for a great marketing campaign.

Big-data is no joke and using it to drive business can be challenging. Marketing firms like Virtue Marketing can ease the stress related to using data in marketing. Let us transform your business through the power of modern marketing techniques. If you aren’t a marketing professional, trying to create a campaign based on advanced analytics is not a great use of your time. VM can help you to maximize your time and resources by handling all of your marketing needs while you focus on other tasks.

Send us an email with your questions, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

Market Locally, Profit Globally

In an increasingly global economy, growing revenue will depend on successfully establishing a brand presence across many regions and cultures. Though it may be easier to use the same marketing campaign globally, it makes more sense financially to have a flexible marketing strategy. Even though having a variety of marketing strategies is initially a larger investment, many potential consumers will be able to see your company’s products in the context of their own lives.

When marketing campaigns are tailored to certain cultures, consumers are more engaged with a brand than when a global approach is used. Having many diverse marketing campaigns can be a hassle, but here are a few tips to help maximize revenue in the global market:

Focus On The Consumer

This is one I have made a mantra — People want to be served, NOT sold. Stop thinking about what you’re selling and think about WHO you’re selling it to!

Marketing is usually focused on the product being sold. Whether it focuses on excellence in quality, affordability or innovation, successful marketing is all about the product. The future of marketing, however, will need to be about the consumer and how the product is a part of the consumer’s community. Accomplishing this goal will depend heavily on each diverse target market due to the fact that the world is such a diverse place.

For example (a very simple one), a company may have had a lot of success with a marketing campaign in India based on a cricket game. This campaign might also work in the U.K., but it would not work in the U.S. This is because Americans do not typically follow cricket. A similar marketing campaign based on the sport of baseball would have generated a lot more consumer interest in the U.S. Knowing the consumers and their values is essential to increasing profit through sales.

The average consumer wants to feel like the products he or she uses represent his or her values and lifestyle. Failure to properly recognize this need results in lost opportunities and lost revenue.

Trust In Specialized Teams

Far too many people choose to go it alone, and end up baffled when they don’t see results.

In order to focus more on the communities in which consumers live, it is useful to have marketing produced by individuals who are well versed in that community. If marketing is done in-house, it would be most effective to have small teams focused on many communities rather than one large marketing department. This way, the focus of the marketing material does not alienate the target consumer due to cultural misunderstandings.

If marketing is outsourced to a marketing firm, a competent staff will be able to identify the core values of the brand and create content appropriate for the target market. Marketing firms inherently understand that a campaign with a good return on investment must reach as many potential consumers as possible. These firms usually offer expertise for many industries and locations so their employees are already extremely adept at creating content for a variety of markets. Due to their expertise in a range of markets, it may be more cost-effective to use a marketing firm rather than having in-house teams.

Whether created in-house or by a firm, content still has to properly represent the overall brand. Marketing for China should represent the brand, but in a way that jives with Chinese culture. Effective marketing should make the product seem like it is already a part of the consumer’s life. Additionally, the brand values should fit in with the consumer’s values. These goals can only be accomplished by thoroughly understanding and effectively communicating information about a product in the “local dialect”.

Be Flexible

With loads of information rapidly becoming available to consumers globally, a marketing campaign needs to be pliable. Customers want to be engaged with and informed about the brands they spend their money on. Since consumers think locally but buy globally, successful marketing will need to be able to evolve to stay relevant within specific communities.

To stay relevant across multiple continents and cultures while also staying on brand is a huge challenge. Gaining revenue from targeted marketing will require a diverse group of individuals led by a Chief Marketing Officer or an excellent marketing firm like Virtue Marketing. Great brands stay ahead of their competition by finding revenue where others do not.

An infinite amount of potential revenue exists in the growing global economy, and a great marketing department goes after every penny. By connecting with many different communities worldwide, businesses can access previously untapped sources of revenue ahead of their competition.






Marketing for the Future: Tactics for 2014 and Beyond

The world of advertising and marketing looks much different than the popularized versions seen on TV. Many consumers do not believe in traditional marketing and up to 50 percent will rely on customer reviews and advice from friends instead. Many others will use the power of the internet to research a product and all of its competitors before making their purchase. With so many options and a generally dismissive consumer base, how does a marketing campaign gain traction?

For marketing content to be successful in 2014, it must do a few important things very well. Your content should be well researched and honest. It should be optimized for mobile technology. Content should also seek to communicate with consumers and make them a part of your company’s fan base. Selective multi-channel marketing content should be used, but with a specific client base in mind.

Moving Towards Mobile

Though the majority of internet users still surf the internet with a laptop or personal computer, about 40 percent use smartphones, tablets and other mobile tech instead. As mobile internet access improves, so will the number of people participating in ecommerce and digital consumption. To succeed, your marketing must adapt to be useful on mobile platforms.

Using marketing tools that are relevant and optimized for mobile tech will be essential to the continued growth of your company. Since approximately 25 percent of businesses do not believe that digital marketing is worth the investment, there is plenty of room for your mobile-friendly marketing to succeed.

Can You Prove It?

A common reason for a marketing campaign failure is a lack of evidence for product excellence. In other words, your marketing does not provide any information about why your product is the best and how it gotten to be that way.

Research shows that pretty much every consumer wants more information about the products they use than ever before. They want to know that their goods are safe to use, were ethically made and that other consumers were happy with the product. If your marketing at least acknowledges your customers’ need for information, then it has the potential to be highly effective…especially if competitors fail to do the same.

The Warm & Fuzzies

People will probably always be ruled by their emotions. That is why this section focuses on the importance of marketing that encourages an emotional attachment to your brand. For example, Subaru has a marketing campaign that focuses on the phrase “They Lived.” Videos of smashed up Subarus are played followed by an incredulous bystander saying “They Lived.”

This approach is successful because it highlights the quality and safety of the vehicle while telling a compelling story with a happy ending. Marketing plans that inspire emotion like this can be incredibly effective. Analysis of consumer feedback shows that customers seek out content that makes them feel like they a part of something special. Consumers want to relate to the products, so it is essential to create content that satisfies that need.

Multi-Channel Marketing

This term sounds complicated, but all it really means is that there are many ways to market these days and an effective marketing campaign will use several of them simultaneously! Consumers get their information from all kinds of places, so it is important to have a well-rounded market presence. However, too much information in too many places can become tedious for potential clients, so it is also important not to flood every available channel.

So, when your amazing and brand new product is announced, an effective marketing strategy could involve a digital press release, a short 30 to 40 second ad optimized for mobile platforms, product introduction via your website and an active blog focused on relevant industry or company information. Having a variety of ways to interact with your brand is key to growing your revenue, so don’t be afraid to try new ways of marketing.

Guess What? We Can Do It!

If you are looking to improve your marketing strategy, send us an email and we will do our best to help you accomplish your business goals.