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Spotify Premium Forever?

Okay, after using Spotify free for a year, I decided to upgrade my Spotify account from the basic version to the premium version two weeks ago. I felt like it’s annoying when I can only play music in “Shuffle mode” which mean I can’t play songs on-demand or offline. I also had limited number of song skips and, of course, I had to listen to ads which became my first reason to upgrade to the Spotify premium. I know that Spotify is a freemium business model which basic services are provided free of charge and more advanced features must be paid for.

Spotify makes a lot of money from advertising and charging its customers for the premium version. According to Loeb (2015), Spotify had 75 million active listeners in June 2015 where 20 million of them are paying the $9.99 monthly fee which equals to $199,800,000 a month or $2.4 billion a year. Yep, that’s it, that’s a lot of money. But that active listeners and revenue were in 2015, and I believe Spotify users has increased from that year which results in more revenue.

Besides that, after I upgraded and enjoy using the premium version without any ads appear on my screen, I saw an Instagram account which made me curious about it. I saw someone promoting Spotify Premium without any given period which is forever. At the first time, I thought it’s not real. That made me ask my friends if its true or not. All of them said that it is real. My friends explained it to me how it actually works, so basically, we have to contact the admin who sells Spotify Premium Forever and pay for IDR25,000 which equal to AUD$2.5. The admin of that account will tell you what to do until the account of Spotify Premium Forever is ready to use. My friends said that the procedure is really simple, but until now I’m still thinking “HOW COME?”, that’s illegal.

Source: Instagram

I know it’s very cheap and good if we buy the Spotify premium forever account from them, and I know a lot of my friends including me are interested with this, but don’t you think that this is something like crime? I feel that this categorised as Illegal. I believe if Spotify doesn’t do anything to stop this, it can affect their sales which can result in a diminishing of their revenue. What do you guys think? Would you like to use the Spotify Premium forever? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts or (if any) experience with this.

Influencers in Digital Marketing

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Source: adweek

We as social media or internet users often see someone as an influencer promoting a particular brand nowadays. Influencers are important in marketing activities, especially in digital marketing. A lot of marketers use famous people such as celebrities and sports players to promote their products or brand. Some marketers utilise an influencer to set up credibility in the market, while others to create social conversations around their brand. But the main idea of influencer is to drive online or in-store sales of their products. According to Agrawal (2016), he claimed that 84% of marketers are planning to implement at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next 12 months. Marketers need to spend a lot of money to pay those influencers to promote their products if they use a really famous one like David Beckham or Kardashian’s family.

According to Morrison (2015), many marketers discover the power of associating with influential social media users, and subsequently many have expanded their financial plans consistently. However, when the brand is categorised as ‘medium-low’ level in the market, marketers are more likely not using very popular people to become an influencer to promote their products. For instance, many new cosmetic brands (low-medium level) came in the market, and they are promoting their brands and products through social media. In this case, most of those businesses are not using highly paid influencer, but they will be using someone that are not famous but look ‘hot’ or ‘pretty’. Yes, the key thing is only about hot, sexy and pretty. So, if you guys wanna get paid to be an influencer, being hot is important. Take a look at the example below.

IMG_6853Source: Instagram

But what I found more interesting, a four years old children who become an active influencer in Instagram. Have you ever heard or seen children become an influencer in social media before? I was very surprised to be honest, seeing a 4 years old children become so popular in Instagram. Because of his cuteness and ability to speak like an adult (fluent and funny), he became so popular in Indonesia. His brother utilises this opportunity to earn money from promoting products, and as a result, many marketers are using this boy to promote their products. He’s now has a lot of followers and posted many pictures of him promoting products (it’s just like almost of his posts are promoting products).

Source: Instagram

What do you guys think of this boy? Have you ever seen someone like this before? Do you think that is ethical to use a four years old children to become an influencer to promote their products? Share your thoughts below.

Mobile Responsive Websites

What is a mobile responsive website?

At the point when a website is responsive, the format or content will adjust based on the size of screen they are presented on. A responsive website consequently changes to fit the gadget or device that you are using. There are four general screen sizes that responsive design aiming at, they are the desktop monitor (computer), smaller desktop (laptop), tablet and mobile phone. Take a look examples below.

1Source: Byers (2012)

Why mobile responsive websites become so important nowadays?

The number of consumers who prefer online shop is not small nowadays. The number of mobile phone and smartphone users are also expected to grow every year. According to Hosting Facts (2016), they found that there are more mobile internet users (52.7%) than desktop internet users in this day. As a result, shopping on mobile devices is steadily growing.

Therefore, this is an opportunity for marketers to target those consumers who prefer online shop. But they also need to consider that it is important for online businesses to create and design their website as good as possible so that it will not only be accessible through computer desktop but also on consumers’ mobile devices. Mobile responsive website is not only important for the sake of adapting to multiple devices sizes, but responsive websites will also improve their SEO rankings. According to Marketpath (2016), responsive websites will perform better in search rankings since they provide a better user experience than sites that are not mobile-friendly. Therefore, if the website has a high rank on SEO, the website is more likely to be found on the first page of google search which is good because consumers are more likely to open it.

However, according to ACMA (2011), the desktop computer still the largest number in which user prefer to use when shop online. The reason why is because consumers are more convenient with a bigger screen. Another reason, there are still a lot of websites for online shopping that looks “MESSY” on mobile devices and consumers have to repeat scrolling down to find what they are looking for. I found a website where it looks terrible on a mobile device. I think they never tested on a mobile phone before. It’s so annoying when you want to buy something from them while you are using a smartphone. I don’t even have any idea where can I find the products there. LOL

2Source: Chemguys

Compare to another website (picture below) which look very tidy and orderly. So, even if you are accessing the site from your smartphone or tablet, you can still find the products easily.

IMG_6796Source: Culture Kings (2017)

This is why mobile responsive website is important, and I believe if marketers don’t design their website that looks good and fit on mobile devices’ screens, they could lose some potential customers who like to purchase from a smartphone. Because consumers are more likely to ignore and close those non-mobile responsive websites. More importantly, non-responsive websites will be ranked as a low SEO which will result in consumers less likely to visit those websites.

How important mobile responsive websites do you guys think? Is this one of the factors that make you left the site? Share your comments and thoughts below.

Airbnb: much easier and cheaper than others

When it comes to having a holiday with friends or family, of course, everyone wants to get the best and cheapest accommodation as possible as they could get. But don’t you guys realised that it used to be really difficult to find accommodation back in 15 years ago, even if the Internet already exists? It because there was no application or even website that allow us to find a place to stay. The only thing that you can do was only make a booking through a phone call. But it was so inconvenient, you couldn’t even look at the pictures of the place that you were going to stay at, so you’ll never know how it looks like if you never came to that hotel before. The only thing that you can rely on was word-of-mouth from friends and family.

But then, more and more technology came such as websites to booked hotels and especially Airbnb. Airbnb is an American company based in San Francisco which was created in 2008. I believe most of us know this company because it is different from other businesses. Airbnb is not like Trivago or Agoda which use to booked hotel rooms. Airbnb is an economy sharing business model which allow the owners to rent their houses or apartments to the guests. According to DMR (2017), the coverage of Airbnb has reached 65,000 cities around the world with 640,000 hosts.

123Source: DMR

The reason why I think Airbnb is an interesting topic for blogging because when I travelled to Gold Coast with my friends on Easter break, we used Airbnb to find an accommodation. It was very easy to use just like an app to book hotel rooms. But then after we finished our short holiday, I personally was thinking how does Airbnb make money?

This is what I found:

  • The primary source of Airbnb’s revenue originates from service fees that they get from guests’ reservations. It depends on the size of the reservation, guests are required to pay a 6-12% non-refundable administration fee. The less expensive reservation will make the service fees higher (Unicornomy, 2016).
  • They also charged the hosts with 3% fee to cover the handling of guests’ instalments. When a reservation is successfully booked, guests pay the administration fee unless the host cancels the listing. In this case, if the reservation is modified, Airbnb will adjust administration fee to accommodate users (Unicornomy, 2016).

Can you imagine how much they will earn money from charging the guests 6-12% and the hosts 3% with the average number of nightly Airbnb stays is 500,000? There is also one more thing that interested me, they don’t make money from any ads (pop-up) appear on their website.

Please share your thoughts or your experiences (if any) with Airbnb. Why would you use it? Or why wouldn’t use it?

What We Want to See When Shopping Online

Online shopping is considered to be a very helpful way of buying products through the Internet. Many individuals around the world prefer to shop online and purchase products from several brands and companies that they cannot discover or are not available for purchase in specific areas. According to Roy Morgan Research (2013), more than 50.3 percent of Australians are shopped online which there was a growth about 12 percent from the previous year in the retail sector. The research that was done in 2013 also found the average weekly online expenditure was about $285 per person. These huge numbers show that online retailers need to improve their strategy to grab customer’s attention to choose their products. The reason why is because there are a lot of online retailers that are selling same products in the market and the number of online retailer’s customers are increasing.

I found two online companies that are selling car care products which actually I think they have simplest strategies to attract customers when do the online shopping. The one is providing “FREE SHIPPING”, no matter how many products that you buy even if it’s only one product and you still get free delivery. Who wants to pay for shipping? If we can get free delivery, why we would have to pay? Even if we pay for the shipping fee, we still have to wait for 2-3 days to get the products delivered to our address.

2Source: Swissvax Australia

Another one, they put original price and their sale price for every single product so their customers could see how much money they could save when buying it. I believe this is just part of their strategies to make us as customers feel this is a good one because we get discounted price. Therefore, when we compare to other companies that are selling same products, we think that the company which giving discounted price is better because we could save some money when buying it. That is why it is important for those online retailers to plan their digital marketing strategies as effective as they could be to attract more customers.

1Source: Chemical Guys Australia

So, what do you guys think? Do you think that something like these will affect our decision to buy the products from them? I personally believe yes, because I’ve experienced this, where I chose because they provide free shipping. Please share your thoughts below.

‘Reward’ as a Strategy in Digital Marketing

A lot of digital or online companies are usually generating money from advertising. I believe that almost all of them get their biggest revenue from advertising just like Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify. It’s all about money for them. But some companies also have a different strategy to encourage more customers to generate more revenue. This is what I found more interesting which they are offering ‘rewards’ for those their customers who are loyal to them. I believe this is something that we want. I found a food delivery company here in Australia as an example. It’s called Menulog, and I think all of you guys know this business, they are offering up to $50 voucher discount depending on the restaurant if you ordered more than five times (also depending on the restaurant).

menulog-04

Source: Gourmanda

It is interesting, right? Another company that I found which doing the same thing is GasBuddy. GasBuddy is an American Company which focus on providing petrol prices, and location of petrol stations. They just launched the application in Australia in March 2016. Basically, the customers of this company downloaded this app on their mobile phones where they could check petrol prices anywhere and anytime here in Australia using this application. The users of this app also could participate to report current petrol prices to get points. Therefore, that points could be used to get a reward that worth $100 petrol. So, the more points you have, the more likely you are going to win! According to Convenience and Impulsive Retailing (2016), this application has reached 100,000 users in Australia just one month after launching. It’s such a big number for a new company in Australia, I think that’s because they are using the right strategy to encourage more and more customers.

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Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 9.14.25 pm

Source: GasBuddy

I believe this ‘reward’ strategy is a good point to encourage more customers. Do you guys think this is effective? Can you think any strategy that kind of similar to this?

Charity Programs Nowadays

I know it’s good that a lot of companies nowadays whether they are big or small are caring enough with charity programs. Just like JB Hi-Fi as an example here in Australia, this big retail company is the top charity giver company (based on the proportion of employees involved in workplace giving). According to The Sydney Morning Herald (2017), JB Hi-Fi is one of the companies who give a donation which the donation itself comes from their employees.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 12.05.54 pmSource: The Sydney Morning Herald

Not a few companies that are offering their customers to donate to a charity program, they even expanding it so the charity program available online through their website. But what I found more interesting is that a lot of companies are offering to donate, but it involves their customers to participate in the charity program. I just picked an example which still hot in technology world which Apple just recently released a new colour of iPhone 7 and 7 plus. About two weeks ago, Apple released a new colour which is red for the variant iPhone 7 and 7 plus. Apple says that their new red iPhone 7 and 7 plus is a special edition which supports HIV/AIDS programs and by buying it, you automatically giving life to someone who needed. It is not only for the new variant red iPhone 7 or 7 plus, but it applies when you buy all their products which come with red colour including straps, headphones, speakers, etc.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 7.02.05 pmSource: Apple

I believe not only Apple has done or doing this. Is this part of their strategies to encourage more customer to buy their products? So, people will think that Apple is care with environment and care to the disease in the world; therefore, people will think that they should buy from Apple. I know that people will buy red iPhone 7 or 7 plus because of the cool colour. But in this case, they have targeted it to some customers that are concern with HIV/AIDS. A big company like Apple might not have any problems in terms of money to donate to the charity programs, but they certainly do not want to lose their customer, right? Of course, they want more and more customer uses their products.

I do not want to prejudice those companies that supporting charity programs, I know it is very good and helpful. But what do you guys think? Is this part of their strategies to encourage more customers?

Cash Only

We all know that we are in the world where we are slowly moving from traditional marketing to digital marketing. We might not realize that, but we often realize when we see something that is different from what others doing in terms of technology. According to Digital in 2017 Global Overview report, more than half of world’s population uses the internet and aware of technology. I believe that marketers are always trying and trying to improve their services to make customers feel more comfortable when shopping. But why we often find some restaurants, coffee shops, or even supermarkets still not accept a payment by card or as we known “CASH ONLY”?

Source: Devers, C. (2009) & Contravex

According to Reserve Bank of Australia (2016), the number of Australian consumers is increase in using electronic payment methods in preference for their transactions and the number of using cash is decline from 2007-2013.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 1.01.33 pmSource: Reserve Bank of Australia (2016).

But why there are still some stores that DARE not to accept payments by cards while we are living in digital era? A lot of the stores nowadays are at least accepting payments by eftpos, while the rest of it accept debit card, credit card, or even payment using Apple Pay where customer could just tap their phone and go. I believe that people in today’s era are less likely to bring a lot of cash in their pocket since they have debit or credit card where it’s simpler and safer. I don’t know what they are thinking but I rarely having cash in my pocket, I usually use debit card or eftpos for daily needs. I also tend to cancel or find another store if that store doesn’t accept any cards payment. I believe as a customer, marketers must follow what customer wants for their businesses to survive.

What do you guys think of this? Is it just because they want to avoid any charges from the banks?

Instagram’s Multiple Photos in Single Post

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Source: The Verge

This topic may be related to my previous one. But there is a reason why I want to talk about Instagram again. This topic is so relevant to today’s marketing activities, and we all know that social media is worldwide, so that those social media companies are getting and preparing for more improvement for its product which is social media application. Instagram just recently released a new cool feature which called ‘Multiple Photos’. They released this feature at the beginning of February 2017.

Check this out:

Source: Youtube

Instagram has released a similar feature to this in the middle of 2016, but it is for multiple accounts, where you could quickly change multiple to triple accounts by just switching it. So, it’s kind of similar to this multiple photos feature, and both are really helpful for marketers. Why did said this feature (multiple photos) is so relevant? Because now marketers can easily promote their products in a single post where customers tend to get bored of too many pictures in their home (timeline). I believe that a lot of people will unfollow any Instagram’s users who post too many pictures at the same time, the reason why because I do (LOL).

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Source: Instagram

This has become an opportunity for marketers on Instagram to promote or selling even better in terms of flexibility. For example (picture above), this second-hand car dealer is using multiple photos feature to sell their cars. Now their followers will not see too many posts of one car just to get a different angle. What their followers will see is only a single post with a couple or even more pictures which will not make their home (timeline) full of unnecessary pictures. We as customers could easily use this feature by shifting the images to the right. This feature is so simple, easy to use, and helpful for sellers and buyers.

What do you guys think of this feature? I believe almost all active Instagram users are aware of this.

The Power of Social Media

Social media has become one of the powerful tools in marketing activities nowadays. How come? Most people have mobile phones or even better like smartphones in this era, and I am pretty sure that some of them cannot live without it. According to Statista (2016), the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 2.32 Billion in 2017, while the population that calculated at the beginning of 2017 is 7.5 Billion. This means that around 31% of world population are using smartphones and it also expected to increase every year.

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Source: Statista

Since using smartphones, people have more access to the internet and interestingly, social media has become the trend in this era. Why did I say ‘Trend’? Because people are like addicted to it and people who are using smartphones are more likely to have social media accounts. It’s just like part of their lives. Smartphone-ing and social media-ing everywhere.

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Marketers using this chance to promote their products thru the internet, especially social media. A lot of companies are using this opportunity to promote effectively because it costs less and faster rather than creating billboard or TV’s ad which cost more money. As an example, Providence store (men’s clothing store) located at South Yarra, Melbourne using Instagram to keep their customers updated with their latest products and promotions (discounts).

Picture3

Source: Instagram

What I found more interesting on social media such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook is that we could find something easily just by using a hashtag. If we want to find something about clothing in Melbourne, we could easily find it by typing #melbourneclothing on the search bar.

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Source: Instagram

This is the power of social media for marketers where they could engage in marketing activities in easier and flexible way. What do you guys think? Will marketers still use other media such as TV, newspaper, billboard, etc. for promoting activities in the future even if they cost more money?