My Blog Takeaways

During my exchange student program, an online journal was a cost-effective tool for documenting my experience and keeping in touch with my family and friends. Every post was crafted with an excitement to share because my audiences are waiting to read them.

Unlike my online journal, to me, blogging as a professional marketer is comparable to selling a product — my posts. The process goes from positioning – choosing the blog concept and the tone of voice, branding – choosing a theme, promoting –creating traffic and CRM – responding to visitors’ comments.

As writing my last blog related to “Marketing in the 21st Century” class, I had to admit it has been challenging weeks for me. I struggled to find topics to write and how to write critically, worry if there will be any feedback and if the readers can understand and how not to look stupid giving comments to my fellow bloggers. Through all these struggles, however, I found blogging provides valuable aspects to me. It is a good start for a digital marketing student to become a competent digital marketer.

Through blogging, I developed digital literacy and writing skills. I learned that content must be concisely structured. Due to loads of information, readers can give up their reading effort anytime. Writing skills allow me to deliver a message to the audience with clarity when there is a lack of face-to-face conversation. By utilizing appropriate media, it enhances readers’ understanding and creates their interest. Importantly, this will lead to their engagement and comments which are very valuable for me.

I admitted that it is very difficult for me to come up with a ground-breaking idea, even my own style of writing. Attempting to complete each blog, it always leads me to search for new information from different sources. I spent time reading other blogs, news, and articles and quickly evaluate for a trustworthiness of the information. It keeps me being knowledgeable and it is very important for marketers to accumulate their knowledge in order to establish their expertise in a particular field.

Undoubtedly, companies are looking for candidate’s online profile and their digital literacy competency as part of the employment. Even freelance marketer, it is important to have the online presence. The blog helps its author to demonstrate knowledge and showcase the abilities related to the expertise field. For marketers, it shows their ability in influencing a wide audience as well. Moreover, writing blog helps expand an online network. When blog provides valuable information, readers will comment and share.

The caution for marketers is that I think blogs will soon become indistinguishable from other media channels when it is overused.

Image : https://www.canva.com/design/DABh3YQlMfA/QfPvGDHFYXas_KkCBYMFsg/edit

MOOCs : a Place to Learn by Sharing

With the nature of the MOOCs itself, participants are considered to be self-driven in this learning approach. The lack of face-to-face interaction or assigned project, participants must be passionate enough to persistently engage themselves with the course and discussion.

These Massive Open Online Courses allow anyone to access from anywhere in the world. There is no application process or tuition fee, only the Internet and device are required to have the access.

This learning approach requires a certain level of knowledge on digital literacy. Taking Digital Marketing MOOC as a non-native English speaking student, one of my challenges is to contribute my ideas involved with digital marketing. Though, I found it is a less-intense space for me because I can take time elaborating the idea and expressing them in the form of words. Still, I personally prefer a face-to-face learning environment because it provides a responsive interaction among participants.

The course includes short video interviews, articles, statistics and arguments from contributors and educators. It is good to have a call-to-action or quick summary at the end because learners will be encouraged to share their thoughts. MOOC learning community consists of people from different backgrounds. Though it is difficult to read all the comments, I still find useful contributions from other learners. Their opinions are from specialist backgrounds in marketing or web developer, also from the business owners point of view. Many comments, including my classmates, demonstrate their opinions and concern from their work experience. Many issued involved with digital age were addressed and triggered my awareness as a consumer and marketer. For example, consumers arising issues involve the digital asset ownership and usage restriction. While a marketing function is to understand and adapt with the social changes. The challenge would also to develop and influence marketing strategy in order to reach their organization’s goal.

Instead of trading lecture hours for MOOCs, students should be encouraged to participate in the online course as an additional learning resource. It would be interesting to use those hours for in-class discuss on significant issues or comments we found useful. This will help us to review what we might have missed due to the run-through comments. I am sure there are plenty of comments that I have missed and those could have been beneficial for me to know. Also, it would be helpful to include the glossary in the course introduction page. Participants can get themselves familiar with the technical terms and enhance their contributor during the discussion.

To sum up, I think the future of education does not lie with only online learning. Increasingly, both traditional and online education should be used to reinforce a learning experience. It is an enhancement of learning opportunity beyond distance and physical limitation. One may need to set a learning objective and consider whether an online course is suitable for them. To get the best of the MOOC, motivation, self-discipline and contribution to fellow students are the keys to success for the online students. The more learners can contribute, the more they will learn.

Infopreneur Reemergence

With technology and ease of access to the Internet, we are exposed to a large pool of information. Even more than what we can consume? We read product details on the website and find product reviews before buy things. More in-depth analysis and time are spent looking for relevant information to making our crucial decision.

Infopreneur is not a new term, but it regains its popularity due to these days technology. For example, a user-friendly blogging software, a screen capture vdo, and e-publisher application. There is a small start-up cost for them because knowledge and time are the main sources of their investment.

The term “Infopreneur” was registered a trademark by H. Skip Weitzen (author of the book ‘Infopreneur’) who describes an infopreneur as “a person who gathers, organizes, and disseminates information as a business venture or as a value-added service” (BusinessDictionary.com, 2015).

To add, infopreneur is an information seller, who aims to meet customers’ specific need and lessen the opportunity cost of finding information. Most common topic covered by Infopreneurs focuses on business-related topics to a very specific purpose, for example, fishing how-to.

From my research, there are two main sources for Infopreneur to gather the information.

  1. Experience & Expertise

Infopreneurs apply their experience and expertise in a particular area as sources of the information. Wisoot Sangarunlert is one of the famous Thai businessmen. He is a writer, editor, song-writer and speaker. He became an infopreneur after his series of business how-to books. One of his famous books called “Freelancer earns more”, published by Ookbee. He converted his knowledge into different form of information products; each has its small unique content. For example, eBook, videos, audio book, CD, seminar and dinner talk. (Ookbee, 2015)

Image 1: Wisoot's product

Another example is Alex Alex Jeffreys who runs seminars, Youtube coaching and how-to DVD. His achievement from social media brought him to be an inspiring infopreneur.

Image 2: Alex Jeffrey's product

2. Information from a blog, published articles, expert interviews and seminar can be sources of information for infopreneur as well. The information from the 4-hours seminar can be divided into different topics for their products.

Infopreneur business will bring more web-based publishers and application that allow anyone to publish their works, while the traditional publishers must adapt their business and pricing model to survive (Lahm and Stowe, 2011). This is an example that technology empowers an individual to reach out to people. As a consumer, infopreneur should not be only one source of information because idea and solution can be limitedly constructed. A series of information created may be similar to one another since it was created from the same person. It is worth to find out about the content and reviews before purchase. Inforpreneur affects marketers’s operation because they knows how to provide relevant information to specific target customers. Marketers will have to narrow down the audience and offer personalized solution/services that add value to them. Then create customer engagement that lead to value creation for customers and brand advocates.

Can you think of the challenges for marketers as infopreneur are emerging?

Reference

BusinessDictionary.com, (2015). What is infopreneur? definition and meaning. Available from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/infopreneur.html [Accessed 28 Oct. 2015].

Lahm, R.J. and Stowe, C.R.B.(2011). “Infopreneurship”: roots, evolution, and revolution. Available from: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Entrepreneurial-Executive/263157525.html [Accessed 29 Oct. 2015].

Image 1: Ookbee (2015). Photo 1: Wisoot’s product. [image] Available from: https://pod.ookbee.com/Book/1002 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2015].

Image 2: Marketing With You. (2015). Photo 2: Alex product [image] Available from: http://marketingwithalex.com/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2015].

ONCE UPON A TIME

Storytelling
With technology development and a high competition, offering an unexpected experience is one of the on-going challenges for many companies. Storytelling is one of the communications seeking to bring the top of mind when customers think of the products or services. Instead of telling the customer of’ “you should use this because it is this and that”. Nah, too old and soon it will be forgotten. Instead, with storytelling, viewers can engage with the brand story to their own story or to their unconscious selves, followed by recalling and share the story about the brand.

A big company seems to be able to come up with a story since they already know their customers; however it is more challenging for new start-up businesses to promote themselves using a storytelling when there is no bonding between them and their customers yet. They have no idea what their customers will like.

Understanding how psychology drives our human unconscious behavior, related to consumer buying behavior, can help company/marketer to determine a scope of storytelling and to create a strong linkage between the story and the customers toward business agenda.

Psychology Drive
Jungian psychology explained that collective unconscious is an inherited part of the human psyche; it is not developed from personal experience (Bowdon, 2015). The idea is that each newborn has an intact personality blueprint, both physically and mentally (Hopwood, 2015). It creates individual unconscious appeal in a form of decision and action. According to Bowdon’s argument on Jungian psychology, the unconsciousness is expressed through ‘archetypes’, known as the universal forms of thought that influences an individual’s feelings and action; where tradition or cultural rules also play a role in the archetypes. There are primary 12 archetypes (explorer, caregiver, ruler etc) that represent basic human motivations; each type has its own set of value, meaning and personality traits (Golden, 2014). As illustrated, they are defined into four groups of orientation: ego-fulfillment, freedom, socialness and order. Read more.

archetypal_wheel
Photo 1: 12 Archetypes

Business Focus
By understanding the groupings and dynamic of the motivation behind each type, companies can determine what kind of story will relate customers’ archetypal story and thus forming a brand recall, decision and real action.

Dovas, 2015
Photo 2: T-shirt Vending Machine

This is an example of storytelling used by Fashion Revolution where the vending machine was placed in Berlin offering t-shirt for 2 Euros. Knowing that most people are full of curiosity (the explorer) to try on the machine, then using the innate caregiver personality; they tested whether people would still buy it after they are challenged with the conditions workers exploitation. Not only imprinting experience to customers through a story, Fashion Revolution even changed shoppers’ decision; 8 out of 10 shoppers made a donation instead of buying a cheap t-shirt (Fashion Revolution, 2015). They used story leading the shoppers to the point that they need to make a second thought and identify who they really are. By learning the story, shoppers associated with their own story (their own unconsciousness of being a caregiver) and reacted. Watch the clip.

Like an example above, a marketer cannot just leave the viewers being carried by the story. There must be a point that an actual action is taken or the awareness is raised by the viewers because it is the objective of storytelling. Hence, understanding what people’s decision-making factors through the archetype, what kind of a story that creates a strong link between people and brand and what practical call-to-action motive can yield a powerful brand recall or even immediate action from the viewers.

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References
Bowdon, T. (2015) Psychology Classics. Available from: http://www.butler-bowdon.com/carl-jung—the-archetypes-and-the-collective-unconscious.html [Accessed 21 October 2015].

Fashion Revolution (2015). The 2 Euro T-shirt – A Social Experiment. Available from : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfANs2y_frk
[Accessed 21 October 2015].

Golden, C. (2014) The 12 Common Archetypes. Available from : http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html
[Accessed 21 October 2015].

Hopwood, A. (2015) Jung’s model of the psyche. Available from : http://www.thesap.org.uk/jung-s-model-of-the-psyche
[Accessed 21 October 2015].

Photo 1 : http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html

Photo 2 : http://www.boredpanda.com/vending-machine-social-experiment-2-euro-t-shirt-fashion-revolution/

Social Media Misused.

Starting a blog with concern was not my first intention, but one Facebook post caught my attention and I really want to raise the awareness.

It is obvious how The internet is bringing us together. It is a great, rapid and cheap place for sharing of information. We so much enjoy tremendous benefits and continuous possibilities, even beyond our current imagination; it is opening a chance of new thread to us as well.

The person posted a commercial video on his Facebook. The vdo shows stereotyping of a homeless man and how he is being mistreated by the shop owner. In the end, the shop owner learned that his prejudice kept him knowing the real person inside that homeless man; he learned that the homeless man was trying to protect his house and it cost him his life. This story gave a powerful emotional impact and speak out for negative stereotype of homelessness.

VDO cap : WowVdoTH, 2015
VDO cap: WowVdoTH, 2015

What’s wrong?
This VDO was posted and used as a fundraising tool by a politician in another country due to its emotional impact; even this vdo is originally from Thailand.

Despite the political campaign, my concern is the number of people who viewed this post, hit the ‘Like’ button and gave honoring comments to post owner. They may not aware that the video does not reflect the real situation happen in the country that the campaign is taken place. Even worse, from the point of marketing, the authentic purpose of the message is now changed.

Imagine you and the owner who devoted time creating this video. You tried your best coming up with content and story line, linking them to your product or services, then someone took your idea and change them to benefit themselves; even worse — changing the original objective you have set.

As we are now swimming in the river of information and growing social networking site, it is worth giving a second thought about the information we are consuming and sharing. One may interpret a different message from the same source of information, however, the purpose of the information must be aware of. Doing more research, checking with the source, friends, comments will help us gain full understanding with unfamiliar topics, decreasing a chance of being unconsciously manipulated and avoid social media misuse as well as protect us from liability.

I am still wondering have the owner of the video noticed that their own creation was used for another purpose.

Do you have any experience about social media misuse? How do you deal with them and justify the information?

Click here, if you want to see the ads, Commercial video

WowVdoTH (2015) Thai Commercial 34 – Homeless Blind Truth / Vizer cctv. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-EM1QKYyhY [Accessed Oct 9, 2015]

1st move

Hello everyone,

My name is Jananun. I am from Thailand and Ayutthaya is my hometown (one of the famous tourist destinations).

I used to work for Thai exports company in Sales and Marketing Dept. We did not involve with digital marketing, yet we seek to create a digital platform for customers and our local colleagues to interact with HQ for data analysis and marketing strategy purpose.

My curiosity and awareness of changes in business environment urge me to understand more about underlying factors toward business strategy and social momentum influenced by technology. Here I am, pursuing master degree in Digital Marketing in the UK. 

It has been almost three weeks adjusting myself to the new lifestyle and getting around the campus and the city. I am quite fascinated by national diversity of the people living in this city and I wish some day we will no longer be just a stranger.

Freshers’ week started and I enjoyed myself attending the events and being called ‘Fresher’ again. Many companies brought their stands with various activities; games, lucky draw and freebies. Students are required to sign up with their phone number or E-mail address before they can join the activities. So, I guess this is a win-win situation where students get to enjoy their time while the companies is able to collect our contact to reach us in the future. Why not have fun, right?

This blog is originally created as the class assessment, though I am intending to keep this blog alive by sharing marketing-related topics, especially digital marketing, on-going topics found in our digital world and some of my inspiration. Let’s see how it goes.

You can always inspire me with your ideas and feedback!!

Cheers.
Jananun