Coca Cola’s latest marketing stunt in Dubai may not have filtered throughout the international social media landscape, but where it matters, the Middle East, it has made a big impact.
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By placing special phone booths in foreign workers labour camps, workers could use the caps from Coca Cola bottles to make a phone call home – allowing them to phone home for far less than usual.
A phone call from UAE to the worker’s home countries (the Asian sub-continent) usually costs $0.91 per min. A coke in Dubai costs $0.54 and for one cap they get a three minute call. Instead of costing the workers $2.73, they could talk to their families for $0.54. Considering the average take-home pay is $6 a day, the reception to the phone booth was overwhelmingly positive.
Despite some detractors of Coca Cola’s tactics, the marketing concept has proved hugely successful. Coca Cola monitored social media and found the response was 94% positive. A huge success in any company’s book.
By providing the technology the company engaged the customers on an emotional level. Emotional engagement is a proven way of successfully marketing a product. By placing their product next to the enjoyment of speaking to their loved ones, Coca Cola has cleverly given their brand a boost, not only in the minds of the people using the bottle tops, but also in the minds of the people reading about the event.
Emotional engagement in the social media age is the touchstone of marketing departments the world over. Behavioural psychologists state that 70% of human decisions are based on emotional factors. So in a purchasing scenario only 30% of the brain is using rational decision making, while the rest is formed by previous experience of a product and loyalty to the brand – they make an emotional decision.
Coca Cola understand this and their marketing is based on building brand loyalty and a better experience of their products. In creating a relationship between the word ‘happy’ and buying their drink, they are building a better customer experience.
With social media, they have seen the ‘happiness’ effect spread further than just the initial customers. The workers were filmed using the phone booths and the advert educated about viewers about the workers wages and the cost of phone calls. Seeing the smiles on the workers faces has spread their happiness around the globe through Twitter, Facebook and good old fashioned sharing by email.
For those who already have a positive feeling towards Coca Cola, seeing the happy workers gives the viewer a warm feeling from the worker’s experience. This is called the ‘Joy Response’ and coupled with re-enforcement from an individual’s social media community can ultimately drives up sales of a product.
Whether you are in agreement with Coco Cola’s marketing methods, it appears that the ‘Happiness Phone Booth’ was a success in the Middle East. The company has said that it’s using the Middle East as a testing ground for future campaigns across the globe. So look out for a ‘Happiness Phone Booth’ coming to your city soon.
Before you embark on a social media campaign, your Dubai marketing team needs to plan, plan, plan. A scattered approach will yield scattered results at best. At worst, lots of social media accounts will open, and then nothing will get posted.
There are several different vehicles you can choose from to begin a social media campaign. Facebook, Blogs, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter are the main ones. But which one do you choose?
Well you are already well ahead of yourself here. Because the starting point is not what vehicle to choose, but deciding what your marketing campaign is aiming to achieve. Are you promoting the business as a whole, or one particular aspect?
Once you’ve identified what you are marketing, you then have to think about where you want people to go once they have been engaged. Do you want them to go to buy a product in a real shop? Are you promoting a product or service on your website? Is the aim to get people to your website and pick up the phone to contact you? Or to make a purchase on the website?
Not knowing the answer to these questions places your social media strategy into the pointless zone: engagement without a goal.
Answer all these questions as fully as possible before deciding which social media vehicle is going to help you achieve the most success. As an example, if you are selling a new range of cosmetics, you will need videos showing people using the cosmetics, beautiful images on Pinterest, a twitter account and a Facebook account to talk to customers and tell them of offers in Dubai shopping malls. And your website has to reflect the brand message.
But if you are offering consultation services, you need a truly authoritative blog, perhaps some tutorials on YouTube, some audio downloads and a LinkedIn account to talk to other businesses.
At this point you should know what you are selling, who you are selling it to, and how you want to sell it. So who do you put in charge of the social media campaign? Do you place it in the hands of the new intern? Do you rotate who works on it?
The answer is obviously no, you don’t. You need someone who is net savvy, marketing savvy, customer orientated and comfortable confining their comments to 142 characters. This is not a job for an intern. You need a dedicated team who can track what is going on in each of the vehicles you’ve chosen.
Because when you have more than one social media platform, you need to know when to feed information into it. If you have a new video up on YouTube, tell people about it on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. A new blog post is the same; tell people it’s up. Think about social media as multiple loops that feed into different parts of your website. To keep track of everything, have a big calendar on the marketing office wall that shows everyone when videos, blogs, audio content is being produced and loaded. Preparation is key. Thoroughly planned, your Dubai social media strategy will be engaging,informative and effective allowing your business to reap the rewards.
Social media came out of nowhere and quickly gained a unique place in the hearts of everyone with an internet connection. From Dubai to Brisbane, Mumbai to London, keeping in touch and spreading the word has never been so easy.
This is why you should be cautious, especially if you are using social media for business. There are a lot of traps and pitfalls, either where you annoy people or you open yourself, and your company, up to ridicule.
When any company starts out using social media the above are never part of their objectives, but it’s an easy place to find yourself. So here are some mistakes you should avoid:
Don’t be Rude!
Being rude is one of the worst things you can do in any circumstance, particularly to a customer. However, the speed of the net can mean an ill-chosen reply on Twitter or Facebook can be re-tweeted or shared faster than you can go and make a cup of coffee. In fact, by the time you’ve returned from making coffee, you could well see your business name in tatters.
The best way of dealing with customers online who make you angry is to pause before typing. Never tweet or reply to a message on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or a forum, if you are angry. Sit back and take a minute.
For most companies, the only way to deal with problems online is to have a strong policy in place before you even start interacting with your customers, or potential customers. A standard response gives you breathing space, and if there is a genuine complaint, tell them you are looking into it, and keep them informed of any progress that is being made.
Remember You’re a Business
This is particularly relevant if you are working for yourself, or there are only a few of you in your business. The lines between your personal and your business opinions can blur easily. It’s far better to have a personal account and a business account. This way you have a clear idea of which persona you are projecting at any particular time. And also, by doing this, there is little chance you’ll be boring your customers with your opinion of the half time score.
Replying to Customers
Nobody likes to be left standing around in a shop when they need a question answering. And the same is true online. People want their questions answered fairly quickly. If you have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ account the response time is going to be slightly longer. People are used to waiting a little while in these mediums. However, on Twitter, people are a little more impatient, so a speedy response will be appreciated.
Constant Promotion is a Turn Off
Ever wondered why big companies spend so much money on fun apps, giving away free goods, sponsoring festivals and sports events? It’s the fun factor. Without a huge dollop of fun thrown in now and again, promotion is just sell, sell, sell. And few people respond positively to the constant big sell.
And the same is true online. Don’t just sell yourself all day. Keep your customers and clients informed with industry opinions, fun facts, giveaways and competitions. Mix up your social media presence; it’ll be more fun for you and more interesting for your customers.
As a Dubai marketing team do you want your customers and clients to Like you, or to +1 you?
Well everyone likes a Like and up until six months ago, nobody had seen the +1 button on websites. Even as this little button slowly began appearing, nobody really took much notice. But when the world’s biggest search engine dives headfirst into social media, best take a step back and re-evaluate your position.
Until Google entered the social media landscape in June 2011, there were five social media vehicles for companies to use to increase search engine optimisation. These were Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogs.
There are hundreds of other different vehicles that can be used to increase your Dubai business profile in social media circles, yet only recently have businesses really taken Google+ seriously.
But that is now changing. Not because it is necessarily where your customers will hang out. More so because Google wants to make Google+ successful and is giving its use higher rankings in searches. And it is this particular side of Google+ that makes it a necessary component of your company’s social media strategy.
If Google is willing to place greater emphasis on those who are using 1+ button on their sites, it is the smart marketer in Dubai that gets her company profile up and running as soon as possible. We all know Google changes its search engine algorithm constantly, but if they want to push Google+, then it could well be that little button will weight your company more favourably in searches.
At the moment there aren’t a huge amount of people on Google+ who would be considered natural customers, but as nobody is sure how Google+ will progress, far better to have some presence now, rather than joining the party later.
Facebook is a different beast entirely to Google+ and when you are looking at how best to improve the social media marketing for your business, including both is a better bet than choosing one over the other.
Branding of Facebook pages has become necessary to the extent that some businesses are actually ditching their traditional websites and concentrating on what is termed F-Commerce, Facebook Commerce.
The reason behind this shift is the same as the reason markets and malls exist. That is, be where your customers can easily find you. If all your customers are on Facebook, why make them go off site to discover what you can offer them.
Facebook is more than just a light site (sorry Google+ but so far so true) for professionals and business people to play around in. Facebook is a global economic, social, and political force. According to Facebook’s most recent figures, it adds an estimated €15.3 billion to the European economy. There is a panel discussion on the Economic Impact of Revolutions in the Middle East, which has its events page on Facebook. And just about everyone on the planet keeps up with friends and family through their personal profiles.
It’ll be a long time before Google+ comes anywhere close to the popularity of Facebook. At the moment it has a problem with people and companies not being entirely sure what it does and what it will become.
But while Google+ goes through its identity crisis, give your Dubai business a search engine boost by creating a profile and putting +1 on every page of your website.
Social Commerce Today
Google Search Engine
http://www.google.ae or http://www.google.com
Twitter has become one of the cornerstones of social media and, whether you live in downtown Dubai or a farmstead in the Australian outback, you can talk to the world with a tap on the return key.
Since it’s birth in March 2006 (created by Jack Dorsey a software architecture named on of the top 35 innovators in the world by MIT’s Technology Review in 2008), Twitter has gone from zero to 300 million users in 2011.
So why so popular? Well, people like being sociable, and in the digital world so many people find themselves working in, taking out five minutes every hour or so makes you feel connected to the greater world.
And it’s turning out to be a great tool for businesses to talk directly to their customers. But you have to step lightly into this arena as a business, because one wrong, misdirected tweet can be a reputation spoiler.
For example, Habitat was left with a large dollop of egg on it’s face when it tried to piggy back the Iran elections with a dubious money saving offer tweet. The backlash was instant – Twitter leaves companies no place to hide. Even if you delete your tweet, someone, somewhere has already seen it and passed it on.
Now, this instantaneous passing on of information is awful if the message is wrong, however most companies believe that the re-tweeting of their message is the ultimate aim of being on Twitter. But that’s only a part of the story.
Twitter for business is a different game to personal tweeting. If you run a Dubai based business that is primarily a local service, getting re-tweeted by a guy in the USA to 30,000 followers will only be beneficial if some of his followers are based in Dubai.
Thinking local will really help when you start out on Twitter. Also, don’t just use twitter to talk only about your company, and what your company can do for others. Unless of course you are offering a free meal on a Thursday night, which may well get some interest going, there’s a fine balancing act to achieve.
Hash tags (#) are a wonderful way of localising your tweets. If you are in a particular street and something interesting is happening use a hash tag i.e.: guy juggling chainsaws on #alwasl #dubai! Which when accompanied by a picture will most likely get people looking, and maybe re-tweeting.
As a business you need to create a template for using Twitter. This way, whoever is in charge of the Twitter feed at any time keeps to a pre-set standard. Having a strong strategy before your very first tweet will enable you to keep on track and (hopefully) not commit a Habitat scale faux pas.
You also need to ensure that you are tweeting at a time when people are on twitter. Every industry will have it’s own optimum times, but as a general rule just after people have got to their desks, lunchtime and just before clocking off are good for the working day. You will find a natural rhythm over time and should test and test and test to see which Twitter times work best to reach your Dubai based customers and clients.
So here are few guidelines:
Don’t just tweet about your products.
@Danzarella http:// http://danzarrella.com/
Typically of a city renowned for the quick uptake of new technology, augmented reality has firmly made its mark in Dubai with the launch this month of the beautiful Porsche designed Blackberry P’9981.
The smartphone comes with Blackberry’s own augmented reality app, Wikitude, built in. Obviously, it is not only the rare owners of the Porsche designed smartphone (which looks like it will retail at around $2,000 and is only available in the Porsche shop) who use Wikitude. Voted best Augmented Reality Browser for three years in a row (2009, 2010, 2011), Wikitude has over 150 million places and interactive content.
So why has augmented reality become such a massive hit? Go back a couple of years and many were talking of its early demise. But, as with other cutting edge technology that couldn’t find it’s audience, the increasingly powerful smartphone market has allowed it to flourish.
AR apps like Wikitude gives users the tools to create their own augmented reality, you can tag hotels, restaurants, your own home, meeting points with information that others can easily see when they point their smartphones at their surroundings. If you sufficiently tech savvy, you might want to show off with an animation. And it is the big fun interactive element that has made it a really take off.
For lovers of social media it is a great way to get your Facebook page, Twitter name, LinkedIn profile, or YouTube videos out in the public domain as well. Say you work in Hilton Dubai Creek, you can tag the building with your details and anyone in your AR network will easily find your online details as well as manning the reception desk.
Of course, Dubai is no stranger to augmented reality. Go to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing website, and you can download the DefinitelyDubai augmented reality smartphone app. The app allows users to see what is going on in the city. By pointing your smartphone along any street in the city, the camera allows you to see buildings overlaid with labels that tell you what is happening inside.
Although the premium price of a Porsche Blackberry places it outside the range of most people, augmented reality apps are available for most smartphones, making it a marketing opportunity not to missed.
Augmented reality is science fiction made fact. Want to know how the showroom sofa would look in your home, download the app and you can quickly find out. By getting people to interact with products on their phones, there is real possibility they’ll be more likely to go into a store and buy it.
Where once AR demanded too much oomph from your laptop or computer, the processing power of smartphones has given it the kiss of life that means it will become part of everyday life in the not too distant future. Although many considered augmented reality a short lived gimmick, the gimmick has quickly become a favourite of advertising agencies and the general public alike. Ignoring its power to inform and entertain the clued-in Dubai consumers will leave you eating the dust of more streetwise competitors.
On the hunt for more Augmented Reality (AR) in Dubai, I have recently come across a few more examples. The first is to be found at the tallest structure in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa. On the 124th floor viewers can use a telescope to view a live stream of Dubai. If a location of interest within the field of view is selected then additional information will appear on a screen. At the moment this is limited to tourist attractions. Panadol , also ran an AR campaign to launch their new packaging in Mall of the Emirates (Talk Partnership).
Mapping projection is more prevalent in the region with examples of the Fanta Chase and the recent unveiling of Green Line metro in Dubai. Nabil Moutran, the Regional Director from Ogilvy One explained that the reason AR hasn’t yet been strongly picked up in this market as in other regions , is simply due to the fact that the new world of digitalisation from a marketing perspective is still being explored. He expects rapid growth to come in digital marketing as a whole. However, he emphasised that Ogilvy One, whilst constantly looking for new technologies and methods to engage with consumers, considers the creative idea as central to brand marketing. If the idea then allows Ogilvy One to explore new tech such as AR, then it is proposed.
“We believe in innovation, but our focus remains on developing strong ideas.”
A strong and effective marketing idea is vital to the successful promotion of products or services and at the moment AR may not be the best delivery medium. Marketing ideas should be responsive to changes in the local markets and be able to adapt to local tastes and preferences. However, if marketing firms in the region are not developing their digital marketing /AR expertise and looking towards the future then this may be a lost opportunity to become market leaders in technophilic Dubai.
Thanks to Roland for some AR spotting and Nabil Moutran from Ogilvy One ( responsible for Fanta Chase). An enthusiast at the top, Burj Khalifa.
The way we visualize our physical environment could be about to change thanks to progress made in applying augmented reality to our spaces. Augmented Reality allows information about your real environment to connect to a display interface (mobiles and eventually glasses) allowing added information (the augmented bit), multimedia, interaction and on-demand information to enhance your sensory experience of the world around you. These enhanced AR systems can track and adjust to the users movements within their environment. It has already been around since the 90’s being used in industries like the military, engineering, film and robotics but could it become the widespread and familiar experience to all of us?
Some of you may already be using geo-located AR through your mobiles overlaying information on your location to help you navigate your way around unfamiliar cities and choosing where to eat, gaming or watching sportscasts with an AR overlay but what are the prospects?
Ultimately it is envisaged that it will change our cognitive experiences of space engaging us into it, helping understand community, present and historical contexts allowing for greater interaction.There are some great examples of use and possible use e.g. Hoppola and Superimpose created a sensitive AR layer in Berlin bringing history back to life by recreating the Berlin Wall; the Oxford Natural History museum is working on their AR exploration of exhibits and an app may be soon available for i Phone to allow you to watch scenes from movies shot where you are located. Mass consumerism of this is not too far in the future and once a portable system has been developed combining display, tracking and hardware without any of the current issues there could be widespread application of AR. Current barriers include getting the virtual world to map precisely with the real world (tracking) and merging seamlessly with user movements as well as creating a portable interface for the consumer that will be secure and universally operational .
So has AR arrived in Dubai yet and is there a market opportunity? I have been struggling to find examples but some Dubai residents and visitors may have seen the digital Memac Ogilvy’s Fanta Chase in Downtown Dubai earlier in 2011. Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has a new i Phone application for visitors to promote tourism, do you know anyone using it? The recent release of Augmented Reality (AR) Platform for Android smart phones from Qualcomm will allow Dubai businesses, advertising agencies, gamers and educators to build applications based on their platform. What’s clear is that Dubai marketeers will be using AR marketing more in the future.
Here are a few well known examples of innovative AR applications from around the world.