Scholarship Winners 2016
We have selected 5 Finalists from 115 submissions received in 2016.
|5.||Pierre S Braganza||University of Phoenix||Click to read|
|4.||Carly Hochhauser||Walton High School||Click to read|
|3.||Amy Truckey||Kent State University||Click to read|
|2.||Gunnar Verace||Rockford Central High School||Click to read|
|1.||HJ Mike Chon (Winner)||California State University, East Bay||Click to read|
We are living in a world of digitalization where digital transformation is driving “the convergence of mobile, cloud, big data, and social, as well as accelerating awareness and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT)” (Oracle Executive Summit, 2015). 87% of US adults use the world wide web while 68% of US adults connect to the internet with mobile devices (King, 2015). The overwhelming use of the internet for everyday needs is making the internet a competitive medium for internet marketing.Internet marketing includes the usage of the website, social networks, advertisement banners, and email campaigns where one can influence one’s thinking through upselling, sales, comparative analysis, reviews, and data analytics.
The new generation brings a new paradigm in thinking and behavior that are influenced by emerging technologies, digitalization, and internet of things. Thus internet marketing is becoming a competitive marketing avenue especially in reaching out to the millenniums and post millenniums. According to Fadaei, M. (2016), “companies, in the past, emphasized more on traditional marketing” but now increasingly companies are “using marketing techniques and internet marketing” (p. 135). Also, there is a positive correlation between internet marketing and purchase of products with customer satisfactions (Fadaei, 2016).
Providing digital content is a novel way to provide new potential customers to connect with a company. Building a website is one of the most creative ways to articulate understanding and communication of products. Web sites produce global and secure access to information at one’s fingertips creating an environment of knowledge, trust, and open communication. Providing accessibility to real-time customer feedback and reviews can add additional dynamics to the social communication increasing customer satisfaction and sales. Published articles can also provide a wealth of information and research to consumer fingertips making potential buyers more knowledgeable and confident on the product they intend to buy. Scholarly research reveals that “content must target customers’ needs and solve their problems rather than promoting company products” to build customer relationships and sales (Järvinen J., Taiminen H, 2016, p. 173). Customers’ needs can be met by creating an environment of active listening,
collaboration, and trust between the customer and the digital content.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, the return on investment on email marketing is as competitive with traditional snail mail (Hartemo M, 2016). Today’s empowered customers are more inclined to view “interactive and personalized” communication with email marketing (Hartemo M, 2016). Targeted opt-in customers should have an active participation in their field of interest producing better analytics for customer satisfaction and sales. Such empowerment is critical to driving quality internet marketing strategies.
With ongoing technological enhancements, customers are demanding more flexibility, personalization and customizability in the Mobile Environment (Singh G and Shiv R, 2016). Scholarly research shows that obtaining permission before mobile marketing produces more favorable results especially with customer attitude and satisfaction (Singh G and Shiv R, 2016).
10beast.com has done an excellent job providing reviews and buyers guide in the form of knowledgeable articles. Each buyers guide gives the customer an honest, unbiased research on its comparative capabilities with its competition. Part of 10beast.com internet marketing includes links to purchase products from amazon.com and opportunities for opt-in email marketing. Having an open comments section encourages transparency and honest customer feedback leading to trust and customer satisfaction.
Eyeballs. It’s a funny word but surprisingly one of the most important when it comes to marketing. Companies who use media, both online and off-line, to drive engagement and sales know that the more eyeballs you reach, the greater the awareness of your message, brand or offer. But eyeballs can also be tricky little guys. Not so easy to reach, often evasive, often finicky and with the explosion of online and mobile media, never in the same place for more than a minute.
Yet with all those obstacles, internet marketing brings newer ways to segment, newer ways to target and retarget, those eyeballs to provide incentives and offers to drive more traffic (eyeballs!) to a company’s website. Creatively, internet marketing also offers a more dynamic experience, a more robust experience than let’s say an off-line magazine or TV ad. The experience drives the experience. Meaning the greater the experience with an ad, the more likely a customer will engage, read, or click. And because your product is just a click away, the payoff for a customer is almost immediate. I see those cute shoes…have to have them…click, click, click. Done. (Did I mention internet marketing is a time saver? Ok, sure, those ads can be a bit pesky at times, but I’m so thankful they reminded me my favorite pair of boots just went on sale at Dillard’s!).
Clearly, things are working. According to the US Department of Commerce, online sales were $341.7 billion, up from just $91.1 billion in 2005. (Hello, eyeballs!). With a 3X growth in the last 10 years, companies know the closer their marketing is to the point of sale and the better the experience they can provide, the higher the likelihood a person will click.
Another benefit of internet marketing is content. Content is king. With the plethora of websites, apps, news outlets, etc people are looking for ways to consume content that is personal to them. Marketers use curated content like special reports, white papers or sponsored surveys, to craft their story, message and brand, to engage a potential consumer in a dialog prior to purchase; positioning them as an “expert” in a certain field or “leader” in a particular market.
Speaking of personal, internet marketing has become so personalized we almost don’t even recognize it when we see it. Remember that ad for the Jeep Wrangler you just saw? Yeah, that’s no coincidence. Your recent visit to your local Jeep website triggered all this backend analysis to drive a contextual ad to be served up to you to further the “digital” conversation (spooky, but effective).
This brings me back to the eyeballs. With these newer targeting and personalization opportunities, along with curated content, it gives marketers a way to engage and create a holistic story through multiple touch points. That’s why internet marketing is so important. It’s not just the number of eyeballs, it’s how many times can we touch the same ones. Furthering the dialog and increase the propensity to click and ultimately buy. In fact, according to a new study by IPG Media Labs, contextual targeting increased purchase intent by 63% versus audience or channel level targeting. And consumers targeted at the contextual level were 83% more likely to recommend the product in the advertisement than those targeted at the audience or channel level.
10beasts.com. strives to give that holistic experience to the visitor. Often nudging them along in their journey to find out the best hoverboard or the best electric shaver, with the final nudge giving them direct links to purchase the product. Sort of capturing the eye balls and not letting them go. For example, first a reader checks out an article on the “Best Electric Shavers 2016 – Buyer’s Guide”. Not only does the reader get this great content, the website also serves up related content on the right navigation helping the visitor with short cuts to more information. And finally, there is a banner ad just below this content offering a direct link to buy the best shaver on amazon.com. This is a great way to drive interest, engagement and sales.
Internet marketing isn’t just an advertisement placed on a website. It’s a strategic integrated plan to engage the customer or prospect in a dialog that drives interest, engagement and ultimately a sale. And that’s why I believe it is one of the fastest and best ways to reach those elusive eyeballs.
Marketing has been around since most of us can remember. It has progressed with technology, spanning from simple labels stamped on Coca-cola bottles from the fifties, to advertisements on the old school radio, to commercials on black and white television, to paid programming on colored television, and finally, to websites on the internet. Marketing is timeless and continues to grow as our society grows.
With the importance of the internet in today’s society, internet marketing could not be more important than it is today. Our world as we know it is going digital. People can handle all of their finances online, read books without ever physically flipping a page, Facetime a loved one that is hundreds of miles away, conduct business meetings online without ever having to leave a desk, and run a fulltime business from the comfort of their own home. None of the services that were just listed would be possible without internet marketing.
As an aspiring blogger, I am researching ways to develop my own personal brand and how to market myself, as well as my future business, to my potential clients and followers. My dream job is to run an online health coach business. I personally believe that health is so much more than nutrition and exercise. It is also about maintaining a healthy mind, managing stress and finances effectively and finding that work-life balance that aligns with the goals that have been set. With my business I will be able to coach my clients online over Skype from anywhere in the world. But I cannot have a healthy and thriving business if I do not market myself and my business effectively. If a service is not marketed effectively, chances are it will not thrive.
Internet marketing is also important in the world of online shopping. I am a frequent online shopper, I live for Cyber Monday! When I am shopping for something expensive—a fitness/activity tracker, for example—I do my research. I read about 50% of all the reviews on the product’s website if they are available and I will look into comparison article done by third parties, like 10Beasts.com. Also, I will ask people that I know that have one what their opinion on their tracker is. Only once I understand the specifications of each tracker will I make my decision. Ultimately I ended up purchasing a Fitbit Charge HR. What had convinced me was an article written on a review website much like 10Beasts.com comparing the Fitbit Charge HR and one of the Misfit models. Without internet marketing, I would not have so easily accessed the information I needed to make a decision.
By creating articles detailing the “best of…” options, 10Beasts uses internet marketing to their advantage. For example, the article Best Self Balancing Scooters & Hoverboards of 2016 – Buyer’s Guide compares 10 of the top products in the new industry. Each product gets its own description, reasons why this particular product made it onto the list and a link connecting the reader to the website that they are able to purchase this product from. All of the information is easily accessible for the reader because it is all marketed in one single place. This makes it easier for the reader to make a decision on which hoverboard or self-balancing scooter they would like to purchase.
All in all, internet marketing is important because without it, consumers would not have enough information and producers would not sell their product, service or cause. If a company doesn’t have some sort of online base established so that a consumer can research the company’s service or product, chances are that company will get skipped over. In today’s day and age, internet marketing is everything.
In the modern world, with more time than ever spent on the internet via laptops, phones and PCs, the most effective way to advertise to the public is through Internet Marketing. As in the marketing techniques that preceded Internet Marketing, the most crucial goal is to advertise to particular groups of people that are likely to be interested in the product being advertised. The “millennial” age, my generation, which is just starting to come into their teen and adult years, is flooding the market with new consumers who are beginning to make money for themselves. The easiest and most convenient way to reach these consumers is through internet marketing, since this generation visit websites, watch videos, and utilize social media the majority of their free time. This form of marketing is also unique from any previous form of marketing in that having an ad reach a desired consumer is easier than ever before thanks to search histories and social media accounts.
Social media accounts are a treasure trove for marketing branches of many popular companies because instead of guessing which consumers prefer which types of products, they tell you. The two best examples are Facebook and Twitter. In the case of Facebook, it is encouraged that people like products or brands that they enjoy, in order to receive incentives and updates about sales and new innovations. This metadata about consumer choice allows marketers to on a mass scale choose which people see which advertisements. This can come in two forms, either advertisements on the side of the web page, or through the Facebook feed itself, in the form of the pages people have liked. In a sense, in this system, the consumer does all of the work for the marketers, instead of guessing which consumers will be interested, they take the matter into their own hands and tell you what they want. In the case of Twitter and the hashtag, it is the same concept. Not only does the hashtag and trending feature encourage the advertisement of events, which happens constantly, but can also be used to promote products. Many products have promo codes and other incentives to tweet about a product, which is seen by all of their followers and can quickly create a chain reaction. In many instances, like Facebook, consumers do the heavy lifting my following brands and products. Coca Cola (3.28 Million followers), ExxonMobil (215 thousand followers) and Apple (611 thousand followers) are just a few examples of how many people willingly choose to see advertisements in their twitter feed.
Another major form of Internet Marketing is the more conventional advertisements on the sides of web pages, which can also pop up on a screen to increase the chance of being noticed and processed. The true aim of ads is to alter the preferences and perceptions of the consumer, to influence their choice by constantly suggesting your product and offering incentives to use it. This is why ads are run over and over again on TV, to make it an almost subconscious effort to remember a certain brand when that product is needed. These ads on websites can either be bought by specific companies or changed out between many companies depending on the user’s search history on major search engines. The prior method is useful when a website draws a certain demographic of the population that is predicted to have a desire for the product advertised. For example, a website that sells Rolex watches will most likely sell ad spaces to a yacht or Porsche company, since the consumers buying Rolexes can most likely afford and prefer those products. The latter option may be more useful. As you search things on the internet, that data is recorded and is automatically paired to advertisements that are similar in hopes of reaching consumers with the right preferences to appeal to. This takes the least amount of effort by marketers, since it is automatic, and is usually the most successful.
The Internet has made the lives of millions more connected than ever before and has made the preferences of consumers public knowledge. It is not possible to effectively target certain groups of consumers with a billboard or a TV/radio commercial. The closest effective form of advertising would most likely be mail soliciting, but even that is not nearly as effective as Internet Marketing. The Internet represents the future of globalization, innovation, and technological innovation. It is also the future of effective marketing.
Internet marketing is more than just selling an item, it is a customized experience that allows advertisers to place strategic ads, thus maximizing their exposure and potential customer pool. Television ads are direct and relevant to the demographics of the viewing audience, but it is limited and has to be generic in order to cut across a wide swath. However, internet marketing is much more precise and makes more efficient use of every ad dollar spent by showing relevant ads that are related to either the content on the web page or the specific user. Most ads are ineffective or inappropriate for a general audience, but internet marketing provides a way for sellers to specifically target shoppers that are most likely to become customers.
On the 10Besasts website, there are ads based on my browsing and search history along with advertisements for the products being described in the article. A customer interested in buying a router may find the web page, and after reading the product comparisons may decide to click on the Amazon link to make the purchase. It is the purest form of direct marketing, and it is all initiated by a potential customer’s inquiry into a product or need. It is like having a customer walk right into your shop.
When I watch a typical football game on television, roughly 25-30% of the time is filled with advertisements in one form or another. From all the major insurance carriers to all the credit card companies, I am constantly bombarded by ads that are irrelevant to me. Those are millions of dollars being spent to broadcast commercials to people who are not interested and will not bring in revenue, when the same ad dollars could be spent on targeted advertising through the internet. Just because I am watching a football game does not mean I want to buy beer or Old Spice deodorant, but when I am researching routers, it usually means that I am interested in buying a router.
Internet advertising is where all the ad dollars will eventually go. Companies like Facebook and Google are worth hundreds of billions of dollars because they have managed to capture the largest pieces of the pie, and the pie is still growing. By possessing troves of data on users and user’s habits, these companies have leveraged this information into an incredible revenue stream. They can provide the targeted advertising that you can only get with their huge user database.
Many companies have a limited budget for advertising, and a greater share of the budget is going towards internet advertising. Traditional advertising is expensive and relies on a shotgun blast approach. A lot of wasted resources go into creating the largest net possible, and it does not always result in the largest possible catch. As more and more data is collected and more sophisticated ways of analyzing data become available, advertisers will be able to make ads so specific, that they’ll not only know that I am looking for a specific item, but they will know exactly how much I am willing to pay for it.
The Super Bowl may have the best commercials of the year, but for everyday efficiency and effectiveness, a company’s best bet to sell a product is through the internet. I am constantly online, reading, researching, or checking messages, and cannot go a whole day without the internet. From the 50-100 webpages that I browse every day, internet advertisers have 50-100 opportunities to get me to bite. I usually go weeks without watching television, and when I do, I limit my viewing time to less than an hour and skip past the commercials.