Is your smartphone listening to your conversations?

DUN DUN DUN…have you ever spoken about something, say craving a Mexican Burrito and then saw an advert on Facebook about a Mexican Cantina that serves Burritos? How?

The microphone in your smartphone is an essential feature of having a smartphone, but what does this mean about privacy? To ease your mind, I’ve gathered some information on this conspiracy.

Facebook’s targeting ways does not need to listen to your conversations to target says Antoni Garcia Martínez. “The harsh truth is that Facebook doesn’t need to perform technical miracles to target you via weak signals. It’s got much better ways to do so already.” Martínez outlines.




When considering devices such as Amazon Echo voice controlled personal assistant and Google home, these devices can listen to certain trigger words and the data available from the data bases are then fed back to the device and the conversation with these devices continues. Can your smartphone do the same? Not exactly since Facebook simple does not have the same ability as these devices. However, Facebook and Instagram use dynamic advertising. Facebook dynamic ads automatically promotes products to potential customers who have expressed interest in a business. If you’ve looked up a product and then seen an ad for that product on social media, that is a dynamic ad. This is achieved through cookies that are used on smartphones. information is obtained and allows brands to place ads according to what the potent

Businesses can track “cookies” or data on a user’s device. The information that they obtain allows them to display advertisements of products a visitor has shown interest in before.

Facebook has denied using microphones to inform ads or change what users see on their newsfeed. However, there was no denial in Facebook using the messenger app to send out “highly targeted, in context” advertisements.

To conclude I leave you with this video of someone putting the whole conspiracy to test:

What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you noticed ads on social media that relate directly to something you’ve said? Let me know in the comments below!


Go Pro: Be a Hero

Thinking about Integrating marketing campaigns can be overwhelming, one must think of their target audience, objectives, communication channels- It’s just all too much. Fear not, in this post, I provide a perfect execution of an Integrated Marketing Campaign.

Go Pro pretty much hit the bulls eye when it comes to an IMC plan. A small start-up integrated it’s marketing strategy through outdoor ads, sponsorship, and even a viral video.  This achieved through content that was created by customers. The campaign allowed customers to upload their own content created with the Go Pro Hero 5 to win a chance to feature as video or photo of the day. With the constant content provided by its customers, Go Pro were able to create a campaign that was consistent, continuous and complementary.


Through this customer driven content, Go Pro even scored a viral video which was soon turned into an advert.

Here’s the video that totally makes me tear up:


So, what’s go good about this campaign? How did Go Pro use Integrated Marketing Communications?

Consumers loooove watching cool videos on the internet (guilty). GoPro began this viral marketing trend with professional stunt people and extreme athletes. We all know the internet loves to recreate trends. This strategy has now led to 6,000 videos uploaded to the website. This company reached this level of popularity through creating content is coherent, all the different means of communications are interlinked across all channels. By users providing the same kind of adventurous content, GoPro were able to create content that is consistent. The communication across channels reinforced the primary message. With this campaign, there is constant continuity with user generated content.  Finally, all campaign materials are seen better together, that is every video uploaded as part of this campaign is in line with the company set out to achieve.

What do you guys think about customer created content? Is it a strong strategy to have in terms of integrating your marketing plan?

Mobile App Marketing: ASOS

Mobile marketing allows a business to reach its target audience through their smartphone devices. With 80 percent of internet users owning a smartphone, businesses need to ensure their brand is mobile friendly. One way to reach the target audience is to invest in Mobile App Marketing.


Smartphone applications are now an essential part of everyone mobile usage. People spend an average of 30 hours per month using Apps. Applications solve the “I want to go” “I want to do” “I want to buy” moments in everyone’s day. Let’s look at those “I want to buy” moments, we’ve all  scrolled on the ASOS app for some mindless online shopping (guilty).

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With 10 million downloads, the ASOS app does exactly what customers want when they have those “I want to buy” moments. “We need to build experiences that capitalize on mobile,” said Rich Jones, ASOS’ head of product and UX.

The app mimics the desktop website. However unlike the website, the app is seamless with less noise. Customers are not overwhelmed when opening up the app for use. Here’s a comparison.

ASOS Website:ASOS.png

ASOS Mobile App


70 percent of  ASOS’ traffic occurs via the mobile phone. 58 percent of purchases also made on the App. The company’s impressive inventory of 85,000 products from 200 brands are now at the fingertips of its target audience.

Here’s how they ensure the application is user friendly:

  1. Style Match
    This feature allows customers to sort through inventory by simply uploading a photo from their camera roll. Say I wanted to look like Rihanna, I found an outfit worn by Rihanna (@badgalriri) that I would like, uploaded a screenshot onto the app. The app then searches for similar alternatives.


  2.  Personalisation
    ASOS’ personalisation ensures loyal customers and active app users. “Personalization and data usage have now moved to a whole different game — this is now data science and artificial intelligence,” said Asos CEO Nick Beighton, on a July call with investors. AI learns customer behaviour and creates answers for customer questions. This system takes out the hard work for the customers. Every time a user goes on the application they receive a better experience next time they use the app. The app creates a section called “Your Edit” this page has garments have I have previously browsed through and even gives new garment recommendations.



  1. A one stop shop
    The ASOS app creates a shopping experience that is simple. There are no annoying tabs or endless amounts of scrolling like the website. All delivery and returns can be managed through the app. It has a card scanner that scans your credit card, you don’t even have to type!


What do you guys think of fashion brand using Mobile App Marketing? Do you use Apps for online shopping?


Every brand wants their ’15 Minutes of Fame’ moment, with only 15 percent of ‘viral campaigns’ actually going viral. Viral marketing can feel like taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best.  Seth Godin speaks of why viral marketing campaigns fail nowadays. Marketers want their product to go viral. The product itself may not be interesting enough to create sharing momentum on the internet.

The virality of content on social is determined by its ability to be shareable and  interesting. People will only share content that is beneficial to them in some way. Beverland, M, Dobele, A and Farrelly’s findings depict that people share content that aligns with their desire for self-authentication. When people share content that is part of a bigger social context, they seem knowledgeable. One approach to viral marketing that can increase in brand awareness and customer loyalty is becoming part of an ongoing conversation on social media.

Content goes ‘viral’ when shared from person to person. This cycle goes on and on creating more and more views and a buzz around the topic. Now more than ever, we are able to be part of an a community based conversation with the use of social media platforms. Brands put more and more efforts towards creating content that is shareable. What if brands created campaigns around ongoing pop culture trends and conversations?

Lets look at some brands who took advantage of current events and conversations:

The #LikeAGirl by Always campaign generated more than 85 million views on Youtube in over 150+ countries. This is an example of a company becoming part of an ongoing conversation about breaking gender stereotypes. The brand had shifted their positioning from being performance focused to building a new understanding of confidence.  “We thought the best way to start a movement and spark a conversation was to create a video that would encourage people to share and participate,” says Judy John, Chief Executive Officer/Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Canada. Along with the video, Always created the #LikeAGirl hashtag on twitter. The campaign generated 290 million social impressions, the campaign increased Always’ twitter followers by 195.3 percent.

Melbourne had an issue of unsafe behaviour around trains. The ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ campaign was designed to be shareable, featuring a morbidly cute and funny cartoon music video. Along with the video came a game that can downloaded on smartphones, a children’s book and invitations to pledge online “not to do dumb things around trains.” Metro Trains with McCann Melbourne created a piece content in order to spark an important conversation around trains safety.  “we decided we’d try to create entertainment rather than advertising,” says Exec Creative Director John Mescall. The original video now has 164 million views on Youtube, the virality of the this video is awarded for its universalness. The characters feature do not have a specific race or gender, along with animals that are from around the world such as grizzly bears, piranhas and rattlesnakes. It also has the ability to be shared in different formats such as pictures, GIFs and to be edited in bite-sized videos.

These campaigns offer very shareable content. They comment on issues that need to be brought to light. When sharing these videos consumers feel like they are part of a bigger picture and feel like they’re passing along an important message. Looking at both the videos from the perspective of Jonah Berger’s principles of contagiousness, it is notable that both campaigns can create self-authentication, if people share them they seem like they care. They evoke emotion, #LikeAGirl creates many emotions from sadness to happiness with feelings of empowerment. Dumb Ways To Die creates a goofy jolly kind of emotion. Both the campaign outline a very creative story. These factors are the building blocks that caused these campaigns to go viral. At the end of the day, people want to share content as if they are part of something others may not be aware of which allows them to feel gratified emotionally.

What do you guys think? Are there more examples of brands joining important conversations?

Additional Sources:

Beverland, M, Dobele, A and Farrelly, D 2015, ‘The viral marketing metaphor explored through Vegemite’, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 656-674

Influencers, the backbone of the beauty industry.

2018 is a year of growth within social media platforms. With web 2.0 and social media, users can have access to any brand at any time. The marketplace is noisy, with competitors covering every corner and territory. According to a McKinsey study, word of mouth creates 20-50 percent of purchasing decisions. The question we then ask ourselves is, how do brands stand out when targeting Gen Z with the use of word of mouth tactic in the social media realm? Social Media Influencers is the answer!

Influencers are people who create a following on social media and connect with their audience which appears to seem to be more ‘real’ than conventional celebrities have with their audience. With this ‘real’ connection brands are able to target individuals with influence over potential buyers.

MediaKix depicts that Instagram Influencer Marketing could reach $2 Billion by 2019, with revenue being driven through Millennials like you and I interacting with their favourite Influencers.

This is where the word of mouth tactic becomes useful to brands. McKinsey suggests with social media, word of mouth is no longer a person-to-person communication. It is now one-to-many, which can be seen in the beauty industry. If you’re someone like me, you always look for expert opinions before you buy, especially when items are deemed expensive. Consumers want to know a product is of quality before making a purchase.

Beauty Influencer Jackie Ania, is well known in the beauty community as a result of social media. The Influencer often posts images of products that she has used or is using including her opinions of the product. As shown below, this post has received 37,238 likes. This is the kind of exposure Influencers can bring when aligned with brands.


@Katieaka’s research suggests that age plays a key role in how users interact with Influencers. One-third of Millennials said they followed and engaged with social media celebrities. This then places a lot of power on the hands of Influencers. They can shape the opinions and purchasing decisions of potential buyers.

So how can brands incorporate this word of mouth tactic in Influencer Marketing?

  1. Find the right Influencer for the brand Influencers attract their following by posting niche content. Individuals follow Influencers to feel like they relate to the content posted. Therefore, brands need to understand subtle sponsorship. Instagram is perfect for subtle sponsorship. It allows Influencers to tag brands ability to use captions and hashtags.Nikketut
  2. Creative Collaborations Influencers are a ‘brand’ themselves. Many beauty brands collaborate with Influencers to create products that is targeted to their followers. Both the Influencer and the brand can generate revenue and awareness from collaborations.  An example is beauty Influencer bretmanrock collaborates with Morphe Makeup brushes to create a product that is catered to his following and the wider beauty community. This increases brand awareness for Morphe and makes the brand relateable.Bretman.png
  3. Word of mouth is powerful. With great power comes great responsibility, as quickly as an Influencer can increase a brand’s exposure, they can also impact the public’s opinion to be turned against the brand. Keeping with the beauty world theme, the beauty Influencer community on social media had seen a fault with Tarte Cosmetics Foundation Shade range. This fault was not taken lightly by the Influencer community and their following, thus this mistake then caused Tarte to respond by apologising. The internet is now able to recognise  a product that is inefficient because of these “experts opinion”. Followers value the views of Influencers, as they are the “gurus” of this niche community.TarteTarte 2

Word of mouth and expert opinions are now credited to Influencers on social media. These micro celebrities are beginning to shape purchasing decisions.

What do you think? Do you follow Influencers on social media? Do their opinion on products matter? Let me know!