Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

What can we learn from Apple Inc. ?

Apple Inc. is one of the most successful businesses in the US to date. To say the least, Apple has made a name for itself in the American culture. According to an article written by John Kell in the Fortune 500 online magazine, Apple was number one on the list of the top 10 most successful companies in the US. Apple earned $35.9 billion dollars last year. With the unveiling of the iPhone 6, 6plus and the Apple Watch, Apple has made it self a leader in the computer gadget industry.

Being an Apple consumer, I have noticed that Apple’s image is to make technology beautiful. With all of its products that become thinner and sleeker, they have accomplished to make their products attractive to nearly anyone. With curves instead of sharp edges they appeal to look softer and more friendly.

Apple holds on to the image of their beautiful products by always coming up with a new and improved product just about every year, sometimes twice a year. It’s always either smaller, thinner, more colors, bigger screen, lighter, or better quality. By coming out with a better product so often, it keeps your customer base involved. The customer wants the next coolest piece of hardware so that they can have the status that comes with being ahead of the game.

Apple has developed a culture around their products that keep their customer base growing. They do not just specialize in hardware they also have created various programs that keep their particular customers involved in the company everyday. Applications such as Apple Music, iTunes, AppleTV, Siri, iMessage, and the list can go on of the different ways that apple has diversified its potential.

A huge lesson to be learned from Apple is to be diverse in what we can offer and make it flawless. The reason why Apple can bring in so much cash flow is because they can dip into many different markets and appeal to all kinds of people. Their products are more user-friendly so that even children under the age of 5 can use them. America has definitely benefited from Apple products and I don’t see Apple doing anything else but continuing to grow.

_________________________________________________________

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results. (2014, October 11). In Apple. com.

Kell, J. (2015, June 11). Fortune 500’s Most Profitable Companies. Fortune.

Oversea Conflict

Going overseas can be stressful for many people, especially if it is for a business assignment. Even though it may be stressful there are many ways to try to help make it less stressful. A good way to help with this stressful situation is to be prepared for talking with foreign co-workers. There are many ways to prepare for this like, knowing which country the assignment is in, the length of the assignment, and learn some about their culture.

Upon getting tasked to an assignment in a foreign country, first figure out which country it will be in. Knowing which country the assignment will be in will help to break the language barrier if there is one. The co-workers may speak the same language or they may speak the one common in their country. Knowing what language your co-workers speak will help to know if there will be a language barrier that could cause problems. If there is going to be a language barrier, then the best thing to do would be to learn more about their language. When learning another language some research is going to have to be done in order to efficiently learn the language. The amount of their language that would need to be learned would have to depend on the length of the assignment.

The length of the assignment can determine a lot about how prepared a person needs to be when going on an overseas assignment. If a person is only going to be there for about a week or two then some language should be learned. For this short amount of time, a person should be prepared enough that the language will not be a problem for them to speak and understand, but the person would not need to become fluent in the language. However, if the person is going to be on the assignment for a year or more, then the language should be more familiar to them before they leave.

The knowledge of the culture of the country is very important to know in order to be prepared for an overseas assignment. Knowing the culture is very important especially if the person has to do any public speaking. Some cultures can have different meanings to things than other countries. For instance, in the United States the cuss words are different from the cuss words of Great Britain. Therefore, something that would mean nothing in the U.S. can cause some conflict if unknowingly said in Great Britain. Another big example would be hand gestures, like the okay hand symbol. This is normal everyday behavior in the U.S. that means okay, but in other countries this symbol would be ‘flipping someone off’. To be prepared for speaking to foreign co-workers knowing the culture is a big one to ensure that there would not be any conflict or awkward situations.

Being unprepared for a business assignment overseas can be very stressful. The best way to reduce stress during this situation is to be prepared for everything that could make the assignment stressful, like a gesture that could ruin the speech that will land the company a new business in another country. Overall, an employee can best be prepared by knowing where, how long, and the culture of the business assignment.

By Heather Hehe, English Major-IUPUC

Communication Breakdown in the Business World

What is communication breakdown? I have researched the definition of communication breakdown, however, I have not found a source that gives an exact definition of the term. This may be because communication breakdown happens all the time, whether it be in our personal life or in our work life. Think about someone saying, “Hey we need to get this done ASAP!” Most people interpret “ASAP” very differently. One person may think “ASAP” means by the end of the day, while someone else may feel “ASAP” means sometime this month. The smallest detail can cause communication to breakdown, which is the failure to get a point across. Communication breakdown happens all the time in the business world, which is what I will be focusing on, and giving you some examples of how communication can breakdown.

One example of communication breakdown is no communication at all. Lets assume there is bicycle factory that manufactures different types and styles of bikes on the same assembly line. One of the large customers decides they would like to order a different style bike than usual. Management decides the company has been doing well in productivity and will be better off not telling the shop floor employees to ensure the productivity stays up. However, a few days later people realize that they weren’t making near as many of the bikes that customer used to order time and time again. At the same time, not realizing how many more of the different styles were being produced that the customer switched to. This is when rumors begin to arise. Not updating employees on certain changes and important information can begin rumors like layoffs, decrease in pay, decrease in hours, or loss of benefits. Once rumors begin, you can expect employee moral to decrease along with productivity. You can avoid rumors by keeping employees up to date on what is happening with the business and not to keep them in the dark about issues that may arise.

Now lets say, for example, you tell your boss that you need the materials, to complete your job, delivered to your station by Friday. However, you forgot to tell him that you needed those materials by 7:00am. You don’t get the materials for the job until 2:00pm. The ending result was you missed the deadline for your job because you failed to communicate a specific detail. If you say you need something tomorrow, you can bet on getting it tomorrow but you can’t bet on what time it will come unless you specify exactly when you need it. Specifying the smallest details can greatly improve communication and give it less chance of breaking down.

Here is another example of communication breakdown. A manager runs a team of employees that tests the product of the company. The manager got orders from the vice president that she wants each employee on the team to test five products a day versus the four that they have always done. The manager realizes the employees will not like that very much, so instead of explaining the matter, he decides to take action and bark the orders at the employees to push them up to five tested products per day. This in return caused a crisis causing all of the employees to quit the job because they had enough of being pushed to hard. The manager could ask for feedback from the employees to see what improvements need to be made to test one more product per day. Barking the orders and trying to rush the employees caused a loss in important feedback that could help the test department.

Communication breakdown happens everyday, especially in business. There are so many ways for communication breakdown to come about but there is plenty of ways to help prevent it. Here are some tips to prevent communication breakdown between yourself and others in the workplace or in your personal life.

· Be specific on detail. Who, what, when, where, why, how
· Don’t rush the information you are trying to tell someone
· Acknowledge they are on the same page all the way through
· Use proper grammar in emails
· Encourage questions and feedback!

Here are a few tips for a business to improve communication and decrease breakdown.

· Be specific
· Don’t keep employees in the dark about important issues
· Constantly update employees to ensure they are on the same page
· Encourage feedback from employees!

This is just a brief explanation of communication breakdown, but hopefully this will help you realize the simplest of things can cause miscommunication. So the next time you tell someone “ASAP” you may want to go ahead and give them a date and time as well.

By: Joey Wilkerson, IUPUC Student

Work Cited
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-ways-to-fix-communication-breakdowns.html
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-organization-communication-breakdown-61551.html
http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/examples-organization-communication-breakdown-22630.htm
http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/communication-can-break-down-7074.html

Using Twitter to Drive Value to Your Business

Driving value into a business is what every business owner and/or leader needs to accomplish. Using Twitter, along with a common-sense marketing plan, can drive value to any business. Twitter is currently being used effectively by various sizes and types of businesses to connect with customers, build brand, advertise and increase sales – and you can too.

As with any type of marketing or communications (marComm), using Twitter should be done with planning and rigor. However, it can still be fun, creative and impulsive. Using the following elements in this simple equation will provide a solid foundation and set you free to tweet.

(Plan + Content) + Brand x Consistency (Followers x RT2) = Value

I’m not a math major, so the equation might not make perfect sense. However, let’s focus on the elements which make the equation work. This article will help you understand the basics of each element and how they drive value into your business.

Plan:  As part of your marComm plan, develop a high-level plan that drives goals and provides a strategy for communicating with Twitter. Simply state a goal to gain 500 Twitter followers and convert  5% of them monthly is a good start.

You will also need to develop a tactical plan of weekly and daily Twitter activity of when you will communicate and when you will market to your followers. Tools like HootSuite can help schedule tweets so you can keep working!

Content: Any marComm plan is only as strong as the content that you deliver.  Not everyone can film, edit and soundtrack a video that rivals professionally produced media, but you can still produce quality content that is in line with your followers’ expectations.

Good content can be as simple as your opinions and thoughts (based on your plan) or as complex as multiple media streams (photo, video, animation, illustration). Following industry thought leaders and reTweeting (RT) their comments, as well as your replies, is another good way to provide valuable content to your followers.

Brand: Brand is simply a relationship that is based on a set of expectations that drive a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over others with similar features and benefits. So, like any other relationship you have via social media, your Twitter followers should easily get an idea of ‘Who you are’ and ‘What you do’ so they can begin to understand ‘What you can do together’ and ultimately, make a purchasing decision.

Businesses that do not establish and reinforce their brand in marketing and communications, usually struggle to keep long-term followers. Establishing a strong brand is essential to drive value to your business.

Consistency: Before stepping too far out into the social world, you need a consistent voice and brand personality. The best way to develop your voice is to practice tweeting in smaller social venues (church, alumni group, friends, etc) not associated with your industry.

Driving consistency doesn’t mean all your content is similar, but rather it feels like it is coming from the same entity (person, business, organization, etc). Without consistency, your followers may feel as though they are developing a relationship with someone who has multiple personalities.

Followers: Quality trumps the quantity of followers every time. In Twitter, find people who post frequently in your industry, then follow and re-tweet (RT) their content if it fits inside your content strategy. Then, build a relationship with these ‘thought leaders’ and drive value back to them.

You can also use Twitter’s search function to find people and businesses in your industry. When they show up multiple times, follow them. To keep a high-functioning list, block and remove all spammers and content that is not ‘on your brand’.

Value: Follow your plan and deliver good content. Stay on brand and be consistent. Follow the right people and build your list. Including these elements will drive value to your business and leave more time for focusing on your real job.

Richard Whitney,
IUPUC Student

Works Cited

“How to Use twitter for Business” by Jill Duffy  |  PCMag.com  |  April 16, 2013
(http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417647,00.asp)

“How to Use twitter for Business and Marketing” by Charlene Kingston  |  socialmediaexaminer.com  |  April 10, 2013
(http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-twitter-for-business-and-marketing/)

“10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter” by Aaron Lee  |  askaaronlee.com  |  2013
(http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417647,00.asp

What Do Your Walls Say About You?

Stop what you’re doing right now and look.  Look at the walls in your office if you have one.  Scan the top of your desk, your file cabinets, side tables, computer stations, ect.

If this person were an attorney, would you trust him with your case?

Look with fresh eyes as if it were someone else’s office.

What do you see?  Controlled chaos?

What does it say about you?  Neat? Disorganized?  Unproductive?  A potential fire hazard in the making?

Business professionals should be use to thinking about their appearance by now.  Every wise manager knows that, on the job, you dress for the position you want, not the one you have.  But how often do those same people think about what message their surroundings are saying to others?

Your work environment maybe be your happy place on the job, but the message it sends to others should be consistent with the one you’re trying to send through your appearance, your skills, your conversations, etc.

Impressive!

Do they clash?  Or do they support each other?

In today’s competitive market, don’t overlook this crucial piece of the puzzle. When it comes to your workspace, consider these items:

–         Does your workspace convey efficiency and organization?  Or are your walls lost opportunities to sell yourself instead?

–         Is your college degree (should you have one or more) prominently displayed on the walls?  If not, get it up there.  If you don’t have walls or can’t hang personal items, invest in a small table-top easel and place it on a filing cabinet or side table.

–         Do you have any awards, merits or other honors that are frame worthy and display friendly?  If so, put them out there too, but avoid clutter.  The idea is, if you have professional designations to brag about, do so in a tasteful manner.

Now that’s more like it!

–         Is your desktop some place where pieces of paper go to die?  If so, now is the time to get organized.  Raid the supply cabinet for hanging file folders, develop a system, then use it.

–         But don’t wipe the slate completely clean!  A wide open expanse of clean desk top may be nirvana to neat freaks but to others it may say this person doesn’t have enough to do. 

The point is, bring order to the chaos, promote your accomplishments and send a message that you’re organized and dependable.  If it looks and sounds like you know what you’re doing, people usually will believe you.

– Robin Fritz, Adjunct Lecturer, Division of Business, Indiana University – Columbus

Maintain the Message

Properly communicating the company message is the responsibility of everyone within an organization, from the receptionist on up to the CEO.  But how do you ensure that the person answering the phones is speaking the party line?

To guarantee a consistent message tape answers to frequently asked – and crucial questions – near the main phone bank.  But don’t post and forget it!  Check it on a monthly basis and update as necessary.  In challenging economies, information often grows stale quicker than you can say audit.

Also, provide updated facts and figures on a regular basis.  Communicate any noteworthy information to the receptionist and his/her backup ASAP – sometimes their need to know is actually more immediate than middle managers who aren’t necessarily speaking with the public and customers on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Additionally, an intranet is a great tool for spreading the word to everyone while maintaining a consistent message.  For it to work and be effective, however, someone needs to commit to keeping it updated on a regular basis.  Also, the information needs to be pertinent, otherwise employees will soon recognize it as a waste of time and will readily drop it out of their information line up.

Last but not least, don’t forget those all important water cooler conversations.  Monitor the company grapevine and if the message you hear is NOT consistent with the message you want, it may be time to make a more concerted effort to communicate with employees.  Remember, if YOU don’t provide the information, someone else will.

– Robin Fritz, Adjunct Lecturer, Division of Business, Indiana University-Columbus

As Grammar Goes, Verbs are the Spice of Life

Inexperienced writers often suck the very life out of their prose by taking energetic verbs and turning them into dull, lifeless nouns.  Consider the following:

Example:    Today’s stock price elicited a disappointed reaction among the shareholders.

Revision:    Today’s stock price disappointed the shareholders.

 Example:    It is our expectation that we will see productivity improvement when the new computer system comes online.

Revision:     We expect more productivity when the new computer system comes on line.

 When revising a business report, press release, employee newsletter or company-wide email, be sure to look specifically for those weak noun structures and replace them with vigorous, active verbs.  Not only will you gain clarity in the process, but your writing will be leaner too.

– Robin Fritz,  Adjunct Lecturer, Indiana University-Columbus

What Makes a Successful Website?

How many of us have visited a “bad” website? What separates a “bad” website from a successful one? Since we are a technology-driven culture, we rely on websites for various reasons, including shopping, news and entertainment. Some of the characteristics that can define a site as “bad” or “good” are usability, credibility and attractiveness.

The usability of a site greatly influences its success. The website should have easy-to-use menus that are organized logically. When visiting a site, we usually have a predefined purpose in mind. We expect to be able to find what we are looking for quickly and easily.

A site’s credibility should be considered as well. We should look to make sure the information given within the site is up-to-date, and any sources cited are reliable and well-reputed. An easy way to check for the site’s credibility is to verify its security. If the website is asking for personal information, at the top of the page in the address bar the website address should be preceded by “https” instead of “http” if it is secure. In addition, the most secure websites will have a padlock image in the address bar and “https” will be displayed in green font. An example of a secure site would be Amazon (while signed in to your account).

Perhaps the most easily identifiable trait is the attractiveness of the site. The font of the site should be easy to read and consistent throughout. Two categories of fonts are serif fonts and sans serif fonts. Serif fonts have strokes at the end of the letters. Examples of serif fonts include Times New Roman and Garamond. Sans serif fonts are clean characters without strokes. Examples of sans serif fonts are Arial and Verdana. The color of the font greatly affects its readability. For example, a bright or flashy font will be more difficult to read than a black or solid-colored font. Any graphics used within the site should be relevant to the material. Graphics should not distract the reader from the written material. If too many graphics are on one site, the images may take longer to download, decreasing the usability of the site. Finally, the layout of the site should be well-organized, logical and clean. The material should be organized in such a way to draw the eye to the most important parts of the site.

To illustrate the points I made above, I have chosen two websites, one of which I think is successful and the other one I would call “bad”. The links are:

http://www.joust.co/

http://yvettesbridalformal.com/
You can compare and contrast the two websites according to usability and attractiveness. Notice the clean and easy-to-read font of joust.co.  The user can easily find the information he is looking for in the site’s menu. Yvette’s page does not use consistent font sizes or colors, making the text difficult to read. Graphics are used that are not relevant to Yvette’s bridal/formal theme.

In conclusion, a business’ website could either bolster its reputation or weaken potential customers’ perceptions. Careful thought, planning and a bit of creativity can go a long way in building a website. Usability, credibility and attractiveness are just three main points to keep in mind while developing a successful site.

By Kimberly Riche, Business/Marketing major, IUPUC

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