Final Project

For our final project we created a marketing plan for Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House, a local restaurant franchise here in West Virginia. The problem that our client is facing is getting more customers through the door, and reaching a younger demographic. While the franchise does have a loyal local customer base, it has been difficult for them to reach new customers. Our marketing plan focuses on targeting a younger consumer base through a re-design in brand image and a focus on social media marketing. With a more modern image and better interaction and outreach on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, our marketing plan will allow Gino’s to reach the younger customers they have been searching for.

The Affect of NFL Ratings

The protesting of the National Anthem by some NFL players has certainly been the headline of sports news over the last few months. While many have reported on the political motives and results of these protests, many do not realize the financial consequences the situation has cause for the NFL and the hundreds of companies that pay millions of dollars a season to sponsor it. According to an article on Forbes.Com, “the overall stock market is up more than 2% but shares of companies that broadcast NFL games–Comcast, Walt Disney, Fox, CBS–are all down between 1% to 8%”. While 1-8% might not sound too bad, keep in mind that each of those percents represents hundreds of thousand of dollars. SportsMediaWatch.com reports that the ratings of some regular-season game are down as much as 31% from normal ratings numbers. This is a huge loss for the companies that broadcast the games as well as the companies who purchase the spaces for ads.

If the ratings are down, the broadcast companies cannot charge as much for ad spaces as they normally would, and lose money because of it. At the same time, the companies who purchase these ad spaces are not reaching the amount of consumers that they thought they would have, and may be overpaying for those spaces. Business Insider reports that “a 10% drop in ratings over the course of the season could cost those networks a $200 million cut in earnings”. This would have a massive impact on the broadcasting industry, including future advertising deals in the years to come, and the possible loss of jobs withing the industry due to the massive loss in earnings. According to syracuse.com, CBS’ broadcast of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Kansas City Chiefs, which went to 86% of the country, drew a 14.0 rating. “The 14.0 is the lowest for the Week 6 national window since 2006 (13.5), per Sports Business Daily.”

The ratings as of week six of the NFL season are down 7%, and we already know that a 10% decrase could cost at least $200 million dollars. With ten weeks left in the season, things do not look good for the broadcasting companies or the marketing companies who pay for ads during NFL games. While the protesting will end eventually, and there will be an NFL come next August, we could see major reform in the way the broadcasting and marketing companies do business in order to avoid this kind of situation in the future.

 

InnerActionMedia Presentation

I really enjoyed the presentation given in class by Mike Arbogast of InnerActionMedia. I thought that the picture exercise was a great way to teach us how to communicate effectively, and use our minds to come together and complete an image without actually seeing it, which is what Mike and his company do everyday. I loved the idea of using a blueprint to clearly outline the overall goals and process of their marketing plan to keep everything on track. Our group will definitely use this strategy to help our ad campaign when we meet with our client for the first time. I think that if we are able to identify clear goals and the vision of the client before we start our work and research, it will give us an opportunity to make a truly successful ad campaign. Even though Mike Arbogast is an owner and project manager at InnerActionMedia, he made it very clear that their key to success is having a team that knows and performs their roles on an even level that allows them to achieve the goals that they have set. I believe that if we take this same approach to our ad campaign team, we will certainly be able to make a successful campaign and deliver a quality product for our client.

Integrating Marketing Communications: The Consumer Decision Journey

McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey is a simple, yet important part of marketing and a consumer’s path to purchase. This process contains five steps in a never ending loop, starting with the initial consideration of the consumer, where the consumer becomes aware or is made of aware of a need for a certain kind of product. Then there is the active evaluation of the product, in which the consumer will contrast and compare different brands based on things such as quality and price. Next is the moment of purchase, where the consumer makes the decision to buy the product based on the results of the active evaluation. After the consumer has purchased the product, they then begin the post-purchase experience, in which they decide if the product fulfills their needs and if the quality of the product complements the price that they paid for it. Then finally, the consumer either enters the loyalty loop, in which they are satisfied and continue to buy that product from that brand, or they restart from the active evaluation step to find another brand that can do better than the one they previously purchased.

In the article Integrating Marketing Communications: New Findings, New Lessons, and New Ideas, it is explained how modern marketers are facing challenges with the consumer decision journey, as consumers, brands, and media are fundamental changing over time. The new media usage patterns of consumers is greatly influencing when, where, and how they choose the brands that they use. This completely changes the way that brand need to market their products through the initial consideration, active evaluation, and moment of purchase stages of the consumer decision journey. According to the article, the consumers path to purchase has fundamentally changed to become “shorter in length, less hierarchical, and more complex”. Consumers no longer receive their brand information through traditional passive means, such as print or television advertisements, but rather actively search for these advertisements when needed, mostly through the internet. This creates a problem for brand to market their products, as it becomes harder for them to know when, where, and how to market to the consumer.

While modern advertising can still be seen through traditional media, the very idea of marketing is shifting more and more into newer online media sources. Search ads, display ads, websites, e-mails, social media, and mobile ads are becoming increasingly more prevalent. It is getting to the point now where it is almost impossible to use a popular website or social media app without seeing multiple ads. As you scroll through Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook you will see multiple advertising posts that either say “sponsored” or “promoted”. These are things that millions of people are seeing many times a day as they casually use their social media sources. I personally click on many ads   for products that I see on social media, because often this is the only place where i see them. Google, arguably the biggest and most used website in the world, has the top two or three results to any search be paid advertisements from brands that offer products related to your search. Marketing and the consumer decision journey are constantly changing and evolving, and this can make the job of marketers the hardest to do, because it is becoming more and more difficult to know when, where, and if you are going to reach your intended target consumers.