Westjet – I Love You!

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I fly I try to fly with Westjet.  They have never lost my luggage, they have never cancelled my flight, and they have superior service! Just for fun, I looked at Alexa.com to find out out who Westjet’s customers are!  Check it out: WestJet’s Audience

Alexa Westjet

Interestingly, most are female and over the age of 35 with children and are browsing at home.  When we look at the technographic profile for Westjet, based on the majority age group of 45-54, we can see that Westjet’s audience are spectators and joiners at 54% and 48%!

Just some interesting information as I would LOVE to work for Westjet!!!



POST! – Your Groundswell Strategy Tool!


Now that you all know about the Groundswell, I am excited to share POST with you!  We are learning so many interesting things in my Social Media Marketing class!

As the groundswell increases in popularity, some companies will be aware that they must embrace it in order to reach their target market, however they most likely will not know HOW.  Companies may not know what their objectives are, or which strategy or technologies to use.

It is important not to go through the groundswell strategy backwards!  There is a four-step planning process called POST that can be used: people, objectives, strategy, and technology

1.  People:  what are your customers ready for?  You need to listen to them to find out!  Remember the social tehnographic profile I posted earlier?  That is where you can begin to understand what your current customers’ movements are in order to reach them.  G Adventures’ customers, for example, are mostly spectators and joiners.  They are also mostly females between the ages of 25 and 34 who are working and have some education.  This is very important and useful information that can be used to determine a strategy!

Objectives:  what are your goals?  There are five objectives that companies can pursue in the groundswell: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing.  Listening means monitoring your customers’ conversations with each other, rather than using surveys and focus groups.  The goals is to gain insights for marketing and development.  Talking means participating in stimulating two-way conversations your customers have with each other, not just outbound communications YOU have with THEM.  This can be accomplished through blogs for example!  Energizing means making it possible for your enthusiastic customers to help sell each other.  Use the groundswell to supercharge the power of their word of mouth!  Supporting means enabling your customers to support each other! Embracing means to integrate your customers into your business, including using their help to design your products.  This means helping your customers work with each other to come up with ideas!  Through all of these objectives you will need to be consistently listening!

Strategy:  you need to determine how you want relationships with your customers to change.  Do you want them to become more engaged?  Do you want them to carry messages to the market?  G Adventures, for example, can use the knowledge of the majority of customers being spectators and joiners and create a place for them to interact with one another through various technology applications.

Technology:  which applications will you build?  You can look at this only AFTER the above three steps have been determined.  You will then decide which social media applications to use: Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, wikis, etc.  G Adventures uses ALL of these!

Once you have determined your groundswell strategy (POST) be sure to actively listen to your customers continually and use this knowledge and information to reach them and provide them with what they need!

Consistency is the Key! Louis Vuitton is Brilliant!

Oh Louis - I love you!

Integrated marketing communications. What does THAT mean you ask?

It means ensuring that all of your company’s marketing mediums are consistent in the message that they are trying to convey. Take Louis Vuitton for example. From the stores, to the website, and from products to packaging…you can see that care has been taken in providing one of the most luxurious top-quality products in the world. The packaging has become an important part of the image and is so consistent with the brand that customers actually collect the boxes! Louis Vuitton has done an amazing job with brand recognition and brand equity.

Brand equity describes the value of having a well-known brand name. Louis Vuitton has definitely accomplished this. Customers are willing to pay the extra dollar for a luxurious brand, knowing that a Louis handbag creates an image of class and wealth and luxury. Louis Vuitton excudes enhanced quality; customers know that owning a Louis handbag is an investment and that it will last forever. Women around the world (and men too) spend significant amounts of money to achieve their ideal image by owning a Louis. Louis Vuitton is a trusted brand and exudes the classiness of Paris!

Part of the reason for Louis Vuitton’s success is consistency. Check out their website: Louis Vuitton. Upon entering you can see tell that this is a high-end brand. There are classy models advertised, which are consistent with the classy models and celebrities in magazine ads. There are also photos that show the gorgeous buildings in Paris, creating the image of high Paris fashion. They do not use television commercials or radio to advertise, as Louis Vuitton is seen as more of a high-end unique product that not just everyone can own. The website logos and colors are consistent with the stores and products. Advertising is mainly done through billboards and magazine ads, and through the use of celebrities. The use of celebrities to promote the brand has been extremely successful. Even Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps was a face for Louis! Check it out:

From logos, colors, stores, packaging, magazine ads, facebook, twitter and their websites – Louis Vuitton has created brand equity and has succeeded at an integrated marketing strategy!

I am happy to report I own 4 Louis handbags and three scarves. They are my faves and I love the way they make me feel! Now THAT is a good brand! Oh Louis how I love you!



Ok ok I have to admit – I am not the listener that I could be. Let’s face it, some of us are definitely more interested in trying to make other people laugh than we are in listening to them.

Is that selfish? Possibly. Is it dumb? Definitely!

Listening is the key to so many things. It is the key to long-lasting friendships and relationships; it is the key to being a good business person; and is definitely key when it comes to your customers.

Imagine this: you have just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and you have 6 months to live. Most likely you will listen to your doctor when he/she tells you where to go for treatment in order to try to prolong your life, or get rid of the cancer. You also want to go to the most reputable place (the Cross Cancer Institute here in Edmonton for example). What would you think if you had an appointment at the cancer treatment centre and it meant waiting for two hours in the waiting room to get in? Do the doctors not realize that your time is much more precious than theirs under these circumstances? If they listened to their patients they would understand that time is just as precious as medical research and a reputable image.

So how can we really find out what people want? In the past, we have conducted market research and we have paid huge dollar amounts to do so. Market research is great at finding answers to questions, however it is not so good at generating insights. For example, surveys can get customers to tell you the answers to questions that you think to ask them, but what about the things you never thought to ask? These answers may be very important for your business. Many customers may not participate in surveys, or focus groups, or any kind of market research. So how do we know what they are thinking?

This is where the groundswell comes in. The groundswell allows us to observe hundreds and thousands of customers in their natural habitat. From ratings to blogging to twitter – people are voicing their opinions now more than ever. Try this little exercise: Google your product or company name along with the word sucks or awesome, or do a blog search.

Naturally, there is a lot of information to sift through. But alas! There are companies that can help! Begin brand monitoring by hiring a company to listen to the Internet (blogs, Twitter, forums, etc.) and they will provide you with reports and summaries based on their results.

Your brand is not what YOU say it is. It is what your CUSTOMERS say it is. Therefore, you had better be listening to them to find out what they think your brand is about. Listen to the groundswell!

Source: Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies

Linking Your Blog to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Want to know how to drive traffic to your blog? By advertising your blog on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn you can ensure that your blog is viewed! Here is how:

In your “Dashboard” click on “Posts” and then “Add New”. When you are finished creating your new blog, go to the right hand side of the screen and click on “Publicize”. You can then link your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and your blog will be automatically loaded to these sites!

Good luck!

G Adventures – Demographics

Take a look at G Adventures’ profile. The demographics of the people that are viewing their website are mostly female between the ages of 25 and 34, with some education. Interestingly, they mostly browse at work…hopefully only on their breaks 😉

From this we can go to Forrester’s Technographic Profile and enter these details to find out their social technographic profile. As you can see, the majority of G Adventure’s customers are joiners and spectators.

From this little bit of research, G Adventures is able to see who their customer base is and how they use the internet. Brilliant!!

Source: Alexa.com

Social Technographics Profile

We know that groundswell has two key ingredients: people and technology. Have you ever asked yourself WHY? Why do we participate in the world of social media? Why do we have a Facebook account? Why do we watch YouTube videos? Why do we create blogs?

The answer is simply based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Our need to belong. Our need to not be alone. Our need to be validated and loved. Our need to create and maintain relationships with friends and family. Our need to be creative and spontaneous and individualists. These needs motivate us to be a part of the groundswell.

The activities that we participate in online and our involvement can be classified. We call this classification Social Technographics. If you look at the ladder above, you will see that we can be grouped into seven profiles: creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives.

Why should we care about this? Well..if you want to know what your customers are doing and not doing online, this little tool is invaluable. For example, if you are trying to target consumers thinking that they love to blog, you would be assuming that they are creators. If they are spectators, however, the way that you reach them will be entirely different.

Look up Forrester’s Technographic Profile to find out more about your customers and what their activities are. Alternatively, you can survey your customers on your website by asking them what technologies they use.

We all know that in order to reach our target market, we must know their movements online and discover what motivates them! By finding out what technographic profile they fall under and knowing the reasons that they participate, we are better able to understand them and what they are looking for; the key to being successful!