online marketing psychology

April 26, 2010

Bigger cars to please Chinese consumers

Audi BMW Mercedes-Benz adapt cars to Chinese markets

With Western consumers are still recovering from the economic crisis, car producers are looking elsewhere for growth. BMW and Mercedes-Benz expect their sales in China go up 43% this year. This means selling about 100,000 cars each.  Market leader in this premium segment is Audi, selling 200,000 annually.

Many Chinese people buy these luxury cars for the status that comes with an imported brand. And because of the huge potential of the market, manufacturers are keen to adapt their products to please their Chinese customers.

The Mercedes C and E class,  BMW 5 and 7 series and Audi A8 models are all available in a extended version. Reason for this is that many Chinese customers have chauffeurs driving their cars, so they want to be comfortable and have enough legroom in the back.

April 22, 2010

How to trick people

One of the main problems that direct marketeers face is getting their mailings read.

An e-mail in your inbox only has a sender address and a subject line to convince you. But a real mailing has other factors to convince you to open it.

A phone company sent a promotional letter in the same envelope in which they usually sent out their bills. Bills are meant to be paid, so logically many people opened up the letter. Only to find a promotion. The campaign led to higher open rates, higher response rates and better results. At least in the short term. In the long run people were less likely to open the bills and much slower to pay them.

Other approaches to get these letters opened:
  • The death letter: In Belgium there is the tradition to write a letter to relatives and friends when there is a death in the family. These letters come in envelopes that all look very similar. With a possible death of someone close,  these letters always get a lot of attention. A fitness chain decided to send out their mail campaign in these envelopes.
  • Retailer Makro Belgium send out their usual promotion folder in an envelope that is very similar to the one used by the Belgian tax department. They sent it out on the same day then the tax declarations were sent out. So people found two envelopes of the same kind in their mailbox.
The example by the phone company violates the trust that the brand had gained with its customers. It is clearly a no-no.

The other two examples use a different approach as they take advantage from a built-in routine with the user. A routine which is in no way associated with their brand and therefore won't have as big an impact as the promotion-in-billing-envelope.

Although using the death letter as a promotional stunt shows bad taste in the approach,  it sure got the mailings read and attracted extra publicity.

April 19, 2010

Should Brazilian advertising be trusted?

Most consumers in Brazil think that advertising plays a positive role both in their own lives and the country's economic development.
A research by the Brazilian Association of Advertising Agencies came to these surprising results.
  • 67% said advertising was relevant to their daily lives
  • 66% believed it was informative
  • a more expected 76% gave low approval ratings to political advertising
Although it is in the interest of their members to show that advertising really works, the numbers are really high. In another study, conducted in Europe and the USA, the trust rates for marketing professionals were only around 40%.

Does this mean Brazilian advertisers are more honest in their messages? Or is there something wrong with the study?

I can imagine some of the campaigns like Vale runs can be considered as being more informative (and helping the country's economic development).

Probably it depends on what is being advertised and who is behind it.

Together with the release of the study the Abap also released a couple of nice commercials. (thanks Comunicação e Marketing Brasil)

April 7, 2010

How to convince users to click your online ads


Familiar with this type of advertisements?

Maybe you never search for monkey bread but if you are looking for other things, they might pop up on Google or when you browsing a website.

You think they are annoying so you don't click them?
You use an ad blocker to hide them all together?

Many people claim to ignore the Google advertisements created by the AdWords program. But the fact is that enough people still click on them to generate money for Google and hopefully for its advertisers.

The feature Remarketing of the advertising program can make these ads more relevant and therefore more appealing to potential clickers.

Where the normal AdWords allows you to create ads based on what keywords people are searching for, Remarketing allows you to re-target people that have seen one of your ads before. Google knows this because it keeps track of what ads a user has seen on its network.

For example: someone clicked a Google ad and got referred to your website. That visitor watched the funny video on your site but left after without doing anything else. Without Remarketing this is a lost sale (and wasted money on AdWords, as you pay for everyone that clicks your ad). If you can later identify this same user, knowing he has seen your funny video, you can use this information to really talk to him and try to convince him to reconsider your offer.

In my opinion this surely means more relevant advertising and higher quality traffic to your website.

More information available on the AdWords blog.

April 5, 2010

Easter contemplations

How can Easter not be a happy holiday with a giant Kinder Egg as present! To stay a little bit on-topic: this chocolate is called Kinder Ovo in Brazil :)

April 3, 2010

Hyundai increases ad spending in Brazil

As the FIFA World Cup is coming closer, big brands are stepping up their sponsorship. Especially brands that have put down big money to be the official sponsor. But as I explained in a previous article on event sponsorship, just putting up billboards around the event is not enough. You got to show the consumers that you are there.

And for the last few weeks Hyundai has been doing that. They have been in most big magazines or newspapers of Brazil with a three page spread on their Tucson 2010 model. Prominently featured is the first prize the model one in the JD Power awards. This is an award that springs from consumer satisfaction research calculated on all the newly launched vehicles in the United States.

Another thing that the advertisement stresses, is that the Tucson 2010 is produced in Brazil. And then exported to the US and Europe. To say it in Hyundai's words: "The technology that is conquering the world now is Brazilian."

A clear focus on the national pride of the consumers. And probably also en effort to make the South-Korean car manufacturer a little bit more Brazilian.

The strangest thing about these ads is that the JD Power award is something that most Brazilians don't know about. In the ad  is a first prize awarded by Quatro Rodas also mentioned. This is a Brazilian organization and it makes a lot more sense to use this as a quality indicator.  That leaves me wondering why they are using the JD Power one.

April 1, 2010

Successful social media initiatives in Brazil

 Visa and Walmart

A recent project by Visa and Walmart uses social networks as promotional platforms.  They select a product and a social network. This week for example they chose the new Guitar Hero game on Twitter. The original price of the game was R$389. This price drops if more people use a certain hashtag (keyword) on Twitter. The main promotion site counts the number of tweets and shows how many more are needed to lower the price to a bottom price of R$189. So people that want a better deal will encourage their network to join the action to get a better deal. In the upcoming weeks other products are featured but fans will need to engage on different networks. (Facebook, Myspace and Orkut)

 It is unclear what stake both retailers have in the initiative. But if it turns out to be succesful, other partnerships might be formed.

This really is a sale generating strategy. It provides a clearly measurable return on investment.

Skol and Guaraná Antartica

Beer brand Skol and soft drink Guaraná Antartica, both wanted to attract  more young adults to their brand. They turned their efforts to creating entertaining YouTube videos targeted at this demographic. These videos were well received. These early successes convinced Ambev, parent company of the two brands, to increase its focus on social media. In July 2009 it created a team focused on managing their Skol beer brand on social media. The team consists of 15 people that monitor the brand on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, Flickr, and

Pão de Açucar

Pão de Açucar is a big Brazilian retailer. They created a department focused on social media. For this they made a R$10 million (about 4 million euro) investment for 2010.