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Viewing posts categorised under: Business
US Airways

US Airways Learns a Lesson in Social Media Monitoring

by BIGfish

business marketing public relations public relations, social media seo social media successes technology twitter

With the advent of social media came the idea that companies could interact with more customers on a personal level. Though social media can be used as a promotional or advertising tool, its critical functions are to connect with audiences and gauge sentiments. When companies neglect to monitor their social media, they run the risk of missing a critique of their service or product that may develop into a bigger conversation, and eventually a crisis. US Airways recently learned first-hand how customer reactions on social media can turn into crises.   

The Power of Thick Data

by BIGfish

business marketing

In recent years, there has been a lot of hype around “big” data in the marketing world. Big data is extremely helpful with gathering quantitative information about new trends, behaviors and preferences, so it’s no wonder companies invest a lot of time and money sifting through and analyzing massive sets of data. However, what big data fails to do is explain why we do what we do. “Thick” data fills the gap. Thick data is qualitative information that provides insights into the everyday emotional lives of consumers. It goes beyond big data to explain why consumers have certain preferences, the reasons they behave the way they do, why certain trends stick and so on. Companies gather this data by conducting primary and secondary research in the form of surveys, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, videos and other various methods. Ultimately, to understand people’s actions and what drives them to your business (or not), you need to understand the humanistic context in which they pursue these actions. It’s crucial for successful companies to analyze the emotional way in which people use their products or services to develop a better understanding of their customers. By using thick data, companies can develop a positive relationship with their customers and it becomes easier for those companies to maintain happy customers and attract new ones. Big data will tell you that in 2013, Samsung was able to sell 35 million more smartphones than Apple. But what can these companies really do with this data? Pat themselves on the back or hang their heads in shame? If you are in the market for a smartphone, you’re not going to buy a Samsung because they sold 35 million more than Apple.  As a customer, you probably don’t even know this information. You may, however, buy a Samsung because they offer a multitude of models that you can customize to your preferences, and Apple’s product line is less diverse. Or perhaps you won’t buy an Apple smartphone because it’s not quite as durable, or they don’t have as wide a selection of phone colors as Samsung. Using thick data to figure out why more people are buying from Samsung is key for both companies to move forward and either keep dominating the market, or reinvent to gain dominance. At its core, business is about making bets on human behavior, and those bets backed by thick data are what business models should be based around. Take for example Lego, a successful company that was near collapse in the early 2000’s because they lost touch with their customers. After failed attempts to reposition the company with action figures and other concepts, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of the Danish Lego firm, decided to engage in a major qualitative research project. Children in five major global cities were studied to help Lego better understand the emotional needs of children in relation to legos. After evaluating hours of video recordings of children playing with legos, a pattern emerged. Children were passionate about the “play experience” and the process of playing. Rather than the instant gratification of toys like action figures, children valued the experience of imagining and creating. The results were clear; Lego needed to go back to marketing its traditional building blocks and focus less on action figures and toys. Today, Lego is once again a successful company, and thick data proved to be its savior. While it’s impossible to read the minds of customers, thick data allows us to be closer than ever to predicting the quirks of human behavior. The problem with big data is that companies can get too caught up in numbers and charts and forget the humanistic reality of their customers’ lives. As this Wall Street Journal article puts it, “By outsourcing our thinking to Big Data, our ability to make sense of the world by careful observation begins to wither, just as you miss the feel and texture of a new city by navigating it only with the help of a GPS”. This is not to say big data is useless. It is a powerful and helpful tool companies should invest in. However, companies should also invest in gathering and analyzing thick data to uncover the deeper, more human meaning of big data. Together, thick data and big data give you an incredibly insightful advantage. -Jess Cook

BIGfish PR

When is it Time to Hire A Public Relations Firm?

by BIGfish

business facebook marketing public relations social media

Since public relations is one of the most misunderstood professions, it’s probably not a stretch to assume many companies don’t see the benefit of a PR/marketing firm or don’t know when it’s time to hire one. Below we’ve listed a few telltale signs that it’s time to invest in marketing.

You see your competitors in the news

If someone’s reading an article about one of your competitors, they’re probably interested in what you have to offer as well. Want to get in on that story? Hire a marketing firm. It’s our job as PR and marketing professionals to pitch your news to the right people and get you published. With a mention in an outlet like TIME, Fast Company or The Wall Street Journal, your brand is getting millions of impressions and therefore increasing overall awareness. Being published in a well-known news outlet also establishes your company as a leader in the industry and helps to build credibility.

You need help telling people what you do and/or you’re camera shy

If you want to be in the news, it’s important that you have your messaging nailed down. A PR firm can help you refine your company’s mission, vision and key messages. If you’re clear and concise when speaking about your company, listeners or readers are more likely to easily understand what you’re about. Camera shy? Most marketing firms offer media training, which is a great way to prepare for interviews and helps interviewees feel more comfortable and confident when speaking with the media.

You’re a startup

Don’t have the budget for an extensive advertising campaign? Bill Gates once said: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” It’s especially important for a startup to define its messaging and properly introduce itself to the market. PR is a cost effective way of increasing brand awareness and establishing your company or CEO as thought leaders in the industry. Hiring a PR firm is like bringing on an experienced partner to help you navigate the media and introduce you to millions of customers.

You’re not invested in social media

If you’re neglecting your company’s social media platforms, you’re doing it wrong. Social media offers the unique opportunity to eavesdrop on and converse with consumers around the world. Social media is also the first place people go to complain about a brand, so you need to be there to immediately address any issues. Have a student posting updates for you occasionally? Doesn’t really cut it. Digital media marketing requires a strategic plan, an advertising budget, a content calendar, 24/7 monitoring and constant evaluation and analysis. By posting relevant content, acknowledging users and engaging with them, you can create a community that loves to share and engage with your brand and each other (like we have for our client Iceland Naturally). It’s not an easy or fast process but trust me, it’s worth it.

There are plenty of reasons to hire a PR firm and we’ve named just a few. What would you add to our list? When did you decide it was time to hire a marketing or PR firm? We’d love to hear from you - tweet us @BIGfishmarket!

-Brigid Gorham


BIGfish is in Panama!

by BIGfish

business public relations

There is a BIGfish in Panama this week! The team is currently at work with client Open Blue, the leader in open ocean raised fish. They are filming with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Gupta is CNN’s multiple Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent who reports on health and medical news. After a night in Panama City, work began early Sunday morning. The following days have been spent scouting about Puerto Lindo and Miramar for the perfect filming and interview locations.  Interviews with both Dr. Gupta and aquaculture expert Dr. Benetti were conducted at the chosen venues.  Aerial images will be taken of Open Blue’s offshore farm 8 miles from the coast of Panama. The large deep-water net pens are placed far away from any human activity or sensitive ecosystems. The team is also capturing shots of the beautiful Caribbean Sea. The crew’s last day will be full of some more work along with some time for fun - scuba diving and snorkeling have been arranged to wrap up the busy trip!

The BIGfish team goes to a pre-screening of “Cape Spin.”

by BIGfish

business cleantech social media technology

Last Wednesday, May 30th,  the BIGfish team headed out to Coolidge Corner to attend a prescreening of the documentary, Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle. There at the historic Coolidge Corner theatre, a small gathering of individuals were invited to the prescreening of  the film which highlights the nearly decade long debate over the implementation of the first ever proposed offshore wind farm in America. The film captures both sides of the debate, surprisingly not split by political parties, but the constant battle between neighbors against neighbors and environmentalists against fellow environmentalists within the small community off the shores of the Cape.

(BIGfish team with Director Robbie Gemmel)

"Cape Spin" manages to capture a balance on both sides of the debate while mixing in comedic cues with a very serious subject matter to produce a well thought out documentary piece. Local college graduate and friend to BIGfish, Robbie Gemmel an Emerson College alumni, helped direct and produce the film. Through discussion with Robbie, apparently it took a little bit longer to get the movie developed. According to Gemmel, while pitching the idea to production houses, none actually wanted to pick up the piece. Low and behold, after 5 years of production it's safe to say someone picked up the idea and decided to roll with it. In 84 minutes, the crew managed to capture both sides of the debate: the pro-Wind and the alliance anti-Wind group. At the screening event itself, BIGfish met with the production team and fellow individuals of publications and organizations interested in the story about cape wind and the energy aspect. In fact, a street team from Mass Energy was there not only discussing the effects of wind energy, but also powering the event with their very own energy source outside the theatre. "Cape Spin" will be officially released June 15th for the public at the Coolidge Corner theater in Brookline, MA. From then on, the executive team will travel up and down the east coast seaboard premiering their film in theaters. For more information on where you can see the film and the information on the film, click here.

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