Aug 28, 2020

Check out the my articles at BCAMA's blog!

I am excited to share my latest BCAMA's blog articles! 



I am extremely honored to help BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association impact marketers in the province. Being a blog writer for the organization has been a great adventure that helps me grow exponentially as a marketing professional.

Planning the content of the articles and actually writing them has been a wonderful learning experience for me. Being able to share my knowledge with BCAMA's readers and collaborate with the organization to create a community of like-minded marketers is a privilege.

Following are the articles that I produced until now. I hope the content is useful and easy to understand. Let me know your feedback!

Aug 22, 2020

Content Marketing: Lead Generation Strategy

    This campaign was developed as part of the e-Marketing course at Douglas College. The campaign proposed to the cameras e-commerce Kent's Camera Castle aims to generate a segmented list of prospects interested in action cameras.


e-Book Cover

e-Book Facebook Post


Target Audience
The primary element to effectively execute this campaign is to understand the audience needs and pains. Since the main goal of the campaign is to generate leads for a segmented list of potential action camera buyers, the ideal persona would have the following profile:

  • Age: 25-44
  • Gender: Male (mostly)
  • Location: Worldwide
  • Keywords: Outdoor, adventure, thrill seeker
  • Hobbies: Hiking, biking, scuba, skydiving, surfing, skateboarding, etc. 
  • Lifestyle: Very social, active and healthy.
  • Behavior: Use Facebook, YouTube, Vine, and other channels to interact and share content. Use the internet to learn and stay up to date with the news. 

     Since it is a basic guide about action filmmaking, the target is composed of beginners filmmakers that want to improve their videos or are thinking about buying a new camera. Another characteristic of this audience is that they are in the initial stage of the buyer’s journey and that’s why they might be interested in a more informational piece. Ultimately, based on this features of the audience, it is possible to plan and craft a greatly effective lead generation campaign.


Marketing Mix & Positioning

    The understanding of the 4P’s behind this strategy is essential knowledge for implementation and success. Therefore, the marketing mix and positioning strategy for this campaign are detailed in this topic.
  • Product: GoPro or future action cameras that the company might sell. However, since it is a content marketing strategy, the goal is not to encourage immediate purchase of the product, but generate a rich list of prospects for further promotions.
  • Place: The ebook will be placed in a conversion centered designed landing page. Ultimately, the leads will be converted into buyers and the marketplace for the purchase will be the e-commerce web page.
  • Price: The ebook is free, the only “price” that visitors pay to get it is to fill the form with their personal information.
  • Promotion: The promotion of the campaign will be through social media (paid and organic), paid ads (search and display networks) and influencer marketing. The main goal is to generate traffic towards the landing page. Onsite and Offsite SEO will also be used to enhance the promotion by generating organic traffic.
  • Positioning: The appeal and positioning message will be focused on persuading the visitor to download the resource by creating value for the e-book. This way, the visitor will be convinced that the knowledge that the e-book provides is more valuable than the information that he or she will have to share in order to get it. The main UVP for the offer is that it provides the practical knowledge that allows anyone to create professional videos that will impress everybody. 

Digital Marketing Tactics & Implementation

     The basic elements of this lead generation strategy will be (Kolowich, 2017):
  • Visitor: The target was detailed previously. The source of traffic would be mostly paid ads (search, display ads, and social media ads) and referrals (e.g.social media, company’s blog and partners websites)
  • Call to Action: The call to action is a crucial element that directly affects conversion rates. For this campaign, it is important to make sure that the CTA is visible and has a compelling copy. 
  • Landing Page: The landing page must apply conversion-centered design best practices in order to optimize the lead generation. The landing page implementation will be detailed next.
  • Form: The form in the landing page should require basic information (email and full name) and the country, in order to segment future promotions based on location.
  • Offer: The offer of the landing page is the main reason why people visit the page. As mentioned previously, for this campaign the proposed offer is a free ebook about action filmmaking that relates to the GoPro products, “GoPro Action Filmmaking Handbook”. As mentioned before, the UVP of the e-book is the possibility to create videos that look professional and share experiences with more impact and emotion.

Landing Page


e-Book Landing Page

    As a prototype, I also developed a design for the landing page, a crucial element of the strategy (http://bit.ly/2w3aJiw). The design was conversion centered and I applied the LIFT model best practices to assure that the page is effective in converting visitors into leads.
     Thus, it has clear headings that facilitate the reading and blank spaces that help the reading and improve intake of the data. The content is clear and relevant to the source of traffic, which will minimize distraction and anxiety, and ensure a low bounce rate. The copy was divided into short paragraphs, with clear headings and bullets to create an unimpeded “eye flow”.
     The colors, shapes, and fonts keep the design congruent and give unity. The value proposition is highlighted in the big headings and the question title, placed above the fold, catch attention and encourages the user to keep reading. The countdown timer was used to create a sense of urgency and encourages immediate action that is the fuel for the UVP.
     Ultimately, I strived to develop a design that is simple and provides an easy and intuitive navigation. Following the best practices of UX and conversion centered design, I can ensure an user-friendly experience while increasing conversions.

Aug 18, 2020

Sodexo Retail Marketing Project & Designs

The Company

Sodexo is a French food service and facilities management company founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon. Today, Sodexo is a global leader in Quality of Life services, operating in 80 countries, providing a wide range of services in the following business segments:
  • Healthcare; 
  • Education; 
  • Corporate, Energy and Resources; 
  • Benefits and Rewards Services. 
Logo Created for Sodexo Cafetarias Vancouver
Sodexo is a market leader in Canada in terms of revenue and consumers served and has been recognized as a top employer for the past three years. Although the company offers a wide range of services, the project was focused on Sodexo’s Food Services contract with the BC health authorities.  The contract with BC health authorities is the largest health care contract of Sodexo in Canada, involves two major services: Patient-specific Food Services and Retail Food Services.

Logo Created for Sodexo's Loyalty Program
The focus of this project was on Sodexo’s Regional Retail Food Services operations on five main sites in Vancouver: Lion’s Gate Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital and Richmond Hospital. Sodexo operates one cafeteria in each of these hospitals and also a cafe Kiosk at Lion’s Gate and St. Paul’s Hospital. The company aims to provide quality retail food services to improve the daily life of medical staff, patients families, and visitors.

Project Objectives

The primary objective of this project was to assess current marketing activities, study environmental aspects that influence the company’s performance and recommend solutions that can be implemented to improve marketing of the regional operations. The major initial challenge of the company was the lack of a consistent branding strategy across the regional units and the need for remaining competitive.

Final Recommendations

After an extensive analysis of the company's strength & weaknesses and research on the external environment's threats and opportunities, some marketing tactics were recommended. In order to raise awareness for Sodexo's programs (Mindful & Loyalty Card), a unique communications plan was developed. This strategy involved the creation of some marketing graphic materials: 

Table Signs
Interactive Display

Interactive Menu

Floor Signs To be Placed Close to The Checkout Counter).


Promotional Poster - Rewards Progam



Educative Poster - Rewards Program


Aug 10, 2020

Landing Page for Kent's Camera Castle


--> This is a landing page created for the GoPro Hero 4. A print screen of the final design is presented below and the landing page can be accessed through this link: http://bit.ly/2sRuckM

If you want to know how I created this page, just keep reading! =)


GoPro Hero 4 Landing Page

Target Market
     The target of the landing page is of active thrill-seekers or people interested in action filmmaking in general. The source of traffic would be pay-per-click ads in search engine results page and network display ads. The niche that GoPro target needs a greatly resistant and compact camera that also has an outstanding quality of the image. Moreover, these customers also want to feel part of a community with which they share their values and lifestyle.
     Thus, the GoPro Hero 4, as an evolution of the GoPro line, brings all the improved technical specifications and also the brand equity of GoPro to meet both needs and wants of this target market. Therefore, the elements (pictures, video, description, and copy) on the landing page appeal to this target. The target expects to find more information about the camera, especially the technical specifications. Besides, they want a quick overview of the product to make sure if the offer is appealing enough to keep looking for more information.

Best Practices
     The landing page was divided into sections, with clear headings that facilitate the reading, and with lots of blank spaces that help to visitors have a more clean movement and better intake of the data. I create a clean design that makes easy and intuitive navigation. Overall I applied the UX concepts learned in class to ensure a user-friendly experience. Therefore, the content on the page is highly relevant for the source of traffic and it will ensure a low bounce rate of the ad. I followed the Conversion-Centered design principles and the LIFT model to boost the conversion rate of the page. The colours, shapes, and fonts keep the design congruent and the information clear. 
     The headline “20% Off Only Today!” creates a sense of urgency that boosts the persuasion power of the page in conjunction with the unique value proposition, which is the discount. Moreover, the copy of the product throughout the page was created aiming to persuade action. The main persuasive components of the page are the UVP, which is a combination of the 20% Off discount with the camera attributes, features, and benefits. The design follows UX principles, is clear and minimizes distraction and anxiety. The buyer's reviews and the security seal give credibility and encourage action.
     Furthermore, I employed the insights from eye-tracking studies. I put the main content above the fold, including the CTA. I also broke up the content into short paragraphs, provide headings, and use bullets to create an unimpeded “eye flow”. In the buyer's review section, I’ve used pictures of faces since it's proved that it attracts people's attention. Finally, in the footer, I inserted another CTA with a compelling copy to increase conversions once the bottom of the page is the second-most viewed section.

*Disclaimer: Please, make sure to appropriately cite this publication when using it as a reference in your assignments/projects. Otherwise, it will be considered plagiarism! 




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Aug 1, 2020

Tim Horton's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

*Disclaimer: Please, make sure to appropriately cite this publication when using it as a reference in your assignments/projects. Otherwise, it will be considered plagiarism! 


Tim Hortons is a well-known brand in Canada but only a few see the company beyond coffee and fresh donuts. The company has a wide range of social initiatives that play an important role in the firm's success. Evaluating why and how Tim Hortons deploy these strategies it's greatly helpful in understanding the theories learned in class. Ultimately, this article aims to analyze “Tims” best practices of Corporate Social Responsibility and give a more practical view of this concept.

Tim Hortons has some CSR initiatives that are good examples of this approach. On the website, these campaigns are categorized into “Individual” “Communities” and “The Planet”. In order to illustrate how Tim Hortons approaches social responsibility, the programs analyzed were: Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, Tim Hortons Coffee Partnership, and the Environmental Stewardship. I intended to identify the social need that the company foster to meet and the major business impacts that these programs provided.

    Tim Horton Children’s Foundation


     The Foundation was created in 1974 in memory of the company founder Tim Horton. The main goal of the institution is to keep alive Horton’s desire for helping others. Tim Horton Children’s Foundation provides camps experience to economically disadvantaged youth. With three different programs operating year-round, the Foundation aims to change young people's mentality and empower them to act towards their goals (Our Initiatives: Children, n.d.). 

      The major social need that the company address with this program is the common concern about the future of our society which doesn't give the same opportunities to all. “Across Canada and the United States, 1 in 6 children live in economically disadvantaged homes. For these children, opportunities and surroundings that promote growth into healthy individuals are often limited” (Miratel Solutions Inc., 2012, para. 7). 
     
     Tim Hortons meet this need by giving mental support to youth and children while educating and empowering them to think and act in a more optimistic way. The company helps these kids and teens to see a new perspective of a world where they can create their own opportunities and have a successful future. These actions are reflected in numbers. According to the Performance Report (2014), Tim Hortons impacted 17,700 children’s lives with the Foundation. Besides, with the support of restaurant owners and guests the company raised $11.8 million for the Children’s Foundation, only in 2014. Thus, Tim Hortons can keep support the economically disadvantaged youth and contribute to a better future for whole society (Tim Hortons, 2014). 

     Finally, the Foundation is one of the CSR activities most promoted by the company. On the website, social media, packaging or at the restaurants, it is common to see references to the program. The Foundation's support an extremely emotional issue that most people are willing to help. With this action the company are “giving back and engaging their customer base at the same time” (Miratel Solutions Inc., 2012, para. 6). Thus, I believe that above all, the main business impact of this program is related to brand awareness and goodwill. The integrate corporate social responsibility strategy, that also involves public relations, generated awareness not only for the Foundation but also for the brand as a whole.

    Tim Hortons Coffee Partnership

     The Coffee Partnership is a program gives support to small coffee farmers and communities around the world. Tim Hortons help these people providing economic, social and environmental improvements in the area of the coffee is produced. The objective is to improve the community of coffee farmers and, hence see it reflected in a better coffee quality (Tim Hortons, 2014). 

     With the Coffee Partnership program, Tim Hortons aims to meet the need of coffee communities for a better quality of life. The people from these economically disadvantaged communities usually have no technical training about the coffee production and poor work conditions that are reflected in their income. Tim Hortons give all support the farmers need to grow the coffee in a more sustainable and profitable way. This way, this initiative not only benefit the community but also the environment.

     Further, the program meets the farmer's needs by supporting them with all logistic issues in order to help them reduce their costs and ensure that the coffee gets to the market at the best time and at the best price (Tim Hortons, 2014). Education plays a big role in this initiative because it is the main tool used to improve the communities lives. Finally, all these actions can be reflected in numbers. Only in 2014, Tim Hortons helped 4,830 farmers around the world by providing over 20,000 technical training demonstrations. Besides, thanks to the program more than 14,000 hectares of land was managed in an environmentally friendly manner (Tim Hortons, 2014).      

     Through this initiative, Tim Hortons creates goodwill encompassing communities around the world. Besides improving farmers lives, the program also contributes to the coffee economy once it helps them to produce better beans with lower cost and environmental impact. Tim Hortons aligned two important objectives in the same strategy: improving the quality and cost of its main raw material while providing coffee communities a better way of living. “So, long term, it is in everyone's best interest that these small coffee farmers be successful and want to stay on the farm” (Moore, 2011, para 6). The 80% increase in yield/hectare of coffee production is beneficial for both communities and the firm (Tim Hortons, 2014). 

     The financial outcomes of this initiative may not have a huge impact in short-term perspective, but it will surely offer a long-term fiscal advantage, as most CSR strategies (Chin-Huang L. et al., 2009). This initiative also increases employees morale and commitment because the farmers will be grateful and happy to be part of a company that is truly concerned with their development. Another business impact of Coffee Partnership is that it helped to improve “education of consumers on sustainable coffee and expansion of sourcing opportunities through grassroots relationship development” ("Driving Profits", 2012, p. 7). Finally, this type of CSR practice is likely to enhance shareholder and stakeholder value of the firm ("Driving Profits", 2012). 


Environmental Stewardship

 Tim Hortons also has a series of environmental initiatives that show the company’s commitment to a sustainable management. This commitment is reflected in different ways within the organization. The “Environmental Stewardship” is a set of “green” programs managed by Tim Hortons to improve the environmental impact of its activities. For example, eco-friendly packing design, waste reduction at the restaurants, green building design, fuel efficiency improvement, etc. The company applies a set of environmentally friendly standards throughout the whole supply chain (Our Initiatives: Environmental Stewardship, n.d.). 

    The set of environmentally responsible practices that Tim Hortons executes meet the social need that represents a general concern: the preservation of the environment. Natural resources are limited and if the society keeps only increasingly consuming and generating trash, the planet will be uninhabitable soon. This is an extremely urgent social issue that only the union of all nations can fight against. Therefore, big corporations such as Tim Hortons see themselves with the responsibility of supporting individuals to act towards a more sustainable world.

     Once these companies take a lot of the natural resources and generate tons of garbage, they also should be the ones that give back the most. Through its Environmental Stewardship, Tim Hortons embraces sustainable management initiatives that aims to decrease the environmental impact of the company’s supply chain activities while improving the natural contexts around its corporate operations. The environmentally responsible practices go from the exploration of natural resources, at the beginning of the supply chain, until the green architecture of the restaurants. 

     Finally, through its Environmental Stewardship initiatives, Tim Hortons impacted its environmental impact with a reduction of 35% in water consumption at the corporate offices. Besides, the distribution fleet has increased fuel efficiency by 12.5% since 2008 and increase 11% on waste diversion rate from 2012 (Tim Hortons, 2014).

     The “green” approach is one of the most popular CSR strategies deployed by big companies nowadays. This happens due to the dimension and urgency of the issue which involves a common concern among society. Surely, the Environmental Stewardship that Tim Horton manages is a great marketing tool to create value with the target. However, it also provides good financial results that impact the firm’s performance. Striving to decrease the environmental impact of its corporate activities, Tim Hortons sees more than awareness in return. For example, by implementing energy saving measures in Ontario, the firm achieved approximately four million kilowatt-hours in energy savings province-wide (Tim Hortons, 2014). Moreover, by improving the fuel efficiency, Tim Hortons not only saves the planet but also money! Overall, optimized operational effectiveness is one of the best benefits that the business gets from this strategy.


Conclusion 

     In general, I have no doubt that social responsibility initiatives are the best choice from a social management perspective. The approach of business with a social obligation mentality is not enough to compete in the marketplace today. I believe that CSR will dominate the socially responsible management activities above social responsiveness which still greatly superficial and has low appreciation by customers. This is a very important consideration since it is known that people vote for a business with their wallet. Thus, if customers share values and beliefs with a company, they are more likely to buy from it. In fact, customers are willing to pay more for firms that have social responsibility programs (Marketing Charts, 2015).

     When customers go to Tim Hortons store, they buy more than just coffee and donuts, they know that part of their money is going to help the world somehow and that's often one of the reasons they choose Tims instead of other competitors. Although there is a natural friction between corporate social responsibility initiatives and profit, in a long-term perspective, to build a socially responsible reputation is worthwhile for any kind of organization and it can potentially become a strong form of competitive advantage. Further, some studies even identified the positive relationship between CSR and financial performance (Chin-Huang L. et al., 2009).

     Ultimately, what it's clear after this case study is that what Tim Hortons cleverly strives to do through all its CSR initiatives is to create a strong share of heart with its target market. Then, market share and wallet share will come easily. Finally, it is important to stress that truly responsible companies like Tim Hortons keep their profitability but also make sure to give back to the environment from which they draw their profits (Rowlands, n.d.).


References

Chin-Huang L., Ho-Li Y., Dian-Yan L, 2009. The impact of corporate social responsibility on financial performance: Evidence from business in Taiwan, Technology in Society,Volume 31, Issue 1, 2009, Pages 56-63, ISSN 0160-791X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2008.10.004. Johnson, J. (2015).

Coffee cups: Do Starbucks and Tim Hortons really recycle? - Episodes - Marketplace. Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/episodes/2015-2016/coffee-cups

Driving Profits through Corporate Social Responsibility [PDF]. (2012, April). Social Capital Partners. Marketing Charts. (2015, October 15). Will Consumers Pay More For Products From Socially

Responsible Companies? Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://www.marketingcharts.com/brand-related-60166

Ming, C. (2017, February 07). Trends for 2017 align with New Year resolutions to get fit, eat healthy. Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/30/trends-for-2017-show-wellness-and-foods-link-to-grow.html

Miratel Solutions Inc. (2012, June 12). Tim Hortons' CSR Business Program Camp Day Makes a Difference. Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://www.miratelinc.com/blog/tim-hortons-csr-business-program-camp-day-makes-a-differen ce/

Our Initiatives: Children. (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/communities-children.html#foundation

Our Initiatives: Environmental Stewardship . (n.d.). Retrieved July 08, 2017, from Robbins, S. P., Coutler, M., Leach, E., & Kilfoil, M. (2012). Management: Eleventh

Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson.
Our Initiatives: Guests. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/individuals-guests.html#nutrition

Rowlands , M. (n.d.). Corporate Social Impact: Integrated CSR & Full Spectrum Responsibility. Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://junxion.com/corporate-social-impact-integrated-csr-full-spectrum-responsibility/

Song, Q., Xing, Y., Wu, C., Zheng, N., & Arnold, C. (n.d.) . Tim Horton's Synopsis [Pdf]. Vancouver. Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://www.sfu.ca/~sheppard/478/syn/1123/SynopsisD.pdf

Tim Hortons (2014). Tim Hortons 2014 Performance Report. Retrieved July 8, 2017, from Tim Hortons website: http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/pdf/2014-performance-report.pdf

Tim Hortons (2014). Our Initiatives: Environmental Footprint and Performance. Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/planet-environmental-footprint-and-performance.html

Tim Hortons (2014). Our Initiatives: Coffee Partnership. Retrieved July 08, 2017, from http://sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com/community-coffee-partnership.html#coffee

Tim Hortons Restaurant Introduces New “Balanced Options” Nutrition Platform. (2015, January 22). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from https://pottsmercfit4life.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/tim-hortons-restaurant-introduces-new-bal anced-options-nutrition-platform/