Blog Post 3: Week 4- Mechanics

This week my group focused on further developing our game ‘Back and Forth’ as well as finalising the mechanics, algorithms, and rules of the game. Chris suggested that we split these details up throughout each of our posts. After discussing these areas with my group we came to the agreement that the posts would be split as follows:

  1. David- Mechanics
  2. Mel- Scenarios
  3. Liam- Research
  4. Noelle- Set up/ Board Description

Building the mechanics of the game I wanted to ensure that players would be able to easily understand our rules. Looking at some of the past weeks games, I found that these become more difficult when the rules aren’t explained clearly. To avoid confusion I looked at implemented steps throughout these rules, making it easier for players to follow along. Throughout the development of these mechanics I ensured that any changes/updates made were confirmed by the group to maintain our work stay cohesive.

The mechanics I developed are as follows:

  • Step 1: Set up the board (refer to Noelle’s post)
  • Step 2: Elect a mediator (player who looks over the game and ensures the debates are fair)
  • Step 3: Split into even teams. one ‘Red’ team and one ‘Green’ team
  • Step 4: The team to the left of the mediator will start the game by rolling the dice
  • Step 5: After rolling, collect scenario card corresponding to colour shown on dice
  • Step 6: Read the scenario out to the group and choose one player to represent the team for the round
  • Step 7: Before the round begins representatives will be given 30 seconds to brainstorm points with their team before the argument begins.
  • Step 8: Once the round begins, each team will have 30 seconds to argue their point. This will be timed by the mediator.
  • Step 9: At the conclusion of the debate, the mediator will decipher who won that round based on the arguments given.
  • Step 10: If the losing team disagrees with the verdict of the mediator, they can play their objection card. (Each team only has the ability to use the objection card once through the entire game)
  • Step 11: After the mediator has chosen a winner for that round, the winning team will stay at the colour they rolled too, whilst the losing team will return back to their previous spot on the board.
  • Step 12: Teams will continue to debate ‘back and forth’ following the coloured coded scenarios until one reaches the finish mark.

After trialing other descriptions of this game our these mechanics display clear rules that are easy to follow for players. With this I feel positive moving forward in the development of ‘Back and Forth’ and I look forward to how we can further improve this game throughout the upcoming weeks.

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Proposal: Influencer Marketing

The communication environment for businesses has significantly changed with the emergence and growing popularity of social networking sites. Scrolling through our timelines today we are bombarded with popular influencers promoting products through brand sponsorships. From weight loss teas to teeth whitening kits, these brand partnerships are hard to avoid and are a powerful marketing strategy that many companies are capitalising on. These well-known users sharing their experiences and opinions have become a trusted source of information for consumers “with 74% of individuals relying on social media to influence their purchasing decisions” (Bennett, 2014), therefore leading to a decrease in traditional advertising. These developments have forced advertising industries to adapt and rethink
traditional marketing strategies in order to effectively reach consumers, thus the development of influencer marketing.

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Influencer marketing is designed to tap into an existing community of engaged followers throughout social media. Influencers are specialists in their niches. Due to their influence over audiences they look to help brands/companies reach further engagement in exchange for profit/ promotion. This marketing practice is based on influence theory, which advocates the idea that a small percentage of key individuals can be effective at persuading a great amount of others. Rather than marketing towards a large group of consumers, influencer marketing uses these individuals to drive a brand’s message to the larger market and influence buying decisions. Marketing was originally focused on “offline opinion leaders, like journalists or industry analysts, to gain positive coverage” (Brown & Hayes, 2008). Companies target selected journalist, giving them access to information, their spokespeople and company events with the goal of building a long lasting relationship and facilitate positive coverage. With the digitalisations and shift of businesses, the focus of marketing has shifted from offline to online opinion leaders, as they offer a wider reach via their social networks. As we know by looking at our own social platforms today, digital influencers can be bloggers, celebrities or other individuals which are followed by a large amount of people online, taking place on personal blogs, commercial websites and the most popular Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.

A modern influencer marketing practice is to send free products to an influencer, hoping that they will use and like it and decide to recommend it to their followers. Other times, companies pay online influencers to promote their product and post about it. However, what inspired my interest in this topic was the immense trust consumers hold in opinions posted by others online, with these individuals thoughts and recommendations being looked at over established brands and companies. In their paper ‘Consumer Attitudes Toward Blogger’s Sponsored Recommendations and Purchase Intention: The effect of Sponsorship Type, Product type, and Brand Awareness’ Lu and Chang state “The growing popularity and large user numbers of social networking sites also had a great impact on consumers purchasing decisions. Today, consumers rely more than ever on recommendations from their peers” (2014). It made me think, how does the everyday person know what post’s to trust and what are the signs off unethically promotion?

For this session I have decided I am going to develop a research/ information based blog on Influencer Marketing for social users to gage further understandings of the operations behind this field. With this I look to post about the methods these individuals use as well as how these strategies are implemented to attract us into buying products.  I look to use my research behind this topic to enlighten readers on how this form of marketing has both positive and negative attributes.

Future post topics I look to discuss:

  • What makes an Influencer?
  • Research on Influencer Marketing? What makes it more effect over others?
  • The Power of Social Media
  • Examples of Positive Influencers and Campaigns
  • Examples of Negative Influencers and Campaigns
  • Testing Analytics on Instagram- Are these suggested products something I would actually purchase? Are they correctly catered towards my likes?
  • Tips on avoiding inauthentic sponsored posts
  • Survey- Asking students questions on if they have purchased items recommended by an influencer and why?
  • Podcast Interview with an Influencer? What is it like? How do you remain genuine?

I decided to choose WordPress to host my work as the content is communicated directly to readers and is most common amongst young people. Many of us already use the site and are the majority of the targeted market for these campaigns/ promotional posts. With this blog my aim is to highlight what factors contribute to unethical forms of Influencer Marketing, enlightening readers on how they can avoid campaigns that feed false information.

References:

  1. Brown, D., & Hayes, N. (2008). Influencer Marketing: Who really influences your Customers?. London, :Routledge.
  2. Lu, L. C., Chang, W. P., & Chang, H. H. (2014). Consumer attitudes toward blogger’s sponsored recommendations and purchase intention: The effect of sponsorship type, product type, and brand awareness. Computers in Human Behavior, 34, 258-266

 

 

 

 

Week 4: Research Processes:

When discussing the processes of social media marketing brands/ companies with a defined strategy are the ones that experience the most success on social media. I’m inspired by this social practices as these strategies are used to engage directly with consumers. With the progression and adaptation of technology, it has made us rethink our digital marketing strategies, putting more focus on consumer wants, thus creating more engagement, popularity etc. Looking at these process I am able to understand the need for this research as it provides a background on recent developments with respect to social media branding. For me, when I look at this field the use of social media has created opportunities for online marketers to engage with customers who they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to reach using traditional marketing methods. With these processes in place it highlights the importance of measuring the success of these marketing activities to enable further growth.

The company Tesla is not only the maker of my dream car but it also looks at adapting key social strategies to stand out from its competitors. When you think of the world’s biggest maker of electric cars, Tesla is the brand that first come comes to mind. However, many don’t know that Renault-Nissan is the current leader in this field. The impact of Tesla social marketing shows how impactful their marketing efforts just this past year. Elon Musk (product architect of Tesla) has been at his bombastic best once again this year and on social media, as the launch of the new Models turned heads across the world. Despite being far smaller than their automotive rivals, research into the companies social media activity of automotive brands found that Tesla regularly outperformed larger competitors, generating over 3X the engagement of the next best performing automotive brand on Twitter. The thing that really stands out for Tesla is the impact that Elon Musk has on their marketing. For example, during the live streaming/tweeting of the Model 3 launch, Musk was front and centre, sharing posts on social media to his 15 million+ followers and making a huge difference to the engagement and reach of each of these posts, showing the impact a social CEO can make a big in the personality-driven world of social media.

References:

Blog Post 2- Week 3: Back and Forth

This week we were told to split into groups of 3- 4 and develop a game to present in class. Collectively my group from last week joined up as we all thought we would be able to come up with something unique (plus Liam did mention he played a lot of board games with his family so I thought he would be a valuable developer). After throwing around different concepts we landed on our final idea of a debate based game entitled ‘Back and Forth’. This idea came up through the discussion a viral video where a women and a couple argue over a parking spot.

We quickly realised that the idea behind debates and the need to ‘prove a point’ would be a great angle for a competitive based game.

For our game players would split into two teams, one being red and the other green. With this teams will be given the same scenario and will have the opportunity to debate arguments for each side, coordinating to their colour. Using the viral video as an example, the red team would argue why the women had a right to take the spot, whilst the green team would argue for the couples defense. Although for this example the scenario isn’t a very serious situation, the game will consist of having three different scenario piles which will relate to different topics, each ranging on the seriousness. Amongst these teams there will be a mediator which will control the game as well as decipher the arguments from both teams. The objective of the game is for players to persuade the mediator to side with there arguments over the other team, as well as having a time limit for their arguments. After losing a debate, players will then need to collect one ‘petty card’ in the game. These cards were incorporated to add obstacles to the game such as ‘move backwards’, ‘switch team members etc, creating a more interesting game as giving both teams opportunities to win right till the end.

The layout of board game itself symbolises the motion of the sport tennis, whist just like players hit the ball ‘back and forth’, it is the same for the arguments from teams throughout the game. At the end of lesson we touched on adding the tennis points system of tennis into our game which I think will be a great concept. I look forward to developing this game further and seeing where we can take it.

Week 3: Who is my Hero/ Opportunities in my field:

Throughout this lesson, we shifted to a focus on the figures both within and external to the art/media world. Thinking on this topic I don’t really look to any one person/ brand specifically that I would classify my hero as when looking at social media design/marketing. However when looking at branding and social marketing itself, many companies adopt practices and concepts that I look to as inspiration and seek to integrate into my own future practices. The National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) defines social marketing as “an approach used to develop activities aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behaviour for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole”. Looking at these concepts, there are many campaigns, brands and advertisements that have influenced my interest in this field. An example of social marketing for positive change can refer to Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty. Many ad campaigns over the years have sold soap. Fewer have tried to change societal notions about beauty. Even fewer have tried to do both. Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” is the campaign that did it.

The campaign that had its origins in London and Canada with a billboard asking people to vote on whether the women pictured were “fat or fit?” or “wrinkled or wonderful?” kicked off a conversation about society’s notions of female standards of beauty. It also arrived at a time when digital media allowed consumers to interact and share the campaign’s messages in a way that allowed it to go viral on a global scale.

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Although this campaign doesn’t target me in particular, the message that the brand conveys through its history and marketing strategies looks to empower its customers, highlighting the core meaning behind what social marketing. I am inspired by works like this as they look to make a positive changes for our communities and societies as a whole, which one day I hope I can be apart of.

Looking at the aspect of opportunities within my field, Internships are readily available for students on sites such as Seek, Indeed and Pedestrian. In order to gain experience in this industry I do look to apply some in the future as well as see where the opportunity to work within these positions takes me, which hopefully happens after my studies come to an end. I also look at mentors being another essential component of forging a path in the right direction of your practice, to lead in to your career. They can not only assist you with contacts for job opportunities and internships, but also in guiding you to a professional manner and something that is achievable. After brainstorming I was able to narrow down specific people who have enabled me to develop necessary skills and have seen a greater potential in me and have aimed to help me utilise that potential. Having a cousin working in my desired field has shown me the form of marketing operations as how I can prepare myself for future tasks, as well as any problems and areas of focus I will need to look at when starting work. I look to her as an opportunity to understand more about the role and gain further insight on areas I might enjoy these roles. She has also provided me opportunities to sit in with her while she works, providing me with the opportunity to further enhance my photo/ video, editing and design skills.

References:

Blog Post 1- Week 2: Codenames

Codenames is a 2015 game from Czech Games Edition and designer Vlaada Chvátil. The game is for 2-8 players and takes about 15 minutes to play a round. Inspired similarly to the game Password, there is designated Spymaster who is trying to get their team to guess a series of words without guessing the wrong thing.

The game comes with;

  • 8 Red Agent cards
  • 8 Blue Agent cards
  • 1 Double Agent card
  • 7 Innocent Bystander cards
  • Assassin card
  • 40 Key cards
  • Code cards
  • Timer

For this lesson I played with Noelle,  Liam and Mel. We split into teams, boys (red agents) against girls (blue agents). After electing our spymasters, each team drew a key card to discover what positions our words were in order to win the game.

On a team’s turn, the Spymaster looks at the words that belong to their team and tries to find a common thread between them. Being the Spymaster must give a one word clue to lead them to the words you want them to say, with your restrictions being that you can only say one word, and you can’t say a one that’s on the board.

A rule that I really enjoyed about this game was the addition to your one word, you can also give a number that leads your team to the number of words your clue refers to. E.g EGG 1/2/3 ect. Your team then must try to guess the words you want them to. They have up to one more guess than the number you said. So if you said EGG 2, they’ll be able to guess up to three words. A guess is official when you touch the word in question. Your team can also choose to pass any remaining guesses so as to not make an error. The team that find all of their words first wins.

As a group we played about 6 rounds of this with Liam and I winning about 5. Needless to say this was definitely an enjoyable game. For me, this game is going to be one I purchase outside of class.It’s replayability and diverse layouts, this game is one that will always stay interesting. Coming from someone who doesn’t generally care for party games OR word games, Vlaada Chvátil has definitely impressed me and I am very eager to check out some of his other creations.

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