Is having a Google Home worth the risk?

Privacy is something every individual in the world wants for themselves and for their families, but with the continuation of smart technology, is everybody’s privacy getting interfered?

Privacy encompasses several overlapping notions, including secrecy, confidentiality, solitude of the home, informational self-determination, freedom from surveillance, and the protection of an individual’s intimate relationships.

With the introduction of the highly popular Google Home, privacy has been on everyone’s minds with the fact that the device is listening to every word at every time, even when it’s not being used. Where is the information going? Is it getting sent overseas for research? Or getting sold? Nobody knows for sure, but it’s a worry for many people.

Since Google collects information about what users are searching for online, what phrases they’re using in their email, what directions they want in Maps and where they are day to day, what more information could it be collecting about what users are doing in their own homes? Could the new data being collected be even more personal?

According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (2017) Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey. The graph above shows the level of concern individuals have about personal information being sent overseas, with almost every age bracket being highly concerned. This graph alone shows the fear that these smart devices have upon people.

With all speculation about privacy problems, a Google spokesperson said “All the devices that come with the Google Assistant are designed with privacy in mind,” “We only process speech after the hotword “OK Google” is detected. If the hotword is not heard, the audio snippet stays local on the device and is discarded.”

But Dan Olds (as seen below) , an analysist of OrionX mentioned “Google Home could give Google a hell of a lot more personal data about users than they get now,” he said. “That microphone will be a witness to every verbal interaction in the home. It will also know what you watch on TV, what you listen to, and, obviously, when there’s no one home.

This could lead to an increase of house robberies with thieves hacking Google home devices and finding when families aren’t home, as well as they’re whereabouts if asking about a particular place. These are 2 of many problems that these devices may have in the future.

But though it’s not known for certain whether these privacy issues are legitimate or not, it needs to be a key factor when thinking of purchasing a Google Home.

The need of businesses to create a successful IMC

Digital campaigns have become the norm within society these days, as the worlds online usage numbers continue to increase, businesses are identifying that the way to create awareness is to go online.

Mobile advertising has come in quickly for being the preferred device to access internet rather than the traditional sources such as radio, magazines and newspapers with Australia being one of highest in the world for spending money on digital advertising.

For new businesses to succeed, they must create a successful IMC campaign to generate awareness of their brand. A great example of a small start-up that took off is GoPro. They themed a campaign “Be a Hero” and used a variety of outdoor ads, brand related sponsorships, and even a firefighter’s original video to get the name out there and generate customers.

There are 7 steps of creating a successful integrated marketing campaign:

  1. Have a clear understanding of who your target audience is:

Go Pro identified their target audience mainly being professional or leisure athletes, travellers and photographers, generally all aged between 18-35 years old. Go Pro recognised that this age group prefers to be communicated by Social Media generally Instagram with 15.6 Million Followers on their account

Their content is generally videos of adrenaline junkies surfing world record height waves, heli-skiing, sky diving as well as HD photos of adventures, appealing directly to the target market.

2. Picking your channels, meaning which social media platform will Go Pro use to connect with the customers.

As mentioned previously, Go Pro’s demographic prefer to be communicated via Social Media, Go Pro are active among Facebook (10.3 Mil) YouTube (4.7 Mil), Twitter (2.2 Mil) and Instagram (15.6 Mil) with high amounts of followers on each platform. To identify which platforms to advertise the most on, Go Pro figured this out with the number of followers on each platform, with Instagram having the highest amounts of follower base.

A key strength of having Instagram as the key platform is that Instagram content drives more engaged traffic than other visual social content from YouTube or Pinterest. Additionally, Instagram helps you engage with your audience on the social platform, increasing the chance that you can bring customers back for repeat purchases.

Though a weakness is that from a publisher’s perspective, Instagram’s biggest weakness is that its web traffic is self-contained. Currently, there is no way to link to your site or drive traffic from the platform. If you build an audience on Instagram, you’re going to need to engage with them on the platform.

3. You must have a consistent look

Andrew Stanten, president of Altitude Marketing states that businesses must “Make sure your visual identity is consistent” as well as mentioning “Visual identity is far more than your logo. It entails having a common overarching design (look and feel), style of photography and graphics, consistent logo treatment [and] common colours and fonts,”

In Go Pro’s case their consistent look which everybody nowadays is aware of is the consistent HD photos in the outdoors which are better than any other device in the world. With the continuation of online posts of these HD photos and videos, everybody immediately thinks of Go Pro, with every photo in a way looking the same.

4. Creating a clear, consistent content that can easily be adapted or repurposed to suit different media or channels.

This links to the 3 C’s

  • Communications

Go Pro keep their offers and messaging clear and professional online with short descriptive sentences letting the customers know of any upcoming promotions or giveaways

  • Compelling

Targeting their target customers with content they want to see such as adrenaline videos with professionals using a Go-Pro in heart thumping videos

  • Consistent

Go Pro make sure whenever they post something on Instagram, that the same post is posted on their Facebook, YouTube and Twitter page, creating that consistent feature to all levels of media channels

5. Ensure that your messaging is integrated

On Go Pro’s website, they have made sure that they incorporate links to all 5 of their social media platforms that they use to compel with different individual’s preferences. This includes, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube

6. Make sure your marketing teams/agencies are working in sync

Go Pro must have all team members being on the same page, with the message behind the campaign being consistent and to manage company brand standards across the campaign.

7. Lastly, don’t forget to track your campaigns and coupons

For a startup business which was Go Pro at the time of the campaign, they need to track all their results/ conversions and sales, to receive data with how well they really are going.

Dylan Whitman, cofounder of Brand Value Accelerator states “The most important aspect of any campaign, and most especially integrated campaigns, is putting the proper analytics and attribution methods in place to really understand how you’re achieving conversions and/or results,”

In Conclusion, Go Pro is now one of the world’s leading action camera companies in the world with over 30 million GoPro cameras being sold worldwide to over 100 countries. Without the excellent integrated marketing campaign which they conducted when releasing their new camera “Go Pro: Be a Hero” it’s fair to say that they wouldn’t be where they are today. 

The privacy issues IoT devices provide

The future of technology is already upon us with the increasing numbers of “smart” devices being sold to modern consumers such as Smart watches, Smart TV’s, Smart Cars, Smart Fridges and even Drones, these devices are also known as the Internet of things (IoT).

The Internet of Things include very powerful devices which are beneficial for the consumers who purchase them. Smart watches such as the Apple Watch notifies individuals when to do more exercise, eat more calories even when it’s time to go to bed. 

Smart fridges on the other hand are the future of shopping, implementing a digital touch screen on the fridge where groceries and other supermarket products can be purchased off and delivered to your doorstep. It’s fair to say that the devices are able to control our lives, creating a real danger for our personal privacy. 

These devices are extremely helpful for the individual but at the same time, extremely dangerous due to personal privacy problems. According to Professor Elovici’s Ted Talk, IoT collects huge amounts of personal information about us, this is especially linked to location privacy, with smart cars and watches showing the location of the consumer at all times, creating a threatening problem if hacked or stolen, as well as locating vehicles at all times due to internet connections in modern cars nowadays.

Apple watches have taken the world by storm, providing fitness tracking, a Camera, Siri, applications as well as texting and being able to call contacts, no doubt selling just shy of 20 million deviceseach year, with 62% of IPhone users also purchasing an Apple Watch. 

With the enormous amounts of users purchasing the Apple watch, personal privacy needs to be at an extreme high level for users to be able to continue using the product without any concerns.

Location tracking has been identified as the main privacy issue for the Apple Watches, with many manufacturers of wearable devices so far failing to secure the data they collect, which leaves users open to having their data becoming intercepted. Alternately, individual devices might be “fingerprinted” based on the way they use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Another key problem that Apple Watches have is the Apple Pay concept. Apple pay is the feature Apple products have where individuals hover their Phone or Apple watch over an EFTPOS machine after putting a code in and automatically paying the transaction, eliminating the need for cash or a physical card. According to mobile payments and e-commerce strategy and advisory firm DROP Labs, up to 6 percent of all Apple Pay transactions have been fraudulent, compared with an average of less than 1 percent for U.S credit card transactions.

Many reports inform that thieves intercept individuals Apple Pay details on their Apple Watches via unsecure Wi-Fi services, providing them with numbers and bank account details to fraud and steal money from the innocent individuals, creating many issues for IoT developers with this being a main issue.

The Internet of Things is our future, its predicted that more cities will become ‘smart’ adopting smart technology to save time and money, as well as it being estimated that by 2025 there will be more than 21 billion IoT devices. Due to this prediction, security and personal privacy for the customers of every device needs to improve and improve quickly. There is no escaping the future of IoT devices for businesses, all they can do is adapt to the change and improve security and privacy settings as right now it’s a key problem for many devices in the world.

The impact of Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is where the marketing world has now headed, the messages that you send via mobile can be powerful. Over the past 5 years, time spent on mobile devices has surpassed desktop usage and 80% of app users engage with their apps 15 times per day. The challenge, with so much competing content, is to catch attention, build trust, and meet increasing customer expectations.

Mobile and digital have fundamentally changed consumer behaviour forever. Successful marketing strategies today start with customer insight. 

Mobile marketing can be done in various different ways, such as ads which pop up on web browsers, ones that pop up on social media platforms such as Kmart and Didi below, Mobile coupons such as Village Cinemas “Vrewards” showing a barcode to scan to get discounts, as well as branded mobile apps, which include rewards, orders, music and payments with the best example being Starbucks and TripAdvisor.

Mobile marketing is extremely important for businesses nowadays as almost everybody in the world has a mobile device on them, it is estimated that the number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass 5 billion people by 2019, controlling up to 67% of the population worldwide. 

According to Andreas M Kaplan, he identifies 4 I’s of Mobile Social Media which are keys for businesses creating a successful mobile application, in this case I’ll be using Boost Juice mobile application to refer to.

INTERGRATE

Involves creating an app that solves problems for consumers. For Boost’s consumers, their problems are that their thirsty and wanting a Boost juice, the app identifies which store is closest to their current location, with information about the address, opening hours and directions on how to reach the location.

INDIVIDUALIZE

  • Individualized to the needs and wants for a particular consumer, its extremely important for time and space dimensions, consumers being able to get the information when they want it no matter where they are. The application has its own “Customize” platform which allows consumers to customize their own juice or smoothie with their favorite flavors and ingredients on the go instead of arriving at the store and waiting in line.


INVOLVE

  • To involve the consumers with engaging conversations, Boost offers a link to a private “Vibe Club” Facebook group which can be accessed via the application for all of the consumers to join and post messages on the forum as well as boost staff posting future events, sales, new products and giveaways for the members to become aware of.

INTIATE

  • Initiate user generated content, relates to how the apps make money, this is predominantly done by generating data about the consumers. Boost get an idea of the most popular juices sold via the application and with that information, they can use that for marketing purposes, with special giveaways or sales on the potential “unpopular” juices.

Needing the 6 Principles of Contagiousness for a successful campaign.

Today, it’s impossible to go online and not be bombarded with advertisements for products you don’t want. This day and age, social media marketing is everywhere with 88% of companies (digital connect, 2017) worldwide using online platforms to promote their businesses.

With that being said individuals and companies have forgotten the effect that the power of immediate word of mouth has on the increase of sales, still being the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchases. Melbourne Martini is a local Prahran based company which serves up delicious, ready-to-drink, artfully balanced drinks crafted from Australia’s world-class ingredients, which allows you to take your favourite cocktails with you, from parties to picnics and everything in between. When starting up in 2017, Word of mouth was a key way to promote their new product especially due to the remarkable and niche market they identified, targeting the right audience at the right time.

Seth Godin mentions in his Ted talk that you must Sell to people who are listening and they might tell friends, in Melbourne Martini’s mind, this is exactly what they did to get a following for the brand early on, by selling only to those who had heard about their product via family or friends as they didn’t use social media marketing for at least a month after the release.

The Principles of Contagiousness explains the 6 principles needed for a successful campaign: 

  • Social Currency
  • This refers to getting people talking about the product as well as showing remarkability, Melbourne Martini was a remarkable invention at the time, being the first real pre-made cocktail products available to the public, they’re an interesting and unusual item to many members of the public, gaining a high amount of interest. The first customers and friends of Melbourne Martini took to social media platforms to promote the product, giving it that extra exposure to many followers.
  • Triggers
  • Triggers are environmental stimuli that remind consumers of their products, this can be via catch phrases such as “Kill Hungry Thirsty Dead” for Oak milk drinks or even just a key natural connection for example watching sport with friends àDrinking Budweiser. Due to Melbourne Martini being a newly established brand, they generate their triggers by point of purchase, this can be done by putting their items on the aisle’s closest to the check out at stores such as Dan Murphy’s, enhancing customers to purchase their products before leaving the shop.
  • Emotions
  • Defined as the level of physiological arousal or activating that a message triggers also affects sharing. Melbourne Martini focus on trying to move people, create people to feel a sense of fulfilment when purchasing the productIt’s an extremely difficult step for businesses to nail, but when they have accomplished it their sales will increase dramatically.
  • Public
  • Witnessing other people consume a new product such as Melbourne Martini creates a sense of an individual wanting to imitate that person and try the product even if they may not have been a fan of a similar product in the past.
  • Practical Value
  • Sharing things that provide useful information that others can use, strengthens our social bonds. In Melbourne Martini’s case, they rely on customers to take their analysis of the product and to write a review online via many review websites especially Product Review.com reaching thousands of other potential consumers)
  • Stories
  • Melbourne Martini need to create high quality relationships with all their customers, as stories are the most important need of creating a successful campaign, if numerous amounts of customers are happy and tell their individual story of the service and outcome of the product it’ll create a dramatic increase of other customers. As stories are personal and more trustworthy.

Businesses who are just establishing themselves need to adapt the 6 principles of contagiousness if they want to have a successful campaign and a bright future for the product or service. 

The need to understand Social Media Consumers and Digital Business Models

Businesses nowadays almost immediately turn to social media to promote and sell their products as the continuation of the industry is growing every day, with personal computing times on mobile phones up 44%, which has doubled between 2008-2013.(Duncan, E., Hazan, E. & Roche, K. (2013). “iConsumer: Digital Consumers Altering the Value Chain”. McKinsey & Company)

Due to this rapid increase in numbers, businesses must have a well-planned out digital business model to attract online consumers. Digital business models are in place to identify a market segment, define the structure of the value chain, formulate the competitive strategy as well as estimating cost structure and profit. (Chesbrough, H. & Rosenbloom, R.S. (2002). “The role of the business model in capturing value from innovation)

An online business that has achieved this is Athletikan, an Australian born unisex sneaker brand, which only release sneakers in limited runs, made from the most premium of materials. They have a very informative Instagram page, which they use popular social media influencers in Australia to promote the products on the businesses early life stage. As seen in the image below of popular Australian Personal Trainer Danny Kennedy promoting a limited-edition shoe to generate online consumers. As well as Instagram, they have created a Facebook page as they’ve identified that Facebook is still the most dominant social media platform, with users spending nearly 10 billion minutes on Facebook, and in the process, create 4 billion pieces of content and upload 250 million pictures (Facebook, 2013; Rusli, 2012; Tsotsis, 2011). 

https://www.dreamgrow.com/top-15-most-popular-social-networking-sites/

With the excitement of a potential business, owners need to research the Issues and trends of digital business models before they start to implement their plan.

  1. Crowdfunding which refers to the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, a key example of this is GoFundMe, an online website opened up for donations by the public for special causes.

2. Social Media Revenue Models 

Can be divided into 2 different subcategories:

  1. Freemium Model: When you receive something for free initially but if you want more you must pay for it, such as LinkedIn, Dropbox and YouTube. The problem is that if we give out too many free items, no one will want to buy the premium model.
  2. Virtual goods model: Selling things that aren’t real, a key example is online gaming items such as Fortnite “V-Bucks” which is essentially money which you can buy outfits and customised items for the game.

3. The ‘Sharing Economy”

The sharing economy is an economic model often defined as a peer-to-peer based activity of acquiring, providing or sharing access to goods and services that are facilitated by a community based online platform. In shorter terms it’s the process of peer to peer exchange through websites, such as Uber, Airbnb and Airtasker

4. The ‘Long tail”

Moving from mass marketing to niche segments, physical retailers to online retailers, focusing on a small number of products with large volume of each to large number of products with low volume of each. A key example of this is Netflix.

Businesses who wish to jump online with the majority of the worlds population must do research and plan a promising Digital business model, otherwise it will be extremely difficult for the business to succeed in the long run.

Creating a name for the brand via Social Media

YouFoodz is a meal delivery service, which provides pre made meals, fresh protein-packed snacks and cold pressed juices that can be bought in stores such as supermarkets and petrol stations or can be delivered to consumers doors. If opting for home delivery, youfoodz also offer meal plans that cater to a wide variety of consumers such as; individual weight loss plans, every day healthy living meals and muscle gain meal programs. Individuals can order their preference of meals via their website as well as on the smartphone application. Once the meals are ordered, they’re then delivered straight to the customers’ door within 2-3 working days, eliminating the need to shop at the supermarket for that week.

To reach their target audience, Youfoodz promote their healthy products primarily through 3 main social media networks, Facebook , Instagram and Twitter. To keep the audience and followers engaged with the product online, YouFoodz post content with how-to videos, humorous captions, posts demonstrating recipes, sales on certain products and the release of new meals.

“Influencer marketing doesn’t just generate better, more relevant leads. It also has the potential to improve your conversion rates. To give consumers that extra nudge to make a purchase, you can have your influencers provide them with a unique discount code or coupon.” (Mecham,2018).  Youfoodz’ main marketing strategy is using health and fitness influencers on Instagram to promote their products. This may be due to the consumers increased attraction to influencers and society’s increasing want and need to live a more healthy and active life. These influencers receive free samples of the product, as well as an affiliate code to post to their followers via social media networks. When someone uses the influencer’s code, they receive a certain percentage of the sale, therefore encouraging the influencers to keep promoting it. A prime example is Kayne Lawton, an online personal trainer who shares his gym workouts and diet tips promoting Youfoodz. By posting one photo of himself eating Youfoodz, his 138,000 followers may begin to associate YouFoodz with getting a physique like his, as well as seeing how easy the service is and therefore be motivated to purchase.


According to a study conducted by Stacey Rudolph, “44% of all respondents have said they have a considered purchasing a product or service based on a social influencer post”(Stacey Rudolph,2018). In Youfoodz case, Kayne posting an Instagram with the product, highly increases the consumers interest in the product and increases the consumers purchasing power. It is Kayne’s job to bring the consumer to the brand, however in order to follow the purchase through, Youfoodz must show active, enjoyable and engaging content on their Instagram and a clear link to the brand’s website in order to make the transition from interest to sale easier for the consumer and therefore more likely. 

According to “Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis” (Buddy Media, 2012social consumers are most active on Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays. When Youfoodz focus on their own Instagram, they need to take into consideration the time that their followers are most active, in order to reach the maximum amount of their target audience. These days are when Youfoodz should be posting their most important content such as new meals or new exciting recipes, as well as including influencer posts and entertaining posts in order to keep their audience following the brand and drawing more customers in.