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We live in a world where everything you can think of, can be found on the Internet. It should come as no surprise this had led to a problem, also known as the rabbit hole problem. There is so much content available, that the consumer gets lost in it. That’s why companies had to come up with a solution which is known today as personalized marketing. By using cookies for example, companies can follow your browsing behaviour and use this to present you with personalized offerings and content. Personalized marketing is essential for companies to ensure that consumers will keep coming back.

The Filter Bubble

A consequence of personalization is something that’s called the ‘filter bubble’, introduced by Eli Pariser. The filter bubble is an invisible algorithm that selectively guesses what information someone would like to see based on the search history of the user. Common examples are Google’s search results and Facebook’s news feed. What happens is that users don’t get to see the information that disagrees with their viewpoint and thus isolating them in their ideological information bubbles. But what determines what you get to see? You can think of clicks, viewing friends, likes on Facebook, reading news stories and so on.

The Downside of Personalization

Personalization may be helpful for online shopping, but it could have negative implications for the discourse in society because it closes us off to new ideas, people with other backgrounds, and opinions but also other crucial information. We don’t challenge our beliefs anymore and become blind to other perspectives. It thus creates the impression that our narrow view of the world is all that there is. As Pariser said, “too much candy and not enough carrots”.

Hitting the Psychological Jackpot

However, the filter bubble can not only be explained by online algorithms, but also by a persistent psychological driver: the confirmation bias. This is the tendency to search, interpret and recall information in a way that confirms our pre-existing beliefs or assumptions, while giving less attention to alternative information. This effect is stronger for emotional issues and personal beliefs. It can be explained by wishful thinking and the limited human capacity to process information. The result is overconfidence in your own beliefs and poor decisions due to this bias. The filter bubble not only seems to be the problem, we ourselves contribute to it as well.

It is debated whether personalized filtering is actually happening and if it is, to what extent? But it is definitely something we shouldn’t put aside without giving it some thought. Be aware of the fact that what you see on Google might be something different than what someone else sees. If you are looking for a good movie to watch on Netflix, it is a good thing that they already know what you like, but there might be more to it. What do you think, is personalization beneficial or harmful?

The filter bubble is likely having an impact on important decisions in your personal life. Decisions such as the way in which you have informed yourself about the upcoming elections. A relevant question to ask yourself – is it possible that the filter bubble has affected your vote for the elections?

Written by Jasmijn van Veggel

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When does posting a photo on Instagram cross the line? Is it the perception of the person sharing the images, or is it the perception of the followers? Instagram as you all know is a social media platform where individuals can share images of whatever they like… with some restrictions of course. However, when is it too far for a woman to post an image on Instagram?

When does a picture cross the line and become inappropriate?

This debate started out during a friendly conversation I was having with two friends, as we spoke about an instance when one of us felt uncomfortable sharing a picture because of the worry that it was sending the wrong idea to the public. Women have been seen as objects and are often sexualized, even when they don’t necessarily intend to be. Instagram allows male nipples to be shown but not female nipples, and to many this seems unfair. Of course, pornography is not allowed on Instagram but a female nipple is different. Is it society that takes an image and sexualizes it? Or is it the women posting the image? Who can be sure?

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When an image of the female or male body is seen with minimal clothing it usually becomes sexualized. There are those who would argue both sides to the story. If a woman is posting an image with minimal clothing “she is asking for it?” or perhaps it is society that isn’t ready to view the female body without sexualizing it. Of course one does not want to send the wrong message, but why does the message have to be distorted into something it is not. Perhaps it’s time for us to evolve and realize that the human body is a beautiful machine, and rather than sexualizing a bare body, it should be respected.

#freethenipple

To some it seems unfair that women’s nipples are banned on Instagram while men’s nipples are not. This is the double standard reality we live in. A nipple is a nipple no matter what body it comes from. All people should feel comfortable to free the nipple, while reading the context of the situation, no matter what sex they are. Maybe it is society who needs to mature and stop sexualizing the female body. According to Dr. Stephen De Wit, a Toronto-based sexologist “men have been conditioned to see the female breast and nipples as sexual accessories”. Yet, this has not always been the case.

blog-da3In Ancient Greece anyone could walk around naked without being mocked or given a second look. In Ancient times, naked bodies were not looked upon in a sexualized way, especially women’s body. Throughout time and history something has changed in the way we see the naked body; and now when we see someone wearing minimal clothing we immediately inclined to sexualize them. More often women than men.

Social media content and its impact at work

Over the years Facebook has been a great database to collect images, interests, and statements from users all over the world. This is a jackpot for companies to do some research on the private lives of potential employees. Like Facebook, Instagram can also be used as a platform for businesses to see what a potential candidates are doing in their private lives. That is why people must be careful when it comes to posting images and statements on these platforms. Marketing yourself via these platforms may coincide with the way you want to be viewed through the public eye. Of course, it is crucial to be aware of what you post on Instagram, but should women be scrutinized when they post an image of themselves in a bikini on a beach when men are not scrutinized to the same extend? A picture is a visual story and the body is a vessel in which one can tell a story, it’s not just a sexual object.

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Many would argue that it would be a shame to miss a job opportunity because of an inappropriate picture. But who is to judge whether a picture is inappropriate or not? Maybe the message the viewer is receiving isn’t exactly what the sender intended. It is often hard to find a middle ground between what should be posted, because everyone’s views are different. In regards to marketing yourself on Instagram, it is important to be conscious of how you present yourself. If you are looking for a job or looking for a career change, it is probably important that your social media accounts are not crossing the company’s perception of what is considered inappropriate. The next question to consider is whether you even want to work for a company that sexualizes images?

Women should have the same freedom as men when it comes to posting an image. The next step is nudity, but there is still much progress needed before nudity will be considered art, or a vessel to tell a human story. Having that choice is important, but we must use it with responsibility. Society is not ready to see an image of a naked body, male or female, and not react in a way that sexualizes the human body.

Written by Daniella Janis

TV commercials are the most common, but also one of the most expensive forms of advertising. They vary from very annoying, like the Zalando delivery boy commercial, to the very funny Bol.com Sinterklaas commercials. Both types seem to work.

However, when thinking about all the commercials that have really appealed to you in your whole life, it is very likely you can come up with a maximum of 15 commercials, of which you may only remember half of the actual brands that were promoted in that commercial.

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Do benefits outweigh the costs?

More and more, I am wondering if TV commercials can still be considered effective or efficient. Do their benefits still outweigh their relatively high costs?

Of course, people are still encountering a tremendous brand and sales rise after the broadcast of a commercial. However, more and more people are watching on-demand television now, where we can fast-forward the program any time we want.

And the rise of Netflix and other popular paid digital TV services are not really stimulating us to watch commercials.

Local television stations typically charge $200 to $1,500 for a 30-second commercial. National commercials produced by an advertising agency cost far more, averaging $342,000 for a 30-second spot in 2008, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

In extreme cases, for example during Super Bowl, companies have to pay an average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot.

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Cheaper (and better?) alternatives

With social media platforms like Facebook, companies can even advertise for free to their own followers! And when spreading their message to non-followers, they pay still way less than for an average TV ad.

Another advantage of Facebook is that ads can be targeted to the right audience very easily. When you look for a flight to Barcelona, chances are very high that you are confronted with KLM ads about flights to Barcelona the next coming days. And honestly, for me this really works out: I am being remembered that I still need to book that flight – so let’s visit the KLM website!

Also other online websites make increasingly use of online paid advertising. Even though lots of people use ad-blockers, which harm the effectiveness of these ads, the reach is still very high. So, let’s use online advertising instead of old-fashioned TV commercials…

… you might think.
But, results from a research study by TechnologyAdvice and Unbounce suggest that online advertising is worthless as 38% of respondents said they don’t pay attention to ads online and 79% stated that they almost never click on online ads.

More surprisingly: 90% of the respondents said they never made any purchase commitment after clicking on an ad.

This doesn’t mean paid media is dead, but rather that there is room for improvement. Marketers should focus on more relevant messages addressed to the right target audience.

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TV still makes the race

With competition from Netflix & Co. as well as online advertising, the television industry has undergone seismic changes over the last five years.

But one thing has remained constant: TV is still by far the most effective advertising medium. That’s at least what we can say anno 2016.

On average, the general population spends over four and a half hours a day in front of the tube, making TV watching one of the most common modern leisure activities. So, it is not a surprise that television commercials are still the most powerful form of advertising.

But what about 2026? Will it be the same, or will we all replace the regular TV with the most modern, who knows whatever form of media by that time? I think that we cannot predict anything yet and just have to see what the future will bring us.

 

Guest article by Nicoline Russel

Ever dreamed of starting your own blog? Do you want to hone your social media skills and proof them in a more serious context? Here’s the chance you waited for: The Amsterdam Marketing Student is looking for a new Social Media Manager!

Why join TheAMS
We need a digital native who feels home in social networks like Facebook or Instagram and wants to help us enhance our community. In addition, you’re also more than welcome to transform your enthusiasm for marketing topics into blog posts for TheAMS.

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Two or three times a week the blog content is shared on Facebook. In the future, we want to enlarge the value for our readers by curating posts from other sources and we are also looking into creating an Instagram account. We offer you to put your social media skills into practice and acquire all necessary blogging skills risk-free within our ambitious team.

Key facts:

  • Administer the blogs social media channel(s)
  • Write a blog post every second week
  • Workload: max. 7 hours per week
  • Weekly meeting, once a month combined with dinner 🙂
  • Join a lovely team of 5 other students
  • The New Media Committee is part of the MAA

 

Benefits of the MAA
Being part of the Marketing Association Amsterdam, you’ll also benefit from various workshops, in-house days and social events. Joining the career association gives you access to a rich network of business partners and connects you with like-minded students from both the UvA and VU. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to boost your CV and stand out from the crowd!

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Interested? Apply or ask for more info at secretaris@ma-amsterdam.nl. For more information about the MAA in general, go to www.ma-amsterdam.nl!

Application Deadline: March 15th

 

 

By: Kim van der Vliet

Since the origin of social media, companies have tried to incorporate these platforms into their marketing strategies. As the possibilities and options grew and grew, interaction became a key concept of these strategies. Nowadays, when everything and everyone is online, the trick is not really to BE on social media, but to STAND OUT. And some companies have proven to be amazing at doing exactly that. They use the interaction-functions of social media like Facebook or Twitter to their advantage when trying to connect to their public and fellow companies, and they do so in amazing ways.

Some genius examples

There are some companies that have clearly mastered the world of social media. Let’s look at some of these.

We all know the smart cars, right? The genius inventors of a mini-car have clearly also become geniuses when it comes to dealing with nasty costumers on Twitter. Take a look at this:

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But not only do brands interact with their customers on Facebook, they also interact with one another! You might even call it rivalry sometimes, as in the case of ‘Oreo VS. AMC Theatres’. Oreo – of course – being the amazing chocolate/vanilla/heavenly cookie, AMC Theatres being an American movie theatre chain. Check it out:

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This seriously just makes me want to be hired for the marketing of a brand and do exactly THIS all day long. That’s just amazing.

Now, I really REALLY want to give you another example of brands replying on each other’s posts, but this example is in Dutch. So I’ll put a hyperlink right HERE to show all you Dutch readers the way to one conversations that involves Heineken, Douwe Egberts, Lay’s, T-Mobile, Fiat, Eneco, NS, Nikon, Kwik-fit and Kia. I mean, wow. That’s a lot of brands. So check it out if you can, you won’t regret it!

Now a final example to show you that you don’t always have to have an original ‘conversation’ on social media to stand out. You can also stand out by posting incredibly weird and random stuff, as Skittles has shown to be very good at:

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I just love these random posts. They don’t make ANY sense AT ALL, but that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? And even though I’m kind of concerned for the well-being of this Skittles-Facebook-employee, I would really love to follow this brand on Facebook. How awesome would it be to see these completely random remarks in the midst of the tons and tons of selfies on your Facebook newsfeed. I’m sold.

The likeability-factor

I could go on and on about brands being hilarious on social media – believe me, there are sooo sooo many examples. But I just want to emphasize the big marketing-impact such posts can have for these brands. They create a likeability-factor that would be really hard to establish would it not be for social media. As it is with most marketing, social media-marketing is really all about standing out. Plus, it’s fun marketing! At least I think it is, it honestly puts a smile on my face when I read it.

So have you seen another example of brands being awesome on social media? Let me know and leave a comment! I would love to read/see it!

Sources:

http://digiday.com/brands/6-awesome-brand-responses-to-social-media-bullies/

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/NOT_COOL_COOKIE_AMC_Theatres_explains_its_now_famo_12814.aspx

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbellassai/what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-the-skittles-facebook-page#.csE7w7qdMd

The impact of social media is mind-blowing for quite some time already. I am quite sure that you can all think of a funny or emotional Facebook post, video, request, or complaint that went viral. Within only a few hours, these statements receive loads of likes and comments, everyone having an opinion about it. So what to do when you want to grab the attention from a big audience to make a statement, even for a topic that is not social media related? Right, you involve social media to make it big and booming.  

This is exactly what ‘Foodsy’ did last month. Via Facebook, the opening of the first restaurant without staff, located in Amsterdam, was announced. Within only 14 days of online promotion, the restaurant acquired almost 1500 likes and 600 people indicated to attend the event. Even big Dutch media channels as Nu.nl, Radio 538 and Telegraaf spread the word about this noteworthy event within only 2 days. Little insights were given away by Foodsy on beforehand, because how would a restaurant function without any single employee?! Well, you just would have to do everything yourself: get your own drink, prepare your own food, clean your own table, and pay your own bill. A unique concept that created great interest and curiosity among a large audience within very little time. And then, on November 5th, it was showtime…

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To see what really happened if you missed this campaign, you can check out the video, watched 110.000+, via this link 

Foodsy wanted to spread a message: restaurants can simply not function without staff and so the pay and working conditions of this sector have to be improved. To do so, they created a crazy but somehow credible concept and brand, which let people think, which made people curious. Above all, the marketing was mainly done by ourselves. I think they made a clear and impactful statement by creating this massive media mess.

Yvette Fransen