Assignment 7 LeapFrog Online Speakers

Posted On March 21, 2012

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Our Internet Marketing class was fortunate enough to have two guest speakers from LeapFrog Online come and talk to our class on March 7, 2012.  Thorne Washington is a specialist for LeapFrog and is also an NIU 2011 alum.  Brad Hawk is a manager there as well, but graduated from UIC in 2006.  LeapFrog creates digital sales channels for large brands using many different tools, such as, search marketing, display advertising, mobile and social marketing.  I think it is great when alumni who were in our seats only a few semesters ago come back and talk about their work experiences.  It is something that I hope one day to be able to do.

I got a lot of great key takeaways from this presentation, for starters, it reinforced to me that mobile marketing is really the next big marketing frontier for companies.  I’ve noticed that over the past couple of years companies have upgraded its marketing techniques to match the current trends of its target markets.  An example of this being how when most of the United States population was learning and actively texting, most companies had customers give it their cell phone numbers to text special offers to those customers.  As more people have smart phones, they are making it more appealing to entice more people to willingly join its sites or down its apps.  This allows customers to think they have more control about seeing advertisements, when really, they are making it easier for companies to better target ads to fit the person.  This also allows companies to reach bigger audiences because word of mouth will spread and more people will download the app instead of only getting those customers who come into the stores and are willing to give out their cell numbers to receive several dozen texts that may not apply to them.

Convergence and data is also used by marketers and they consider it the ‘holy grail’ by advertisers.  This method connects multiple touch points together such as when you use your smart phone to do searches and they can target your location to offer your deals in that area.  I was also surprised that they talked about QR Codes, because I thought they were on the way out.  I personally have never scanned one of the codes or have seen someone scan it, so I really don’t know what they do, but from stories by classmates in our class, they seem to not be currently used effectively by marketers.  In all of the techniques Thorne and Brad talked about, they stressed the importance of engaging the viewers of your ads and giving them the choice of ordering online or over the phone.  One of the topics I found interesting was Near-Field Communication, where companies like Google Wallet allows people to pay their bills at restaurants by pressing an app button and the money is taken out of their accounts and paid to the restaurant they are currently at.  Though there are a lot of risks, such as an increased chance of identity theft, it still seems like a cool idea that is most likely going to grow in the next several years.

I really enjoyed listening to these guest speakers and learned more about internet marketing in the business world that enhanced what we are learning in classroom.