Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

Ad Web Audience Targeting

Defining and targeting an audience are vital steps in great communication.  In publications, the ads are an excellent representation of who the targeted audience is.  Websites of these publications also target an audience but with an added dimension, the ability to individually target the viewer (audience.)  The ads vary by the choices selected within the publication website thus, redefining the audience.

Forbes website was the chosen publication to illustrate this changing targeted audience.  On the homepage of Forbes, the ads are geared toward a well-defined target group.  The initial ads were for Wall Street Journal; government tax programs; CD bank rates; oil dividends; filmmaking courses; and senior cell phone plans.  Together, these ads are for older wealthy businessmen. These are representative of the homepage initial ads.  The target audience is towards one who is interested in financial issues of taxes, CD notes, dividends, and business news from the WSJ…a businessman of diverse monetary concerns.  Definitely, the “senior plan” refers to an older generation.  The filmmaking courses also reinforce the older target group with an advertisement for a new hobby or starting a new business.  This is an extremely focused target audience.

Having the advantage of real-time viewing, websites can narrow the target audience.  When a viewer chooses a selection, a story or an article, the site chooses ads focusing on the audience’s interests.  If the chosen article deals with businesses with negative issues then the ads may change to customer service aids for businesses, insurance ads, or company improvement ads.  Relating the ads to the different types of articles narrows the targeted audience.

Another audience-targeting dimension of websites is third party advertising, directly targeting the individual viewer.  Third party advertising is advertisers which monitor viewers’ web surfing on their computers.  Directing ads of the real-time viewer’s interests allows the publication to broaden its audience.  These viewer-interest ads frame the articles with familiar and personal target ads.  Even though these ads may not have any connection with the article or the publication, the audience is familiar with these ads.  This frame may keep them reading the articles.  This allows for various changes so the targeted audience is the viewer even if the viewers do not fit the original targeted audience.  A young want-to-be businesswoman planning to start her own business would now be a targeted audience.  This real-time changing redefines the target audience as the current viewer to keep them interested in the publication even if they may not initially seem to be the audience targeted.

Concluding, this publication’s ads were aimed at a senior population of wealthy businessmen.  In general, this is the overall targeted audience but with websites drawing in different audiences with a specific article, the website uses ads to include the new audience in real-time viewing.  This advantage allows websites to reframe the site to include the viewer.  This is the magic of website ads – framing articles with advertising content this viewer is interested in seeing.

By Kentrina Freeman, Liberal Arts Major – IUPUC

What can we learn from Apple Inc. ?

Apple Inc. is one of the most successful businesses in the US to date. To say the least, Apple has made a name for itself in the American culture. According to an article written by John Kell in the Fortune 500 online magazine, Apple was number one on the list of the top 10 most successful companies in the US. Apple earned $35.9 billion dollars last year. With the unveiling of the iPhone 6, 6plus and the Apple Watch, Apple has made it self a leader in the computer gadget industry.

Being an Apple consumer, I have noticed that Apple’s image is to make technology beautiful. With all of its products that become thinner and sleeker, they have accomplished to make their products attractive to nearly anyone. With curves instead of sharp edges they appeal to look softer and more friendly.

Apple holds on to the image of their beautiful products by always coming up with a new and improved product just about every year, sometimes twice a year. It’s always either smaller, thinner, more colors, bigger screen, lighter, or better quality. By coming out with a better product so often, it keeps your customer base involved. The customer wants the next coolest piece of hardware so that they can have the status that comes with being ahead of the game.

Apple has developed a culture around their products that keep their customer base growing. They do not just specialize in hardware they also have created various programs that keep their particular customers involved in the company everyday. Applications such as Apple Music, iTunes, AppleTV, Siri, iMessage, and the list can go on of the different ways that apple has diversified its potential.

A huge lesson to be learned from Apple is to be diverse in what we can offer and make it flawless. The reason why Apple can bring in so much cash flow is because they can dip into many different markets and appeal to all kinds of people. Their products are more user-friendly so that even children under the age of 5 can use them. America has definitely benefited from Apple products and I don’t see Apple doing anything else but continuing to grow.

_________________________________________________________

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results. (2014, October 11). In Apple. com.

Kell, J. (2015, June 11). Fortune 500’s Most Profitable Companies. Fortune.

The Rise and Fall of Paula Deen – the power of words then and now.

Who doesn’t love some good ole down home cookin’? To most of us Paula Deen in not an unfamiliar name. We’ve all heard that sweet southern mama in our TV’s sharing her secrets to her delicious food. Just recently the southern bell fell from her grace. One word a long time ago caused this women who was arguably one of the most well know TV chef to lose her empire she worked so long to build.
Being born and raised in the south during a time with segregation, the “N” word was not such a big deal. The power of words back then did not carry the same weight they do today. The “N” word said today by someone with such high notoriety would be ground shaking, 60 years ago, that was not the case.
Slang changes with time just as fads and fashion. In the early to mid-1900’s the words that were considered to be slang are now considered to be offensive terms used to degrade people of different backgrounds. Words have always had a tremendous power. Context and perception dictate what kind of power a word does or does not have.
When it comes to words that are offensive they have changed dramatically over time. These changes happen as peoples societal positions change. In the mid 1900’s where Paula Deen had been brought up African Americans were not considered equal in the eye of society, especially in the south. Referring to someone as an “N” word would be the same as today saying someone was “black”. It may not be politically correct but it was not necessarily offensive.
Today that is not the case. People have realized that all colors, races, religions are equal and we pride ourselves on being a free and equal opportunity nation. Everyone being equal and having these rights has caused a hypersensitivity to language.
There is such a diverse culture today that it is hard to tell what may or may not offend someone of a specific color, nationality, religion, or background. The nation has evolved and there are some definite words that are known to not be acceptable such as the “n” word, but there are many that are in a grey area.
Paula Deen has apologized and said many times that she thinks everyone is equal. This for many is not enough, in today’s society people find words to be extremely powerful. We as a new generation must realize that words can, and many times will come back and haunt you.
So for you Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram addicts remember you may not have a fortune to loose and Paula Deen did, but people are watching, so choose your words wisely!

Bad Email Practices

            Have you ever received an email with so many typos and grammar mistakes in it, you can hardly understand what they were trying to get across. This is becoming a far too common in modern day emailing. In today’s society a common form of communication is texting and the use of social networking like twitter, Facebook, and myspace.  Although they make it a quick and easy way to communicate to friends and family, it doesn’t call for the most formal use of words and grammar.  Examples of the incorrect word forms people are using are slang, abbreviations, jargon and more. Because it is widely accepted in these situations, people are becoming less likely to use the proper format for professional emails.

            The problem with writing a professional email or letter in an incorrect format is it causes miscommunications between two parties, or would allow someone to believe that you are not properly educated. You only get one first impression and if it is used in slang and abbreviations, you might not give across the right impression of yourself or lose creditability with the receiver. Most of the mistakes that are in an incorrect email can be fixed by simply just proofreading before you send it. Reading it back to yourself allows you to make the corrections before you send it and don’t have to resend it with the correction. Most email replies are to clarify the previous emails sent to them and this can be avoided by reading over and correcting any mistakes or ideas the first time you send it. 

                Some examples of things not to do are:

  • Sending emails when you are angry
  • Including useless information
  •  Abbreviations or slang
  • Not putting a subject line
  • Not using complete and proper sentences
  • Capital letter(might come across as yelling)
  • Poor formatting of the email

            The use of email is a huge channel of communication in the modern society and I believe it will be around for a long time. The use of proper and professional writing only makes sense. When reading professional writing you are able to understand what is being sent to you and are able to make a good impression on whoever is reading your email. I hope this post makes you think next time you push the send button to make sure you read over the email one more time. It may take a few seconds, but save you from the embarrassment and miscommunication with coworkers, friends, and other in your professional field.

By: Luke Eddins

Communication Breakdown

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWNS

 Lost Money

Communication breakdowns in the business world can be very costly. Many companies focus on increasing profit and decreasing their costs. What most companies don’t realize is how much of these costs come from communication problems between managers and employees or the business and customers. Millions of dollars are lost every day due to poor communication. United States hospitals alone lose more than $12 billion a year due to poor communication. The worst part is most managers realize that there are problems with communication but don’t realize how big of a role that they play in the miscommunication themselves. These communication breakdowns can be due to several reasons including:

  • Different generations not understanding each other
  • Long meetings where the employees fade in and out of conversations and only pick up bits and pieces
  • Poor documentation
  • Or simply misunderstanding a person’s meaning

Lost Employees

Money is not the only thing that is lost due to these communication breakdowns. Around 80% of all complaints by employees are due to some form of communication misunderstanding. Poor corporate communication can cost a business its best employees. Replacing key talent can cost anywhere between 70 to 200 percent of that individual’s annual salary. If this is a common thing in a business then they are going to waste a lot of money.

A good example of a breakdown between a boss and one of his employees is going on right now. Earlier this week Peyton Manning stated that he felt the current situation wasn’t “healthy for his healing” and stated everyone is “walking on eggshells.” Him saying this upset Jim Irsay who responded by calling Manning a “Politician.” This is an example of how wording one thing wrong can lead to much bigger problems. Originally all Manning was trying to express were his concerns about continuing to play for the Colts and how he was upset to no longer be working with old friends. The way he worded it made it sound like he was calling his boss out which is never a good idea.

 Loss of Public Trust

            Using poor communication with your customers is a quick way to have your business fail. If a company is unable to talk with its customers in a way that they both understand and trust then that company will lose its customers and therefor lose money.  A great example of poor communication ruining a businesses’ reputation is the British Petroleum oil disaster. After the disaster BP’S CEO admitted that he had previously received information that there may be a problem. BP’S CEO was later fired for his poor handling of corporate communication.

What It All Means

So what does this all mean? Good communication skills are essential to having a successful business. Even if you are not involved in business, having poor communication skills can cost you your job. If a business was ran and staffed by people who all had excellent communication skills, that business would save themselves a lot of time, resources, and money. A little thought and revision can go a long way.

Conflict has “bad” Connotation

Webster’s Dictionary defines conflict as a “fight, battle or war.”  My initial reaction to this definition was, can conflict be a good thing?  Conflict generally has a bad connotation surrounding it. Not only is there bad conflict but there is also good conflict and we see examples of both in everyday life. 

Conflict arises from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes or demands.  Conflict can be internal or external and all people deal with it in different ways, the most common form of resolving conflict is some form of confrontation.  I cannot go on without saying that there is another popular method for resolving conflict, which is ignoring the problem all together.  People who like to avoid conflict are often trying to keep the peace amongst people.  The problem with ignoring conflict is that the problem will still persist until it is dealt with or someone else handles it. 

In the 21st century change is continuous and always occurring.  The slogan leading Barack Obama’s presidential campaign “Change We Can Believe In” is one example of how the world is ready for change.  However, there is one setback; the more that change is added to an environment the higher the level of conflict there will be.  Conflict is often slower to arise between people and organizations in a normal environment without change.  Living a conflict-free life is all but impossible in a world full of change. 

How conflict is handled determines whether it is good or bad.  Many of us do not like conflict but it can really be a good thing, especially when it helps a team or employees identify the best possible ideas.  When emotional responses are set aside progress can really start.  A key for conflict to go well is to have good communication skills.  The tone of an employee’s voice alone can dictate how the conflict is dealt with.  There are always problems that have to be dealt with and if handled correctly they could make some good out of the bad.     

There are a number of reasons why conflict can go bad very quickly or even be doomed from the start.  The way that an individual decides to deal with an issue sets the scene for results.  The first attempt to deal with conflict should be non-confrontational and more of a relaxed approach to achieve the best results.  That method does not work with all conflicts and sometimes laying down the law is the only option.  Being knowledgeable of the situation and who you are dealing with is also very important.  When dealing with conflict avoid playing the blame game, not listening, being defensive and trying to win. 

Personally I like to think of conflict as either good or bad while some people see conflict as neither good nor bad and just something that happens in life that has to be dealt with for progress.  Both good and bad conflicts lead to progress, it just might not be the direction you had in mind.

By Gregory Kelley, Business Major- IUPUC

Real World Examples of Groupthink and the Consequences

 

First, what is Groupthink?

Groupthink was discovered as an undesirable by-product of group cohesiveness by a psychologist named Irving Janis. He further defined groupthink as a “mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”

What are the symptoms of Groupthink?

Excessive Optimism                                      Assumptions of Inherent Morality

Suppression of Dissent                                 Desperate Quests for Unanimity

Stereotyping                                                  Rationalizing

  • These symptoms create a decision-making climate where the probability of making a poor decision is very high.

Real World Examples and Their Consequences

Corporate

Swissair’s Collapse: Thought to be so financially stable that people referred to it as the “Flying Bank.” Poor decision-making processes eventually led to its collapse.

Symptoms: The belief that the group is invulnerable and the belief in the morality of the group.

Lack of expertise, similar backgrounds / norms and pressure to conform were also present.

Consequences: Collapse of Swissair

Political

Vietnam: Groupthink is believed to be main reason for the war. Strategic advisors in 3 successive administrations rubber-stamped battle plans laced with false assumptions.

Symptoms: Groupthink prevented contradictory views to the war from being expressed and subsequently evaluated.

Consequences: 58,220 United States servicemen died.

Newly studied areas of groupthink outside of Politics and Business where symptoms were present.

Sports

Major League Umpire Association: In 1999, the Major League Baseball Association staged a mass resignation in a failed attempt to gain a stronger negotiating stance.

Symptoms: The umpires overestimated the power that they had over the baseball league and the strength of their group’s resolve. There was the presence of self-censorship; some umpires who disagreed with the decision to resign failed to voice their dissent.

Consequences: Failed strategy, Major League Baseball accepted their resignations, 22 umpires were out of jobs and eventually replaced.

Groupthink Consequences and Preventing Them

Previous examples show how groupthink can have devastating consequences. In some cases, thousands of lost lives have been associated with it.

How can we prevent groupthink?

According to Irving Janis, there are some things we can do to improve decision quality in cohesive groups but groupthink will always be a threat.

Most Important: Group members must always ask, “Are we allowing ourselves to become victims of groupthink?”

                Fundamental prevention measures:

  1. Avoid the use of groups to rubber-stamp decisions.
  2. Urge each group member to be a critical evaluator.
  3. Bring in outside experts for fresh perspectives.
  4. Assign someone the role of challenging assumptions.
  5. Take time to consider possible consequences of action.

References:

Kreitner, Robert. Management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Book.

By David Rice, Business (Computer Information Systems) Major-Indiana University Purdue University Columbus

Pros and Cons of PowerPoint

The ways in which we are able to communicate our message to others has changed drastically over time from writing letters to typing emails and then to sending text messages. The same thing can be said about the way we present information to others, whether it would be simply to introduce people to something new, inform others on a certain topic or persuade others to take a course of action. From the simple projectors that used knobs and transparent sheets to computers, Microsoft PowerPoint is the common visual presentation tool that almost everyone uses today for speeches, meetings and many other purposes. When presenting with one, it can help you out in the long run, or maybe hurt your presentation at the same time depending on how effectively you use it.

When it comes to PowerPoint, it is a great visual aid to use in presentations, so use it to your advantage! One benefit it has is that it can grab the attention of your audience, which not only brings interest to your presentation but also can take the pressure off yourself when you are speaking. Use it to illustrate your points such as using graphs and charts to back-up your statistics, or by using pictures to enhance your slides (or to distract in some cases). Another great value to using PowerPoint is that it helps adapt your message to people who learn in different ways. For example, there might be someone who learns better by listening while somebody else learns well visually. Believe it or not, you are actually using two channels to communicate your message this way. An interesting benefit of PowerPoint is that it can help nonnative speakers’ presentations be more understandable to an audience that has a hard time trying to pick up on the dialect of the speaker.

However, just because PowerPoint is a great tool does not mean it has its downsides as well. First of all, you do not want to take all the attention away from yourself otherwise your PowerPoint is being used more like a distraction than it should be such as adding music to your presentation. Unless you are trying to entertain, do not do this in a professional presentation. Also make sure you have a backup plan on how you are going to present because sometimes events such as blackouts may not create the most favorable conditions. Plus you don’t want to be too attached to technology for you techno people out there (Fact: The accident of the Columbia space shuttle mission was partially due to vague information used in PowerPoint instead of technical reports.). This is also self-explanatory, but do not put information in your presentation that may hurt others; otherwise, your audience may get the wrong impression about you. Last but not least, using bullet-points in your slides are great for summarizing what you are about to say, but do not use them too much in your presentation because it tends to be repetitive and in some cases too short.

These are just some of the pros and cons for this useful program. Hopefully, this will help you all reading this to become better presenters in the future.

I would like to give credit to the Web site “media.baruch.cuny.edu” for the information on some of the pros and cons of PowerPoint used in this post.

http://media.baruch.cuny.edu/faculty/jbelland/powerpoint/tips.htm

Written by Derek Huffman, Business Major at IUPUC

The Price of Typos in Business

In a world that has become reliant on spellcheck, typos have been a continuous issue for businesses. There are many ways in which typos can affect a business. Specifically, typos can hurt the reputation of a business, can cost a large amount of money and can possibly be utilized in a positive manner.

First, typos can hurt the reputation of a business. Typos make a business seem unprofessional. If businesspeople do not proofread and revise their work, the business attains a sloppy image. If there are typos, the article is not very credible. Someone did not take much effort to create the article, making the article less trustworthy. Typos can also create offensive messages. If something is misspelled, offensive words could be formed. This can be hurtful to consumers and could lead to trouble with the law. An article in USA Today revealed that the president of an Iowa college was ridiculed after a typo was included in the student handbook. The error read, “Black History Linch and Learn.” This typo caused a huge controversy because “linch” sounds similar to “lynch.” Typos can also be misleading. Miscommunication puts the receiver at a huge disadvantage. In a recent interview, Warren Buffet said, “The dollar, I think, is going to be worth less five to ten years from now.” Dow Jones Newswires later quoted Buffet as using the term “worthless.” This typo spread across the web, and Buffet appeared on live television to remedy the situation. Buffet’s situation proves how easily typos can ruin the reputation of a businessperson. As businesspeople, we must be sure to follow the AP Stylebook. The book is not just a tool for journalists; it details correct writing methods and should be used in everyday business. Overall, typos can make a business appear unprofessional, offensive and misleading, and this ultimately hurts a business.

Second, typos can cost businesses large amounts of money. Many ebusinesses believe that typos have lost money for their businesses. Studies have shown that typos can cut online sales in half. According to Charles Duncombe, an owner of online retail websites, typos account for the loss of millions of dollars in sales every week. In 2004, Dell Computer refused to honor a price of a PDA on their online store. The PDA was technically worth $379, but the price was set at $79. This company would have taken a major loss if the mistake had not been caught. In a similar situation, Marubeni, a Japanese trading company, sold one thousand computers priced at $180. The price should have been $1800. Typos need to be proofread and revised because it will prevent unnecessary loss.

Last, typos can be utilized in a positive way. Some individuals argue that typos are a marketing strategy. For example, many customers write consumer reviews. In many cases, the customers do not proofread their reviews for typos. Brett Hurt, CEO of Bazaarvoice, believes that typos in customer reviews should not be corrected. He believes that correcting these reviews would remove the authenticity. If new customers were to read these authentic reviews, they would know that the review came from the mind of a fellow customer. However, other companies disagree with this method. Zappos, an online shoe retailer, believes that customer reviews should be revised. Zappos proofreads each review to assure there are no typos. I think that Zappos may be following the more marketable idea; I would not want to read a confusing review. I would rather have a company fix the errors, assuming they keep authenticity intact. However, I understand why individuals, such as Hurt, believe that typos are marketable.

In the end, typos have clearly been a continuous issue. Typos can hurt the reputation of a business, cost the business a large amount of money, and possibly be a utilized in a positive way. While typos may have a possible positive marketing strategy, I believe that typos should always be proofread and revised in any situation, and we should remember to use the AP Stylebook. Typos provide too many risks for businesses, and they must be eliminated if possible.

By Michael Peterson, Business Major – IUPUC

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