Monthly: June 2017

Velocity News

A Day At Dave & Buster’s

What could be more fun than a job at Velocity Agency? After this past weekend, I doubt you could answer anything else. On June 16th, the people behind Velocity Agency took a well-deserved break at the city’s latest place for fun and games: Dave & Buster’s.

The day started at ten in the morning right when the place opened to get the most out of the little retreat from the office. Employees were treated to a private party room and a good lunch complete with tacos and burritos before spending a day in the arcade. Games at Dave & Buster’s include everything from the classic Pac-Man and skeeball to Mario Kart and Pump It Up. And that’s not even mentioning the available bar right next to the party room. Fortunately, Velocity took care of the drinks!

Of course, having the whole agency together also made them qualified for the Dave & Buster’s Team Building Challenge. This challenge placed four teams of six employees against one another on four different arcade games for prizes at the end of the day. After a few rounds of Mario Kart and shooting hoops, you would be surprised at who would become a valuable player. Once the challenge was complete, and prizes were doled out, employees were free to spend the rest of the day using their provided Power Cards on any of the available games. With unlimited free credits on the card, that led to quite a few good hours at the arcade. And that gave us quite a few good photos for our social media page!

Whether you were in your 20s, 30s, 50s, or 60s, the day at Dave & Buster’s was considered a success all around the office. Let this be said about the company; they know how to give its employees a good time.

 

Market Information

Alexa, Purchase Whole Foods

In our last newsletter, we detailed the Retail Apocalypse. Perhaps we heralded this shopping doomsday too soon. With the latest news about store closures and business bankruptcy, it’s easy to give up on the classic brick-and-mortar retail place. As people seem to spend less on items and more on travel, according to Business Insider, retail could be on its way out eventually. However, if there’s one thing that is predictable about the market, it’s that it can sometimes be unpredictable. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods alone proves that retail might not be facing an apocalypse so much as a digital makeover.

Last week, the online retailer site Amazon announced its $13.7 billion (including debt) purchase Whole Foods Markets, signaling a significant new step for the company outside online purchases. In addition to this purchase, Amazon has also announced a plan known as Prime Wardrobe, a system to allow customers to try on clothing and shoes before purchasing them, to expand its fashion retail as well. Many analysts note that these moves signal not a revitalization of classic retail stores but a reliance on them as well. After all, why would a company like Amazon spend billions on a system that is supposedly out of style? In fact, based on these announcements as well as Amazon’s continuing plan to break into pharmaceutical areas, retail stores still seem to have some value outside of online services.

Perhaps the classic brick-and-mortar stores just offer a sense of security, consistency, and personality. Offline sources have, for longer than Amazon, often gathered customer movements in real time to understand what products were preferable. Since people have always relied on going to stores for goods, the retail store remains a staple of the industry. Of course, regarding Whole Foods, food retail remains a reliable source of physical shopping with people going for food on average twice weekly. Though the places to find food or clothes have been static for quite a while, that’s not to say that the system cannot be improved upon for efficiency.

While retail stores might still have a place in the digital revolution, they may have to tackle a new set of standards to keep up with the competition. The latest purchase of Whole Foods offers Amazon a real-world base to test out online systems ranging from increased WiFi to visitor data profiling. With Amazon’s system of big data, Whole Foods might soon be able to access customer preferences with groceries and allow them to make recommendations for additional purchases in real time. This could also connect to Amazon’s home delivery system where grocery preferences can already be suggested for purchase before heading to store. In essence, this new method of purchase is not a preference of physical or digital stores but a combination of both.

Still, none of this guarantees that Amazon’s new method is sure to work or benefit the classic retail store. Indeed, some retail stores have seen drops in stocks following Amazon’s announcement. Nevertheless, this method proves there are still new horizons out there for the retail business. The future may be digital, but at least there is still a future at all for retail stores.  

Timeline

Instagram Marketing

5 Benefits Of Instagram Marketing

Instagram marketing is one of the few, easy to use, free marketing tools that every entrepreneur or business owner can utilize. With over 700 million users, Instagram has become one of the best and most popular photo sharing platforms, enabling you to engage with your followers by posting photographs, images, and even short videos.

When someone takes the time to edit and post a picture to Instagram, that photo means something. People don’t just upload any old selfie to Instagram; they make sure it has the perfect lighting and filter before posting. With all the effort users put into their posts and the time they take to appreciate the posts of others, it should be no surprise that Instagram marketing converts better than some traditional forms of advertising. Instagram photos are more thought-out, well made, and meant to make us crave the items in the picture.

Here are 5 benefits of marketing through Instagram for your business:

  1. Customer Base

You can connect with customers across all your different marketing channels. Within your Instagram Settings, you can enable sharing access to Facebook and Twitter so that whenever you post a photo or video to your Instagram page, it will automatically share across channels. This provides an easy way to update all your platforms simultaneously.  

  1. Increased Engagement

Traffic from Instagram photos is super-engaging. Instagram drives more engaged traffic than any other social media platform, including Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit. If a customer buys your product and then follows you on Instagram, they are more likely to see your products on a regular basis, which increases the chances of them purchasing from you again.

  1. Free Advertising

Instagram photos are user-generated content. When a group of friends goes out-to-eat to a restaurant, for example, they can take a picture of their deliciously plated food, give it a little edit and post it to Instagram. This is a way for them to keep their friends and family up-to-date on their lives, but for the restaurant… it’s free advertising. It’s advertising because the Instagram user is showcasing your food and tagging your restaurant’s location and page. The user’s followers can then click on the location and/or follow the restaurant’s Instagram page. This is one of the singularly most successful ways to grow relevant traffic and sales.

  1. Discover New Audiences

Instagram makes it easy to reach new audiences with a Discover tab and hashtags, which allow you to discover new photos, people, and businesses near you or based upon your activity. When someone includes a hashtag in a post on Instagram, a link is created, and you can view all other photos that have been shared using that hashtag.

  1. Build Trust And Personality

Instagram photos emit a more authentic feel when compared to stock images or classic brand advertisements because they are more aesthetically pleasing. They tend to be aspirational, giving us a look into the life we would like to live. Instagram marketing also builds trust when customers post a picture of your business or product; this influences a potential customer’s purchase decisions.  

If you’re a business owner wanting to reach new customers, you could benefit from using Instagram Marketing because it is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world.

Velocity News

Hello, Emily!

Every other week, we seem to gain a new member of the Velocity Agency family! This time around, we are proud to welcome Emily Kranz, the newest Media Department Assistant. So, who is this Emily that we speak of? Well, we’re here to find out!

Emily grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and continues to live there today working with us! Of course, looking at her history, there’s no denying the city’s role in her life. She graduated from Mount Carmel Academy in 2009 and later went on to earn a degree in Film, Theater and Communication Arts from the University of New Orleans in 2013. Most recently, she worked as a concierge agent at The Woodhouse Day Spa where customer service played a big role in her life. Just goes to show that when it comes to some people, sometimes you just can’t take the New Orleans out of the girl.

Outside of the office when she isn’t making calls and cranking out numbers, Emily is also a major animal lover! With her love of New Orleans and all creatures on four legs with fur, it sounds like she’s going to fit right in here at Velocity Agency.

Advertising, Digital Innovation

The Retail Apocalypse and How Your Store Can Survive It

For some unfortunate retail brands, the apocalypse is already here: the retail apocalypse. As online shopping becomes more and more popular, brick-and-mortar shops are starting to close their doors, creating a rippling effect across major company icons. Sears and JCPenny alone have closed more than 100 stores each while businesses like The Limited have shut down completely. According to real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors, about one-third of all shopping malls could be at risk of shutting down from these recent closures. Is this the fate of all store brands?

According to some studies, not exactly. Like all trends, the “retail apocalypse” presents different opportunities for brands to reach out to a new audience. Though the shutting down of hundreds of stores hints at an end for traditional stores, that doesn’t necessarily spell out the end for retail as a whole. Arguably, Americans have been spending less money in general on physical items and more on restaurants and travel, but clothes and other retail remain a significant part of the sales cycle. Recent studies depict retail sales growing 4.1% from the previous year, so the need for fashionable clothes has certainly not decreased. Still, with the threat of stores shutting down entirely, new ideas should be used in finding a bigger audience.

Macy’s, one of the largest retail brands, has already begun revamping its marketing strategy considering potential shutdowns. One of its newest changes in promotion includes a focus on more centralized marketing as opposed to its previously national advertising. Rather than sporadic 30-second TV spots, the retail brand plans to introduce 15-second spots to local stations for annual tentpole events based on the seasons. Another strategy for maintaining a loyal customer brand is a new policy regarding credit card users to ease the purchasing process for more than one payment type. These new strategies hope to reach out to a young audience as well as maintain older customers, but only time can tell whether they will be successful. Of course, one of the biggest and best promotional ideas comes from one of the most underestimated resources in retail: The Internet.

Yes, while online shopping has been a significant rival to the classic real-life store presence, online promotion has been one of the most positive efforts towards reaching a new audience. Following the rise in online interaction, many store brands have embraced digital marketing by introducing a pick-up-in-store service which allows customers to search and purchase online and find their product at a physical store. Putting effort into online marketing itself can offer a new setting to reach out to younger consumers who are spending more and more time on the computer. No matter whether the Internet serves as an asset or an obstacle in the classic brick-and-mortar store, there is no denying that online services are here to stay, and there is no use in ignoring it.

There’s no telling how far the retail apocalypse will go or whether one-third of shopping malls will suffer in the meantime, but one thing that is certain is change. As technology grows, new traditions will follow, but that only opens more opportunities for those to change as well. That’s one of the thrills of working in retail.

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