Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Facebook Watches All Your Videos!

Here at the Center for Marketing research we are sure that by now you’ve noticed your Facebook news feed has been tailored to your reflect your needs and interests. No, that is not a constantly reoccurring coincidence or stroke of luck. Facebook has gone to great lengths to make it’s advertising and information sharing more relevant to its users and its effectiveness is definitive. Now the company has decided to increase said effectiveness by taking new measures!

So exactly how does Facebook watch each video that ALL its users watch? In all reality it does not but what it really does is record the data of videos you’ve watched. It keeps track of what you watched and how long you watched it. The more videos you watch, the higher videos will appear on your newsfeed. And of course, they will be videos with content that fits into your lifestyle. This is a great improvement because users have said they have seen videos in the past, but never felt inclined to engage themselves. This new protocol has lead to more viewing, commenting, and sharing which has delivered more information to users around the world.

Want to know more on this new Facebook protocol? Check out Newsroom.fb.com here at http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/06/news-feed-fyi-taking-into-account-more-actions-on-videos/

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Spam Volume Plunges

We all know and have come to not love but DISLIKE the spam aspect of email and online communication. Anyone who is old enough to remember using beloved AOL.com would understand the daily annoyance of logging in, hearing the charming “you’ve got mail”, then noticing you have spam to delete. Chances are you’ve also had to browse through the spam folder to be sure nothing important was deemed spam. Well, there’s good news! For the first time since 2003, spam accounts for less than 50% of all emails.

Security firm Symantec reports that the percentage has fallen 1.8% to a total of 49.7% of all emails being spam. As mentioned earlier it took 12 years from September of 2003 to reach this point. Email users are not the only ones thrilled. Companies dedicated to fighting spam finally have hard proof their methods are effective. There has also been legal prosecution successfully target botnets. Other reasons for decreased spam include faster reaction times by network providers, improved blocking, and more effective filtering.

Other findings the report generated are:

  • 6 million new malware variants were created in June up from 44.5 million pieces of malware created in May and 29.2 million in April
  • Ransomware attack has increased for the second month in a row and cryto-ransomware has reached it highest levels since December 2014

For the full article, visit VentureBeat.com at http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/17/symantec-spam-falls-below-50-of-all-email-for-the-first-time-since-2003/

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Apple’s New Safari Browser Blocks Ads?

Is this really happening?! Is APPLE, with their enviable marketing strategies, updating a browser and including ad blocking with it?! Yes, it appears such is true. Though it was not at the forefront of Apples’ mentions during their recent keynote announcements, it is a fairly big deal. This is a double-edge sword: users will be thrilled while marketing firms and employees will be horrified!

To all the users out there…adblcoking according to a 2014 study was up 70% in recent years with about 140 blocking ads around the world. We are sure you will keep that up. Until now you were limited to doing so only on a desktop computers, never including mobile devices. Previously special software had to be run and when it finished executing would block ads from the screen. This was a fairly complicated process, but now Apple is introducing a simple app extension to handle it all for you.

To all those involved with marketing…quite frankly this could be a problem, although iOS9 isn’t available until the fall. Also, may we remind you that this only applies to products running Apple’s Safari browser. Of the sites to be effected, one could argue that news companies (especially those who have shifted from papers to digital) will be most affected. Website cookies may also be at risk by this update. That being said, it’s fair to warn that now may be good timing to make changes. This also applies to all sites heavily using ads to help fund their operations.

As always, we want to hear from you! Feedback and opinion from both users and marketers are encouraged. For more information visit NiemanLab.com http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/06/a-blow-for-mobile-advertising-the-next-version-of-safari-will-let-users-block-ads-on-iphones-and-ipads/

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Best Time of the day for Twitter

We’ve all come to love and cherish Twitter. Surely, we all know someone who absolutely abuses their account, and the TL (time line) of all their followers. Of course, we all know someone who barely uses his or her account. But one aspect we often forget is that some people only tweet during a given window of time. Honestly speaking, everyone has taken a moment to come up with ways to gain twitter popularity. In this blog post, we will cover the best timing for certain activities to occur.

  1. Most views: early morning hours. The data collected by Buffer Social has a calculated average the early morning hours sees the most views. One could imagine people waking up and the first thing they do is turning on their phone and scrolling through their TL.
  2. Most favorites/Retweets: The data proved suggests evening & late night sees the most favorting and retweeting. This must be the time of day people (especially teens) are sitting around on their mobile devices searching through what their friends have to say.
  3. Most Engagement: opposite of most popular time to tweet according the to data. One could infer that most users express their thoughts and share stories all around the same time. Later, they will read, favorite, retweet and comment on other’s tweets. Hence, the opposite timing.

We at the Center for Marketing Research find this information to be very interesting. Surely, this will be a great help for businesses and marketing firms across the world. To our future business owners good luck and put this information to good use!

For more information visit BufferSocial.com https://blog.bufferapp.com/best-time-to-tweet-research

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Cyber Security

Oh the Cyber Security conversation…. wait you haven’t had it? Well then you must not be a frequent user of social media. If you were, then you’d surely remember celebrities’ private pictures being released in 2014. At some point it’s inevitable to avoid seeing a tweet sent from a hacked account. Of course those on TV whom we all love dearly are not the only ones at risk. The following are some others that you might not think immediately, but probably already know about.

  • Medical! Most younger social media users probably wouldn’t understand why the medical field is such a target. Believe it or not, medical records can be valuable in the wrong hands. Magazines would love to obtain embarrassing medical information on celebrities. Surely campaigning government officials would like to make their competition seem unhealthy and therefore unfit to run for office.
  • Government! How many times have you heard of cyber threats against the United States’ Government servers? It’s is always an interesting ordeal to think a person sitting at home in distance location could penetrate government systems and obtain sensitive national information. The threats that come from foreign counties such as China and Russia are downright alarming. It has been said that the next World War could be of cyber nature.
  • Banks! Hacking schemes are becoming more sophisticated. These days, they can remotely install malware onto a machine and funnel information straight to there screens. One scheme in particular is responsible for the theft of up to $1 billion from over 100 banks in 30 countries according to USA Today. See link 2 below

Be careful! Even your personal computers at home are at risk. For some tips and guidance regarding cyber security and how to protect yourself, Click link #1 down below. Be safe!

  1. http://ddosattackprotection.org/blog/cyber-security-blogs/
  2. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/02/15/hackers-steal-billion-in-banking-breach/23464913/

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4th of July

Wishing you a very happy United States of America Independence Day and a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend.

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Social Media & Traveling

It is summer, class has ended, the weather is great (sometimes) and people are spending their time traveling. Let’s be honest… social media has a huge impact on the world of travel. Need to know how? There are a few different ways that you wouldn’t necessarily realize at first. We will cover them below.

Deals~ In previous posts we’ve explained how companies use social media to advertise their products. Airlines, bus lines, cruise companies, amusement parks etc. are no exception. You will never meet a social media user that hasn’t seen a hotel offering discounts for upcoming dates. Expedia.com “stays going hard” as teens say with their advertisement and sales campaigns. That last trip you took; did you visit a travel site like Expedia at least once?
Ideas~ Social media users are always retweeting, pinning, and sharing pictures of beautiful scenery. Could those pictures include a beautiful Los Angeles sunset? How about a crisp Denver mountain covered in snow surrounded by evergreen trees? Let’s not forget about that Chicago skyline or NYC streets. If you were thinking international you’d log in and see the Italy waterways. You also might find the sand and pyramids in Egypt. How about the Beijing Olympic Park? Go ahead, check your social media pages.
Friends~ How many times have your friends posted pictures from the airport? How many times have you seen your friends wearing those cute little bathing suits on a beach in some tropical paradise? We at the Center for Marketing Research do believe if we conducted a study, seeing those pictures would lead to a strong desire (and some jealousy) to travel to a similar destination. Just take a look at the comments. You’re bound to find at least one jealous remark.
Bragging rights~Following up from your friends, be honest: you want to make them jealous too. You know part of your reason for traveling is for the bragging rights and to make your friends jealous like you were. Your travel pictures would surely bring in my likes, favorites, retweets, and shares. It’s always cool to say, “Hey, I’ve been there” when you see the area online or on TV.

That’s what we have to say about social media and traveling. We want your feedback. Tell us what you think! Share some of your experiences with social media and travels!

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Top Social Media Benefits

Of the tons of benefits social media brings to small businesses, have you ever wondered which are at the top of the list? Well Business2Community.com has you covered, and so does the UMD Marketing Center. Hubspot conducted a survey in 2014 and concluded that about 92% of marketers from surveys pointed out the importance of social media marketing.  Therefore, social media earned a spot on the list of as one of the most important leading sources for online professionals surveyed for that report. Below are 4 of the top 8 benefits as outlined in the article.

  1. Social Media Marketing Increases Website Traffic and Search Ranking – It’s 2015 okay, 2K15, we all know the importance of a website to a business. This goes especially for small businesses trying to reach success. A website is a gateway to many aspects of a business including sales, advertisement, and contact information. 
  2. Social Media Marketing Increases Brand Awareness  A business without brand awareness will not survive long. Publicity is one of the most powerful aspects of a business and it’s a double-edged sword. There’s good and bad publicity, but social media has infinite potential for good publicity.
  3. Social Media Marketing Increases Sales  Seeing products the addictive social media environment leaves a lasting impression. A growing trend in business is holding sales exclusively on their social media accounts. Pins, retweets, and shares become very powerful when a sale is happening.
  4. Social Media Marketing Improves Brand Loyalty – One of the most important aspects of the business world is longevity. Low customer retention/high turnover does not produce longevity. But social media can handle that!

Of course, there many more benefits to social media. Thanks for reading these four we felt were invaluable. If this interested you, you can read more at read more at

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http://www.business2community.com/infographics/top-8-benefits-social-media-marketing-small-business-infographic-01240453

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Is Social Media the new chat Room?

Are you old enough to remember the days of logging onto AOL and joining a chat room to stay in touch with your friends? How about the instant fiery frustration your had when your house received a phone call and your Internet connection was immediately cut off. Or maybe when you and your siblings were launched into an argument over who’s turn it was to use the one and only computer in the house. If you answered yes to any of the questions, you must be a 90s baby. Are you old enough to remember the days of starting up your laptop and having your AIM account automatically log you in.? How about the instant fiery frustration you had when none of your friends were active? Or maybe when you and your siblings starting arguing over whose notification volume was too high. If any of these are true for you congrats, you’re a late 90s/early 2000s baby.

Nowadays…people are using chat rooms less and less. Wait, do they at all? It appears that the traditional chat room has given way to video chats, post comments, subtweets, and the beloved hashtag. Here is the general mindset…Why spend the time typing and reading when you can simply call you friend with full audiovisual features. Camera qualities have improved (dare we say 10 fold) over the years along with Internet speed. Smart phones and tablets now come with a camera facing the front. Perfect! For those talks of less importance, you just punch in a quick comment or tweet; short and simple. The hashtag allows you to connect with people all over the world on specific topics. It also helps you to put an extra emphasis on the message you’re trying to convey.

What’s your opinion/perspective?

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John Farrell Inspires Young Scholars

Thursday evening, April 30th, 2015, John Farrell was the keynote speaker at 15th Annual Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Celebrity/Scholarship Dinner. The evening started off as many events involving the Red Sox Manager do. He spent time meeting Red Sox fans, taking pictures, and signing memorabilia for the Silent Auction. However, his presence at the dinner grew into much more.

The dinner began with welcomes from the University of MA Dartmouth Provost, Mohammed Karim. Jim Mathes, Chair of the Center for Marketing Research Advisory Board talked about the pride the Board has in the work of the Center and the scholarship program. Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, the event coordinator and Center Director, spoke with much admiration and thanks for Farrell’s presence at the dinner. Farrell was presented with several gifts from the Umass community and political leaders.

Senator Michael Rodrigues awarded him with a citation from the State Senate, the Director of Athletics, Amanda Van Voorhis, presented him with a personalized baseball jersey, and a local artist, MC Lammare created a replica of the final World Series scoreboard for him. With the Provost, Farrell handed out 22 scholarship awards, taking a picture and shaking the hands with each individual winner.

Following the ceremony guests had the pleasure of listening to Farrell’s advice to the scholarship winners. “Find your path and follow it. Work hard and be aware of the opportunities around you.”   He encouraged them to find a direction and stay the course, no matter how difficult. Farrell acknowledged having things in common with the Umass Dartmouth students, having gone to school on a Pell Grant and being a first generation college graduate in his own family. He said he never dreamed of becoming Manager of the Red Sox but considered himself very fortunate to be a part of “the best and most historic franchise in baseball history”.   He laughed about the constant stream of advice from fans regarding the pitching rotation and game strategy, although he seemed to enjoy the interaction.

Farrell’s speech, filled with humor and inspiration, ended with a roaring applause and a standing ovation. His words resonated with not only the scholarship winners, but also the approximately 300 business and community members who were in attendance. The 2013 trophy accompanied John Farrell’s appearance at the 15th Annual Center For Marketing Research Celebrity/ Scholarship Dinner.

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