Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Discussion Question 1

In the article “Frito-Lay Enlists Fiesta Bowl Fans on Facebook,” Enid Burns addresses the marketing methods of Frito-Lay on Facebook, the highly regarded social network site. This company utilized this network to find and document "Race to the Bowl" participants, which was a series of competitions leading up to the 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Frito-Lay used this set of connections to set up two rival groups for the Ohio State University Buckeyes or University of Texas Longhorns of which 12 later competed in events from December 31 to January 5 and also attended the bowl. Frito-Lay began by targeting ten potential schools for the bowl using standard and engagement ads and then focused it on these two schools once they qualified. The Facebook pages generated an overwhelming response and each school had a group where fans can follow progress of each "Race to the Bowl" team as well as network for the upcoming game.

This article introduced the importance of innovative marketing methods for a company looking to gain competitive advantage, as well as engage their target market to the fullest. Frito-Lay has been a sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl since 1996, which is why it is so important for them to be constantly trying something new. In the ever-changing business world of today, companies must be willing to try new things and utilize the channels of communication that are relevant to their users, such as Facebook or other networking sites that are the bread and butter of younger generations. By sponsoring an event that is so publicized as well as making the most of this opportunity, Frito-Lay increases the awareness of their consumers to the brand and reach their target market very effectively through such a focused program tapping only university students of particular schools. Frito-Lay used the network site very successfully by using it as a standalone connection, which seems more effective in bringing them in and engaging them than sending them to a Frito-Lay site. As an end user, it would be very unlikely for me to go to the trouble to link to a separate site, although I would not be opposed to simply adding a group on Facebook. The innovative marketing strategy used by Frito-Lay proved to be very successful and also set the standard for many other organizations in utilizing social network sites to reach their target market. This form of distinct and creative viral marketing through Facebook is increasingly popular and embracing it is becoming a requirement for any successful marketer in the business environment of today.

ClickZ, Jan 2, 2009

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