How Online Marketing Is Different From General Marketing

There is a wide difference between online marketing and general marketing. They are outlined below.

1) In general marketing, business targets large number of consumers for a product or service that is economical or cheap in price. By targeting the masses, there will surely a high volume sales but with lower margin in the profit element as there is very little gap between the cost of making a product and selling it in the end. On the contrary, in niche marketing, a business will target a certain group of consumers (specialist consumers) from whom it can command a high profit margin. This is why small enterprises or businesses are considered best for the online marketing.

2) Online marketing is always targeted at a segment or market which is smaller in size. This is where a firm devoted its entire focus and concentration. In addition, the markets that are targeted by niche marketing are not covered by mainstream providers. On the other hand, traditional marketing is related to large segments that provide large revenues in the end. For instance, if a general marketing strategy has targeted parents, a online marketing strategy will be targeted at a specific group of parents such as single parents.

3) In the case of general marketing, the objective is to attract as many customers as possible. As the strategy is targeted for masses, consumers of different backgrounds, race, gender and status are on the traditional marketing radar. On the contrary, the strategy used in the online marketing is to target only a certain group of consumers whose taste and preferences matches your niche product. As the research has been done beforehand, it is very unlikely that the other segments of the population will be attracted to your offer. Hence, they are not targeted.

4) General marketing make use of expensive forms of media to target the consumers. It includes spending on above the line media that includes television, print, radio and internet and below the media such as hoardings and billboards. These forms are very expensive. On the contrary, in online marketing, the allocated budget is small compared to budget in general marketing. It does not have the capacity to support the needs and wants of the mainstream. As a result, the media which has been extensively used in niche marketing is internet (emails) due to its economical cost. Apart from internet, online marketing also uses magazines to a certain extent which may include trade journals.

4) In traditional marketing, people in masses are being targeted. As a result, the intended message also reaches people who have no interest in the products or services that are being offered by your business. Hence, the conversion rate is quite low. Money is wasted in large quantity along with the wastage of time. Art contrast, in niche marketing the message is targeted for only those who are interested. Thus, there is less wastage of money, time and effort in online marketing campaign.

General Hints On Advertising

In advertising, the psychological effects are of greater importance than the physiological ones – i.e. as the “psychological” has the power to affect the mind generally, the latter, with the impact on the visual, is being merely registered by the eyes and absorbed as “pictorial effects”. These should first and foremost pertain exclusively to the item advertised and not, as sometimes is the case, have nothing or very little to do with, and can therefore be ” a dead loss”, in the effect it is supposed to have. Not to mention, that too many “diverse” pictures detract from the very name of the products advertised. The importance of the psychological effect should be stressed, by not only presenting the whole advertisement in “good taste”, but by making it attractive or appealing, which is something everyone responds to.

It should contain nothing that “distracts” through visual images that put the actual item advertised (and its name) into the background, resulting in a “weaker” impact on the viewer. It should also contain something about its value, its general assets and, if it is of well known long standing – its emphasis on tradition included. “Obviously overdone” emphasis on its effective result (as applicable to some – and mostly aimed at usage for women) – often can have the opposite effect, as every woman is not only reacting to the promise of beauty, but also the quality and health of the product.

It is also worth noting that “beauty” in an advertisement is more appealing to both sexes then the stressing of mechanical performance etc. The simulated speed, in harmony with the right background of a sleek automobile, for instance, has more power of “attraction” than the stress on its mechanical performance or assembly and composition, which is only for some mechanically minded men.

Products for every day needs are the hardest to successfully advertise – so it seems! How about an attractive or appealing sales person holding the product and simply but skilfully stating its merits and advantages, the focus being on the item in the hand and its name, rather then a story telling picture behind a distracting background, both of which detract from the total effects of the item, which can lead to: “by the time advertisement ends and all its contents have been taken notice off”, the name of the product has gone by almost, unnoticed. With spoken words, it should also be taken into consideration, which class of people – if not all – the product for sale is aimed at. The more expensive and luxurious the product, the “higher” or more “educated” should be the accompanying comments, and simpler common place expression for ordinary, everyday items aimed for general consumption to the general public.

In all advertising, as all its advertised items – one motto stands with best results for effect and continuity: HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!

Why Plastic Products Fail

The development of plastics and their associated processing techniques has been a phenomenal episode in the history of materials science. With large scale development taking place only within the last 60 years, the use of plastics in product design and manufacture has spiraled at a rate unrivaled by conventional materials. Due to the wide spectrum of properties available, plastics have become one of the most sought after materials in the world today.

More plastics are now available to the designer and engineer than at any previous stage in the history of industry. Today there are over 90 generic plastics and around 1000 sub-generic modifications with 50 thousand commercial grades available from over 500 manufacturers.

The short history of plastic development and proven usage has meant for the designer and engineer that for critical engineering applications there has never been enough time to fully explore service life and problems that might occur during the use of plastics. There has always been the question of vulnerability to failure and the ramifications of potential litigation. To some degree this situation has improved, as the portfolio of successful plastic designs has grown in demanding engineering applications. However, for new innovative applications pushing the boundaries of material performance the problem remains.

Designing to ensure plastic product reliability is critical due to the increasing importance of:

Product liability claims
Environmental concerns
Certification in order to become an approved supplier
An awareness of quality costs
Product liability can be the most damaging with settlements and penalties in the order of thousands or even millions of pounds, particularly when failure has resulted in personal injury or death. In addition to litigation financial costs, there is the distraction of key employees from normal duties, loss in product perception, brand credibility and manufacturer reputation.

Considering that approximately 70% of plastic products fail prematurely, failures have been poorly reported since the owners of failed products are naturally generally reluctant to publicise the fact. Failure investigations of such cases tend not to be disseminated due to client confidentiality agreements and for this reason the activity is predominately covert. As a consequence the potential benefits such as learning from the mistakes and misfortunes of others, and identifying priorities for research and critical issues in product development are far from being fully exploited.

It is clear from the extent of plastic and rubber failure investigations conducted by Smithers Rapra that limited dissemination of plastic and rubber failure knowledge within the public domain has resulted in a continual cycle of plastic and rubber failure incidents from all industrial sectors. The lessons of good plastic and rubber product design are not being learnt even in light of the enormous growth in product liability cases that have imposed an entirely new dimension on the consumer product environment. It is now well established in law that manufacturers are liable for injuries resulting from defective product; for injuries from a hazard associated with a product against which the user should have been warned; or for damages caused by misapplication of a product which could have been foreseen by the manufacturer.

It is a practical necessity to understand why plastics fail in order to minimise the failure scenario. Smithers Rapra has acquired this knowledge due to 50 years dealing with a diverse clientele providing technical services aimed at problem solving and in particular failure diagnosis.

Failure is a practical problem with a product and implies that the component no longer fulfils its function. Frequently, the ability to withstand mechanical stress or strain (and thereby store or absorb mechanical energy) is the most important criterion in service and consequently mechanical failure is usually a primary concern. However failure may also be attributed to loss of attractive appearance or shrinkage.

In order to avert product failure it is critical that at all stages of the design process there must be a concurrent engineering approach to product development. This system ensures that from inception of the project until final high volume manufacture all parties involved (marketing, industrial design, product engineers, plastic expert, tooling designers/engineers and processors) continually communicate in order to take advantage of the valuable knowledge and experience of all. Key to successful design is that all aspects of the performance, production, assembly and ultimate use of the part are considered. Furthermore all parties promote building reliability and safety into the product.

In order to reduce the likelihood of product failure all parties within the design process must have the ability to imagine how their designed plastic part could fail. This can only be achieved if the product design team has a good appreciation of plastics material selection, product design, processing and specific material weaknesses and fault/ failure modes and avoidance.

Plastic product failure is commonly associated with human error or weakness and is typically associated with the factors shown in figure 1.0

Human Causes of Failure (%)

In an attempt to reduce the incidence of plastic product failure we must react to the fact that they are typically due to human error, misunderstanding and ignorance of plastic materials and associated processes and that the material or process is usually not at fault.

It is hoped that the following information will provide some insight into complexity of plastics design and plastic failure modes.

Poor Material Selection / Substitution
Failures arising from incorrect material selection and grade selection are perennial problems in the plastics industry. In order to perform plastic material selection successfully a complete understanding of plastic material characteristics, specific material limitations and failure modes is required. Good material selection requires a judicious approach and careful consideration of application requirements in terms of mechanical, thermal, environmental, chemical, electrical and optical properties. Production factors such as feasible and efficient method of manufacture in relation part size and geometry need to be assessed. In terms of economics the material cost, cycle times and part price need to be considered.

Two common reasons for improper material selection are that the material selector has limited plastics knowledge and expertise and is unfamiliar with the material selection process. Alternatively, a suitable material has been specified but not used. Materials substitutions most commonly occur when the customer is unable to enforce quality procurement specifications, particularly if manufacturing site is remotely based. Common problems encountered include:

Processor simply substituting with a cheaper material.
Use of the wrong grade of material (incorrect MFI).
Use of general purpose PS rather than HIPS.
Homopolymer used instead of copolymer
Incorrect pigments, fillers, lubricants or plasticisers used.
Poor Design

There are no absolute rules pertaining to plastic product design. However, some general principles and guidelines are well established particularly between amorphous and semi-crystalline thermoplastics and thermosets and the various processing techniques. These are readily available from material suppliers.

The basic rules apply to fillets, radii, wall thickness, ribs, bosses, taper, holes, draft, use of metal inserts, undercuts, holes, threads, shrinkage, dimensional tolerance. Design rules which apply to secondary joining and assembly processes (welding, mechanical fastening and adhesive/solvent welding) need to be carefully evaluated too.

The designer and engineer should be aware that due to the diverse range of plastic materials and properties the design criteria will change form material to material as well as application to application.

Common design errors are related to abrupt geometrical changes excessive wall thickness, sharp corners and lack of radii, lack of understanding of the creep mechanism due to plastic visco-elasticity, environmental compatibility, draft, placement of ribs and injection gates.

A significant number of plastic parts fail due to sharp corners / insufficient radius. Sharp corners create stress concentrations resulting in locally high stresses and strains. Since plastics are notch sensitive the stress concentration will promote crack initiation and ultimately fracture. They also impede material flow and ejection form the tool.

A significant number of failures can be attributed to excessive wall thickness and abrupt geometrical change. A pre-requisite is that uniform wall thickness is maintained since this keeps sink marks, voids, warpage, and moulded-in stress to a minimum.

Designers and engineers must be fully conversant with the visco-elastic nature of plastics and their creep, creep rupture, stress relaxation and fatigue mechanisms.

Visco-plastic materials respond to stress as if they were a combination of elastic solids and viscous fluids. Consequently they exhibit a non-linear stress-strain relationship and their properties depend on the time under load, temperature, environment and the stress or strain level applied. An example of viscoelasticity can be seen with Silly Putty. If this material is pulled apart quickly it breaks in a brittle manner. If, however, pulled slowly apart the material behaves in a ductile manner and can be stretched almost indefinitely. Decreasing the temperature of Silly Putty, decreases the stretching rate at which it becomes brittle. Key is that the designer and engineer understand that:

Plastics will deform under load
When subjected to static low stress / strain a ductile / brittle transition will occur at some point in time resulting in brittle failure
Cyclic stressing will result in a ductile / brittle transition resulting in brittle failure at low stress level
Premature initiation of cracking and embrittlement of a plastic can occur due to the simultaneous action of stress and strain and contact with specific chemical environments (liquid or vapour)

Design failure may also be attributed to reduced safety factors due to cost pressures and the use of plastics is demanding applications taking them to their design limits where on occasion they are exceeded.

Poor Processing

Poor processing, accounts for many in-service failures. Often the problem can be traced to a blatant disregard for established processing procedures and guidelines provided by material manufacturers. The driving force behind this is often economic – the need to achieve reduced cycle times and higher production yield.

Typical processing faults are given in Table 1.0. Many of these faults can generally be overcome by attention to processing variables such as temperature, shear rates, cooling times and pressure.

Table 1.0 Processing faults

Use of inappropriate process equipment
Non-uniform wall thickness
Short shots
Bubbles
Sink marks
Post-moulding shrinkage
Warping / distortion
Foreign body contamination
Voids
Cosmetic – discolouration, splay marks
Degradation(insufficient drying of material, process temperature too high, residence time in the barrel too long, shear heating, too much regrind Self-contamination (e.g., part-melted granules).
Self-contamination (e.g., part-melted granules).
Poor material homogeneity
Poor weld lines and spider lines
Residual stress
Molecular orientation
Development of low or excessive crystallinity
Abnormal crystalline texture
Insufficient packing
Scorching
Jetting
Flashing
Abnormal spatial and size distribution of phases in composites

Mis-use / Abuse

Plastic product failure due to mis-use may result from a disregard for manufacturer installation instructions and failure to heed warnings. Failure may also occur due to simply using a product beyond its recommended service life, for function it was not intended or simply due to malicious attack.

Plastic Failure Modes

The main failure modes of plastics can be classed as mechanical, thermal, radiation, chemical and electrical as shown in Table 2.0. Classification of failure mode by mechanism shows that mechanical failure is the predominant mechanism although it is often the end result of many other failure modes.

From Smithers Rapra’s experience we have found that the vast majority of plastic product failures are due to the cumulative effects of synergies between creep, fatigue, temperature, chemical species, UV and other environmental factors.

Table 2.0 Plastic Failure Modes Mechanisms

Mechanical Modes
Deformation and distortion due to creep & stress relaxation, Yielding, , Crazing
Brittle Fracture due to Creep rupture (static fatigue), Notched creep rupture, Fatigue (slow crack growth from cyclic loading), High energy impact
Wear & abrasion,

Thermal Modes
Thermal fatigue
Degradation – thermo-oxidation
Dimensional instability
Shrinkage
Combustion
Additive extraction

Chemical Modes
Solvation, Swelling, dimensional instability and additive extraction
Oxidation
Acid induced stress corrosion cracking (SCC)
Hydrolysis (water, acid or alkali)
Halogenation
Environmental stress cracking (ESC)
Biodegradation

Radiation Modes
Photo-oxidative degradation (UV Light)
Ionising radiation ( gamma radiation, X rays)

Electrical Modes
Electrostatic build-up, Arcing, tracking, Electrical and water treeing

Synergistic Modes
Weathering – effects due to photo and thermo-oxidation, temperature cycling, erosion by rain and wind-borne particles and chemical elements in the environment

Smithers Rapra have undertaken over 5000 failure investigations of which a significant number can be attributed to embrittlement and / or brittle fracture resulting from slow degradation or deterioration processes. From Figure 2.0 it can be seen that ESC, fatigue, notched static rupture, thermal degradation, UV degradation and chemical attack fall into this category, even when the material was reported to be ductile.

This article is free to republish provided the resource information remains intact.

Specifying the Use of Surface Protection Products on Historic Interiors During Construction

Projects involving historic interiors range from the meticulous restoration of a classic movie theatre to renovations of abandoned lofts for new residences. The size of the building, significance of the interiors, and scope of work will determine how best to protect interior finishes during construction work. All work involving historic buildings, however, shares the need to properly plan for and specify appropriate temporary surface protection products. Without such provisions, unnecessary damage can result which will require additional funds and can lead to complete loss of certain interior finishes. Relying on the contractor to protect interiors without specifying such surface protection puts historic material and finishes at unnecessary risk. Protective measures must be specified in the construction specifications for the job. Although general contract language may make reference to “protecting existing construction” and may require that the contractor “restore any damage to its original condition at no additional cost” the general nature of the language affords little protection to existing historic finishes or features. Rather than provide adequate protection, some contractors deliberately elect to repair damage, believing it is cheaper. Therefore the best practice for historic interiors involves specifying protection of all historic architectural features and finishes using temporary surface protection products.

An important difference between protecting historic interior features and finishes and protecting new interior features and finishes during construction is in the timing of the construction schedule. In new work, finishes such as cabinetry and flooring are installed late in the construction schedule, after mechanical and electrical systems and other high impact work are completed, thus not exposing the finishes to major construction operations. In preservation work, however, existing interior finishes are exposed to all the high impact and potentially damaging construction phases of the project. Important architectural features which are easily removed should be stored off site, if possible, to protect them from vandalism, theft and damage during construction. Lighting fixtures, fireplace mantels, and interior doors are typical examples. Access by construction personnel to spaces with significant features and finishes should be restricted, except for their work relating directly to the preservation of such spaces. Spaces with restricted access should be identified by the planning team and indicated in the construction documents in order to allow the contractor to include any associated costs in his price proposal. For spaces such as halls and lobbies, it may not be practicable to limit access, and for all interior spaces, some construction work may be required. In such circumstances, interior finishes must be physically isolated from construction operations by means of protective barriers and coverings such as the Zipwall Systems. Such surfaces are generally limited to flooring, walls up to approximately 6 foot height, and special construction such as staircases. Flooring should be protected from damage caused by abrasion, falling objects and there are a variety of floor protection products available from companies that specialize in surface protection.

Temporary protection during construction can involve covering historic features, such as floors and walls, as well as using temporary doors to control the passage of workers and the inevitable dust and dirt. Prominently located fire extinguishers are mandatory. Where protection from spilled liquids is required, a layer of water resistant surface protection should be used. In projects where electrical systems are being upgraded the use of fire rated protection should be used. Care should be taken in choosing the appropriate floor protection to ensure that moisture from spilled liquids is not trapped against the historic flooring or that newly installed or repaired flooring can breathe. Care should also be taken to avoid coverings such as rosin paper, could potentially stain the historic flooring. Historic stairways, balustrades, balconies, fireplaces, door surrounds, window surrounds, and other components will also need to be protected from construction damage. There are a variety of surface protection products on the market including Swiftwrap handrail protection, Ram Jamb door jamb protection, DoorGuard temporary door protection and others. It makes sense to contact a surface protection expert in order to choose the best temporary protection for the project.

Specifying temporary protection of historic interiors during construction is the responsibility of both the architect and contractor. Most general conditions of a construction contract contain language such as: “The Contractor shall be solely responsible for and have control over construction means, methods, techniques, sequences and procedures and for coordinating all portions of the work. For preservation projects, it is recommended that temporary protection of historic interiors during construction be specified in a separate Division 1 specification section to ensure that required provisions are not overlooked by bidders. By creating a separate section in a price proposal, the bidder will be inclined to treat the “special project procedures” as an added cost rather than a part of the temporary facilities required for any alteration project. The contractor’s project manager can thus anticipate making reasonable expenditures for providing specified temporary surface protection during construction. To ensure the adequacy of temporary protection measures in projects involving a construction manager, temporary protection is often best provided by the construction manager, who normally works for the owner on a cost-plus-fee basis. Temporary surface protection should generally be specified as to the product name, type and company where products are available.

Conditions prior to commencement of construction should be photographically documented by the contractor. For small projects, a videotape survey may also be an effective supplement to existing conditions photographs. The owner may wish to document existing conditions independent of the contractor in order to avoid any future dispute regarding damage caused by construction operations as opposed to pre-existing damage. Temporary protection of historic interiors during construction, an essential component of any preservation project, is largely a construction management issue. A successful protection program is the result of careful pre-planning, thorough project specific specifications, owner vigilance, contract enforcement, and contractor diligence. Cost savings can be realized by minimizing damage to the historic structure in the course of construction work and the proper use of temporary surface protection products.