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Smarter Commerce | April 17, 2014

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Monthly Archives: July 2012

CMOs: Marketing to the “One,” not the “Billions”

July 31, 2012 |

I was channel surfing the other night and caught a glimpse of a Wendy’s commercial. Wendy Thomas herself—she of the red hair and braids—looked straight at the camera and said, “Some places like to talk about the billions served.  At Wendy’s, we never gave much thought to billions. We’re focused on the one; the one who is next in line.”

Talk about a brilliant sound bite. In ten seconds, Wendy’s manages to take a shot at competitors, who presumably are focused on “billions” (referring both to customers and to dollars), while placing itself firmly on the side of the individual customer. Wendy’s, it would seem, understands that we don’t really care what the countless people in front of us ordered.

We don’t want to be lumped in with an amorphous demographic. We’re different. We’re unique. And we want to be treated accordingly. Read More

Is your EDI Value Added Network (VAN) provider holding you hostage?

July 30, 2012 |

What if you were unhappy with your cell phone service provider’s coverage, customer support, rates, or simply their overall level of service?  If you are like me, you would find a new carrier; one you feel more comfortable with and which delivers the level of service you deserve.  But now that service provider informs you they plan to charge fees for transporting your number and contacts to your new provider, even if your contract has expired.  Maybe they are attempting to recover costs for losing you as a customer. Or, perhaps, they simply want to deter you from switching.  However they choose to justify these tactics, you would not accept this as the right way to do business. Read More

Smarter Commerce for Sports Fans

July 30, 2012 |

Once again, it’s time for the Summer Olympics and who among us hasn’t dreamt at some point of how it must feel to win a gold medal? While we as fans are sitting in the comfort of our homes enjoying …

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Will this 2012 Holiday Be Remembered as the Year of the Couch?

July 27, 2012 |

How many sales from a mobile device does it take to screw in a light bulb? OK, so maybe that doesn’t make sense. How about this? How many online sales from a mobile device does it take for chief marketing officers to plug mobile commerce into their overall online commerce strategy?

The answer lies somewhere between 3.2 percent and 20 percent. Let me explain.

On Black Friday 2010, sales from mobile devices reached what was then a record 3.2 percent of all online purchases. To some, this figure represented the beginning of a whole new era of shopping with consumers looking to extend their buying beyond the PC to their mobile devices. However, to the vast majority of chief marketing officers (CMO) and their teams this 3.2 percent did little more than identify mobile commerce as a blip on their radar of possibilities.

Now as a marketer, I admit I’m implying Black Friday 2010 didn’t represent a huge breakthrough for mobile commerce. The truth is, 2010 served as the inaugural year for mobile commerce, but  in a world where each dollar matters, 3.2 percent wasn’t significant enough to spur a mass of marketers to take the leap.

Marketers are a cautious group, apprehensive to shift their budgets to the  next “big channel” based solely on a six to eight week window of success. After all, how often do we witness new channels offering great promise only to falter when put on center stage? So instead, marketers waited for mobile commerce’s next act which took place over the November and December 2011 holiday. Read More

Digital Lone Wolf or Leader of the Pack?

July 26, 2012 |

That howling you might be hearing in the sacred halls of your market department is likely no ordinary True Blood-like werewolf; it’s your organization’s digital marketer.

Digital marketer howling, even snarling at traditional marketing colleagues, is clearly a symptom, …

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Message to Businesses: Change Your Framework—Change Your Future

July 25, 2012 |


A comment by Dino Dogan on my post regarding Scaling Social Messaging got me thinking recently. He said:

“Businesses try to force-fit their own framework onto the existing social framework. That’s a mistake. Social framework is much bigger and stronger. When two frameworks meet, one has to give in. In this case, biz framework has no choice but to give in or lose out. “

This is totally in opposition to the way businesses approached frameworks in the past. In the past, the frameworks were controlled, imposed, and enforced onto consumers by a business.”

And he’s right on the money. In fact, there are three BIG ways this framework factor fails when attempting to apply it to social: Read More

Why digital marketing synchs with students

July 25, 2012 |

This is part two of a series about retail shopping trends.  See the first part here

by Leeann Fecho,  Marketing Manager for Emerging Media and Loyalty, Follett Higher Education Group

Managing the digital marketing activities of 900+ different stores brings both constant challenges and immensely rewarding work. Follett Higher Education Group is the largest operator of university bookstores in North America, and as Marketing Manager for Emerging Media and Loyalty, I’m responsible for the company’s loyalty marketing strategy and execution, which includes email, social media and mobile marketing efforts.  Our customers are primarily in the 18-24 year-old demographic—college students—a group that is typically known for being both cost-conscious and social media-savvy.

While speaking on an IBM breakfast panel in Chicago, I had the opportunity to discuss the growing influence, rise and reach of digital marketing. Marketing—in particular, digital marketing—must be very responsive to marketplace shifts fueled both by the business and the consumer.  Of all the consumer trends felt by retailers today, there are three I believe are having an immediate and seismic impact on marketing initiatives. Read More

The New Marketing Class – Lesson One: the Digital Marketing Mix

July 24, 2012 |

News flash: We’ve entered a new frontier of marketing! Customers are connected, more intelligent and demanding than ever. To be successful in this new world of marketing, we can’t rely on old methods for communication with our customers – these antiquated views are no longer relevant. Just as our consumer has adapted and evolved, we too have to adapt and evolve the way we talk and interact with them.  With that being said, let’s dive into what I like to refer to as the digital marketing mix and let the new marketing 101 class begin!

For decades, marketing classes around the world have been taught the infamous “Four P’s of Marketing.” As marketers, we know them by heart – price, product, place, and promotion. These tenets have helped develop and direct campaigns both large and small. Now what if I told you the Four P’s are antiquated and no longer apply to the world of marketing we face today?

When the 4 Ps were first developed by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960, the world was very different. The original marketing mix was based on traditional forms of marketing, media and promotion. In the booming 60s the only stores it applied to were physical stores and the consumers it addressed weren’t nearly as savvy or empowered as the ones that reign supreme today. The entire concept was primarily a one way, product based communications approach, that took very little else into consideration, simply because there was no reason to. But as we all know, things have drastically changed. Today, every action we take must take the consumer into consideration. As marketers, we have to find a way to make our marketing so relevant and so on target, that our messages are deemed a welcomed service, as opposed to an unwanted intrusion.

So, let’s say goodbye to the old way of thinking, the old 4P’s and hello to the digital marketing mix:  Read More

‘Data Geek’ Predicts Fall Retail Trends

July 24, 2012 |

By Michael Haydock, IBM Business Analytics Optimization Chief Scientist & Distinguished Engineer

Last week, I was sitting on a panel with Ellen Davis of the National Retail Foundation on Back to School shopping trends. We engaged in a spirited hour-long …

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Managing the Marketing Factory

July 23, 2012 |

Paul McNultyWritten by Paul McNulty, Director of Marketing, Enterprise Marketing Man­­agement Group.

Beginning in the 1970s, the manufacturing industry was revolutionized by the advent of materials requirement planning (MRP) software. For the first time, factories had a centralized and reliable system to track and manage every aspect of operations, from components’ availability to production schedules to replenishment. Efficiency soared and costs plummeted.

Many of today’s complex marketing organizations run like pre-MRP factories. Rather than struggling with components and machines, they struggle to coordinate reviews and approvals among numerous stakeholders, keep the campaign pipeline flowing in the face of rising workloads and crushing deadlines, and measure key performance metrics and overall ROI.

Is it time for marketing to follow manufacturing’s lead in centralizing management and operations on a single platform, instead of disparate systems? Does MRP-like software for marketing even exist? The answer to both questions is yes. Read More