• Email Missing Mark

    Now that long lines at retail stores are becoming a thing of the past, one would think that holiday shoppers would be a much happier bunch, but smart marketers know that is always something for customers to complain about. And to a smart marketer, an...
  • Online Retailers Give Thanks

    Holiday spending is expected in increase by almost 5% this year, which is a rather robust rate, and this is certainly great news for retailers. But almost all of that growth is expected to be online, and so brick-and-mortar brands have been busily building...
  • Amazon's Clicks and Bricks

    Amazon is ready for the holidays. And as it stands today, the company has been both naughty and nice. It has been naughty to its competitors who are finding it increasingly hard to compete and it has been nice to its consumers who can now shop Amazon...
  • Gucci Grabs Young Shoppers

    With all of the talk about how the vast majority of traditional brands are struggling mightily to resonate with a massive cohort of fickle young consumers, it's nice to see one of your grandmother's classic brands emerge as a winner in bridging...
  • The Nielsen Haters

    The Nielsen Ratings have been a fact of life in advertising for many decades. This periodic sampling of TV viewers across the U.S. is the primary factor in how prices are set in the advertising industry since it reflects how many people are watching a...
  • The Book Is Back

    The failure of e-books to win enough American hearts and minds means that the creative destruction of the book industry may be coming to a close. Larger bookstores have already consolidated and big chains have closed down as Amazon rapidly grabbed its...
  • Holiday Freeze for Brick and Mortar

    The consumer shift from brick-and-mortar buying towards e-commerce buying has been in full force for almost two decades now, and the 2017 holiday shopping season won't be any different. Indeed, Retailer brands that focus on physical locations have...
  • Toys "R" Bust?

    Long-ago, Toys "R" Us joined the ever-growing list of retailers struggling against the forces of Wal-Mart and Amazon, unable to beat prices and losing relevance to an increasingly fickle culture. Once a mainstay of the national retail scene...
  • Giving You What "They" Want

    Have you ever wondered what drives the some of the suggestions that music and movie sites make for their users? Of course, some of it is based on past preferences, but the Wall Street Journal published a fascinating article several weeks ago about streaming...
  • A Forward Pass To China

    The NFL and other major professional spectator sport leagues have all made significant efforts to expand their respective global footprints, but expanding the physical product has been limited to playing a handful of games on foreign soil in the hopes...
  • Need More Blades? Shoot Us A Text

    2017 might be remembered as the year that branded product manufacturers finally unshackled themselves from the retailers that have been bullying them for so long. You see, it is the retailer that holds the lion's share of power in the vast majority...
  • The Dynamic Digital Duopoly

    It is no secret that advertising dollars are migrating towards the Internet at a dramatic pace. It is also no secret that Facebook and Google (now a division of Alphabet, Inc.) are so far ahead of other on-line advertising mediums that there isn't...
  • Merging for Survival?

    The proposed acquisition of Whole Foods Markets by Amazon wasn't about the survival of either brand, but about increasing market opportunities for both. But when home shopping kingpins QVC and Home Shopping Network announced that they were combining...
  • Fighting Ad Fraud

    The Internet has provided marketers with unprecedented opportunities to engage with consumers one-to-one, but an increasing level of advertising fraud is vexing the industry. For years, marketers have been paying for ads that consumers do not see, but...
  • The "Best" Turnaround

    Just a few years back, smart phone-enabled consumers invented a practice called "show-rooming", wherein items are viewed, sampled, and sometimes questions asked of store personnel in places like Best Buy; but the consumer then proceeds to purchase...
  • Rooting for Wal-Mart: Part Two

    Rooting for Wal-Mart might be difficult for many, but with Amazon's dominance and continued move towards consolidating its channel power through vertical integration, it is worth considering that a balance of two powers is infinitely better than the...
  • Rooting for Wal-Mart: Part One

    Is rooting for Wal-Mart a bad thing? After all, this is a company that has been blamed for killing small businesses and outsourcing millions of American manufacturing jobs. But when you consider that there might be an even more threatening "Goliath"...
  • More Tech? More Sales

    Lately we have been hearing plenty about the proliferation of technology in the food service industry as a means of 1) serving the customer more efficiently and 2) saving the restaurant money by reducing labor costs, which continue to increase. But an...
  • About Time for a Change

    Almost everyone over 30 has heard of "About.com", a general information site that dates back to the very early days of the internet. These types of all-purpose sites used to be rather popular, but as the overall internet audience now includes...
  • Ad Blockers Threaten Model

    What might be interpreted as good news for consumers might also be seen as bad news for the advertisers that wish to reach them. Ad blockers have been around for a while, and students of marketing know that there is no such thing as free content. The...
  • Full Stream Ahead

    Television continues to migrate onto the Internet, but we must not forget that it's all still just video content, and that this content must be paid for, one way or another. It is likely that the future involves multiple connected devices, large and...
  • Competition Shaves Prices

    Gillette absolutely dominates the global razor business and is also one of the industry's most premium brands. This is a fact. Success has been fairly easy for this 115-year-old first mover brand, and the winning strategy has been to simply introduce...
  • Fun to be a Fan

    Minor League Baseball doesn't offer much in the way of excitement on the field. Rather, consumers enjoy what is sometimes called the "peripheral product"--that is, everything else. Players are there for sometimes only weeks, the quality...
  • Big Brands Direct: Part Two

    Many of the world's largest brands are considering by-passing brick-and-mortar retailers and offering consumers the option to purchase products through Amazon. Why? Retailers often absorb up to 50% of the retail price, while the wholesalers that aggregate...
  • Big Brands Direct: Part One

    It looks like there is yet more trouble ahead for the grocery and big box channels, as marketers who have never before sold their brands direct-to-consumer are considering using Amazon as a platform to do just that. The company has invited some of the...