• Cobalt Looms As Electric Threat

    Raw materials. They are used in the products we buy, and when demand outstrips supply, they get to become very expensive. But most business-to-business goods are inelastic, and thus when the price goes up demand tends to stay the same. Let's take...
  • 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...
  • The Truth About Innovation: Part Three

    Continued From Part Two By now, the point of this three-part article should be abundantly clear. We in industry have overused the term “innovation”, and are therefore somewhat desensitized to technological and product developments. Consumers...
  • The Truth About Innovation: Part Two

    Continued from Part One Product Development is one of my favorite university courses to teach, and this important class we learn that there are three forms of innovation. A continuous innovation describes a new product that requires almost no change...
  • The Truth About Innovation: Part One

    Natural ingredients come from everywhere, and many of them have multiple applications that meet a broad assortment of consumer needs. Every year there are a handful of popular ingredients that dominate new product development, and each year the list changes...
  • 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...
  • The Need for Nuggets

    Is there really a need in the marketplace for more chicken nuggets? That's the important product question marketers at both Wendy's and Burger King think they have already answered, but interestingly, the conclusions the two have drawn aren't...
  • 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...
  • Apple "Harvests" iPod

    When a product or product line is in the "decline" stage of it's life cycle, an eventuality every marketer must face, it is probable that marketers have already "migrated" consumers to newer models or to a completely different...
  • 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...
  • Electric Dreams: Part Two

    There has been so much hype in the media lately about electric vehicles, one would think that there has been some sort of new innovation to bring the cost of these vehicles down far enough to become marketable without heavily government intervention....
  • 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...
  • Apple Playing Catch Up

    At this point in time it's difficult to consider Apple to be a major innovator in the true sense of the word. The company has invented a few things over the years, but for the most part, developers prefer to take an existing technology and then proceed...
  • McUber

    Observers of the food service industry know that McDonald's, struggling with lagging revenues, has been planning to offer some kind of delivery service for quite some time now. Well, it appears that marketers have finally delivered on this promise...
  • 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...
  • Networks Stream to Internet

    It took a few decades of steady price increases, but it appears that Pay TV has finally become too expensive for the average consumer. Young people were the first consumers to "cut the cord", preferring to cobble together their video entertainment...
  • 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...
  • Tubi TV Embraces Traditional Model

    "Tubi TV" is an internet upstart that has rapidly assumed a place as a provider of no-fee entertainment content. But what makes the company interesting is that investors are betting that more viewers will sit through traditional commercials...
  • 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...
  • All About the Add-ons

    Video games have been around since the late 1970's, and almost immediately after introducing Space Invaders and Asteroids (two of the pioneering games) in bars, marketers developed home entertainment systems. The first one I had was called Odyssey...
  • 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...
  • Apple Pay Making Headway?

    Even by the most conservative estimates, the two-year-old Apple Pay system has been slow to acquire regular users. Security concerns, a lack of broad retailer acceptance, and relatively little marketing have combined to deter 87% of iPhone users from...