Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Paper Dinosaurs



Blink:
Last week I received Sherry Lehmann’s holiday wine catalogue.  I am in their data base ever since I gifted a family member in New York City.  By law, Sherry Lehmann cannot ship to Pennsylvania.  Given I am an advocate of digital marketing, are catalogues paper dinosaurs?

Read On:
Being a wine connoisseur, I cannot pick on Sherry Lehmann.  From the time when I made my first online sale from them, I am constantly blasted with their emails and latest specials.  Their emails are not personalized which is a sign they are not utilizing the latest marketing automation technologies.  If they were, they would have a mailing address capture in their data base for all the people living in Pennsylvania and the other nine states to where they cannot ship by law.  Consequently, they would be able to kick out of their system the need to mail their catalogue, thus save a considerable expense.     

Once again, I challenge another company from whom I received a catalogue which I first wrote about back in August, 2014 in a post titled Marketing Waste.  This company specializes in shipping supplies with over 30,000 products printed in a catalogue of over 600 pages!  The dinosaur in the room is ULINE.  I have never purchased a product from ULINE, but every year I receive their enormous catalog.  And every year, I march it down to the trash room in the basement of my building.  A prime example of marketing waste!  Marketers need to rethink how best they are going to reach their existing and future customers.  Right now, marketing automation technologies provide cost effective solutions.

Maybe next year I will recycle my ULINE catalogue and regift it to a business associate.    

Are marketing catalogues paper dinosaurs?

 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Social Brands



Blink:
We are about to experience the week before Christmas 2015.  Three retail brands are dominating social media conversations and engagement.  Surprise: According to one source, Walmart, Target and Amazon did not make the top three. 

Read On:
Shareablee, a social insights company released their holiday season social scorecard.  Their rankings are based on an analysis of shares, comments, retweets and reblogs on major platforms – Instagram, Facebook,Twitter and YouTube.  Despite a drop in Black Friday posts, there was a 26% increase in engagement and a 170% increase in actions.  However, the debate continues whether social engagement actually translates into sales.  We will have to wait until after the holidays when sales data will be published.

The three top social brands in order: Nordstrom, Macy’s and Sephora.  

Did you socially engage with a popular retail brand this past month?


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

#CyberMonday



Blink:
Before Thanksgiving, in anticipation of the holiday season, I questioned whether brick & mortar shopping will be eclipsed by online shopping.  Accordingly, I thought today would be a good time to share some of the final shopping statistics from Cyber Monday (11/30). 

Read On:
By the numbers according to Adobe, the global leader in digital marketing:

·     They reported that online sales generated from 200 million visits to 4,500 retailer sites were $3.07 billion, an increase of 16 percent from a year ago.   

·     Mobile traffic accounted for approximately half of all traffic.

·     26 percent of all sales came from mobile devices – Apple iOS drove $575 million; Android $219 million.

·         Compared to last year, display ads drove 57percent more sales, while social share of sales increased 33 percent.

Bottomline: Cyber Monday spending hit an all-time high this year. 

So did the avalanche of packages in my mailroom!  


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Points



Blink:
Yesterday I was online researching how I can pull off a freebie with my accumulated points.  I am ready for a quick winter break to Phoenix.  Unfortunately I am 3,200 points short, thus I think I will reach out to Liu Yiqian this week for the difference.   

Read On:
Who is Liu Yiqian?  He is another one of the legendary rags to riches Chinese billionaires.  He started modestly as a taxi driver and is now chairman of the Sunline Group whose interests include chemicals, real estate development and a financial unit.  Liu Yiqian also has several personal investments.  Accordingly Forbes estimates his assets in 2015 totaled $1.22 billion.

So why have I decided to contact Mr. Liu?  Mr. Liu is an art aficionado and is responsible for building two world class art museums – Long Museum Pudong and Long Museum West Bund, both located in Shangai.  Back on November 9th he bought the famous Modigliani nude “Nu Couché” for $170.4 million, the second-highest price ever paid for a piece of art at an auction.  Mr. Liu indicated he wants to bring the masterpiece back to China for the Chinese people to enjoy.  He said: “I have no plans to sell the painting.”  However, on a personal note, Mr. Liu indicated that he is purchasing the painting with his American Express card so with the points he will accrue his entire family can continue flying for free.  I am confident Mr. Liu can spare 3,200 points.

What have you purchased this year with your accumulated points?   


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brick & Mortar Shopping 2.0



Blink:
Holiday shopping excitement is ramping up.  The National Retail Federation predicts an estimated 4% increase over 2014.  Forrester expects online shopping to exceed $95 billion; an increase of 11% over last year.  Long-term: Will brick & mortar shopping be eclipsed by online shopping?     

Read On:
Some leading retailers are modifying their business models to compete.  Detailed below are three retailers that are enhancing their brick & mortar operations for their customers:

1.)   One brand that I respect and have written about is North Face.  In select stores they are introducing a cinematic virtual reality experience titled “The North Face Nepal.”  Sounds more exciting than online shopping.  However, since North Face understands the value of connecting with its consumers (specifically Millennials), they are also offering the content to Outside magazine subscribers.  In-store shopping augmented by virtual reality.

2.)   In my hometown of Philadelphia, Urban Outfitters announced they are entering the restaurant business by purchasing the Vetri Family Group of restaurants that includes Pizzeria Vetri which they plan to open in some of their flagship stores.  In-store shopping combined with an eating experience.

3.)   ShopWithMe, a retail start-up is opening interactive “smart” stores.  Their pop up concepts will include merchandise presented (e.g., Toms Shoes, Raven+Lily) on glass top digital displays or in futuristic fitting rooms complete with interactive mirrors.  In-store shopping enhanced by futuristic design and interactive technology.  

E-commerce will continue to exhibit robust sales.  However, some leading retailers will continue to find ways to attract consumers to their brick & mortar locations.  What will be the key?  Find “smart” solutions to enhance their customers’ shopping experience. 

Brick & mortar shopping 2.0: The new look!