Despite the fact that TV ad spending continues to decline with fragmented audiences, channels and choices, there is one day that continues to guarantee consumer eyeballs and set new records: Super Bowl Sunday. A single 30-second spot for this Sunday’s football showdown cost nearly $3.5 million, selling out by Thanksgiving. With this hefty investment (not to mention all the costs associated with planning, ideating, aligning, production, post-production), I’m hopeful that this year we’ll be more than entertained. I hope we’ll be engaged. [...] Read >MORE
“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.”
— William Gibson
Coupons have long been one of the most reliable tools in the brand marketing toolbox to promote sales—and consumers can’t seem to get enough of them. But the transition from paper to mobile devices has been challenging, and one of the root causes is actually found in the venerable laser scanners that are part of most store checkout systems. These were designed decades ago to read the light pattern reflected from barcodes on printed coupons. But the backlit, reflective polarized glass of smartphones actually makes an on-screen barcode image invisible to most laser scanners. So we need new ways for smartphones to send information to point-of-sale (POS) terminals—crossing what I like to call the “last inch” barrier. This need has given rise to a game of “chicken” being played out right now between smartphones and retailer systems, and it’s going to be very interesting to see who swerves first. [...] Read >MORE
Roll up for the Mystery Tour! RI’s first-ever mobile marketing exploration of Japan is taking shape for spring 2012. In December we sent RI mobile strategist Derrick Lin, who has lived and worked in Tokyo and speaks lovely Japanese, to begin planning a week-long exploration of Japan’s mobile marketing and commerce world. We’ll be taking up to 12 clients and are happy to answer any questions you might have. For more details, please click here or contact Derrick (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here is Derrick’s first report:
It is a great time to be in Japan. Not just because it is the season for the unforgettably delicious bluefin tuna (hon-maguro) or because the country is bouncing back from the tsunami at an amazing pace only months after the disaster. It’s also because you get to witness the daily evolution of an already impressive phenomenon, the mobile lifestyle in Japan. [...] Read >MORE
If you are responsible for your company’s online sales, you probably know the pressure that comes with heightened expectations—online sales have become more than a blip on the radar for many companies and accounted for 8% of total retail (11% non-grocery) in 2010 (“U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2010 to 2015,” Forrester Research, Feb. 28, 2011). With forecasts of continued double-digit growth for at least the next two years (ibid) seeming conservative relative to the strong growth witnessed over holiday 2011 (comScore reports the 2011 holiday season pulled in $35.3 billion for online retailers, a 15% increase over 2010), you may feel you embody the saying “no rest for the weary.” [...] Read >MORE
Here we stand, 10 days into 2012, and already those absolutes from 2011 feel dated and obsolete. If you “turned off” in the last few weeks on 2011 you came back to a world where Pinterest traffic has bested Tumblr and Google+, and whether you like it or not, a Facebook Timeline is coming to a profile near you.
When we think about social commerce, 2012 is a world of possibility. Consumers are adopting new devices, new communities, and now more than ever understand that they are in control. The world of what-I-want-when-I-want now includes where-I-want-and-with-my-“friends”, leading to a complex set of challenges for brands that seek to deliver and compete in this new paradigm. [...] Read >MORE
In 2012, we expect to see certain trends become standards, just as location and personalization became essential elements to success in 2011. This year, there are a number of trends to watch and a few that have the potential to become fundamental to your business in a very short time. Whether they come to be indispensable or mark the beginning of something larger, here are some key trends to keep your eyes on in 2012.
Shopping from everywhere becomes the norm: The number of companies who make it easy for customers to buy from nearly anywhere using any connected device, and the number of consumers who expect this option, will surge. This increased consumer appetite for anytime, anywhere shopping will necessitate that brands stop focusing on disparate channels and concentrate on seamless experience ecosystems. [...] Read >MORE
Happily, the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, and yes, the dreaded returns, is behind me this year. Thanks to my handy spreadsheet to keep track of my kids, nieces and nephews as well as friends, neighbors and colleagues, I managed to be fairly efficient. But it’s not the spreadsheet that made the difference this year—it was my iPad and my iPhone, from which I completed over a dozen transactions. Seems like I wasn’t alone in my mobile ways, as mobile shopping was up 173% this holiday! Wow. We may readily take that figure in stride because it seems obvious, natural even. Our devices have become so much more than shopping facilitators; they’re an extension of ourselves, our instincts, our impulses. They’re also wonderfully liberating. Long waits, out-of-stocks or unhelpful salespeople are no longer a deterrent for getting what we want. Thanks to innovators like Gilt, Amazon and HSN, shoppers could receive mobile-only offers at various competitors while standing in long lines on Black Friday. [...] Read >MORE