It would make perfect sense for some big box retailers to curl up, lick, their wounds from the devastation of the 2008 holiday season, and plan for the next move. After all, reports Retail Forward today, anything that resembles improvement at retail will wait until the fourth quarter of this year.
It would also make perfect sense to take this opportunity to step it up online. The good questions to ask would regard web site experience, email marketing, customer engagement via social networks, and online marketing plans for the fall. But what we see lately is a focus on public relations, a lot of spending on in-store technology, and mobile commerce.
I experienced a few issues this morning while browsing around on the
web. I’m still amazed by some of the issues I chance upon in an average
day, often on mainstream media websites.
As such I’ve compiled,
in about an hour and a half, a list of 50 things that annoy me. Some of
these things are plain bad design, while others are strategically
dubious. One or two are to be avoided like a bad smell.
Let's not let Time Warner off the hook too easily on its semi-paid content experiment. Some of what EVP John Squires announced to the press last week made a lot of sense, some of it was purposefully vague, and some of it needs translation.
Let's get to the translation first. Squires said TW will start to experiment with paid content because there "was too much ad inventory online." Translation: "Yes, we have an ad network in-house (Platform A) but it is not able to provide the CPMs we're looking for. We're having a hard time finding advertisers who will pay a reasonable amount of money beyond the home pages and story starts for most of our brands."
For those of us who don't live in California (or even the United States), it's understood that there are plenty of great technology companies outside of California.
But even so, California, and in particular Silicon Valley, has a reputation for being the world's tech hub. And to be honest that's probably fair given the number of great technology companies that have come out of California and Silicon Valley over the years.
It may be antithetical or even sacrilegious to say so, but companies may have too much customer data for their own good. With internet marketing focused on generating even more of that data through behavioral targeting and social media, it may be time to consider a new theory out of Penn's Wharton School of Business. It's called "data minimization."
According to Wharton marketing professors Eric Bradlow and Peter Fader "data minimization" is a simple but radical concept: keep the customer data a company needs for competitive advantage, and purge the rest. "I think there is a fear and paranoia among companies that ... if they don't keep every little piece of information on a customer, they [can't function]," Bradlow told the Marketing @ Wharton newsletter. "Companies continue to squirrel away data for a rainy day. We're not saying throw data away meaninglessly, but use what you need for forecasting and get rid of the rest."
Online retailers are getting lazy, irresponsible, and are disregarding best practices when it comes to responsible email marketing, according to a new study from Return Path.
These dire findings were based on buying items from 45 online retailers, then monitoring their transactional and promotional message streams. These emails messages were then compared with messages received by registering for the same retailers' email programs without making a purchase.
A lack of measurement is still an issue for many email marketing campaigns, with almost half of companies failing to track their ROI from email.
Econsultancy's third annual Email Marketing Industry Census, sponsored by Adestra, found that 42% of organisations did not know what their ROI was from their email efforts, despite its proven effectiveness.
Now with our economy firmly in a recession, most retailers no longer have the types of budgets available to replatform. Instead, 2009 will be a year for improving their existing platforms, trying to increase conversion rates, average order values and returning visitor numbers.
So with this primary drive to improve performance, are retailers doing all that they can? Are retailers following best practice to help more visitors complete the buying process, and are retailers removing usability barriers to ensure that in such competitive times visitors aren’t encouraged to find reasons why they shouldn’t complete their purchase?
Everybody knows about cybersquatters; those dreaded 'entrepreneurs' who register domain names related to brand names and trademarks that they have no rights to.
ICANN, the organization that oversees the domain name system, provides a dispute mechanism by which trademark owners can dispute a domain name registration and win back domains that infringe upon their rights.
Times are tough and that's especially true for big media companies, including publishers like newspapers.
Advertisers are cutting back and that means that all online publishers are competing for a piece of a smaller pie. While traffic figures aren't the be all and end all of ad sales, traffic does matter.