Beacons: Strong Offers will Drive Adoption

Beacons are coming for mobile marketingThere is much talk about beacons this holiday as another big department store, Lord & Taylor, officially announced that beacons will be rolled out in their retail locations in time for Holiday.

These are clearly early days for beacons, and it remains to be seen how effective they will be at driving sales in the fourth quarter.  The beacons enable offers to be pushed to shoppers while in the store. Continue reading

Mischief Night: A Look at Online Retail Hijinks

Mischief Night Hijinks with online marketingDoes anyone remember URL targeting, in which through a “normal” media buy, an advertiser was able to hijack a person trying to go to one site and navigate them to another?   This was legal, as was Gator  — another popular ad-supported media machine that eventually went away for similar, deceptive reasons.

There is some tremendously illegal and egregious internet activity in 2014 that deserves the attention of the serious security people trying to catch it and shut it down.  Not nearly as serious but annoying nonetheless is the legal, albeit black hat activity, that happens occasionally with online retail. Continue reading

Digital Strategies to Drive Retail Traffic

Driving retail foot traffic from digital marketingMost retailers rely on media to support store openings and store events as well as for lifting sales of struggling retail locations. Drive-to-retail marketing plans have typically consisted of radio, print and TV in order to build awareness, but more recently, digital has become an increasingly important component of the media mix.

What makes digital unique relative to traditional forms of media is the level of targeting and sophistication that the others can’t provide.  Continue reading

Close Variant Match Type: Time to Benchmark is Now!

close-variant-match-typeWith the recent announcement that at the end of September Google will remove the ability for search marketers to opt out of close variant matching for exact and phrase keywords, there is less than a month away to benchmark the impact of this change before it is gone for good.

When Google first implemented the close variant match type feature in 2012, which enables search queries that contain plurals, abbreviations and misspellings to trigger exact match or phrase match ads, 80% of search advertisers began using it (granted, using it by default since they have to manually opt out to disable it).  Continue reading

Real-Time Marketing: How to Leverage a Sudden Surge in Impressions

Real time marketing leverages a surge in impressionsOne of the hottest trends in digital right now is real-time marketing.   The goal of real-time marketing is to leverage an abberationally high level of impressions in order to yield sales.

We are in the midst of one of those moments in which back-to-school searches and social impressions are at their peak for the year.  By now, most retailers for whom back to school matters have already built strategies and are executing against them in an attempt to win the highest impression share possible on key terms.  Other important retail events that drive huge impression volume throughout the year are Continue reading

Same Day Shipping: Google vs. Amazon.

Amazon and Google compete for same-day shippingGoogle’s announcement that they are launching same day shipping is interesting and strategic given the emergence of Amazon as a likely reason for why impressions may be on the decline for some retailers in Google paid search.  This was pronounced in this past 4th Quarter, and it’s most likely due to searchers moving to Amazon and, to a lesser extent, mobile apps to initiate their shopping.

Amazon has been building the infrastructure to offer same day shipping with the goal of eventually making this the norm as a shipping option.  Continue reading