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Judith Aquino | May 26, 2016
Macy's Backstage is more of the same, which is a problem as new competitors enter the retail space. Introduced earlier this year, the Backstage discount stores were described as a way for Macy's to bring in more customers. Read more »
Judith Aquino | May 19, 2016
Conference season in the marketing technology world is in full swing and this week was IBM's turn to dazzle marketers. IBM Amplify--the company's key conference for marketing, sales, e-commerce, and merchandising--had many positive points but was ultimately underwhelming. As the company bets on cloud computing, cognitive systems, language processing, and other areas for future growth, it remains unclear if the company can pull its many investments into a coherent offering. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 17, 2016
I was recently reviewing a design of an e-book I'd written when the content jumped out at me. It wasn't the words I'd crafted, but rather the stunning images that had been selected by the graphic designer that made the package sparkle. The experience also served as a reminder, as Rod Stewart and Ron Wood penned back in 1971, that every picture tells a story and how important the use of images and design are to content marketing. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 16, 2016
At the start of every New Year, media outlets, bloggers, and pundits share their predictions for the coming months. In the marketing world, they've been calling for a "post-digital world" for the past 10 years. As 2016 charges along, I'm eager to see more examples of companies entering this post-digital era. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 9, 2016
The battleground for customer experience is on and those who are emerging victorious are using data as their secret weapon. As today's marketers explore the world of digital engagement, data has become the competitive differentiator for how effectively companies engage with their customers. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 6, 2016
These days, the importance of becoming a digitally minded company can't be overstated. In a recent survey conducted by 1to1 Media and SurveyMonkey, 40 percent of respondents said they'd stop doing business with a company without a strong digital presence. And 41.5 percent of respondents said they use a mobile device when interacting with a brand. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 2, 2016
Digital disruption is happening at lightning speed and only some of the best-in-class businesses are successfully keeping up the pace. In documenting how companies are going through this digital transformation, Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a Prophet company, developed a maturity model that chronicles the stages and the key areas of focus and change. Read more »
Judith Aquino | April 28, 2016
Marketers should pay attention to a particular type of app: mobile messaging apps, advised Forrester Research Data Scientist Nicole Dvorak. Yesterday, at Forrester Research's annual Forum for Marketing Leaders in New York City, Dvorak pointed to behavioral research that suggests mobile messaging apps have become one of the most used applications on consumers' smartphones. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | April 26, 2016
When companies make mistakes - and, inevitably, they will - the first thing they should do is apologize to their customers for any inconveniences it may have caused them. Unfortunately, apologies from senior management don't happen often enough, whether as a result of pride, fear of how it may impact the company's stock price, or simply that it doesn't occur to company leaders to admit when the company has erred. Following outbreaks of foodborne illnesses linked to its restaurants across Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | April 11, 2016
Omnichannel is becoming more than a buzzword. Providing seamless experiences across channels and consistency in messaging and engagement is a 'must' for companies. In our connected world, the stakes are high for delivering CX that customers expect and want. Therefore, it's imperative for marketers to take on a greater role in evolving the experiences customers receive when interacting with their brands. Read more »
Judith Aquino | April 7, 2016
I remember where I was when the Jacksonville Jaguars were losing to the Buffalo Bills 3-27: in the kitchen, feeding the cats with one eye on my laptop. By the time Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles threw that crazy touchdown pass to wide receiver Allen Hurns and clinched the game at 34-31, I was watching the game from bed and heard my husband whoop as he watched the game in the laundry room. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 25, 2016
Companies across all industries are realizing the benefits of video. From Security First Insurance, which delivers personalized, interactive videos to customers; to Jeep, which offers native video ads, video is fast becoming the channel of choice to engage customers. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 22, 2016
I recently took my mother to a community theater performance of "The Music Man." Since my mom is in her 80s and has some trouble getting around, I picked a theater close to where she lives that would be easy for her to navigate. We both enjoyed the show a lot and it was great spending the day with her. The story I'm about to share isn't really about the theater experience but a related customer experience that occurred earlier Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | March 14, 2016
Omichannel has been the buzzword in the marketing world for quite some time, as companies have sought myriad ways to connect their channels and data in seamless ways across their enterprises. But following announcements of recent store closures and post-holiday sales data that suggest more consumers chose to shop online than in physical stores, retailers must get serious about their omnichannel initiatives fast. Read more »
Judith Aquino | March 3, 2016
Get ready for an emoji tidal wave. I'm not referring to the image of a tidal wave, but an onslaught of emoji-fueled campaigns. Brands are increasingly embracing emojis in an effort to keep up with young audiences who are fluent in communicating through digital images. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | March 1, 2016
One of the things I like most about LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (and Google Alerts, for that matter) is the access these channels provide to thought leadership on so many different topics. I enjoy being able to pick up insights from recognized industry and topic experts and from everyday practitioners that are in the trenches. In many cases, the articles and blogs that people post serve as a useful reminder of best practices in marketing, customer service, and other disciplines. Read more »
Judith Aquino | February 18, 2016
Are targeted political ads creepy? Advertising agencies and political campaigns are equipped with an ever-growing trove of data that allows them to send voters highly targeted messages. As presidential candidates embrace data-driven digital marketing campaigns, the question of whether voters will respond to micro-targeting becomes more relevant than ever. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | February 17, 2016
Just as the Sony hack got people talking about the gender wage gap, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy has sparked conversation around diversity in mainstream media. Yet, while many were willing to overlook the wage gap scandal because Hollywood actors of any gender already earn outrageous paychecks regardless, no one can deny that this elite microcosm's rampant inequality underscores an unrelenting issue at the core of American society. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | February 15, 2016
Super Bowl's ad extravaganza is long over, but the content lives on. This year's commercials ran the gamut with many highlights and lowlights. Whether you favored Doritos' Ultrasound Baby or Mountain Dew's PuppyMonkeyBaby, which coincidentally was ranked the least favorite commercial, but the most-watched on YouTube, one thing is for sure: You can watch them over and over again if you choose. Read more »
Judith Aquino | February 3, 2016
Move over TV, real-time digital advertising is the next battleground of Super Bowl marketing. While TV spots still command the most viewer attention during the Super Bowl, digital ads that are delivered on the fly are a rising channel for brands to engage their audiences during big moments. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 25, 2016
The NRF's Big Show last week served as retail's playground for cutting-edge technology. From robot associates to wearable computers, technology will serve as a driving force in how retailers will deliver the customer experience. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | January 11, 2016
It's the time of the year again when customer experience leaders everywhere are planning their strategies for 2016. Separating their organizations from their competition is no longer about price; instead it's about providing experiences that are in tune with customers' needs. As leaders analyze their objectives for 2016, here are five key customer experience trends to focus on. Read more »
Judith Aquino | December 24, 2015
What a difference a year makes. While the 2014 holiday season was marked by the hashtag #snowmageddon with photos of cars buried under snow, this year's holiday season will be remembered as the warmest December on record. Temperatures on December 12 and 13 even broke a 142-year-old record across the eastern U.S., reports AccuWeather. Read more »
Judith Aquino | December 17, 2015
Netflix has the perfect gift for the binge-watcher in your life: Socks that pause the show if you fall asleep. "Never again will you binge-watch yourself to sleep, only to wake up two seasons later wondering what happened," Netflix proclaims on its site. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | December 16, 2015
Last week, I saw bags of apples with 'Star Wars' images all over the package. Well, at least I think they were apples. The promotional imagery consumed every single bag, so I suppose they could've been oranges, or grapefruits--or miniature, edible Death Stars. I don't sincerely know. Regardless, the drastic visual made quite an impact. No, I was not inspired to wait in line for movie tickets two weeks in advance. Instead, I was pushed to the breaking point. I'd Read more »
Judith Aquino | December 10, 2015
Consumers are overwhelmed by choices. The moment we wake up, we're confronted by decisions and the list just gets longer throughout the day. Savvy companies are simplifying the task of making choices by doing it for us. They're offering us curated options. Retailers in particular are combining data insights with a human touch to help consumers find the items that best match their preferences and needs. Here are three examples of innovative ways retailers are embracing curated e-commerce. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | December 1, 2015
Every day there's more information available to marketers about consumers, including their transaction histories, social media comments, mobile and website behaviors, etc. But there's far less data available about B2B buyers, including information about their preferences and interests, making it challenging for B2B sales and marketing teams to understand their clients' interests and needs in what is typically a more complex and extended sales cycle. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 23, 2015
"Imagine a world where the only thing you have to wrestle for on Thanksgiving is the last piece of pumpkin pie." That voice-over to the opening of the new TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods commercial promoting the stores' closure on Thursday. The spot asks viewers to hearken back to a time when Thanksgiving meant eating too much and falling asleep on the couch with your family rather than fighting shoppers in crowded stores for a 40-inch smart TV that's on Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | November 16, 2015
Stephen R. Covey said, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." The 2015 1to1 Media Customer Champions are doing the former and proving that listening to understand leads to big results. Read more »
Judith Aquino | November 5, 2015
It's no secret that presidential candidates spend massive amounts of money on political advertising. But TV commercials and billboards are no longer enough. Next year's presidential hopefuls will be facing off on a highly digital stage, giving candidates new opportunities--and challenges--to engage voters. Read more »
Judith Aquino | October 29, 2015
REI, the Seattle-based outdoor recreation and sporting goods retailer, generated some buzz by announcing that it will be closed on Black Friday. While the company portrayed its decision in an altruistic light, it also underscores the fact that the day after Thanksgiving isn't as critical for driving sales as it used to be. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 27, 2015
Unless you've been living under a rock, it's pretty obvious that marketing has become incredibly technology-focused. Instead of sending out batch and blast emails and conducting other random acts of marketing, marketers are increasingly exploiting the value of data-driven decision making to deliver more personalized communications and engage more effectively with customers. Heading into 2015, 65 percent of marketing executives planned to up their spending on marketing technology this year, with nearly a third planning to increase their spending by Read more »
Tom Hoffman | October 13, 2015
Big Data can provide marketers and customer experience professionals with a wealth of information about customers such as web pages they've visited, sentiments they've shared about brands on social media sites, and other information that can provide insights about customers' preferences, needs, and behaviors. But in some cases, opportunities to engage with a customer or to improve a customer's experience occur at a particular moment when marketers, customer care associates, and other customer-facing professionals require access to real-time customer data. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 12, 2015
How should marketers change their thinking? That was the question I repeatedly asked myself while attending &Then, the Direct Marketing Association's 2015 conference last week. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 5, 2015
It's no secret among Customer Experience (CX) professionals that CX efforts often fall flat if they don't get adequate executive buy-in. So what gains executive attention best? Financials. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | October 5, 2015
Last month, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain announced a partnership with DoorDash to provide on-demand delivery service in five major U.S. markets, including New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The move expands the customer value proposition and allows the chain to compete in an evolving market and stay relevant in an "Uberfied" society. Read more »
Judith Aquino | October 1, 2015
Pinterest, the digital bulletin board, crossed 100 million users recently. As Pinterest gains users, the company must find more ways to engage people and drive growth. Indeed, international growth, improved user experiences, and monetizing its ad platform are priorities, said CEO Ben Silbermann, who shared the company's road map with attendees earlier this week at the IAB Mixx conference. Here are seven things Silbermann revealed about his vision for Pinterest and what users can expect next. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 29, 2015
Customer churn is a big problem for companies, especially in industries such as telecommunications where annual churn rates average between 10 percent to as much as 67 percent, according to the Database Marketing Institute. And while technological advances have made it easier for marketers and other decision-makers to better identify and respond to the triggers for churn, most customer churn programs are reactive and don't leave marketers adequate time to deliver messaging or offers that might change a customer's actions. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | September 28, 2015
This week marks the 12th year that Advertising Week will be held in New York City. The week-long event, which combines thought leadership with special events, brings together thousands of people from brands, agencies, and technology companies to focus on key topics influencing the marketing and advertising industry. As I attend a small handful of some of the 300 or so planned events, I'll be looking out for any developments on these three key trends: Read more »
Judith Aquino | September 24, 2015
Last weekend I celebrated my first wedding anniversary. Anyone who saw my inbox though would assume that I was about to be married, judging by the many emails about wedding dresses, limos, and flower arrangements that merchants continue to send me a year after my wedding. What would be more useful is information about what to do after a wedding. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 15, 2015
In April, I posted a blog about the difficulties that sales, marketing, and customer care leaders face in obtaining a truly comprehensive view of customers. This view includes the full stream of transactions that a customer has had with a company, the most recent touchpoints she used to interact with the company, feedback she shared about her experiences in social media or in the contact center, etc. Without question, a big part of this disconnect is the result of the Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 8, 2015
As the parent of now two college students, I've had a front row seat in viewing the approaches taken by two schools in facilitating the transition for incoming freshmen to campus life. The shift to college can be both exhilarating and terrifying for many young students, so making this passage as smooth and as welcoming as possible is critical for shaping a successful college experience. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | September 1, 2015
The calendar might read September 1, but retailers are already busy planning for the holidays. As 1to1 Media Senior Writer Judith Aquino points out in this week's feature, "How to Overhaul Your Holiday Retail Strategy," although holiday spending is projected to jump by as much as 5.7 percent this year thanks to lower gas prices and declining unemployment rates, retailers will continue to remain under pressure to distinguish themselves from competitors and to find creative ways to engage with shoppers. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | August 18, 2015
Author Anne Wilson Schaef once wrote that "we are always surrounded by the doors of opportunity" but that because we're often so focused on a goal, we don't see what's right in front of us. I think there's a lot of truth to what Schaef says and that her musing is applicable for a lot of organizational leaders who are usually so pressed to meet short-term business or operational goals that it's hard for them to see the bigger picture. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | July 28, 2015
I read a Wired article over this past weekend that really struck a chord. The article referenced a recent speech given by U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at New York University's Stern School of Business who argued that undue earnings pressures on executives at public companies are suppressing wages and having a detrimental effect on innovation and long-term growth opportunities among U.S. companies. While this blog post isn't intended as an endorsement for any particular political candidate, the Wired article Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | July 13, 2015
With Millennials and Generation Z increasingly turning to social and digital channels to engage with companies, marketers must up their digital marketing game. So many, however, are just trying to keep pace with their current programs and initiatives that they don't often find time to introduce new strategies or improve upon what's in place. Read more »
Judith Aquino | July 9, 2015
Several of my friends just returned from a trip to Cuba and I've been reliving their adventures in Havana and Santiago through photos. Leisure travel to Cuba from the U.S. is still banned, but my friends were able to enter the country through the "people-to-people" program in which visitors interact with Cuban citizens in cultural activities. Read more »
Judith Aquino | June 18, 2015
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is having a renaissance. The promise of CRM was that it would streamline customer service, marketing, and sales efforts with a unified view of the customer, but the technology was dogged by complaints of clunky and expensive software. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 16, 2015
The healthcare industry is undergoing dramatic changes, not the least of which is an increased focus among payers (healthcare insurers) and providers (physicians, hospitals, clinics, etc.) on customer centricity. Payers who historically had customers funneled to them by employers are now beginning to market to individual customers. But payers aren't the only healthcare industry participants that are blazing new trails in customer centricity. As last week's PegaWORLD 2015 conference indicates, life sciences and other healthcare companies are also getting into Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | June 8, 2015
In a world where consumers are being bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each year, it's easy for consumers to fall victim to information overload and for marketers to confuse the decision-making process for consumers. Read more »
Tom Hoffman | June 2, 2015
It's pretty easy to see how pervasive the use of mobile devices has become with consumers. People are tethered to their smartphones just about everywhere - at work, at home, at ballgames, shopping malls, airports, and cafes. As of January 2014, consumers now spend more time on their mobile devices for Internet usage than on desktop PCs, according to comScore. Yet despite how "mobile" we've become as consumers, many companies continue to struggle to develop comprehensive mobile marketing strategies or Read more »
Tom Hoffman | May 19, 2015
There are a lot of ways that marketing automation helps marketers to connect more effectively with customers. Technology enables marketers to gather more insights than ever about customers, including information about their behaviors, preferences, and needs. Marketing automation helps companies achieve deeper engagement and higher conversion rates through more personalized messaging. And while each of these capabilities are critical for helping marketers to succeed in today's fast-paced world, some of the greatest opportunities for driving effective and efficient marketing are Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 18, 2015
Marketers have never been more integral to their organizations' growth as they are today. As a result, both marketing budgets and marketing's influence are on the rise. Read more »
Anna Papachristos | May 6, 2015
Every year, we reserve one day in May to celebrate the very person responsible for our existence--Mom! From mother figures to mothers-in-law, and everyone in between, Mother's Day allows us to honor those who've always cared for and supported us throughout life's journey (even though one day clearly cannot compensate for all they've ever done). Thus, with the season in full swing, many brands have launched ad campaigns that commemorate the bond between mother and child. Read more »
Mila D'Antonio | May 4, 2015
The debate on how to get sales and marketing to work better together has gone on for years. According to the results of the SiriusDecisions' 2015 State of Account-Based Marketing Study, alignment between sales and marketing has improved. Read more »
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