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Public Relations & Social Media Insight
Social media, PR insight & thought leadership - from The PR Coach
Curated by Jeff Domansky
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Study: Omnichannel customer experience far from seamless | RetailWire

Study: Omnichannel customer experience far from seamless | RetailWire | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

New research from Accenture finds retailers must significantly enhance their mobile and in-store shopping experiences to match the way shoppers want to deal with retailers across multiple sales channels.


According to a survey of 750 U.S. consumers, 32 percent said the biggest improvement retailers need to make in the shopping experience is to enable the use of all three sales channels — physical store, online and mobile — in an integrated way. Yet a separate analysis of 32 major retailers found tablet and mobile phone users are able to start shopping on their devices and complete the cycle in-store with only 22 and 19 percent of retailers, respectively....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Retail really needs to pay attention to this research and act upon it if they hope to thrive.

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Guislain d'Hauteville's curator insight, April 8, 5:26 AM

You must listen your customers...

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Retailers Not Personal Enough For Online Consumers

Retailers Not Personal Enough For Online Consumers | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Webloyalty research into online consumers has revealed that UK retailers could be missing out on as much as £66m in additional revenue through failing to personalise the experience they offer online shoppers. Over half of UK consumers said that they would make more of an effort to use a retailer if it offered a good personalised experience.


The top fifty retailers in the UK have an average turnover of £3.2bn*. For an average-sized retailer generating a turnover of £850m (such as Wickes or Mothercare), this could deliver a 7.8% uplift in sales**.


In monetary terms, this translates to an annual uplift of £66 million, not only stimulating online consumers to spend, but also helping to improve loyalty. For larger companies, this number would naturally increase even further....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Webloyalty's Connected Consumer research reveals that retailers should focus on personalisation when it comes to online consumers.

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This Year Omnichannel Ambitions Become a Reality for Retailers - Smarter Remarketer

This Year Omnichannel Ambitions Become a Reality for Retailers - Smarter Remarketer | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
It’s a question that’s been at the forefront of marketers’ minds for years: How can I engage with customers uniquely, based on both their interests and their value to my brand? And then digging deeper: How can I manage that conversation not just digitally, but offline, too, through any channel? These are questions that have been asked, pondered, discussed and, ultimately, never answered. That is, until now. The promise of omnichannel marketing enlightenment gets realized this year....
Jeff Domansky's insight:
Omnichannel marketing strategies taking center stage.
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Macy's cutting 1,300+ jobs, closing 14 stores: trouble in paradise? - AGBeat

Macy's cutting 1,300+ jobs, closing 14 stores: trouble in paradise? - AGBeat | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Macy’s has announced they will shut down 14 stores as part of a restructuring effort, citing a shift in how consumers shop. The retail giant notes that this is part of a broader plan to meet consumers where they are: online.


The closed stores will mean a reduction of 1,343 jobs and should be completed within the next few months. The news has the average layperson assuming the worst of the brand, but Macy’s is no JCPenney, no, this is a simple effort that is common for large brands. These closures represent only a fraction of the brand’s 790 stores across America....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Macy's is restructuring by closing stores and cutting jobs. A new reality for retailers?

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Wal-Mart Online Sales Break Record, But Cyber Monday Not as Hot

Wal-Mart Online Sales Break Record, But Cyber Monday Not as Hot | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday that online sales broke company records, with more than 1.5 billion pages viewed on Walmart.com between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. The retailer said mobile sales accounted for about 70 percent of traffic to Walmart.com during the period.


Wal-Mart also said same-day pickups set records too, with orders up 70 percent from the same period last year.


But online sales across the board for retailers grew a smaller-than-expected 8 percent on Cyber Monday after web promotions before and during the Thanksgiving weekend robbed business from what has traditionally been the busiest day of the year for Internet shopping.


As of 6 p.m. EST Monday, data from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark showed Cyber Monday sales grew sharply slower than comScore data over the weekend which showed a 32 percent rise in online orders on Thanksgiving and 26 percent on Black Friday.


Cyber Monday sales were projected to rise between 13-15 percent. The results highlight the waning importance of traditional shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday, which until a few years ago kicked off the holiday shopping season....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

More than 1.5 billion pages viewed on Walmart.com between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. The huge power of online shopping demonstrated.

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comScore: Expect 16% retail growth over 2014 holidays - Ecommerce

comScore's experts predict desktop ecommerce to reach at least $53 billion while mobile is expected to bring in nearly $8 billion. Overall that indicates a 16% increase in spending over the 2013 holidays. Since Q4 of 2010, ecommerce growth has increased at least 10% Quarter over Quarter.


"The 2014 online holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a bright one with more than $61 billion in spending expected, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 16 percent across desktop, smartphones and tablets," said Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman Emeritus of comScore....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Merry marketing! Retailers should expect significant ecommerce growth over the 2014 holidays. That is the takeaway from a new comScore forecast which predicts the 2014 online holiday spend will exceed $60 billion.

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91% of shoppers to make mobile purchase this holiday

91% of shoppers to make mobile purchase this holiday | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Mobile apps are expected to drive holiday sales as increasing numbers of shoppers expect to make purchases on a mobile app.


In fact, 54 percent of app users plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping on a mobile app, via smartphone or tablet, according to new data from Artisan Research.


In a survey of 500 consumers, 94 percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they are purchasing and browsing products on apps more than ever before, and 91 percent intend to buy items from a mobile device this holiday season....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

The mobile impact on consumer buying is huge and marketing is moving quickly in that direction.

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Jan Wallen's curator insight, November 7, 2014 11:37 AM

The holidays are almost upon us -- is your marketing ready? 

AnointedMediaEv's curator insight, November 7, 2014 11:53 AM

Good info.

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The Key Statistics Behind Social Shopping | Sprout Social

The Key Statistics Behind Social Shopping | Sprout Social | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

There’s no question that social marketing can be used to drive sales. Shoppers are more technologically savvy — and, in particular,  socially  savvy — than ever, using their social networks to find both products and product information. Not only are more shoppers buying online than ever but more social networking users are doing that shopping.


There were an estimated 157 million online shoppers in 2013.

  • 75 percent of Twitter users buy products online every month, compared to 67 percent of overall
  • Internet users who shop online.
  • 74 percent of consumers use social networks for help making buying decisions, whether that means getting opinions from friends or reading product information provided by brands.


This makes social an ideal place for businesses to talk about their products because customers are already there and interested....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Shoppers are shopping — online.

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WHICH 50 : Amazon's rivals have learnt how to push back

WHICH 50 : Amazon's rivals have learnt how to push back | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Since it launched two decades ago Amazon has become the world's  “Everything Store”, defined retailing and established itself as a member of the Internet big four. But those early shell shocked retail rivals are fighting back. 


A recent L2 intelligence report shows that some retailers have started to “push back” and gain ground at the same time as Amazon’s growth is slowing according to a new report by L2. The evidence suggests that consumers largely prefer in-store pick-up than fast shipping like one-day shipping options.


The authors write, “Retailers have realized the value of their brick-and-mortar locations as fulfilment assets”....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Retail stores start to see the light and compete with Amazon.

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The Surprising Demographics Of Who Shops Online And On Mobile

The Surprising Demographics Of Who Shops Online And On Mobile | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

It's important for retailers to know who their potential customers are online in order to market to them effectively.In the first quarter of 2014, 198 million U.S. consumers bought something online, according to comScore's quarterly State Of Retail report. That translates to 78% of the U.S. population age 15 and above. 


But who are these shoppers driving the trend of buying online and on mobile devices? 


In a new report, BI Intelligence breaks down the demographics of U.S. online and mobile shoppers by gender, age, income, and education, and takes a look at what they're shopping for, and how their behaviors differ...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

The surprise is how significant men are in the online marketing and retail mix. Recommended reading for retail and marketing.9/10

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Online Purchase Cycle in 2014 Messy; Not a Funnel

Online Purchase Cycle in 2014 Messy; Not a Funnel | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Mobile, social, and the cacophony of modern interruption marketing has transformed the retail path to purchase, and forced retail marketers to focus on building lasting relationships that benefit customers.


...“Now, because of smartphones and tablets, marketers need to fundamentally rethink things. Shopping is becoming an iterative rather than a serial process. Consumers no longer go shopping, they always are shopping.”


Among the less frequently discussed casualties of modern marketing is the path to purchase.The path to purchase is not a sidewalk leading from the shopper’s front door to a store; it is a cycle repeated over and over, and it requires marketers to take a different tack....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Retailers face big challenges as consumers change how they buy.

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How Digital is Transforming Canada's $500 Billion Retail Industry | Techvibes.com

How Digital is Transforming Canada's $500 Billion Retail Industry | Techvibes.com | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

From mobile to social, the rapid adoption of digital technologies, devices and services by consumers is reshaping our entire economy.


We’ve observed three factors in this trend: 

-  First, industry leaders don’t seem to grasp how fundamentally transformative digital technologies are and don’t see a need for digital innovation. 

-  Second, they completely underestimate how digitally sophisticated modern consumers are—and how their expectations are increasing. 

-  Third, they seem unable or unwilling to transform their organizations to adapt to this new digital world. One such industry undergoing significant transformation due to digital is retail. Whether it’s to check reviews, compare prices or determine availability, most consumers go online before they shop. These online interactions determine what, how and where consumers shop.


Shoppers want selection, purchasing options (online or in-store), price competitiveness and excellent online service—throughout the buying process and even post-purchase. And they want it across all digital channels and on all their devices. In the coming years, we’re betting that no large retailer can thrive, let alone survive, without seriously upping their digital game and meeting the increasingly high expectations of their sophisticated customers...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Useful look at Digital disruption and its impact on every industry and some of the trends as it impacts retail.

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The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail

The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

PNo industry has been more transfigured in the past year than retail. Stores now behave like websites, tracking customers as they browse. American malls have pretty much died (but maybe on their way back to life). And in some parts of the country you can have your milk and eggs home-delivered along with your new iPod on the same day. Those who lead the field strike the right balance between physical and digital, experience and affordability, convenience and quality....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Fast Company looks at 10 retail innovators online and offline. Great lessons for business of every size.

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Brooke Lindell's curator insight, May 19, 2014 9:12 PM

This article lists the 10 most innovative companies in retail and on the list are companies such as amazon.com for 'leaving it's competitors in the dust' with it's free 2 day shipping with prime which made the company grow by millions, it created same day grocery delivery business in certain cities and also! Delivery on sundays with its partnership with the US postal service. They also talk about J.Crew being basically the clothing brand of America, combining run way looks with middle class prices, in 2013 their revenue grew by 10% which many people credit to the partnership of CEO Mickey Drexler and Jenna Lyons, president and creative director.

Kaitlyn Gregg's curator insight, November 5, 2014 3:16 PM

The most innovative companies are identifying their customers needs and potential needs, such as Amazon pushing past 2 day shipping to Amazon Fresh.  Another cool example is the retailer identifying the cultural needs of their Spanish customers. 

Megan Kraft's curator insight, November 5, 2014 3:54 PM

Everyone knows Amazon excels in retail innovation, but there were a few companies on this list I had never heard of, and some I was surprised made the list.

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Top 4 Factors That Influence Someone To Purchase

Top 4 Factors That Influence Someone To Purchase | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The reason that consumers may purchase your product or services really boils down to 4 different factors. These include cultural factors, social factors, psychological motivations and personal motivations. If you think hard enough, every purchase you have ever made has come from one or a combination of these factors. Now lets take a deeper look into each of these factors and how they may relate to inbound marketing....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Want to know what you should be paying attention to in your marketing? Pay attention to influencers.

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Nikol Hristova's curator insight, April 7, 6:47 PM

I decided to curate this article because it gives some factors about what influences people to purchase online instead of using the ads in the newspaper. Of course the social factors, as it says, are really important, because online you can find broad information about the product you would like to purchase. The psychological factor plays huge role also, because online everything seems more colorful and catchy than a regular ad in the newspaper. 

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Digital Body Language of eCommerce Shoppers | Infographic

Digital Body Language of eCommerce Shoppers | Infographic | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

There are no sales guys and zero face time with the customer. Hence, no scope to study buying signals. However, customers still reveal a lot through their ‘digital’ body language – browsing, clicking, scrolling, filtering, etc.Identifying a pattern in their behavior, and leveraging it is not an uphill task. In fact, there are some specific kinds of online visitors any ecommerce website usually gets. The infographic below will describe you various visitors that as an ecommerce store you will receive. Plus, their digital body language, their whole journey of shopping....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Seeing digital buyers' footprints.

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Argos Case Study: Mapping The Consumer Journey To Purchase

Argos Case Study: Mapping The Consumer Journey To Purchase | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Consumers today conduct a great deal of research about the products they are buying and brands are being asked to fulfill a multitude of informational needs.


Argos, a UK-based consumer goods and ecommerce retailer, is exceptional in that they maintain an active presence operating across a large range of touchpoints, both digitally and via traditional media. This case study takes a close look at how Argos reaches, influences, and engages consumers as they go through their purchase journeys....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

In-depth case study looks at Argos consumers' online purchase journey.

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Click & Collect - Untapped Convenience In A Bricks & Mortar World

Click & Collect - Untapped Convenience In A Bricks & Mortar World | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Fill your shopping cart, and have your goods delivered to your doorstep. This is the ecommerce experience that Amazon and friends taught us to love, as marketers and customers alike.


According to recent research and developments, new kid on the block “click and collect” apparently scores far higher in customer satisfaction and sales. And is exactly what it sounds like. Customers can click on their computer or smartphone to make a purchase and are then welcome to pick up their goods in person. Too simple to work?


“The importance of click and collect should not be underestimated. It has become firmly established, with expenditure set to grow 82% from 2014 to 2019 to £6.5bn, with clothing and footwear making up over half of all sales. “...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

With click and collect achieving top marks in customer satisfaction surveys, will it become the default fulfillment method when shopping online? With 82% growth, we think so.

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aitouaddaC's curator insight, December 11, 2014 3:28 AM

Chez moi y'a la pizza  qui se fait comme ça...

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Five Best Marketing Tricks These Shopping Sites Can Teach You

Five Best Marketing Tricks These Shopping Sites Can Teach You | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Before deciding to read this topic, ask yourself first – What are the things you wished was there in your last visit to a shopping site?


Should there have been more scope for interaction? Should there have been a price comparison facility? Did the web design communicate what it promised to sell? Would you purchase more if they offer seasonal discounts / free delivery next time?


Being 'user friendly', is the focal point of all e commerce sites. A design that is user focused, generates more conversions. So, if you were given the opportunity to make some improvements to the last visited shopping website, what would you have added or changed?


This post will bring to you a set of five best shopping site names, which try to maintain the key marketing principles, together with a beautiful web design....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Here is a comparative study of five shopping websites, to highlight the key factors that make them stand out in the e-commerce race. Read to find out how they make their online store generate better conversions.

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Darcy Bevelacqua's curator insight, November 23, 2014 12:01 PM

Here is a comparison of how different retailers are managing to stand out in commerce and whath they do to engage customers.

Ako A.'s curator insight, November 25, 2014 7:34 PM

This article was very insightful. The article featured a variety of marketing tricks that you can learn from. The apple website utilizes a unique color and typography. Color and typography are important components of a website. Particularly to a website that sells luxury goods. J Peterman has an intriguing copywriting style. The style is straight to the point and well positioned. Amazon's website has a very simple and clear navigation feature. A good navigation feature is essential to. a website's success. Next day coffee has a persuading landing page that easily attracts users. to the site. A landing page can make or break a site. Mood by me website has a clear and direct call to action. The website is straight to the point. These features are recognized by the various companies as critical components to attract customers and increase sales.

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Mobile and Social Shopping Trends HUGE For 2014 Holidays

Mobile and Social Shopping Trends HUGE For 2014 Holidays | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The holidays are almost upon us, and recent surveys confirm what many business owners have suspected: social commerce, and the use of mobile channels, is increasing and will have a huge impact on 2014 holiday shopping behaviors. The shift toward social shopping highlights trends that impact both business-to-consumer and business-to-business (B2B) purchasing.


As reported by MarketingLand, mobile and social channels will play a significant role in holiday shopping this year. In an online survey of 1,000 smartphone owners, sponsored by MarketLive.com, one in three shoppers stated they plan to make more than 50 percent of purchases via mobile devices. Thirty percent of respondents reported having made a purchase as a direct result of “engagement with a social networking site” within the past year. This is up from 18 percent the previous year.


And, as consumers become increasingly web and mobile-savvy, and vocal in their online reviews of their likes and dislikes, we will begin to see what some are describing as the “consumerization” of business-to-business purchasing behavior. So, while not all consumer shopping activities translate to the B2B purchasing model, many do....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Attention mobile shoppers. Research says you'll be spending big time on your smartphone this holiday season.

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Marco Favero's curator insight, November 14, 2014 3:16 AM

aggiungi la tua intuizione ...

Amanda Nadon-Langlois's curator insight, November 14, 2014 9:11 AM

Online shopping is forever growing. Businesses should consider making this available for their consumers.

sharon lewis's curator insight, December 26, 2014 8:22 AM

How many of your own holiday purchases were made on a mobile  device this season? 

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Survey: Social Media to Influence Half of Holiday Shoppers

Survey: Social Media to Influence Half of Holiday Shoppers | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

According to a new holiday shopping survey sponsored by e-commerce platform MarketLive (carried out by the e-tailing Group) mobile and social channels will play a significant role in holiday shopping this year.


The survey was conducted online among 1,000 smartphone owners, equally divided between male and female, who spend at least $250 annually on e-commerce. Among other things the survey found that “1-in-3 shoppers will do more than 50 percent of purchases via mobile devices.”


This is a statement of intention that needs to be qualified accordingly. But it indicates the degree to which shoppers are increasingly open to mobile (smartphone, tablet) purchases.


Social media experiences are also gaining in their influence over consumer shopping behavior according to the survey....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Mobile and social shoppers on aisle ten according to researchers.

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OXY GREY's curator insight, October 14, 2014 3:26 AM

Bonne étude sur l'état du "social media" dans les décisions d'achats sur "mobile devices" aux Etats-Unis.

Marco Favero's curator insight, October 14, 2014 9:22 AM

aggiungi la tua intuizione ...

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How to Craft a Shopping Experience That Beats the Web

How to Craft a Shopping Experience That Beats the Web | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Consumers want more from brick-and-mortar stores than they can get online, where shopping is faster, easier and often cheaper, members of a panel on retail. They're looking for human interaction, said Rachel Shechtman, founder of Story, a boutique in Chelsea. "The future of retail is about entertainment and community," she said. "It's really about the surprise and delight factor."


Her shop, Story, experiments with retail as a media channel, and is managed like a magazine, according to Ms. Shechtman. It has sponsorships, like magazines have ads, and it's completely redone every few weeks with new products and designs. Most of the shop, Ms. Shechtman says, is pure experience, with a smaller portion where customers can shop....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Retailers should provide experiences, an advertising week panel said, like the store where customers watch 3d printers make purchases such as custom headphones.

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Mobile has killed the retail supply chain…dead | @UNTETHER.tv

Mobile has killed the retail supply chain…dead | @UNTETHER.tv | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

One of the bigger implications of our new mobile world is the hurt it is putting on the retail supply chain.


There used to be a day when the only way a consumer could get a product from a specific brand was to find it in a store. That isn’t true anymore. With so many brands now reaching the consumer directly and the expectations of the consumer reaching orbital requirements, what will happen to the legacy supply chains still being used by most retailers today?


RSR released a report on the impact that mobile is having on the supply chain and, in case you didn’t know, it has been disruptive and destructive. More change in retail = more opportunity for differentiation....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

In a phrase: deep impact.

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Beaconizing the Brand Experience | Brian Solis

Beaconizing the Brand Experience | Brian Solis | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

...Millions are spent on content creation and propagation across many channels and media. Multi-channel marketing concepts can be fitted to this alternate use case by helping brand marketers understand the contribution of content investments to an engaged audience of individual consumers. It’s like placing iBeacons on branded content such that marketing spend can be optimized around the messaging that connects best with consumers. Metrics such as open rates and website visitor dwell times become indicators of content quality comparable on a relative basis.It takes a blend of informed creative brilliance and technology enablement to pull this off – key is informed.


To these ends, it’s essential to reign in the insights digital channels capture to fuel a profile of individual consumers that lives, grows, and evolves just like the person it describes. These insights help both agencies and brand marketers inform brand storytelling with knowledge of their consumers beyond superficial characteristics. In this way, you could say consumers help write the story....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Brian Solis explores how content marketing is becoming a "beacon" for success in marketing.

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20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind

20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are major retail chains closing thousands of stores?  If we truly are in an “economic recovery”, then why do sales figures continue to go down for large retailers all over the country?  Without a doubt, the rise of Internet retailing giants such as Amazon.com have had a huge impact.  Today, there are millions of Americans that actually prefer to shop online.  Personally, when I published my novel I made it solely available on Amazon.  But Internet shopping alone does not account for the great retail apocalypse that we are witnessing. 


In fact, some retail experts estimate that the Internet has accounted for only about 20 percent of the decline that we are seeing.  Most of the rest of it can be accounted for by the slow, steady death of the middle class U.S. consumer.  Median household income has declined for five years in a row, but all of our bills just keep going up.  That means that the amount of disposable income that average Americans have continues to shrink, and that is really bad news for retailers....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Challenges ahead for retail, mostly based on the disappearance of good paying jobs for middle-class Americans.

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Diane Dennis's curator insight, April 9, 2014 11:27 AM

How we shop for goods and services shifts to your marketplace, the internet. Own it.

Deanna Dahlsad's curator insight, April 9, 2014 12:48 PM

One of the ways the class warfare of the wealthy will hit them back -- in the wallet.

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25 Retail Blogs Every Small Business Entrepreneur Should Be Reading | Shopify

25 Retail Blogs Every Small Business Entrepreneur Should Be Reading | Shopify | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

A blog about ecommerce marketing, running an online business and updates to Shopify's ecommerce community. Small and boutique retailers have their work cut out for them when it comes to staying in business. There's a lot they need to know, and a lot that they need to take action on. Whether it's the latest trends in omni-channel retail, engaging their most loyal customers over social media, or understanding the way technology and mobile are revolutionizing how they accept payments.


Which is why I've taken the liberty of assembling the top 25 blogs that every small retailer needs to read and subscribe to if they want to stay ahead of the curve and thrive when it comes to selling in person...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Shopify points out 25 interesting retail blogs.

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Francey Smith's curator insight, October 31, 2014 3:10 PM

From my perch as a non-food retail marketer I can comfortably state that the retail blogs mentioned in this article have consistently presented a good overview of what the retailer marketer needs to know.  Even a scatter shot reading (we're all very busy thee days!) can be helpful.