Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2013 11:52 AM
In the race for last-minute holiday retails sales, Best Buy took the social route, teaming up with Google to host a Google+ hangout Tuesday night. The effort came just one week after the retailer launched its +Post Ads.
The Hangout, which included tech gurus from YouTube, Machinima.com and Best Buy manager Dan Duvalian—the guy in the blue employee shirt in the company's commercial—offered a menu of products that correlated with the ongoing conversation. Users that RSVP'd for the Hangout were able to comment and ask the panel questions via the #UltimateShowroom hashtag.
"It’s a fun, new and creative way for us to interact with our customers," said Best Buy spokeswoman Carly Morris. "We know tech products are on so many wish lists this year, and by working with Google, we get to literally 'hang out' with our customers to talk about these products and give advice on what tech gifts to give this year."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 05:43 PM
As the year readies to close out, it's time for the annual onslaught of year-end lists of best ofs, worst ofs, and 2014 look-aheads. So in due course, IBM has released its annual 5 in 5 annual technology predictions, highlighting what the company thinks will come to the forefront in the next five years.
“We try to get a sense of where the world is going because that focuses where we put our efforts,” Bernie Meyerson, VP Innovation at IBM, told VentureBeat. “The harder part is nailing down what you want to focus on. Unless you stick your neck out and say this is where the world is going, it’s hard to turn around and say you will get there first. These are seminal shifts. We want to be there, enabling them.”
Among the expected innovations in cloud computing and smarter cities, IBM expects there to be significant changes in the way the medical community treats illness, and how our digital lives are made more secure.
The new list of tech trends and innovations that IBM expects to impact our lives in the years ahead:Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 12:41 PM
What were once distinguishable differences between social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now all becoming parts of a whole—a whole taht is focused on serving up better, more targeted and engaging ads.
In the latest effort, following Twitter's more visual feed and Instagram's ads, Facebook has launched video ads today across its user network, debuting the new feature with a trailer for the upcoming film Divergent.
Facebook is positioning the new ads to see if its network can best TV—a different route than that taken by Twitter, which has worked hard to make TV brands and advertisers their partner through its Twitter Amplify program. “Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time—with high-quality sight, sound and motion," Ad Age notes.
The video ads will play automatically in users' news feed—a feature that the platform rolled out for general video content earlier this month. The autoplay can certainly be a turnoff, to which Facebook says "you can simply scroll or swipe past it." The video won't play sound until it is "clicked or tapped and played full screen." After the first ad, a "carousel of two additional videos” appears, making it easy for users to explore other content from the marketer.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 11:13 AM
Amazon.com is the most popular retail website for sharing content on Pinterest, according to a recent study from Searchmetrics on the top 10 retail sites in the US. Since Thanksgiving, the e-tailer has generated an average number of 16,360 pins per week, trailed by Walmart, which has 5,778 pins, and Apple, which has 3,871. QVC, meanwhile, has the highest number of followers at 42,683, compared to Walmart's 33,337.
“Amazon’s content gets pinned a lot because users are inevitably browsing its site for things that they want and things make great pins,” Mark Pinsent, social content lead at Metia, told Mobile Commerce Daily. “In many ways, people are using their Pinterest boards as their public wish lists, and obviously the idea of a wishlist is central to Amazon… Every online retailer should learn from Amazon. Have a ‘pin this’ button on every item on your site.”
Walmart has set up 10 separate holiday boards focused on entertaining, baking, gifts, decorating the tree and holiday decorating, including pins of content from other sites, while Office Depot has a board for sharing pins based on the band One Direction, and is partnering on an anti-bullying campaign.
“Group products into lifestyle buckets, which can be played out through Pinterest boards,” advises Pinsent. “I see retailers’ Pinterest boards being akin to their real-world windows displays.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2013 12:22 PM
McDonalds and Walmart aren't the only companies dealing with worker unrest over wages. Hundreds of Amazon workers in Germany have walked off the job to pressure the e-tail giant to settle a new wage agreement during what is the busiest time of year for the e-commerce hub.
The Ver.di union said the one-day strikes in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld and Graben will be joined by similar efforts from American colleagues outside Amazon headquarters in Seattle who support their union-mates, 9,000 full-time employees in Germany who receive lower wages than comparable jobs in retail and mail-order.
Ver.di wants Amazon workers classified as retail employees, but Amazon considers them logistics workers who earn less.
"The Amazon system is characterized by low wages, permanent performance pressure and short-term contracts," Stefanie Nutzenberger, a member of the Ver.di board, told Reuters.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 6, 2013 05:17 PM
Twitter has jumped into programmatics with the release of its Tailored Audiences ad retargeting feature.
"Twitter is very talented at releasing features that are incredibly simple to buy into," Nathaniel Perez, global head of social experience at SapientNitro, told Adweek. "Retargeting will be ... a dramatic improvement to media buyers' existing holiday plans."
Beta clients including Delta Airlines and HubSpot have reported engagement improvement with retargeted ads, but December is testing time on a broad public stage. Tailored audiences lets advertisers target users who have visited their website or "shown an interest," and find new people in the market for a product, using Twitter partners Adara, AdRoll, BlueKai, Chango, DataXu, Dstillery, Lotame, Quantcast,ValueClick and [x+1] to do so.
In a blog post, Twitter called it a "way to define your own groups of existing and target customers, and connect with them on Twitter.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 6, 2013 12:38 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: The Year of the Horse commemorative products... Bitcoin vs. China... Ford brings Mustang to China... L'Oreal gets Fan Bingbing... Carrefour grows... Volvo up... Suzuki gets "Authentic"... Toyota signals an end of Japan automaker woes... Qoros sells "made in China"... Arnie sees the sights... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 5, 2013 10:52 AM
Cyber Monday is an opportunity for legitimate online merchants to capitalize on the holiday shopping season—but it's also a time when a slew of websites look to sell consumers counterfeit goods. Online and offline scammers sell about $250 billion of fake brand name items annually in the US alone, with the design and fashion industries particularly hard hit.
This past Cyber Monday, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worked together with European and Hong Kong authorities to seize some 700 websites, 297 of them based in the US, that were selling counterfeit goods. It is the fourth year that such sites have been targeted on Cyber Monday.
ICE Acting Director John Sandweg said, "Working with our international partners on operations like this shows the true global impact of IP [Intellectual Property] crime," in a press release. "Counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday season and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere. Consumers need to protect themselves, their families, and their personal financial information from the criminal networks operating these bogus sites."Continue reading...