BRAND: Like Clint Eastwood and Christopher Nolan, Maverick Carter has his office on the Warner Bros. studio lot. Once you get past security, you drive by pinup western storefronts to a section of cookie-cutter houses with vinyl siding. (Gilmore Girls was filmed here.) Even the grass looks like it's from Milwaukee. Outside one of the houses are reserved parking spots that read: “M. Carter” and “L. James.”
ESPN's new site launching Tuesday will focus on content from an African American perspective. It's been called "The Black Grantland" but the voice of the site makes it a direct competitor to sites for black millennials like Blavity. With beautiful original photography, long form, and short form, the site does a great job of reaching its audience - young and old, hip or square.
ECOMMERCE: The chasm between e-commerce and its brick-and-mortar counterpart is expanding, and people’s shopping preferences are evolving in turn. In this day and age, retailers have little choice but to adapt to an interconnected world and to their customers’ shifting expectations of the shopping experience.
BRAND: Tough Mudder has expanded quickly by designing its marketing and messaging around shareable content like photos and videos from its events with the #ToughMudder hashtag. There are now nearly a half million posts with the hashtag on Instagram alone. But it is video that is the brand’s new focus. An in-house team of three people oversees branding and creative, including content, copy and video.
DATA: The fact that corporations around the world are embracing business intelligence (BI) should come as no surprise. As you’d imagine, the advanced analytics developed by world-class BI practitioners leads to deeper insight and significantly enhanced performance. But decidedly newsworthy is the degree to which the most successful BI programs are migrating.
The move represents a big expansion of Facebook’s existing off-site partnerships, including the Audience Network. To sweeten the deal, Facebook is also offering cross-site ads with placement next to content appearing on its own Instant Articles platform, wooing publishers and advertisers with additional scale and convenience.
BRAND: In addition to offering an unprecedented look at the interdependence of media, corporate communications, and information emanating from consumers, the study underscores how the importance of Twitter in brand management has exploded since 2010--even more than one might expect--and how the influence of other channels has waned.
MEDIA: It's upfront season in the US, the time when broadcast and cable networks make their glitzy annual pitches to marketers, and secure half their advertising sales for the year. As the highest-rated US cable network, the sports-focused Disney-owned channel ESPN has historically held an enviable position during the upfronts.
DATA: For several months, a handful of marketers including Dick’s and Allstate Corp. have been testing ESPN’s latest ad product, which will be formally announced during ESPN’s upfront event in New York City today. The company plans to roll out a similar tool for video ads that appear on ESPN.com and ESPN’s streaming app within six to nine months.
ECOMMERCE: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) might seem a bit overwhelming when you’re looking at an entire e-commerce website. Where should you focus your testing efforts and how do you decide what to test first? There are so many opportunities because of the variety of pages to choose from, including the: homepage, category pages, product pages, shopping cart page, checkout process.
DATA: Email marketers have a lot of tools at their disposal. Some of these services pride themselves on sending billions of emails each month, while others provide a more crafted, intimate experience. For all of them, their core value has been helping people send bulk emails, manage subscriber lists, and track their results.
ECOMMERCE: Via computer or smartphone UPS will provide a “detailed view” of a package’s location when it’s out for delivery—though it will not show a driver’s exact delivery route. According to a press release, UPS also plans to add more services to the feature in the future.
Last Word: A Retail Solution (Part 2 of 2)
In yesterday's "last word", I highlighted the increasing probability of a retail recession due to the continuing failure of second tier department stores (J.C. Penney, Dillard's, Kohl's) and the uptick in failure at premier department stores like Macy's, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales. Details of current stock turmoil can be found at "Retail Gets Downright Ugly"
via Business Insider:
When Postmates first launched in 2011, food orders were 99% of the company's deliveries. And now, that share has shrunk down to 80% where the other 20% is made up by delivery orders for retail, health, and beauty products. This is likely driven by another large partnership Postmates sealed last month with American Apparel. It is the first in-app partner to offer apparel, and is also the largest partnership that Postmates has landed as of yet.
Postmates retail push is helping appease consumers that are increasingly expecting faster delivery — 99% of US consumers consider same- or next-day delivery to be fast,according toDeloitte. Meanwhile, just 63% consider 3-4 day shipping to be fast. This means that for on-demand startups like Postmates, retail provides a valuable market for gaining new customers quickly.
There's potential in a major retail partnership between retailers and logistics apps like Postmates. The prerequisite for this type of partnership will be the invest in omnichannel inventory tracking systems to replace legacy systems that currently hinder regionally-based eCommerce operations. This will allow users to purchase products from the likes of Macy's, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale's through the Postmates app - having them delivered within the hour from the closest store that possesses the relevant product.
This provides a logistical structure for the type of instant gratification that Amazon has introduced to American consumers. It also transforms existing storefronts into working warehouses, allowing for the reduction of off-season, in-store personnel.
Nordstrom's anticipated $300M investment in eCommerce in FY16 is the most capable of accomplishing this type of pivot. At scale, this reimagining of local eCommerce can work and even inch the odds in the favor of legacy stores - at least until Amazon's drones are ready for flight.