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Be a Smart Customer: 2015 Holiday Shopping Tips

13 Nov

Every year, I offer a list of holiday shopping tips intended to help shoppers avoid overspending their budgets. Since the holiday season starts earlier and earlier each year, I’m moving up my tips post. According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season actually started in October.

So, here are my 2015 shopping tips as a checklist [Click the list to see a larger version.]:

2015 Shopping Tips


Innovation in Action: The Dinner Lab

9 Nov

The Dinner Lab has turned dining out into a very unique and fun occasion. It is “a place to discover what’s possible. Our nomadic dining experience invites members to try new recipes from rotating chefs and give feedback. The dinners are held in unique spaces that exist for only 24 hours, the company is diverse and adventurous and the chefs come from some of the world’s best restaurants.”

Today, Dinner Lab operates in more than 30 cities throughout the United States. Click here to see if your city is served. Following is a chart from the company’s Web site explaining how it works. [Click on the chart to access a larger version.] After the chart, there is a video by the New Yorker.


Dinner Lab 1


The Art and Science of Advertising Messages

3 Nov

Here is an interesting infographic on “Adverscience: Harnessing Science to Enhance Ad Creative” by Celtra:

“This infographic shows how our brains perceive, and respond to ads. The impact of design on the brain is far more powerful than most people realize. When building a creative ad there, has to be a perfect balance between the art and the science of creative messaging to induce the right emotions and make it memorable.”

Take a look. :-)


24/7 Wall St.: A Valuable Site to Visit

2 Nov

24/7 Wall St. is a very useful site about which you may be unfamiliar. It has articles across all areas of business, top ten lists, and a lot more.

Here’s one interesting area in which 24/7 Wall St. reports:

“Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 American brands that we predict will disappear, either through bankruptcies or because of mergers. Bankruptcies of large public companies in 2015 have already exceeded 2014 totals. Similarly, the total value of mergers and acquisitions is projected to hit a record high in 2015. While some of the companies on this list may disappear because they continue to be at the bottom of their industry, some may disappear because they are doing well. Over the years, some of our predictions have been better than others. Some of our predictions — like Alaska Air — have been dead wrong. Other brands we said would disappear — like Aeropostale — have survived but are still failing companies. Blockbuster, DirecTV, American Apparel, and Sony Ericsson are among the brands that have gone bankrupt or have been acquired since appearing on our list. These brands have not yet disappeared completely, but may still in the near future.”


And here are some specific examples of what 24/7 Wall St. publishes:


Click the image to visit 24/7 Wall St.


The Effect of Online Ratings on Consumer Behavior

28 Oct

Amazon has shown customer reviews and ratings for years. Many other retailers have followed suit. So, a vital question is: What is a good online rating score for a retailer or a specific product? The results of a recent study may surprise you, since a 5.0 out of 5.0 rating is NOT the one eliciting the most customer purchases.

As reported by Retail TouchPoints:

“While every retailer pushes for perfect ratings to illustrate the effectiveness of their products, these ideal ratings may not be optimal for sales. On a scale of one to five, the likelihood of purchase peaks for products with an overall average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5, according to research from Northwestern University.”

“Above 4.5, purchase likelihood drops as the rating approaches five stars. Five-star reviews actually are often considered ‘too good to be true’ by the consumer. As counter-intuitive as that logic may seem, negative reviews can have a positive impact because they help establish trust and authenticity with the consumer.”

To download the full Northwestern University/PowerReviews study on online ratings, click the image below. NOTE: A free signup is required.


FREE Resume Templates for Marketing-Related Jobs

21 Oct

Are you someone who has trouble writing TARGETED resumes geared to specific jobs? If your answer is yes, or you just want to get some new resume ideas, keep reading.

HubSpot is making available TEN free resume templates covering these fields:

  • Social Media Specialist
  • SEO Specialist
  • Web Production Project Manager
  • E-mail Marketing Specialist
  • Content Producer
  • Experienced Professional Level
  • Executive Level
  • Manager Level
  • Entry Level
  • Intern


To access these templates, click on the image below and complete the simple sign-up form.


Is Toyota Going Back to the Future — Or the Past?

20 Oct

From 1985 to 1990, Universal released three Back to the Future movies starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. These three films grossed about $960 million in worldwide revenue (which would amount to about $2 billion in current dollars).

In honor of the series’ thirtieth anniversary, Toyota has just introduced a video featuring Fox and Lloyd in conjunction with its new Mirai. As Digital Trends reports:

“Toyota has reunited Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd for a special Back to the Future-themed video, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the film, and the launch of Toyota’s Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. This is just a teaser and the full video will go live on Oct. 21, 2015, the date the Mirai goes on sale. That also happens to be the date where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) travel to in Back to the Future Part II. The teaser doesn’t really show it, but the full video will promote the Mirai and it’s ‘futuristic’ technology.”

“In the video, Fox and Lloyd chat about what technologies the film series assumed would be realities and what are actually realities today.”

How effective do YOU think this nostalgia campaign will be?


Take a look at the teaser video below.




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