Convenience Stores Face a New Loyalty Test: Will They Pass or Fail?

By Vanessa Horwell / Mar 17, 2017

In the old days, you would drive your car into a convenience store forecourt and, while filling your tank at the gas pump, stroll inside for a soft drink, a slightly stale sandwich and maybe a pack of cigarettes. Once your gas tank was full, you’d pull out a wad of cash or a credit …

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Cyber Security

Here’s Your New Title: Chief Marketing & Internet Security Officer

By Vanessa Horwell / Jan 27, 2017

A recent article in Social Media Today had the arresting headline, “Why Marketers Are Now in Charge of Cyber Security.” Let’s think about that for a minute. Nobody is secure from hacking and data theft, not even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. After repeated hacking, Zuckerberg now runs around with duct tape on his webcam.  3M …

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The Trump Tweets: Protecting Your Brand (Values) in a New Political Era

By Vanessa Horwell / Jan 18, 2017

With each day delivering a fresh maelstrom of Twitter trash and nonsense posts, it’s been overwhelming and hard to focus on just one issue. Some of the Twitter outbursts have kept me up at night. In fact, breaking out in cold sweat in the late evening or early morning hours seems to be the new …

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The Return of the Tactile Experience: What It Means for Technology Companies

By Vanessa Horwell / Jan 5, 2017

Each decade, it seems, has spelled the end of an era for old or “redundant” technologies.  For those who remember the 8-track, we lamented its loss when cassettes came on the scene (I’m aging myself now). Several decades later, cassettes and vinyl records found themselves on the way out with the arrival of DVDs, CDs …

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Facebook data


By Vanessa Horwell / Jan 3, 2017

Facebook repeatedly has corrected traffic data that it makes available to its advertisers. In its latest snafu, Facebook reported inaccurate user engagement figures. It appears that the number of people who shared or commented on a Facebook link exceeded the sum of shares, likes and comments for that link. That’s not supposed to happen. If …

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What Beleaguered Car Rental Companies Can Teach Us About Listening To Customers

By Vanessa Horwell / Dec 29, 2016

The New York Times reports that, in an increasing number of areas, “the Lyft and Uber experience for both business and leisure travelers is simply worlds better than turning to a rental car.” I can’t disagree with that. Uber’s ride-sharing service, barely five years old, is valued today at more than $60 billion. (Hertz, one …

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A New Shopping Experience

Reprogramming Consumers’ Shopping Behaviors, One Mobile App at a Time

By Vanessa Horwell / Dec 23, 2016

From the country that brought you 5-pound hamburgers, now this: Two apps that will make it even easier for shoppers to completely avoid tangible, physical interaction with a brand or human. And these two examples (explained in detail below) pale in comparison to what Amazon is doing with its new retail concept – Amazon Go – where …

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B2B Marketers Are Getting Smart(er) about Mobile’s ROI

By Vanessa Horwell / Dec 15, 2016

B2B marketers are shifting greater focus – and dollars – to the mobile channel.  And rightly so; Statista estimates that mobile commerce sales in the U.S. will double over the next three years, with market share likely to grow from 29% in 2016 to 44% in 2019. But how many marketers go to bed at …

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The Fintech Invasion May Be Coming Soon to a Bank Near You

By Vanessa Horwell / Dec 5, 2016

With major disruption happening across the financial services and payments sectors — especially as blockchain and Bitcoin gain more traction and visibility — financial technology (fintech) companies are set to make waves in the 2017 payments and finance markets. Fintechs have experienced significant growth this year, in terms of investment and the number of startups proliferating …

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Fake News

Fake Media: Navigating the Murky Waters of Fake News and How to Expose the Fraudsters

By Vanessa Horwell / Nov 24, 2016

Just how problematic is the recent rash of “fake news” appearing on social media – and in our daily “trusted” news source feeds? In a word – disturbing. We (media, journalism, digital marketing and the entire PR universe) are seeing only the surface of a deeper, underlying problem. Over the past few years, these nebulous …

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Ad Tech’s Mid-Life Crisis: What’s Next for Advertising Technology?

By Vanessa Horwell / Oct 14, 2016

The advertising technology (ad tech) market is shifting – and whether it’s thriving or stagnating is a matter of perspective. Some say the market is huge and poised for continued growth. Others note that VC investment is slowing. So which is it? Ad tech sits at an unfortunate inflection point of a multi-industry evolution. Fueled …

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The Retailing Loyalty Dilemma: How to Stay Connected With Customers Post-Purchase

By Sue MacDonald / Oct 5, 2016

When the president of eBay is quoted as saying “the wall between retail and e-tail is crumbling fast,” something is definitely going on in the e-commerce and retailing worlds. Spurred by consumers’ reliance on mobile devices, the boom in social media, and shoppers’ permanent fixation with deals, what used to be divisional issues between in-store …

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