Online Holiday Shopping Expected to Rise to 36 Percent

Online sellers and shoppers are both optimistic about the upcoming holiday season. According to’s eHoliday survey 68% of online retailers say they expect to see growth of at least 15% over last year.

On the consumer side, data from the National Retail Federation, shows that consumers plan to do 36% of their holiday shopping online. This is an increase from 32.7% in 2010.

Fiona Swedlow of says,

“There’s no question consumers are eager to hit the Web this holiday season, and online retailers are prepping by optimizing their sites, beginning their marketing and promotions early, and planning plenty of free shipping promotions as they aim to provide value and convenience for their shoppers. Online retailers will also leverage their social media and mobile platforms for savvy shoppers on the go, knowing how important customer reviews and comparison shopping applications are to holiday shoppers.”

What iOS 5 Means for Marketers

This past weekend, I took the plunge and upgraded my iPhone and iPad2 to iOS 5. I should have waited for Halloween, as it was a frightening, nightmarish experience but when it was over, I had treats galore!

iOS 5 is a huge update with more than 200 new features. After only a week, it was estimated that 1 in 3 eligible customers had the download and you can bet it will be 2 out of 3 very soon. This is good news for you, because iOS 5 has several features that are great for online marketers.

5 Essential Features Of A Marketing Automation Platform

Marketing is undergoing a major change. Inbound marketing and the shift to online is forcing marketers make changes to their marketing infrastructure.  This means a reduction in agency design fees and trade publication advertisements in favor of marketing software to boost lead generation and lead management.

Marketing Automation tools should be part or a larger inbound marketing tools set. When looking specifically at marketing automation features, marketers should keep these five key features top of mind.

5 Essential Features Of A Marketing Automation Platform

1. Click Tracking – It may seem simple but one of the core functions of a great marketing automation system is click tracking. As a marketer you need to understand the click-through rate for the links in your marketing automation campaigns. More importantly you need the conversion events attributed to marketing automation campaigns if they triggered the conversion as oppose to another source like direct traffic.  

Yahoo Purchase Talk Attracts Only the Biggest Names

While the world awaits their copy of Steve Jobs’ biography there is still business being done (barely).

Amongst the most interesting stories / rumors / areas of great speculation is the possible sale of Yahoo. Yahoo has been in a tailspin for quite some time now. Things have changed though as the Carol Bartz era ended with her firing by phone and subsequent whining about this and that. The Jerry Yang re-emerged as somewhat of a voice for the company although it is difficult to take that seriously considering it was he who let the property slip from its once high flier status to its current state of “still gets a tone of traffic but no one can really figure out why or what it does” standing.

Cup of Joe: With The Right Expectations, You Can’t Touch This!

The other day I saw someone Tweet about MC Hammer starting his own search engine. And I laughed. I mean seriously, who would ever expect this guy as being an innovative tech entrepreneur? I honestly thought the tweet was a joke about silicon valley hype. A little later I went and actually looked at the supposed site, and again thought it was an evolving joke. This is because the site (that hasn’t launched yet) currently consist of a sign up page and a poorly done logo. And then later, I stumbled upon the above video.

Wow. Looks like Mr. Hammer knows a thing or two about tech!

AOL Radio: Can Less Equal More?

AOL Radio relaunched today with new features, easier navigation, and 50% less commercials.

Bloomberg reports that AOL is cutting back to 3 minutes of commercials per hour. If they were previously running 6 minutes per hour, it’s no wonder they had trouble keeping listeners tuned in.

AOL Radio’s General Manager Lisa Namerow says that too many ads was the most common complaint among listeners. Not surprising, as we’ve learned that consumers have very different feelings about ads in different formats.

For example, TV watchers tolerate, and sometimes even enjoy, the commercials that run during their favorite shows. But surveys have shown that people don’t like seeing ads when they watch those same shows online. Maybe it’s simply a case of not knowing how to complain when it’s a TV or radio ad. With online, it’s easy to hit that contact us button and grouse.

Infographic: Anatomy of the Digital Consumer

Social / Mobile / Local make up the holy trinity of digital marketing. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses and not all of them will be home runs for all industries. To help you decide what’s the best way to reach your customer, Nielsen and NM Incite, have put together these colorful and informative infographics.

We begin with social.

Social is all about sharing information. When you do your job right, customers share your information with their friends and hopefully, they become customers, too. Social users are also media savvy. They love movies, music and TV and if you can push the right buttons they’ll be happy to tell you how they feel . . . about everything, even when you wish they wouldn’t.