Could Stores Really Get Away with Charging a ‘Just Looking’ Fee?

Brick and mortar store owners are frustrated by customers who use their stores as a showroom – trying out items in-store, only to buy them online from someone else. One shopkeeper in Australia decided that enough was enough and posted this sign in the window:

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First, let’s get the validity question out of the way. It could be phony or someone’s idea of an early April Fool’s joke. It was originally posted on Reddit, then was picked up by The Consumerist. That’s all I have on the origin and I don’t doubt that it’s real. I do doubt that the store owner is forcing customers to hand over a $5 bill the minute they step inside the store. That’s the only way you could enforce the rule as you can’t lock the door behind them then force them to pay in toll in order to leave.

Tiger, Nike, Winning, Social Media and Reputation

Nike and Tiger Woods are no strangers to controversy. Nike has created its brand tying its name to famous athlete. That can be either a boom or bust proposition. Just ask them about Lance Armstrong.

Tiger, on the other hand, is trying to remake his once invincible image and Nike is going along for the ride. What’s creating controversy is while Armstrong has been vilified for his version of cheating, Woods is getting a much different treatment from Nike as he rebounds from HIS version of cheating (which was about marital infidelity and not the game he plays, for now at least).

So now Tiger has fought his way back to the top of his profession as he regains the number 1 ranking in the world of golf. Nike’s response? This message that was put throughout their social channels.

BlackBerry Using Android Apps to Regain Traction

blackberry 10I find it hard to believe but BlackBerry is still around and there may even be a bit of life left in the beleaguered device maker.

The BlackBerry fall from grace is one of business school case study lore but while we are quick to dismiss the company in the US in lieu of Apple or Android devices, the rest of the world still knows Blackberry well. As the company works to fight back with its new BlackBerry 10 OS and devices like the Z10 it is using a rather interesting tactic to help it get back to relevancy. That tactic is having about 1 in 5 apps in the BlackBerry app store actually be Android apps. All Things D reports

Ning Tries to Recover its Zing

ningDo you remember Ning? Back in 2005, Ning launched an unusual social networking tool that combined the conversation of a forum with the content of a website. Thousands of people signed up to create communities dedicated to their favorite TV show or movie, hobby or cause. You could also build a private Ning space for members of your local little league team, club or company.

Back in the day, I belonged to several Ning groups, so I was extremely disappointed when the free service converted to a paid service. That was the beginning of the end. Because they were doing it for fun, not profit, thousands of community owners shut down their sites and reopened in places such as LiveJournal and Facebook.

What’s One More Ad? Facebook Tests Ad Exchange Ads in the Feed

The Facebook News Feed used to be sacred ground, reserved for only those with a direct connection to the profile holder – for example, posts from brands they follow. . . .

Then Facebook got tricky. They put in “Sponsored Stories” and bumped branded Page Posts to their own tab. Then they offered to put those Page Posts back in the main News Feed for a price (Promoted Posts.) Now, they’re testing Facebook Exchange Ads in the News Feed. Ads like this one:

facebook feed ads

The overall message: if you want your business to show up in a prime location, you have to pay, pay, pay. And that should be okay with marketers. After all, you’d pay to put a banner ad on another site or hang a billboard in town – so shouldn’t you pay to have your ads show up on Facebook?

Which Social Media Memes Are Talking About Your Company? [infographic]

We could use a boring list to explain the different types of stakeholders talking about your brand, but instead, we’ll share Trackur’s fun infographic.

Trackur-Talking-About-You

10 Ways Inbound Marketing Drives Results This Month

calendarThe idea of Inbound marketing comes along with very specific expectations – getting found, getting leads and closing sales. The beautiful aspect of inbound marketing is that you can make changes to your marketing execution right now and see results today, tomorrow and next week.

That being said, inbound marketing is a long term play, the longer you do it, the better the results. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint and you need to be constantly marketing. You should never consider marketing finished. You should never “take a break.” Do it every day!

However, there are real improvements that can be made today that will impact your results in a positive way all through the rest of the year. Here are 10 of the best ways to use inbound marketing to drive results this month: