And Now Marketing Advice from John Rich and Gary Busey

Homogenized messages have no soul. Take a moment to internalize that and then we’ll move on. That thought comes to you from John Rich, the newly crowned winner of Celebrity Apprentice and Gary Busey who cannot be described with mere words.

The two of them sat down together to talk social media marketing with Top View and as silly as it may sound, they make some great points. As Rich explains, the power of social media is that it has the ability to create a personal connection with another person, a person you may never actually meet. You may not have the pleasure of sharing “cig-ars” with Busey, but you can converse with him on Twitter.

Consumers to the Internet: We Trust You, We Really Trust You!

When it comes to finding information about items they’d like to purchase, 69% of the respondents in Yahoo’s new study said they trusted the internet. They study is called “The Long and Winding Road: Gamesmanship of Shopping” and it’s the lead up to a webinair they’ll be delivering later this week.
The concept they’re after here is that thanks to the internet, consumers have the ability to do a lot more research before a purchase than they could in the past. They’re using search engines and online content to explore their purchase options and getting recommendations from friends through social media. Because of this, buyers are less impulsive, which isn’t necessarily the best news for marketers.

One thing that does spur a buyer on to faster action is the deal.

Groupon Now Gives Chicagoans Dinner for a Dollar

In order to promote their new Groupon Now service, Groupon is offering a number of dollar deals for folks in the Chicago area. $1 for $10 meal at Manny’s Coffee Shop and Deli, $1 for $18 at Baba Pizza and Pasta, or perhaps you’d like to pay $1 for beers at Grace Street Tap.

The promotion is running today only, but if it’s successful, it’s likely Groupon will repeat it when they open Now in other cities. It’s also assumed that Groupon is picking up the tab for the discount, but that’s not for sure.

Groupon Now is a variation on the daily deal site that preys on hungry, bored people who don’t want to plan ahead. It’s heavily mobile-dependent, using your current location to offer you deals in your area.

Which Traffic Source Has the Best Conversion Rate?

We spend a lot of time around here discussing the concept of whether or not social media marketing is worth the effort. We’ve seen reports that show that website traffic from social media networks is pretty low and I’m about to show it to you again. But this time, I’ll take it a step further thanks to the folks at SeeWhy.

SeeWhy studied a sampling of 60,000 ecommerce transactions across a variety of sites in February 2011. The first thing they did was chart where the traffic came from, but not all of the traffic. Since running an online store is about selling things, they looked at only the people who actually loaded items into their shopping cart. Here’s what they got:

Bezos Says Amazon Sales Tax is Unconstitutional

For awhile now, Amazon has been fighting the battle over the collection of sales tax. The simple version goes something like this. The rule up until now has been that if you don’t have a physical presence in a state, then a retailer does not have to charge sales tax when shipping to that state.

Now, some states are saying that having affiliates in a state, is equal to having a physical presence. One by one, states have been enacting this new law and one by one, Amazon has been canceling affiliate deals with people in those states.

Starbucks Teams Up with Lady Gaga

Starbucks has just announced that they’re teaming up with Lady Gaga. Yes, the woman who wore a dress made of raw meat to the VMA’s. The promotion will include exclusive videos and downloads through the Starbucks Digital Network and a Gaga scavenger hunt game across all of the store’s social networks.

Store appearances are not on the agenda, at least not until they can figure out how to create a dress out of coffee.

The announcement came shortly after Forbes listed Lady Gaga as the world’s most powerful celebrity, knocking Oprah down a peg. It was previously noted that the star would be teaming up with Farmville as well. So perhaps there’s a triple cross-over event in there somewhere.

Magazine Apps Have Readers Opting In and Coming Back

A new study by digital publisher YUDU, states that 40% of people who download a reader app register their personal information when given the option. It’s a surprisingly high number given all of the public outcry over privacy online and “do not track.”

Magazine apps had the highest opt-in rate at 41.48%,with brochure apps coming in just below that at 38.65% and catalog apps at 37.48%. YUDU thinks that the number of people opting-in to the sales apps is surprising in its own right. As a shopper, however, I see it the other way around. I’m happy to give a company my personal data if it’s going to help me buy a product I want, but why does a magazine need my address when it’s all digital?