Deloitte Says Non-Stores Will Rule This Holiday Season

A 2% increase in holiday sales may not sound like much, but with unemployment still running rampant through the US, it’s good news for retailers. Financial consultants Deloitte, are joining those that went before them saying that there will be an increase in spending this year and that much of it will be due to the online sector.

Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist says,

“Should consumers receive good tidings later this season in the way of falling energy prices or additional stock market gains, they may be able to lend retailers a bit more holiday cheer. However, given the unsteady pace of economic recovery, retailers should expect only a small uptick in holiday sales this year.”

Ad.ly Makes Celebrity Endorsements Accessible for All

I’ve gotten used to seeing Kim Kardashian get sloppy with a Carl’s Jr. burger on TV but the idea of Heidi Montag hawking a dogfood delivery service on Facebook perplexes me just a little.

In-Stream ad network Ad.ly has just announced a program where you can get celebrities to update their Facebook with glowing reviews of your product. It’s a service they’ve been providing on Twitter and MySpace for some time but Facebook feels like a much bigger step. With it, a client will now be able to generate a celebrity endorsed campaign on all three social networks — kind of like the Triple Crown of online advertising.

OnStar Declares a Social Media Emergency

“This is OnStar, what is your emergency?”

“I just saw Britney Spears buying bananas at Ralphs and I have to tell everyone I’ve ever met.”

No. I’m not kidding. Sam Mancuso, general director of marketing for OnStar told Advertising Age this week that the company is beta-testing a feature that will allow drivers to update their Facebooks by voice while on the road. It’s part of a push to make the brand seem hipper and cooler and it includes a new slogan “Safely connecting you in ways you never thought possible.”

Mancuso stands behind the idea saying that people are going to update their Facebooks by texting while driving and that’s dangerous and illegal. With OnStar, they can do it safely while keeping both hands on the wheel. He also claims that if they find this new feature to be distracting and unsafe, they will discontinue it and they’ll be upfront about the mistake.

For Those Who Abandon Shopping Carts

Tell the truth. Have you abandoned a shopping cart this week? I’m not talking about the people who leave actual carts in the middle of the parking lot when there’s a corral two feet away. (Though they annoy me, too.) I’m talking about the 70% of shoppers who load items into a virtual cart on a website only to walk away without buying anything.

We all do it. Ironically, I was going to do it today simply to see if the online store I was buying from would offer me an incentive to come back and finish. I decided not to count on it and it’s a good thing. According to an article on eMarketer, only 35% of marketers send out a remarketing email to people who showed an interest but didn’t follow through. Odds are the small site I was buying from wasn’t part of that 35% but they might be in the future.

Interbrand Names 100 Best Global Brands

It’s probably no surprise that Coca-Cola is the number one brand in the world, but did you know that they are one of only three non-techie brands to make the top ten? For the 11th year in a row, Interbrand has published their list of the 100 Best Global Brands and it’s good news for Google and Shell and bad news for Toyota and BP.

Interbrand uses a variety of criteria when dolling out the ranks including the many ways a brand touches and benefits an organization, whether it attracts top talent and how well it delivers on customer expectation. Three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value are the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process and the strength of the brand to continue to secure earnings for the company.

JangoMail Survey Says Less Isn’t More, Anymore

You’ve heard the old saying that “less is more.” Apparently, this isn’t true when it comes to email marketing. According to a recent JangoMail survey, 67% of those who enjoy consistent email marketing success include three or more calls to action in their email campaigns.

This reminds me of my college days when I worked as a telemarketer. We were instructed to get three “no’s” from a prospect before we were allowed to end the call. With email marketing, the rejection isn’t so overt, thank heavens, it’s more about the prospect’s ability to ignore a call to action than to vocally object. (Your email came in the middle of my favorite TV show! Dangnabbit!)

Will Google Me Become Reality?

Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt started a buzz or maybe a wave when he let it “slip” today that Google will be adding a  ‘social layer’ this fall.

Oh, there’s so much to discuss in that statement. First of all, ‘social layer?’ Some reporters are taking this to mean that Google will be adding social elements to all of their current sites as opposed to developing a new site specifically aimed at competing with Facebook. This being the case, it’s likely they’ll create a home page for people that allows them to link to and follow all of the related info from their friends.

Remember, Google already tried a similar trick with Google Buzz which was a horrendous failure. But Buzz was like Twitter meets Digg and not a true social networking site where you can spend virtual time with your friends.