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Four Stars for Microsoft’s People Powered Stories Ads

Social advertising is all about using the comments and recommendations of one person to influence the buying habits of another. Facebook does this handily by mentioning which of my friends like the ads that appear in my sidebar. But, to be effective, recommendations don’t have to come from friends.

A recent study by BazaarVoice showed that 51% of the all-important millennial consumers were influenced by the online comments of strangers. So that’s probably why they’ve teamed up with Microsoft Advertising for a new kind of ad they call “People Powered Stories.

The test revolved around the Windows 7 “back to school” campaign. The ads were designed to pull in real review data from college students, then deliver it to other college students as they surfed the web.

Facebook Stores: A Failed Experiment or Worth Another Shot?

Gamestop, Nordstrom, Old Navy, The Gap. All blockbuster retailers who know how to drive customers to spend big bucks and not one of them had success selling on Facebook.

The failure of F-commerce is an interesting conundrum. Facebook is the most visited site in the universe. People also spend money on Facebook to buy virtual items and upgrades for their games. Facebook is also growing faster than anyone else for display advertising, pulling in around $2 billion in revenue last year.

Taking all of those factors into consideration, Facebook stores should be pulling them in like Best Buy on Black Friday. So why don’t Facebook stores work?

Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research told Bloomberg,

The Sharing Economy: Could It Be the Next Big Thing?

Back in the days when we all knew our neighbors, borrowing from them was a common occurrence. Lawn mowers, hand tools, and that insane “cup of sugar” that appeared on nearly every TV show in the 50’s and 60’s.

Jump forward to the 90’s and borrowing wasn’t so hot anymore. Much of this was due to the change in the way we live and socialize. People who knew their neighbors well enough to ask a favor became the minority. We also became more possessive. If we wanted it, we bought it. If our friends had it, we bought it. Even if we were only going to use it once, we bought it.

Valentine’s Day Shoppers Plan for a Budget Holiday

It’s February. Love is in the air and the chocolates are piling up in the stores. Valentine’s Day is less than a week away but folks are still planning on how they’ll honor their partners without going over budget.

A new survey from PriceGrabber shows that 68% of shoppers will spend under $100 on Valentine’s Day, most spending between $25 and $50. For most shoppers, this is about the same as last year.

4% of loved ones are going to be in for a shock when their partner comes home empty handed.

In addition to buying for their spouse, 36% of shoppers said they’ll be buying for other relatives, including their kids. Only 17% said they’d be forking out for the boyfriend or girlfriend. What’s up with that?

The Daily for iPad Proves That People Will Pay for Good Content

A year ago, News Corp set out on a new adventure — the launch of a daily news magazine that could only be found on the iPad.

On the content side, it wasn’t much of a gamble. News Corp publishes The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, the UK’s Daily Telegraph and hundreds of other papers around the globe. They also had some experience with paywalls for online versions of their newspapers, but The Daily had to be all that and more.

What they set out to build, was a news source that truly took advantage of everything the iPad had to offer; interactivity, linking, video and audio all working together to tell a story.

European Xtreme Shoppers Prefer Tech Over Deals

TLC has a TV show called “Extreme Couponing,” which demonstrates the lengths people will go to in order to save a buck. The saying “only in America” comes to mind and a new survey from GfK bears that out.

The study took a look at the behaviors of “Xtreme Shoppers” around the globe. They don’t offer a clear definition of which shoppers fall into this category, but they’re definitely people you want on your side.

Europe has a larger concentration of xtreme shoppers with Russia and the UK taking the lead, well over the US. What’s really fascinating is how folks on the two sides of the globe answered the following shopping questions.

 

 

Product Videos, Gifts and Other Marketing Ideas You Can Borrow

The January issue of STORES magazine has an article called 20 Ideas Worth Stealing. Since they’re advocating helping yourself, I figured they wouldn’t mind if I borrow a few of their ideas to share here.

The entire article is a great mix of basic marketing manners and innovations that use mobile and other digital options to enhance the in-store experience. But there are also ideas that the strictly online retailer can use as well.

Reward Loyalty

Home decor flash sales site One Kings Lane surprised 6,900 of its best customers with a special gift that shipped the first two weeks of November. Based on purchase history, shoppers received taper candles, a silver pitcher or an inlaid bone box.