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5 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Black Friday

It’s noon and Black Friday is almost over. Well, it is if you realize that most big box stores opened around 4:00 am. I slept in this year, hitting Staples at 9:00 and just made it under the wire on the items I wanted. Got the last two on the shelf. From there I hit CVS where I bought $26.00 worth of items and was handed a gift certificate for $26 at the end of the transaction. In other words, it was my favorite word – FREE!

Now it’s time to take off my bargain shopper hat and put on my marketing hat for the 5 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Black Friday. Here we go.

1. Tweet, text, post or pigeon: Communication collaboration is the key

PlacePop Offers Loyalty Programs for Small Business

Local. Checkins. Deals. These are the top three buzzwords of mobile marketing. Though mobile’s been around awhile, this holiday season is poised to be the biggest when it comes to the use of mobile phones to facilitate shopping. But for every Old Navy, there are a hundred small business owners who would like to get in on the game but are overwhelmed by the process. PlacePop.com can do something about that.

PlacePop isn’t one of the biggest players in the checkin game (not yet) but they have something Foursquare doesn’t have and that’s simplicity. The site, which was created by Kent Lindstrom, the former CEO of Friendster, was originally designed as an application that would allow people to share their favorite restaurants and shops with friends. Now, they’ve converted the app into a loyalty program for small businesses.

Amazon’s Price Check App: This is War!

Amazon’s iPhone app has had the ability to scan a bar code and compare prices since October but now the sales giant is putting that ability front and center with a new app they call Price Check.

The app, which was just released in time for Black Friday shopping, is specifically designed and marketed to siphon sales away from brick and mortar stores. By scanning a bar code on a product, typing in the name or even saying the name into your phone, the app searches for the same item on Amazon and you can bet that more often than not, it will be cheaper online.

At that point, you’ll be prompted to place your order right there, while you’re standing in Target, you’ll be ordering the item in front of you from Amazon. How do you like them apples?

Home Depot Personalizes Gift Cards with Video

A gift card may seem like the last act of a desperate gift giver, but Home Depot is determined to change that feeling by adding video to their cards.

When sending a Home Depot e-card, you can now upload a video up to 3 minutes long, or, you can use a webcam to record a message. Then, the recipient uses the code they receive in their email to access the video and voila, it’s now more than just virtual money!

Want to spread the love? With one click, you can send e-gift cards to your friends on Facebook, even if you don’t know their email address.

Facebook Tests Play Now, Pay Later Plan

Sometimes you need a virtual magic gem stone right now and you simply don’t have the money to pay for it! What’s a person to do? Same as in real life – charge it!

Facebook is rolling out a play now, pay later plan which will allow people to buy virtual goods on credit then pay off the balance with Paypal or a credit card at a later date. Inside Facebook suggests that this may be a clever way to get people to upload card information which can later be used to facilitate impulse buying. The program could lead to a one-click payment option such as you find on Amazon and that would be a big move for Facebook.

Google Looks to Help You Get Dressed With Boutiques.com

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has talked about being able to help people decide what to do next or to even know what is best to do next (just Google “creepy CEO ideas” and you’ll see his full library, no kidding). Now through its new Boutiques.com (which was the offspring of the Like.com purchase of a year ago) Google can help women decide what to buy and wear! Cool in one way but creepy in another but it is what it is.

The Official Google Blog tells us

The way we shop for fashion is different from how we buy cameras—especially online. With fashion, reviews and specs are less important; fashion shopping is about discovering something that fits your taste and feels right. The web works well for buying cameras and other hard goods but for soft goods, such as clothing and accessories, it’s not the same as shopping in a store.

Radio Shack Wants You To Check-in Somewhere Else

Radio Shack is running an interesting new Foursquare promotion that asks you to check-in some place other than your local Radio Shack. How odd is that? The badge you’re looking for is called Holiday Heroes and when you earn it you get a coupon good for 20% off your purchase.

To get the badge, Radio Shack is asking you to check into “Hero Hotspots,” which include MidTown Comics and the Golden Gate Bridge. The write up also mentions a gym and a coffee shop because all heroes need to stay in shape and then get a jolt of caffeine.  After you check-in at two of these places, you visit your local Radio Shack and the badge and discount is yours.