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Cisco Offers Free WiFi in Return for a Facebook Check-in

Philz-2Facebook and Cisco are going into business together on a project that will help both consumers and business owners. It’s called CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi.

How CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi Works:

-   Consumers connect to the network of a participating business, open their browser on any mobile device or laptop, and a Facebook check-in page appears.

-   After checking in, consumers are directed to the business’ Facebook Page, where they can receive the latest information about the venue.

It’s ingenious.

WiFi is one of those things that wasn’t even on my radar five years ago but now feels like a necessity. Whether I’m at the grocery store, the mall, at a restaurant, I feel the need for free WiFi. It’s how I check prices, download coupons and entertain myself while I’m waiting for my order. Sure, I have a data plan on my phone but 3G often leaves me high and dry. I’d trade a check-in for a WiFi connection without hesitation.

74 Percent of Millennials Won’t Share Social Deals. How Do You Reach Them? Go Mobile

millennials on mobileThere are 86 million Millennials (age 18-34) in the US and they have money to spend this holiday season. Only trouble is, traditional holiday advertising doesn’t work for this group, so if you want to reach them, you’re going to have to go mobile.

Campaigner, an email marketing company, surveyed a whole bunch of consumers then dug out all of the responses that came from Millennials and put that info into a jazzy infographic.

For those who prefer words to pictures, I’ll summarize the results.

It begins with mobile:

67% of all millennials check email on their mobile phone.

When you look only at mobile device owners, that’s 9 out of 10.

Here’s the good news / bad news:

Which Would You Rather Have? A $250 Discount or a $200 Gift Card?

report-preference-web01You’re about to buy a new car. You can have a $250 discount off the price or a $200 Visa gift card. Which would you choose?

If  you’re like most people, you’d choose the gift card. The new Parago 2013 Shopper Reward Preference Study shows that people are two times as likely to pick the lower, gift card reward rather than the higher discount. Value wise, it’s a bad choice but in this case it’s about perception.

You won’t even notice a $250 savings on the total price of your car, but you’ll feel richer when you go to spend that $200 gift card at Target. Plus, spending found money is a whole lot more fun than saving it.

Almost Half of All Marketers Will Launch Holiday Campaigns Before Halloween

kmart christmasThe press made quite a fuss when Kmart aired the first Christmas commercial of the season on September 9. This is a full seven weeks earlier than their first 2012 ad, which ran Oct. 28.

The concept of starting earlier and earlier is called “Christmas Creep.” Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the Kmart ad features a spooky, oversize gingerbread man who creeps up on an unsuspecting woman. “Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you” is the message, but it hardly seems possible given the timing of the ads.

Kmart’s ad is all about layaway, so you can forgive them for jumping the gun but they aren’t the only ones with a premature reveal.

According to a survey conducted by Experian, 49 percent of marketers “suggested” they were going to start a holiday campaign before Halloween.

2013 Holiday Shopping Season is Shorter and Starts Sooner. Are You Ready?

festive-418192-mIt would seem like there’s always the same number of shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it simply isn’t so. In 2012, we celebrated the mighty turkey on November 22, giving shoppers and sellers a full 31 days of shopping before Santa began shimming down chimneys in the US.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 28 which drops the shopping period to only 25 days. That’s a tough break for small stores that need every hour of holiday sales time in order to make their year.

Also, because of the way the calendar swings, there will only be 4 shopping weekends instead of five this year. That’s another huge blow, since weekends are the golden days for retailers.

Computer Savvy Millennials Still Turn to the Newspaper for Their Coupons

VALASSIS PURSE STRING SURVEYYou would think that Millennials, those born between early 1980 and early 2000, would consistently turn to the internet for all of their couponing needs. After all, digital and printable coupons are plentiful – so why pay for a newspaper you’re not going to read?

But according to the Sixth Annual RedPlum Purse String Survey, 51 percent of millennials chose newspapers as their number one source for coupons and deals. Other print sources include:

  •     33 percent from the mail
  •     21 percent from retail circulars
  •     20 percent from coupon books

45% of millennials said they’re likely to give or send physical coupons to friends and family.

Looks like paper is still going strong.

Get Ready for the Tweet and Shop Twitter of Tomorrow

twitter logoTwitter is making major strides toward becoming an ecommerce powerhouse as they hired their first Head of Commerce, Nathan Hubbard. Hubbard is the former CEO of Ticketmaster and he is now charged with turning Twitter into an ecommerce player. Bloomberg reports

“We’re going to go to people who have stuff to sell and help them use Twitter to sell it more effectively,” Hubbard said in an interview. “One of the hallmarks of Twitter’s entire approach has been partnering. We’re going to take the same approach with owners of physical and digital goods.”

That’s all well and good but it was the next line in the Bloomberg article that really got my attention.

Hubbard, a Princeton University graduate with a masters in business administration from Stanford University, was formerly a touring and recording artist, and has released five albums.