Consumer Reports says Americans are ready to shop again

Consumer Reports InsertIt’s been seven years since the 2007 Great Recession and Americas are still plagued by fears of losing it all in an instant. The good news from Consumer Reports is that, despite their fears, Americans are ready to shop again.

The vacations, home renovations, even divorces that seemed out of reach during the recession are now on the front burner; seven out of 10 people told Consumer Reports that they finally feel flush enough to make purchases and decisions they’ve put on hold for as long as five years

But years of worrying about where their next paycheck might come from has left consumers a little shell shocked. They’re ready to spend but most aren’t running out to buy a luxury car or a high-end vacation. Most consumers are being practical, spending on life’s necessities.

Marketers! How many of these 7 important skills do you possess? [infographic]

According to Formstack, the future of online marketing will revolve around these 7 important skill sets:

  1. Analytics
  2. Social Media
  3. Data Visualization
  4. Technical Skills
  5. Teamwork
  6. Newsjacking
  7. Soft Skills

How many do you possess? Any others you would add?

 

Infographic-7-Skills-New-Marketers-Need-To-Succeed

 

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Holiday marketers choose social and data over mobile and shipping

1214648_92719053For their 2014 Holiday Retail Audit, eBay virtually sat down with 1,000 online retailers to find out how they’re preparing for the coming holiday season. Rather than keep you in suspense, I’ll tell you how it out turns out – instead of spending money on mobile and shipping, retailers are banking on data and social this holiday season.

Data:

Retailers said they were going to invest in tools to help them capture and analyze data in greater detail in three areas: social media (29 percent), email promotions (22 percent) and search engine optimization (12 percent).

They’re also looking at ways to capture in-store data so they can have a more meaningful conversation with customers. During the holiday season, speed is essential. If a customer abandons a cart, a retailer needs to be able to spot it, respond to it and send out an instant offer to reel that customer back in.

Want to reach consumers on mobile? Do it before they go shopping

NinthDecimal GrowthSurprise stat of the day: smartphones have replaced tablets as the leading mobile device for retail shoppers.

Surprising because the tablet is the laid back king.  It has the bigger screen and the interactive, native ads, but still tablet usage for research dropped from 37% in 2013 to only 16% in 2014.

The one thing smartphones have over tablets is that we always have one in our pocket. So that’s probably the reason the for the increase. More people are relying on their phones to do research in stores. . .

Nope. 69% of product research happens at home, long before the customer heads to the store (virtual or otherwise).

NinthDecimal’s Mobile Audience Insight Report for Q2 2014 is full of interesting surprises. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Majority of shoppers say no to mobile phones in the checkout line

Cell Phone Acceptable or NotSince we have mobile phones on the brain this week, TheStreet went to the streets to ask people about acceptable phone usage in public. As you might expect, respondents under the age of 35 were much more accepting of all kinds of public usage including texting during the previews at the movies! Sacrilege! That’s almost as bad as leaving before the credits are over.

Talking, texting or surfing while walking was one of the most widely accepted behaviors. 65% of respondents said it was acceptable.

The researchers at Ohio State University beg to differ. They found that in 2010, 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking. That’s four years ago. Just imagine what that number is now! And think of how many funny YouTube videos we’d miss out on if people stopped texting and walking. . . .

Google boosts some search results with added Structure Snippets

A proper search engine is like a mind reader. It doesn’t just deliver what you asked for, it has to deliver what your thinking about, even if you’re not sure what that is.

If you searched the word “Dallas” today, there’s a strong possibility you want to know who died in last night’s season finale. But you could be searching for a hotel in the city or you want information about the sports team but you can’t remember if they’re Cowboys or Mavericks.

By adding a second word to your search; TV, hotel, football – the results change and you have a better chance of finding out what you need to know. Amazing.

Now, Google is taking another step forward with the addition of “Structured Snippets.”

Google upgrades My Maps; quite the nifty marketing tool

If you’d like to know all of the cities in the world James Bond has ever visited, there’s a map for that. You can even specify which Bond; Connery, Craig or Moore. Check the box and watch the location markers appear and disappear.

James Bond Map

With the new Google My Maps (previously Google Maps Engine Lite), you can create a map for just about any location-based data set with  images, descriptions, custom icons, and more. If you have an Android phone, you can even create and update your maps with the My Map app. (Say that 3 times fast.)

This isn’t a totally new concept, but Google recently upgraded the tool to make it more user and viewer friendly.

New features include the ability to: