March 4, 2016

In today’s age of targeted advertising, billboards may seem like a holdover from another era. However, these seemingly obsolete roadside ads could bring about one of the latest advancements in mobile marketing. This week the media giant Clear Channel announced a plan to make their tens of thousands of billboards more effective by analyzing location data from smartphones. The idea is to aggregate demographic information about the people who travel by a particular billboard and where they go afterwards. For Continue reading

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Unless you’re a professional poker player, chances are that people can tell a lot about your mood just by looking at your face. After all, every furrowed brow or slight frown speaks volumes as the human face’s 43 separate muscles constantly communicate with the world around it. Recently, researchers have developed technology that can analyze all those muscles in detail, potentially unlocking the mystery of the many emotional cues hidden within our faces.

This information is especially interesting to a Continue reading

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April 30, 2015

In an earlier newsletter, we included a story about how Lego built its mighty block empire on a strong foundation of licensed products. The Danish company continues to make a variety of sets with characters from popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, accounting for a third of Lego’s sales. As the toy company became more dominant in the last year, however, it started to focus more on promoting its own brand rather than others’. The 2014 The Lego Continue reading

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April 15, 2015

The mission of marketers is to make a product appealing to customers. To accomplish this task, ads often depend on eye-popping visual imagery or memorable music in order to form a quick impression. But as many marketers are beginning to realize, consumers have three more senses to stimulate besides sight and sound. Anything from a pleasing smell to a feeling of warmth can make people more receptive to buy, leading a number of companies to ramp up their sensory marketing Continue reading

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April 11, 2015

Although the TV viewing habits of Americans have changed many times over the years, the statistics company Nielsen has remained a prime mover in the industry since the 1950s. The service uses various methods to measure the popularity of television shows, allowing media companies to come up with appropriate prices to charge advertisers for airtime. Each year, Nielsen provides the data that ultimately determines the allocation of more than $100 billion in ad spending.

With the rise of digital video Continue reading

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January 11, 2015

For decades the brand name Timberland has been synonymous with rugged outdoor footwear. At least, that’s how some people see the iconic boot company. If you’re a hip hop fan, you may associate “Timbs” with the dozens of rappers who have name-dropped the brand over the years. And if you happen to be Italian, you’re more likely to wear Timberland boots for a fashionable stroll about town, not a long hike in the woods.

All these overlapping interpretations of Timberland’s Continue reading

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June 25, 2014

As recently as the early 2000s, the stereotypical image of the corporate careerist typically included a flashy convertible jetting down the highway with a set of expensive golf clubs stashed in the trunk. Nowadays, though, these once weighty symbols of wealth and status have plummeted in popularity. Instead of a cherry red Corvette, modern executives and ladder climbers would prefer to cruise to their next meeting in a big SUV. And thanks to smartphones, the golf links aren’t the same Continue reading

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diningIn the world of fine dining, the food may be the focus, but the customer is king. That’s certainly the case at New York’s exclusive Eleven Madison Park, where professional servers iron table linens and polish silver before diners arrive. Like any three Michelin-star establishment, they want to ensure that guests will be as comfortable as possible even before they sit down to eat. While this includes primping that is common at other elite eateries, the maître d’ at Continue reading

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Over the last few years, brick and mortar retailers have come up with some ingenious ways to gather data about the customers who walk into their stores. We’ve taken a look at some of them in past posts on this blog, including one story about “smart” mannequins that observe consumer patterns using cameras in the dummies’ eyes. Although that may skew a bit on the creepy side, it’s important to keep in mind that physical retailers are merely trying to Continue reading

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April 25, 2013

manniIf you’ve ever walked into a store and instantly had the feeling like you’re being watched, it’s because you usually are. Between all-seeing security cameras and roving secret shoppers, retailers are busy keeping tabs on customers. Granted, brick-and-mortar stores have every right to be suspicious: inventory loss due to stealing takes a big chunk out of every retailer’s profits. But some customer-tracking techniques have nothing to do with shoplifting; it’s the customer’s shopping habits the businesses are interested in.

While Continue reading

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