January 5, 2015

Movie theaters have worried about being phased out by home entertainment even before the VCR started dominating living rooms in the 1980s. While Hollywood has largely continued to thrive over the decades despite these fears, today the rise of streaming video presents movie theaters with their greatest challenge yet. The industry is especially afraid of losing touch with young moviegoers who are growing up with on-demand services like Netflix and Spotify. The cracks may already be showing: attendance of movie Continue reading

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December 16, 2014

Americans have a tendency to over share information through social media, which can lead to some off-putting online revelations. However, there’s one group of people out there who doesn’t mind reading a detailed status update about your cold symptoms: advertisers. In today’s increasingly personalized marketing landscape, companies are desperate for data about their customers. Along with standard stats like age and income, consumers’ medical histories have now become tools for target marketing.

While data miners can’t legally access confidential medical Continue reading

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December 15, 2014

In the world of online advertising, the “click” is king. That’s because nearly every major website bases its ad rates on the number of hits it receives over a specific span of time. The idea is to attract potential clients by emphasizing how much traffic the website receives. But just because clicks act as currency in mobile marketing doesn’t mean that they’re reliable indicators of an ad’s effectiveness. After all, a person could have spent ten seconds or ten minutes Continue reading

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December 13, 2014

 

In past posts, we’ve taken a look at the rise of mobile ads and how they were starting to beat out older forms of media for marketing dollars. Despite this growing dominance, however, the overall effectiveness of mobile ads remains suspect. For many they’re little more than a nuisance, something along the margins of the screen that can be easily ignored. Others see them as an intrusion on their privacy given the way that many mobile ads target certain Continue reading

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November 25, 2014

 

In a world of Amazon and e-readers, there’s just not much room for independent bookstores. Over the past five years, mom and pop bookshops have seen revenues decrease by an average of 3.2 percent annually. But not every company in this discouraging industry is feeling the squeeze. In fact, the Dallas-based retailer Half Price Books is growing at a rate of five stores per year. Revenues rose from $50 million in 1995 to $240 million in 2013, remarkably avoiding Continue reading

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November 6, 2014

By the end of the year, mobile advertising spending will eclipse the amount of money that companies spend on old media like radio and newspapers. This historic shift shows just how far smartphones and tablets have come after less than a decade of existence. In contrast, newspapers have been in circulation for centuries while radio has been a media fixture for nearly 100 years.

Analysts estimate that companies will invest nearly $18 billion in mobile ads this year while newspapers Continue reading

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November 2, 2014

Although it’s been more than six years since the start of the Great Recession, many in the restaurant industry have failed to adjust to the “new normal” created by the downturn. In fact, visits to U.S. restaurants have fallen by a staggering 1.3 billion since 2008. As American eateries become desperate for business, many have turned to gimmicky menu items to drum up interest. From Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco to the $100 “Never Ending Pasta Pass” at Olive Garden, restaurants Continue reading

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October 26, 2014

 

With so many teenagers equipped with smartphones, it can be easy for older Americans to feel a little jealous of their younger counterparts. After all, cramming at the last minute before a big history exam is a lot easier if you can quickly double check facts on your iPhone. If the subject’s algebra or calculus, however, today’s high school kids have about the same technological edge as students did 10 years ago. That’s because the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator Continue reading

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October 8, 2014

burgAs we mention in Chapter 3 of the textbook, culinary tastes can vary wildly all over the globe. Even the largest fast food chains step out of their comfort zones in order to cater to local flavors. For instance, KFC’s menu in China includes a traditional fried duck wrap, while Japan’s Pizza Hut outlets offer squid and sweet mayonnaise as toppings. But even these items pale in comparison to the latest unusual creation presented to Japanese consumers, this time courtesy Continue reading

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October 5, 2014

 

Since the onset of the financial crisis of 2008, millions of Americans have looked for ways to earn additional income. For some, multi-level marketing companies like Avon and Herbalife presented a good avenue for making extra cash. In these types of operations, individuals pay the company for a bulk amount of goods that they then sell to other people. According to multi-level marketing firms and their trade groups, the system allows consumers to purchase their favorite products at a Continue reading

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