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    Moneyball Part 2,3,4...

    Talk about dream job....how about having a hand at telling Jerrah the next Cowboy's draft pick?  Not that he'd listen.

    Big Data isn't just something for your traditional consumer brands.  Made famous by the movie Moneyball, sports franchises/teams have staffed up their analytics teams and have begun to use all the newly available sports statistics and data sources to get an edge off the field.

    This ESPN story ranks the franchises that have embraced this approach, and those that are still lagging.  Happy to say the Dallas Mavericks made the list!

    Surprisingly, the NFL ranks the lowest in terms of major sports leagues using data & analytics.





    Have you "Webroomed"?

    let's try that again...


    If you've researched online before going in-store to make the actual purchase, then you're part of a new growing trend.

    Most people who webroom do so because they don't want to pay shipping (clearly haven't heard of Amazon Prime ;) )


    Read more about the new trend that retailers will be more pleased with than showrooming




    Keep It Simple Stupid

    Everyone's probably heard of the design principle Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS), and it's never been more important than in today's marketing environment where data is everywhere and consumers have more choices than ever before.

    Here's a quick excerpt from an article by long-time market research guru Joel Rubinson where he shows some great examples of companies/brands that have built their business on simplicity and NOT necessarily more options or choices.  I particularly liked the part below:

    Some, like the book “The Paradox of Choice”, have proposed reducing choice as a way of reducing complexity. That is the wrong way to go! What do Google, Amazon and Apple (with millions of apps in its app store) have in common? They do NOT reduce choice, they use big data and predictive analytics to extract a tiny fraction of choice that is most likely to be relevant to you, the user.





    Millennials crave convenience

    Not all that shocking...

    Convenience stores accounted for 11.1% of Millennial food and beverage stops in 2014, compared to 7.7% in 2006. By comparison, fast-casual accounted for 6.1% in 2014 vs. 3.1% in 2006, according NPD'ss annual "Eating Patterns in America" study.

    It's a great read for our foodservice and C-store friends

    Read more:




    Madonna releases video on.....


    Once users click on the Snapchat ghost in the Discover tab, they're taken to a teaser of the video (watch above). Swiping up opens the full music video, while swiping left brings them to behind-the-scenes footage, a quote and a short video message from Madonna.

    Very cool to see how brands, celebrities, etc are using social media channels to deliver relevant, new, and interesting content

    Read more:




    Paul Rand celebrated in NYC Showcase

    The legendary graphic designer is now being celebrated with a new show opening at the end of the month at The Museum of the City of New York entitled Everything in Design. It will showcase the breadth of Paul’s work, from magazine covers for the likes of Idea to his famed IBM rebrand. It’ll span his entire career, starting with his 1930s work designing magazine covers including those for Apparel Arts and Direction, which City Museum reckons “introduced European modernism into American graphic design.”



    More details here  >>  http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/paul-rand



    How To Sound Smart In Your TED Talk

    Comedic take on how to deliver a TED talk.  On a serious note, there are some nuggets about how to be a great presenter....in the same style as everyone else.




    How big brands are utilizing SNAPCHAT

    AT&T is developing a scripted entertainment series for Snapchat.(Snapchat, while they love the initiative, had nothing to do with it).

    The series will consist of 12 episodes, which are expected to roll out over a four-week period in early- to mid-2015.


    A great example of how a BIG BRAND is talking to younger consumers in their own language / platform. :D


    Read More:






    Follow This: PSFK's New Retail Twitter Feed

    The always-inspiring PSFK site now has a Twitter feed focused on the retail vertical. Just launched! Tune in shopper marketers...





    Yummly and Instacart - even more convenience

    If you've been in a Walmart brainstorm with me at all in 2014, then you've heard me mention their partnership with Yummly. If you aren't familiar with Yummly then think of it as the Pinterest for recipes (except you yum it instead of pin it)


    NOW, Instacart shoppers can now order ingredients on-demand using Yummly’s recipe app, for delivery in as little as one hour. Talk about even more convenience!


    Read more here:






    Get a gift card to a place you don't like?

    Now you can go to Walmart and exchange that unwanted card for a Walmart gift card. Walmart started piloting "Card Cash" on Christmas day. "The service is called Card Cash and converts these unwanted gift cards to a non-expiring Walmart eGift Card containing up to 97% of the original value"


    Pretty genious actually... since 72% of people spend MORe than the value of the card and 90% of gift cards are redeemed in the first 60 days.


    Have you heard of this yet? I hadn't seen anything about it in recept Walmart ads (online, in-store, or even print)... wonder how successful it'll be if people don't even know about it!



    The most entitled generation isn't millennials.


    Not exactly sure how i feel about this but it's without a doubt food for thought. Can you imagine the effect on marketing tactics towards baby boomers and millenials if this theory was adopted by all?



    Shoppable social commerce this weekend for the Golden Globes.

    "L'Oreal is setting up an elaborate digital hub—called a "shoppable social commerce center. The social team will use a 360-degree camera will shoot video that recreates makeup looks as celebrities walk down the red carpet. The videos will then be turned into GIFs to be uploaded to L'Oreal Paris' Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr pages. Each post will also include e-commerce links to shop the looks."

    Something that various QR codes, bit.ly, "buy now" links, etc have been attempting in print for quite some time. the issue with print is that it's "old news" by the time it gets published...


    Don't forget to watch it happen live this Sunday


    read more:




    A Teenager's View on Social Media

    A fascinating article from a teen (19yrs old) who uses social media.

    He talks about how he and his peers utilize various apps/social media outlets.

    You will even learn about some emerging social channels!






    Free* Tacos at Taco Bell

    of course there's the legal copy but you'll have to read the article to find out


    Taco Bell is driving downloads of its mobile application and ramping up awareness of its mobile ordering function by tempting customers with a free Doritos Locos Taco with each mobile purchase made this month.


    Read more:




    Macys has put in Beacons in all of their stores

    Macys continues their relationship with shopkick and is putting their beacons in all stores to help engage with Macys shoppers. Largest beacon rollout in the US.


    Let me know if you want to learn more about shopkick or want them to come back in for a presentation.


    Read more:



    can't find your P2PI login - read about it here http://bit.ly/14yTxmL

    If you dont have a P2PI login, let me know :D



    2015 Analytics Predictions from Forbes

    The big data and analytics market will reach $125 billion worldwide in 2015, according to IDC. Both IDC and The International Institute of Analytics (IIA) discussed their big data and analytics predictions for 2015 in separate webcasts yesterday. Here are the highlights:


    Security will become the killer app for big data analytics

    Big data analytics tools will be the first line of defense, combining machine learning, text mining and ontology modeling to provide holistic and integrated security threat prediction, detection, and deterrence and prevention programs. (IIA)

    IoT analytics will be hot, with a five-year CAGR of 30%

    The Internet of Things (IoT) will be the next critical focus for data/analytics services. (IDC) While the IoT trend has focused on the data generation and production (sensors) side of the equation, the “Analytics” of Things is a particular form of big data analytics that often involves anomaly detection and “bringing the data to the analytics.” (IIA)

    Adoption of technology to continuously analyze streams of events will accelerate in 2015—it’s all about speed and small units of data. IoT back end as a service (BaaS) will emerge, as players—including Amazon, IBM IBM -1.67%, and Microsoft MSFT -0.73%—continue to stitch together a wider variety of platform as a service (PaaS) services, including stream processing, data triggers, indexing and synchronization, and notifications, into more tightly integrated offerings directly marketed to the growing community of IoT developers. (IDC)


    Buying and selling data will become the new business bread and butter

    70% of large organizations already purchase external data and 100% will do so by 2019. In parallel, more organizations will begin to monetize their data by selling them or providing value added content. (IDC) Companies will double their investment in generating new and unique data. “You can’t go into a data-based business without some unique data that gives you competitive differentiation.” 2015 will mark an inflection point of intentional investment by mainstream firms in generating and monetizing new and unique data sources. (IIA)

    Companies will invest in self-service, automation, and augmentation to answer the skills shortage  

    Shortage of skilled staff will persist. In the U.S. alone there will be 181,000 deep analytics roles in 2018 and 5x that many positions requiring related skills in data management and interpretation. (IDC—note that data was not provided for the supply side of the equation). Visual data discovery, an important enabler of end user self-service, will grow 2.5x faster than the rest of the market, becoming by 2018 a requirement for all enterprises. (IDC) 

    Automated decision-making will come of age in 2015 and the organizational implications will be profound. The very way that firms operate and organize themselves will be questioned this year as common workflows become rationalized through analytics. Key to success is the transparency of the automated systems and preparing managers “to occasionally look under the cover” of established models and algorithms.  (IIA)

    Google’s announced Tuesday an automated statistician research project which aims to build an “artificial intelligence for data science.” But augmentation, rather than automation, may be the better option with knowledge workers. In 2015, companies will begin considering how to augment knowledge work jobs rather than automating them—moving from artificial intelligence to intelligent augmentation. Analytics, machine learning, and cognitive computing will increasingly take over the jobs of knowledge workers, and we will become more conscious of this in 2015. (IIA)

    By 2018, half of all consumers will interact with services based on cognitive computing on a regular basis. Current personal services such as Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, andGoogle Now will raise expectations for employees to seek access to similar services in the enterprise. In 2015, PaaS competitors will step up their efforts to compete in the cognitive space. (IDC)

    Image, video, and audio analytics will become pervasive

    Rich media analytics will at least triple in 2015 and emerge as the key driver for big data technology investment. Already half of large organizations in North America are reporting use of rich media (video, audio, image) data as part of their big data analytics projects, and all large organizations will analyze rich media in five years. (IDC)

    Storytelling will be the hot new job in analytics

    The most important attribute sought in candidates for big data analytics jobs is communications skills. As organizations run into obstacles in understanding and adopting analytics, they rightly place more emphasis on communication, which is not a strength of most analysts. Companies will increasingly recognize the value of putting an experienced storyteller into the mix (IIA)… possibly looking to fill these positions from the large pool of unemployed journalists?



    She Gave A Homeless Woman A Coat And Got Yelled At. Her Response Is Brilliant and Inspiring!

    Veronica, a girl from Detroit, who thanks to a college class got an idea that would end up changing lives of hundreds of homeless people. She is only 24.

    Veronica wanted to design a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag for a school project, but ended up doing much more than that. She gave people using homeless shelters one thing they needed most. This girl is the real life example of a proverb “Give man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”





    10 examples of what Twitter thinks were the top advertiser tweets of 2014

    Some pretty good examples of why on-going social listening and the ability to react quickly is so important!


    which is your favorite?


    read about it here




    Target and Google team up for a fun in-store mobile game

    Google's Art, Copy & Code team created an in-store mobile game experience that shoppers can access through any mobile device. And the experience goes with Target guests as they move through the store and discover codes that unlock new games, levels and characters.

    With Bullseye's Playground, Target has an in-store experience that sets it apart from any other large retailer and lures in anyone looking for a more fun, less stressful shopping trip.


    Try it out and let us know your thoughts!

    Read more:




    Initial results from Thanksgiving / Black Friday

    Did being open on Thanksgiving actually help or did we just shift "Black Friday" earlier? Did having bigger deals just temporarily shift dollar spend?

    "Among the highlights:

    ■ Brick and mortar sales were essentially flat—down -0.5%—for the combined Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales period as reported by ShopperTrak, which is typically among the better estimates available for stores.  Its estimates are based on store traffic measured with devices in stores.

    ■ Online sales estimates from IBM and comScore range from high single digit to strong double-digit gains.  IBM Digital Analytics reported online sales up 14.3% on Thanksgiving Day and up 9.5% on Black Friday from a year ago. comScore reported online sales growth of 32% on Thanksgiving Day and 26% on Black Friday. Estimates from both sources are based on measures of online traffic.

    Read more (you'll need your KANTAR login)



    Or is "everyday Black Friday and everyday Cyber Monday"?



    • Nail Bar
    • Lighted shelves
    • milk, eggs, yogurt

    Looking Good RiteAid

    Not sure if you've been in a RiteAid lately. I know it's been a few months for me personally, but today i was in a hurry and really needed a cold beverage. I stopped in and WOW was I impressed. All new beverage cold vault, brightly lit make-up / nail "bars" that would put CVS to shame and they even had a open  beverage cooler as an endcap with some milk, eggs, and yogurt in it.

    A few months ago RiteAid published that one of their key initiatives was their Wellness Store remodels and holy smoke does the store look nice now.

    I urge you all to give RiteAid a second look and stop on in to see all the changes they've made. (190 East Ave, Norwalk CT)



    Walmart and $90 playstation 4s?

    Remember the other day when I posted about walmart honoring some online retailer prices? Well. They had to amend their rules since some people where taking advantage. Very interesting to see how quickly people found loopholes Read more. http://cnb.cx/1BQOOer



    Target is now mobile mapping - just in time for Black Firday

    Target's app uses location-based tehcnology that links products with store maps. On Black Friday, the app will also provide door-buster deals at specific Target store locations.


    (In-store mapping is something BTW that Walgreens and Aisle 411 have been doing together for quite some time.. but I'll post about that some other time)


    Read more here:




    A grocery store revamp gets inspiration from everywhere!

    Read about how a regional grocery store, Lowe's, upgraded their stores. 


    Very interesting to see how inspiration can really come from anywhere...

    It's very clean, fun / interesting and I can't wait to check it out on my next road trip to VA.





    Could gas prices affect holiday shopping in-store?

    Walmart thinks so. wonder if lower gas prices will have an affect on online sales Read more here: http://cnnmon.ie/1sKF3oJ



    5 retailers who are changing retail experiences via technology

    Most of us are already aware of Walmart's Savings Catcher, but read about how 5 retailers are changing retail.

    Hointer, Walmart, Tesco, Sephora, and Nordstrom are featured in this article.


    How can we continue to bridge social / digital and retail to drive engagement with our brands and shoppers





    They Also Tore Down Their Wall

    We at TracyLocke, Wilton, tore down our walls about 5 years ago.  Twenty years before that, The Berlin Wall, all 96 miles, was torn down, piece by piece.

    I have a chunk of the wall chistled that day right now in my office! Stop by to touch it! 

    And if you haven't seen the photos from Sunday where 8,000 glowing balloons marked the former route of the wall, and then were released, one at a time, here it is. So what does this have to do with marketing?  Each balloon was sponsored by either a person, a charity or a company such as Audi or Freidrich. How's that for irony? 




    TED Talk - Your body language shapes who you are

    Gail Sheffler originally shared this TED talk with me and I believe that it is worthy to share to all. 

    How are you sitting in the meeting you are in right now?  How do you prepare for a presentation?  Do you feel confident?

    Amy Cuddy (2nd talk on the page, scroll a bit down) shows us how to "Fake it until you beome it".  Simple poses you can do for 2 minutes that help your body change your mind. Enjoy!






    50% off the top 50 toys

    Target is trying to get a head start on the holiday season. They (via their Cartwheel app) have started a "50% off a hot toy for the next 50 days" this will help them to offer exclusive savings to their guests, have their guests come back daily to see if it's a toy on their childs list, and create a sense of urgency (today only)





    The otheR side of interactive tech

    Honda is making the news with the upcoming european release of the most advanced Honda Civic Type R ever made. W+K created an interactive video that shows that the car is at home on the track as well as on everyday streets. Just hit R on the keyboard and watch the Honda turn into a escape vehicle  http://www.hondatheotherside.com




    Price matching online?

    Walmart is in discussions to determine if they should move forward with price-matching online (for say Amazon.com).

    The exec's are just determingin how much the company may lose if the program were to go nationwide.

    "If the program comes to fruition, Walmart would be joining the likes of Best Buy and Target, which previously implemented online price-matching programs to keep customers from browsing items in their stores, only to make purchases online from competitors like Amazon."

    Very interesting to see how this moves forward.

    Read more:




    AT+T and their new concept store

    The result of more than two years of exploration and research all centered on one design goal: to create a more interactive and inviting store environment.

    AT&T said everything about the store is designed for ultimate flexibility. The store layout will highlight AT&T's products and services, devices and accessories across three unique "zones". See below for details.

    • Connected Experience Zone features "lifestyle vignettes" that offer customers a glimpse of how products can be used in customers' everyday lives. These lifestyle pavilions will highlight categories such as music, home security, entertainment and more.
    • Community Zone, featuring "community tables" that let customers shop and play in an open and interactive space. This space has apps, accessories and devices on display to show customers how they can work together.
    • Zone with "explore walls" that showcase AT&T's diverse device line-up and accessories complemented by digital monitors with product information.


    A very interesting way to both retain loyalty, drive new news, get new consumers and combat showboating.


    read more:




    Why The Nation's Biggest Retailers Are Rejecting Apple Pay

    In case you haven't heard, the switch has been flipped on Apple Pay with the iOS 8.1 update. Some of your favorite retailers now accept NFC payments from iPhone 6-toting customers.

    But not all retailers have accepted it with open arms. Even the ones who unofficially supported Apple Pay at launch (i.e. Rite Aid) have since abruptly pulled support. Yesterday another one of the nation's largest retailers, CVS, officially issued a block on Apple Pay support.

    Why is this happening?

    TechCrunch published a lengthy piece on why some of the biggest retailers — from Walmart and Target to 7-Eleven and Wawa — have decided to reject the biggest push into NFC payents from a biggest name in tech.

    The reason: MCX's CurrentC payments platform.

    In an attempt to avoid the 2-3% credit card fee that retailers are charged per trasaction, they are banding together to support a mobile wallet platform that pulls from customers' bank accounts instead.

    Loyalty rewards and discounts are automatically applied at checkout, but TechCrunch is calling the QR-code based payment process "clunky," while John Gruber pegs the coalition of retailers as being "based more around solving the retailers’ credit card fee problems than the consumers’ payment friction problems."

    Will CurrentC find an audience, or will it go the way of the dodo, simultaneously creating ill-will for the retailers backing it? In either case, you should learn more about it.




    Storymaking: The Next Evolution in Storytelling

    Storytelling in marketing and advertising has been all the rage for the last 5-10 years. But there's a new term in town - storymaking - how brands today are activating their customers and turning them into not only evangelists but also publishers.

    I took a look at the implications of storymaking and highlight three brands that are already ahead of the curve.

    Read the full article here >> http://www.saydaily.com/2014/10/storymaking