Monday, December 10, 2012

Ford Creates Its Own Amazing Race with the 2012 Focus

Ford is creating a real-time interactive event called Focus Rally: America to help introduce the 2012 Ford Focus compact car.
The Focus Rally: America is a competition that puts 6 two-person teams against one another in a 5 event, cross-country rally in the Ford Focus. Each event will feature a challenge for the teams to complete and the winning team will be awarded with $100,000 and 10 Focuses for their fans and supporters.
This competition sounds quite close to the reality show “The Amazing Race” because it is being produced by Ford in conjunction with the reality shows creators, Elise Doganieri and Bertam van Munster.
The 5 events will be streamed on Hulu, an online hub for TV shows and movies. Short clips of the events will also be shown on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to help spread the adventure.
The challenges are designed so that the teams can be guided by their social network. The 6 teams will use Ford’s Sync system to stay in contact with their network of friends. The car’s GPS function will also come into play. Ford hopes that many thousands of consumers will become engaged by watching the show on Hulu, becoming fans and followers of the rally teams on Facebook and actively participating in the various challenges.

Social Media Marketing Company - Philadelphia - PA - NJ - NY - USA

Integrating Effective Social Media Strategies into the Marketing Mix

The Key to integrating Social Media into the traditional Marketing Mix is the “willingness” to develop new and different relationships with people. If we closely examine the 4 P’s of the traditional Marketing Mix Model - Product, Price, Place and Promotion, we discover the primary objective of marketing has always been to develop a stronger connection with the people who comprise our target markets.
A decade ago, we were all focusing on the primary objective of Relationship Marketing – building stronger and more meaningful relationships with customers and potential customers.
Today, we find ourselves trying to take advantage of Social Media Marketing – the next step in the evolutionary development of companies looking for the “best” and most effective marketing strategy to connect with their target audiences. This raises the question – How much has marketing really changed in the last fifty years? From the beginning, the basic objective of every Effective Marketing Strategy has always been the same – establish or develop stronger connections or relationships with people.

Social Media Marketing – The next step in creating New Marketing Relationships

I recently expressed the following opinion on a Social Media Blog Post – “I believe we are in the Toddler Phase of Social Media Marketing. Some companies will walk and talk faster than others - but we ‘ALL’ want to walk.” While not intending to “Coin a Phrase” - the more I thought about it, the more I realized how accurately it describes the growing pains most companies are experiencing in trying to integrate effective Social Media Programs into their 2012 Marketing Mix Strategies.
Being a Social Media Toddler should be viewed as a “good” thing. We are all “Social Media Toddlers” when it comes to Integrating Social Media Marketing into the Marketing Mix. The more we experience the positive effects of Social Media Marketing, the more inclined we are to take advantage of Social Media Strategies in new and different ways.
Some Marketing Consultants have also started to utilize the phrase “Re-inventing Social Media” as a possible solution to some of the challenges associated with Social Media Marketing. I believe it’s a little premature to re-invent something many companies still don’t fully understand. The greatest challenge associated with Social Media Marketing involves the integration of Social Media Strategies into the mix of our more traditional marketing strategies.

Effective Social Media Marketing: How should Social Media be integrated into 2012 Marketing Strategies?

If we employ one of Albert Einstein’s aphorisms to examine the impact of Social Media on traditional marketing strategies, the resulting premise might be the best starting point for any company trying to ascertain the importance of integrating Social Media Marketing into their 2011 - 2012 Business Marketing Strategies.
Social Media without an effective Marketing Strategy is Lame; however, Marketing without an Effective Social Media Strategy is Blind.
Regardless of whether your company likes or currently believes Social Media Marketing is an effective business strategy, one thing is absolutely certain - Social Media is “Real” and smart companies will start to take advantage of it, some sooner than others.
If we simply search Google for - Social Media Marketing, one will find more new strategies and ideas coming online every day. This tells me many businesses are still in the Toddler Phase of developing an effective approach to Social Media Marketing. Similar to toddlers learning to walk and talk, our natural business instincts tell us Social Media might be an advantage in generating new business; however our uncertainty over unknown negative consequences creates an atmosphere of cautious indifference.
Certain unanswered questions only create more uncertainty; such as, What corporate resources should be devoted to Social Media Marketing? What are the negative implications associated with integrating Social Media into the Marketing Mix? These and numerous other questions need to be addressed before any company has the “willingness” to completely integrate Social Media into their overall Marketing, Media Advertising and Internet Marketing Strategies.

Social Media & Marketing Integration – The three categories of Social Media Toddlers

The first category of Social Media Toddlers includes companies that are aggressively integrating Social Media Programs into most of their Business Marketing Strategies. They have started to experience some short term benefits; however, they have also made some mistakes along the way. The key component of their strategy is willingness. They might be described as Social Media risk takers. They are not afraid of making some initial mistakes – but after falling down, they pick themselves up, evaluate the consequences, and keep moving forward.
This does not mean a company in this phase of their Social Media development is any better or worse than any other company. In some cases, these companies have to be more aggressive because they are either in the start up or rebuilding stages of their business development.
The second category of Social Media toddlers are the “cautious” companies. They have usually invested a great deal of time, money, and resources into developing their Brand Marketing or Product Branding Programs. Their marketing strategies have been successful and they are unwilling to risk the reputation of their Brand on Social Media strategies which often operate outside of their control.
The majority of companies fall into this category. Willingness is not the problem. Trust is the issue. They just want to fully understand the best way to integrate Social Media into their overall Marketing Mix – before they are willing to “Trust Social Media” as an effective strategy.
The third category can be described as the Social Media Skeptics. These companies manage their Marketing Campaigns under one simple premise – If something is not broken, don’t try and fix it. They vigorously defend traditional marketing ideas and reject any Social Media Strategy as just another “passing phase” in the world of internet marketing.
While respecting the success of certain companies in this category, history shows businesses resistant to new marketing ideas often remain stagnant over the long term. The likely outcome for most companies in this category of Social Media Skeptics – The smart ones will start to see their competition gaining ground on them and eventually say – better late than never.

The Key to Social Media Marketing – Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Mix

The various stages of Social Media development can never be restricted to three over-simplified categories; however, we believe these three categories can serve as a starting point for any company interested in evaluating their Social Media Strategies. Regardless of past mistakes, companies willing to objectively evaluate Social Media will find a strategy that works for them.
From Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to PR Marketing Releases, Video Optimization Strategies, and online Marketing Blogs, Social Media has the potential to generate significant new business if effectively integrated into your overall Marketing Mix.
In order to be fair to companies holding Social Media beliefs similar to those described in categories two and three; one final question needs to be addressed – What are the negative ramifications of Social Media Programs? This question can only be evaluated based on the unique circumstances of your individual business. For the most part, our experience has shown the answer to this question usually centers around three words – risk, control, and willingness.
Some Social Media platforms (Facebook being a good example) involve giving up some measure of control over what is being said and written about your company, products, and services. The key to integrating an effective Social Media Strategy into your Marketing Mix is the “initial willingness” to take certain marketing risks in order to achieve the business rewards.
As with any marketing strategy, a balanced approach to integrating Social Media into your overall Marketing Mix, developed consistently over the long term, should enhance the effectiveness of your overall marketing objectives.

Retailers report increase in sales before holiday season

NEW YORK — Shoppers continued to spend steadily at retailers in October, from discounters all the way to the high end, suggesting consumer confidence heading into the holiday season.

Results tallied Thursday from the 18 national retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters showed an average increase of 2.7 percent in sales at stores open at least a year. The results largely excluded the effects of the hurricane.

Without the Rite Aid drugstore chain, though, that figure would have been 4.7 percent, above analysts' expectations of a 4.3 percent increase. Rite Aid saw a decline mainly because of a shift toward cheaper generic drugs.

''You're seeing solid single-digit numbers not just one month but consistently for the past few months," said Madison Riley, managing director at the retail consulting firm Kurt Salmon. "It reflects a steadily improving economy and therefore, steadily improving consumer confidence."

Still, all retailers' eyes were on the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Most retailers' fiscal October ended Saturday, so while a few stock-up trips made it into the October results, most of those, along with poststorm spending and the impact of store closures, were not included in October results.

Some analysts have said that consumers may direct their money toward home repairs in the storm's wake, rather than toward early holiday shopping. However, home improvement retailers and discounters might benefit from shopping for storm supplies.

Categories as various as department stores, discounters and apparel retailers all posted good results.

''What I find intriguing and encouraging is it's not isolated," Riley said, "but it's across the industry."

Stores for those on a budget continued to shine, like Costco, with a 7 percent increase, and the Nordstrom Rack division of Nordstrom, which posted its highest same-store sales increase of the year.

Retail analysts were already looking ahead to Sandy's effect on November sales. A Citi analyst, Deborah Weinswig, wrote in a research note that discounters could see a slight lift as people restock supplies after the storm.

Weinswig wrote that "the cost of cleanup and repairs from the hurricane could take money away from holiday purchases, which puts early holiday sales at risk."

But Riley, the retail consultant, said Sandy had arrived early enough to give people plenty of time to shop for holiday items.

''It's a timing issue, as opposed to, it's going to affect the holiday season," he said.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

India will be running on Dunkin

American food franchises are in a chase to establish themselves in the world Market. Through extensive research and capital investments MacDonald’s is in a lot of countries. Recently Starbucks open a new store in India. With the world changing, there is an emergence of a middle class in developing countries. Even with huge competition American based food franchises are relentless in penetrating the Foreign Market.

See news on Dukin Donut Below on ambition drive in India,

Dunkin’ Donuts takes on Haldiram’s, Bikanerval.

This ambitious localization drive — perhaps the most extensive one in any market for Dunkin’ Donuts — is expected to help Dunkin popularize doughnuts in India.

.NEW DELHI: This festive season, Haldiram's and Bikanervala have unexpected competitor—Dunkin' Donuts!

The world's largest doughnut chain that forayed into the country early last year may not have the reach or variety to make established sweet makers bat an eyelid, but it will roll out variants of doughnuts like coconut rasgulla, petal gulab jamun and motichoor laddoo rings in India this Diwali season.

This ambitious localisation drive — perhaps the most extensive one in any market for Dunkin' Donuts — is expected to help Dunkin popularise doughnuts in India, and is in line with franchise owner Jubliant FoodWorks' efforts to replicate the performance of its other brand Domino's Pizza in the country.

Dunkin' Donuts India President and COO Dev Amritesh says the product's 'flexibility' lends itself to high degree of customization. "There's a significant opportunity to customize the doughnuts for consumers — both for those who are used to the product and those who aren't," he says.

While the new varieties of doughnuts are being rolled out in time for Diwali, the fastest-moving ones will become a permanent feature on the menu of the $6-billion chain.




Vol: shares traded



Vol: shares traded

Monday, October 22, 2012

Africa Internet & B2C E-Commerce Report 2012

The new ""Africa Internet & B2C E-Commerce Report 2012"" takes a close look at Internet use and B2C E-Commerce development on the African continent.

In addition to presenting data on Internet and B2C E-Commerce for the entire continent, facts and figures about 15 individual countries of the African continent are compiled.

With more than 40 million users, Nigeria was the African nation with the highest number of Internet users in December 2011, followed by Egypt and Morocco. Meanwhile, Internet penetration was the highest in Morocco with almost 50%. South Africa on the other hand, was the country with the most successful B2C E-Commerce platforms. In 2011, various factors still curbed online retail on the entire continent, such as the low Internet penetration and the focus on cash transactions and personal relationships. Recently, however, mobile payment methods have become increasingly popular, promoting B2C E-Commerce growth in 2012.

Growing B2C E-Commerce revenue in the most important African markets

In South Africa, the share of online shoppers on the total number of Internet users has continued to grow slowly between 2009 and 2011. In 2011, a clear majority cited lower prices as a decisive factor for making purchases online. Kenya was the fastest growing Internet market in Africa in 2011, due to low mobile phone charges and increasing broadband capacity. The number of Internet users and their share on the entire population continuously grew between 2010 and 2011 by a low double digit percentage figure.

At the same time, the number of Internet connections and B2C E-Commerce revenue in Morocco grew between 2010 and 2011 by almost three quarters. Due to improved Internet access and a growing number of online shops, the number of credit cards also increased in 2011. Furthermore, according to forecasts at least one third of the population in Nigeria is expected to have direct Internet access by 2013. Although large online retailers such as Amazon, eBay and South African online shop Kalahari sell their products there, there are still limitations when it comes to shipping and payment options.

Great potential in other African markets

In February 2012, almost one quarter of all Internet users in Egypt shopped online or used the Internet to pay their bills. Meanwhile, Algeria with its lower Internet user rate saw only little online retail in early 2012, because cash transactions were still predominant there, while other payment options were hardly available. The increasing number of Internet users in Uganda is expected to spur the use of services such as online shopping and online banking in 2012. In Ghana, B2C E-Commerce was curbed by the low Internet penetration rate and a lack of suitable shipping and payment options.

According to the ""Africa Internet & B2C E-Commerce Report 2012"", in 2011, especially in Libya people were afraid of B2C E-Commerce related scams. Meanwhile, more than half of all Internet users in Namibia accessed the Internet via mobile phone, much like in Tanzania. Conclusively, it can be stated Africa is making slow but steady progress in terms of Internet usage and B2C E-Commerce.

Key Findings:

- With more than 40 million users, Nigeria was the African nation with the highest number of Internet users in December 2011, followed by Egypt and Morocco.

- In South Africa, the share of online shoppers on Internet users has continued to grow strongly until 2011. Lower prices were a decisive factor for the B2C E-Commerce development.

- Kenya showed strong growth potential, as it was the fastest growing Internet market in Africa in 2011, due to low mobile phone charges and increasing broadband capacity.

- In Morocco, the number of Internet connections as well as B2C E-Commerce revenues grew strongly between 2010 and 2011.

- In Nigeria, at least one third of the population is expected to have direct Internet access by 2013.

Product Information:

- These market reports inform top managers about recent market trends and assist with strategic company decisions

- The authors provide secondary market research: By using various sources of information we ensure maximum objectivity for all obtained data. As a result companies get a precise and unbiased impression of the market situation.

- The analyses, statistical reports and forecasts are only based on reliable sources including national and international statistical offices, industry and trade associations, business reports, business and company databases, journals, company registries and news portals.

- The author's international employees research and filter all sources and translate relevant information into English. This ensures that the content of the original studies is correctly interpreted.

- All research results delivered as PowerPoint files. All data can therefore be used directly for board presentations or be individually adapted.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Peapod virtual grocery stores

South Acton MA commuters can use billboards to shop while waiting for the train or waiting for their ride home.

I was fascinated when I saw this billboard at the station. Commuters can now buy their groceries while waiting for the train, where the nation's largest Internet grocer is marketing the first virtual grocery stores in the U.S., based in Skokie, Ill., installed temporary billboards decorated with pictures of 50 household staples from Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Reckitt Benckiser in 100 locations around the country in the past week. The items include coffee, condiments, cleaning products, milk, bread, fruits, vegetables and health products.
Commuters with iPhones, iPads or Android smart phones can scan a QR code on the billboards to download the free PeapodMobile application.. The app brings users to the Peapod virtual grocery store that has about 11,000 products. First-time users need to register on
The billboards' products also have individual bar codes. With the app's built-in scanner, commuters can scan the codes to take them to the products' pages on the app. This does not add the product to the user's cart.
"It's really designed to get you to check out the app," said Peg Merzbacher, director of marketing. The items can then be checked out and delivered by the next day. For orders less than $100, the delivery fee is $9.95. For carts more than $100, the fee is $6.95. The minimum order is $60. The average cart is around $150, Merzbacher said.
Peapod first tested the boards in Chicago in the spring and Philadelphia earlier in the year. The trial runs led to positive reviews and more Peapod app downloads, Merzbacher said.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

J. C. Penney’s Mobile awareness

J. C. Penney Company Inc., one of America’s leading retailers, operates more than 1,100 JCPenney department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet at

Department store chain JCPenney is promoting its new fair and square pricing, as well as ramping up its mobile commerce strategy via a new advertising campaign.
The company is running audio and full page ads within Pandora’s iPhone application. JCPenney unveiled its new fair
The mobile and audio ads running in Pandora explain the fair and square program and encourage consumers to take advantage.
When users tap on the mobile ads, they are redirected to the company’s mobile site where they can shop the latest men’s, women’s, home and bed and bath products.
In 2010, the company partnered with various mobile social networks to distribute a Christmas-themed promotional offer featuring badges and mobile coupons.
Consumers that visited a JCPenney store before Christmas Eve and shared the location with their friends via Brightkite, foursquare or Facebook Deals/Places instantly received a $10-off coupon to spend in the store or online.
Last year, JCPenney integrated Apple’s iPad into the in-store experience to help guide consumers into making the right purchase decisions.
The company announced that it would also begin rolling out a “findmore” experience using iPad to 50 fine jewelry departments nationwide .
Most recently, JCPenney got into the holiday spirit by donating $25 to The Salvation Army for every customer who checks in to one of its locations on Black Friday.
Through the Angel Giving Tree Online program, consumers were able to check-in via foursquare to a JCPenney store .