Consumer Electronics

Holiday sales increase, fall short of expectations

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Total U.S. retail sales generated an estimated $400.6 billion in December, an increase of 6.5% compared with the same month last year, according to a Jan. 12 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Total sales for the 2011 calendar year increased 7.7% to $4.7 trillion compared with the prior year, the report said.

Tech marketers should lose geek speak

Tech marketers should lose geek speak

Across from the desk in my office is a framed black-and-white shot of a veteran Joe DiMaggio and a rookie Mickie Mantle at the old Yankee Stadium.

Marketers reach gadget-obsessed

Marketers reach gadget-obsessed

Consumer technology companies are refining their direct marketing strategies in the face of unprecedented competition.

Sony names Agency Inside Harte-Hanks AOR for CRM

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Sony Electronics has named The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks as its agency of record for CRM in North America.

Toshiba takes on town names in UGC push

Toshiba takes on town names in UGC push

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To promote its new model of laptops, Toshiba went hyperlocal to two American towns: Normal, IL, and Boring, OR. In the "Normal vs. Boring" campaign, the computer maker took its first dive into user-generated content.

Systemax exits hosted e-commerce software business

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Systemax Inc. is exiting the ProfitCenter Software (PCS) hosted software business and a majority of the PCS workforce will be leaving the company. The company pointed to the current economy for its difficulties selling PCS to potential customers. The PCS product is a Java, Web-based order management and e-commerce system.

Does your digital strategy need an app?

Does your digital strategy need an app?

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On May 26, Nokia launched its Ovi Store, an online software and content repository, to an estimated 50 million Nokia device owners worldwide.

Circuit City Web site relaunches

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The Circuit City Web site, CircuitCity.com, has been relaunched by Systemax Inc., which recently acquired the brand's e-commerce business. On May 19, Systemax closed on its agreement to acquire certain trademarks, trade names, domains, customer lists and information as well as other intangible assets of Circuit City's e-commerce business. The purchase price was $14 million in cash plus a share of any future revenue generated utilizing those assets over a 30-month period.

The digital magazine future

I'm not sure what the digital magazines of the future will look like, but they may look something like the digital flip-book magazines of today. A really good digital magazine reader could provide a very enjoyable experience, with all the qualities of a conventional printed magazine, plus searchability, links to additional content and advertiser's Web sites and embedded video clips. It could be like a magazine on steroids, and you won't be chained to a computer to read it. Once the readers get good enough, things will start to move fast in the direction of magazine content delivered digitally.

ABR 2009: AKQA

ABR 2009: AKQA

Founded in 1990 as Citron Haligman Bedecarre, an Internet consulting firm, AKQA became the global digital firm that it is today in 2001, after CHB acquired three other companies - AKQA, an independent Internet development company; Magnet, a Washington D.C.-based developer and e-commerce specialist; and AdInc, a Singaporean new media agency. Click headline above to view AKQA's full profile, complete with capabilities and company history.

Systemax wins Circuit City's online business at auction

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Systemax Inc. won Circuit City's e-commerce business at an auction held this week, subject to court approval. Last month, multichannel electronics merchant Systemax entered a stalking horse agreement valued at $6.5 million with Circuit City, which began liquidating assets in January after filing for bankruptcy protection in November.

Laptops benefit from word-of-mouth buzz

Laptops benefit from word-of-mouth buzz

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Experts say word of mouth works well for notebook computers, as consumers seek out peer feedback to inform this complex purchase

Publicis Groupe snags HP's PC account overseas

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Hewlett-Packard (HP) has tapped Publicis Groupe to handle its above-the-line communications for its Geneva-based personal systems group (PSG) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The PSG account was previously handled by McCann Erickson. BBDO, Y&R and McCann also were vying for the account.

Report: T-Mobile developing more devices featuring Google's Android

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T-Mobile is planning to launch a number of communications devices utilizing Google's Android operating system, an open source software for mobile devices.

Mobile firms agree on marketing guidelines

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In a move to build industry stan­dards, the four largest US wire­less service providers last week all agreed to incorporate their mobile marketing guidelines with the Mobile Marketing Association's (MMA) best practices.

Yahoo's March Madness widget could have tied in to the social experience

Yahoo's March Madness widget could have tied in to the social experience

Our agency is full of sports fanatics. Every year, we draft our March Madness brackets, post them on a communal wall and try to practice sportsmanship.

Strike up the brand with e-mail

Strike up the brand with e-mail

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Experts say it is e-mail's time to shine - not just as a lead generator, but as a way to help brands extend their message to a variety of audiences.

More banks signing on to mobile

More banks signing on to mobile

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With new services that let cus­tomers manage their finances via a mobile phone, last week Com­merce Bank joined a growing number of other institutions such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and HSBC already offering mobile banking services.

Capcom seeks gamer loyalty, spending

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Capcom, the company behind Street Fighter, Mega Man and other video games, has launched a new loyalty program based around a Visa pre-paid debit card.

Dell, Enfatico epitomize modern agency integration

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Last week, DMNews held its first editorial web­cast. It was sponsored by e-mail marketing firm Lyris, developed and hosted by associate editor Dianna Dilworth, and featured input from Sylvia Sierra, VP of marketing at Access Intelligence; and Jeanniey Mullen, executive director of the Email Experience Council and EVP and CMO at Zinio.

Integration necessary to realize mobile potential

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I am a late-adopting iPhone user and, while I like it, there is one element of the device that is simply too smart for its own good — that is, the autocorrect of e-mail spelling, which has a habit of interpreting my rather basic vocabulary choices as arcane proper nouns. For example, a slowly typed "which" will sometimes translate to Whig, "have" becomes "Han," and the word "paying" for some reason morphs into "Latin."

5 Tips: Harnessing the mobile Web

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Everyday, more consumers are purchasing Internet-enabled handsets, so having your brand available on the mobile Web has become essential. So how can you optimize your presence in this quickly emerging channel? Five experts offer tips on how to beef up your mobile Web offering.

In circ: Is the Kindle really the future?

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Depending on the upgrades Amazon offers, and what those inspire in its rivals, the newest Kindle could spark some hope for today's down-and-out publishing industry.

House defeats bid to delay digital TV switch

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The House of Representatives today defeated a bill that would have delayed the proposed switch from analog to digital television broadcasts to June.

Circuit City to liquidate assets

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After struggling with Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Circuit City Stores Inc. has announced that it will seek Bankruptcy Court approval to begin liquidating its 567 US stores.

As economy wanes, mobile Web blossoms

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Mobile phone adoption is grow­ing in spite of the economy, and marketers are taking advantage with new mobile initiatives.

Convenience to play big role in '09

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I predict 2009 will not be the year of impulse buying. Amid growing joblessness and falling stocks, frugality is "the new black" this year. Faced with the reality that clever copywriting may not always convert a sale and deep discounts may be unrealistic or appear unimpressive aligned with competitive offers, direct marketing may return to another important element in its roots: convenience.

Job seekers flood social networks

Job seekers flood social networks

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Social networks such as Linked-In and Facebook have long been used for developing personal and professional connections online.

Dell reorganizes global business structure

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Dell Inc. is preparing for a restructuring and for management changes that will move things around for its global business. The new reorganization comes as the computer maker has announced that it is reorganizing its business globally around three major customer segments - large enterprise, public sector and small and medium businesses. Dell's consumer business, led by Ron Garriques, is already organized globally.

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