Ah, the holidays. 'Tis the season for back massagers, key locators—and less than stellar marketing from these two titans of the stocking stuffer.
The biggest rivalries are born of great passions: Red Sox versus Yankees, Coca-Cola versus Pepsi. This year the prevailing matchup is between Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S4.
In a battle of the taste buds, there's no clear winner between Hershey's-owned REESE'S and Mars-owned M&M's.
What's in our mailbox this month: birthday greetings. Which birthday marketing message suits?
Parents turn to brick-and-mortar retailers for their back-to-school shopping.
Despite their shared focus on the "cost-conscious mom" demographic, retailer giants JCPenney and Kohl's have very different marketing strategies.
Greenleaf reflects on his experience in the hospitality industry and cites a considerable customer service faux pas to avoid.
Marketers should combine their channels, rather than serve them à la carte.
Staying in a luxury hotel like the Ritz-Carlton or the Four Seasons is about one thing: the experience. The question is, who has the sleekest marketing?
We all scream for ice cream, but what two of the top ice cream chains are screaming for is a clue.
Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston are both "a girl's best friend, but from a marketing standpoint, only one brand can wear the crown jewels.
Whatever you consider to be "must see," there's no shortage of options in digital entertainment. So, how do Comcast and DirecTV stack up against each other? Here's a quick look at how both companies fare across various marketing channels.
In the luxury car market, Lincoln and Cadillac both have deeply rooted reputations—but which one has a more successful marketing strategy?
Game time: Who wins when it comes to marketing, Sony's PlayStation 3 or Microsoft's Xbox 360?
Eyeglass lens and sunglasses manufacturer Transitions Optical takes a multichannel approach to educate plan reps and brokers.
The stigma on relationships that originate online has vanished. Now it's just a matter of choosing the best site. But which site has the best marketing?
Perhaps multichannel was too straightforward and cross-channel was too boring for retailers and the technology companies that serve them.
A clear message and call-to-action prompts double-digit increases in inquiries for the financial services website.
It's never a good sign if a potential customer can't even find a brand's website—or its social channels. Such is the case with Bosch Power Tools.
Orbitz and Kayak are two of the bigger fish swimming in a pond that is supersaturated with competing travel sites. So, how do they stack up against each other?
North Carolina-based Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored soft drink, joined forces with NC indie country band The Avett Brothers to give fans a special treat.
Multichannel marketing + customer engagement = transaction. Brands share what they're doing to identify the ideal blend.
As CMO of Xerox, Christa Carone's main challenge is getting the public to recognize the company's vast role as a services provider in the B2B space.
Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, major players in the $60 billion weight loss market, have much in common when it comes to their direct marketing approach.
Today's marketer needs a more complete solution that fully contemplates the customer's desire for relevancy and cross channel consistency.
We rate Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe's: Which brand has its marketing shelves fully stocked?
Producing quality online video content is quickly becoming a top priority for marketers.
If marketers realized precisely how much money they were leaving on the table — or, to be more specific, in the abandoned shopping cart — they'd be horrified.
Facebook's ubiquitous reach now extends into the social commerce arena.
E-commerce channels shape online shopping trends.
As plans for summer weekend getaways are set in motion, people are gearing up for the great outdoors — and we're rating the retailers.
After working with fast-food companies earlier in his career, Steve Thomas is now trying a healthier approach. Or at least one with more fruit.
Volkl.com site wastes valuable real estate on its homepage.
Lo-fi camera site could use a little more snap.
A visit to Delta.com is well worth the trip.
Browsing is straightforward and pleasant on home furnishings site Laylagrayce.com.
Comics fans will love the DC Comics site for its ease-of-use and compelling design.
When it comes to customer experience and flair, Gap.com gets high marks.
Despite the increasing multicultural nature of the U.S. population, brands have difficulty maintaining websites specifically designed for multicultural e-commerce.
Party supply company PartyPail.com radically reduced its phone bill and created better customer engagement by calling on VoIP service provider Vocalocity.
The sheer bulk of content makes on Amazon.com makes the site a little clunky to use and a bit difficult to search.
Nike.com serves as the general access portal for consumers to enter the positively labyrinthine catalog of Nike's various products and services.
Netflix features the best online video rental business plan and one of the most innovative websites in the industry.
Coastal.com VP of marketing Aaron Magness on the growing importance of creating a personalized experience.
Brands embrace mobile commerce by developing apps and building sites for smartphone and tablet users, as well as optimizing their e-commerce sites.
Retail icon Macy's refashions its flagship store and marketing strategy.
No matter how you slice it, the experience of ordering and consuming a pizza should be fun, fast, easy and, of course, tasty. How do Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut rate?
The advent of smart, constantly-connected handheld devices means customers are more mobile than ever before.
In addition to long-standing tenure in the retail space, Wal-Mart Stores and Sears Holdings Corp. apply a similar approach to direct marketing, including direct mail, email, social media outreach, loyalty rewards and extensive e-commerce platforms.
Direct mail has long been the prime channel for nonprofit organizations looking to raise funds, but as charities move into 2012 and beyond, marketers say marrying these messages with outreach through other media is becoming an essential part of the nonprofit marketing mix.
The American Red Cross launched a multichannel year-end campaign to allow consumers to buy regular gifts for loved ones through a gift catalog that places these items side-by-side with gifts and services for those less fortunate.
Some marketers may balk at the expense of Volkswagen's videogame for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox to support the launch of the 2012 Beetle. However, Volkswagen of America EVP and chief product and marketing officer Tim Mahoney says the game — which mirrors the campaign's TV spots, showing consumers driving around in a Beetle and giving passersby high-fives — "seemed ideally suited to reinforce the TV spot."
For five years, dealership Ball Automotive Group shirked in-mall advertising as a means to lure consumers for a test drive.
Once Chris Gabaldon, chief sales and marketing officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. starts talking about his brand, it's hard for him to stop. He gets on a roll, effusing about how the company has navigated the recession, or its recent brand repositioning, or the launch of its loyalty program, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Gabaldon's enthusiasm is, as they say, contagious.
Sunglass Warehouse, a division of One Click Internet Ventures, is a Greenwood, Ind.-based retailer of more than 1,000 eyewear products. The online merchant had to devise an email strategy for the 2010 holiday season to more effectively reach and convert shoppers. It previously worked with email marketing and list services company MailChimp, but decided early in 2010 that a new partner was needed.
Bill Bass, president of the Charming Direct division of Charming Shoppes, discusses the retailer's digital tactics
Office supply chains Staples and Office Depot started the year in equally disappointing fashion.
To help spread the word about its new line of "Tighter Tummy Technology" slimming jeans and slacks, dubbed "T3," curvy fashion designer Lane Bryant pulled out all the marketing stops: giveaways, a Facebook sweepstakes, direct mail, TV spots, email and mobile.
Jennifer Barrett Glasgow, global privacy leader, Acxiom Corp., discusses privacy concerns among global marketers.
Beiersdorf AG's skincare brand Nivea wanted to make a splash upon its 100th anniversary this year, kicking off a one-and-a-half billion dollar global multichannel campaign in 96 key markets — its largest global promotion ever.
To grow their scale beyond borders, marketers must negotiate a maze of channels, data and cultures .
Alex Boylan, a winner of CBS' "The Amazing Race," thought up the idea of traveling around the world with no money and recording the experience for a series of Web episodes.
As Americans gear up for the holiday travel rush, there's a chance the guy in the next seat didn't just book a cheap flight online — he may have booked a whole luxury getaway at a discount.
As the holiday movie season gears up, so do the marketing programs of theater operators AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group — marketing strategies that have come to rely upon online sales of tickets and partnerships with online ticket vendors.
Aaron Shockey, VP of advertising and digital marketing at Neiman Marcus, discusses the retailer's online strategy.
Golfsmith International, an Austin, Texas-based specialty retailer of golf equipment, sought to improve direct mail response rates, data merging costs and campaign response times. With 75 retail stores, an e-commerce site and a direct mail catalog, the company needed to track data across channels to better understand customer behavior and build more targeted, effective campaigns.
Marketers like to portray retirement as a permanent vacation, cocktail in hand. But after the recession, as worries about what would happen with savings kicked in for many Boomers, it became clear to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management that consumers wanted straight talk and real solutions.
As the first Boomers have begun to hit 65, the generation that turned so many institutions on their heads is poised to do the same with retirement. Consumers born between 1946 and 1964 are more active, better educated and living longer than their parents, with Boomer women leading the way.
At first glance, the marketing strategies of Coke and Pepsi — the two ubiquitous, global players that have dominated the soft drink market for decades — might appear more similar than different.
As marketers begin to connect the dots between their integrated programs' online and offline elements and tag offline elements with digital components, they are on the cusp of attaining fully measurable cross-channel initiatives.
Mark Krebs, VP of marketing at Kirkland's, discusses his company's integrated marketing media mix.
With the explosion of media choices, today's consumers are everywhere at once — and yet, never in one place for very long.
Mike Hogan may be the CMO of GameStop — the world's largest videogame and entertainment software retailer, with more than 6,100 stores — but people might be surprised to learn that he is not a gamer himself. He is passionate about riding motorcyles and playing tennis, though he practices those activities strictly in the real world.
Bill Brand, HSN's EVP of programming, marketing and business development, discusses DM, e-commerce and CRM.
SunSetter Awnings, a retailer of awning products and backyard accessories, wanted to create a direct response TV campaign that would drive consumers to purchase products over the telephone, on the company's e-commerce site, through Costco.com, or from the company's network of 500 authorized dealers.
A wholly integrated approach to direct marketing and e-commerce has elevated Sports Authority and Dick's Sporting Goods to the top of the athletic equipment leader board. Both brands offer similar multichannel approaches that include on- and offline circulars, email newsletters, social media and an e-commerce platform.
As a farmer who raises his own crops on a 40-acre farm — plowing the fields on a John Deere tractor, harvesting soybeans, corn and clover — Valassis chairman, president and CEO Alan Schultz knows a thing or two about making things grow, even when conditions aren't always most favorable.
Shortly after taking office as Postmaster General in late 2010, Patrick Donahoe reduced the number of his top-level lieutenants to seven. His predecessor, Jack Potter, had nine senior officers on his executive committee.
Steuben Glass, the 98-year-old maker of crystal barware, stemware, tabletop accessories and collectables, wanted to refresh its brand image to attract a younger demographic. As the company and its customer base had grown older, Steuben felt the time was right to freshen up its designs and its marketing.
Because of the housing crisis, it's been a challenging couple of years for home-furnishings retailers such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. However, business is looking up, particularly online.
Last year should have been one nonstop celebration for Hallmark Cards and its marketing chief Lisa Macpherson. The Kansas City, Mo.-based purveyor of greeting cards and other products turned 100, and Macpherson, after about nine years at the company, had recently been promoted to the top marketing job.
Amy Sullivan, director of e-commerce at Brahmin Handbags, discusses why her brand won't abandon direct mail.
Lynn Gore, VP of marketing at Plow & Hearth, discusses strategy for a uniform brand message across various channels.
Incipio Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based retailer of laptop, smartphone and tablet cases, sells its products online and in more than 35,000 retail locations throughout the US, including all Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy locations. Despite its impressive reach, the company, which was founded in 2009, understood an opportunity existed on Facebook.
With more and more consumers using digital technology throughout the purchase process, home specialty retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowe's are bridging their in-store offerings with a multichannel approach to keep up with the various consumer touchpoints. The two companies share a foundational strategy and execution, if little else.
Jorge Consuegra never stops moving. The CMO of Forbes Media, and two-time New York City marathon veteran, was born in Havana, Cuba, but his parents brought him to the United States when he was still a baby
FaucetDepot.com, a Commerce, Calif.-based distributor of brand name residential and commercial plumbing fixtures and accessories, has more than 42,000 products on its website and in parent company Hirsch Pipe & Supply's 17 retail locations. The company has been around since 1996, but it was struggling to master paid search and, more specifically, figure out how to drive commerce without paying extraordinary amounts for each customer click.
With cost-conscious consumers looking for cheap, healthy lunch options, sandwich chains are focused on marketing that highlights value. Fast food purveyors Subway and Quiznos both promote sandwiches to consumers as a healthy alternative to burgers and fries at a competitive $5 price point.
Kelly Mulroney, GameStop's GM and VP of e-commerce discusses the social networking aspects of e-commerce.
The Tafford Uniforms brand has sold nurses' scrubs and other medical uniforms to healthcare workers for nearly 25 years. While other brands focused on a b-to-b model by negotiating bulk contracts with healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, Tafford remained committed to selling directly to the individual worker.
Michael C. Fina, a New York-based retailer of engagement rings, wedding bands and household décor items, has more than 70,000 products on its website and in its retail store. Its e-commerce site, which launched in 1998, was in serious need of search engine marketing enhancements in order to drive online sales and to encourage consumers to schedule in-store appointments.
Christa DePoe, the general manager of e-commerce at Keen Footwear, explains its mobile and e-commerce site tactics.
Millions of American consumers obsess over their cars out whether for fun or out of necessity. Competing for the business of auto aficionados and do-it-yourselfers are many auto repair and maintenance chains, including AutoZone and Pep Boys.
As chief marketing officer of Gilt Groupe, Zucker employs a data-driven approach that allows him to streamline the luxury e-commerce retailer's marketing.
Education industry marketers are communicating frequently with both parents and students to acquire and retain customers, and they're using a mix of traditional, e-mail and social media to do so.
Education sector b-to-b brands know that librarians benefit from collaboration and networking with their peers. However, education professionals are often difficult to reach through social media because many school districts have policies that restrict their employees' activity on Facebook and Twitter.
There are more than 30,000 fitness centers in the US, double the number from just 10 years ago, according to a study by business research firm IBISWorld. Two fitness franchises, Town Sports and 24 Hour Fitness, are trying to maintain an edge in this growing sector, though they vary in size and approach.
Patrick Byrne loves a good fight. The chairman and CEO of Overstock.com, who holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, once pursued a boxing career. Byrne also turned Overstock.com from a two-year-old $1.8 million startup into a $1 billion enterprise in little more than a decade.
Paintball-Online.com, a Vancouver, WA-based retailer of paintball equipment and gear, has more than 5,000 products on its website and in its retail location. It wanted a non-text format to quickly describe its products in an appealing manner to customers, so it explored the option of producing online product videos.
Jason Roussos, president and COO of Living Direct, discusses its decision to move away from full product catalogs.
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