Prankvertising — that crazy practice of advertisers creating a prank, filming it, and then hoping the video goes viral and does great things for the brand can be a risky strategy (see AdAge, “ Prankvertising: Are Outrageous Marketing Stunts Worth the Risk? Liabilities Galore ” April 1, 2013). What do you think of this video? What are the potential benefits for LG? The potential risks? Is it worth the risks?
Today technology and big data make it easier and faster to effectively price discriminate — offer different prices to different customers. The practice is becoming more common, especially online. Companies like Staples and Rosetta Stone use a customers’ browsing history and where they live to serve up different prices. For example, a site can tell if you have visited their online competitor or a price comparison site. If that is the case, they assume you are price sensitive, and they might offer you the product at a lower price. Legal? Yes. Ethical? Up for debate. All together, these make dynamic [Continue Reading …]
Italian mannequin maker Almax has developed mannequins that can see and hear what customers are doing. The new mannequins could allow retailers to monitor shopper behavior and potentially even listen to what customers are saying about what a mannequin is wearing. At $5000, the mannequins are not cheap. They provide a potentially new source of marketing research while also raising ethical and privacy concerns. You can read more in this Bloomberg Businessweek article “ In Some Store, the Mannequins Are Watching You ” (December 6, 2012). What do you think of this marketing research approach? What could retailers learn? Are there any ethical or privacy issues? Why or why [Continue Reading …]
More retailers are getting on the sustainability and social responsibility bandwagon. TOMS is a pioneer; it gives away a pair of shoes to a needy person for each one it sells. Now Skechers is doing the same thing; its BOBS line of shoes gives away two pairs of shoes for each one sold here (how obvious can a knock-off strategy be?). This article in Bloomberg Businessweek, “ Skechers Chases Toms Seeking to Woo Do-Good Millennials ” (August 2, 2012) describes a few different retailers and producers engaging in compassionate consumerism. The appeal seems to resonate well with millennials. And a larger company like Skechers can get even more [Continue Reading …]
As you all know, Google, Amazon, Facebook and plenty of others probably know more about you than your mother. Or at least they know more about certain parts of your life. They collect data in an effort to serve up more personalized marketing offers and messages. Privacy advocates are very concerned – though I find most of my students are not. The whole issue raises an interesting dilemma — especially as browsers add “Do not track” buttons. These buttons let consumers opt out of providing data to some of these firms, see “ Microsoft and Google play chicken over Do Not Track, ” (CNNMoney, June 8, 2012). Many consumers [Continue Reading …]
I recently gave a talk at Colorado State University’s Future Visions program titled, “Marketing and Social Media: Creepy or Cool.” As I prepared for my presentation, I was surprised to see that some marketing practices I thought were years away — are being practiced now. For example, did you know that Facebook apps are gathering data about users and user’s friends? You can read more about this in “ Selling You on Facebook ” (Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2012). Looking ahead, you can be sure that Facebook and Google are developing techniques for mining many types of data — everything from your “likes,” [Continue Reading …]
Showrooming is the practice of shopping in a physical store and then purchasing the product online from home. Online retailers often have cost advantages over their brick-and-mortar competitors; online retailers don’t build stores in high-traffic, high-cost locations, and they don’t need to employ a large, knowledgeable sales staff, many do not have to charge sales tax. Brick-and-mortar retailers do have those costs – and increasingly, customers are going to those physical stores to view products and talk to sales staff before buying online. These advantages, and some great marketing and technology, have fueled Amazon’s rapid growth. This article from the [Continue Reading …]
In this recent Consumer Reports video titled “Supermarket Savings,” reporter Tod Marks explains some “tricks” that grocery stores use to get consumers to spend more. What do you think of these practices? Are they ethical? Are the stores acting in tune with the marketing concept — where “all of the firm’s efforts are directed at satisfying its customers at a profit”? (Quote from our text book definition of the marketing concept). I have noticed recently that my King Soopers (grocery store) placed a small cooler with milk at the front of the store. Is King Soopers demonstrating a marketing orientation [Continue Reading …]