TPN Digital News

Apr 12

One Way Or Another, iPads Are Becoming Part of the Retail Experience

Sephora, the cosmetics retailer, has just invested in a major makeover of its own. It has overhauled its digital operations with a new webpage, new mobile site and new iPhone app, reports. It is also testing iPads in some 20 stores, Sephora Direct’s senior vice president Julie Bornstein told Forbes. Customers use it to navigate Sephora’s considerable online inventory while they are in the store.

Retailers and Their Love Affair with the iPad

The move dovetails with the iPad’s main perceived strength—it is an excellent device for shopping. This was clear from 2011’s mobile-driven holiday sales.  Newer statistics also support this premise. The iPad accounts for nearly two-thirds of all mobile shopping sessions, and an impressive 89% of all mobile shopping revenue, says RichRelevance in April 2012 study results.

With mobile’s share of total retail climbing to 4.6% in March 2012 (from 1.9% in April 2011), this means that the iPad now account for more than 4% of total retail revenue.


Shopkick, CPG Power Brands Sign First Check-in Partnership with Grocery Chain

Source: Chief Marketer

Author: Brian Quinton

Shopkick, the mobile rewards check-in app that allows registered users to earn points for simply walking through a retailer’s doors or scanning bar codes, has signed its first deal to reward shoppers for actually buying selected CPG products at a grocery chain.

The partnership with the Giant Eagle Supermarket chain will let Eagle customers who belong to Eagle’s loyalty card program input their account number to get started. After that, every time they enter one of Eagle’s 228 stores, they will receive a notice that purchase-based rewards, or “Kickbuys”, are available in that store, and can see a list of the products in the offer. If they buy any of those products, their Shopkick account will then be credited with a specified number of “Kickbucks”.

Kickbucks from across the range of retailers using the Shopkick platform can be saved and used to buy song downloads, movie tickets, travel vouchers or Facebook Credits. They can also be donated to one of 30 different charities.

Initial brand partners in the Giant Eagle offers include Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Kraft Foods.


Apr 11

What does digital mean for shopper marketing?

That digital has been growing in sophistication and importance is widely recognised and reflected in the growing percentage of marketing budgets being apportioned to it (according to The Path to Purchase Institute’s annual survey of consumer product marketing executives, 71.5% of executives predict an increase in media spend this year, such as mobile initiatives, paid search and web advertising). However, less well understood is the role digital plays within shopper marketing. Is it a threat to the traditionally conceived path to purchase? Quite the opposite. Digital is increasingly becoming a trigger point in talking to shoppers along the buying pathway.


source: dvl smith blog

ExxonMobil, Shopkick Test Check-in Rewards at Gas Station C-Stores


By: Brian Quinton

In an apparent effort to take some of the sting out of a trip to the pump, gasoline retailer ExxonMobil is reaching out to location-based rewards platform Shopkick and testing a program that will give registered users Kicks rewards simply for walking into an Exxon or Mobil retail store the next time they gas up.

Starting immediately, smartphone-equipped drivers at some 375 Exxon or Mobil gas station/c-store installations in three cities—New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.—will be able to open the Shopkick app, enter the c-store and earn Kicks, points in Shopkick’s cross-retail reward system that can then be used to purchase gift cards, movie tickets, entertainment downloads or Facebook Credits, among other things.

The pilot program is intended to test the power of location-based rewards to build customer loyalty for ExxonMobil at a time when many gas shoppers are becoming increasingly disloyal. Where once shoppers stuck primarily to the same gas stations, mostly because they were near home or convenient to an often-traveled route, today’s rising gas prices are influencing more drivers to go out of their way to cut the cost of filling up that tank.


Apr 10

Pinterest’s Third Place Could Favor the Retail Marketing Development

The Daily Mail referring to a study conducted by Experian House says that at present a pinboard-style social photo sharing website Pinterest became one of the most haunted social networking sites in the U.S. It gets the third place stepping back Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, the Experian “2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report” states that it’s a favorable place for retailers as it could help them to forge relationships with potential consumers. Using both Facebook and Pinterest retailers could significantly enhance their conversion rates.

According to VentureBeat Pinterest’s traffic redoubled between January and February 2012. In total number of visits the “pinboard site” has even overtaken LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google+.

The researchers also concluded that the site’s popularity is so high partly because of its audience. The major part of Pinterests’ users are female: 60% are women and 55% are between 25-44 years old. The Experian says that the most active users live in Southeastern, Midwestern and Northwestern states. 

Pinterest users upload, safe images or photos, called within the site as ‘pins’, and other video content on a specially designed ‘pinboards’. The Experian notes that the site is organized in such a way that there are a lot of opportunities for retailers to run really a profitable business. The main site’s concern is not friends but common interests, hobbies. 

Data show that retail brands that in 2011 ran at least 4 ad campaigns on Facebook had the highest conversion rates. Retail ads placed on Facebook raised the conversion rates up to 49% while travel advertisements – only up to 40%. Up to 58% managed to increase their conversion rates consumer goods brands. Just 18 percent conversion got auto brand ads.



New Research: Americans Hate Social Media Promotions

Source: Convince & Convert

Author: Jay Baer

Social media is the first time in history that companies communicate alongside real people, and with no inherent advantage. Go to your Facebook Wall and scroll down for a while. Mine looks something like this:










I’ll bet yours is approximately the same. Now look at Twitter (public feed of the people you follow, not lists). Basically the same, right? A mixture of people you know, people you love, people you want to know, and companies. All of them using precisely the same tools and formats to jostle for your attention. This is simply unprecedented.

Your Mom does not buy full-page magazine ads adjacent to car companies. Your friends do not make 60-second radio spots. Your high school ex-girlfriend doesn’t put up freeway billboards (unless she’s even more deranged than most). Those are brand tactics, not people tactics. Yet in social media, brands and people are using the same toolbox.

Because social media strips away the corporate communication advantages (money, personnel, expertise) they have enjoyed forever, brands often try to fight through the clutter of social media and curry your favor by giving you the BEST OFFER EVER. The paradox is that’s exactly what we don’t want.


Source: (

Quit Wasting Your Time and Money Trying to Produce Viral Videos

There Are Much Better Branded-Video Investments You Can Make Online

Source: Ad Age Blog
By: Bob Garfield

Fishing for rainbow trout? If you’re lucky, and you catch one, it’ll probably weigh about 2 pounds. If you’re extremely skilled and God loves you, you can hook an 8-pounder. You will not catch a 42-pound rainbow trout.

Oh, it’s been done. Such mutant rainbows exist, and it conceivable somebody will hook one. But it won’t be you. You also won’t be struck by a meteor. You won’t win the Mega Millions lottery. Though some Japanese guy once did, you won’t find a 55-leaf clover.

So don’t waste any time or money planning for such events, because that would be stupid. And if you are using somebody else’s resources while presuming to outthink the laws of nature and probability, that is practically fraud. Phenomena are phenomenal precisely because they cannot be predicted.

Yet Ad Age and all its competitors routinely hype viral videos as if they were the product of some sort of rarified genius, and as if there were techniques for reproducing the results. What a crock of shiftiness. Indeed, there is an entire industry developing and hundreds of millions of dollars squandered each year premised on an impossibility. Name five branded viral sensations. (My definition: accumulating 10 times as many views as paid for.)

Take your time. I’ll wait. According to statistical research by Duncan Watts and others, on average, seeding virals yields 1.1 to 1.4 times the media buy. That’s not an insignificant bonus, especially if so-called engaged viewers are more valuable than random impressions, but it ain’t a 42-pound trout.

Producing a video with the intention of achieving virality is like going to the racetrack and betting $100,000 on the long shot to win while trotting backward with the jockey juggling barbells. There are wiser investments of client money.


Apr 09

A retailer’s guide to creating brand loyalists

Consumers are increasingly skipping the malls and turning to online shopping for gift purchases. For marketers, even gift-giving presents an opportunity to get to know their consumers and nurture those relationships throughout the year. Observing consumer activity should be second nature for the online retailer. Even the most rudimentary ecommerce systems allow retailers to track what consumers are searching, clicking, and buying. One would naturally assume it would be easy enough to make sense of each consumer’s behavior and use this information to offer quality product recommendations. But you know the old saying about assuming things. One major challenge for retailers is distinguishing between when consumers purchase for themselves and when they purchase gifts. These gift-giving “micro-moments” can easily skew an individual consumer’s profile.

Consumers want online retailers to guide them in the right direction. One of the benefits of shopping online is that it’s easy to discover all of the relevant products and services available. Personalized recommendations make product discovery and purchasing that much easier, getting you in an out of the online store with time to spare. Often, retailers miss the mark and turn off consumers with irrelevant recommendations. This can incite frustration, leading a consumer to think, “This brand doesn’t know me” or “I’m wasting my time here because I’m not finding what I want.” Not only are those retailers missing an opportunity to make a sale or drive a cross-sell or upsell, they are also missing the opportunity to build a lasting relationship with the consumer that will keep them brand-loyal.


Facebook buying Instagram

Mark Zuckerberg announced today on Facebook that the company has agreed terms to buy the popular photo sharing application Instagram.

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.”


How Mobile is Changing Retail Marketing and Buying Behavior

Mobile retail marketing has changed (and changed with) consumer buying behavior, but location-based marketing may be the newest addition to this growing trend. A recentstudy from the Munich Maximillans University suggests customized mobile promotion and marketing can greatly sway consumers’ choices at the point-of-purchase. Professor Spann and his colleagues used a German smartphone app that provided modified coupons to test what types of promotions consumers are more willing to buy. They were able to send people coupons at the perfect time and place that might result in them immediately entering a store to purchase the product. They found that, while location-based marketing coupons have a strong impact on consumers’ buying behavior, it is not the deal breaker. Other factors, like the order in which the coupon appears in the app, the number of conditions in the offer, and the face value of the offer, also play an important role for the consumer. Even time of day can play an important role. For example, researchers found coffee coupons were more popular in the afternoon. In addition, distance had a negative impact on the willingness of consumers to redeem a coupon.

This study suggests that popularity of location-based retail marketing is on the rise. Mobile shopping apps, like ShopKick and AisleBuyer, are already on the market, providing in-store deals for participating consumers. With the growing connectivity between mobile marketing and online shoppers, there is great potential for retailers to snag some spotlight in thismobile marketing trend, even in the last few minutes of a purchase.


Feb 21

How Pinterest Changed My Mom’s Purchasing Decisions

Sunday afternoon I was whipping up a batch of the famous Cicero family sausage bread when I called my mom to get some last minute baking advice.

The conversation quickly turned to Pinterest.

My mom was so excited to tell me about how she was in the middle of redecorating her and my dad’s bedroom and she found it all on Pinterest.

Thinking back on my family’s purchasing history, we have used catalogs for other comforters and home items, and boating and fishing gear always came from Cabela’s catalogs, so Pinterest seems pretty natural.

Discovery From Day 1

What was interesting was how she described her process of using the site. She doesn’t follow many boards, and mainly uses her iPhone. When she saw the room design on a friend’s board, she followed it to a blog dedicated to all things turquoise, called aptly enough House of Turquoise. That took her to another site (West Elm) to find the exact duvet cover and another site for the proper paint.

“It took me to Sherwin Williams, where I’ve never gotten paint before.”

Not to say my mom has never visited a blog or ordered online, but the process by which she found all these different pieces online through social media was definitely something different.

Where Is Pinterest Headed?

So will Pinterest take over as the next big wave in social media?


It’s already well on its way with more than 10 million users, and in January of 2012 reports showed it generated more referral traffic than Google+, Youtube, and LinkedIn combined.

It’s visually appealing and addicting especially with all the cool stuff there is in the world.

For me, to see a piece of tech get introduced to my family and then traced to a purchasing decision is blogworthy, and as a brand, you can’t help but see this example as a shift in behavior that can be a new way to develop relationships with your community.

Written by: Nick Cicero

Story on web

Feb 16

Facebook Timeline for Brands Coming Later in February -

Facebook is planning to make its new Timeline format available for brands later this month, according to a report.

Citing “executives briefed on Facebook’s plans,” Ad Age is reporting that Facebook will use its Feb. 29 conference for marketers in New York to announce the initiative. Facebook will start in beta with a “handful of brands,” says Ad Age.

Facebook announced Timeline, its photo-heavy new format for profile pages, in September. Since that time, the company has been vague about if and when Timeline would be rolled out for brands. In December, when the social network rolled out Timeline for all users, a rep told Mashable that brands were not part of that announcement.

Meanwhile, since Facebook announced Timeline, Twitter and Google+ have both rolled out brand pages.

Opening up Timeline gives brands some new options for self-expression on Facebook. In addition to outlining their corporate history (something Lexus already tried via a Facebook app), they can also take advantage of Gestures that go beyond Liking. The design also employs a large image at the top of the Page, which could make the individual Pages more distinctive that the old template.

Psst... KFC Has a (Social Media) Secret -

Everyone loves a good secret, especially when it’s fresh. To celebrate the freshness of its world-famous chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken is letting its social media fans in on more secrets than the 11 herbs and spices that make up its famed Original Recipe. KFC will give away hundreds of gift certificates to fans who stay alert to posts from KFC’s Twitter handle (@kfc_colonel) and Facebook page.

Until the end of February, @kfc_colonel will issue 20 tweets at random times (some tweets will also be posted on Facebook), and each one will contain a link to a secret page on The first 50 people to enter a valid email address into the page will be rewarded with a $5 gift certificate to enjoy a meal at KFC.

“At KFC, we’re all about serving fresh whole chicken that’s never frozen, and this is a fun way to remind people of that freshness,” says John Cywinski, president of KFC. “Fans who stay fresh and alert as they follow ‘The Colonel’ on Twitter and Facebook will earn some of our famous Original Recipe. We won’t be announcing the schedule of tweets, so our fans are going to have to stay sharp in order to be among the first to find out how to win.”

Feb 10

Pinterest for Local Business - What you need to know

One of the hottest new sites year is Pinterest. In fact, ReachLocal recently launched an account on the site, sharing stats, facts, infographics, and other content from across the wWeb. If you haven’t heard about the social media site from a family member, friend, or colleague, here’s a basic overview of what you need to know about using Pinterest for local business.

Full article

Feb 03

Just in Time for Super Bowl: ‘The Least Interesting Man in the World’

No, tiny Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado did not pull a coup and secure Super Bowl ad time on NBC. But here’s guessing the craft brewer will get folks in Denver talking on Sunday about the latest installments in its “Truth in Beervertising” parody campaign. When we last checked in on the brewer, it was taking on Coors Light, mocking the brand’s “cold-activated” cans, as well as spoofing “triple hops brewed” Miller Lite.

Full story