Forever 21 Maternity Line Sparks Controversy
July 20, 2010

Forever 21, a clothing chain that attracts many under-21 customers with its inexpensive, trendy fashions, is being questioned about its motives in choosing a select group of states to carry its recently launched maternity line. The line, called Love 21 Maternity, is currently available in Arizona, Alaska, California, Utah and Texas.

How to Turn Customers Into Raving Fans
July 20, 2010

It's the goal of every business to turn casual customers into raving fans who refer new customers, give great ratings and reviews, and are an all-around dream for marketers. But how does a small business guide customers up the sales chain? Obviously, having great products and services is key, but connecting with, embracing and educating these casual customers through multiple channels will also help the process.

Back-to-School Sales Could Rise By as Much as 16%
July 15, 2010

Back-to-school spending may rise as much as 16 percent in the U.S. this year, reversing year-ago declines and putting more muscle behind the economic rebound. Families with students plan to spend about $55.1 billion in the period, compared with $47.5 billion a year earlier, the National Retail Federation said, citing consumers surveyed by BIGResearch.

Retailers Step Up Promotions to Entice Reluctant Consumers
July 14, 2010

With unemployment high and consumer confidence low, retailers are getting more creative to lure wary consumers. Grabbing shoppers from rivals is no easy task, but merchants are making a stab at innovative ways, beyond price cuts and low overhead, to lure consumers. Merchants have little choice now but to boost sales to keep profits up.

Ways to Create Valuable Experiences for Your Customers
July 6, 2010

With today's consumers deluged with new media and messages — on any given day, the average consumer will be exposed to nearly 3,000 media messages, of which they'll pay attention to 52 and remember four — marketing campaigns need to be as close to one-to-one conversations as possible. At last month's Digital Marketing Days Conference & Expo in New York City, Christa Carone, chief marketing officer for Xerox, provided strategies to help retailers shift their marketing efforts from one-way conversations to true dialogs with consumers.

No Frills Selling Succeeds for B-to-B Online Retailers, Report Finds
June 30, 2010

Greater emphasis is clearly placed on value and multiple-unit purchases rather than on adding “frills” via merchandising tactics beyond clearance areas and rebates. An interesting aside is that unlike B-to-C customers who have come to expect plentiful free shipping offers, the lack of such promotions does not seem to negatively impact the B-to-B customer’s decision to make a purchase.

Integrating Social Media and Email Grows in Importance for Marketers
June 24, 2010

Combining the forces of social media with email marketing has been under way for some time, with savvy marketers using the two channels to complement each other rather than compete. As companies gain experience in the area, their choice of tactics may change. A survey of small businesses by email marketing company AWeber found the most common tactics implemented last year were tweeting email newsletters and sending out blog entries to email lists. Fewer than four in 10 small businesses were engaging in those activities, and only about one-quarter had email sign-up forms on their social profiles or links within email messages to follow them on social sites.

Digital Channels Continue to Gain in New Marketing Spend
June 23, 2010

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today released its Quarterly Business Review for the first quarter of 2010. As the trends toward increased accountability and technical innovation continue their rise in popularity and ROI among the business community, the digital channels have consumed the top slots for new marketing spending. The study shows that for the first time in two years, marketers and their service providers reported across-the-board increases in revenue, marketing expenditures and profitability compared with both the fourth quarter of 2009 and the same quarter last year. Their optimism about the second quarter also grew.

Direct Mail Response Rates Hold Steady, Finds Report
June 16, 2010

The Direct Marketing Association today released the 2010 Response Rate Trend Report, which provides key cost and performance benchmarks to help marketers gauge the efficiency of their campaigns. The updated report shows effective paid search campaigns usually lead to a multistep sales process.

How the Big Boys Chase Innovation
June 8, 2010

On day two of the Retail Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla., last month, a panel of executives from Best Buy, Dell and took part in a roundtable discussion on how their businesses have evolved their brand, e-commerce and marketing strategies to differentiate themselves from their competition through innovation.