Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success. 

After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth. 

Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.

Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.

About 40 percent of the men and women in relationships expect to get engaged on Valentine's Day this year, according to a new study. Sears, hoping to profit from the findings, has expanded its assortment of jewelry by 60 percent this year to feature a wider selection of watches, pendants and engagement rings.

The Easter Bunny may look fluffy and cute, but retailers know there's a lot of consumer-toned muscle beneath that fuzzy exterior. Easter may not have the profile of other more secularly oriented holidays, but the bunny is a retail beast. Easter brought in more than $14 billion last year, accounting for 6.1 percent of all holiday spending.

If you bought a Groupon deal for $20 for $40 worth of flowers from FTD and suspected you were being overcharged, you thought right. Seems a glitch in the system charged Groupon users full price on sale items, but both Groupon and FTD seem eager to resolve the issue, although there were probably some burned and spurned flowerless customers this Valentine's Day

Social commerce startup announced the beta launch of its social gifting service in time for Valentine's Day shopping. Thoughtful, available as a web service and iPhone application, provides consumers with unique gifts and experiences from local merchants, enabling them to give the right gift to the right person every time. 

Friends and readers: I hope you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I also hope you had a great Black Friday and a killer Cyber Monday.
I seem to remember not too long ago when Black Friday was just a retail industry term for the one day of the year that could change a company’s P&L from red to black. Somehow the term has crept into our national lexicon and collective psyche. As I went through my e-mails on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 22, I had at least a half-dozen sale-oriented e-mails pitching Black Friday sales. Most referenced Black Friday right in

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