Archive for October 2007

Compare Rewards reviews

I was recently approached by Compare Rewards, a well-known blog that focuses on rewards programs and the shopping rewards industry, to see if I would be interested in participating in a blog interview about iBakeSale, how it started, and how it is different from the multitude of other rewards programs on the market. If you’re interested in seeing her synopsis of, check that out here. If you would like to read the blog interview, you can find that by clicking on this link. Enjoy!

Engaging customers through social networking

I recently saw an announcement that 1-800 Flowers was launching a new marketing strategy on Facebook to capitalize on the social networking phenomenon. I’m not 100% sure of everything the application does, but the major focus is on rewarding Facebook users for referring friends to the 1-800 Flowers website. The application also rewards their best customers for various activities on the social networking site. I think this is a great move for 1-800 Flowers. They are an incredibly innovative retailer and one of the first movers into the social networking space. There is an opportunity to engage Facebook users with their brand. I think that more and more companies will join the fray as they try to understand the social networking opportunity and how they can take advantage of it. Over time, Facebook users will likely become disenfranchised as more brands try to compete for their limited attention. But I think that until that happens, 1-800 Flowers will be see real benefits from engaging customers through social networks.

What is Wugging?

This has to be the coolest made-up word I’ve ever heard. I stumbled across it on Wallet Mouth blog in a recent blog post.

Wallet Mouth defines Wugging as follows: Wugging, or web-use giving, lets you raise money for do-gooder groups by shopping online and using search engines.

Sound familiar?

Sounds a lot like iBakeSale, my favorite online fundraising rewards program for local community causes.

Other online companies that are wuggers include GoodSearch, which allows users to search the internet and donate search revenues to charities and schools, FreePledge, a shopping portal where you can donate shopping savings to charity, and SchoolPop, which allows users to shop and donate savings to schools across the country.

I’ve never hear the word Wugging before but I think it will soon become one of my favorite words. It describes something near and dear to my heart, online giving. There are a myriad of companies that enable online giving through having consumers take actions. A couple not mentioned on Wallet Mouth include iGive and a new social network called Razoo, which allows users to take certain actions which support and promote various charities.

I’d love to hear what they call Wugging for off-line charitable giving…

Microsoft to acquire

I just came across a blog post on ReveNews, found here, that reported on a recent announcement from Microsoft that they are acquiring for an undisclosed sum. Jellyfish is a comparative shopping website based out of Madison Wisconsin. They’ve done some interesting things with affiliate marketing and ReveNews goes into some of it on their site. The amazing take-away for me is that somebody like Microsoft would be interested in making small acquisitions in the online advertising space in their effort to augment their Live Search functionality and user experience. I honestly don’t know enough about this to comment on exactly how it will be helpful to Microsoft’s Live Search but I am very curious to see what other large players will start acquiring similar integrated marketing companies over the coming months to strengthen their market positions.

  • A need for smaller packaging;
  • I recently read an article on The Wise Marketer from Information Resources, Inc. that mentioned low income shoppers as providing a future growth opportunity if retailers could capture loyalty from that segment in the right way. I’m having trouble with this concept. Here’s my take… I think that existing retailers for the most part all have core customer demographics. I just don’t see Nordstrom or GAP changing strategies to cater to low income shoppers. The study referenced on The Wise Marketer mentions how these consumers have different needs. The funny thing is that the list they provide contains many things I think wealthy shoppers would want as well. Presently, retailers compete for share of this low-income market with price breaks, but many retailers are learning that deep discounts are not the good solution. According to the article, low-income shoppers are looking for: