Can Digital Save Retail?

This post originally appeared in our July '13 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

My wife and I have a baby on the way. Literally any day now he or she (we don’t know which) could arrive. We’re as excited and terrified as all first-time parents are, fully aware that our lives will utterly change but unaware of exactly how. 

I’ve depended on my wife to lead me through these past nine months. Go to this doctor’s appointment. Paint the nursery. Install this light. However, as a bit of a techie, there were a few things I was excited about, and I was giddy to be given the reigns to buy our first high-end camera.


Bridging the Gap Between Digital, Mobile and In-Store Experiences

This post originally appeared in our January '13 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

In the mid-’90s I was a teenager just entering high school. I loved computers, and the emergence of the Internet simply astounded me. I would spend hours on Prodigy, then AOL, chatting away and browsing every corner of the emerging web.   

My big prediction was that there would come a day when we’d go to the mall online. We’d walk a character through the mall, entering shops where we could buy real items. Turns out it wasn’t that bold a prediction, as I wasn’t far off.

Today e-commerce has become a formidable challenger to brick-and-mortar stores, which rely on customers getting dressed (it’s harder than you think), leaving their houses, driving to the store, finding parking and dealing with store employees who are too eager or absent to be of any assistance, only to realize the item is out of stock. But in the early days of the web, it wasn’t clear that anyone would ever buy anything online. Who would you be buying from? How would you pay, and would it be safe? Did you need that item now, or could you wait six to 10 days for shipping? Why buy online when you could get everything at the mall (or so you thought) in one day? What if the items didn’t fit? What if they never arrived?


Digital and Print Bundle Up for Impressions

Want a subscription to both the print AND digital version of a magazine? It'll cost you...less! The same print magazine you get each month in your mailbox is now available for browsing on your iPad, and for the convenience of having both, you'll pay less than a simple app-only subscription. It sounds backward, but this is exactly what publishers are doing these days. The reasons why actually make some sense.


Most Marketers Want to Hold Consumers Hostage

This post originally appeared in our January issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

According to the results of a recent Break Media study on digital video advertising trends, a frightening percentage of marketers still consider the pre-roll ideal placement because the audience is “held hostage to watch.” In spite of plentiful research indicating that new formats and techniques are more effective,  marketers still want interruptive advertising. Have they learned nothing?

California Smart Plate

California to Solve Budgetary Woes with ‘Death Plates’

For a wide range of issues, California is the battlefield where the next big thing and the status quo struggle for supremacy. From gay marriage to new emissions standards and the legalization of marijuana, the state that elected the half-human, half-mechanical Austrian as its governor is almost always on the forefront—for better or for worse. Once again, California is leading the way. This time the state is balancing its budget with new license plates that will turn highways into death traps!