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?


TV Ads: Paying Attention to Misleading Numbers

Researchers at The Council for Research Excellence recently concluded that some TV watchers do, in fact, stay in the room during commercial breaks. Or, as they put it, "Most TV Viewers Do Not Leave the Room or Even Change Channels During Commercial Breaks.” The CRE highlights select results to conclude that viewers stay put because they're captivated by what the ad spots have to offer. The truth, more likely, is that these couch potatoes are patiently waiting for their favorite show to resume, engaging with other humans or other media, or are just too lazy to press fast forward on their DVR remote, let alone leave the room. Thankfully, Ilya over at the excellent AdLab has weighed in to help make some sense of the data.