Is 2015 the Year of the Digital Wallet?

2014 will go down as the year of the major corporate hack. It happened in retail, in banking, in entertainment, in government and probably in many other places that never went public. Personally I have had new debit cards issued three times this past year, all because of a retail hack. Everytime it happens I spend countless hours tracking down and changing all of the automatic payments that are “wired” to that card number. Often I miss several and have threatening emails and calls because my payment was “declined” (not so, just a victim here!). More and more I have moved to my longstanding digital wallet partner, PayPal. If a vendor takes PayPal, I’m using it for auto payments and for online shopping. I also just received my new iPhone 6 plus a couple of weeks ago, and have started setting up Apple Pay for use in stores (unfortunately one of my banks, Read More


Proximity Marketing

Proximity marketing or hyperlocal marketing as it’s sometimes called, is on the upsurge this year. The fact that the smartphone market continues to grow with ~1.3B shipments in 2014 WW, and a CAGR of near 10% through 2018 (based on the IDC Smartphone Tracker) is a part of that of course, but also the technology supporting proximity marketing is much more refined and available. There are also some good successes that are getting the attention of all types of businesses.
Proximity marketing uses Read More

Using CRM to Complement Marketing

Often, people mistakenly think that marketing automation software and customer resource management (CRM) software are interchangeable, but these people soon find out that although the two work together, neither operates at its full potential without the other. In fact, each tool serves as a complement to the other. Marketing automation software allows your company to:


  • Schedule e-mails so that they’re sent at the right times;
  • Connect e-mail messages to specific landing pages;
  • Target customers based on demographics and behaviors; and
  • Track visitor behaviors.


All these are elements that your CRM solution really doesn’t work with.

Where CRM Fits into the Puzzle: Read More

The future of automatic engagements with passengers



(all images: Air France – KLM)

Airports and airlines embraced the self-service revolution over a decade ago. The industry started by replacing traditional check-in desks with kiosks and simple bag drop positions, reducing the need for large check-in areas and – more importantly – staff. After all, the salary of an agent printing a bag tag and labelling a suitcase is much lower than a highly departure control system (DCS)-trained colleague.

Subsequently, online services were added which enabled passengers to check-in at home, choose their seats and print their boarding passes in advance. This further reduced the need for having multiple agents and desks.

Those airports that are ahead of the pack are now offering a fully automated passenger ground experience, including self-check-in, self-bag drop, automated border control, self-transfer, self-boarding and even self-service recovery. Of course, Read More

Online Travel Sales Explode in Latin America

Online as a percentage of total travel sales to outrank Asia-Pacific in 2013

Consumers in Latin America are making more and more travel purchases online as individual markets begin to see higher internet penetration. In “Internet & Media 101” from September 2012, Barclays Capital forecasted that Latin America will lead all world regions in online travel sales growth through 2016, increasing by more than 30% on a yearly basis through 2013.

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OMG, Black friday proves: Social refers 0% online business..

black fridayIf the information that IBM has provided regarding the online activity from this past Black Friday is accurate the folks who tout mobile are very happy.

As for those who tout social media as being a strong referral source for online commerce? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t your best day. For example, with regard to being a referrer for online sales Twitter put up a bagel. For those not familiar with sports lingo that’s a zero. Nada. Zip. Not enough to register. You get the point. Here is the picture for you.

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Airlines Take Mobile Services Beyond Check-In

In-transit contact with customers opens new marketing opportunities

Digital check-ins are nothing new to air travelers. Online check-ins are showing signs of maturity, and mobile check-ins are gaining ground quickly, according to J.D. Power & Associates’ 2012 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. As of June 2012, nearly half of all check-ins for North American airlines were conducted either online or through a mobile device, with mobile increasing from 5% of all check-ins in 2011 to 11% in 2012.

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The Mobile vs. Web Economy

As the world moves from the desktop to accessing content via mobile devices, there’s a giant economic issue lying ahead for companies that rely on advertising revenue. The fact is, the majority of content that is accessed via mobile devices is creating less ad revenue than the comparable content via web destinations. Of course, this is nothing new for publishers and ad-supported companies. The advertising industry has gotten used to rolling with the ever-shifting revenue landscape, but this shift is going to bring new meaning to “leaner and more nimble” business models.

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Showrooming, the end of brick and mortar retail?

Showroomers slightly more likely to purchase from the retailer where they do research than from that retailer’s competitor

Is all the hand-wringing by retailers over the perceived threat of showrooming warranted? The answer, according to an August 2012 survey of adult mobile phone users in the US commissioned by mobile marketing company Vibes and conducted by research company Research Now, is yes and no.

Vibes’ survey found that showrooming was a decidedly mixed development for brick-and-mortar retailers. About three in 10 showrooming customers later made a purchase from the website of the store they had visited, while one-quarter bought the item they sought from a competitor.

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Show me the money: US travel industry doubles digital spending

US travel industry on the leading edge of digital ad spending growth

According to eMarketer’s digital ad spending forecast, which encompasses both online and mobile advertising, travel advertisers will dedicate $4.7 billion to digital in 2016, nearly double the $2.4 billion they spent in 2011.

This growth is underpinned by the natural influx of new advertisers coming to the digital marketplace and increasing their spend over time, as well as established digital advertisers focusing on emerging channels. Advertiser trends, newer online ad formats and mobile advertising in general are collectively driving rapid growth through 2014. By 2015, year-over-year growth for digital travel advertising will continue, but it will begin to show signs of maturation, dipping into the high single-digit percentages.

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