200 Marketing Trends found for Innovation / Creative


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Google and Governor Schwarzenegger Fanfare Future for 'Green Design'

The great and the good of the United States of America - among them California's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, YouTube founder Chad Hurley, and the visionary of sustainability - architect William McDonough - gathered last week at Google's Mountain View campus to launch the Green Products Innovation Institute which will be based in San Francisco and "lead efforts to transform all products sold in California to ones that are safe." Or as McDonough hopefully put it: "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could design a world for the living, and for growth - for nine billion souls?" But lest cynics sneer, there are some highly practical commercial policies underpinning the ideals ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

Topping the priorities, according to McDonough, are the myriad products made with toxic chemicals that are unsafe for human contact. He and Governor Schwarzenegger are of like minds in this respect. In 2008 the former 'Terminator' shoehorned a green chemistry bill through the California legislature which forces manufacturers to identify harmful chemicals in products their products, at the same time encouraging them to switch to safer ingredients.

McDonough and his business partner, German chemist Michael Braungart, have devoted almost two decades investigating which chemicals used to manufacture such products as textiles and carpets are environmentally benign. In one instance, the duo's company, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, tested 1,600 dyestuffs made by Ciba Specialty Chemicals. Only sixteen met their environmental standards.

In 2002 the pair published Cradle to Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things, which evangelized their belief that waste can be eliminated through sustainable design.
 
Since then MBDC has been recruited by such companies as carpet maker Shaw Industries (a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway),  Aveda and Herman Miller to advise and certificate that their products conform to Cradle to Cradle design principles.

Shaw Industries ceo Vance Bell says 20% of his company's $4 billion in revenues now come from sustainably designed and C2C certified products.

As the slow but inexorable global move toward 'green marketing' gains momentum, the McDonough/Braungart credo is likely to become engraved in stone.

 


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Forbes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5252

Apple's iPad Could Revolutionize Retail Industry, Insiders Say

"I believe the iPad will be a new cultural icon," opines Ivy Ross, executive-vp marketing at international fashion chain Gap. "And the way it allows people to engage, we didn't want to be left out of that." Good as her word, Ms Ross has put her employer's money where her mouth is ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

Gap's 1969 Stream app creates a social-shopping experience that includes content from designers, musicians and fashion insiders, the ability to purchase items (or share them with a friend) without leaving the app and a geo-locator to find the nearest store.

The Gap app also features a music video from Truth & Salvage, a video of Jay Sario from "Project Runway" dressing consumers in Gap denim, photos of celebs wearing Gap and tweets from designer Patrick Robinson.

Another iPad groupie, Manhattan ad shop Kirshenbaum Senecal Bond & Partners, is embracing the iPad as part of a  global assignment from Puma. KSB&P is charged with bringing iPads into a pilot store this summer with a planned rollout to other outlets later this year.

A panel of ad and retail industry executives interviewed by AdAge suggests six ways in which iPads could be employed in retial environments ...

  1. Catalogs:
    Online versions of print catalogs haven't taken off, but iPad versions, with embedded video, as well as the ability to browse whenever it's convenient and make purchases could be the next big thing.
     
  2. Customization:
    Cars, furniture, shoes and apparel could all be customized in-store, with customers able to easily view and select colors, fabrics and finishes, and then place the special order.
     
  3. Sales Floor Assistant:
    The iPad could provide easy access to product data, customer data and customer reviews, in addition to allowing transactions to be completed away from the [cash] register.
     
  4. Personal shopper:
    Customers finding a jacket in one department could access recommendations for coordinating apparel and accessories in other departments.
     
  5. Registries:
    Now divided into an offline and online experience, iPad could enable customers to create registries from a store's entire inventory.
     
  6. eCommerce:
    Consumers are already shopping on their phones; it's only a matter of time before the iPad becomes another shopping tool.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5148

Nintendo to Debut Portable, No-Glasses 3-D Gaming Device

Japanese games Goliath Nintendo could be about to deliver the Holy Grail long sought by visual media-owners - three dimensional imaging without the aid of special glasses.In its current fiscal year (to March 31, 2011) the Kyoto-headquartered company plans to launch a new portable gaming device providing full three-dimsensional images free of the need for special specs or other viewing aids.

 

[Estimated timeframe:period to March 2011]

Codenamed the Nintendo 3DS, the new gizmo will also play current Nintendo DS games. The company, however, was reluctant to release details as to price or general functionality - promising only to provide more details in June at the videogame industry's annual E3 Convention in Los Angeles.

Nintendo shares soared 10% in Tokyo trading on the morning following the announcement.

Videogames are leading TV and movies in the race for 3-D techno-supremacy, primarily because its graphics are already created in 3-D. Moreover video-game geeks are thought more likely to dig deep for a new technology like 3-D.

Currently, most available 3-D technology requires either battery-operated or color-filtered glasses. And although there are a number of glasses-free 3-D prototypes around, these require a viewer to remain in one location and keep their head perfectly still.
 


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5102

AOL to Develop 'the Most Promising White Space on the Internet'

By the end of 2010, limping leviathan AOL aims to up its network of local news blogs from thirty to "hundreds" of sites. Branded Patch, the initiative aims to be "the global and local leader in sourcing, creating, producing and delivering high quality content". Or as the portal's PR's hypesters put it: "To be leaders in one of the most promising 'white spaces' on the Internet."

[Estimated timeframe:2010-onward]

Ceo Tim Armstrong's turnaround strategy for AOL is to turn it into a 'next-generation' media giant. A conveniently non-specific term that should temporarily satisfy the company's stunned stockholders and the less sophisticated members of the journalistic fraternity.

Patch is already growing fast (-ish), from just twelve communities in New Jersey and Connecticut as at October 2009, to the current figure of "about thirty". Sparing no expense, AOL is currently recruiting journalism school graduates for the jobs.

However, the exercise is still small beer alongside the former market leader's main revenue stream as an internet service provider. But as the PollyAnna-ish source of this report [BusinessInsider.com] comments: "Still, going from 30 sites to 'hundreds' is quite the ambitious goal."


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Businessinsider.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5046

Bing Pings Zing Tomato Search Link

Avis tried harder as Number Two; Bing even more so as number three. When you lag the search engine market leader by 63.7 percentage points (in 2009) you have to come up with something special. And Bing has done exactly that! Moreover, it's likely to become a search sine qua non.

A service launched this week by Bing enables advertisers to connect with consumers via food and paid search ads. Search for an ingredient (say, tomato) and the engine delivers recipes made with the item. Searchers will also get a list of nutritional value, calories, benefits, types and varieties, and more.

To the left of this data there are articles, ratings, cuisine, convenience, occasion, main ingredient, course, and cooking instructions. And for the green-fingered there are related searches, from how to grow tomatoes, history and facts to diseases.

While to the right of the page, surfers see a few paid search ads - although a Bing executive insists the new service is not supported by paid sponsorships or partnerships.

Bing's search engine spiders crawl sites for recipe content from partners, such as Delish.com and MyRecipes.com - both of whom have inked a content-sharing agreement with Microsoft.

Currently Google doesn't offer a similar integrated search ... but watch this space!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4999

UK Marketers say digital is at the heart of engagement

Marketers have used the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Engage conference to emphasise that advertisers should treat digital as a core engagement tool. Mark Lund, chief executive of the UK’s biggest advertiser, the Central Office of Information, says digital is at the ‘heart of public engagement’. He adds that digital media is becoming an essential component to engage with the public on sensitive subjects, but should not be used alone.

“Digital is a huge opportunity to encourage behavioural change in consumers, but it cannot be used on its own. The power of conversations is very important and social media is a positive environment to make changes happen,” he says.

Lund says documentaries aimed at curbing teenage pregnancies and the RAF’s use of YouTube to broadcast unedited and unmediated footage from soldiers allowing consumers to post feedback to the video diaries as examples of social media in action.

He adds the COI had increased its digital spend by 200% over the last three years and the channel will be a “pivotal” medium in future Government communications including allowing consumers to get involved with future policy discussions.

Meanwhile, Matt Brittin, managing director of Google UK, says marketers must engage more with data and use it as a core advertising aid.

“Become greater with data, take leaps and learn, treat testing as a religion, consider both cost and collaboration across teams and try and move faster,” he stressed.

Ashley Highfield, managing director and vice president of consumer and online UK at Microsoft, adds: “We’ve reached a tipping point where PCs are selling more than TV sets. The digital world has got to move with this and for the most part, this will be an ad-funded future. The modernisation of screens used in marketing will help to convince more advertisers of the merits of digital.”
 


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: mad.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4900

Walmart's Instore Redesign Takes Toll on Sales

Walmart is doling out hundreds of millions of dollars for "Project Impact," an ambitious five-year push to de-clutter its stores to make them more shopper-friendly. But having less merchandise on display has put a serious crimp in sales for some categories and dinged suppliers. And that's got Bentonville buzzing that the retail titan might just put the program on hold as a result.

"They solved half of the problem, which was un-cluttering the stores," said a person familiar with Walmart. "That leaves them with the other half of the problem: how to make up for the lost sales" from removing millions of square feet of prime merchandising space.

The conundrum of lost sales is real, but the "solution" to put the program on hiatus is being dismissed by some as wishful thinking on the part of suppliers. Either way, it's sure to be a hot topic when Walmart meets with investors and analysts in the retailer's hometown this week.

Walmart executives have described the Impact store remodels as a five-year plan for its 2,600-plus supercenters (out of more than 4,200 total stores), projecting conversion of 500 to 600 stores this fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31.

The revamps are extensive and run millions of dollars per store, including updated signage, new layouts with wide-open aisles, bigger and more prominent space for strategically important categories such as electronics and baby care, lower fixtures that allow for better visibility and an all-around brighter appearance.

Still upbeat
But the process also removes those pallet-sized merchandising displays scattered throughout Walmart, stuffed with everything from $5 DVDs to health and beauty aids. And that extra elbow room for the Walmart shopper, has extracted a stiff price in merchandising space for categories like health and beauty, which derive about a third of their sales from Walmart. In fact, some industry watchers credit a combination of lost Walmart display space, along with more aggressive private-label merchandising by the chain, in part for a substantial slowdown in U.S. sales at $64 billion Johnson & Johnson (J&J declined to comment).

Walmart declined to comment beyond pointing out that its executives have been unremittingly upbeat about the results of Project Impact to date. In fact, CEO Mike Duke gave the stores a glowing review at a Sept. 10 Goldman Sachs investor conference. "You might not see the amount of product in the aisles [as before the remodels]," he said. "That's part of the strategy. And the customers love it."

The Impact stores look a lot like Target stores, which may be no accident, since the initiative has been led largely by Chief Merchandising Officer John Fleming, a Target veteran and former Walmart CMO.

The trouble is, Walmart has always enjoyed considerably better sales per square foot than Target. And part of the reason, some suppliers believe, has been all those merchandising displays that clutter the aisles but also prompt impulse purchases.

Impact stores, along with other elements of the project, have been championed by an increasingly powerful marketing department, but have rankled some in the retailer's merchandising ranks, whose compensation is based on sales growth. Walmart merchandising executives have been the ultimate source of some of the reports regarding the impact stores being put on hold.

Rolling out
They, along with suppliers who've been similarly dinged by the retailer's strategy shifts, make up a powerful reservoir of wishful thinking. Some executives who seemingly should know if Walmart were halting expansion of its highly touted Impact Stores were unaware of any such move, and some were downright skeptical.

One said the impact stores are "still rolling out full steam" though acknowledged the "pendulum perhaps swung a bit too far, but they will fine tune." The real threat, he said, is to brands that are "too promotion- dependent."

Leon Nicholas, director-retail insight at WPP Group's Management Ventures, has likewise heard the chatter regarding a suspension of the Impact stores, but he takes it with a grain of salt. He recalls a recent panel he attended in Bentonville during which "there was more of a hope in the air [among suppliers] that surely this can't be coming to fruition. 'We've just lost 30% of our [stockkeeping units]. We've just lost all of our promotion opportunities. ... And I'm wondering in some cases, in some categories, if they have said they cut a little too far."

But he said a current remodel just down the street from him in Massachusetts still is doing away with almost all the in-aisle displays. "So there is absolutely no indication," he said, that [the Impact stores] are being put on hold."

 


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4830

UK smokers served behavioural targeting ads

Britain's Department of Health has launched a behavioural targeting campaign as part of a broader push to encourage smokers to quit.

A series of video MPUs launched earlier this week features children discussing their fears about their parents smoking.

Consumers who click on the MPU will be served different ads from those who choose to ignore them.

The online campaign, developed by digital agency Agency Republic and media agency i-level, follows an above-the-line campaign which launched earlier this month.

Gavin Marshall, group business director at Agency Republic, said the aim was to use behavioural targeting to develop a campaign that was hard to ignore.

“By using behavioural targeting techniques, we’re able to swap creative and ramp up the urgency of the message depending on the degree to which the viewer has interacted with the message,” he said.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: New Media Age (UK)
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4817

Calculating Wolfram Alpha's Business

The much-hyped Wolfram Alpha launches Friday night, and it has Internet-goers howling with anticipation. But the new search engine's business model could prove to be a real dog. Wolfram Alpha is the latest project by Wolfram Research, the software company behind Mathematica, a popular computational program designed by scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Instead of retrieving ready-made Web pages that match a user's query, Wolfram Alpha calculates answers on the fly based on a relevant set of data presumably located somewhere in the cloud.

[Estimated timeframe:2009-onward]

The new search tool works similar to the way Google ( GOOG - news - people ) answers basic math questions, but across much more data. You can, for example, compare the properties of sugar maple to black maple, figure out the nutritional information of swiss cheese or calculate fixed-rate mortgage payments.

Stephen Wolfram, the eponymous entrepreneur behind Wolfram Research, hopes Wolfram Alpha will introduce "a new paradigm for using computers and the Web." Indeed, Wolfram Alpha is already being compared to Google, though the creator says its not a "Google killer." Still, Internet bystanders are positioning the two companies to battle over search market-share, mind-share or both.

But even if Stephen Wolfram´s search calculator can compete with Larry Page and Sergey Brin´s search index, can his business model? Google generated $21 billion in revenues last year, 99% of which came from advertising. According to Wolfram Alpha, that´s more than $3 per person alive today.

It would be more than foolish to assume Wolfram Research can monetize Wolfram Alpha in the way Google has monetized its search engine through its lucrative paid search business. After all, the search index is only one of two inventions that made Google what it is today. The other was AdSense, the self-service advertising platform that allows businesses to buy clicks from Google users.

Wolfram Research has not said how it intends to monetize its new search engine, but a preview of it offered to Forbes hints at one approach: There´s a "Featured Sponsor(s)" module hidden in the code, commented out by the developers. The copy used is dummy text, but suggests that one revenue stream for Wolfram Alpha will be from display ads.

The "powered by" business model is nothing new, and certainly not as innovative as the novel approach to search computation. It suggests that Wolfram Alpha´s biggest strength may also be its biggest weakness: The datasets behind its calculations are curated by hand--hundreds of them--and somebody plugged them into the system.

As the amount of information, users and computed knowledge scales exponentially, can paid sponsors support the tool? It may be too early to say, but those are numbers Wolfram Alpha will have to learn to compute.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Forbes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4070

GE Unveils $6 Billion Health-Unit Plan

General Electric Co. launched its "Healthymagination" initiative Thursday in hopes of building a thematic presence in health care on par with its four-year-old "Ecomagination" campaign around environmental concerns. "Health care needs new solutions," said Jeff Immelt, GE's chairman and chief executive. "We must innovate with smarter processes and technologies that help doctors and hospitals deliver better health care to more people at a lower cost."

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2009-onward]

GE said it will allocate $6 billion over the next six years for the effort, including $3 billion toward developing products it claims will lower costs, increase access and improve health-care quality. That is more than double the $1.2 billion GE said it had planned to spend on health-care research and development over the period.

GE said its health-care-finance group will boost lending by $2 billion, or 10%, to $22 billion to prod hospitals to improve information technology, especially in rural areas. The remaining $1 billion will be spent on partnerships with Intel Corp. and others, efforts to provide clean water and marketing.

The conglomerate disclosed the initiative in Washington, where the administration of President Barack Obama has been promoting heavier use of health-care information technology and advocating additional spending on public-health challenges such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS.

Mr. Immelt said GE´s health-care goals line up with the administration´s but said executives at the Fairfield, Conn., company have been considering the project for several years. "This entire program isn´t dependent on the stimulus," said Mr. Immelt.

GE said it would put the "Healthymagination" brand on as many as 100 products by 2015, from hand-held ultrasound scanners to CAT scanners and infant-care products sold to emerging markets through microfinance organizations. To qualify, GE said a product would have to improve access and quality and reduce cost, each by at least 15%. GE said it had hired U.K. advisory firm Oxford Analytica to assess products against those standards.

In part, the campaign is an effort by GE to reorient its health-care unit, which now derives the majority of its $18 billion in annual revenue from selling diagnostic equipment. Growth prospects for such sales have dimmed as public and private insurers have tried to curb costs. Mr. Immelt also hopes it puts GE at the center of the U.S. and global health-care debates.

Mr. Immelt predicted the new approach would help GE´s health-care unit grow at least twice as fast as the broader economy. "We don´t run a charity at GE," said Mr. Immelt. "We make money."

In another part of the plan, GE will aim to slow growth of health-care spending for its 300,000 employees below the rate of inflation by focusing more on prevention, which often is cheaper than treatment. GE said it is converting 175 company-run health centers into "wellness clinics."

One investor said he found the "Healthymagination" brand slightly awkward. "It´s highlighting another piece of what GE does," said Jason Small, a portfolio manager at Chartwell Investment Partners that owns GE shares. "But it seems a little awkwardly phrased."


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=3997



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