Santa, Social Media, and Holiday Shopping Are on Their Way

The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants.   ~ John Andrew Holmes

Santa, Social Media, and Holiday Shopping Are On Their WayIt’s that time of year again, when we are thinking about the upcoming Christmas season and gearing up for holiday shopping.  As Susie Gharib of NBR reports, more of us will be taking advantage of online options than ever before; the National Retail Federation reports Internet sales are likely to be up 15% from last year.  It’s no wonder with the growth of smart phones and tablets.  About a third of online shoppers will be showrooming in search of the best deal, as told by comScore’s Executive Chairman Gian Fulgoni to NBR’s Diane Eastabrook.

Gian Fulgoni also indicates social media’s role in holiday retail is poised to have a greater persuasive impact.  Look for Facebook and Pinterest to figure in as well as consumer site Fancy, organized with product engagement in mind.  Another up-and-comer in the holiday retail space are the daily dealers, like Groupon and LivingSocialSylvia Hall of NBR reports on the industry’s evolution, from the first significant holiday season occurring in 2010 to at least $150 million projected in 2012 (notes Unaiz Kabani, Data Product Manager of Even eBay is getting in on the act, the launch of a new daily deals offering in addition to the recent revamping of its logo and website to become more appealing as a holiday shopping go-to.

So, how do you plan to shop for the holidays this year?  Do you anticipate mobile playing a greater role in your holiday shopping?  Share your thoughts about your favorite holiday retailers.

Vanaja R.


Copyright © 2012 My Marketing Nirvana.  All rights reserved in all media.


WalmartLabs Socializes Shopping

Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.  ~ Meg Whitman

WalmartLabs Socializes ShoppingHave you used your smart phone or tablet to enhance your shopping experience?  Walmart, a powerhouse in the retail space, has been focused on making a splash in e-commerce, having been selected by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Most Connected Companies.  After all, the largest retailer already has a significant online customer pool from which to draw upon, with 1.5 billion annual website visits and 10% of its global customers shopping on the Internet.  According to David Hatch’s reporting Walmart hopes to best its rival Amazon, by taking its “bricks and clicks” strategy a step further via its innovative research division WalmartLabs.

Retail is all about connections, noted Anand Rajaraman, an acclaimed Silicon Valley entrepreneur, during an interview on NBC’s Press:Here.  To cash in on the shopping trends of mobile and social media, WalmartLabs is developing an e-commerce toolkit that maximizes the product to customer connection.  It all starts with The Social Genome, Walmart’s search for elementary relationships amongst the social universe of tweets, Facebook messages, blog posts, YouTube videos; you name it.  The result is an app such as Shopycat, designed to create a unique gifting experience by analyzing the likes of your Facebook friends.  Not to mention, its social Get on the Shelf competition, offered contestants a golden opportunity to get their products on Walmart shelves.

So, do you check your cell phone for the latest deals?  Have you used any social gifting apps, such as Shopycat?  Share your thoughts on e-commerce and social media.

Vanaja R.


Copyright © 2012 My Marketing Nirvana.  All rights reserved in all media.

A Rose by Any Other Name – Neutrality of ICANN’s Top-level Domain Increase?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ~ William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things.  ~ Confucius

Anyone who has ever selected his own domain name can appreciate the complexities involved.   Which domain name should I choose?  How will my selection best communicate my mission?  How will my choice distinguish my brand?  ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has added a new factor to this decision making process, by expanding the options for domain names to the right of the dot.

PBS Newshour’s Ray Suarez recently moderated a discussion of the potential pluses and minuses as seen by opposing stakeholders ICANN and the Association of National Advertisers.  The upside being more domain names, greater access for Internet users worldwide, and increased branding potential.   Who wouldn’t want the dot-me option?  The downside being the loss of the status quo, the growth of domain names at a breakneck pace, and the increased potential for Internet misuse.  Should established brands pay a “$185,000 price tag” to safeguard their trademarks?

So, as William Shakespeare expressed it best, “What’s in a name?” portend ICANN’s changes as neutral?  Or as Confucius would suggest increasing top-level domains is tantamount to unbalancing the Internet, and thereby upsetting the apple cart.  Share your thoughts on where you stand and whether this change will affect you.

Vanaja R.

Newshour – Domain Names:  Debating the Effects of a Dot-Anything World 


Copyright © 2012 My Marketing Nirvana.  All rights reserved in all media.

The “Grinch” Stole Showbiz’ Christmas – The Online Piracy Dilemma

Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.  ~ Bill Gates

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.  ~ G.K. Chesterton

The recent release of the “Sherlock Holmes” sequel draws attention to a real life mystery:  How best to thwart online piracy?  A click of the mouse can lead to a bootleg copy which in turn impacts the movie’s bottom line.  Jeffrey Brown’s PBS Newshour interview showcases this dilemma and the opposing solutions being offered by giants of the entertainment and Internet industries, respectively, support of Congress’s SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) vs. a “follow the money” approach.

Although online piracy is a global occurence, the mystery here is not a whodunit but rather a what-to-do-about-it?  Is this the new reality – lack of intellectual property protections in the digital world?  Since the proverbial genie is out of the bottle, won’t diminished copyright protection have to be factored into today’s business models?

Just as the Grinch had no heart, online pirates profit by disregarding intellectual property rights.  In the end, they won’t prevail; Showbiz will still have its Christmas.  Share your thoughts on how we can protect intellectual property in the Internet Age.

Vanaja R.

Film, Music Industries Battle Leading Internet Companies Over Online Piracy

Copyright © 2011 My Marketing Nirvana.  All rights reserved in all media.

Best of Times, Worst of Times – Technology in the Digital Age

This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man – if man is not enslaved by it. ~ Jonas Salk

A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided. ~ Neil Postman

Watching Margaret Warner’s recent interview of Mark Bowden, author of “Worm:  The First Digital World War,” on PBS’ Newshour got me thinking … have we as a society gained more than we have lost as a result of the digital age?  The book conversation illustrates the pitfalls of “the Wild West period of the Internet,” namely computer security issues – botnet, malware, and viruses.

As noted in my earlier post “The Power of Collaboration,” filmmaker Tiffany Shlain advances society has benefited from the Internet’s capablity to foster innovation and collective problem solving.  On the other hand, we’ve lost some of the niceties of the analog era, in-person interactions, deep thought, not being “on” 24-7, etc.

Can we have the best of both worlds – the digital and the analog?  Or as writer Neil Postman suggests, is there is a clear victor – society’s gained more, or lost more?  Share your thoughts on the positives and the negatives of technology in the digital age.

Mark Bowden’s Book Conversation on PBS Newshour

Vanaja R.

Copyright © 2011 My Marketing Nirvana.  All rights reserved in all media.

Philosophy of Art in the Digital Age

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.  ~ Kojiro Tomita

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in. ~ Amy Lowell

The question remains, does art have to be experienced or is it simply a matter of “putting pen to paper?”  Not only does the digital age offer the promise of a larger audience and greater interactivity, it also removes obstacles to publishing art.  So, will the advent of Facebook, social media, and “the like” impact how art is realized?

Share your thoughts on your perspective of art in the digital age.

Vanaja R.
Copyright © 2011 My Marketing Nirvana.  All rights reserved in all media.