Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

2016 Marketing Forecasts Are Already Here

Does it feel like holiday marketing hit too early, even for marketers? Try this on for size: 2016 marketing predictions from marketers are starting to flood my inbox. Here are a few from Engagement Labs, Jive Software and R2integrated. Hint: Think “do it yourself” in a customer-centric, channel-agnostic way that somehow speaks to Millennials.

Twitter Share Counts Are Gone

Marketers who scoff at engagement metrics may be a little mad at themselves today. They’ve probably noticed that the share count is gone from Twitter, so they may not know if their posts “went viral” or not until they reach the “trending” list. On Nov. 20, the social media network changed the look of posts and dropped share counts, according to its announcement, because of engineering reasons.

Google Rushes Out Holiday Updates

It looks like marketers aren’t the only ones rushing around during the holidays. On Thursday, Google announced it “redesigned Google Shopping on mobile for the holiday season,” according to @adwords, and released a 160-page document about how its algorithm works. That may come in handy, as a Google analyst recently

New: Fundraising in Facebook News Feeds

Facebookers tap “Home” and instantly see the News Feed, where friends and family are mixed in with marketers, who include fundraisers. Now, Facebook users will see posts from fundraisers that include “Donate Now,” allowing them to give straight from “Home.” That, and plenty of other upgrades had nonprofit marketers atwitter on Thursday.

Google’s Penguin Xmas SEO Gift

Christmas may be coming early for search engine marketers. The white hat ones, that is. Google is going to update Penguin before the end of the year, verified Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends analyst at Google.

Lego Slippers and Solutions to Brand-Created Problems

Lego, the creator of the pain-producing, sharp-cornered blocks, allowed a French ad agency to create ouch-preventing, uber-padded Lego slippers. That closed-circle approach may prompt marketers to think of how their products and services could use their own solutions.

Millennials, a Holiday Sales Bright Spot

While Millennials may spend less money than other holiday shoppers, this sizeable bloc of consumers will spend more than last year, forecasts show. So marketers can learn from this research about how to specifically target the young group, as well as the higher spenders, and pull a victory out

Top 100 Retailers Leave Money on the Table

The stats are scary: 85 percent of retailers show the same homepage to new and returning visitors; 83 percent of retail mobile sites do not leverage any previous shopping behavior information to personalize the user experience; and 74 percent of the top 100 sites have no memory of past products browsed by users during previous visits, which forces shoppers to start the entire discovery process over again.

USPS Rates Go Up Again

USPS is increasing postal rates on Jan. 17. Priority Mail fees will rise about 9.8 percent, despite USPS touting its allegiance to e-commerce marketers who are infusing USPS with package delivery revenue as First Class mail volume plummets.

#MondayMotivation for Marketers

Maybe it was hard to crawl out of bed this morning. Maybe what you need to accomplish today seems insurmountable. #MondayMotivation hashtags regularly come to the rescue, even for marketers.

Has Bloomingdale's Spiked Its Brand?

I have faith that marketers will agree “rapey” is not quite the word you want associated with your brand. Even Bloomingdale’s agrees with that now. On Wednesday, a brand spokeswoman sent Target Marketing an apology for the ad in its catalog that appears to encourage date rape.

Ads Not Enough, Snapchat Downgraded 25%

With video considered the No. 1 lead-converting content marketing option by a Salesforce executive, it’s interesting to see Fidelity downgrade Snapchat by 25 percent. Business Insider reports that while the service boasts a highly sought-after audience, Millennials, it has yet to satisfactorily monetize the business.

Red Cups, Christmas and New Containers of Brand Hate

“Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most,” Mark Twain said. I believe it. On Monday, I thought this brouhaha over the red Starbucks holiday cup would die a quick death. Then ratings machine Donald Trump weighed in with one of the weirder calls for a brand boycott I’ve ever seen.

Tips for the No. 1 Lead-Converting Content, Video

Marketers are getting this one right, says Joel Book, principal of marketing insights for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Video is the top conversion option for content marketing, he tweeted on Monday. The Aberdeen Group research he cites states: “Video, at its heart, is about delivering informative and/or entertaining experiences.