Macy’s CEO on Twentysomethings, Multiculural Customers and the Future
April 16, 2014

"You can talk about Millennials and the changing character and diversity of the population in the same breath, because as the Millennial population is the largest group that we’ve ever seen, so will be the minority population. It’s young people who are the diverse population, so we think about what needs and desires this group will have that’s going to be different from my age demographic, what we wanted. It starts with the product, so we have to first understand that we have to tweak certain products a little bit or emphasize certain brands

Too Big to Fail - But Not Too Big to Suck
March 26, 2014

On a recent "Real Time With Bill Maher" show, Maher responded to the announcement that Time Warner Cable would merge with Comcast Corp. in a $45 billion purchase. He noted that, combined, the two cable systems represent 19 of the 20 largest U.S. markets; and, apart from suppliers like Dish and DirecTV, they have no competitors in these metros. Further, Maher said, the two companies have the lowest customer satisfaction ratings of any cable system. So, as he asked his panelists, where is the value for customers in this merger if both companies are known to have questionable service performance?

What 'House of Cards' Can Teach You About Blogging
March 6, 2014

The politics of the blogosphere are a lot like the politics of the White House: Hunt or be hunted. It's a ruthless world out there, teeming with movers and shakers, hand-wringers, whistleblowers, and intimidating rule breakers and followers, all posting top-notch content with countless followers hanging on their every word. How are you going to set yourself apart? A cutting-edge strategy? A tactful approach? A swift game changer? Read on to learn what Netflix's pulsating political drama, "House of Cards," can teach you about becoming the master of the chess game that is blogging.

Free Is Bad
March 4, 2014

Yahoo has 196.6 million unique visitors each month. Yet Yahoo generated zero new revenue in 2013. My opinion: Yahoo CEO No. 6 (in as many years), Marissa Mayer, is hanging on by her fingernails. Any person with 196.6 million names unable to generate new revenue should seek some other line of work. What triggered this column was a Feb. 17, 2014 Time magazine story, "THE MAYER EVENT:It's crunch time for Yahoo's turnaround strategy."

Net Neutrality Just Got Sucker-Punched. Will Madison Avenue Get the Bill?
January 16, 2014

Advertising already subsidizes much of the Internet's content. Soon, marketers may underwrite access to it, as well. As the Internet loads up on data-heavy content like high-definition streaming videos, companies that transport that content to consumers, such as Verizon and AT&T, are looking for ways to offset the higher carriage costs. The Federal Communications Commission has tried to prevent them from passing the buck to consumers or media companies by forcing broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic equally, an effort called "Net neutrality." The Net neutrality fight received a stomach-punch on Tuesday.

See? Data Can Be Sexy. Using Data to Reinvent the Bra.
October 24, 2013

"If the 'Made of Stars' bra fell under a Netflix-esque, uber-specific category tag, it might read 'Bras for the Bustier Woman Who Fears Bulges.,' " says Michelle Lam, cofounder of True & Co. True & Co. used a Netflix model of Big Data mining to create a new bra line. Does this finally mean perfect undergarments for all? … There’s nothing sexy about big data. Then again, for anyone who has ever spent time in a lingerie dressing room, there’s nothing sexy about bra shopping. That very experience of letting a stranger feel you up before spending hours half-naked trying

3 Ways to Juice Your Marketing Results Using Color
September 18, 2013

Imagine heading to a local café and ordering hot chocolate. They serve it to you in a white cup. Chances are, you won't like your drink. That's not an indication of the quality of the café or the hot chocolate, but rather the color of the cup. This conclusion is based on a study by the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford. The universities served hot chocolate in white, cream, red and orange cups. The drinks were identical, but volunteers claimed that the flavor was better when the drink was served in an orange or cream

Data You Can Believe In
June 21, 2013

Earlier this year, senior members of President Barack Obama’s campaign team took a trip to Las Vegas. Nevada holds a special place in Obama-wonk lore as the place where his months-long strategy of defeating Hillary Clinton by slowly and surely amassing delegates emerged. But the operatives were not there in March for any political reason. They were there to make money—specifically to land what they hoped would be the first corporate client for their new advertising business, Analytics Media Group (A.M.G.). Its bland name obscures its relatively grand promise: to deliver to commercial advertisers some of the Obama campaign's secret,

Netflix to Launch User Profiles Later This Summer
June 13, 2013

Sharing your Netflix account with a friend or lover who has dramatically different taste in movies than you do? Soon, there will be no need to worry about getting your Netflix recommendations all mixed up with theirs. Netflix will allow subscribers to set multiple user profiles on a single account starting later this summer, according to Netflix Vice President of Product Innovation Todd Yellin. Now in testing but expected to launch by the end of August, the service will let either five or six (that's still up in the air) different users store their taste preferences on one account, so

Social TV and the Network Approach
June 12, 2013

Not all that long ago, television went through a "dark age" full of cheesy reality shows and dull sitcoms. But as the market has continued to fragment over the last decade, competition has increased the quality of TV programming across the board. With film-quality offerings like "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" on cable and producers like Jerry Bruckheimer creating captivating shows for the top networks, consumers can now easily justify time in front of their 52" LEDs. But as the market continues to fragment, traditional networks are going to have