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Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of IER Partners, which has guided and strengthened brands of all sizes with savvy best practices for creating customers for life. Combining her passion of adventurous listening and working across diverse industries, her "outsider-insider" creative branding and merchandising expertise and objectivity has been valued by companies as diverse as Spanx, Ben & Jerry's, Celestial Seasonings, CHEFS and Boston Proper.  She holds an MBA and has dedicated more than 20 years to providing clients both domestic and international with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She is the author of  two books in which she shares her hands-on approach for both brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators, and BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants. You may reach her at asyverson@ierpartners.com.

Programmatic advertising offered the promise of having systems of processes govern media buying, to ultimately allow for time and resource efficiencies. This would naturally increase innovation in a growing industry and give way for more opportunity.

Nearly three years after a ProPublica report exposed Vizio for collecting user viewing behavior without explicit consent to do so, the company announced it has reached a settlement in a related class action lawsuit. Lawyers representing Vizio Smart TV owners have asked a federal judge in Orange County, Calif., to approve a proposed settlement of $17 million.

Printing Industries Alliance (PIA) is pleased to announce a new initiative to serve the needs of the direct mail business, the PIA Mailers Council. The board of directors for the former NY Metro Idealliance Chapter recently voted to join with Printing Industries Alliance to form the PIA Mailers Council. The new PIA Mailers Council will be open to all mailing companies, as well as mailers/printers, initially within the Printing Industries Alliance footprint.

When I attended grade school back in the Paleozoic Era, my classmates and I loved our weekly spelling contests where, no matter who our facilitator was, we looked not only to master our assigned words but also to tackle some wild card selections. Millions of years later, I still geek out on these letter placement challenges and am thankful that Google Trends recently released a map of the most misspelled word in each state, with some of the troublemakers striking me as “beautiful” reminders of how even common utterances can catch us by “surprise.”

Snow, ice, rain, sleet—Winter Storm Thor's crazy path from Texas to New Jersey has Americans dreaming of getting away. If the dreaming happens online, chances are they'll end up on Priceline.com, Expedia.com or other sites the marketers own. With acquisitions The Priceline Group and Expedia Inc. are making, Chicago-based AdGooroo estimates Thursday that their paid search spends account for more than 20 percent of the travel marketing's AdWords dollars.

I adore museums. Walking into a museum to be surrounded by billions of dollars worth of the most beautiful and interesting art and artifacts in the world is an endlessly enriching experience.

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