Scottsdale, Ariz.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Analytics has differing meanings to marketing and business professionals. In our efforts to prove that we can account for everything, we often unknowingly complicate the issues that matter most. With all the data at our disposal and the powerful new tools available to us, it's not uncommon to overshoot what we need as we strive to deliver business impact. So it's important that we get back to the basics—get them right and build from there.

Real-time search—a subset of search that's driven by the recency of social media and news, and its influence on search engine optimization—is growing.

Home. The word evokes feelings of warmth and comfort—a place to belong. It doesn't necessarily bring to mind the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Yet that's the page title the religious institution chose for its homepage. 

Hmm. What sounds good for dinner? Roast chicken? Apparently Lady GaGa would agree. But for many, what's more important than aligning their appetites with the quirky singer's supper choices is that all important wine pairing. Thousands of recommendations for what to sip come courtesy of the "Nat Decants" mobile application from Natalie MacLean, a sommelier and author of "Red, White and Drunk All Over."

For companies that had their heads in the clouds when it came time to upgrade their computers, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and JDA Software Group thought it was time for some skywriting. The technology firms sent out personalized direct mail pieces that featured a man with his arms spread upward, experiencing an epiphany due to these fluffy words forming above his head: “Bruce Schwartz, The Moment Has Arrived.”

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