David Cohen

Michael Lowenstein, PhD, CMC, is thought leadership principal for Beyond Philosophy, a U.S.-based international customer management experience consultancy. He's an international conference keynoter and speaker, workshop facilitator and trainer, author and a contributor to two customer loyalty newsletters and portals. He has more than 30 years of management and consulting experience with expertise in customer and employee loyalty research, CEM, loyalty program and product/service development, customer win-back, service and channel quality, customer-driven corporate culture, human resource development, and strategic marketing and planning.

"Marketing Nuggets" will include observations regarding trends, and often study results, representing current, real-world issues of high importance to direct marketers. Those issues include omnichannel communication usage, mobile marketing, content, informal offline and online social communication, consumer behavior, message personalization, internal customer-centric processes and organization, strategic customer life cycle planning, proactive employee contribution, etc.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Facebook Messenger can pop up on smartphone screens more prominently than text message notifications. So Thursday’s announcement that marketers will be able to reach consumers more easily had at least a couple of business owners so excited they thanked Facebook right below the announcement.

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?

To hear Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page tell it, Google+ has become a robust competitor in the social networking space, with 90 million users registering since its June launch. But those numbers mask what's really going on at Google+. Google+ is a virtual ghost town compared with Facebook. PC users spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between last September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook.

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