Dynamic Pricing Is Watching Your Wallet | RWW

from a very thorough readwriteweb post on ecommerce pricing, here's the money shot - some retailers are playing with identity-based pricing. I assume they are using cookies to track visits and click-paths to determine interest level and using expert systems to integrate past purchase behavior.

I believe the conclusions I have highlighted in the excerpt below are suspect because they are drawn from a 2004 study - eight years ago. does anyone remember what ecommerce looked like eight years ago? or the clumsy early attempts to personalize the shopping experience?

The Rise Of Identity-Based Pricing

Dynamic pricing doesn't just take the business and its competitors' margins into account. Online commerce sites are also experimenting with identification-based pricing, which prices items based on what is known about the customer, such as their buying history and browsing behavior. This can have both good and bad implications for the shopper.

On the plus side, if a site recognizes that this is the umpteenth time the same customer has window shopped for a particular item, an algorithm may try a lower price, just for that customer, to see if that will close the sale.

But if the site notices the customer has a history of buying high-priced items, it might presume they're willing to pay more for a given item and offer higher prices or more expensive choices, as Mac-using Orbitz customers learned to their dismay this summer.

Using identification-based pricing carries risks for retailers, too. A 2004 article in the Journal of Interactive Marketing looked at very early executions of the strategy...and concluded that consumers trusted price changes made by an ecommerce website when it was done based on timing or other business-related reasons, because that was perceived as fair and understood as the way businesses work. But when it came to the identity of the consumer affecting prices, shoppers quickly became uncomfortable. (my emphasis)

But given today's emphasis on mobile transactions and personalized shopping - not to mention increasing online competition and margin pressures - identity-based pricing isn't likely to go away. Look for more and more retailers to gradually expand dynamic pricing criteria beyond timing and inventory to who is the customer. It won't make privacy advocates happy, and it could scare off shoppers in the long run, but in the current economy, it will be hard for e-tailers to resist anything that boosts profits right away.

via readwriteweb.com click through for full article


How Not to Pitch Your Business in Social Media | NYTimes.com

ouch. an aggrieved journalist takes idiots to task for abusing the foot in the door that social media can seem to offer to would be publicists and entrepreneurs. junk mail and boorish self-promotion are nothing new, but the digital age makes them all the more intrusive.
If it takes three contacts to establish a rapport in person, it probably takes at least seven contacts online — and some strategists suggest that it really takes as many as 21 before the typical online relationship turns transactional. Whatever the number, there are some protocols that need to be understood, especially if you are pitching yourself to media contacts.
via boss.blogs.nytimes.com click through for full article

personally, the new math she uses to estimate how many times a suitor must earn her attention before asking to stay over feels a little too rounded to me, but she has a point. one piece of advice for the writer: email filters will remove the most egregious of the offenders....

image: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Bill McIntyre

BuzzFeed Crowns Reddit as Referral KIng, Disses Pinterest | Adweek

here's the money shot from the 8/29 adweek article: the pinterest express seems to have been shunted to a local. wondering why buzzfeed, which claims "more than 200 publishers like The Huffington Post, TMZ, and The Daily Beast," is at such odds with shareaholic's "more than 200,000 publishers that reach more than 260 million unique monthly visitors each month" - oh wait, maybe that's why.

For many publishers, Pinterest falls flat

At Pinterest's peak in April 2012, the photo-centric social site was churning out nearly 400,000 social referrals. In July, Pinterest served up only 114,000 referrals (virtually unchanged from 110,000 in June), illustrating that for many publishers, Pinterest may be more of a social gimmick than anything else. Others have explored this phenomenon recently, noting that Pinterest isn't naturally aligned with the newsgathering operations of many publishers, though lifestyle sites like Brides.com are having excellent success with the site. Things aren't all gloomy for Pinterest though. The site has seen a 200 percent increase in referral traffic throughout its first full year of public operation.

via adweek.com click through for article


Berkeley Study: Half-Star Change In Yelp Rating Can Make Or Break A Restaurant | TechCrunch

it's all about the stars and rounding. yelp publishes all the reviews and scores, but the "official" star rating is rounded to the nearest half. and most visitors skim...
two restaurants, one with a 3.74 rating and one with 3.76 rating, are similar in actual equality, but because they’ll get rated by yelp 3.5 and 4.0 respectively, could receive dramatically different reservation rates.
via techcrunch.com (click through to read the whole article)


May I Approach? Lawyers Getting Their Facebook On | AllFacebook

no, you won't be seeing pinstripe firms running contests anytime soon, but other legal eagles are starting to dip a toe in the water and go where the fish are (okay, no more shark jokes). legal marketing is not as freewheeling as pizza or tampon advertising, but other regulated industries like finanial services are working within the rules to build community and business. smart firms like sokolove are hiring even smarter marketing folks who know digital inside and out.

michael evans offers a lot of the same ol same ol for attorneys looking to get on the facebook bus: it's more than like counts, conversation not broadcast, etc. one intersting point is his results from advertising, esp given facebook's relatively lower costs: 

Evans also noted that like businesses, attorneys should offer something of value to their Facebook fans — something to keep them coming back. He offered the example of some kind of contest or aligning with a cause that people believe in. Evans also wrote about the power of Facebook ads. He detailed that he tried both Facebook ads and Google AdWords, and got better value from the former. Attorneys should be smart about ads that will connect with their targeted demographic and entice people to join the cause.
via allfacebook.com click through to read the whole article

image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by peggydavis66

Post Targeting Pops Up on (Popular) Pages | AllFacebook

facebook has introduced targeting options for posts to any page with 5,000 or more fans. probably not an immediate option for most SMB page owners, but hopefully the water will run downhill. let's call it aspiration for now... :)

If your page has more than 5,000 likes, here’s what the new feature looks like:

Page administrators can choose to target news feeds of specific types of user, based on categories such as gender, age, relationship status, education, interests, location and language. This does not affect what kinds of posts users will see when they visit the page (all of them), but rather which posts will show up in users’ news feeds.

via allfacebook.com click through to read full article


Expand Reach of Your Press Release With Pinterest | convince and convert

I've been leery of "high-visual" services like pinterest and instagram for not-so-visual clients, but this article on the convince and convert blog ofers up a few ideas outside the bridal boutique and housewares commercial applications I've seen everywhere else. here's one tip:

2. Create a Pinterest Newsroom

If you are pinning one press release, why not create a corporate newsroom pinboard to showcase it, along with your other media/news assets? It can mirror your website’s newsroom, or enhance it with fresh material. Here is a great example from Cisco.

Screen Shot 2012 08 20 at 11.50.41 AM 1024x515 5 Ways to Use Pinterest to Boost Press Release Results

In addition to press releases and infographics, your newsroom pinboard can include news clips, company blog posts, short pitches or expert opinion comments, video – even executive headshots and logos. Just make sure that anything pinned to your newsroom is legible enough to entice clicks, properly trademarked and approved for public use.

Another powerful media tool is an executive staff pinboard, which links headshot photos to biographies, bylined articles and other content that demonstrates their credibility as an expert resource.

When you quote them in a press release, try linking their name directly to their pinboard for added oomph.

via convinceandconvert.com (click here to read all the tips, including a few for *gasp* software firms)


Customer Intelligence, Privacy, and the "Creepy Factor" | HBR

interesting perspective from larry downes on the HBR blog today about the ongoing controversy about what the internet knows about us and to what uses it puts that information. downes makes the valid point that the biggest players are too big to care about your naughty pictures or marital infidelity - you count only as another data point to feed the great ad rate setter in the cloud. 

my take: at the intersection of anonymity and personalization, you will find me with a 5 gallon tub of ny super fudge chunk. but while they might not care, I care who else they show it to in some paid attempt to get that person to buy it...

Right now, my Facebook page is showing me photos of three people "you may know." I know all three. For two, the connection is obvious. For the third, the connection is eerily indirect. Until I understood what mundane data elements connected all three to me, I felt uneasy about Facebook. The company seemed to be an actual person, and a creepy one at that.

As we record more information in digital form in hopes of sharing it with our intimate contacts and less enthusiastically with advertisers who pay for the services we love, it's inevitable that more of these visceral responses will occur. When specific data is used in novel ways, the initial response is often the creepy factor.

The creepy factor, however, is the response to a novel use of information to provide a seemingly personalized response. Over time, the creepiness decreases. Most of us are now accustomed to customized Google search results, specific Gmail ads, and prescient Facebook recommendations. They no longer make our skin crawl.

In response to innovation in customer intelligence, however, privacy advocates are calling for all sorts of new laws to protect us from ourselves. In reality, what they want most is a placebo to cure the creepy factor.

via blogs.hbr.org (click through to read the whole thing, including spooky references to invisible market forces)

image: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Tobias Leeger

The 7 SEO Principles Bloggers Must Remember | Convince and Convert

more wisdom from the sage of bloomington, jay baer at convince and convert. actually, this is from a guest post on his blog from tony ahn
Writing solid content is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing a successful blog. It’s important to advantage of search engines by building link equity, flattening your blog, and using other SEO tactics to make sure your content is getting the attention it deserves. These seven SEO tips can play a major role in pushing your blog up the search engine totem pole, allowing you to rank higher and therefore garner more visitors to your site.
via convinceandconvert.com (click through to read the whole post)