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How Amazon is Changing Fulfillment and Inventory Management

People are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that Amazon and e-commerce are having on society today. When we think about this, most of us tend to view this as a phenomenon that’s occurring strictly in retail. However, this “Amazon Effect” has a significant impact that reaches all levels of inventory and supply chain management. The reality is that manufacturing industry is experiencing a lot of change that requires manufacturers to speed up order turnaround times to remain competitive. There is a lot of pressure for goods to reach the market faster, and this has led to changes in the Read More

How Digital Disruption has Changed the Marketing Industry

Remember the days when renting a movie meant actually driving to a Blockbuster store instead of simply searching for a title on your Netflix account? Or when hitching a ride home from the airport meant hailing a taxi instead of tapping the screen of your smartphone to request an Uber or Lyft ride? Well, those days are now a distant memory and a thing of the past.   Digital technology is everywhere. It is so much a part of everyday life, that it is hard to imagine the world without it. How could we ever get from point A to Read More

Sweepstakes 4.0: Innovating New Potential from a Cornerstone Strategy

The Evolution of Sweepstakes, One Entry At a Time At TRG, we’ve been focused on sweepstakes as a cornerstone tool of sales promotion for 20+ years. But sweepstakes were probably the original marketing engagement tool, drawing audiences into proactive interaction with sponsors and marketers a long time before digital media, user-generated content, or any of the other techniques used in modern promotion. Sweeps and lotteries, in one form or another, have probably been around as long as people have gathered in groups or communities, though the first historical evidence of one are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty, dated 205 to 187 B.C., Read More

The Jammer Coat and Capturing Personal Data

Austrian architecture firm Coop-Himmelblau has designed a Snuggie-like piece of clothing that jams the wearer’s phone, effectively rendering him invisible. The Jammer Coat shields the phone from wireless signals, so the device becomes undetectable to things like search engines or tracking software, and there’s no way for anyone to pull credit card information. When we came across this story on Mashable, it seemed very sci-fi — something ripped from the pages of a William Gibson novel, or an unused costume prop from Minority Report.  But considering that science fiction has segued into everyday hard truth, and that the William Gibsons of 20 years ago are Read More

Don’t Stop at “Clever” — Turn Innovative Ads into Activation!

This very clever outdoor ad from Sweden leverages technology to “transcend the limits of the medium,” as one blogger at Mashable put it.  But we’d argue that it doesn’t transcend those limits nearly enough…which points to the difference between simply advertising (no matter how technically advanced) and activation marketing. Apotek, a pharmacy brand, outfitted subway platform video panel ads in Stockholm with ultra-sonic sensors that could tell when a train was pulling into the station.  When the train arrived, the model’s mane flapped and flew in the breeze and she fought to keep it in place, paid off by the Read More

Starbucks Delivers a Hyper-Local Experience

Here’s how Starbucks, long a master of delivering carefully-modulated retail experiences, is upping its game: by creating one-off stores that have highly individuated concepts and design that seem perfectly situated in their contexts — whether a sumptuous “coffee car” on high-speed Swiss railtrains or a Japanese store that summons the serenity and esthetic of a temple to mind. What’s the reasoning?  As the article explains, “the intense customization of stores is actually an ongoing effort to make the Starbucks brand a little less brand-y.”  It’s part of embracing localization in search of authenticity, to make the Starbucks experience more of Read More

Location-Based Technologies: the Absolute Must-Have for Modern Marketers

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves than Jason Hahn did in this article for Chief Marketer: The accompanying infographic to the article is pretty useful, too — in fact, any marketer who does place-based marketing, whether a brick-and-mortar retailer or an event marketer, needs to print this out and put it up in plain site, where they they review it every single day on the job. The coming pervasiveness of technologies like iBeacon — a tech platform that includes an app iPhone users don’t even know is on their devices, but it’s lurking there on 200MM units, ready for Read More

The oncoming (augmented) reality: Augmented Activation Environments

Lots of marketers have been adopting augmented reality as a shiny bell-and-whistle of their integrated programs over recent years.  It’s being used everywhere from the impressive Walmart & Marvel in-store initiatives around Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man to IKEA catalogues and auto shows where the actual vehicle doesn’t even have to be there for people to explore it. But this story from WIRED points to how one marketer – in this case, Motorola – points the way ahead on where AR can go, for both entertainment and for consumer activation, by creating virtual stories where a user can become immersed; in Read More