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Tim Peter

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September 15, 2016

The Future of Digital Arrived Last Week (Thinks Out Loud Episode 177)

September 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

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The Future of Digital Arrived Last Week (Thinks Out Loud Episode 177): Woman wearing wireless headphones

The Future of Digital Arrived Last Week (Thinks Out Loud Episode 177) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 19s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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June 1, 2016

What Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Can Teach You About Digital Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 165)

June 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

What Amazon's Jeff Bezos Can Teach You About Digital Marketing: Woman using AI

What Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Can Teach You About Digital Marketing (Thinks Out Loud Episode 165) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 6s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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April 15, 2016

6 Awesome Insights About Mobile Payments, E-commerce and Even More: E-commerce Link Digest

April 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

6 Awesome Insights About Mobile Payments, E-commerce and Even More: Customer paying with mobile device at store

Hello, Big Thinkers and Happy Tax Day! (I hope, anyway…) Let’s skip any big setup this week and instead get you right into this set of 6 digital insights about mobile payments, e-commerce, and even more from the past week. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, Bryan Kramer over on The Future of Commerce blog looks at why so many companies fail at creating value. Excellent read and well-worth your time. While you’re at it, you might want to review this look at building a brand story and check out the two most important questions you must answer to put your marketing to work.
  2. Business Insider reports that Amazon’s new video feature should make YouTube extremely nervous. Very interesting. Amazon’s making a lot of noise in the digital space overall. For instance, according to CNBC, Amazon is also expanding payments to take on PayPal. More on that in just a moment.
  3. So, since we’re talking about payments, there’s a ton of information out this past week that you should know. First, Marketing Charts says that mobile banking and payments use continues to grow. Meanwhile, Fortune talks with OpenTable’s new CEO about digital payments and the company’s plans for premium reservations. And adding color to the story, Mobile Commerce Daily rounds-up a list of the top 10 mobile payments developments of Q1, many of which you should watch closely. And, finally, TechCrunch says that Facebook is pushing businesses to Messenger with new tools for Pages including Snapchat-like scannable codes. All of these trends help illustrate why I’m bullish on mobile payments and messaging.
  4. The Facebook development just mentioned is particularly interesting for a number of reasons. Facebook held its annual F8 Conference this week and announced one of the most compelling visions we’ve seen for how the world will work in a few years’ time. Considering it altogether, it seems like it’s Facebook’s world and we’re all living in it. You can also watch video of the Thinks Out Loud podcast episode about Facebook’s vision on our Facebook page (where else, really?) or take a look at it right here:
  5. Speaking of the future, the Future of Commerce blog also has a thought-provoking piece by Dean Afzal explaining why it’s time to embrace modern mobile literacy. Good read. You might also want to review these 6 mobile commerce and strategy insights from the ongoing E-commerce Link Digest series.
  6. And, finally, as you do things like build your brand story and create value for your customers, don’t forget Content Marketing and the idea that we’re all publishers now.

If you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

  • Missing that connectionWhy so many companies fail at creating value?
  • Driving Seamless Experiences in 2016 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 149)
  • Adobe Summit: IoT Moves Into ‘Systems’ Phase
  • US Execs Look for the Next Silver Bullet Innovation – eMarketer
  • Trends for 2016: Is Execution the New Innovation? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 145)
  • Stop Chasing the Next Big Thing in Digital (Thinks Out Loud Episode 150)
  • Tim Peter

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    April 13, 2016

    It’s Facebook’s World and We’re All Living In It (Thinks Out Loud Episode 160)

    April 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

    It's Facebook's World and We're All Living In It (Thinks Out Loud): Woman using social media on mobile phone

    It’s Facebook’s World and We’re All Living In It (Thinks Out Loud Episode 160) – Headlines and Show Notes

    Tim Peter

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    February 23, 2016

    Five Reasons Marketers Need to Get Ready for Mobile Messaging

    February 23, 2016 | By | No Comments

    Five Reasons Marketers Need to Get Ready for Mobile MessagingI don’t know about you, but it seems like we’re starting to see a lot of traction around tools like Snapchat, Kik, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat lately among a number of forward-looking brands and businesses. But what’s the big deal here? What’s it all about. Here’s a quick primer for you on five reasons marketers need to get ready for mobile messaging:

    1. Messaging has emerged as a serious platform for consumers. According to Business Insider, Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks noting, “Messaging apps are about more than messaging. The first stage of the chat app revolution was focused on growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps’ massive user base.” As we’ll look at in a moment, we’re already seeing that in some countries, and expect more to come.

      And depending on where your customers live and work, it may offer some opportunities for your business, too. The key takeaway is that you need to keep an eye on how your customers interact with their friends, family, fans, and followers, and whether those interactions start to move away from social.

    2. Messaging is already huge in Asia. As just mentioned, messaging is bigger in some parts of the world than others. For instance, eMarketer looked at WeChat as an effective platform for marketing in China. eMarketer talked with Thomas Meyer, co-founder of Mobile Now Group, who said,
      “…large coffee, fast-food or luxury companies—whether they’re retail or brands—they look at WeChat as the central component of their mobile strategy. WeChat is the biggest piece of the cake. It is the mobile commerce and mobile CRM [customer relationship management] enabler in China.”

      I want to emphasize that point again, because it’s absolutely the key to understanding messaging: “…companies… look at WeChat as the central component of their mobile strategy.” Messaging isn’t secondary to mobile. Messaging is organically mobile.

      Mobile Commerce Daily illustrated how that’s shaping customer behavior, noting that WeChat users exchanged one billion red envelopes containing Lucky Money on Chinese New Year’s Eve in 2015, with greater increases predicted for this year. If your customers live, work, or connect with friends and family in China, WeChat needs to be on your radar now. Similarly, if you’re looking at Korea, you have to get onboard with KakaoTalk, while brands focused on Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan really want to look into Line. Europe isn’t far behind generally, where WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) rules. But it’s not quite as mature a marketplace as Asia overall yet.

    3. Millennials and younger consumers seem ready to embrace messaging as their primary communications channel. It’s no secret that established social networks such as Facebook aren’t attracting younger audiences the way they once were but messaging style apps, such as Snapchat, are. A recent CNBC post explains why Snapchat is better than Facebook among Millennials, which Inc. unpacks further (but doesn’t dispute) looking at why Millennials have stopped loving Facebook.

      For a clearer picture of the shifts we’re seeing in Millennials’ behaviors, take a look at this Buzzfeed piece that explains why teenagers are much better at Snapchat than you. The money quote, for me: “I just need to mention this: While I was talking to Brooke [the author’s teenaged sister], she mentioned that she has 700 unanswered texts ‘just from today.'”

      Snapchat has business value as well. Just as with WeChat, Snapchat users can send one another cash (up to $2,500 in some cases) directly from within the app.

      Smart brands have already jumped onboard to attract a younger audience. Luxury Daily notes that retailers have turned to Snapchat to share Fashion Week with their clientele—a trend we should expect to see more of in the year.

    4. The big guys aren’t taking this lying down. What, you don’t expect the AGFAM group to let new players romp all over their field, do you? Facebook in particular depends on advertising—and in particular, mobile advertising—to make its money. And anything that challenges its dominance in mobile and social could provide a death blow to the company’s growth, both near-term and in the future. Which explains why Facebook is testing SMS integration in Messenger, as reported by Venture Beat. For instance, take a look at this fascinating highlight:
      “…a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat:

      At Messenger, we are always trying to create new ways for people to communicate seamlessly with everyone. Right now, we’re testing the ability for people to easily bring all their conversations—from SMS and Messenger—to one place. It’s a really simple way to get, see and respond to all your SMS messages in just one app. By choosing to access your SMS messages in Messenger, they’re right alongside all the other enhanced features that Messenger offers.”

      Messaging might be getting bigger than social networking, but don’t be surprised to see the social networks fight back.

    5. And the big guys plan to expand their offering to make messaging more profitable. eMarketer interviewed Facebook’s director of product marketing for Pages, Benji Shomair, about why Facebook believes it’s ready for commerce. While the whole article is really worth reading, this part of the interview in particular stands out:

      eMarketer: Do you see Messenger as unique in what it can offer as a channel?

      Benji Shomair: Without a doubt. Messenger is a one-point reaction. It’s personal. It’s intimate. And so I think it’s a unique opportunity for businesses to interact with people both where they’re already spending their time and having these meaningful conversations, but also in this context of one-to-one. It fits this broader theme of on-the-go accessibility.

      Messenger also has additional context. [For example], ‘You bought this jacket already, would you like it in a different color?’ Or, ‘Hey, you were browsing for this and it was out of stock, now it’s back in stock, would that be of value to you?'”

      Cool, huh? Shomair continues:

      “One of the most exciting things that we’ve seen is that a lot of the outreach with Messenger and Pages is pre-transaction. So in the messaging ecosystem, when people are thinking about making the transaction, they’re finding this channel is a really valuable way to help with their questions, clarifications and availability.”

    Now, it’s unlikely that messaging will completely take over in the next 6 months. And, as we’ve talked about before, you don’t want to waste your time constantly chasing some fictional “next big thing.”

    At the same time, it’s important to note that messaging is starting to gain traction. And if your customers live, work, or connect regularly with friends and family in Asia, you really need to start looking at how to leverage messaging into your marketing plan. For everybody else, consider this:

    • Start asking (and watching) your customers. Begin surveying your customers about how they’d like to hear from you. Include messaging services such as WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Slack, HipChat, and Snapchat as options to see what’s popular among your customers.
    • Create a Snapchat geofilter for your business. If you have a physical location, create a geofilter on Snapchat to let your customers customize their experience when they’re nearby (you can review some solid examples here). Then see whether your customers connect to gauge interest in your brand on Snapchat.
    • Test. Learn. Test again. This one’s probably old hat for many of you. But while it’s probably too soon to dive into messaging in a big way (unless again you’re targeting Asia or, possibly, have a hardcore Millennial focus), it’s not too soon to test. A number of case studies exist of brands who’ve had success with mobile messaging. It may be time to include your name on that list.

    Again, mobile messaging has some runway here. But, as we’ve seen with many digital trends, they tend to “sleep, creep, then leap” into dominance. We’re well past the point of “sleep.” Whether 2016 is the year mobile messaging leaps into the mainstream remains to be seen. But that moment is unlikely to be too far in the future. No better time than today to start ramping up your team’s skills to be ready to make the leap yourself.

    And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

    You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

    And, if you’re looking for still more insights and information to guide your marketing this year, check out some of the best of Thinks here:

    Tim Peter

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    November 25, 2015

    Giving Thanks for Digital – Thinks Out Loud Episode 142

    November 25, 2015 | By | No Comments

    Giving Thanks for Digital

    Giving Thanks for Digital – Headlines and Show Notes

    You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

    Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

    Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

    Running time: 13m 47s

    You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

    Tim Peter

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    October 13, 2015

    Should Facebook Take the Place of Your Brand’s Website?

    October 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

    Should Facebook take the place of your brand’s website? Will it replace your mobile app? Maybe. The social giant would sure love to see that happen. It’s recently launched its “Instant Articles” platform for publishers and appears to be actively wooing adoption among SMB’s as a primary platform too with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stating in a recent Wall Street Journal profile:

    “Thirty-five percent of U.S. small businesses don’t have an online presence. It’s even harder to build a mobile presence. Mobile apps are hard to develop and it’s very hard to get your app downloaded… So as users’ time and attention is shifting to the mobile screen, (Facebook) pages are the mobile presence for most of these small businesses. And there’s nothing else out there that’s this easy and this simple to use.”

    Facebook also continues to invest in “immersive” technologies to attract and retain users. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said recently:

    “Facebook is meant to give people a way to share anything they want with any audience they want, and so more immersive content like that will be more a part of people want to share.”

    This may be a good thing for some businesses (I mean, apart from Facebook itself) because of Facebook’s enormous reach. Ben Thompson of Stratechery notes:

    “…you increasingly have brand advertising dollars — also an order of magnitude more than direct response dollars — looking for somewhere to go other than TV, and it just so happens that Facebook is the perfect brand advertising platform.”

    I’ll tell you, they’ve impressed me lately. For instance, check out the way the company seamlessly incorporated the score from last night’s playoff game into my personal update (providing me the news prior):

    Should Facebook take the place of your brand's website?

    So this is great news, right? After all, you might find that Facebook finds all the right customers for you and at a relatively low cost.

    Well, maybe. But maybe not. Essentially, I’m not a fan of ceding control to a single entity. As I’ve mentioned in the past, “When someone else completely controls the road to your customers, it shouldn’t surprise you when they decide to install tollbooths.” At present, Facebook’s not installing toll booths, not really anyway. But as they capture more of your customers’ time, the risk remains.

    Does that mean you shouldn’t use Facebook? Not at all. But you should ensure that Facebook serves as a complement to your other mobile and web efforts, not as the whole enchilada. While Facebook may be “easy” and “simple” for businesses and “perfect” for brand advertising, transitioning your customers away from it if it’s the only place you exist online in the future will be anything but easy, simple or perfect for you.

    If you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

    You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

    And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

    Tim Peter

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    June 15, 2015

    Facebook’s Big Beacon Secret

    June 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

    Facebook beacons: What do they mean for your business?

    So, Facebook recently introduced its Place Tips for businesses, offering:

    “…useful information about a business or landmark—like posts from the business’ Page, upcoming events and friends’ recommendations and check-ins—and show it at the top of News Feed to in-store visitors.”

    And to make Place Tips work, the social media giant recommends requesting a free Facebook beacon for your storefront, restaurant, hotel, what-have-you. Linda Bustos over at GetElastic had a fairly fantastic run-down of the pros and cons of the beacons. But buried way down in that list is a brilliant insight, suggesting Facebook could also do this:

    “Collect data on response to offers, like click to claim this offer, so the advertiser could have some form of measurement, record store traffic, not just Page traffic, etc.”

    Now, why’s that so brilliant? Well, quite simply, Facebook makes most of its money from advertising. And what no one has been able to consistently do at all well is connect online-to-offline. Well, until now.

    Maybe.

    First, Facebook hasn’t said they’re going to do this. I can’t imagine they won’t. But they haven’t announced it yet.

    Second, I suspect they haven’t announced end-to-end measurement because:

    1. Facebook hasn’t worked out the privacy details. Facebook, for all its past missteps, appears to be getting better at treating customer privacy with respect. They’re either not sure how to protect consumer privacy in this instance (especially when small businesses/local retailers/restaurants might only drive single-digit traffic in-store), or aren’t sure how to communicate it. Or both, I suppose. And then,
    2. They don’t know if it will work. It’s also possible that Facebook will want to see the data for themselves before opening it up to its business customers. But I suspect that, if their ads really do drive foot traffic, they’ll start telling that story real quick.

    I’m really curious to see where this one goes and will be testing with some of my clients over the next few months. But given that Google has started to lose search share to mobile apps, these beacons offer Facebook an amazing opportunity to steal marketing dollars from the search giant as well. And, if they do, there’s no way Facebook keeps that a secret.

    Do you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? Be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

    You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

    And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

    Tim Peter

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    September 29, 2014

    Facebook Ties Web, Mobile, Apps Data Together in New Ad Platform

    September 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

    Facebook logoRe/code says that “Facebook Will Use Facebook Data to Sell Ads on Sites That Aren’t Facebook.” Two key quotes on this one that explain its importance. First:

    “Caveat — this isn’t an ad network in a formal sense. But it’s going to be viewed as one, because in the big picture, it does the thing people outside Facebook wanted an ad network to do: It lets advertisers buy ads, via Facebook, on properties Facebook doesn’t own.”

    And second:

    “…some smart people I talk to suggest that what’s really at play here is data, not dollars: If Facebook can convince more publishers to let it into their ad business, it’s ultimately going to glean information that will makes its own ads, on its own properties, much more powerful. Google will watch closely.”

    This bears watching as time goes on. And not just by Google. Because it’s Facebook’s ability to tie together data from mobile, web, and apps that will help make it an even larger powerhouse than it is today in controlling access to your customers. Stay tuned.

    FYI, I mentioned the AGFAM group (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft) and how they’re likely to disrupt and disintermediate loads of businesses in a recent podcast and in my recent my latest webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

    If you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

    Finally, you might also want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

    Tim Peter

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    October 14, 2013

    Can Your Customers Really Trust You?

    October 14, 2013 | By | No Comments

    Trust me...I knew a girl in college who always dated “bad boys.” You know the type. Guys who lived dangerously, excited her—and occasionally scared her. So I was surprised when I ran into her not long ago and found she’d married a classmate of ours we’d always thought of as, frankly, kind of boring (actually, he used to say the same about himself). I asked her how married life was treating her and she responded, “Awesome! He’s such a good man and a great father. He treats me and the kids right, every day.”

    What’s that got to do with marketing? Well, consider the following:

    I get how actions like these might help these companies, at least in the short term. But, seriously, what benefit do these actions provide customers?

    Peter Drucker’s “The Essential Drucker”
    —one of my favorite books and an essential part of any business leader’s library—states as one of its core concepts that the primary function of a business is to create a customer.

    Not exploit the customer.

    Not deceive the customer.

    And certainly not impersonate the customer to confuse others into thinking that customer thinks more highly of you than they might actually do.

    Obviously, you want to make money from your customers. That’s OK. I like making money and highly recommend it to all my clients, too. But I mentioned last week that your customer really is king (or, if she prefers, queen). And the traditional response from kings and queens who feel they’re not being treated well usually goes something like, “Off with their heads!”

    Trust plays a central role in any customer relationship, regardless of whether your value proposition focuses on customer service, technical leadership, or price. Customers don’t give their money to companies they don’t trust. Full stop.

    Google dominates search activity among Internet users. But the AGFAM companies (Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, along with Google) offer potential alternatives, as do offerings from IBM, Foursquare, Yelp, TripAdvisor and countless others. ComicCon attracts a passionate group of attendees, deeply engaged with their “fandoms.” But so do DragonCon, Otakon, and many smaller venues.

    But being on top today guarantees nothing about the future.

    The Internet changes customer behavior and mobile accelerates that change. Customers can find whatever they want, whenever they want, buy from whomever they want and can share that information with their friends, family, fans and followers, pretty much always.

    So go ahead and impersonate your customers, use their private information as you will, spread messages in their name whether they want you to or not. The may enjoy the excitement you provide and may want a walk on the wild side, at least for a while. But, just like my college friend, no matter how much they might like dating the dangerous ones, their long-term relationships always will gravitate towards the ones who treat them right.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

    You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including: