The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets (Wall Street Journal)

Tracking Web VisitorsThe Wall Street Journal is running an excellent series on how websites track visitors.  From a marketing perspective, tracking, which is part of website analytics, is an essential marketing research tool.  For marketers tracking has several uses.  First, it is used to provide information on who is visiting a website as it offers such details as how visitors got to the site (e.g., search engine query), the amount of time visitors spend on each page of a site, visitors’ geographic location and much more.  Second, and much more important, tracking is used for determining what promotional options to deliver to the visitor.  That is, what type of advertisements are shown.

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Men's Jewelry: A Recession-Proof Luxury (Time)

Men and High-End JewelryVanity purchases occur when a customer buys a product with the intention of using it to enhance or support their perceived personality or, as we call it in the Consumer Buying Behavior tutorial, their self concept. The most well known example of this is the personalized license plate, though many other products also fall into this category such as designer clothing, sports cars, housing and jewelry. From this short list, it is pretty clear vanity purchases skew toward high-end, expensive offerings, and are most frequently bought by high-income buyers.

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How LEGO Revived Its Brand (BusinessWeek)

Lego Learns Marketing LessonOne of the trickiest decisions facing marketers is deciding when to move beyond what has made them successful and tackle something new.  This is because at some point, nearly all companies find growing their business requires they branch out into new areas that are often unfamiliar.  For instance, companies will begin marketing new products that are significantly different compared to the products that made them successful.  Or maybe they continue to produce the same products but target markets they previously did not target.

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Lower Prices a Boon to Consumers, but a Bane to Retailers (Nielsen)

Retailers and Smart ShoppersEveryone is well aware of the impact the economic downturn and the slow recovery have had on consumer purchasing.  With unemployment levels remaining high and consumers continuing to be careful with their money, retailers have had no choice but to respond by offering an extended period (two years now) of low prices.  Retailers remain reluctant to raise prices for fear consumers will take their money to competitors offering better bargains.

In many ways, what retailers are experiencing is the consumer who is a more informed shopper than they have been in the past.  Sure there have always been penny-pinching buyers, but the breadth of the economic downturn has motivated a huge number of consumers to join the “smart shopper” ranks.  Of course, the Internet is front and center in aiding consumers as they learn to be better shoppers.

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Old Spice Argues That Real Men Smell Good (New York Times)

The current Old Spice television advertising campaign has received considerable customer and media attention.  This old-time Procter & Gamble brand has found renewed interest for its unique production and fun approach to selling men’s body wash.  The ad, produced by one of the top U.S. advertising agencies Wieden + Kennedy, remarkably is not primarily produced using video graphics. 

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