Black Friday sales were up 6.6% this year, and consumers spent 9.1% more. These are obviously good signs for the overall economy, but perhaps not a surefire sign of a great holiday shopping season, according to this report. [Read more…]
Archives for November 2011
Infinitive Difference Blog
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Here’s a round-up of digital media facts for the month of November:
- $9.7 billion: U.S. online shopping spend, November 1-November 20, 2011 (MediaPost)
- $37.6 billion: estimated total U.S. online retail spending, from November 1-December 31, 2011, representing a 15% gain from 2010. (comScore)
- 2.5 million: total number of Spotify’s paying customers, after 25% growth rate in last two months, tied to the launch of the user-sharing feature on Facebook. The company claims 10 million total users (Gigaom)
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The customer is always right.
That old management chestnut is probably more accurate today, in the age of consumer empowerment, than ever before. But many companies seem better at annoying customers than satisfying them. [Read more…]
Not long ago, several hundred hikers and their local guides and support teams had to be rescued from the foothills of Mt. Everest after some very bad weather struck the area. The story caught our eye because it clearly demonstrates two critical elements of effective risk management:
- Reliable local knowledge, and
- A comprehensive plan for emergencies.
Amazon is expected to sell five million Kindle Fire tables by the end of January 2021. “Several thousand” apps are available for the device. (WSJ)
Older male viewers are more likely to respond to online video ads: 24.1% of male viewers aged 35-54 and 26.3% aged 55+ took action after viewing an online video ad. (eMarketer)
Google Music, launched this week, offers a number of interesting features, including “free content from major artists and an unexpected platform for independent artists to sell music directly to consumers,” plus free listens to shared songs and full integration with Android Market. (Billboard)
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Strayer University recently announced its purchase of the Jack Welch Management Institute (JWMI), an online and executive educational program named after the legendary former chairman and CEO of General Electric.
It’s not a huge deal – only $7 million, a small percentage of Strayer’s revenue. But it says a lot about the state of the for-profit industry.
For one, there is healthy competition. JWMI was previously part of Chancellor University, which has been struggling to grow. Strayer’s prospects look brighter, and it plans to expand into executive education and corporate training. We all know about Jack Welch’s preference for winning (or leaving any business that is not #1 or #2 in its industry).
Said Welch in Strayer’s announcement:
Combining with Strayer University gives the institute the educational foundation, the reach, and resources to achieve the vision.
What Strayer’s Acquisition of JWMI Means for the Educational Services Industry
There is no doubt that the educational services industry has been one of the more dynamic sectors in the U.S. economy in recent years. [Read more…]
A few weeks ago, Infinitive Analytics hosted a dinner and roundtable discussion in New York. We had a great group of folks from a wide variety of industries, all of whom spend a great deal of their time focused on Web analytics.
Some of the discussions had me flashing back to my early days at AOL, in the mid-90’s when the company was growing like a weed. We were the Facebook of the day, but that’s another post for another day.
The point is, comparing what we knew then, in terms of analytics, to what we know today is like comparing the dark ages to the Space Age.
Friends First, Then Analytics
Once upon a time, AOL’s Network Operations Center (NOC) had a rapid notification system; if there was a sudden drop of modem connections, technicians in the NOC received immediate alerts (via pager, of course, the major wireless technology of the day) and began assessing if there were server outages or other network issues.
Before long, the technicians came to expect a flurry of pages every Thursday night, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. [Read more…]
The recent indictment of Rajat Gupta on insider trading opens a window into a culture of information sharing on Wall Street that certainly surprised many.
At one point, a mere 39 seconds elapsed between the time Gupta learned of crucial information in a board meeting and the time he shared it with his alleged co-conspirators.
Many of us spend a great deal of time in meetings, some of which are extremely confidential. There are often people in the corner typing away or checking their smartphones. Just like we are asked to shut down our cellphones when we go into a movie theater, companies may want to apply a similar procedure for important meetings. [Read more…]