Misc. Post: If the shoe fits… A new interactive solution revolutionalizes the perfect fit!

  *image on behalf of coloribus.com

Marketing is only half of the challenge for apparel brands. If they are able to successfully attract consumers to their product, then the next critical step is to make sure their product fits. However, we all know the size on the tag has little to do with how an item will fit.

Recently, I read in an AdAge.com  article how an exciting new device from BodyMetrics could help consumers find products that fit them best. It could also help companies better design clothes that they know will fit their target market. Check out a video.

It seems like this new technology could close the current gap with online shopping; someone’s going to be more likely to buy online if they know the item will work with their body type, without having to try it on. I also see many possibilities with how this new technology could be used more in interactive marketing; a “virtual dressing room” or “see it in the mirror”.

~Did this noodle stick?

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Post #7: Interactive Not Interruptive Media; that’s the kind I like

These days, interactive media takes many different forms. It covers the broad spectrum from the color a button changes to when you hover over it, to more sophisticated types that include video or animation. In one brief journey on the internet you can quickly be exposed to all the different types. The question is what works, and what doesn’t?

For me, interactive media is at its best when it helps the user navigate, complete a task or helps inform. I’m personally a fan of different layered types of interactive experiences that reduce the number of clicks a user needs to take or that prevents the user from having to go back and forth on certain web pages. I also like interactive media, such as images, that help illustrate a point or helps tell a story. Sometimes it’s hard to read large sections of text online, so it’s helpful to have images or other interactive features that break up text. This is especially useful when reading blog sites.

Interactive media is at its worst when it gets in our way; when it interrupts what we are trying to do, such as the ads that spring up on certain websites. News websites seem to be the worst.

However, it seems like the line between these two is getting more and more blurred. For example, there may be a video you want to watch to see an important news story, but first you must watch the ad that is presented at the beginning, that has little to do with the information you’re interested in. Like TV programming, websites also depend on advertising to pay for them. As a result, interactive media will likely continue to be used to be both helpful and interruptive to users.

Post #3: The Value of Ratings and Reviews; A Thing of the Past?

Over the last several years, obtaining ratings and reviews has become a key element of marketing a brand or a product. Ratings and review information can now be found everywhere; on a company’s own website, manufacturer websites and websites that syndicate reviews for a wide range of companies and products. Consumers utilize the information as key step in the research and buying process. As a result, companies have come to realize the importance of obtaining ratings and reviews, especially positive ones.  

Until recently this source of information seemed fairly trustworthy to consumers. Unfortunately, several recent news stories regarding an Amazon merchant, VIP Deals, may threaten this. VIP Deals established a program to solicit top ratings from customers, using financial incentives (VIP Deals Astroturfing Amazon 5 Star). The company essentially rebated a large portion of a product’s purchase price in exchange for a customer’s five-star rating of the item.

Does this signal a turning point for the role of ratings and reviews in marketing, and in the research process for consumers? Will consumers continue trust the ratings and reviews from other consumers? Can companies continue to use marketing programs to solicit ratings and reviews without risking negative misperceptions about their practices?  

 How to spot a fake product review.html