Weird and Wild Holiday Ads from Year’s Past

Weird and Wild Holiday Ads from Year’s Past

Advertising is very unique. It is a mirror that reflects the time, people and the priorities of its age. An ad created for a 1980s audience would have little to no value in today’s marketplace. Its message and those delivering it wouldn’t seem authentic and it wouldn’t reflect the modern zeitgeist. And while great movies created in different eras still feel relevant today you’d be hard pressed to find any advertisement that could make that claim. Not only do most ads from the past feel outdated, some feel so far removed from anything relevant that they seem like they originated from an entirely different world. And in some ways, they did. 

In honor of Thanksgiving we wanted to share a collection of some of our favorite holiday ads from year’s past. 

These ads are certain to leave you entertained, bewildered and perhaps a little confused. 

Enjoy and have a happy and healthy thanksgiving!

Chesterfield Cigarettes and the Gipper

When people say things like, “it was a different time” this is the exactly the kind of thing they’re talking about. Imagining this ad with Bush, Obama or Clinton makes it even more amazing.

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

“Is there anything on your Thanksgiving table that isn’t slathered in delicious, rich Hellmann’s mayonnaise?”

“Possibly the Pecan Pie.”
“Is there any Hellmann’s left? I’d like a dollop of Mayo on my pie. I literally can’t get enough of it.”

Schenley

At first glance that bottle resembles the formerly named Aunt Jemima, which is confusing enough as it is. But then you notice the plane and the schematics and the year and now we’re wondering if this man is supposed to be Vice President Truman?

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (Again)

Hellmann’s, again making one of the most disgusting and unappealing food advertisements of all time.

Are we to assume that Hellmann’s wants us to purchase their mayonnaise, consume an entire jar, clean the jar and then shove as much cranberry sauce into that jar as possible? And then stick a wick in to that jar full of cranberry sauce and light it? You couldn’t just make an ad with a happy family and delicious side dishes to sell your Mayo, could you?

Zippo Lighters

That dog is going to get lit on fire before the New Year.

Sun Lamps

June’s got an amazing tan and EVERYONE notices. And it’s all thanks to Sun Lamp’s latest product which has certainly gotten the attention of June’s husband and caused her neighbors to become completely unhinged.

Dr. Pepper 

I remember when I was a kid and I was sick. I would stay home from school, curl up on the couch underneath a big blanket and my mom would put a pot of Dr. Pepper on the stove. Steam would squeak free of the pot, mom would pour it in mug and serve it to me, but only after I finished my Twizzler Noodle Soup.

Also, Frosty is a snowman. Hot Dr. Pepper will kill him. Hot Dr. Pepper is so good that Frosty is willing to die for it. Any brand nowadays would kill for that kind of loyalty.

Daisy Rifles

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid…. and so will mom and dad and grandma and the nice man who fixes our piano.”

Daisy company wants to make sure that everyone in your family is prepared to fend off small rodents.

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Supply Chain Strain – Solutions for your Business 🚚🚢 🎁

Supply Chain Strain – Solutions for your Business 🚚🚢 🎁

We all remember the early days of the pandemic when toilet paper was the scarce commodity, but now the world seems like it is running out of everything from computer chips to ketchup. To make matters worse, an unprecedented labor shortage has left business owners bracing for a holiday season in which demand is likely to overwhelm resources.

Unfortunately, it’s clear that the supply chain disruption plaguing the American economy is not a short-term crisis. While you can’t fix the broken supply chain, you’ll need to steer your business through this crisis and be able to explain delays to your customers when necessary. To do so, it’s important to understand what’s behind any and all supply chain disruptions.

In this blog, we will highlight some of these disruptions and help you be better prepared to keep your business thriving – sometimes without a fair warning.

What is supply chain management?

The supply chain is the journey products take from where they’re mined, grown, or otherwise made all the way to their eventual destinations in the hands of consumers.

Supply chains are made up of so-called “nodes” and “links.” Nodes are stops a material or product makes along the way, like at a factory, port, warehouse, or retail store. A link, on the other hand, is the time material or product spends in transit between nodes—usually on a cargo ship, train, freight aircraft, or semi-truck. If all of that seemed confusing to you then this video might help.

Supply chain disruption root causes:

Shortages for a number of goods have been a hallmark of the pandemic-induced recession and recovery; which is why it is so important, as a business, to understand what is driving these issues and if there is a way for you to fix them. As we look at the causes of supply chain disruptions, we find some intertwined factors leading to the disruptions and delays your company and customers might be experiencing:

  • The pandemic: The pandemic is the overarching reason for supply chain disruptions. Outbreaks and lockdowns limited productivity in factories and the transportation of goods around the world. At the same time, consumer demand for certain products has increased dramatically as many people have more disposable income and spend more time at home.
  • Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing: The JIT manufacturing model serves to meet demand instead of creating a surplus before an item is needed. While it can lead to cost savings and reduced waste, the practice also means manufacturers don’t keep extra supplies on hand. As a result, the delay of a single component can stall an entire production line—such as when, earlier this year, Ford had lots filled with nearly complete trucks awaiting semiconductors.
  • Lack of shipping containers: Increased demand and a limited supply have led to a shipping container shortage and a big jump in associated costs. Partially, this is because PPE supplies were shipped to parts of the world that don’t have many exports, and the containers were left there, sitting empty. The Independent Commodity Intelligence Services reports that it cost $20,000 to ship a 40-foot container from Asia to the U.S. in September 2021, up from $4,500 the previous year.
  • Staffing shortages: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021 and an additional 4.4 million quit in September. If you’re a small business owner, you’ve likely felt the strain yourself—workers are not easy to come by or retain. Notably, there’s been a multi-year shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. Though there’s a massive push underway to recruit truck drivers, people can’t learn to drive 18 wheelers overnight. The same goes for operating a crane, especially when shipping containers are stacked high and accessing the right one means playing a high-stakes game of Jenga. Major ports like the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will soon be operating 24/7, but that won’t help unclog the traffic jam if the truck driver shortage persists.
  • Overwhelmed docks: Increased activity and worker shortages are also leading to delays at U.S. ports. According to NPR, 52 cargo ships were waiting off the coast of Los Angeles one day in late October. Off the Port of Savannah, The New York Times reported that cargo ships were anchored up to 17 miles off the coast, waiting at times more than 9 days for their turn to dock and unload their shipping containers. While some of these ports are setting records for volume coming in,  it may still take weeks (instead of days) for containers to be picked up by a truck—which only adds to delivery delays and a shortage of available shipping containers

Plan ahead for a brighter future

In some dire or unexpected scenarios, operations may come to a halt, but even in these instances, preparation can make all the difference in how quickly a business can repair supply chain issues. Below are some tactics you can start implementing as early as today:

Create a supply chain emergency plan: Just as it is wise to have a go-bag at home in case of emergency, a family plan in case of fire, and a winter supplies bag in the car for icy situations, it is equally wise to maintain an up-to-date supply chain emergency plan. This can include an emergency budget for use in the face of disruptions alongside plans around how to move goods around, maintain supplies, and continue operations in the face of different types of supply chain problems. 

Build up inventory, when possible: If your business relies heavily on certain inventory to continue operations, consider stockpiling essential supplies so that your business could weather disruption that endures for several months. 

Conduct a supply chain vulnerability audit: Risk analysis is a good way to spot weak links in a supply chain and it is something businesses should engage in seriously and regularly. Armed with information, finding replacements becomes a more straightforward task in terms of priority. 

Identify backup suppliers: This is not always a viable option given where your products are coming from and what they are, but are there other suppliers that could provide the products needed to continue business if a go-to supplier is not able to fulfill supply needs. One important factor to consider when seeking out backup suppliers is their geographic location. For example, if your original supplier is hit with a natural disaster or similar issue, having suppliers who are further away from the event site can help guarantee continued supply.

Diversify supply base: As mentioned above, diversification of suppliers helps mitigate risk just as a diversified investment portfolio does. Geographic diversification is critical, but another important factor to consider is further up the supply chain. Even if three of your suppliers are in different areas, they may share a supplier amongst them which could leave all three in the wake of disruption. Diversify in as many areas as possible and begin to build relationships with these suppliers well ahead of potential disruptions. 

Looking at the bigger picture and not focusing solely on short-term issues, such as meeting the upcoming holiday season demand will help your business in the long run.

Bringing it all together

Although you can prepare on some level, there’s no true silver bullet solution for the supply chain woes. The only thing that fixes this is time. While you might be waiting for the supply chain disruptions to unsnarl and catch up, the name of the game will be survival. This will be especially true during the holiday season when big box stores are likely to have much more inventory than small businesses.  And it means that you will need to get creative, sourcing products and goods locally as often as possible and finding ways to repurpose existing inventory. Customers who care about shopping locally will make every effort to support mom and pop, but it will be vital for small business owners to communicate clearly with their customer base, explaining delays and offering frequent updates.

Need help giving your business every available opportunity to see optimal growth by getting ahead of some of these disruptions as much as you can? Contact one of our experts today.

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Marketing Strategy: How influencers repel customers

Marketing Strategy: How influencers repel customers

Are you scrambling to find influencers for your brand? Are you seeing competitors using bloggers and other content creators to drive social media shares and traffic to their site? And you think “hey if it works for them—it’ll work for me too. Right?”

Not exactly right. 

In this blog post, learn some of the reasons influencers turn off customers, the shifting world of the influencer, and how to spot the right spokesperson to drive sales and crush competition so trust isn’t lost in your brand.

Influencer marketing and the history behind it

Social media is fairly new as a marketing tool, but it’s already seen many trends come and go in its relatively short lifetime. One of the most popular social marketing techniques from the last few years, influencer marketing, is going strong—but it’s also gone through a lot of changes already as brands have experimented with how to best leverage its power. 

Influencer marketing is the latest version of a well-worn tactic: compel the audience to buy through positive word-of-mouth marketing – one of the most powerful sales tactics of all time. The purpose of using an influencer is to help businesses grow brand awareness, build new leads, and convert prospects into customers and it’s expected that by 2022 brands will spend around $15 billion to leverage the power of ready-made audiences with influencer marketing. 

So how did we get here? Where did influencer marketing come from, and how did it start commanding such a huge share of the economy’s marketing dollars? Here’s a quick recap.

But first, what is an influencer?

When it comes to marketing, an influencer is someone who can sway the decisions of potential purchasers. It could be a celebrity, athlete, prominent society figure, a friend whose advice you trust, or in some cases (like the Marlboro Man), a fictional character. Simply put, an influencer has the power to impact the purchase decisions of your customers.

How Influencer Marketing Emerged and Evolved

To find the origins of influencer marketing, you don’t have to look far. Facebook, which is still one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, can claim the roots of influencer marketing, thanks to the analytics and insights it was offering to its customers from the beginning of its advertising program. Data collected from Facebook ad campaigns helped advertisers learn more about what their audiences were looking for. As online advertising grew, though, so did pushback. People began installing ad blockers and backlash against Facebook’s monopoly on digital social media advertising caused shifts in the social media landscape and dropped the effectiveness of traditional ads. As businesses explored new options for advertising – they quickly found the power that peer-to-peer reviews had on brand awareness and sales. People trust their friends and family more than celebrities to give them product recommendations. This is why influencer marketing on a smaller scale is on the rise—it’s just more effective this way if more labor-intensive.

Micro & Nano Influencer Marketing

When influencer marketing was in its infancy, brands typically didn’t bother with accounts that had less than a hundred thousand followers – they either worked with macro or celebrity influencers. These influencers were thought to be the biggest source of ROI since their reach was larger than people with smaller accounts.

Over time, however, brands began to notice something: these macro-influencers and celebrities weren’t necessarily the best source of engagement and ROI. They had larger audiences, but those audiences weren’t necessarily receptive to sponsored posts. Why is this? Consumers, especially the younger generations like millennials and Generation Z, began losing trust in paid influencers and instead began looking to organic grassroots communities where their like-minded peers were sharing content and commentary about brands and products they actually love. From this discovery, the trend of “micro” and “nano” influencer marketing emerged. Brands found that often, smaller audiences were more engaged and trusting. These small influencers were often speaking directly to family and friends, groups with high levels of trust and engagement.  Read more about nano influencers in our blog post, The Rise and Power of Nano Influencers.

To stay on top of these influential generations’ purchasing power, influencer marketing strategies should evolve, not unlike any other marketing strategy. Start looking for more authentic engagement models and influencers that tap the true voice of your consumers to unearth new insights you can use to develop new products and boost engagement and sales; which we will explore in more detail.

Why are consumers losing interest in influencer marketing?

First, to keep things in perspective, we should note that influencers are still very much on the upswing, growing in popularity and gaining more influence over how we shop and buy. But after years of influencers buying fake followers, hiring click farms, and promoting products that they don’t even use, consumers feel that they can’t trust much of what influencers say because it is so easy to see whether an influencer honestly cares about a brand or product or if they are just promoting it for the money. Let’s take a look at some of the underlying reasons for this behavior change.

Saturated or not: Trust in online influencers has been increasingly steady for years now.

According to Google, 70% of YouTube users say they trust the recommendations of their favorite YouTubers above those of celebrities, and Twitter found that their users trust online influencers almost as much as they trust their friends. It’s not all that surprising that we’d eventually reach a limit in how much people are willing to trust influencers. Whether we’ve reached that peak now is difficult to say. But to say we’ve reached a saturation point in how much you are paying attention to social media influencers doesn’t sound like a stretch to us.

Blurred lines between sponsorships and authenticity: The influencer landscape has become increasingly commercialized in recent years to the extent that the lines between sponsorships and authentic recommendations are blurred. And a steady increase of influencer posts that people see on social media is sponsored. While the FTC publishes guidelines for disclosure on such posts, these guidelines are far from perfect and they are sometimes ignored or implemented incorrectly, adding to the confusion. While these guidelines may help, modern buyers are savvy enough to see who is paid for reviews and who is providing an authentic product recommendation. Trust can be quickly lost in your brand if they realize it before you do. 

Your influencer became too large and unreachable: A few years ago, when people followed their favorite fashion blogger on Instagram, they may have enjoyed an intimate, authentic connection with that influencer. Today, that same blogger might have millions of follows and have a staff of 20 people managing their posts, which begin looking more like a celebrity, elevating their content to a place that’s no longer relatable. This in part makes connections no longer close and personal, which can negatively impact your brand.

Your influencer doesn’t align with your brand: Your influencer strategy should align with your customers’ wants and aspirations while also building out your marketing funnel. Choosing an influencer solely on their follower count is no longer enough. Instead, start thinking, ‘how does this influencer fit in with our customer demographic?

Because things are always changing, it is important to keep an eye on this trend, but just remember—trust is key for word-of-mouth marketing, even online.

What can be done to restore trust in the influencers?

Gen Zers and millennials are influenced by authentic content provided by people they trust, and they are looking to members of the small, tight-knit online communities they’re part of for information about products whereas 75% of Generation Xers are influenced by events or people of the past and look towards YouTube for their information. These groups enable them to engage with each other, and with brands and products they love, in a meaningful way, and brands have a great opportunity to build these communities and deepen their relationships with their customers through them.

Rebuilding this trust should be a collaborative effort, involving both the influencer and the brand. Below are some basic guidelines to help identify influencers who are, in fact, real and could potentially help build authentic relationships:

Audit influencers: You should conduct a careful audit of each influencer you’re considering partnering with to avoid using one who is fake who might tarnish your brand reputation instead of helping it. Certain influencer marketing platforms, such as Dealspotr’s Influence Score can help with this research by providing you access to algorithms which filter out false patterns and give you a more realistic score of an influencer’s true reach.

Create long-term relationships instead of one-offs: The most successful influencer relationships should extend beyond a single post, and often involve a long-term ambassadorship where the influencer will continue to mention a brand over an extended period. Establishing these longer-term relationships is an effective way to maximize trust and authenticity in your customers when working with influencers. How do you find the right influencer who will partner with you long-term? Look for your superfans – people who are already telling your brand story online. These “superfans” are creating user-generated content and already sharing it with others in their niche communities across Instagram, Facebook, video game platforms, and dark social channels. Once you find these individuals and understand who their followers are and what demographic they represent (engagement, follower-to-following ratio, geotags, aesthetics, and hashtags) to ensure they have an audience that aligns with yours is when you can start building that authentic and official relationship together.  

Craft partnerships that go beyond monetary compensation: While the norm in the influencer marketing industry these days is to compensate influencers with some form of up-front payment in exchange for a mention or a review, these one-time setups often don’t align well with the interests of brands since the influencers lack an incentive to promote you over the long-term. When you are looking for someone to collaborate with and represent your brand look for an influencer who is doing what they do because they are passionate about it, and less about receiving a paycheck. When this happens, you have a better chance they’ll have a true connection with their fans and thus greater trust and recognition with your brand.

Adhere to FTC guidelines: When you are evaluating or auditing an influencer to collaborate with, you should do a scan of their prior sponsored posts. For instance, have they marked their posts as sponsored? Proper adherence to the FTC’s guidelines is a must, or else the influencer might have already eroded trust with their fans. When it comes to this type of evaluation, we recommend partnering with a marketing firm that has experience in this field, because the rules and regulations could sink a business and it’s not worth the risk when you do it alone.

These are just some of the tips we recommend when looking for influencers who genuinely love your product. By implementing some of them, it will help open up new opportunities for your brand to connect with existing and new customers and build a stronger online presence.

Bringing it all together

Attention for the younger generation and consumers alike is still shifting away from traditional forms of marketing towards digital, mobile, and social, and in this world influencers reign supreme. By investing in relationships with trusted influencers, you have an opportunity to navigate this increasingly complex landscape and increase mindshare by partnering with the leading voices to help build a strong community for your brand.

Are you ready to get invested in trusted relationships with influencers to help showcase your brands’ integrity to customers, and drive more sales? Connect with one of our experts today

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Simple steps today. Better customer relationships tomorrow.

Simple steps today. Better customer relationships tomorrow.

Imagine if you could read the minds of your customers. You’d know exactly what they need to hear or see to make every sale. Theoretically, you could tailor your advertising to their specific needs and your conversions would go through the roof. But when you consider some of your best customers, how do you define them?  For most eCommerce businesses it’s safe to assume that the best customers are the ones who not only champion your brand but who have the highest level of purchases.

In this blog, we will highlight some strategies to incorporate to give your customers something extra to not only set them up for long-term engagement with your brand but long-term sales and value to your overall business.

Build your brand by building your customer base

Once you’ve identified who your customers are, you can begin to intentionally build emotional relationships with them. These relationships go beyond simply making a purchase and have the power to supercharge the valuable interactions they already have with your brand.

Go above and beyond with customer service

To survive in this cut-throat eCommerce environment you have to think out of the box. And, at times, it can be as simple as reflecting on the customer experience you provide.

It’s a big, crowded marketplace out there, full of consumers that want different things at different times via different channels and they all expect access to businesses all the time whether on social media or their website. If you don’t have a direct way for customers to get in contact with you when they need it most, you can’t compete with other companies nor give your customers exactly what they want. For instance, when a client has an issue with your business or an issue with a shipment, they need you to sort it out fast and if you are not available to help them out, you will frustrate the customer or perhaps generate a negative review that is visible to other customers. How do you solve this issue quickly?  A dedicated customer service phone number for your business or a live chat system. Having either or both of these options allows your loyal customers to contact you when they need to do as long as they have a good experience and quick resolution.

Research shows that customers who receive a competent and knowledgeable service are more likely to remember their experience. Even 73% of shoppers say they remain loyal to them because of friendly customer service.

Therefore, it is important to empower your front-line agents so they have the ability to resolve customer issues with ease. With each transfer, subsequent call or email, customers lose patience with your business, resulting in a loss of goodwill. Being consistent with solving customer problems and making yourself available the first customers reach out is a sure-fire way to avoid issues down the line.

Give them something extra

Though we live in a seemingly anonymous culture — where ‘self-service’ is so prevalent — customers increasingly want a personalized experience when it matters most. Remember; everyone likes being recognized, and your customers are no exception. Below are some ways to help your customers feel like you know them on a personal level. 

Personalization is powerful: To prevent “analysis paralysis” caused by the countless options available to your consumers at their fingertips, you should consider implementing personalized solutions and experiences for your customers, such as knowing their name or purchase history to make future buying recommendations. Not only is it important to know your customers’ names when reaching out to them, but it is also important to recognize them on a continual basis to keep the relationship going. For instance, you can offer them a free gift during their birthday month or anniversary.  

Set up a referral program: There are a number of ways you can turn a shopper into a loyal customer.  Throughout the buyer’s journey, you have the opportunity to engage with them one-on-one in a number of different ways, including post-purchase emails and social media.  The most effective way, though, is definitely a rewards program. A rewards program will help you to attract new customers and motivate existing ones to shop with you more often.

Offering either of these options are the types of interactions that will encourage repeat purchase behavior and keep your customers happy.

Tell a story with your brand to connect with customers on a personal level

Storytelling has the incredible ability to connect with your customers on a deeper, emotional level; which figures and stats fall short of doing. And, in the world of marketing, brand storytelling can have a massive impact on your company and the following you receive. 

Getting your story right, however, is going to depend to a large extent on the type of business you run. So much of how you tell your story depends on who your customer is and the message you have to sell them. Do they want to be told the story visually such as through a YouTube video? Or do they prefer written content, punchy infographics, or quirky animations? 

Take this YouTube example from Chipotle Mexican Grill – who we think got it right and then some. Although they are a fast food restaurant, their brand story is all about grasping an emotional connection to their customers and creating a bond that might be hard to break after watching, by sharing the captivating history of their reason for being.

Like the above example, there are certain ingredients that you should have in place if you want to deliver on expectations to your clientele when it comes to your brand story. These include:

  • Knowledge of your audience: The more you know, the more you can tailor your individual messages.
  • Be authentic: Millennials and Generation Z are pretty keyed in to recognize blatant selling and filtering what is useful to them and what isn’t.
  • Create a positioning statement: Once you know who your target audience is you can decide what words and images will resonate with them to help build this out.
  • Be consistent: You need to tell the same story wherever you are. If you start diverging from it, you risk confusing your customer’s emotions or dampening expectations of your brand.

When you stay consistent with your story on who you are and what you represent, you gain the competitive advantage to last longer, grow faster, and drive more revenue. Take note though, that as the times change, so can your story, but be sure you always keep your roots in the ground.

Listen to customer feedback

Listening may seem to be a passive process, but it also leads to active improvements for your business. Listening to customers may be a great way for you to gather enough business-important information. After all, the best business decisions are based on data and not guesses. And customer testimonials are one of the best ways to gather business-specific data that lets you understand how your customers really feel about the product or service you deliver.

Testimonials your customers leave are key content elements because they are unbiased comments that prompt visitors to buy. They help establish credibility and gain trust with your prospects. However, just publishing your customers’ testimonials on your website is not enough to attract more customers. To convert more leads on your website when it comes to testimonials:

  • Make them eye-catching by adding an image
  • Record an in-store video with a customer
  • Tell the truth
  • Use your customer personas
  • Show testimonials everywhere

It is key to use this feedback to guide your business and marketing decisions. By measuring customer satisfaction, you can determine whether you meet, fall short of, or surpass your customer expectations.

Bringing it all together

Knowing what your customers need and want is a competitive advantage and it can determine the customer’s choice of purchasing your services over others. Are you ready to focus on putting your customers first? Connect with one of our experts today to discuss your needs!

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The October 2021 Orange Report

The October 2021 Orange Report

October 2021 ORANGE REPORT

The October 2021 Orange Report features our best & most recent blogs and guides on Magento, Big Commerce, eCommerce, and Digital Marketing.

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Everything you need to know about eCommerce, digital marketing, and Magento.

Conjure Sales & Build Trust – The Magic of Mobile Marketing

In Part 1 of our Mobile series you’ll learn the benefits and best practices of SMS mobile marketing, including how to stay compliant with examples of customer texting done well.

Video Case Study: Automotive Aftermarket

See for yourself how InteractOne migrated an Automotive Aftermarket website from Volusion to Magento 2 and improved mobile-responsiveness and functionality.

How to Run a Successful Mobile Marketing Campaign

In Part 2 of our Mobile series we’ll provide some great examples of mobile messages to send to your customers including special promotions, mobile coupons and encouragements.

Apple’s iOS15: One person’s privacy is another’s marketing strategy

Privacy concerns for users are real, and Apple is about to strike a blow in how business is done that could change the marketing landscape in a major way.