Music - Retail

A large portion of my job focuses around "media effectiveness." In other words - what ads make people buy stuff.... So, I spend a lot of my weekdays talking about the need to extend the conversation of internet advertising effectiveness outside of mere e-commerce activity. While we know at least 60% of in-store shoppers use the internet to help form their buying decisions.... only ~7% of total sales come directly from e-commerce. Which brings me to the news story below...
Apple Inc's iTunes digital media store edged out Best Buy Co and Target Corp to become the second-largest U.S. music retailer, behind Wal-Mart Stores, according to data released on Tuesday from tracking firm NPD Group.

Based on 2007 sales, legal music downloads now account for 10 percent of music acquired in the United States, but the increase failed to offset a decline in physical CD sales, NPD said.

About one million consumers stopped buying CDs in 2007, according to NPD.

The iTunes store now has more than 50 million customers and has sold more than 4 billion songs.

So - to re-iterate ... Apple sells more music than Best Buy or Target... They solely distribute music online ... Does anyone think that the internet was the only way Apple's 50 million music customers learned about the music they wanted to buy? OF COURSE NOT! So - why is the assumption that all of Wal-marts music purchasers learned about music through newspaper circulars???


NY Building Elevator Trick

Small, pretty useless nugget here ... But ... Last night I saw a trick that I've used in my building being used by food delivery guys (which obviously validates my theory) -- so I thought I'd share.

Do you live in a building with many floors and/or slow elevators? Have you ever left your apartment, gone downstairs and then realized you forgot something??

Well - if so - you know the annoyance of waiting for the elevators to go back down the second time is twice as painful as the first time...

Next time ... On the way up -- if you are on floor 19 (and are alone going up) ... in addition to pressing the "19" button on your elevator - press 20 and 21... With these 2 additional floors - it should give you enough time to catch the elevator on it's way down...

While this is far from being a class-act or a good neighbor ... It could save you a few minutes in the morning if you're running late...If, however, someone is waiting to go down on your floor - and they realize what you did -- it could be an uncomfortable joint ride down...

Again - pretty useless - but I'm a fan of over-thinking the useless stuff....



Given the recent advancements in smart phone proliferation... An interesting decision makes it's way to many corporate citizens... "To Double-Fist or not to Double-Fist" ....

I hope by the mention of "smart phone" you don't think this post is about how drunk you should get at corporate functions... It's about the decision of merging your portable work email device (most likely a blackberry) with your personal phone device (most likely not a blackberry).

There are a lot of variables in play - such as the ability to keep you phone number, where the phone bill goes, and various corporate email and phone reimbursement policies... Usually, if all these variables aren't an issue ... Employees will most likely start combining their work and phone devices...

For me, however, I don't like to mix business and pleasure ... My work email stays on my blackberry and my personal phone is my iPhone... Yes - I need to carry an extra (and somewhat bulky) phone during the week -- but -- I think it's worth it ... Other advantages include the ability to put your work cell phone on your business card, not having to submit a phone bill in your standard expenses, and being able to select different devices for your different needs (example -- I love my iPhone -- but not sure I'd love it as my primary mobile emailing device).

Amy is dealing with the dilemma currently. She prefers one device (The blackberry "curve" to be exact), but there are restrictions limiting her ability to convert. Feel free to suggest your opinion the next time you see her...


Our First Anniversary Trip

This past Sunday (February 10) was Amy and my 1st wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we planned a short 4 day vacation. As I've mentioned to many people in the past -- there is a difference between vacation travel and vacation vacation. The purpose of this trip was the latter -- which to Amy and I means: Be as lazy as possible on a beach, eat whatever you want, and feel like you're being pampered a little bit...

We originally thought of somewhere like Aruba -- but with a single trip to Liberty Travel -- we were convinced to instead book an all-inclusive resort in the Mexican Riviera. By recommendation of the travel agent (and looking at the options) -- we opted for the Excellence Resort, which is about 20 minutes from the Cancun airport.

I'll summarize by saying that Amy and I were VERY happy with our decision, as we had a really great vacation.

It was our first "all-inclusive" experience, which I must admit I was a bit skeptical of. I mean - I just couldn't fathom ordering as many Jack and Ginger-ales that I wanted -- without some kind of charge ... Turns out - that it's legit (at least the resort we went to). I'm sure there are Club Med type places that advertise all-inclusive, but have some hidden annoying stipulations or subsidize the cost with horrible food and service. The Excellence had great service and more than acceptable food quality (it exceeded expectations for sure -- but not willing to say it was amazing - but again - as to be expected). The rooms were very nice (inclusive of all-you-can-eat mini-bar and room service) and all come with an outdoor jacuzzi.

Amy, in particular, couldn't believe how nice the staff was - and it's true. We really felt like we could have been at a Four Seasons resort. We had servers come up to us at least every 15 minutes asking "Would you like something to drink?"...

The beach set-up was also really nice - especially the several 2 person beds placed right on the sand. I made it a point to take a little 5:00 nappy-nap everyday on them...The sand itself was really soft, but the ocean floor was way too rocky to enjoy...But... we were fine walking 10 steps the other way to use the pool to cool off.

All-in-all, I think Amy and my first anniversary vacation represented what I believe our first year of marriage represented as well: An overall amazing experience that Amy and I both genuinely appreciate and never want to end.


TV Commercials

Given my wife's occupation - the following is a slippery slope for me .... So... I'm going to be brief.

I've long believed that how marketers and TV stations report on audience figures is INSANELY archaic. I'll save that for another time...

Putting that aside -- outside of National Cable movie channels [;)], The Super Bowl and American Idol .... 95% of people don't even watches the commercials!
Chart below from a reputable research firm.


My Random Thoughts of Super Bowl 42

  • If you would have told me at the start of ANY Sunday this football season (including yesterday) -- that the Giants were going to win the Super Bowl this year -- I would have told you that you were crazy!
  • I feel like Giants fans are fairly shocked as well... It was a bit like I felt 2 years ago when the Heat won the NBA Title... It was completely unexpected - but that doesn't make it any less sweet ... just different.
  • I don't blame the Patriots for the reasons I was rooting against them....(The whole 19-0, best team ever, blah-blah-blah, CONTINUOUS hype).... I blame the media - and mostly ESPN. And while I'm at it -- I'm from South Florida -- and I'm also sick of the 1972 Dolphins drama...It's a perfect example of the flaw within the typical "news story" structure.
  • Speaking of the media -- I think I'm going to refuse to watch ESPN during the 2 weeks leading up to the Super Bowl next year. 2 weeks is WAY too much time for ESPN to continue to try and come up with new things to talk about...And worse of all -- I never ONCE heard anyone on ESPN predict that the Patriots would struggle against the Giants defense (and only score 14 points).
  • The positive of the media cycle -- The Mercury Morris sound bytes this week are going to be pretty amazing...
  • I loved the "Peyton Manning camera." He clearly wanted to interact with NO ONE during the game...Is he really married?
  • I think I loved the camera shot of Jeremy Shockey more... Someone I was watching the game with asked "why isn't he on the field with the team" ... The first thing that came to my head, "Uh - they don't serve Red Bull and Vodka's on the field, honey"....
  • Speaking of spectator comments ... Someone said "How much fun would it be if you were a student of the University of Phoenix right now?" ... Well ... although they have a Phoenix campus, the majority of students don't actually go to school in Phoenix. It's predominantly an online university... Yup - those stadium naming rights really pay off! ;)
  • I'm sure I'll see it at least 100 times in my life -- but the "Eli avoiding the sack -- chucking it up to David Tyree and catching it off his helmet play" is one of the best (and most crucial) plays I've ever seen in a Super Bowl.
  • I don't feel bad for any of the Patriots - with the exception of Junior Seau. He seems like such a happy dude -- and he's been a loyal, non-confrontational NFL player for so long -- that it would have been nice to see him win a Super Bowl ... if he was on the Giants...
  • From the comments I heard after the game ... It felt like during the game Tom Brady crossed the line between competitive and cry baby. The look on his face throughout the game was WAY different than anything else I'd seen from him during the regular season...He's one of the best QBs of all-time...But I honestly think he choked yesterday.
  • Something I haven't heard anyone talk about yet - was the fact that Belicheck opted to go for it on 4th and 11, rather than attempt a 49 yard field goal. And while the Pats ended up losing by 3 points -- I do agree that the media shouldn't be pilling on him. He had done stuff like that ALL year - and they were 18-0 going into the game. He was consistent.
  • I'm a huge fan of Tiki Barber... some people don't - but I do... That said, today has to sting a little for him...
  • The streets of NYC last night were pretty great. I high-fived about 3 random drunk topless dudes...
  • The Commercials SUCKED this year... For the biggest stage of creative advertising - it truly disappointed this year... Hail to online advertising! ;)
  • The scoring wasn't even close to as advertised... but it was still an UNBELIEVABLE game (not as good as the Titans ending the game on the 1 yard line - but definitely top 5 SB games I've ever seen)
  • Congrats to all my Giant die-hard fan friends... Colediggy, Felch, Wolfe, The Mandell bros, The Satnick clan, Chuck, and anyone else I forgot... I'm happy for ya!!