Fashion Photography: When Computers Make Mannequins into Models

The world of fashion photography for e-commerce is facing a problem: consumers. They are looking for more visuals (about ten in the Chinese market, and around five in Europe) to reassure themselves about the products they are about to purchase. The problem is that these visuals are expensive. People and technology are needed to create these photos. Allure Systems, a French-Chinese start-up, has developed a solution to address this problem.

fashion photography
Allure Systems approaches absolute realism. It takes a lot of attention to realize that this is a reconstructed photo of a couple of humans, rather than a single human. The 3-step process, still quite manual, foreshadows complete automation.

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Permission Marketing: Give Consumers What They Really Want

What is Permission Marketing?

Nowadays, consumers come into contact with at least 10,000 different forms of advertisement on a daily basis. Marketers face the challenge of breaking through this information overload. An effective way to do so is by creating strong customer relations through permission marketing.

Permission marketing is a phrase coined by author Seth Godin.  He defines it as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who want to get them.” Companies often advertise as if they have the right to promote their products/services. The irrelevant information shared by those companies tends to decrease the effectiveness of the advertisement.

In 1998,  William C. Taylor, founder of the business magazine, “The Fast Company,” shared: “Seth Godin and his colleagues are working to persuade some of the most powerful companies in the world to reinvent how they relate to their customers. His argument is as stark as it is radical: Advertising just doesn’t work as well as it used to — in part because there’s so much of it, in part because people have learned to ignore it, in part because the rise of the Net means that companies can go beyond it.” 

permission marketing
The dangers of interruption marketing shown through 2012 statistics.

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Click and Mortar: Is this the Future of Retail Marketing?

Have you ever shopped online and wished that you could physically see or feel an item? Have you ever shopped at a store and wished that the associate could understand precisely what you wanted? Companies are now moving in a direction in which both of these needs, and more, could be met. Businesses need the combination of digital and physical marketing to thrive in today’s competitive market. It is for this reason that the convergence of bricks and mortar into digital is one of the most significant marketing trends today. This integration of offline (bricks) and online (clicks) is referred to as “click and mortar.”

Click and Mortar

The overall idea of the trend is to track consumer habits more closely to provide companies with information, and eventually sales, on products that behavioral data suggests an individual would want to buy. The marketing trend benefits firms while also enhancing a consumer’s overall retail experience. Improving the consumer experience helps a company to establish a positive brand image in a competitive market.

Click and Mortar
All aboard the newest marketing trend: the convergence of bricks and clicks.

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About duplicate content, plagiarism and Word of Mouth

Duplicate content is a recurring theme in content marketing. A few days ago I stumbled upon the following blog piece (down there at the bottom). Although it was written in 2015, most of its contents is still relevant today. Whoever is a Web author and enjoys some sort of visibility has witnessed the theft of their content at one point or another. It so happens that people with bad intentions, as stated by Rosalind Gardner in her piece, might confuse theft for curation, plagiarism for inspiration.

This is very evil indeed. At the same time however, Internet writers might take a bit of hindsight and brace for impact for something which is bound to happen anyway. The Web is chock full of memes and parody and Creative Commons. Copyright on the Web? Come on, who believes in this nowadays apart from Getty images (even they seem to have thrown in the towel). Let’s have a look at duplicate content and let us ask the question: “should we whine or rejoice?”

Duplicate content: how much of the same thing is too much?
Duplicate content: how much of the same thing is too much?

Duplicate content, true talent and divas

Internet writers should be wary of behaving like divas and ponder about the true value of their talent (not to mention that non Internet writers should too). Honestly, not all plagiarists are thieves. Hell may be paved with good intentions, but let’s remember that they are good. Automated blogging and duplicate content are two very different things. Here I’ll focus on duplicate content.

I have had some of my content duplicated and even though my initial reaction has been anger, on second thought I don’t think it’s the end of the world. To an extent, one might even consider this to be a form of acknowledgement.

How my perception of duplicate content has changed over the years

Over the years my behaviour has changed a lot in that respect. Even though, let me repeat this once more, every word in this piece is absolutely true from a technical point of view.

One day, as I was presenting at a conference in front of a bunch of people, one of them cried “I’ve seen those slides before! My teacher showed them to us but he never mentioned your name”.

Shock, horror! Well, not really.

Who’s got the last laugh now? The thief who was eventually taken for a twit by his former pupil? I don’t think so. If I may say so, I was particularly happy that an academic was using my content for his lectures. He may not have quoted my name but others must have. I felt proud, in a way. Read more

Digital Marketing: What is at stake for B2B companies?

A friend of mine is working in the marketing department of a medium sized B2B industrial company. The latter has just over 300 employees and operates on a large network of distributors throughout the world. The business is quite flourishing. But things can change. In fact, things are changing very fast today. My friend believes he should board on the digital marketing wave, to increase his company’s visibility on the web: in other words, he wants to develop a strategic presence on social networks. The problem is that he is not really familiar with all the digital concepts. So, he turned to me and asked me for advice.

This lead to a long reflection with him about what digital marketing really is and especially what the benefits can be for him and his business. It is important to understand digital before rushing into it prematurely. Finally, I quickly described to him the different steps that are essential to the success of his “digital marketing” project.

Digital Marketing and B2B: the two make a pair!

Digital marketing is first a matter of trend. To be competitive and innovative it is necessary to stay in the race, and therefore follow the flow.

B2B marketing budgets are shifting to digital and social. Overall, B2B marketing budgets are expected to increase, on average, by about 5% in the coming year. But spending on digital marketing programs is projected to rise three times as fast, and over the next five years, the share of budget dollars dedicated to social media marketing will more than double.”

But digital marketing goes well beyond a simple trend. It has real advantages in B2B.

Digital Marketing advantages

What are the advantages of digital marketing in B2B

Multi-channel: By using multiple channels, digital marketing offers many opportunities (complementary to traditional marketing) and allows users / companies to act at all levels of the purchasing process

Cost-efficiency: Digital marketing is less costly than “traditional” marketing; indeed …Even stalwart traditional marketers know that they cannot compete the Internet’s potential to reach thousands with just a single post”. Printing and shipment costs are not taken into account in digital, this is the advantage of CPC (you pay only when click). Read more