Archive for the ‘Amazon’ tag

Amazon and MKTG: Boost with FBA

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We all shop at Amazon. But did you ever stop to think about how the Amazon Marketplace actually works and who the sellers are that make it all possible?

Those are just a couple of the questions that the team at MKTG aimed to answer for our partner, Amazon.

In 2015, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), a division of Amazon related to its Prime sellers, decided it was time to celebrate their sellers in a huge way, and shine a light on a few of their prized products. Our challenge was to provide a forum for Amazon sellers to gather, learn how to optimize their businesses using Amazon, expand their reach, and also get valuable face-time with Amazon experts and of course with each other.

Enter the first- ever 2017 Boost with FBA Seller Summit, a 1,000+ seller attended premier event hosted at Pier 94, right in the heart of New York City. To kick off in proper Big Apple style, all attendees were treated to a welcome reception the night before at Tao, Downtown and a full-day of extra activities. At the main event, Amazon sellers from around the globe attended presentations and participated in over a dozen educational sessions, from Going Global to Inventory Management. They were also able to meet one-on-one with Amazon experts in Office Hours sessions to talk specifically about their businesses, as well as learn from some of the top sellers featured in the seller showcases throughout the venue. (more after the photo album…)

 

This was a highly collaborative effort where MKTG worked closely with our amazing partners at Amazon to curate, design, strategize and produce all creative materials and the events themselves from soup-to-nuts.

The feedback from sellers was overwhelmingly positive and we’re looking forward to working on the next one coming to a US city near you!

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Guest Q&A: Stephanie Rudnick

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For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Stephanie Rudnick, MKTG INC’s new SVP, Marketing Communications. An almost 20-year industry veteran, Stephanie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of PR and experiential marketing, MKTG and the best advice she’s ever received.

What will your role be here at MKTG INC?
I’ll be developing and managing all aspects of the company’s communication strategy and practice, including media and industry relations, external communications and brand management.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Carpe diem” –  Live each day as if it were your last. It’s something I’ve lived by since learning about it in elementary school from my favorite English teacher.

How did you get into PR?
When I decided on my major, it was WAY before PR was as widely understood as it is today. I spent a lot of time working with non-profits in high school in Chicago and loved when the media would come to our events and publicize our causes. When I learned that I could study journalism with a PR focus, it just felt right. I went to college at USC in Los Angeles because I wanted to study in a major city where my teachers were working professionals in my field, but also because the location would offer me access to a wide array of internships. I was lucky enough to have internships every semester – from beauty to music to technology to entertainment and celebrity publicity – which helped expose me to how different PR can be depending on the client. Since then, I’ve done pretty much every kind of PR across a ton of verticals, both agency and in-house. Now that I’m older, one of my favorite things is to mentor young people who are interested learning how to navigate the business and continue to help them along throughout their careers.

What publications or websites do you find most relevant to your career?
It’s part of my job to read, read, read and do my best to stay on top of what’s going on in our industry and in general. So, I start my day with a scan of Twitter, which helps me get a handle quickly on the news of the day. Then, first thing at work, I go old-school and get my hands dirty tearing through the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  I also read the hard copy of the Sports Business Journal and the SBJ’s three daily e-newsletters, as well as MediaPost, EM, Adweek and AdAge. The list goes on and on.

What are some of your favorite work experiences?
I’m so grateful that my job has afforded me so many amazing experiences. I’ve been able to travel around the globe, working, and experiencing working in other cultures. One of the craziest experiences was in Beijing, when just hours before a press conference I was organizing, a friend tipped me off that if I wanted the media to actually publish/broadcast something, I had to give them a gift and CASH. For real. That was fun to have to explain to finance why the company owed me thousands of CNYs in cash and for T-shirts from the hotel gift shop! I also have to share that one of my all-time favorite nights at work was in 2012 at the NFL Draft when my client, Andrew Luck, was drafted first. It was so crazy and exciting and anxiety-inducing being backstage with Andrew and his family and all of the other draftees and their families, waiting for “the call” from the teams. Not sure that will ever happen again, unless my son decides that’s the route he wants to take…urgh.

Who have been your favorite clients?
That’s a hard one but I would say that working with the totally courageous and amazing NBA center Jason Collins was a highlight of my career.

What are your favorite apps?
Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, SportsCenter, Swarm, American Airlines, Diapers.com, Fitbit, WeatherBug, WhatsApp, FlightTracker, OpenTable, Seamless, Timehop and Tile.

What are three things you can’t travel without?
Earplugs, a flat-iron and my Philips Sonicare toothbrush

When not at the office, where are we most likely to find you? (Not that we’ll be looking, of course.)
At home in Battery Park or running around downtown Manhattan with my husband Duncan, and kids Charlie (2 1/2) and Matilda (5 months). And probably reading.

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Bitcoin: A Layman’s Guide

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If you follow the news in tech, finance or pretty much anything else on the Internet chances are you’ve heard a relatively new term being batted around: bitcoin. While not actually that new, the term burst into the national consciousness in 2013 and so far in 2014 has been trending alongside the polar vortex, MH370 and various Russian antics.  Here is a quick 101 on what you need to know and what you can expect from the amorphous alt-currency world this year and beyond.
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So bitcoin. What is it?
Simply put, ‘bitcoin’ is a peer-to-peer digital currency.  It is made up of a web-based line of code “mined” from an increasingly difficult to solve mathematical riddle — that’s how it maintains its scarcity and therefore its value. Bitcoin was invented by an anonymous hacker and because no federal government or central bank controls it, the currency changes hands anonymously and crosses borders easily. Naturally, it was quickly adopted as a black market currency. Today though, bitcoin is an increasingly legitimate and rapidly changing ecosystem of technologies, exchanges, VCs, vendors and customers.

What’s the difference between bitcoin and Bitcoin?
Great question! bitcoin (lowercase b) refers to the currency itself, while Bitcoin (capital B) is the largest, most well-known service used to buy, sell, exchange and retain bitcoins (lowercase b) via digital “wallets.”

This sounds awesome, I want to go buy some right now. 
Not so fast. Because it’s backed strictly by the market (rather than gold, a central bank or an agency like the FDIC), the currency is notoriously volatile, giving many would-be investors pause. Just this year the exchange rate has fluctuated anywhere between $80 and $1,200. Compounding the issue is susceptibility to security flaws: the late Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest exchange, recently collapsed due to hacker meddling and mismanagement. So buyer beware.

Oh. 
Yeah, pump the brakes.

So how will it affect me?
Bitcoin ATMs are already popping up in major cities, and the currency has even begun to creep into many mainstream vendors, including Home Depot, CVS and Amazon. The Sacramento Kings recently became the first professional sports franchise to accept the currency, and one has to assume the forthcoming Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco will soon be on board as well. Bitcoin also bodes well for any brand with an interest in e-commerce; continued innovation of payment systems is rapidly reducing precious time spent at the point of sale. If you’re a believer, you can use bitcoin for most of your day-to-day purchases right now.

But why would I want to?
Fair question; and the truth is, many people will not.  Right now bitcoin is most attractive as an investment opportunity- a way to make a quick buck betting on the wild swings back and forth.  But as things stabilize many see virtual currency as the way forward for payment systems.  Picture this: you are in your seat at a Kings game, and want some nachos.  Soon you will be able to place the order from your smartphone and have it brought to you without ever exchanging cash or a credit card, even in the nosebleeds.

I already do that with Uber! 
Yes you do- but you pay with a standard credit card.  While you see no difference, bitcoin vendors like Bitpay are charging flat fees to merchants, rather than the standard credit card percentage.  Lower fees mean higher margins for merchants, which means the roster of bitcoin-friendly businesses will continue to grow.

Ok, fair enough.  What’s next?
Tough to say. Mt. Gox was a major black eye for supporters, but the momentum is tough to deny. Even NASCAR is getting in on the action; Bitcoin competitor Dogecoin (yes, that doge) has signed on as an official sponsor and will be featured this spring at Talladega on Josh Wise’s no. 98 Ford.

Long story short, the bitcoin world will look very different 5 years or even 1 year from now, but whatever it looks like it’s definitely not going anywhere. Though it has some major detractors (Warren Buffet and essentially every federal government in the world, to name a few) and flaws, enthusiasm is only building and savvy techies like Marc Andreessen, the Winklevoss twins and others with a vested interest are going to make sure it succeeds. When is anyone’s guess, but bitcoin will become a major player for consumers, marketers and brands alike.

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