9 Tips on Preparing for the Holiday Season

Holiday retail is more important than ever. According to Retail TouchPoints, consumer spending is expected to grow by 3.5% this holiday season. What’s more, eCommerce is projected to grow at an even faster rate, by another 9-12% over the 2013 holiday season.

This hits close to home with us at Canopy Labs; some of the retailers we work with generate more than 50% of their annual revenue during the holiday period, with their biggest sales days around Thanksgiving and in December. With such a quick ramp-up in traffic and sales, companies need to make sure they get their marketing strategy down well in advance of the holidays. Here are 9 tips on preparing your company for the busy months ahead.

Is Your Company Committing “Brand Spam”?

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Email marketing is a tricky business – send too few emails, and you risk missing out on sales opportunities; send too many, and you could be alienating customers or driving up unsubscribe rates.

“Brand spam” – in other words, an overload of communication messages from businesses – is today’s leading reason for unopened and flagged emails by consumers. John Fleming, a Marketing Director at research firm Webtrends, says: “As consumers, we’re happy to sign up to receive updates from brands, but only bother to open the ones we find relevant. This means companies are wasting loads of money sending us things we just don’t care about – and in many cases it’s turning us off.”

7 Data-Driven Ideas for Marks & Spencer

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Earlier this month, Marks & Spencer announced the launch of its “Only M&S” strapline, the first time its Food and GM divisions are being placed under a single marketing campaign. This follows a £150m re-launch of the M&S.com website in February, and the company’s plans to expand its eCommerce offerings and strategies will help them stay ahead of customer expectations and competition on high street.

Revitalizing Abercrombie & Fitch: three things we would do

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On Thursday, Abercrombie & Fitch surprised the markets with a less-than-stellar earnings report: a 10% decline in sales for its Hollister brand, and 6% for its Abercrombie & Fitch adult clothing division. Its stock price fell as a result, and the company also announced a move away from logo-branded clothing to more fashionable outfits, along with quicker production processes. We can also blame the economy, more aggressive marketing from competitive brands, and other trends that have contributed to declining revenue for older brands.

Aside from dialing down the use of logos on its clothing, what else can A&F do to drive revenue and return as a trendier, more exciting brand to its customers? We have three strategic ideas that have worked with other brands, and if we were executives at the company, we’d aim to do these as soon as possible.

Tips for Winning the Teenage Market

If you work in the fashion, electronics, or entertainment industries, then you already know that the teenage market represents a big opportunity for growth. But with so many screens and networks competing for the teenage mindshare, how can your business stand out amidst the crowd? When they’re not in school, they’re either picking out an Instagram filter on their phones, sitting on the couch playing Call of Duty, or scrolling through Tumblr on their laptops. No matter where they are, they are attached to some form of technology.

To learn more about winning over this market, we asked a few teenagers in Toronto on their thoughts about social media, effective marketing, and email marketing – and have compiled their top tips here.

7 Magento Stores That’ll Keep You Hungry For More

Here at Canopy Labs, we’re always hungry to work with new businesses in a variety of industries. Today, we’ve found a few savory Magento stores that we thought might appeal to you too! After all, summer’s a great time to explore new foods and maybe discover a new favorite snack or two.

5 ExactTarget Apps to Improve Your Marketing Campaigns

We’re big fans of ExactTarget’s powerful email marketing platform, and work with many companies who have taken the platform to a new level of performance. Through our work with customers, we’ve found a number of particularly helpful apps that ExactTarget power users often work with. Below, we’ve compiled a list of five apps from ExactTarget’s Hubexchange that will ultimately make your digital marketing campaigns a better experience for your customers.

Welcome to the new Canopy Labs website!

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After many months of preparation, we are proud to announce our new website! Over the years, we have learned a great deal about the challenges faced by marketing professionals, sales managers, and analysts. We hope the new site will not only tell you about Canopy Labs, but also help you become successful in your roles.

Quick Wins for new Chief Data Officers (CDOs)

This week I had the privilege of speaking at the Chief Data Office (CDO) Summit in Toronto. While Canopy Labs work aggressively with companies across all industries and revenue sizes, the CDO role is still relatively new to most organizations. In many cases, companies are still determining what a CDO should actually do, and how they should function within the broader scope of the organization.

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Given the multitude of challenges that any executive experiences in a new role, we thought it would be helpful to summarize some of the ways we see best-in-class CDOs achieving their goals and growing their influence within the companies they are in. The strategies below are meant to be achievable within the proverbial “first 100 days” of the role, and will help new CDOs win the hearts, minds, and P&L priorities of the business.