In a marketing world where best practices are always in flux, you can’t have too many tips from thought leaders or examples from brands doing it right. Here are a few recent articles that I found helpful. You can share articles you find interesting with me on Twitter at @Bazaarvoice.

Harnessing happiness: How Coca-Cola creates shared value with retailers
by Jennifer Overstreet for Retail’s BIG Blog

We reiterate this point again and again on this blog: Today’s marketing has to draw people in with great stories worth sharing. Recognizing that they can’t control every message, the Coca-Cola instead creates compelling stories that encourage sharing. Says Coca-Cola Company Senior Vice President for North America Marketing, Alison Lewis,

“We have to first realize that we’re in a world where marketers don’t own the brand. The market does.”

The iconic brand is mastering the arts of storytelling and sparking conversation among consumers, connecting the soft drink to real-life examples the brand’s characteristics: Happiness and kindness. This article shares some of the fantastic and inspiring stories of people “crazy enough to spread kindness.” Give them a watch for the content marketing tips and the bonus warm fuzzies.

What Holiday ’12 means for digital and mobile growth
by Vicki Cantrell for

Another point we frequently preach on this blog: There are no more channels. Consumers are inherently omnichannel – they expect consistent, helpful experiences across web, brick-and-mortar, and mobile. They expect to use each in tandem with the others, and brands must design for this immediate omnichannel need, right now.

In her session at the Summit, Executive Director Vicki Cantrell elaborates.

ForeSee exec: Multichannel shoppers are power users
by Lauren Johnson for Mobile Commerce daily

Reiterating the point above, Lauren discusses the importance of multi-platform experiences to help shoppers buy – and multi-platform analytics to constantly improve those experiences. To many marketers silo analytics by channel, with metrics such as store walk-ins and web traffic. But these isolated metrics don’t tell the whole story; tracking a consumer’s journey across brand touchpoints is essential to understanding the true drivers behind a purchase. Adds Larry Freed, president/CEO of ForeSee,

“The consumer is a multichannel, multi-device consumer and they have power that they have never had before – they are in control. They have the power – you better satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations or they are going to go elsewhere.”

Buy It, Try It, Rate It: Study of Consumer Electronics Purchase Decisions In the Engagement Era
released by Weber Shandwick

In a survey of more than 2,000 American adults who shop online, Weber Shandwick found that consumer electronics shoppers give three times the weight to opinions from consumers like them than to opinions from professional technology critics. We summarized the findings here. This finding held up across every CE category studied – TVs, PCs and laptops, tablets, smartphones, MP3 players, and so on. It’s no surprise: Everyday consumers may not be looking for the same qualities that a professional tech reviewer seeks. They’re more likely to look to real product owners who use the technology on a daily basis.

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