Amrit Kirpalani 40 under 40“Unstoppable.”

That’s how Direct Marketing News is describing NectarOM founder and CEO, Amrit Kirpalani.

The annual Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award was awarded to Amrit last month, and we couldn’t be more ecstatic. This prestigious award celebrates marketing leaders with exceptional achievements.

Amrit’s work with NectarOM helped name him as one of the 40 award recipients. His most notable contribution to direct marketing highlight his influence on email marketing. Recognizing the full potential of personalized email, Amrit successfully developed a process and framework for fully realizing direct marketing revenue with automation and data.

Amrit’s work has been groundbreaking, and he continues to pave the way for retailers looking to expand their direct marketing services.

But Amrit’s recognition as a “marketing maverick” extends beyond his successful business achievements. His reputation for genuinely caring for clients and their success, along with a strong set of communication, strategy and multitasking skills, have set Amrit apart from other business executives.

The Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award only offers further accreditation to an already-impressive list of achievements. Over the past two years, Amrit has also received recognition as a 2015 Dallas Business Journal 40 Under 40, Minority Business Leader (2014), and 2014 GDAACC Small Business of the Year.

When people think big data, certain industries come to mind. Government, retail, health care and financial services top the list of enterprises collecting and capitalizing on customer data.

But as personalization and omnichannel have become more of an expectation across all markets, new industries have started using customer data with the goal of improving a consumer’s experience.

One industry in particular stands out because of recent data collection and management advances. Through smartphone apps and fitness gadgets, the health and wellness industry is using data to revamp and refuel sales.

Why should we care what the health industry does?

The health and wellness industry holds high status in the marketplace. With Nike named the top brand for the largest purchasing power, we can expect Nike and other wellness enterprises to stay relevant in the market by incorporating the latest technology into marketing strategy. Based off these innovations, companies in any industry can get inspired by these groundbreaking new ways to use data.

So how is the health and wellness industry using customer data?


nike+ run
Nike+ Running lets users track their workouts…and their friends’ too.

Smartphone Apps

Smartphone apps that focus on health have been around for years. These apps were the original building blocks for exposing health and fitness to data. Because of their initial influence, apps have a key role in the health industry’s data interest.

The most popular smartphone health apps come in the form of tracking and managing workouts. Smartphone apps like Nike+ Running record and store data from a workout. The app measures various elements of a workout, including distance covered, calories burned, average pace, and duration of workout.

These are successful because they let users access and manage their data easily. A major motivator for fitness gurus is tracking and viewing progress, which can be easily done through a simple download on a smartphone.

And some apps offer more than just tracking data. Nike+ Running can sync to social media accounts and notify Facebook friends about big accomplishments, like longest run or fastest pace. With this multi-channel development, smartphone apps are getting praise across a variety of platforms.

Fitness wearables

FitbitSmartphone apps typically only collect data during a workout. However, technological advances are helping fitness fanatics track their health 24/7.

Wearable devices help consumers manage their health with an in-depth, convenient approach. They come in different varieties and forms – from the Fitbit to watches to diamond crested accessories. These fitness devices measure specific elements of health, such as steps counted or hours slept. The device then processes the information into a consumer’s personal profile, which the consumer can manage at his or her leisure.

In today’s market, there is no doubt about the potential for these fitness appliances. The only debate in this arena is over which wearable is best.

With the ability to constantly track activity, sleep, heart rate, calories and location, fitness wearables are convenient and easy answer to a healthier lifestyle.

Specialized omnichannel gadgets

Data usage is not limited to fitness tech – personal hygiene is using consumer data as well.

Personal hygiene may seem like an unlikely candidate for data usage. However, the dental industry is starting to focus on personalization and omnichannel, placing a need for customer data.

Beam Brush lets users track their toothbrushing behaviors. The program offers its users special rewards and loyalty programs.
Beam Brush lets users track their toothbrushing behaviors. The program offers its users special rewards and loyalty programs.

In a recent AdAge article, writer Kate Kaye explores an innovation that is redefining dental hygiene. Beam Brush is a toothbrush-inspired enterprise. It connects its users to a network of 95,000 dentists and discounts based on points awarded after using the brush. Users track their teeth cleaning activity and are rewarded with loyalty programs. All activity is synchronized to a user profile in a mobile device.

Despite its ties to teeth, Beam Brush emphasizes that it is not a toothbrush company. Instead, Beam Brush is more invested in collecting health data.

Beam Technologies founder and CEO Alex Frommeyer reportedly said, “If we know there are a million people in Beam’s ecosystem and we know what behavioral triggers we tend to see with high rates of gum disease, then that insight can be translated to a dentist when we see those triggers hit.”

This insight Frommeyer references can prevent dental damage and increase loyalty programs. This is extremely powerful for companies, as an increase in loyalty likely results in improved ROI.


Besides getting inspired from learning about the latest and greatest ways that unlikely vendors are using data, there are some key things marketers should recognize from these recent advancements.

First, it’s important to recognize that if one unlikely (but large) industry is using customer data, several others are sure to follow. This means that more businesses will utilize customer data. With more entities capitalizing on data, consumers will likely be pressed to share more personal info. With more data readily available, marketers should consider the potential for third-party data integration.

Another important takeaway is to acknowledge how willingly these users share personal data with these devices. The reason some users are letting their movements be tracked 24/7 (read: FitBit) is because they feel safe and secure in their data protection. Marketers should realize that, when customers feel like their data will be safely guarded, they will share more.

The final takeaway is that that there is so much more opportunity for customer data usage. With this notable amount of data integration in a short span of time, marketers must anticipate and prepare for upcoming technology innovations and trends. Marketers should stay informed via tech news outlets, to ensure they don’t get left behind in data usage.

Last month, we wrote about preparing for Google’s algorithm changes and the importance of optimizing mobile sites. Now that the changes have been in place for a few weeks, we’re taking a look at how Mobilegeddon is challenging some of today’s biggest websites.

Mobilegeddon Losers Infographic
Click to enlarge.
The biggest losers in Mobilegeddon

Even though Google gave companies plenty of notice, several sites took a hard hit from the algorithm update. Many sites did not optimize for mobile prior to Mobilegeddon.This lowered their Google ranking, or visibility.

Lil Wayne’s ranked as one of the worst sites for mobile users – and for good reason. The mobile site is poorly formatted, displaying an abundance of blank white space and tiny links that are impossible to press. Searchmetrics reports that saw a dramatic 76% decline in visibility.

Some of the biggest websites on the Internet are seeing negative effects from their mobile unfriendliness too. Reddit, known as “the front page of the Internet,” saw a 27% decrease in their visibility. NBCSports and SongLyrics saw similar drops.

But while these webpages may be down, don’t count them out just yet!

Reddit is working to improve its visibility by implementing a mobile site. The site is still undergoing maintenance, as Reddit works to add and fix certain features. But mobile users can use the mobile site, which includes larger links, less text, and a fresh look. Once the mobile version is complete, Reddit can expect their Google ranking to improve.

Is your company feeling the effects from Mobilegeddon? Be sure your mobile site is effectively optimized so your site doesn’t end up at the bottom of Google’s search engine.

Syncing your mobile and website platforms has always been a smart move for marketers, simply because shoppers prefer the ease and convenience of optimized mobile sites.

However, new updates to Google make this optimization a necessity, rather than option, for today’s eCommerce sites.

Google recently released plans to change its mobile search rankings based on a site’s “mobile friendliness” in the eyes of Google. The search engine giant will implement adjustments to its algorithm starting April 21, 2015 and has provided a tool to check if a site is mobile-friendly.

This is a big game changer for retailers that benefit from showing up high on Google’s search list. If these mobile sites are not properly optimized, they may be knocked down a few pages on Google’s search results lists. Companies around the world have cleverly dubbed these big changes, “Mobilegeddon.

Google’s announcement has caused companies to reevaluate their mobile optimization. In light of this game changing situation, we are determining the best ways to optimize websites via mobile.

What does mobile “unfriendliness” look like?

Tiny links and text that require the user to zoom in are unfriendly, according to Google. Sites that require the user to scroll sideways to see content is also unfriendly. A properly optimized mobile site should be easy for the user to understand and use.

This shouldn’t surprise anybody. Shoppers like seamless experiences that are quick and easy – not an hour-long session that requires time, effort, and lots of extra navigation.

Although Google is practically requiring sites to become more mobile-friendly, retailers should have already be attentive to consumers by offering the best material for them. However, recent studies show that a whopping 91% of small businesses have not optimized their sites. When NectarOM heard this statistic combined with the breaking news of Google’s Mobilegeddon, we decided to take a closer look at optimization and mobile sites.

Types of mobile site configuration

There are a couple different ways companies can configure their sites to mobile:

  1. Responsive: Responsive configuration looks the same across all devices used. It uses the same URL across all platforms. For example, a site will look relatively similar on a laptop and on a mobile device – minus a few formatting changes. Tech experts agree that, traditionally, Google prefers a responsive configuration.
  2. Peets Coffee SiteMobile-specific: Mobile specific configuration can look significantly different from a website viewed on a computer. Oftentimes, these sites utilize less text, larger links, and resizing features to make the mobile commerce experience easy for users. Mobile-specific sites usually use “m” as their subdomain. For example, Peet’s Coffee and Tea
    designs their mobile site to include elements from their website – but with larger buttons and links, and less text.
Effectively optimizing mobile content

Snapshot of the homepage when viewed from my phone

When reconfiguring your mobile site, there are several factors your company should consider for easy site viewing and usage. We’ve determined what we think are the most important factors for effective optimization.

The most im

portant thing to remember when optimizing for mobile is to keep things simple. Don’t overcrowd the user’s mobile screen with text and links – an overabundance of content can get overwhelming and leave the user frustrated. Instead of cramming an information surplus into a home page, use basic links and titles to make a shopping experience easy for your users.

As far as formatting goes, there are several different factors that can strengthen your mobile optimization.

One of my biggest qualms in mobile sites are links that are too small or too close together. When my

Heinz uses links that are way too small for anyone's thumbs
Heinz uses links that are way too small for anyone’s thumbs

thumbs are too large to click a single link on my phone, I oftentimes get so annoyed that I leave the site entirely. When this happens, I might check out a competitor’s site, and use that instead if its easier to use. Be sure that consumers are able to click on your links easily so they don’t leave you for your competition.

Similarly, your site’s text should carry over seamlessly to mobile as well. If you are not designing a site unique to your mobile device, your site should utilize text that is easy to read – even when it’s smaller. Large, cursive fonts that may look pretty on the computer can look like illegible scribbles on a small mobile device.

Companies should also be aware of which outside content they are bringing into their site. In particular, plug-ins like Flash or Java can be an Achilles’ heel for companies implementing them on mobile sites. Both Flash and Java are notorious for failing to be mobile friendly. Ensure that your users are able to experience all content by avoiding these entities.

Going forward

Optimizing mobile in the upcoming weeks will be a necessity for all businesses. And the sooner you get started with optimization, the more time your company can take to effectively optimize your content. Interested in learning about other ways you can utilize mobile? Check out our mobile personalization white paper to learn what personalization can do for your mobile marketing campaign.


Asking for your vote for SXSW Interactive 2014

SXSW Interactive: It’s huge. It’s music. It’s technology. It’s THE place to be in March of any given year.  And we at Nectar are very excited (and also honored, maybe a bit nervous) to say that we made it through the first gateway to speak at SXSW Interactive in Austin next year.

With this opportunity, we have a chance to share our vision–to bring hyper-personalization to the B2C masses.  We would love your vote to help us accomplish this.  With this in mind, we ask you to please vote for our talk, “Hyper-Personalized Marketing: Easy as 1-2-3”: The steps for voting are:

1) Setup your account:

2) Log in: //

3) Go to this page to vote for our submission: // Click the thumbs up icon so it turns green.

4) And you’re done.  (Feel free to comment of course.)

Thank you!

Patricia Blair, Nectar Online Media

And, Just Because You Have ‘Big Data’ is Not One of The Reasons to Get a DMP

Data Management Platform

Wondering where I’m going with this post because I said having Big Data is not one of the reasons to get a Data Management Platform (or DMP)? Read on …

The term Big Data is now like consultant — it means different things to different. { I’m in that group of folks that uses the term big data to describe our company … so, guilty as charged }. During a number of our meetings, the topics of data almost always comes up, whether it is about clean, dirty, big, small, or no data.

So, I thought in this post, I’d write about what a data management platform is and why many companies are moving from thinking about big data to data management.

Before I go much further, let me provide a brief description about what a data management platform is. To provide a perspective: a DMP is a system of processes and technologies that manages (or normalizes) your data to allow the business user to extract value / information easily from that aggregated data set.

Said another way: a DMP allows you to actually get your job as a marketer done (whether that is finding an insight, generating a report, building a model or executing a campaign).

How do you know your company needs a DMP? Here are the top five ways { Letterman countdown style }:


# 5 … You’ve Got More than 1 Data Source that is Updated Frequently — AT&T has Big Data because it has records about millions of us and every one of our calls logged … but so does MOOYAH Burgers (a fast-growing restaurant chain based right here in Dallas where we’re located). An important trait about the data, though, is that the information is updated frequently creating a need to continually process & normalize the data.

I’ve yet to come across a business that only has 1 data source … this particular reason means there are lots of companies out there that need DMPs.


# 4 … Your Data is Sitting With More Than 1 Vendor — Heard of the story from a marketing colleague where they say, “Well, I have to wait for agency X or company Y to give me a flat file so I can run my analysis”? Well, if you have more than 1 vendor you work with that produces data for you { think agency, social media platform, media buying, email operations, etc. } then maintaining a centralized data management platform is a strategic imperative to both ensure you have data that is well-connected but that you can also readily enable cross-channel or cross-data source analysis.


# 3 … You Have Marketing Operations that Rely on “Real-Time” Customer Data —  Basically, if you have a need for ‘production analytics’, the customer data management platform ensures that your data sources are loaded, processed, and normalized. The normalized data can then be readily used for analysis, reporting, or modeling to serve as inputs for a variety of activities & functions.

Example of marketing activities that require product analytics include:

> 1:1 mobile app recommendations

> Populating executive dashboards

> Churn or attrition modeling

> Customer life cycle behavioral triggers


# 2 … You are Focused on Marketing Objectives that Drive Revenue, Engagement, and Loyalty — { This would be our # 1 except that I have an even better # 1 in our top five reasons countdown. } There are so many different data sources, lots of different tools, and more data than you can have easily tied up into a pretty little package.

The problem is, as marketers we’re spending more & more of our time getting information ready for decision making and NOT enough time evaluating the data for decision making. Consequently, our role as a marketer is changing rapidly to spend valuable resources on data vs traditional marketing tactics.

Implementing a robust customer data management platform allows marketers to focus on marketing again.


# 1 … You’re a Data Rock Star and Don’t Have a Programming / Analytics or Related Degree — You are the go to person in your team just because you were able to build that awesome analysis { in Excel } by mashing together those 3 data sets about the product, customer, and behaviors. Everyone else is in awe and you were up for multiple nights in a row cleaning and doing all of those Lookups! { You know who you are! }

Going back to # 2 above, while you are a rock star for trudging through the data and likely getting hi-fives for having a reputation of getting things done, how much of a bigger rock star would you be if you were able to spend time devising that new campaign that grew engagement 15% or innovating on an existing promotional offer set, reducing costs 10%?

It’s time for that DMP.


Have any other reasons you’d add to the list? Drop me a comment below.

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The most recent retail sales figures from February surprised most people. Everyone expected a modest increase because of the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. But, WHOA, they were much better than the future prognosticators’ expectations. And the biggest winner? Amazon, eCommerce. Everything from a-z indeed.

Slate magazine said it best in their tweet: “Retail sales were up in February as Amazon just KILLED department stores.” According to Slate, general merchandisers (including department stores) saw sales declines of 4% while Amazon eCommerce saw 14% sales increases.

So now the question is why?  Why is Amazon eCommerce doing so well while similar brick-and-mortar stores aren’t? Let’s look at what Amazon does well:

  • They have a vast assortment, yet it’s relatively easy to find what you want in a very short amount of time.
  • You get your order when Amazon says you will and in the condition they say.
  • They offer adjunct services to keep you in the Amazon family (and website), like Prime, which not only gives you free shipping but lets you watch shows for free.
  • They allow you to shop on amazon on every device imaginable.
  • Customer service responds to your questions or concerns very quickly.
  • Returns are simple.

In other words, Amazon eCommerce makes the shopping experience easy, consistent and pleasurable.

But other department stores with online stores do this too, right?  Many of them do.

And many argued vociferously, as recently as a few months ago, that the reason Amazon was winning was because of the price advantage related to not having to charge taxes.  Well, guess what?  Amazon has started charging sales taxes and they’re STILL winning.

Could it be that not only do they make it easy, consistent and pleasurable, but they connect with us, the customers, because they seem to KNOW us?  How often have you gone to to browse for one thing and ended up buying more than you expected?  I have. Lots. And I contend that it’s because they always seem to know what I need (okay, it’s want). Regardless, I always buy more than I probably should because I like what Amazon recommends for me.  I like how they personalize my shopping experience.

Well, here at Nectar, not only can we personalize your company’s shopping experience, we can hyper-personalize it!  Want to learn more?  It’s easy. Contact us for a demo!

Want to learn more or just shoot the breeze about hyper-personalization?  Contact me at

Patricia Blair

VP Marketing, Nectar Online Media


Want more startup and social media info? Follow Nectar Online Media on Facebook & Twitter!

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Yesterday we were thrilled to be included in the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur round-up for ways to advertise your business under $100, and we got so inspired by the great ideas that we thought we would share a few with you! The best tactics for advertising your new business are those that will get your company noticed without having to spend thousands of dollars. Starting a business is no easy task, but with the right marketing, you can get in front of your ideal clientele and make every expenditure worth your while. Our number one idea for marketing is quick, inexpensive social media contests. Here are a few examples that we have used on our sites:

  • Twitter Contest: Simply have your readers and/or members re-tweet a message or mention your @company on Twitter, counting each tweet as a contest entry. You can include any other criteria you want, but the point is to get your company’s name out there as much as possible. After a week or so, choose a winner at random and reward them with a gift card or small prize, remembering to mention and thank them on Twitter! We did this contest successfully on BuyerHive.
  • Pinterest Contest: Pinterest is a great social media marketing tool and a great way for information and/or products from your company to circulate. For zuuzs and zuuzStyle, we custom-made an image and had people re-pin it as wells as products from our Pinterest boards, simultaneously entering a contest and promoting our sites!
  • Exchanging Links: Another method for social media marketing is to exchange links with similar blogs/websites. You can both promote each other’s giveaways, contests, events, and products and develop some cross-over in each other’s audiences. This is a great (free) way to get the word out about your business, as well as form lucrative partnerships in the industry!

Want more great marketing tips? Follow us on Twitter!

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MBTC Names Amrit Kirpalani as Emerging Company CEO Finalist for Tech Titans 2012

On July 20th, the MBTC announced Amrit Kirpalani a Finalist for the Emerging Company CEO Tech Titans 2012 award. This is a tremendous honor for me personally and for the entire Nectar Team. The announcement can be found HERE.

For a young, emerging company this type of ‘external’ recognition is important on a number of levels — it helps to bolster our credibility and gain some excellent exposure while also affirming our leadership in the predictive social commerce space. For our current (and future) team members, the recognition is a tremendous boost to our Mission and the hard work that goes into making it come alive everyday!

On behalf of the entire team, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our customers, partners, advisors, and the MBTC for helping us every step of the way.

While the outcome won’t be known until late August, just being on the ‘Finalist’ list is a tremendous honor!

(Husband, Father, Entrepreneur – Loves Life!
Founder & CEO, Nectar Online Media, Inc.)

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Nectar Online Media launches

BuyerHive helps small businesses increase their bottom-line via group buying & cash savings on everyday business purchases. If you buy office supplies, technology, travel, and a host of other items for your business, BuyerHive can help increase your bottom-line.

BuyerHive is looking for beta users and, in exchange, the beta users will receive free membership after beta!

Here’s How to Get Your FREE Beta Membership:

1. Sign Up for (takes less than 1 minute) — it’s free during beta but there will be a charge once we are out of beta. Our beta members, will receive membership to BuyerHive for free.

2. Make Your Online Purchases Through BuyerHive for Your Business
— we have more than 200 suppliers included and will be expanding to about 500 (currently the list includes Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot, Sam’sClub, eFax,, getaroom, and a bunch more!)

3. Share BuyerHive with 5-10 of Your Business Friends and Colleagues — BuyerHive is designed for organizations with less than 100 employees. You will have a personal link available after signing up.

4. Provide Feedback on the Site Itself
— If you are a member of (another Nectar Online site), you will see lots of similarities and a bunch of differences. Would love your feedback, what do you like? Not like? Which suppliers would you like to see added on? How can we better communicate what we do and who we are? Please send any feedback to

BuyerHive is a property of Nectar Online Media, a predictive social commerce company. Our platform helps predict the shopping occasion before the stated need is acted on by the user — serving highly relevant, timely offers via email, mobile apps, and on our own properties (,,

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