CMO Today: Meredith to Acquire Time Inc.; LittleThings Explores Options; The Perils of Over-Tracking Social Sentiment

Good morning. Happy Cyber Monday! That said, it seems some of you were celebrating slightly early this year. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the number of people visiting U.S. stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell 4% from last year, according to analysis from RetailNext. Meanwhile, Adobe said online sales increased 18% over that period. Make sure to check the photo-slider, comparing the lines outside a Best Buy store on Black Friday in 2011 with the far more casual scene this time around.

You Aren’t What You Tweet
If you’re a marketer taking backlash on Twitter, it can be tempting to drop everything and fire up the social media command center in a bid to prevent the online wildfires from hurting sales and the company’s share price. But, as the New York Times reports, a study from Engagement Labs, a company that analyzes consumer conversations about brands, found companies “often wrongly saw social media as an accurate and sufficient guide for tracking consumer sentiment.” In other words, people often say one thing online, but do another in real-life. (Spoiler: That friend on your Instagram flexing in their workout gear might not have made it to the gym this weekend.) Take Chick-fil-A, which was on the receiving end of a social media boycott campaign in 2012 when its chief executive made comments opposing same-sex marriage. Sales rose 12% that year. Elsewhere, Wendy’s received lots of positive buzz for its sassy “fresh, never frozen beef” social campaign, but it hasn’t converted that sentiment into sales. Perhaps because, when surveyed offline, most people didn’t care because they freeze their own beef at home.

Read the full The Wall Street Journal article, here.

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