The rise of the internet has meant big changes for customer service, according to a new eMarketer report, “Multichannel Customer Service: Best Practices for Building Retail Loyalty.” Consumers today have an array of digital customer service tools at their disposal, the newest of which include live chat, social networks and smartphones.

When I headed up media planning and buying at BBDO Media in the 1990s and early 2000s for clients like Visa, Bayer, DuPont, FedEx and Charles Schwab, most plans were rooted in traditional media vehicles.  In the mid ‘90s, the Internet was still an “emerging” medium, and it was hard to get a grip

After being little more than a blip on the radar in 2007, social media is now essential to marketing in the retail industry.

In his fascinating new book The Signal and the Noise, New York Times political blogger Nate Silver discusses what he calls the “prediction learning curve,” a model for mapping the relationship between effort and prediction accuracy. Not surprisingly, the relationship strongly resembles the well-known Pareto Effect—i.e. about 20 percent of the initial effort (time, money, effort) yields about 80 percent of the prediction accuracy.

Google began a campaign last year to help Get American businesses online by giving free webites to businesses, and hosting events to teach individuals how to create their site, learn Adwords and other Google platforms.

Much marketer focus has turned to whether their rich media ads are even in-view, which would likely affect whether the ads are clicked on or result in conversions. And research suggests that for ads that are not in-view, the difference in clicks is significant.

To assemble an accurate portrait of consumer behavior is highly complex, and possibly the biggest challenge in marketing today. Companies must overcome hurdles not only limited to the technological difficulty of collecting disparate data sets from traditional and digital platforms.

As content creators look to keep audiences interested and clicking on more assets, they would do well to consider audience composition, as research suggests demographics can have a substantial effect on how web users behave once they have found interesting content.

Univision Communications Inc. announced the launch of UVideos, the first bilingual digital video network, on Xbox LIVE. Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers can now access the best in Hispanic programming via the UVideos application on their Xbox 360.

When it comes to devices, kids’ holiday wish lists are simple this year. The most-wanted gifts are predominantly from one company—Apple.

Most parents of teenagers are concerned about what their teenage children do online and how their behavior could be monitored by others.

Consumers in Latin America are making more and more travel purchases online as individual markets begin to see higher internet penetration. In “Internet & Media 101” from September 2012, Barclays Capital forecasted that Latin America will lead all world regions in online travel sales growth through 2016, increasing by more than 30% on a yearly basis through 2013.

Evidence for the effectiveness of mobile advertising keeps rolling in—and goes beyond clickthroughs and any question of “fat fingers” vs. real engagement.

US Digital Media Usage: A Snapshot of 2013, an infographic report from eMarketer, illustrates key digital media usage trends that are critical for marketers to understand as they develop campaigns to target the growing online and mobile populations.

The study shows that more than half of large brands are now using custom brand videos in their marketing, and when it comes to distribution, most favor “native advertising” approaches where content is visually integrated into the organic site experience, as opposed to running in standard display ad formats. The study also shows that the majority of marketers now prefer choice-based formats over interruptive formats.