Weekly Roundup featuring Amazon, Office Depot, J. Crew, 23andMe and more…

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Happy Friday, Digital Diary readers! Just yesterday we had our CMO Day West Coast Assembly in downtown San Francisco. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in some great workshop sessions and panel discussions throughout the day. Stay tuned for a recap post on the assembly! In the meantime, let’s take a look at the top stories that happened this week in Healthcare, Marketing, Retail and Security/Enterprise.

Marketing

Amazon

You’ll likely see more sponsored ads as you search through the site. In order for companies to get a featured ad onto Amazon, they must bid to have their products featured while consumers search. Earlier this summer, a test was done and in May alone, about 8% of views on Amazon product pages were from sponsored links.

Hennessey

The cognac brand teamed up with director, Ridley Scott, to create a film for the new Hennessey X.O., which will be released next year. The film is called, “Worlds of Greatness” and takes viewers on a visual journey to explore the seven different tastes of the liquor.

Back to School

Both Target and Office Depot gained market share this year during back-to-school shopping season. To do this, the two stores bid on brand-specific search terms of their competitors. Examples of search terms being, “Staples back to school sale,” bid by Office Depot and companies like JCPenney, Shein and Sears bid on the term, “back to school clothes.”

Retail

J. Crew

The newly created J. Crew Marketplace takes orders, payments, and provides tracking for a number of their products including accessories, footwear and lingerie. The brand brings the team directly to the customer. Like drop-shipping, marketplaces offer retailers a way to expand their merchandising with less risk.

Walmart

Soon we may see large grocery store vending machines. Walmart is testing this idea in Texas at the moment, and a kiosk will act as a vending machine for online grocery orders. Customers can order their groceries online and pick up their orders all packed up and ready to go without having to deal with employees. There is no cost for the service but you must spend at least $30.

Banana Republic

The Gap-owned clothing chain announced a partnership with mobile dating app, Bumble. The two companies will host a week long pop-up during NY Fashion Week. At the Banana flagship store downtown, the Bumble Hive NYC event will take place where a “No Boundaries” panel will occur, hosted by Bumble’s co-heads of creative. They’ll be discussing life with no boundaries which is a consistent theme with Banana Republic’s brand image of exploration.

Security/Enterprise

Google

The Google Cloud Platform’s AI and machine learning department is saying goodbye to its head, Fei-Fei Li. Li will begin an advisor role and will return to Stanford University as a Professor. Replacing Li at Google will be Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Andrew Moore.

Microsoft

The company is looking towards a new software development process, Azure DevOps. This will support a full software development life cycle, starting from concept and ending at delivery. With this new work, Azure DevOps will allow customers to move legacy data center applications to Azure as opposed to other cloud providers. This is a new era for Microsoft.

Healthcare

23andMe

The genetic testing company is potentially adding a deeper dive into their services. There is a new premium product for $749 but when existing users tried clicking on the link, no information was revealed. The company wanted to gauge interest in this product, but there are no current plans to launch the service.

Mayo Clinic

Expansion projects in Arizona and Florida are taking place with a $648 million budget for Phoenix and $144 million for Jacksonville. This will include support services, new clinical space and of course, new jobs. With this expansion, Mayo Clinic will have a better handle on the demand of patients with complex medical conditions in the southwestern US.

Bon Secours-Mercy Health

The systems have officially completed their merger. They will be creating one of the largest healthcare systems in the country with 43 hospitals across seven states and plan to pull in annual revenue of $8 billion.

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