The regime change in Egypt and the protests across the Middle East have added to the hype on social media. I am one of digital’s biggest fans. But to say that Facebook and Twitter are in some way responsible for these developments is an exaggeration.
Yet I find the same conversations and perspectives also are happening in retail. More people are saying that the new digital channels will replace traditional analog models. I say digital needs to be an important part of your marketing program, maybe the most important based on your business model, but it can’t replace real world products, services and stores.
What could be more fun than some lively discussion of this topic?
If you agree, then join me at the National Retail Federation’s (www.nrf.com) Retail Innovation and Marketing Conference (http://events.nrf.com/innovate11/public/enter.aspx) in San Francisco on March 10. You’ll experience a panel of CMOs who have three very different takes on digital:
- Lee Applbaum, EVP and CMO of RadioShack Corporation (http://tinyurl.com/4ftmshh), takes a multichannel approach. The company has more than 5,000 retail stores plus a robust ecommerce site. He can speak to how these two approaches complement each other.
- Brian Beitler, EVP and CMO for David’s Bridal (http://tinyurl.com/4pu8d4g), is responsible for all digital, mobile and social marketing activities (among others) in an industry that will always require a physical environment. He can speak to how listening to customers is driving digital brand innovations.
- Anna Fieler, VP of Marketing at Tiny Prints (http://tinyurl.com/4v9d227), operates within a digital model – developing stationery online. She can speak to how this performs, and the ways that digital allows for product customization in a mass market platform.
I am lucky enough to moderate this general session, called Fact or Fiction—Is the Digital Ecosystem the Future of Retail? (http://tinyurl.com/4u43kkj). Come and participate in this discussion. Send me questions via this blog or on my twitter page.
Look forward to a robust discussion.