Recently, censhare hosted a roundtable at the Internet Retailing Conference in London Internet Retailing Conference . The session, themed “turning content Hell to content Hello”, discussed the next wave of customer engagement for retailers and this blog post shares some of the insights that we picked up at the event.
The Internet Retailing Conference brings together every type of retailer of every size and configuration that you could think of from across the retail industry; from those that strive for excellence in their marketing campaigns and customer experience to those that are just starting and looking for information and insight in order to make that jump to the next level of engagement.
It’s well documented that retailers have taken a major hit over the last few years, at least retailers who have not taken measures to move their business from their brick and mortar past to their cyber future. Most recently the iconic toy store, Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy , amid a backlash from analysts reminding them that they chose their own fate.
So, there were some interesting conversations taking place directly with the guys on the sharp end of digital disruption.
A topic that generated a lot of discussion was retailers being publishers. More than ever before, marketers have to think strategically and their publishing strategy is becoming one of the most strategic disciplines within their businesses.
As we have discussed before on this blog , marketers are now publishers who manage many different pieces of content and are approached by their customers on almost every channel available in different languages and on their terms. And if that doesn’t sound daunting enough, they also demand personalized content to help them through their buying process.
The table held a number of people in different stages of their journey and looking for a way to either grow and handle their current content and customer journeys or for advice on how to break down their silos across their business.
The discussion strayed from technology and the topic of confidence came up. It takes a lot of confidence in a vendor to trust that it can truly help with their unique problems. It also takes confidence in themselves to move forward and change the way things have been done for generations.
While personalization has gone beyond a topic of discussion for many marketers and become a standard part of marketing strategy, the line between comfortable intimacy and clumsy intrusion is still unidentifiable for some marketers, veterans included.
We discussed how the effectiveness of operations in this area will determine success. But it was highlighted that finding that line is of utmost importance, because how else can customer leaders transform an often complex and fractured sets of tools, processes and people from a potentially alienating customer hell to a big, warm “hello!”?
This is just a very short summary of the day’s three hottest topics but we hope that you enjoyed reading about our insightful discussions. Thanks to my colleague Paulo Newman, for sharing this experience.