U.S. Cyber vulnerability ‘It’s akin to knowing about the hijackers pre 9/11 and doing nothing”

Why are we not demanding that our pipeline companies, refineries, chemical facilities, municipal water and electrical utilities prove that they are doing the best that they can to counter this serious cybersecurity vulnerablity?

NSA: ‘Traumatic’ cyber attack coming

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Are people who consume digital content ‘readers?’

If you would only like to answer the question in the headline without going  further, then please just enter your answer in the comments by clicking here, or scroll down.

It frustrates me that companies, especially media organizations – especially newspapers – use the term “readers” to describe people who consume digital content and interact with the content of their Web pages. Even the Internet/Web-only Huffington Post refers to their followers, users, community, audience as ‘readers.’

The use of the label ‘reader’ frustrates me because it is a term that harkens back to the one-way-communication, and information-gate-keeper media before the Internet or Web and smart phone applications.

Here is the definition of “reader’ from the Miram-Webster dictionary.

read·er

noun \ˈrē-dər\

: a person who reads a book, magazine, newspaper, etc.

: a machine that is used for reading text or information that is stored on film, tape, etc.

: a book that is used to learn how to read or to practice reading in your own language or in a foreign language

Notice that the very first definition makes no reference to digital content. If you think that the “etc” in the definition gives us an opening to use the term, then it is probably a good idea to check into the Wishful Thinking Hotel down the street and join the rest of the old school journalists, publishers, and even Huffington post.

The following is a 2007 video interview with Jay Rosen author of ”People formally known as the audience.” Other than a political opinion he voiced, this is worth a watch – at least for five minutes.

 

If a particular style book requires the use of the word ‘reader’ to describe the “people formerly known as the audience,” then it should be changed.

While there are words that are ‘read’ on many Web sites, most webmasters take advantage of the video, audio and animation capabilities of HTML5, Java, Flash, etc. to provide a much different interactive experience or UX (User Experience). ‘Readers’ are passive and by definition are using a piece of physical paper or bound book.

I am not trying to persuade by claiming, “The dictionary says so.” I am simply trying to understand why Rosen’s “people formerly known as the audience” have the epithet “reader” tacked to them by very forward-looking, new media organizations.

My suggestion? I like think of these people as the “community.” Isn’t that where digital media is heading? If a media organization is not attempting to either establish a community or join a community with whom to discuss, share and contribute, then the end for that organization is already in sight, IMHO. At the very least media companies and content marketers should attempt to join an existing community.

The Huffington Post “community” instead of “readers.”

Language is not keeping up with communication technology. Just a thought…

My mind is not completely made up regarding this. Can you help me with this?

What would you call “the people formally known as the audience?” Frankly, “audience” beats the hell out of “readers.”

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Disruptive as the Industrial Revolution: Contextual and location based marketing

29 July 2014 – UPDATE: The Location-based marketing class will now be held at the University of Toledo as a face-to-face class, Spring Semester 2015

That’s how some have described the impact of today’s rapidly-changing technology – as disruptive as the original Industrial Revolution. Communication has been turned inside-out and to remain current, businesses must rethink their approach to marketing.

You may have heard the phrase: “Content is King.” But it’s no longer enough to understand the interests of your customers. In today’s world, you need to be able to provide information of value to them, as INDIVIDUALS, WHERE & WHEN they need it. This is not only for retail, but also applies to business to business marketing.

This is CONTEXTUAL, LOCATION-BASED MARKETING and it is the future of successful marketing. Providing information for people that is timely and personal. Simply put – providing information wherever your customers need it.

A scene from the 2002 movie, “Minority Report” let’s glimpse the direction marketing is going. I used italics for “direction” because it would be foolish to claim that a science fiction movie is what the future will be like. StarTrek wasn’t so far off, though.

The most valuable information is that closest to an individual’s situational awareness. “Will that car hit me in the crosswalk?” Walking by Starbucks, I see a “Frappuccino special” banner. “Hmmm. Do I have time to stop in and pick one up?”

That’s it. Your content has to be able to add value by providing relevant, immediate information that is useful to assist your audience as individuals in their “context.”
Apple, and some other companies with foresight already have the technology to provide this marketing tool to retailers. Business people need to integrate this concept into their marketing efforts. If you already have, then please add to this discussion by posting in the comments, below.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, I invite you to join an online marketing class I will be teaching this Spring 2015 at the University of Toledo. “CONTEXTUAL, LOCATION-BASED MARKETING” is the first of its kind at UT, and I am excited about the possibilities it brings.

There is no text book – the material would be dated before it was published. Instead, I will lead an on-line discussion using real-world examples and multi-media materials. We’ll explore this new concept of “CONTEXTUAL MARKETING.” We’ll look at businesses that already have incorporated it into their marketing plan. And we’ll look at how these principles can be applied to other organizations.

At the end of class, you’ll be able to integrate mobile, contextual marketing into current marketing efforts in order to provide timely (immediate if possible) value to the end user or audience in their immediate situation.

No one will be asked to study the inner workings of this technology. You will be able to apply it by understanding the capabilities of current technology and where those technologies are heading in the future.

I am passionate about this, so let’s get going!

Here’s the information to register: MKTG 4980-003 30766 Sp. Topics: Contextual & Location-Based Mktg 3 MW 12:30-1:45 pm 40 ST-N 2140 Instructor: Paul Hem

As more information becomes available, I will add it here.

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Social media: Misunderstood and misused by many businesses

 

 

 

 

 

A friend, who is involved with social media content marketing as a consultant, said he was backing away from mentioning social media early in the conversation with marketing clients. He found that unless he knew the details of a prospect’s marketing plan, then it would be relatively useless to recommend the use of social media.

For many, social media marketing is putting up a Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest page, etc with the belief that the viral magic will begin. Social media consultants ask about their customer’s marketing plan, only to hear, “Thanks, but we want you to put up a Facebook page about this product for us.” “Why do you need to know our marketing plan?” “We already have a plan. We just need that Facebook page.” So, the consultant dutifully creates a bang-up Facebook page for this special product. And it ends there. What also ends is the client’s interest in social media as a marketing tool. Why? Because just putting up a Facebook page without integrating it into the planning phase of a marketing campaign will not show results. A Facebook page may not even be the best channel to use.

I do not intend to be repetitive. However, this is just too important. Some clients believe that because their target market demographic uses a certain social media site that this target market will see their Facebook page, or clever tweets, photos, etc. Like a billboard on a highway, right? Wrong! Social media must be integrated with the marketing plan.

One example of social media integration with legacy media, that one might recognize, is a TV show or commercial that has a Twitter hashtag. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars has their hashtag in the lower part of the TV viewing screen. Dr. Pepper, and others have had success with Twitter hashtags in TV commercials. Another would be newspaper advertisers using QR Codes to engage their target market by taking them to their eCommerce site, Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest and on and on… Notice that none of these advertisers created a social media page or presence so that their target market might somehow find it. They use their other legacy media content and integrate it with social media. I have seen many businesses displaying QR Codes on flyers and even posting them on their business windows with “‘Like’ us on Facebook,” underneath them and/or another QR Code with “Check in with Foursquare.” But what will the QR Code user see when he or she land on that page using their smart phone? Will there be content worth “liking?” Or is the product Web site even mobile-friendly? Granted, Foursquare is a game, but even Foursquare needs some content. Even contests have to have some description before directing prospects from Facebook, Twitter, etc. to the contest registration page.

Content is king

After deciding to integrate social media with legacy advertising, what’s next? Content. A Facebook page that does not have frequently updated content and/or links to that updated content will not be frequently visited, and first time visitors who see dated information will probably leave and not return. Content must be planned over the course of the campaign (or indefinitely for a company Facebook page) and placed on your Web site or blog. Jingles and advertising speak are despised by most social media users. The business should use its current Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels to link to the content on a Web site or blog.

Much has been written about social media use and content. Innumerable books, articles and blog posts have been written about using social media for marketing. Most marketers do not have time to read them, but their social media marketing consultant/manager/specialist should and does. So, please use social media wisely. Work with a consultant or a social media specialist who wants to know your marketing plan(s).

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Facebook has changed. Have you?

Anyone who has been using Facebook more than six months for business pages has had the rug pulled out from under their marketing efforts at least once. Sure, we recover and continue with Facebook, but we lose time at each instance of Facebook upgrading, or changing rules.

We (all?) can agree that Facebook must be currently profitable and promising for future returns or its stock will take a dive. Remember when Mark Zuckerberg and Pricilla Chan honeymooned just after his Facebook IPO launched in May 2012? In case you forgot, the stock fell precipitously while Mark and wife were traveling all over the world. After that fiasco, I didn’t expect anything other than squeezing every dime out of Facebook until it begins to hurt user retention. Yeah, we all heard that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want Facebook to be a “company.” After all, Zuckerberg’s 730 million dollar acquisition of Instagram may only be the beginning. So, let us not begrudge the Z’s Facebook profitability. He fought long and hard against the twins to retain control of his baby.

Falling off of the algorithm

The algorithm is what Facebook is using to personalize what a person sees on his or her timeline. I bet you thought that every fan saw each of your posts. Buy an ad or “promote a post” and algorithms are not used, every ad and promoted posts are seen by your fans, for the time being. Just watch, changes will be made.

After that honeymoon, rapid changes began with Facebook’s algorithm. The programming for ads and “promoted posts” were either changed or newly created. This was a result of Mr. Z requiring each of his product managers to recommend changes that would increase profitability. Previously, there were only three criteria that the algorithm used. Now, I have been reading that 100,000 weight factors are used for the new algorithm. I can not go through each and every weight factor because they are secret and I don’t know them, so feel free to use the comment section to enlighten us with what you know. (If you have a lot to say, please contact me, so you can guest-post here. It is worth a separate post.) With that said some weight factors are known because their creators have been interviewed and revelations of a few of the weight factors for the algorithm have occurred during those interviews. Facebook fans with slow Internet connections may mean no posts with photos, videos or graphics will appear on their timeline. Another weighs how many likes and shares your deal or coupons have garnered after you have posted them. That means your Facebook offer may not be seen by many of your fans until hours later.

Therefore, please do not think that by creating a Facebook page, you are reaching all of your fans with those great deals or coupons. I realize that they “liked” your Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean that the Facebook algorithm will let them see all of the posts from you.

Fortunately, there are some adjustments that can be made to your content that will make sure it is seen. The popularity of the content, along with 99,999 factors determine what is seen and what is not seen.

The heck with Facebook then

No. Saying “The heck with Facebook, then…,” is not the answer. Some brands have seen that fan engagement has increased since the algorithm change. So, they are reaping the results of placing content that their fans are interested in either because a post is entertaining, interesting, solves a problem, or is just fun. Remember Facebook and other social media still have great potential to increase leads, as you have been told. It is the usefulness of the content of your posts that matter to your fans.

Media investment management firm GroupM recently looked into advertisers’ concerns. “The firm analyzed 25 Facebook brand pages in a recent study into the new algorithm. They found 38 percent decline in consumer reach following Facebook’s recent changes. Not everything soured following Facebook’s algorithm shakeup. Engagement was reported to be up, according to GroupM. The study found that engagement for individual posts was up 96 percent following the new algorithm implementation.’What brands can do now in the new Facebook environment, and in light of deeper insights made possible as a result of the change, is better understand the impact post types have and marry that data with a publishing schedule and content creation plan,’ GroupM said in its study.”

Even though everything is changing rapidly, your company can still use Facebook effectively. It just may take a little more work.

What have you found to work well with Facebook’s new algorithm? What has not?

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Secor Road opening party: Toledo businesses to celebrate end of road construction

13ABC interviews The Blade Vanessa McCray regarding The Blade\'s Secor Open Road Party Sonsored By Sears

Secor Road is open for business
Secor looks great. Now, let’s reconnect!
Go straight to the latest updates
Update1
Update2
Update3
Update4: Download a map and schedule of events for the party.

Secor Road travelers have been in gridlock during one part of the day or another for close to six months. Many used different routes to avoid the area altogether. And that’s when businesses began to suffer. Instead of shopping or eating at their favorite places, many Toledoans just found another place to spend their money.

Sales were in decline even back in March and April for many Secor Road businesses. Twenty to 30 percent decline in sales was common for the 161 retailers on Secor. Business reporter Jon Chavez reported the losses in his April news story,“Secor Road project drilling away at local stores’ profits.” Jon interviewed one retail executive who said, “We are down over previous years’ sales by six digits and climbing.” Employees’ hours at the businesses have been reduced significantly during the construction siege. The City Of Toledo decided to do something about it when the road work ended.

A Road opening party

The Blade’s Bonnie Hunter did not know when she answered her phone that her life would change. A City of Toledo official called Bonnie for help with a “project.” But it didn’t take long for Bonnie to realize this was going to be a huge undertaking. The idea was to have a Secor Road opening party in order for businesses to reconnect with their customers – in a big way.

Bonnie went right to The Blade’s Director of Sales, Mike Mori to bring up the subject. Bonnie knew that Mike has had years of experience with organizing events. When Mike agreed to go forward with the idea, Bonnie was not surprised. But she was impressed with the commitment she would have to make. Jim Williams:, Retail Sales Manager, joined the team very early and they were off. The Blade’s marketing, retail advertising sales, circulation and others met and teamed up to find a way to assist local retailers and The City of Toledo to bring the customers back to their favorite Secor Road establishment.

The event has a name:’The Blade’s Secor Road Opening Party, Sponsored By Sears’

***
The original plan was to have a reopening party on Secor Road, extending from Sylvania Avenue to Central Avenue. That was modified by extending the coverage to Dorr Street. Every business had economic consequences from the months of construction from Alexis Road to Dorr Street. And that is where it settled. All businesses on Secor from Alexis Road to Dorr Street are being asked to participate. The date for the party was set for October 19, 2013.

Would you and/or your employees help?

The first meeting with Secor Road business people in early September found eight business people in attendance. The very next week brought 30 business owners and leaders together. Even more are expected to attend the next meeting.

There will be some exciting events that include resources from businesses the size of the University of Toledo to family-owned shops.

161 businesses are eligible to participate. Events and contests for your customers and prospects should exceed any other venue in the area. Let’s talk details! How about some discussion here, using this blog? Make comments and put forth your ideas, below.

Join us on Twitter at #secorparty

Join the Facebook Group

 

UPDATE: The Secor Open Road Party progresses with food, prizes, haunted house

Jim WIlliams, The Blade’s Retail Manager, reports that the number of participating businesses is rising. However, he says that “We have a lot more to do.” And it is looking like we are going to have an event that will help us bring back our regular customers and, perhaps, interest many more. For example***

Rides for children and adults are now planned.

  • We are pleased to announce Sears Westgate as the Presenting Sponsor for this event! Sears Westgate is also offering one $1,000 gift card for the event drawing
  • Home Depot is offering two $1,000 gift cards for the drawing
  • Westgate Shopping Center is providing a flat screen TV as a drawing prize.
  • Eye Glass World is providing the drawing with two $150 gift cards
  • There will be a food court from local vendors
  • Ballas Buick GMC is sponsoring a non-profit village. The Red Cross and Imagination Station are among those pitching in.
  • Educational entertainment for kids from The City of Toledo, including a fire truck
  • A haunted house will be featured
  • The Toledo Zoo will have a replica of one of its animals
  • Geddis Paving and Excavating is showcasing the high tech construction equipment
  • University of Toledo will have buses from and to U.T. for the Navy game and tailgate party.
  • TLC is providing shuttles for transport around the party
  • The Lucas County Library will participate with one of its mobile assets.

More to come!

September 19, 2013

Great meeting today with Secor Road business leaders

**The event’s official name is now The Blade’s Secor Open Road Party, Sponsored by Sears.

Russ’ Car wash will be furnishing exterior express wash coupons as prizes for the Secor Open Road Facebook page.

Mike Mori helped us visualize the layout by drawing the location of rides, games, contests and much more.

Mike Mori is showing the team what the even will look like

Mike Mori is showing the team what the even will look like

Rides? Did someone say rides?
Meet The Rocket

The Rocket Ride - For helping little rockets ready to become big U.T. Rockets!

September, 26, 2013

Stella, from Geddis Paving and Excavating, Inc described a seventy-five foot, high-tech vehicle display, and a huge dump truck that will blow the minds of all the little “Bob The Builder” fans out there. I know my grandkids will just be delighted with that!

James Ferguson, The Toledo Fire Department’s Education Officer, described a ladder truck with the ladder deployed high in the sky. The Toledo Fire Department will also include a fire engine and a rescue squad vehicle for their display.

Mike Mori, The Blade’s Director of Sales, listed some of the bands that would be playing. He also said that he would hire a band that Millennials might like will be added. Of course, the Millennial generation has varied tastes in genres. He would like the additional band to attract U.T. students and others in the age group.

It was also mentioned that the physical size of the event may require some impinging upon the Sears parking lot. We were informed by a representative of Westgate Village that Sears understood and agreed to some use of their parking lot.

More details regarding the food court and manning the beer garden were discussed. The conclusion with both of those is that participating business people would volunteer to check ID’s and generally provide security.

There are more details that were discussed after the meeting. I will learn what those details are and post them here, and/or the Facebook Group Page.

***Please note that the event planning is in progress and more information will be added as they are reported.

Join us on Twitter at #secorparty

Like the Facebook Page
Join the Facebook Group

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Winner of The Blade’s TAB2B 2013 Exposition drawing is: Lisa Kelly Lutman

Lisa Kelly Lutman win The Blade drawing from TAB2B Expo 2013

Lisa Kelly Lutman, right, accepts her iPad Mini from The Blade’s Connie Cross. Lisa won The Blade’s drawing at the TAB2B Expo 2013

The Toledo Area Business To Business Expo 2013 easily filled the Pinnacle in Maumee. It was a turnout of exhibitors and attendees in which the TAB2B members should take great pride.

The most surprising thing about the exposition was the diversity of disciplines that the exhibitors represented. There were computer services, communication technology companies and many others running the gamut from business flooring and furnishings to therapy firms

Lisa Kelly Lutman, owner of Alternative Therapy, Ltd., was particularly glad she attended after she won an iPad in The Blade’s drawing. Connie Cross, one of The Blade’s Digital Media Consultants visited Lisa at Alternative Physical Therapy to deliver the prize. She saw firsthand just how busy Lisa is. Connie’s first attempt at a meeting would have brought her poolside while Lisa was performing therapy.

Alternative Physical Therapy’s website lists therapies for stroke/head injuries, spinal, neck and back issues, along with treatment for fibromyalgia. As someone who had a relative suffering from fibromyaglia, I wish I had known about Alternative Physical Therapy six months ago. The word “painful” is an understatement when describing one of the symptoms that my family member experienced

We are very happy to award the iPad Mini to Lisa. The Blade’s advertising staff and I have learned about a great Toledo-area business that will be providing the Toledo area with its alternative therapies for many years. I hope many future patients will find relief from Lisa’s company.

If you would like to contribute and/or write guest blog here, please contact me. Let’s keep showcasing all the great products and services the Toledo-area has to offer.

 

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Why attend local Toledo Area Exhibitions or Conferences?

Toledo Area Business to Business Expo 2012
PHOTO: Toledo Area Business to Business Expo 2012

Many business people are wary of attending conferences, expositions, trade shows, and other seemingly time wasters in an already packed schedule. In these lean times, the absence of any employee from a small business would be a major loss of supervision, productivity and perhaps even sales.

I know this from experience. A few years ago (Well, maybe more than a few years…), I worked with hundreds of family-owned suppliers of durable medical equipment and welding equipment. The industry segments these family-owned firms represented had a rapidly-changing (for the 1980s) government regulation challenge, along with technological changes.

To remain current and relevant, many of these small business owners, company officers, technicians and even a few lobbyists were attending expositions and trade shows across the United States. I remember meeting  fellow Toledoans in Denver and Atlanta, to name only two locations. The small business owners I met understood the need to continually learn more in order to stay up-to-date and gain an edge on their competition.

I hope, like them, you understand how critical networking is in today’s business world.

For Toledo area business leaders, marketers, and owners, the TAB2B Expo 2013 (Toledo Area Business to Business Expo) is a FREE and proven Toledo area resource. Last year’s TAB2B expo was so popular, organizers had to move the venue this year to The Pinnacle in Maumee for more room.

The Blade will be there with one of our new digital marketing programs, Reach Toledo.  Despite the title, this event is relevant to any businesses in Northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan. We’ll be featuring our new service and giving away some great swag.

I hope you’ll join me June 19, 2013 for this year’s TAB2B Expo . Stop by The Blade booth to say “hello” and learn more about Reach Toledo. The event runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. so it shouldn’t be that much of a disruption to your work day. And the payoff will be well worth your time spent out of the office.

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Toledo area businesses – Attend U. Toledo digital communication conference

UHeart Digital Media logo

 

UPDATE May 3, 2013: The (Toledo) Blade’s Kirk Baird shares another reason why #business managers/officers/owners attend @UToledo‘s @uhrtdgtl 5/10/13 – Set a digital example for your employees tol.bz/164potp Win an iPad at The Blade’s booth!

“Digital media.” How many times have you or your associates seen or used that term? If you are like me, then you have heard it more than enough. But what does the term really mean? And how does it apply to your business?

The University of Toledo is offering the community a day devoted to this area at the May 10, 2013 “uHeart Digital Media” conference . Organizers have gathered an  impressive group of industry experts to share their experience and knowledge.

So Why is The (Toledo) Blade sponsoring this event?  Despite its 175-year-old history,  The Blade is continually working to help its employees remain up-to-date  in the ever-changing media world. Our mission is to most effectively use the latest digital technology and strategies to provide the best media products/product mixes to our news audience and our advertising customers.

The uHeart Digital Media conference is about business communication. All businesses are publishers. The theme of the uHeart Digital Media conference is “Pushing the boundaries of publishing, creating and deploying content strategically.“  Today, businesses have to tell their stories to a more sophisticated, and digitally immersed consumer – your customers and prospects. Legacy advertising still has its place. However, shouldn’t you consider more digital engagement with your prospects and customers?

Here are some of the questions that can at least be better understood  after attending: “What are digital communication best practices?” “What are the latest digital communication technologies?” “Do I or my designated “social media expert” or marketing person know what others are doing and which digital media strategy is best for my company?”

Still not sure whether to attend?  Check out some interviews of some of the speakers conducted by UT’s vice president of external affairs on WJR, News Radio 760.

Be sure to stop by The Blade booth to check out ReachToledo - One of our new digital products. With ReachToledo, The Blade is your digital advertising agency. ReachToledo can do it all for your business, or whatever areas of digital communication you need to strengthen.

Fill out a form at The Blade booth and register for our free Online Visibility Audit for your company or organization. The Blade’s Online Visibility Audit includes a three point inspection and consultation, and includes a reputation audit.

Also, we have some free gifts, so stop by get your swag, and enter to win an iPad. Hope to see you there!

 

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Small businesses: turn showrooming into sales

Credit to Barber Design Consultancy, London, U.K.

Many small retailers have a clientele who are loyal. These repeat customers would inform the store owner or manager if they were seeing competitive prices that might tempt them to shop elsewhere. However, if you, as a retailer, are wondering whether you are missing some sales or are watching competitors tap into a new market that interests you, then read on.

Small retailers who want to convert some of the smartphone shopping crowd into customers, might want to consider making a few changes to capture their share of this group.

What is “showrooming?” to quote a previous post showrooming is “…inspecting merchandise in a physical store, then purchasing the identical product from an online merchant; using a physical store as a showroom for an online merchant.” The post was written in August 2012. Now, showrooming is widely reported in the media – mostly about sales lost by Best Buy, Target and Wall Mart, and how they are changing their strategies to stop the bleeding and take advantage of the phenomena. However, little information seems to be available to smaller local or regional retailers.

There are some things that the large stores are doing that might give a smaller retailer some ideas. Here is part of Target’s antidote to holiday showrooming.

Target’s policy on price matching…

  •  Excludes “Marketplace” prices:  Price matched items must be sold by Walmart.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, or BabiesRUs.com; prices from 3rd party sellers on these websites will not be honored.
  •  Excludes Target stores in Alaska and Hawaii.
  •  Limit quantity of 1 online price match per identical item, per guest.
  •  Must bring in original Target receipt when requesting the price match by Dec. 16.
  •  The retail price must be shown on the competitor’s website and must be valid at the time the price match is requested.
  •  The item must be the identical item, brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model number.
  •  Online prices from Nov. 22–26 are excluded.
  •  Excludes online prices from competitors not listed above.

To read all of Target’s policy, please visit this link.

https://corporate.target.com/about/shopping-experience/our-low-price-promise

From the above, it appears that as long as Target trains their associates/employees, then they will be able to manage showrooming.

I am not suggesting that you copy Target’s policy and make it yours. Now that you are aware of the details of Target’s policy, you can now engage a shoowroomer. The Target policy can be a conversation starter that allows you or your employees to deliver your value proposition. We all know the advantages to buying locally. Those advantages could be a part of your value proposition. Bill Horvath of Toledo Choose Local posted a study that might help.

Taking the time for detecting showroomers during a crowded holiday shopping day, is not conducive to business – you have more important things to do. Post a large QR Code for showroomers to scan either in your window, door or in the middle of the store or both. What to have on your mobile landing page? This is just one page, not a whole Web site. How about your logo and some text that reads, “Ask us if you see a better price online. We would appreciate the opportunity to help you purchase from local businesses.” You do not necessarily have to identify your QR Code with an explanation. The majority of people who showroom know what QR Codes are.

The Blade can help local businesses with showrooming issues.

Many consider The Blade to be only a newspaper. While we are a great newspaper, we are also a top-notch news video, audio, and Web content producer, with millions of visitors to our Web site, toledoblade.com, and tens of thousands of users of our iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle news applications. We can assist you to reach your target market and engage your customers and prospects.

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