Mobile All the Talk at 'Catalog' Conference
In more than a couple of conversations I had with attendees at directXchange, the following question was posed to me: What are you hearing about what other retailers are doing in mobile? My answer: Most don't know yet … but they know it's important. Such was the case at NEMOA, where catalogers were discussing the merits of sacrificing creative design and valuable page real estate for the functionality of QR codes. They didn't have the answers as of yet, but the encouraging sign was that the conversation was taking place.
Other discussions I engaged in surrounding mobile included examining the value of a mobile app to a brand vs. a mobile site (or maybe having both); how mobile ties into retailers’ other marketing channels — e.g., catalog, e-commerce, social, brick-and-mortar; what role the iPad will occupy in cross-channel marketers’ plans and budgets this year and going forward; location-based marketing tactics for brick-and-mortar retailers; and the list goes on.
I can't say I have a definitive answer to any of these questions at the moment. But what I can tell you is that mobile is definitely on Retail Online Integration's radar. In fact, I'm hosting two sessions on the topic at our upcoming virtual trade show. What is encouraging is that the direct marketing industry is taking the initiative to educate itself so that it can hit the ground running when it comes it mobile. From all the talk at NEMOA, it seems like it's an opportunity you can't afford to ignore.