I had the fortune of attending the inaugural Aberdeen Retail Leadership Summit (June 17-18, NY) and I was quite impressed with the extensive interaction, provocative discussions, and multi-industry thought leadership Aberdeen brought to the show.  There were a number of interesting speakers, panels and insightful conversations to be had with the numerous intra industry executives at the show. The key messages seemed to focus on the ability to deal with change and how to leverage myriad data touch points and media channels to effectively listen and engage your audience. 

The primary areas of focused included:

  1. The Five Step Turnaround Guide for Retailers: Retail Revival in 2010 and beyond
  2. Strategic Customer Strategies, Integration and Big Picture Retailing
  3. De-Coding Cross - Channel Profitability
  4. In-Store Marketing and Maximizing Customer Experience

Aberdeen is one of the most strategic and tactical full service research and consultancies in the business. Their depth and breadth of contact, research based on “Voice of the Customer,” and stark realization that the market for retailers is changing made this an extremely interesting event. Aberdeen has a plethora of insight to effectively help retailers deliver more effective marketing/loyalty/engagement communication.  Much of this was showcased at the show.

John Spina, Vice President, Retail Integration and New Retail Formats at Walgreens offered keen insights into the challenges that many retailers are seeing, but also explored how the excitement and opportunity that exists now is like nothing seen in the past. He expects great change in the next 5-10 years.

Jon Kubo, CIO, Wet Seal, Chris Ladd, Vice President Global Retail, Crocs and Eric Barney of Motorcycle Superstore addressed what I believe is the power of the new media (social, mobile, and online)—- which is the ability to effectively listen and respond to the channel. Jon said that achieving this requires a change in the corporate mindset which has to start—- and have a true commitment——from the top of the organization and should drive corporate culture.

Stephen Vowles, from Stop and Shop, echoed the same commitment to technology, convenience and empowering the customer to make the in store experience more engaging to the clients, leading to less attrition and therefore increasing engagement and driving profitability.

I am sure this conference will prove a great source of insight for additional Aberdeen studies. Their commitment to the market and the fact that they have their finger on the pulse of the market bodes well for the retailers who use Aberdeen for their unique thought leadership. Loyalty 360 and Loyalty Management share this commitment to giving retailers the expert insights, tools and metrics needed take their loyalty efforts to the next level. We look forward to covering additional Aberdeen conferences and studies to make sure those who want to listen and engage their clients are empowered to do so.

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