Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 22

FROM THE EXECUTIVE’S DESK

BY HARRY HILL

2012 to be a Year of Transformation

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In the Chinese zodiac, 2011 was the Year of the Rabbit. Rabbits are associated with fortune (good or bad), multiplication and abundance – in other words, rabbits are disruptive. Of course, in 2011, Japan suffered the awful events of March 11; however, even without the numerous natural disasters both in Japan and throughout the world, 2011 was definitely a year of change. Three major changes I noticed in Japan – and throughout the world – last year were: 1. The questioning of authority: This issue arose in Japan as people became increasingly uncomfortable of the quality of public information released following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disasters. Particularly in regards to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, people increasingly gathered information from alternative media sources (i.e. social media and blogs) from all over the world. Television in Japan has always been and still is a trusted source of information, but the public’s expectation of the media certainly increased in 2011. When the general public was not satisfied with the information it received – particularly from the government – it proactively searched for information from other sources. I would argue that this was a worldwide trend happening from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street. 2. An increased migration to social media as a source of credible information: As a consequence of the disasters in Japan, the importance of social media as a source of credible information increased dramatically. Everyday people became information celebrities as people were seeking out unbiased third-party data about the actual radiation levels, potential threats and safety of others. Social media in Japan has been active since the launch of Mixi, Japan’s leading social media site, almost eight years ago. In the past, however, Japan’s social media has focused on anonymity, but 2011 saw that energy channeled into people publically sharing information for the greater good. Again, I would argue that Japan’s reliance on social media as a source of credible information is representative of a trend that is happening throughout the world. 3. Increasing audience fragmentation: The switch in Japan from analog to digital broadcasting in July 2011 caused tremendous disruption. Immediately almost all TV viewers in Japan had more viewing options, causing fragmentation; additionally, however, the nationwide focus on conserving electricity due to power shortages throughout Japan caused a decrease in July’s TV viewership of almost 20 percent compared to the previous year.

People developed the habit of watching TV for a specific purpose and then turning it off, rather than viewing passively throughout the day. As an infomercial branding company, I believe that the expertise we have acquired over the last 20 years is increasingly pertinent considering today’s changing media environment. Here are three priorities that enable us to succeed. 1. The customer is the hero: As it becomes more difficult to capture people’s attention and as social media increasingly empowers the individual, as marketers we must focus more on that quality in our goods and services. At OLM, our ability as an infomercial brand marketer to make the customer the hero rather than the product or brand allows us to stand out. Today’s media environment allows us to transmit these stories across multiple media channels such as infomercials, spots, YouTube, social media and video on demand. 2. Harnessing the power of testimonials and third-party experts: The testimonial, in its truest sense, is the precursor of social media. Today’s social media landscape allows us to move beyond simply providing customer testimonials and third-party experts in one dimension. We can add elements of engagement and interactivity that allows our customer the ability to search and engage with our testimonials and experts via their own social network. 3. Giving our customers products that they use: Increasingly, people are questioning if they really need our products or services. Refining our focus from simply selling to providing an ecosystem that enables our customers to truly use our products to their fullest potential is socially responsible as well as a profitable, sustainable business model. At OLM, we are trying to use all of the media channels at our disposal to focus on having customers use our products again and again. By focusing on use, we are striving to have a conversation with our customers, particularly through mobile devices, so that we can continue to offer them goods and services that they need to in order to achieve their goals. In the Chinese zodiac, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. In Asia, the dragon symbolizes vigor, strength and wisdom. 2011 was certainly a year of disruption, but I foresee 2012 as being the year of transformation as we respond to the challenges of the past year. Harry Hill is president and CEO of Oak Lawn Marketing and the chairman-elect of the ERA Board of Directors.

electronicRETAILER | March 2012



Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Chasing Shadows in Mobile Retail
Calendar of Events
Industry Reports
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Selling in a Fragmented World
Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Advertiser Index
Bulletin Board
Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 7
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 8
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 10
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 12
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - eMarketer Research
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 19
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Selling in a Fragmented World
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 31
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 33
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 37
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 38
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 39
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 40
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Bulletin Board
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 46
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover4
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