5 Things Overheard at IRCE

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  1. Google Shopping is Scary: With the eventual demise of the free Google shopping feeds, retailers are feeling under the gun from Google. The GOOG eats up 50% of their digital budgets anyway, adding shopping to that makes lots of people angry. My take- it will hurt for one quarter and then it will be another channel to optimize… This does, however, tilt the balance even further into the direction of those that have big budgets.
  2. SEO Still Sucks: Who knows if it even works (well, der, it does), and Google is changing the rules all the time, etc, etc, etc. But you know that SEO is hot when on the first morning of the conference, the SEO track was jam-packed. Search matters. Organic traffic is the best ROI generator on the planet…  More and more retailers are smart about SEO, and high-level execs are showing some real understanding of its importance. It’s no longer new and scary, it is just a place that is effort-based rather than spend based, and that makes it hard for many, many retailers. And, by the way, Panda and Penguin seem to have tilted, just like paid shopping, the scales in favor of the big over the small. Search is no longer seen as a democratizing force in marketing.
  3. Tablets and Mobile: Gotta do it, gotta have it. It is important, it is critical…but no one knows what the right path is. But everyone knows that the desktop/laptop web, while still huge, is no longer the primary path to acquiring the next phase of your customers, regardless of your demographic. Lots of heads in the sand here, but the fear of being left behind is palpable.
  4. Pintrest is Real? A huge success, a new way of sharing, a new form of consumer engagement? Maybe? Or it could be a MySpace flash in the pan. What excites marketers is the demographics. Pintrest isn’t the cool kids, it is the wallet-holders. Pintrest isn’t a radical experiment in privacy invasion, it is opt-in, free advertising, word of mouth writ large. Doesn’t matter if Pintrest is real or not…what is real is that the mainstream consumer is sharing and shopping. Good news for e-commerce.
  5. Facebook is the new AOL. Ad prices are too high, I don’t know if there is ROI, blah, blah, blah. Facebook is the internet for so many people that every marketer is there (except for GM…losers…) waiting for someone who isn’t a Silicon Valley hipster to make a killing. Just wait…its coming. (There haven’t been a billion plus social media acquisition dollars spent in the last three weeks for nothin’….)
And a special bonus…as consumers, everyone loves Amazon. As marketers and business owners, very few do. Well, get used to it kids…Amazon defines what it means to be an e-commerce player. Keep up or become irrelevant…
And those are my 5 quick takeaways from IRCE 2012!
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