The ICSC Blog

Q&A with the COHN #iTechLounge Crew

There is no place COHN would rather be than at ICSC’s 2013 RECon conference holding down the #iTechLounge fort. For the third consecutive year, COHN has partnered with ICSC to ideate and create a social, digital and mobile haven for the retail real estate industry.

We caught up with COHN’s five “socialites” to chat about the new #iTechLounge and what makes them tick.
Michael Barber
Director, Digital Strategy
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You have LOTS of Apps on your iPhone, which is your favorite and why?
I’m slightly reluctant to admit this, but it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 280+ apps. I think I need to start going to the other AA. You know, Apps Anonymous. I have a lot of favorites out of that bunch, so I’ll keep it to my most recent favorite, Yahoo! Weather for iOS. The app has a stunning design, uses simple native gestures to navigate through its functionality, and integrates additional Yahoo products such as Flickr super well by layering photos in background from the popular photo-sharing site based on the location’s current weather patterns. Think sunny scenes for warm days and winter wonderlands when a few inches of the white stuff are in the forecast.

Tweet Quote: The “state of the digital universe” address.
The state of the digital universe = #mobile #social #local #data. Retailers have the best opportunity to blend them for digital nirvana.

Jesse Pixler
Design Director
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What is your “color” personality and why?
Blue. It’s a calming color and reserved…like myself.

Tweet Quotes: One thing a company should to keep in mind when designing a website.
#Color sets the mood for a company’s site. Chances are the color palette will be different for a high-end brand vs. an economy brand.

Jackie Cartier
Public Relations & Social Media Advisor
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Favorite social media platform and why?
Twitter for sure. It’s tailored to everything I’m interested in, from brands, people and causes that I like or want to learn more about. Plus, it’s impossible to not learn something, even from a quick glance at a handful of tweets. Then again, I love some rambling Pinterest time… no, no, Twitter it is.

Tweet Quote: It’s your first time at RECon as a “socialite” in the #iTechLounge, what you are you most excited for?

Most excited for #RECon atmosphere, energy, learnings & sharing the fantastic COHN presentations. Plus, it’s Vegas, so that’s always fun.

Tina Edwards
Digital Account Manager
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Your “can’t live without” technology and why?
My iPhone, 100%. I use it over my laptop at home, while I’m watching TV, out with friends, or killing time at the DMV. I love being connected to all my friends and family at any time, all my media (like photos and music), and as an additional resource for information while I’m out, it is invaluable. I can look up anything and everything at the drop of hat, from the new retailer who has a barricade up at my mall, to the new movie preview I saw during a commercial break, to the song that I heard playing over the PA in the grocery store. I seriously can’t imagine my life without it.

Tweet Quote: Share one online trend you expect to see in 2013.
Device agnostic engagement experiences w/ compelling content to match creates a universal brand experience, increasing loyalty & sales.

Lisa Wieting
Social Media Director
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You’ve been to RECon four times, so what’s changed the most over the years?
My first year at RECon was in 2010 and the iPad had JUST launched. Fast forward two years to RECon 2012 and iPads had taken over the conference as a sales tool, a system to stay connected to the office and a more efficient way to manage booth traffic. Proof in point that mobility and agility in business is critical and only growing. Tip: If this sounds like you, check out the Digital Briefcase at #iTechLounge.

Another swing in the past couple of years is a focus shift to online marketing strategies. Every day more stats come out about how consumers are using smartphones, tablets and social media as part of the purchasing process. Without blinking, the industry has not only embraced new technologies but have created some wildly creative programs, from geo-targeting to crowdsourcing to mobile applications (some of these words may not have even existed three years ago…). Tip: if you want to hear about what’s coming up around the virtual corner, check out 4 BIG Trends That Will Affect the Web at #iTechLounge 2.0 on May 22.

Tweet Quote: Your number one social media rule.
Play the Game as it was meant to be played or stay off the field. Communities use social platforms for a reason so make sure you are too.

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