The ICSC Blog

Q&A with MOCIAL Speaker Chad Rodriguez

ChadTell us about yourself….
I grew up in Florida taking my first real job there that brought me all over the world. Got a real taste for travel and eventually ended up in Sydney Australia where my focus in the retail world began. I’ve been living in NYC for the past 4 years working some incredible fashion brands and agencies. I’ve been raising my two children with my wife and I love it.

What is your favorite apps to use?
hmmmm – this is hard. I’m the guy that’ll try any app once. My goto is always Twitter, I love that platform. For productivity I’m a huge fan of Sunrise calendar, and for keeping my life organized I use Evernote for pretty much everything.

With society’s increasing dependence on technology, what changes in marketing strategies has it made in last few years?
I think it’s made marketing have to focus. The majority of marketing has always been about being as loud as possible to reach as broad range of people as possible. The new face of marketing is very specific about who it talks to. The best brands/retailers will realize how valuable tools like social and emerging technologies are at connecting with their customers. The age of being “loud” is over.

What have been the benefits of incorporating digital marketing and mobile apps into your corporation?
Well we’ve always been a mobile platform. We believe strongly that retailers/brands are wanting to own their space more and more. Our tech specifically really empowers the retailer/brand to understand what’s going on inside their space at a much more finite level, while being able to engage the customer with things they are genuinely interested in. It’s an exciting time to be a retailer.

In what ways has the digital age revitalized your industry?
I think it’s made things more personal. It doesn’t feel like spam anymore because as technology evolves it helps to make better decisions. The customer can only benefit from this. What it means is that more and more we won’t have to see things that are of little interest to us.

How important is consumer engagement? How do you bring attention to your brand through you social media channels/mobile apps?
Consumer engagement is everything. Just like culture, that if you aren’t building it then your employees or customers are going to fill the gap on their own. That can be a dangerous thing. It baffles me how few brands still don’t see the value in monologue. I think in most cases it’s fear that keeps most retailers from engaging, “what if I say the wrong thing?”. I think you have to just be okay knowing that in any relationship you’re going to sometimes say things that not everyone loves, but if you have a relationship the consumer won’t go anywhere. They’re more forgiving than we think, especially when they know we are having an open dialogue with them.

What do you hope participants will gain by attending your MOCIAL session?
That the time to act is now. That not knowing what to do, is a bad excuse. Technology has made it so easy to begin to interact with customers, and at some point you just have to start, even if you don’t fully understand it. My hope is that people will have their fears lifted a bit, and see that you don’t have to be some technology expert to use technology effectively to interact with customers.

Is the increasing number of online shoppers a concern to you?
Not at all – I think ecomm needs to be more careful of cannibalizing itself. It’s so easy to get into the ecomm space now. Anyone can throw up a site with some product. Amazon will continue to cannibalize anyone who is interesting (see zappos). I think we just need to accept that there are days where I want to shop from my couch and days where I feel like being in a store. Both are opportunities to connect with me as a consumer and to neglect either is a dangerous thing.

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