I'm thrilled that Sona Chawla will be a keynote speaker at Forrester's Consumer Forum in just over three weeks! As the President of e-Commerce, Sona oversees operations and leads the team responsible for building the sales, service and customer experience of Walgreens.com and drugstore.com (acquired in June 2011). This includes driving store traffic through the Web, growing online profitability, and the development of new product and service offerings via emerging digital touchpoints such as mobile.
Earlier today, Sona provided me with a sneak peek of her upcoming presentation for our forum "110 Years Of Agility: Continuing Our Evolution To Meet Customer Demands" and all I can say is that it's not to be missed! I don't want to reveal too much and spoil it, but Sona will touch on the dynamic forces at play within healthcare and retail that are driving Walgreens' digital transformation, the framework they are utilizing to enable that transformation, and finally what Walgreens sees for the future. And of course throughout the discussion Sona will have key lessons learned and advice for firms across industries going through similar transformations.
I do however want to share with you Sona's responses to some questions we asked her in advance of the event. Her thoughts demonstrate the growing importance (and let's not forget the financial benefits) of serving customers across touchpoints with innovative, digital products and services.
On Thursday and Friday of this week, I'll be attending the Forrester Consumer Forum. I hope to be updating blog readers and Twitter followers on interesting news and information. I'm not quite sure which speakers I'll be able to hear, since the analyst experience at these forums can be busy and unpredictable, but I hope to attend presentations by the following folks:
Larry Bruck, Senior Vice President, Global Media and Marketing Operations, Kellogg
Perry Cooper, Senior Vice President Of Digital Media, National Hockey League (NHL)
Robert Katz, Chairman and CEO, Vail Resorts
John Kosner, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, ESPN
Kevin Krone, Vice President Marketing, Sales, and Distribution, Southwest Airlines
Tim Suther, Chief Marketing Officer, Acxiom
Various Forrester thought leaders including Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, Charles S. Golvin and Carrie Johnson
Many of my colleagues in the eBusiness & Channel Strategy team at Forrester have been working extremely hard for the past few weeks, preparing for next week's Consumer Forum, which is taking place at the Hilton in Chicago on October 28th and 29th. Among my colleagues who are presenting their latest research are Brian Walker, Diane Clarkson and Zia Daniell Wigder, while Carrie Johnson is hosting the entire event. I'm sure it will be two days well spent.
The league is leveraging digital media in many ways to produce benefits for fans, sponsors and the NHL. One such program was #NHLTweetup, which saw the league sponsor fan tweetups in locations such as Chicago, Nashville and New Zealand. The program was run at minimal cost to the league; the investment included 250 man hours, 13 pieces of autographed merchandise and gift bags with a total value of just $1,000.
The power of combining Twitter and real-world events is pretty easy to recognize, but the NHL took the time to quantify it. This program created results for the NHL in at least three ways:
Reach and impressions: Out of 150 people who attended one NHL tweetup in New York City, 100 of them had Twitter personas that could be analyzed. The NHL found out each fan had an average of 213 followers per person. Extrapolating this across all of those who attended the international events, the league estimates that the program created impressions on more than 230,000 people via Twitter. Of course, the social impressions didn’t stop there — the tweetups resulted in the most blog posts the sport had seen since the NHL Winter Classic.
Forrester’s Consumer Forum is less than a month away. I am very much looking forward to the forum and wanted to call your attention to this worthy industry event.
I’ve been involved with the development of the Interactive Marketing track, and the topics and speakers we’ve arranged will be interesting and informative. I’ll be presenting about Social Media Marketing ROI and the Balanced Scorecard. Melissa Parrish will lead an excellent panel on how marketers can empower employees throughout the enterprise with social media; her panel includes leaders from Dell, salesforce.com, and IBM. Forrester’s Joanna O’Connell will present new data and guidance on how marketers are improving their online ad targeting versus the same old “Spray and Pray” approach. And Zena Weist of H&R Block will share how her organization changed strategic direction from a social media marketing push mentality to addressing client needs in the social sphere.