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Internet Retailing 2011 Interview: Richard Evans, Silverpop

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In our latest preview of our annual conference, Internet Retailing 2011, we spoke to Richard Evans, director, marketing, EMEA at email marketing specialist Silverpop about the new concept of ‘mocial’ marketing– and what the implications are for retailers.

A plethora of new channels that retailers can use to communicate with their customers is making the job of an email marketer more complex, but also more rewarding, than ever, says Richard Evans, director of marketing, EMEA, at email marketing specialist Silverpop.

Silverpop have come up with the term ‘mocial’ to describe this new paradigm, which he explains as the intersection of mobile, social media and local – or geotargeted – and email marketing.

It’s a term that seems to sum up a number of new trends that marketers must take into account. For not only must marketers now consider the impact of social media on the way they communicate with existing and potential customers, but they must also think about what the mobile effect is. No longer are emails likely to be opened at certain times of day when their recipients are at their computers. Instead they may be opened – and discarded – in real time on the go. At the same time, the location where those emails are opened changes too as the owners of those smart phones move from place to place. The implications of this move to ‘mocial’ marketing are potentially huge.

“A lot of it has to do with the way messages are constructed and trying to more immediately convey relevance and importance in your message,” says Evans. “You have such a fraction of the consumer’s time where they’ll look at who the email is from, look at a short amount of characters in the subject line and, while they’re running to and from the tube stop or the store, make a decision on whether to save the email to read later, act on it now, or go ahead and delete it – all of this on a screen that is a fraction of the size of a computer monitor and reliant on touch-based inputs instead of mouse clicks.

“I think it’s really raised the stakes for retailers to reach a higher level of engagement with their customer so when your message comes across it’s not just one of a thousand that blends in but something that’s anticipated, that they’re interested in receiving.”

But with new challenges come new opportunities, says Evans. “When social media started gaining ground several years ago, there was a lot of dialogue around whether social marketing was going to kill email marketing and make it irrelevant,” said Evans. “The opposite has actually been the case – it’s made email more important and given it new viral legs that it didn’t have before.

“You can send an email campaign out and have recipients share offers and information with hundreds of their social network friends at the click of a button, giving brands a lot more reach and list growth opportunity than they have ever had before in email marketing. It’s actually a pretty exciting time even though it is more complex.”

You can find out more about ‘mocial’ and its implications for your business at our annual conference Internet Retailing 2011, to be held at the Novotel Hammersmith on October 4. Richard Evans’ presentation, Email in a world gone mocial, is in track one of the event at 2pm.

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