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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Quote to Live By

This is a quote that has really shaped my thoughts and actions - I actually keep a copy of it in my wallet and sometimes use it at the end of presentations as a reflection point for next steps.

It is not the critic that counts...
the credit actually belongs to the man/woman
who is actually in the arena...
who strives valiantly, who errs and often comes
up short again and again...
who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of
high achievement and,
who at worst, if he/she fails, at least fails while
daring greatly
so that his/her place shall never be with those
cold and timid souls who know neither victory
nor defeat.

President Theodore Roosevelt

Saying Goodbye

As some of you know I made the decision this week to leave to take on a new exciting challenge (more on this later) but the hard part was not being able to say goodbye to the team, colleagues and partners that had helped make into what it is today.

I'm proud to say that I had the chance to lead one of the most innovative eCom / Interactive marketing teams in Canada, in a company that truly understands the value of the web and I was always excited to see how much everyone grew as the business evolved.

I look back only with positive thoughts at the many innovative executions over the past few years (and we all know not everyone was a success or went as planned - but we learned) as well as the great vendor partnerships that were developed. We all pushed the needle, and Home Depot and most importantly the customer are better from it.

The great thing is that as the Canadian eCom scene is so small I know I will have the chance to work with each of you again and I truly look forward to it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Social Commerce and Bazaarvoice

Here is one of the highlights from the Bazaarvoice Social Media Summit. It pretty much sums up the why of Social Commerce and UGC and at the same time it really provides a great glimpse into why Bazaarvocie is such an interesting and fun company to work with.

Sorry for those of you that keep asking for a summary of what I talked about, I'm aiming to get it posted this weekend.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Help Pick the Logo for Evolving Shift

As you may know, I'm attempting to crowd source the logo for the blog using crowdspring, a creative crowd sourcing site I profiled a couple of weeks back.

There are now a bunch of submissions and I need your help. Please go in and vote for the ones you like, or if you are really interested or creative add one yourself. The process ends on June 5th and I'll pick from one of the submissions.

See you at Stores 2008

On Monday and Tuesday the Retail Council of Canada will be having their annual conference - Stores 2008.

Looks like it is going to be a very interesting one this year and it is exciting to see that online is taking a larger role in retail. 2008 has been a really exciting year for eCommerce and Interactive Marketing in Canada as it seems to be really starting to take hold in the mind of Canadian businesses. We are behind the US but we have made incredible progress over the last year.

I'm going to be speaking on Social Commerce on Tuesday with Bazaarvoice. It should be an interesting talk as this is one area that the Canadian market has quickly adapted to embrace. It seems that almost every large site in Canada has added some type of social commerce functionality and are starting to integrate it throughout the business.

Also don't miss Mitch Joel's opening keynote on Tuesday which is always a thought provoking discussion.

Bazaarvoice's Social Commerce Summit - Day 2

Day 2 of the Bazaarvoice Social Commerce Summit was just as exciting as day 1. It was a shorter day but it was still packed with great content.

If you haven't already had a chance go take a look at Forrester's Social Technographics and add the book Groundswell to your reading list. It really provides a deep understanding of how to best target your social media and commerce strategies. Just like you target traditional media you can and need to target your overall social media / commerce strategies to hit your target market.

What was also important for all of us to note is that Walmart has fully embraced social commerce and are looking to extend their strategy in the near future. So if you haven't already jumped into the space you need to start to fully understand how you can align with your brand. If all of the big traditional retail brands have bought in, Social Commerce is no longer a fringe activity but a key retailing strategy. Start planning how can you leverage this, not only on your site, but through your whole business. Remember customers trust each other more than they do our advertising so creating a platform for this conversation to take place will be critical to ongoing success.

The last thing to note is that if you want to see a retailer that has fully embraced this take a look at Petco. They won the award at the summit for top Social Commerce Retailer and they fully deserve it, I had the chance to have dinner with John Lazarchick (Petco's VP of eCommerce), Tung Huynh (Bazaarvoice) and Brian Mark (Nurun) and it was one of the more enlightening conversation's I have had in a while.

All in all this was one of the better conferences I have been to this year, and most were echoing this sediment. Bazaarvoice deserves praise for putting this together. Great job and I can't wait until next year.