China: Do Your Homework First
From Gap and Coach to Best Buy and Starbucks, retailers across the board are looking to high-growth emerging markets to expand their business and increase revenues. Not surprisingly, China is a prime — if not the No. 1 — target of many retailers.
A recent study by global management consulting company A.T. Kearney ranked China as the most attractive emerging market for apparel retailers. The country’s first place ranking was driven by the country’s large population, the growing disposable income of the middle class and Chinese consumers’ developing fashion sense.
But while China holds great opportunity, it also offers U.S. retailers considerable challenges, including risk of counterfeiting and significant differences in the country’s infrastructure, culture and consumer preferences, according Liana Hill, a market analyst for Gap Intelligence, San Diego. She advises that a little research and maybe even some rebranding can go a long way for retailers seeking success in China.
Hill’s insights on the challenges of doing business in China make for a good read. She is featured in our Guest Commentary section.
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Viking cooks up a deal with Emeril Lagasse
RIDGELAND, Miss. — Viking Culinary Group announced that it has introduced a new line of branded outdoor grills from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.
Products in the Emeril grill line include:
The Emeril Charcoal Grill, constructed of porcelain-enameled heavy-gauge steel, features four sturdy legs instead of three, ensuring stability and safety. The hinged lid lifts and stays open and an integrated numerical thermometer displays approximate grill temperatures from 0 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The hinged grate provides easy and neat access to the charcoal, allowing the user to arrange briquettes for optimum heat placement. Other features include a more-than-ample 424 sq. inches of cooking surface, a sturdy storage shelf and a large-capacity, easily removable ash collector.
The Emeril Gas Grill, built from rugged stainless steel and heavy-duty cast aluminum components, is designed to withstand the elements and provide years of grilling enjoyment. Four powerful burners provide up to 48,000 BTUs of searing heat, evenly distributed over 589 sq. inches of cooking surface, dwarfing the competition. Seven stainless steel flavor generator plates catch drippings to create more smoke and smokier flavor, and also channel grease neatly into the removable drip tray for easier cleanup. Convenient extras like condiment and paper towel storage, accessory tool hooks, and locking rubber wheels combine to take backyard performance to the next level.
The Emeril Bam! B-Q, fully constructed of heavy duty stainless steel, uses indirect heat from an upper and lower charcoal ring to create a convection current that circulates within the cooking cylinder. This current causes meat to cook quickly and evenly within the cylinder. The unit comes with three cooking grates, which create 398 sq. inches of cooking surface; a rib hanger, which accommodates 6 racks of ribs; a poultry stand, which can hold a 24 lb. turkey; and a drip pan for easier cleanup.
"I have known Fred Carl and the folks at the Viking Culinary Group for a very long time and we’ve always shared a commitment to quality and passion for grilling," said Lagasse. "The design of these grills was something I was involved with every step of the way. These babies offer a grilling experience like you’ve never had before."
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Retail Marketers: Step Out of the Past and Into the Cloud
By Arthur Sweetser, [email protected]
Retailers continue to grapple with the best way to amass and leverage marketing intelligence across disparate, addressable marketing channels. Often relying on a loosely coupled array of point solutions, far too many retail marketing executives are challenged by the lack of integrated cross-channel data across marketing systems. In fact, according to research firm The Relevancy Group, just over a third of marketers state that they have integrated their CRM systems into operational marketing systems such as profile-and behavior-driven email. Such difficulty in connecting customer intelligence to operational marketing systems increases marketing costs and slows campaign improvements.
What’s the answer? It’s time for retailers to step up to cloud based marketing intelligence solutions and alternatives to traditional marketing service provider-based remedies. These alternatives will accelerate the organizations’ time to market, advance relevance and over a calendar year improve marketing revenue by as much as a third.
Retailers have already learned that centralizing multichannel marketing data reduces costs and improves intelligence. Those marketers that have centralized the full range of their marketing data into a common database have seen clear benefits with cost reduction and the ability to improve customer intelligence. They have seen:
- Boost productivity and efficiency: This stands to reason, as multichannel marketing data that is centrally accessible and serves the will of the marketer across addressable marketing channels is easier to find and act on than data that is trapped in non-integrated systems.
- Cut down costs: Through improving marketing productivity, organizations using centralized multi-channel marketing data find it easier to target and glean subscriber intelligence, ultimately reducing labor costs. It is important for marketers to investigate the efficiency of their organizations and seek out waste in common routine marketing intelligence tasks that can be further improved by better technology and organizational alignment.
- Enhance customer segmentation and personalization: With a consistent view into multichannel customer data, marketers see this integrated intelligence improve their segmentation capabilities, a necessary component of realizing personalization: the ability to target individuals in a relevant manner that matches individual behaviors and criteria.
Clearly the need to centralize addressable multi-channel customer data and attain greater marketing intelligence has profound benefits, however often the costs and time required realizing this centralization are too high. Given the benefits of centralizing marketing intelligence, marketers must explore and exploit new remedies to deliver this functionality faster and more cost effectively.
While the benefits of centralizing marketing data cannot be dismissed, marketers must go further to gain additional cost efficiencies. Given that just 42% of marketers have integrated their data warehouse with their email marketing applications, marketers must explore new database marketing alternatives. This is particularly important for data intensive marketers that require advanced analytics and an integrated campaign management engine. Cloud based marketing intelligence solutions offer the all these benefits of a centralized marketing database, while also adding speed, flexibility and insight.
Arthur Sweetser is chief marketing officer at 89 Degrees, a marketing solutions provider that uses advanced analytics to drive outstanding results for data-intensive marketers. He can be reached at [email protected].
Retail business is the cornerstone of any economy. Retail outlets provide the shops and stores that allow the general population to purchase their daily necessities and this common demand creates the various markets. It not only creates the sales markets, but the employment markets as well. There are very few vocations for the average individual to follow that can create a climate of job security like retail marketing experience.Most retail marketing positions require a degree in retail management or a related field.