CATFOA – Best Buy – Barry Judge

Spectacularly interesting presentation!  My guess, one of the best from CATFOA series over the years.

I did not see the major retail paradigm shift before the presentation, and now it seems obvious and clearly traceable over the years. Great presentation. Smart questions (no, I did not ask anything 😉  ).  Fantastic.

  • What is the future of marketing?  Digital and mobile within digital is the future.  Social is also the future.  However, the perspective is changing comparing to 2008 – everything is changing.
  • Marketing is much more complicated today…    If you like challenge – it is right there for you.  Paid – owned – earned, there is a visible shift from paid…
  • Paradigm shift: Brands – retailers – are becoming media companies (and media is more and more involved into retail. Retailers is the showroom.  Best buy collects more money from manufacturers than from consumers (Best Buy does not make much money on sale of a computer, and makes little on the sale of the TV.)  The shift is to move the company into information/service provider rather than purely  retailer – the “sale” of the products via Best Buy may not be needed in the future for the success of the business.
  • Best buy creates platforms that can be sold to manufacturers. Best Buy would make money on the platform ownership.  Best Buy might adopt a business model similar to Pinterest. Amazon is also does not make money on selling its product – however, if anybody is purchasing the product and came from Amazon, Amazon takes a cut (also similar to Pinterest).
  • What do you aspire to achieve?  Moving business model in a different direction – more robust digital business…  New concept – connected store.
  • Best Buy app should be providing all options  – cheaper option should be available even if they are in different retailers…  Retailers are becoming media companies, media companies are becoming retailers…
  • Barry Judge considers himself an empowered consumer. Once, when the hotel did not want to refund unneeded reservation, he threatened to tweet the complaint money “I have 20000 followers on twitter.”
  • As an individual talking on behalf of the company in social media, Barry sees more restrictions and a need to be thoughtful about what he writes. As a result, social media interactions are “less fun” for a company’s representative. …  As company is not performing that well – it is difficult is communicate.  Nature of the work is less transparent…
  • Companies need to be open to other point of view…  Why reviews are not available on Best Buy web site?  What makes the site useful for you rather than useful for the company?
  • Christmas issue (when Best Buy was not able to deliver the purchases for the holiday)…  There were many negative comments in social media. Need more passionate fans… Nobody was defending the company.
  • You are accountable …  By customers and by employees…  You should be open to their ideas… Employee blog responses can also be negative…
  • Some of current approaches: employee can communicate via an app what working and what is not working…  Districts that provide this opportunity have happier employees.
  • Is!/twelpforce  a product?  Yes, it is a free product.
  • Interesting shift in the board members marketing understanding.  First, nobody understood the concept of the social campaigns, then, board members were asking specifically  “where is the social campaign?”
  • We don’t spend money on social, but we spend employee time….
  • What is the skills marketers should have?  Curiosity.  You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room – you need to be able to use other ideas.

Oh – from my personal experience, curiosity can be dangerous, unless management appreciates it.  If yes, it is a bliss…  😉   Otherwise, I am the cat…  in the expression “curiosity killed the cat.”

  • Agencies need to understand what the business challenges are… Best buy does not make any money in selling a computer. Little on selling a tv – but the company makes money in other ways…
  • Web site needs to do more…  though it does not do it now – platform issues.  Best Buy made an IT hiring to correct the issue.  Web site need to have Amazon’s reviews, bloggers moments, etc…
  • What Best Buy plans in B-to-B space?  Originally, it started from “selling TVs to bars.”  Though the strategy is to provide support to small business – manage IT for small business.

Very interesting presentation.  Would more technology stores become connected and interactive?  Snack bars in the lobby could help too 😉  However the paradigm is going to shift – all we can predict is the shift, not the direction or consequences.  Times are interesting.

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