Mobile and social media are merging technologies that need to be part of an overall strategy, not a separate course of action, the author of "Socialnomics" told the National Grocers Association convention Tuesday in Las Vegas.
It's not a choice anymore whether or not to get involved with digital media, Erik Qualman said. "The only choice is how well you do it."
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There's no special magic to adapting to the new media, he added, "because it involves things you're already doing — listening, interacting, reacting and then selling. It's a matter of listening to what's being said about your business, reaching out to comment on what's being said, taking action to correct a situation and then adapting your business based on the feedback you get. And it works, regardless of what you sell."
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The new media will never replace face-to-face interactions with customers, he added, "but they will complement and strengthen those relationships."
Everyone is going to make some mistakes, Qualman pointed out, "but what you need to do is take digital lemons and make digital lemonade."
When grocers look at the potential threat posed by AmazonFresh, he added, "what you need to do is compete at what you're good at on your own terms, not on theirs."
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