Slick & Mortar

Slick & Mortar

Last week, Sears Holding Corporation announced it will launch two social networking sites for its Sears and Kmart brands.   At MySears.com and MyKmart.com, participants will be able to “share their insights, experiences and product reviews” with one another.   The “two-way dialogue” (The Marketing Consigliere always thought that dialogues were by default at least “two-way”) will include forums, blogs, ratings, reviews, polls and surveys and a “suggestion” area (this last feature could prove very valuable to the Sears powers that be with its own Reddit-style peer rating system).

User generated content will dominate these sites, which will be linked in a very integrated fashion with the main Sears.com and Kmart.com sites.

With a bright, enticing design, video demonstrations of products and even links to LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and YouTube, this is a bold move on the part of a company that is over 125 years old.

It will be interesting to see how quickly these sites are adopted by customers and how frequently they will be used, including a mobile version.  The data mining value of such a widely popular retail empire is enormous and it will be interesting to see what greater retail trends might be extrapolated from this tremendous B2C effort.

In the not so distant future, will behavioral targeting be deployed on these sites (if not already built in).  What impact on brand management will the be if there is a Motrin-like revolt over a particular product or brand?  What role will email play in notifying customers of sales and prompting them to continue participating in the social network?

Maybe the Marketing Consigliere, a coffee snob, will participate because of his loyalty to his Lady Kenmore 12-cup percolator which apparently is no longer available…

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