A Conversation on the Retail Industry & Digital TransformationFebruary 29th, 2016
by Neil Kulkarni, MBA Fellow, T’16
Two weeks ago we held Tech@Tuck, the premiere event of the Britt Technology Impact Series at Tuck. The Tech@Tuck panel was superb and the vendor fair gave me opportunities to demo some new technologies and trends (as Rob covered in his blog post). My favorite part was interacting with the speakers in smaller settings. As one of this year’s MBA Fellows in the CDS, we have the unique opportunity to host speakers for many of the BTIS events and spend some 1-on-1 time understanding the issues that they and their organizations are facing.
Last week I spent time with Larry Webber (founder and CEO of Racepoint Global), Alison Gregg Corcoran (T’86 and SVP Marketing for Staples), and Carly Rosenberg (T’05 CMO at Bluefly) at various points throughout the day. Larry provided insights on new technologies that marketers can and should be using to better reach their target customers. Alison brought a truly unique perspective from an organization that operates both B2B and B2C models and must consider omnichannel strategies from this perspective. Many of her customers shop as solopreneurs as well as individual customers and Staples must provide a consistent experience to these individuals regardless of which customer ‘hat’ they are wearing and which channel they are purchasing from. We also discussed opportunities to use new technologies as a part of the in-store experience and how Staples can use customer data to improve the retail experience.
Finally, Carly and Alison both discussed the impact of software and technology on digital marketing and specifically how this has changed the marketing organizations at their respective companies. From changes in organization structures to changes in the skills required to create a strong marketing organization, technology has compl
etely transformed their roles as the marketing leaders.
I truly appreciated the candor and sincerity that each speaker demonstrated in our conversations and loved getting a deeper insight into the challenges they face in their current roles. Looking forward to similar insights from our remaining guests throughout the year!