Been a while since we looked at RSS feeds and with all of the catalogs appearing in my mailbox daily thanks to my resident All Star Shopper I thought I would rant a little bit. First up, courtesy of AdRants, Target is offering personalized weekly ads via email which is great. Too bad, they didn't mimic what Sears is doing via SimpleFeed and offer the promotions via RSS feeds. Even Lillian Vernon has a RSS feed too. As someone that has held various e-marketing positions in big corporations, I wonder why the management team at Target couldn't make the leap of faith and incorporate RSS fields off their site for a nominal fee via SimpleFeed? It can't be because their e-marketing team was clueless can it?
Then this study came out from BizRate that examines online marketing in the retail space for the upcoming holiday season. Before you jump for joy over the next number, I was disappointed with the people that did the study or combined the results. It said that 41.6% of retailers will incorporate blogs or RSS feeds into their holiday marketing strategy and 79.5 will use viral marketing at social networking sites. Just to round it out, 97.4 will use search marketing. Ok, so retailers get search - wow, glad they figured that one out and almost 80% see social networking as an opportunity which I'm not really sure I know what that means. Are they going to upload videos into YouTube, put up a page in MySpace, or use display ads? However, what is disappointing, is that they combined the results between RSS feeds and Blogs which shows a naivete in what that means. Blogs are social communicating sites while RSS feeds are a mechanism for pushing out news and information. Sure you can advertise on both, but they require different strategies.
I'm glad to see that retail companies are embracing the internet for selling their products. Too bad, they haven't really figured out how to use RSS feeds to cheaply and easily eliminate catalogs for marketing their products. If only, they'd take a meeting with SimpleFeed and make the life of heavy shoppers (like my wife) easier.