It’s one thing to size up how fast a new technology might be adopted based on customer market size, user interest surveys and other progress measurement tools. To provide an additional layer of perspective, Target Marketing caught up with JoAnne Kim, director of e-Marketing services at e-Scholastic, the e-commerce and online communication arm of children’s publishing company Scholastic. She provided insight on which tech developments are powering her company’s online endeavors, as well as those emerging solutions that are on e-Scholastic’s radar going forward.
Target Marketing: How do you stay abreast of the latest technologies?
JoAnne Kim: We find out about the latest technologies in multiple ways: recommendations and vendor reviews; industry newsletters; recommendations from former colleagues and contacts at other companies; and vendor pitches.
TM: Which types of e-commerce technologies have made the biggest difference to e-Scholastic’s success?
JK: Search engine marketing has made the most significant impact to our e-commerce businesses this year. We have seen that we can effectively drive incremental traffic in the off-season (spring) via search. To prepare for a big holiday season in 2005, we launched three e-commerce businesses with pay-per-click/SEO programs—Back to Basics Toys, Klutz and the Scholastic Store Online. The pay-per-click efforts proved especially effective during one of our busiest shopping seasons.
In addition to search, our use of a customer online survey tool has helped us to identify why our customers were having trouble finding products via our site search within the Scholastic Store. Using pop-up online survey tools, we were able to raise our overall customer satisfaction by making necessary changes to our store taxonomy.
TM: Which developing technologies currently pique your interest?
JK: RSS messaging, podcasting, online community boards, digital content downloads—we are looking into and testing all of these as potential new channels [via which] to deliver relevant content to our customers.