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Off To The IRCE This Week

While the official kick off to the Internet Retail Conference + Expo (IRCE) is tomorrow, I will be flying out on Tuesday to attend. There are a variety of sessions I plan on attending and I also have some booths I definitely want to visit. I decided to put together a blog post of what I’m hoping to learn and who I’m hoping to meet out there. You never know, I might have missed a vendor or a session and someone might clue me in.

While focused on retail/ecommerce trends and strategies, I think there is quite a bit of value for the area I am currently involved in: Promoting Urgent Care Centers. Areas that I think would apply to the urgent care industry:

Brand Loyalty

Much like there are dozens and dozens of burger joints, there are many different urgent care center franchises. And much like burger joints, the quality of service in these different urgent care centers can vary greatly. Unlike most burger joints, people might not realize there are different “brands” of urgent care centers.

I would be interested in seeing how I can push brand loyalty in this area. It might take a few bad burgers before you give up on a burger joint, but it only takes one bad medical experience to sully your opinion of one of these urgent care centers.

Email Marketing

Asking for an email address is pretty much standard no matter where you go. I’ve even been asked for my email address at a steakhouse. Keeping various HIPAA regulations in mind, there has to be a way to leverage the various emails that are collected. It’s easy to market new products or sales, but generally speaking a physical is a physical. Not like urgent care centers get to market new vaccines. I’d be curious to learn some new ideas in that area.

Social Media

Ah yes, social media. Always seems like every year it is almost at the “tipping point.” However I’ve never fully been convinced social media is a driving force for sales outside of very niche markets that have a cult like following.

To me social media is more of a customer service platform. When people don’t feel like calling, they like to just leave a message online and in public. It’s actually not a terrible idea. If businesses take their brand reputation seriously, they’ll address any negative posts as quick as possible. It is also a great way to connect with other businesses and organizations. I’m not sure what else you really need in terms of social media other than a Hootsuite account and a steady supply of relevant content.

With that said, I always keep my ear open for new ways to play with in Social Media.

Well friends, I depart for Chicago on Tuesday. Depending on who I run into and how late I stay out, I’ll try to post some daily updates of my adventures. Fair warning, they probably won’t be as well proofread as these posts are, which in all fairness, may not be very well proofread to begin with.

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