Approximately 800 participants from major retailers participated in the 2007 Annual Retail Advertising Conference. Marketing, Advertising and Creative personnel from all Big Box retailers (including Office Max, Best Buy, Home Depot, Kohl's, Carmax, Gottschalks etc…) were present at the conference. So were major executives from large print advertising companies (including ADVO, Vertis, Gannett, Media General, Lee Enterprises as well as the Newspaper Association of America) and online media properties (including Google, Yahoo, Disney Online, and others).
Speakers and attendees talked about issues relating to customer relationship management, sorting out today's media maze, engaging customers through search and social media, customer knowledge creation, print and online advertising strategies etc…
Hispanic market plans
There were a few attendees that are exclusively oriented towards the Hispanic market, including Univision executives and Evan Gordon, president of Chicago advertising agency Hispanicity. The show was also attended by a number of Latin American retail professionals.
Some media buyers and planners from major retailers noted that they have Hispanic advertising strategies in place (e.g. Home Depot) and are planning to increase Hispanic market allocations (For a report on Spanish-language FSI insertions of major retailers check out Portada's current issue). Other retailers like Bakersfield, CA-based retailer Urner's (Appliance Center, Home Furnishings) plans to slightly increase Hispanic advertising spending through print and radio. Some executives expressed doubt about the effectiveness of Hispanic print media and said that they are happy with the response from radio and TV.
Many other retailers noted that they are very interested in advertising to Hispanics, but lack the ROI research capabilities to test advertising effectiveness in it.