North Beach’s Josh Cragg on why the internet is everywhere

  • News
  • May 7, 2015
  • Sarah Dunn
North Beach’s Josh Cragg on why the internet is everywhere

He has masterminded the Kiwi street, surf, skate and lifestyle brand’s web and social presence since January last year, managing its web office team and all online campaigns. North Beach has 56,000 likes on Facebook.

In his speech at the Retail Australasia Summit yesterday, Cragg renosed the emerging “Internet of Things” trend as the “Internet of Everything.”

“Everything is becoming part of the Internet of Everything.”

Titled, ‘How online is changing the way retailers connect with their customers,’ Cragg’s talk explored how the internet has become central to… everything. He said online activity is often seen as a “secondary bolt-on” to the core business of bricks and mortar retailing as managers fail to connect with the IT team leading web projects, but to be successful, online strategies need to be integrated into the business model and led from the top down.

Cragg emphasised the richness and breadth of resources on the market which exist to support businesses as they adapt to ecommerce and establish a presence online. There has been rapid growth in this field, especially for internet marketing tools.

“If you haven’t got the right tool, patent that idea,” Cragg says. “It could make you a lot of money.”

Like many other speakers at the summit, Cragg touched on the usefulness of the data produced by screens powering the Internet of Everything. With this data, he said, marketers could do more than consumers thought they could.

“We can give them exactly what they want, in the way they need it, when they want.”

Cragg tipped data security as a “huge, huge” emerging problem which was currently being overlooked, warning that any data generated had to be protected from the new risks which constantly popped up.

Retailers should choose relevant mediums online and excel at them rather than spreading themselves too thin across many apps and platforms, Cragg says. He is a firm advocate of social media, saying users “pour their hearts and souls” into social media personas and share valuable insights.

“[Social] can still be cheap,” Cragg says. “I don’t know for how much longer, but now’s the time to start using it.”

He says the “big six” social media platforms are Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Not all will be relevant or important for every brand, Cragg says, warning that retailers should choose carefully before establishing a presence on a platform as neglecting or abandoning social accounts can damage their brand.

North Beach favours Facebook but is currently building up its presence on Instagram, where it has just over 9000 followers.

His advice for a retailer who does have abandoned social media accounts lurking online is not to advertise or push them, and don’t completely let them go.

“Take a view of stepping back, but always have a regular posting channel.”

If the mothballed account is attracting negative feedback, it may be best to delete it altogether, but such accounts can be reinvigorated at any time.

For those with the resources for only a minimum social presence, Facebook and Instagram are Cragg’s picks for customer-facing businesses. He recommends LinkedIn for B2B firms.

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