Today’s Group has launched an industry-first events app, writes Elit Rowland
Who says that wholesale is behind when it comes to technology? A new app from Today’s is now available to wholesalers and suppliers, offering easy access to the group’s events through smartphones and tablets. The app will be made available for the first time at the forthcoming Today’s 2014 conference in Rome.
Managing director Bill Laird said: “The app is designed to give users all the information they need at their fingertips. We believe we are the first buying group to introduce such an aid for members.”
The app will give delegates access to daily programmes, speakers’ biographies, presentations, local info and a range of functions allowing them to interact digitally with speakers’ sessions.
The importance of mobile technology and social media was highlighted by Laird at the Today’s 25th Anniversary celebration back in February last year, when he urged wholesalers and suppliers to embrace technological change and use it as an opportunity to “connect with customers”. Those who didn’t, he warned, could be missing out on potential sales.
94% of people in the UK own a mobile phone
“Technology is permeating every aspect of our business and private lives – 94% of people in the UK now own a mobile phone and seven out of 10 people own a smartphone. Apps in particular are becoming an integral part of peoples’ daily routines.”
Today’s has been on a mission to optimise its digital and social media activity since January 2011, when it became the first buying group of its kind to go live on Twitter (and still is) and went on to launch its Facebook page the same month.
In October 2012, the group unveiled a digital magazine for its retailers, Today’s Retailer, and in April 2013 set up a YouTube channel to share developments with member wholesalers, retailers, suppliers and consumers.
While Today’s is a confident digital media operator, some of its members and suppliers have asked for advice on how to develop a digital media strategy – in particular, how to turn the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into profitable revenue streams.
The group responded first by launching a guide to social media, followed by a guide to using Twitter, both of which can be downloaded from its website.
In the past year, Today’s has also optimised its web search engine results. Betterwholesaling.com’s digital executive Ryan Mulchrone says: “If you can get your brand ranking high on Google, it’s invaluable. There are two ways to do it: you can use Google Ads or it can happen organically, by making sure you choose the best fitting keywords and phrases in the most appropriate places on your site.”
The Today’s Group app will also be available for the annual Stoneleigh Exhibition and Awards Dinner on April 8-9 and plans are well advanced to use it for all Today’s Group events, including the Members and Suppliers’ Forum at the end of the year.