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News release

Las Vegas

Social and Digital Media Essential in New Retail Environment According to Jones Lang LaSalle Retail Report

Study advocates the importance of an integrated digital media program to engage customers and increase mall and retailer traffic


LAS VEGAS, May 23, 2010 — Social media has forever changed how consumers behave, communicate, gather information, socialize and shop, highlights a report by Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.  The study,  ‘Get Connected – how to harness the power of digital media’ advises the retail industry that advertising and media strategy is no longer a one-way, interruption-based activity and should be interactive, dynamic and provide value to the consumer.

“Adopting an integrated digital media program is no longer merely important but absolutely crucial. Retailers and mall marketers must stay relevant to consumers and that means staying on top of social and digital media,” said President and CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, Greg Maloney. “We must engage with our consumers rather than talk at them.  The overwhelming reality is that social media is increasing across all generations and the rules have changed. We can now solicit customer feedback and interact with consumers directly and in ‘real time’.” 

The report tackles the vast social and digital media landscape and presents comprehensive advice for the retail industry:

Web sites

There are many ways to harness the power of the web from virtual catalogues where consumers can flip through the products, to online ordering and personal shopping avatars which allows customers to see how clothes would fit on their ‘virtual’ bodies.  The web is an essential channel for retailers given 92 percent of respondents rely on the web to research and browse for products.

The report advises that e-mail marketing using coupon offers, sales, loyalty programs and e-marketing initiatives should not stand alone, but rather form part of a greater digital and social media plan to reach customers. This integrated approach has been proven to yield great results in targeting consumers.

Social Media

Social media has completely revolutionized the way people interact and process information – anyone can create comments and add to online content. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace map relationships among users and allow information sharing. Facebook has a staggering reach and boasts 350 million users. Other examples of social media that are gaining ground include blogs, video and photo sharing sites (such as Youtube and Flikr), chat rooms and messages boards, social booking marking sites (Digg and Delicious) and Wikipedia where consumers can create their own content.

“Consumers are now in the driving seat and are creating their own content. While this is a new concept, it also creates a huge opportunity for marketers,” said Beth Faulkner, Vice President of Marketing Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.  “Social media allows buzz and viral growth so if we reach our audience with the right messages, product information and offers, we can drive traffic to our malls and stores but also have a two-way conversation with our shoppers.  Through this we can discover what they want, listen to their feedback and then improve our products and services.”

The continuing importance of mobile phones

Currently, there are more than 270 million mobile phone users in the United States and according to a study by Synovate, 82 percent never leave home without them.  Also, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 1 billion by 2014 and these owners are using their phones to shop. This presents a major opportunity for retail marketers. In the next five years shoppers are expected to spend approximately $119 billion on products and services purchased via mobile phones worldwide.

“With consumers becoming more dependent on their phones for researching, socializing, entertainment and spending, it is imperative to engage them on this platform,” said Faulkner.  “More importantly the simultaneous use of mobile technology and social media is increasingly blurring the line between different media making a unified strategy even more vital.”

The rise of mobile phone applications (apps) is revolutionary in itself especially with the global market expected to catapult to $17.5 billion by 2012. Retailers have taken the cue and are rushing to develop apps that bring them close to their target market by offering useful tools to improve the quality and ease of the shopping experience.

The report which includes ‘The Ten Commandments of Digital Media’ advocates that retail marketers must continually seek ways to present fresh and meaningful value to consumers.  A comprehensive digital and social media program can not only monitor performance in the social stratosphere but also help develop relationships with best customers and influencers who can also create buzz about the product or service.

“One of the advantages of a comprehensive digital media program is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional media and the reach is tremendous,” said Carol Sullivan, Vice President of Marketing Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.  “It does, however, require time, staffing resources and dedication to keeping the program agile and effective.”

For the latest updates about Jones Lang LaSalle Retail’s social media updates and retail industry findings, review the firm’s “ICSC blog” at:  www.us.joneslanglasalle.com/icscblog

About Jones Lang LaSalle Retail

As the leading retail service provider, Jones Lang LaSalle Retail manages the largest third-party retail portfolio in the country.  The firm's 84 million-square-foot retail portfolio consists of more than 300 regional malls, strip centers, power centers, lifestyle centers, ground-up development projects, mixed-use centers, transportation terminals and over 6,000 retail ATM's and bank branches across 49 states. Globally, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL) has a retail portfolio of 265 million square feet of property under management and leasing, including more than 9,500 retail locations on four continents. Jones Lang LaSalle is the only global real estate services firm with a team of dedicated, full-time experts who deliver comprehensive and globally integrated services in Energy and Sustainability under one umbrella. The firm offers leading-edge, industry-unique technology, training and tools in energy and sustainability to maximize the benefits for its clients and the greater community. For more information on Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, visit www.jllretail.com.

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2009 global revenue of $2.5 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 60 countries from 750 locations worldwide, including 180 corporate offices.  The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.6 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with approximately $40 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our Web site, www.joneslanglasalle.com.