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Technology is key to the future of the high street

Marketing technology will be a driving factor in the survival of high street retailers, says retail guru Mary Portas.

On 17 January Mary Portas will address over 700 senior UK marketers at industry forum ITG Live in Birmingham.

At the event, Portas will discuss the future of retail and the important role technology will play in influencing the ways consumers purchase.

“Many people think there’s a divide between online customer interaction and the brick-and-mortar experience,” says ITG CEO Simon Ward, “but that’s entirely wrong. Stores need a one-to-one relationship with each customer that is seamless – whether that’s in store or on their favourite social channel. Technology can do that.”

ITG Live is organised by Inspired Thinking Group, which provides marketing technology and services to companies that represent around a third of UK high street spend, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and M&S.

Portas will speak at the all-day event alongside physicist and science presenter Professor Brian Cox and former Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg, who will be sharing new ideas and insights with retailers on how to tackle difficult trading conditions.

“It’s tough out there,” says Ward. “Black Friday was grey and Christmas discounting simply didn’t drive sales. Brands need to be disruptive. They need to innovate and be inspired to think differently.”