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How Amazon’s Update Impacts Your Email Marketing Strategy

This past December, Amazon announced a variety of new features to its very popular product, Amazon Echo Speakers. Currently, the voice assistant, Alexa, can play your favorite song, play your podcast, make phone calls, order items from Amazon and more. Now your Amazon Echo Speakers can read your emails. According to CNBC, this feature is being tested in the United States and only supports email address from Gmail, Outlook.com, Hotmail and Live.com. This type of access will allow consumers quick access to their emails without actually looking at their phone, laptop, or tablet etc. Why should you care? Think of this update as your email being transformed into an audiobook or a podcast. Visual items like images, formatting and even emojis are completely out of the picture (no pun intended). Which leaves just the context to stand out among several emails.  The ultimate goal is for the recipient to keep reading. The next best thing would be to at least have the recipient save it for later. How to Succeed To accomplish this, focus on your subject line. A captivating…

Time to Get Strategic

Let’s just all admit it: Marketing in 2019 is hard. While there are multiple programs and strategies and ways to spend money reaching out to consumers, the way we talk about marketing doesn’t make it any easier. We have traditional and digital, marketing and advertising, data and insights. It’s all just a big jumble of everyone trying to understand what is going to work and what isn’t and none of us have a crystal ball. Now that we’ve all had our moment to vent, what do we do about it? The only answer is to start with the basics and focus on a strategy. The tricky part about that proposal? Having a strategy. Let’s think through were to start. No marketer worth her weight starts to build a strategy without doing some research. That means understanding where the brand is currently, what it means to consumers, what you WANT it to mean to consumers and what avenues are in place currently to help connect those two ideals. Sometimes, this means actually doing research, sending out consumer surveys or talking to…

Measuring Value

7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impact (Webinar Recap)

So your store has a Facebook business page, and maybe an Instagram and/or Twitter profile…but are you regularly monitoring the analytics for those profiles? Do you use a monitoring tool to “listen” to what customers are saying online about your store(s) outside of your social media profiles? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of your digital marketing strategy. I recently watched an AdWeek webinar called “7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impacts.” It was sponsored by NetBase, a social media analytics platform, and hosted by Paige Leidig, CMO of NetBase, and Mike Baglietto, Director of Product Marketing at NetBase. Leidig and Baglietto emphasized that monitoring social media analytics is not something you can do on your own. As a small business, you might be able to manage and monitor your own social platforms easily enough. But once you start looking into analytics and trends that will help you take your digital marketing to the next level, you will need to consider looking into a tool that can help. Depending on your budget, you might…

Life doesn't get easier. You get better - Cocktail Bandits

Be Inspired – Creative Mornings

I would like to share more quotes from Creative Mornings events. Take a minute to be inspired by these words. “You can be committed to something, but you still have to love what you do.” — AJ Brockman “The base of every good story is ‘what if?’” — Crystal Wilkinson “Intention is to say, ‘I have a dream, and now I’m going to do something about it.’” — Jeremie Kubicek “Designing for seniors, in a way, is designing for you. Because here’s a dirty little secret: you are all getting old.” — Busy Burr “Life is funny. It throws things at us and we have to adjust.” — Christine Kelly “Is there a market for this? Or even better, can we create one?” — Cocktail Bandits “There are no rules as you move forward into the unknown. Don’t go out there unprepared, don’t charge ahead without looking forward, don’t think about what it’s going to feel like when you trip and fall.” — Sam Cruz “We often confuse urgent with what’s important. We think they’re the same…Quite frankly, urgent only…

Trending Now

NEW BLOG SERIES: Trending Now

We’re excited to announce a new blog series here at AWG Sales Services. Each month a member of our social media team will publish a “Trending Now” blog post, highlighting the food trends we are seeing online that month. What better way to start than with a quick overview of 2019 food trend predictions! After researching multiple sites and articles, I found a few major themes for the food trends you are likely to see in 2019. Plants: Meatless Monday is more than a hashtag. More consumers are turning to plant-based foods or even plant-based meat alternatives, even if they aren’t strictly vegan or vegetarian. Whether it stems from a personal choice to not eat meat or reduce the meat in their diet due to environmental impacts, customers are adding more plant-based foods to their shopping carts. Protein: Despite the growing interest in meat alternatives, protein is still a high priority for consumers as paleo and keto diets continue to grow in popularity. Higher protein and lower-carb are the main focus of these two diets and customers will be looking…

ART + World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) + Grocery Store Marketing

Last December my choices of non-Christmas Marketing events were kind of slim here in KC. I signed up for a Creative Morning session: “Rob Schamberger – When Success Turns into Chaos” not sure what to expect. The time I spent waiting for the video to post on the KC Creative Morning website also lent me time to ponder how to find relatable topics on ART + World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) + Grocery Store Marketing. Find your niche. Every store has something they do better than the competition, so that’s their “niche”. It’s what you hang your marketing hat on for store branding. It can be anything from better customer service, store made salads or local produce. Some businesses find their niche early on while others might change mid stream. Other niche’s can be so broad they cover several areas at once, or can be applied to anything new. Creative Morning session: “Rob Schamberger – When Success Turns into Chaos”. Rob first wanted to be a comic book artist but found the profession to be over crowded with lots of competition.…

In-Store Dietician

Consumers needs and trends at the grocery store are constantly changing and becoming more involved. It’s not enough to offer the lowest price or the best customer service anymore. Consumers now expect an experience even when shopping for their weekly groceries. What does this mean for a retailer? You need to offer something in your store that adds more value to your customers shopping trips. Health and wellness have been on the rise and is a driving factor in grocery purchasing decisions. How could a store both increase value to a customer’s trip while also being conscious of health and wellness? According to the Food Marketing Institute 80% of grocery chains have dieticians either at the corporate or in store level. For example, Hy-Vee and ShopRite’s have had in store dieticians for years. This offers an in-store experience while still promoting healthy lifestyles and eating. These stores were ahead of the game but now even independent grocers are starting to add retail dieticians to their workforce. Your first question is probably, “What does a retail dietician do?” That answer will…

Instagram Strategies for Small Businesses

Quinn Tempest Later Lecture Recap

Quinn Tempest, who you might recognize from previous posts on this very blog, recently wrote a blog post and created a video for Later as part of their Later Lecture Series. She tailored her regular Instagram marketing presentation to small businesses, which appealed to me as someone who has been helping a few of our members launch Instagram accounts over the past several months. Quinn is often highlighted on this blog because she regularly travels to Kansas City to speak at marketing and advertising professional events. There’s a reason she is asked to come back again and again. She offers insightful yet practical advice related to digital marketing and content strategy for businesses big and small. She regularly focuses on Instagram marketing. I want to share some of what I learned from her Later Lecture because I think she provided some great insight! Quinn emphasized multiple times in this lecture the importance of balancing visual and strategy on your brand’s Instagram profile. AWG members often focus on item and price, which makes sense in grocery retail. And while grocery retailers…

Augmented Reality - photo by mankind2018

Create an Immersive Experience

The Adobe MAX 2018 conference drew a lot of attention to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Virual reality is a form of immersive computingthat can take you anyWHERE. You can tour the Eiffel Tower or ride a raft through the Grand Canyon, all from your own living room. View some VR videos at youtube.com/vr. Augmented reality is a form of immersive computing that can bring you anyTHING. You have the opportunity to see objects in front of you that actually are not there. Imagine walking up to a real live dinosaur…or what appears to be a live dinosaur! We as designers and artists are no longer limited to the screen. The world around us becomes our canvas. With over a billion AR-enabled devices in the hands of users today and even more wearable and headset devices being used, immersive media is something that is no longer seen in science fiction. It is right here in front of us.  We have the creativity, but augmented reality requires different skills, different programming languages and a knowledge of different tools. That was…

KJO Media

Video Content That Gets Results – Part 2

In Sean’s initial post from the BMAKC event last month, Video Content That Gets Results, he covered the different types of video KJO Media explained. I’m going to talk about some elements to consider during your pre-production and production phases. First of all, who is your audience? How will you communicate to them? When you talk to someone in person, you usually have their attention at least for a little while because it is difficult for them to turn away from you when you are face-to-face. In a group meeting or presentation, they likely won’t get up and walk away. It is more difficult to grab their attention and keep it when they are viewing your video on their own initiative. For example, a TV commercial is short and it comes during a time when a lot of us are ready for a short break from the show we are watching. That means the commercial needs to grab the audience’s attention quickly, before they leave the room or before they pick up their phone to check notifications. With a video on a…

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