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Tale of the Tape

In the excitement of dreaming up and launching campaigns, sometimes determining how to measure it gets lost in the mix. Yet, as Tara Saylor expressed to the room full of marketers at the Kansas City International Business Communicators lunch, the only way to pop the champagne and enjoy the successes is to know where you’re going at the beginning. This means asking questions, using data, deciding what to measure, making a plan, and telling everyone about what you did. Good solutions start with good questions. Question 1. Who are you trying to reach? Are they loyal customers, new ones, or potential ones? What do you want them to do with the information provided? Question 2. What’s your timeline? Working backwards from the final date sometimes helps build out the steps. Once you have those steps, put them on a calendar. Question 3. How are you going to measure success? It’s best to document the answers to the questions so you can think through the way they contribute to success, otherwise you might end up having to use HIPPO (highest paid…

Photo of purple gold fish jumping out of small crowded fishbowl into a big empty fish bowl.

Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Last Monday I attended an event put together by the Kansas City –  American Marketing Association featuring a couple of speakers from PurpleGoldfish.com. Each speaker presented some snippets from the Purple Goldfish Business Strategy Book Series. What caught my attention the most, as a website designer, was a section on how, “Differentiation is Key”. Most designers challenge themselves to make everything they touch stand out. Yes, sometimes we are asked to add on to something already started, but starting with a blank page is why I show up in the mornings. Getting our retailers to share with us how their business is different from their competition, can be a challenge for writing content. Instead, we normally get requests from retailers to duplicate something their competitor just rolled out. I imagine this happens because a customer threatened to take their business elsewhere because they have “__________”. Ouch. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be a fly on the wall of your competitor’s business and hear customers tell them what you do that they like? Maybe instead of copying your competitor,…

Save-A-Label Success

The Save-A-Label program helps more than 9,000 non-profit organizations and schools raise $300,000+ each year. It’s a simple fundraising program that AWG retailers can promote to help their customers support the organizations that are important to them. The program is simple to use. If you’re not sure how it works, you can click here to learn more about it, but basically customers clip Best Choice labels and submit them to AWG for cash for their organizations. The program has been successful for decades. It hasn’t changed much since its invention, so we decided to survey our customers to see if there are any ways we can improve it. Through two rounds of surveys (one emailed to people who have signed their organizations up for the Save-A-Label program, and the second round emailed to our general Best Choice subscriber list and posted on the Best Choice social media sites), we discovered the great parts and the pain points of the program. Thank you to the 553 people who completed the survey! Here’s what they had to say: Do you actively use…

Coffee beans

No Beans About It

Cup of Joe. Java. Jitter Juice. Coffee. America’s obsession with coffee dates back to the world’s largest cup of tea, The Boston Tea Party. Soon after the steeping of Boston harbor, Americans began drinking coffee as a sort of patriotic expression and coffee mainstays such as Maxwell House started popping up across the map. Teddy Roosevelt is said to have coined the Maxwell House catchphrase, “Good to the Last Drop” and was rumored to consume a gallon of coffee each day. Amateur. Coffee exports total $20 billion annually, with the leading consumer of coffee worldwide being the Netherlands. South America produces the largest amount of coffee beans and the United States is responsible for over $5 billion in annual retail coffee sales. Now that our history and economics lessons are over, let’s take a look at one of the newest craft trends in America, third wave coffee. Where do you stop for your morning blitz of caffeinated bliss? Some people grind their own beans, much to the chagrin of anyone sleeping within a quarter-mile of their kitchen, some folks are…

Creative Mornings talk on Commitment

Commitment – Creative Mornings recap

Having visited over 75 countries, Creative Mornings speaker Tania Carriere has discovered new possibilities through travel. She has learned to step outside her comfort zone and have a passion for change. Her adventures have led to life lessons and commitments that guide and shape her life and her career. The definition of commitment is “the things we say yes to, wholeheartedly, the principles that guide our lives”. It is different than rules. Rules are given to us by someone else with an expectation to follow them. Commitments are something we choose. Are we intentional about the things we choose to be committed to? Everything is a choice. We can choose who we will be and what we will leave behind. What changes do we need to make in what we are we doing? Be open to change. Be that person to step out and make a difference. “There is a difference between ‘the way’ and ‘the way I know’. There is always another right answer.” What is the one thing you can do today that will make a difference?


For almost 2 years now, I’ve occasionally heard the word “Gutenberg” mentioned at WordPress MeetUps and Events. When I saw a session at WordCamp last spring on the schedule about Gutenberg, I made sure to attend. What was talked about during this session, we were told, was mostly speculation. However, we were given a few links and videos to watch, which is what I want to share. If you are a retailer who has a website, this is my guess of what’s going through your head about now, “Why should I care about Gutenberg?” Well, Gutenberg is going to be used in the WordPress update 5.0 sometime in 2018. “Why should I care about WordPress?” If your store has a website, you might want to know if your website will be affected by Gutenberg. It’s also good to know that the chances of your website using WordPress is 1 out of 4. Do you have a WordPress site? If your not sure go to BuiltWith.com put in your domain name then hit “Lookup”. If you see “WordPress” in the list…

Voice activated "What can I help you with?"

Voice search AI and local business strategy

Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer system to perform tasks of human intelligence. Conspiracy theories about what Artificial Intelligence is, can do, or what it’s used for are all over the place. Humans are naturally fearful of what we don’t fully understand so we create adverse ideas and scenarios to rationalize our fear. Whether you harbor suspicions about AI or not it’s already here and making things easier. As I write this blog Google’s Smart Reply just identified the text in an email and provided me 3 options to use in response with the click of a button…boom just saved twelve keystrokes. Speaking of saved keystrokes, AI has made huge strides in the voice activated virtual assistant channel. Virtual assistants are in-home devices like Alexa and Google Home, but they’re also available on your mobile devices like Siri and Cortana. Virtual assistants recognize voice commands in many different languages with only a 5.9% error rate; meaning they understand the same amount as you or I do in a conversation now. When using a virtual assistant you are utilizing…

The mile marker painted white on the blacktop of the footpath on a close up view.

Chasing the Last Mile

Of all the hot topics in retail these days, last-mile fulfillment is one of the hottest. Independent grocery retailers are becoming more comfortable with the notion of click and collect eCommerce, but last mile seems to be another beast altogether. There are concerns, for sure. But, as more and more competitors venture into delivery, retailers are asking how they can get in the game. At the Home Delivery World conference in Atlanta in April, Bringg laid out seven steps in the delivery process and how retailers can prepare to tackle it head on. 7 steps in delivery: Streamline processes – ensure the data used to power delivery is correct. Have the right product and pricing information and understand what’s even going to be available via delivery. Improve Efficiency – Learn how to track inventory and have driver visibility for both the driver and the customer. Use real time data and consider proof of delivery. Provide Visibility – Build trust with on-time delivery and use data to understand each component of the process and how to continuously improve it. Communicate effectively…

Comfort kills. Are you doing something on a daily basis that pushes you a little? by Elise Russell

Creative Mornings Inspirational Quotes

I occasionally attend the monthly meetup with a group called Creative Mornings. After spending some time networking over a cup of coffee and a bite of breakfast, we sit down for a short presentation. Each month the presentation revolves around a theme, such as courage, commitment, broken. Each theme is meant to spark inspiration within ourselves and conversation amongst each other. I have taken some quotes shared by Creative Mornings. I like quotes not only because they can be inspiring but also because often times we want to only read small bits of information. Enjoy! “Anxiety brings with it massive energy and it is what we do with that energy which separates us.” — Laurie-Beth Robbins “The future is crafted by those who do work they don’t have to.” — Scott Belsky “Humility is actually an act of strength. You have to have a really solid core to expose yourself to the discomfort, and to some degree, the suffering, of not being good at something.” — Amy Sandman “Startups don’t die because they run out of money, they die because…

The Mindful Millennial and Cause Marketing

Two of the biggest challenges facing grocery retail in 2018 will be millennials and mindfulness. With unlimited technology literally sitting in most customers pockets, mindfulness is going to be one of the biggest trends in 2018. Pew Research Center has predicted that millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest living adult generation in 2019. This is changing the landscape of how grocery stores market themselves and do business. Price and quality are very comparable nowadays and millennials look to support causes when they shop. Visibility into the practices of businesses is the clearest it has ever been, so customers (mainly millennials) are now holding stores and companies accountable socially and ethically. 80% of consumers believe that businesses must play a role in addressing societal issues. So what does this all mean for grocery stores?   Two words: Cause Marketing. What is cause marketing? Cause marketing is when a company partners with a charitable organization to address a social or environmental problem. 91% of Americans want more products to support causes. So what can you do? AWG has the partner…