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Compass with needle pointing to core values

WordCamp recap – Voice Your Values

At WordCamp this year there was a lot of talk about ADA and SEO. I’ll talk about ADA in another recap soon. As for SEO, we have written articles recently, such as Content Marketing & SEO and How SEO Can Strengthen Your Digital Store Brand Identity. While you do need good SEO to drive traffic to your website, values are important too. Actually, in today’s world, it is kind of unique. Having core values to define your brand can make you stand out from your competition. In the WordCamp session, Voice Your Values, Andrea Garcia, Chief Mind Officer at mind+matter, says to let others know who you are and who you are not. Define your brand. Voice your values and you will connect with customers who are looking for the same values. That makes sense, right? When you hang out with friends, don’t you have the best time when you are with those who share the same values and the same interests? We at AWG manage social media pages for many of our members. One thing we must keep in…

What Should (and Shouldn’t) be on a landing page.

I’m flipping through my notes from WordCamp last week, looking for a session that could directly benefit our AWG retail members. This guy, Mat Casner, really drew a big crowd considering his session was next to last at 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon. Mat first caught my attention by asking the audience, “How many of you work for someone who would like more customers?” I raised my hand. After that I was pretty much glued to his every word, which I put in italics below. Customer Acquisition is a Constant Cycle Get Attention: They must be aware of your existence Convert Attention: They must like something of value you are offering Keep Attention: They must be willing to trust you enough to risk a financial investment in exchange for value The key to any business relationship is trust. It is our responsibility to reduce as many barriers as possible that are keeping your customers from trusting you. Here, I’d like to insert further focus on “barriers”. Your customers today rely on multiple mediums to get information. Gone are the days…

SMCKC Recap: The Art & Science of Storytelling

At this month’s SMCKC breakfast, Ben Putano from WeContent and Editor/Founder of Kansas City Spirit spoke about The Art & Science of Storytelling. His presentation captured the heart of making your customer the hero from a marketing perspective. Let’s recap the key points of the presentation. The Hero’s Journey Excellent storytelling combines art and science with a focus on the customer. Much like every Disney movie, the main character meets someone. Then issues occur preventing the main character from succeeding. But somehow the character makes it out of the situation. The main character returns home as a new person with a new outlook. This type of storytelling can be applied to your marketing story. According to Putano, the customer is always going to be the hero of your marketing story, not the brand. Understanding that key component allows you to draw attention towards the customer. For a practical example,  highlight your customer’s favorite product as a spotlight in stores and on social media. This will push your customer to the forefront.  Use your brand as a guide. Let your brand…

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All in the Experience

You can’t be in retail these days without hearing about how consumers are migrating to experiences instead of things. As evidenced on a panel at the Retail Innovations Conference, a good place to start when thinking about this topic is to align expectations about what “experience” means. While Kasey Lobaugh of Deloitte showed data that consumers aren’t necessarily shifting spending from retail to travel and entertainment, panelist Doug Zarkin of Pearle Vision challenged that the shift might not be as apparent as money moving to different categories. Instead, Zarkin argued, customers are migrating toward brands that integrate experience into retail.  The good news for grocery retailers is that grocery stores already have quite a bit of experience built in and generally, going to the grocery store is already an experience. Experience isn’t necessarily something considered with intention though, at least according to Tom Demetriou of Dimensional Innovations during his AMAKC presentation in April. He outlined six ideas that marketers can take into account while thinking through how to reach consumers looking for experiences. I took those ideas and translated them…

Stores Still Need In-Store Signage

In-store signage has been shown to sell more product and increase profits. Advertised items are sold at full-retail and result in an average lift of 30.8%. This proves that shelf-signage still has real stopping power with customers. Shoppers are looking for in store experiences and products that utilize shelf signage are engaging with the shoppers at the most crucial time. Surprisingly some studies have shown that anywhere from 50.8 to 67.7% of purchases are impulse. So, one of the best ways to trigger these purchases is to catch the consumers eye with shelf signage. In the complex store environment, brands must navigate shoppers down the aisle, into the category and to the shelf where they can close the sale. At 10 feet you need to attract the shopper, 5 feet engages and at 2 feet you need to sell the product. This is the sometimes referred to as the 10 – 5 – 2 rule. This strategies success can be attributed to 76% of all purchasing decisions being made in-store at the shelf. It’s not that shoppers don’t know what…


How to Add Additional Links to Your Instagram

Do you get frustrated having to change the link in your Instagram bio all the time? The current Instagram platform doesn’t allow hyperlinked URLs in posts or in stories. However, you have the option to add a link to a paid post/story. On the feed, it shows up as a bar at the bottom of your image or video with a call to action like “Learn More” or “Shop Now.” On the story, it shows up at the bottom of the screen with an arrow to swipe up and the call to action below the arrow. You can also add a free “swipe up” option to stories if you have more than 10,000 followers or a verified account. Since most small businesses aren’t likely to have either of these things, and you don’t want to spend money on every single post/story, how do you make this a little easier for yourself? There are several tools available to help with this issue. Tools like Linktree, Linkin.bio, Shorby, Lnk.Bio, and Link in Profile offer the option to put a link in your…

KCDMA 70th Anniversary Luncheon - A Marketer's Guide to PPC Ad Extensions

KCDMA Recap: A Marketer’s Guide to PPC Ad Extensions

At this month’s KCDMA luncheon, Erik Dahlstrom from Emfluence presented a marketer’s guide to PPC (pay per click) ad extensions. Before we get into that, let’s talk about the basics of creating a Google Ad. Go to ads.google.com You must have a Google account for your business and be logged in to start a Google Ads campaign. Select campaign type – search, display, app, shopping, video. Create Google Analytics account if you don’t already have one, then link your Analytics to your Google Ads and set up Goals to track conversions. Go back to Google Ads to import Google Analytics goals. Select campaign settings in Google Ads, such as audience, run dates, budget, bidding and ad extensions. Set up ad groups and select keywords. Create ads for each ad group. Campaigns are now created and you can modify specific strategies for each campaign. Payment method needs to be set up before running a campaign. There is an excellent tutorial with more details on setting up Google ads at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLeduV-d7lc Notice in step 6, I mention ad extensions. Erik says no…

Episode 16

On this month’s show we are talking Shelf Stable Juice with Brian Adams (2:53). Followed by Melissa Davis discussing the new look Learning and Development department (8:36). Finally, Jessica Magnussen drops in to talk about the new price changes in DSG, and things members can do to bring down costs and grow sales at the same time (16:10)

Preventing Gift Card Fraud

Every couple weeks or so I get a call or email about a store that had fallen victim to a gift card scam. These fraud attempts are inevitable, however prevention is possible! Fraudsters are clever, convincing, intimidating and even threatening. They change their approach and scam type frequently until something works. If only that intellect and energy were used for good. One of the scams I hear about often is, an employee fields a call from an individual that claims to be someone from Visa, Blackhawk, POS Vendor or even a person of rank within their own organization. The person calling would then claim that they need to test the system for proper data transmission, or some other reason and request to have a certain card or cards activated and be told what the card numbers are so they can verify the codes. Once they get those activated card numbers they can then deplete the card funds for their personal use. It’s important to train staff members that NO ONE not even a government official will call with any such…

Trending Now

Trending Now: May

Food trends in May are all about Mother’s Day, warmer weather, cooler foods and drinks, campouts, and the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day. Most people think of breakfast in bed or brunch when they think of Mother’s Day. But a lot of sweet treats popped up on the internet this month to help you show the moms in your life how much you care. Like these delicious Mother’s Day cakes or this beautiful edible bouquet. May isn’t just about moms. It’s also the time of year when everyone is preparing for summer. The temperatures get warmer and the food and drinks get colder. It’s the perfect time to start breaking out refreshing summer drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Expect lots of fun summer treats with boozy twists like these champagne popsicles. Or something fun for the kids like mermaid layered slushies. As the temperatures increase, more people are going outside to enjoy the sunshine. This means more cookouts and picnics. Flavorful fresh salads are a popular side dish at these outdoor events, along with other types of tasty sides…