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InKate

Shoptalk 2019

Overwhelming or energizing. Four days in Las Vegas at Shoptalk could elicit either one of those feelings depending on your perspective. For me, it’s a healthy mix of both because the overwhelming part demands focus and introspection into the practicalities of applying everything I just tried to absorb from the biggest and best in retail. The energizing part comes in seeing how we, and the industry, respond to all this great information. Brick & Mortar isn’t dead. But it is changing. Historically, grocery stores were designed to meet the needs of walk-in customers. Instacart’s Chief Business Officer Nilam Ganenthiran talked though about how that may need to change in the future. Rather, owners should consider designing expedite e-commerce fulfillment. Crate & Barrel CEO Neela Montgomery talked about enhancing their stores with in-store dining options. Helena Foulkes, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, showed before and after pictures of Saks Fifth Avenue store completely redesigned to have natural light by the makeup counter, easier access to the second floor for efficiency, and expansion of handbag category. All of these retailers are responding…

Audience

Talking to Your Audience Instead of Yourself (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions was called Talking to Your Audience (Instead of Yourself), presented by Priya Nibert, (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group). While the session was directed at business communicators, it’s an important lesson for businesses, in general, when planning marketing strategy. Don’t prioritize communication over the message to the audience. One size fits all communication never works.   Nibert emphasized that connecting to your audience is the key to communicating to your audience. Stop talking to yourself and prioritize the audience, message, and vehicle. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What’s in it for the audience? Is your message clear? What is the best way to deliver that message? First, start with your audience. Determine who they are and get to know them. You can do this a number of ways. An easy way is to pull demographic data from digital platforms like your social media accounts and your website. You can also conduct a customer survey. For grocery retailers, don’t make assumptions based on a limited…

Social Media

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Social Media (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

Social media used to be about grabbing your space on a platform, posting content and maintaining your presence on the platform. Some of you might be reading this and thinking “use to be?” I hate to break it to you, but the days of creating an account for your business and not thinking much about it are gone. If you are going to take the time to create a social media account and dedicate even the smallest amount of time, money and resources to it, you have to have a plan. And that plan needs to adapt as the social media landscape changes. I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions focused on the ever-changing landscape of social media. Angela Crawford (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group) and Matt Staub (owner, Proxima LLC) discussed the ways social media is changing and how brands who want to succeed on these platforms need to change with it. Crawford started by outlining the three categories brands tend to fall into on social media: Brands that inform (news,…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: March Edition

March brings Daylight Savings, St. Patrick Day, Spring and most importantly, Customer Appreciation Week. Below is the digital content created to share with your customers on your website, social media platforms, emails and more to promote AWG Private Brands. Best Choice Recipe of the Month The March Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is for Sweet Potato Scones. The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. The native files can be found here. Best Choice Recipe Video The March recipe video is for Smoked Sausage Jambalaya. You can share this short video from the Best Choice website, YouTube, or using the native files found here. Digital Coupons March digital coupons can be found here. Consumers can access these coupons through a store’s loyalty program. If your store does not have a loyalty program, but is interested in setting one up, please contact Chris Higgs to get started. If a retailer is not on the AWG Brands preferred Loyalty Lane platform but wants to display these coupons for their customers on their own coupon platform, they…

Persona spectrum for touch

Inclusive Design

I attended a meetup this week put on by the KC .NET User Group, “Designing for Accessibility: Thinking outside the box – by John Alexander. Inclusive design is for those who want to make great products for the greatest number of people. -Microsoft Design Many steer away from providing more access options for a service or product because they fear the high cost. They also think only a few people will actually benefit. This presentation helped me think differently about how more access options provides opportunities to grow your customer group. Maybe that’s why AWG provides so many different marketing services? When I’m about to start a new website project for someone I haven’t worked with before, one of my first questions is, “Who is your target audience?” “Everybody” is the normal response. “Greatest number of people = Everybody” Consider how adaptable humans are when using tools, I mean, who hasn’t used a butter knife as a screwdriver? Another example is the Closed Captioning (CC) setting on a TV. At first, CC was for people who are deaf or hard…

QR code

The Evolution of QR Codes

Someone in our company asked me the other day if we could print a QR code on posters which would be displayed throughout a trade show. When people scan the code, they would be directed to an online version of a PowerPoint presentation. I thought, “Why not? We can do that.” We’ve used QR codes in the past to link to websites and YouTube videos, but it hasn’t been something people get very excited about. Or perhaps, not many people knew about them. A QR (Quick Response) code is similar to a barcode, but can hold at least 100 times the amount of information than what a typical barcode can hold. They have been around since 1994, developed by a Japanese company to help track vehicles during manufacturing. They were introduced in the U.S. sometime around 2010 when the first QR code scanner app was released for smartphones. As the technology evolved, the code began to contain more and more information. Although the use of QR codes has been popular in Asia, they have had a difficult time defending their…

Extreme Couponing

It benefits the consumer, does it benefits the retailer? Do you think couponing is dying? Roughly 25% of the U.S. population are now using digital coupons and millions more still click coupons from Sunday papers. Couponing dates back to the 1880s when a pharmacist created a syrup for what we now know as Coca-Cola and offered free vouchers for the beverage on the street. The concept has evolved from the newspapers to digital coupon. As a frugal person, I wanted to get in on the couponing experience. I’ve seen the reality shows about creating a stockpile of household items but had no clue how to begin. So I attended a workshop explaining the best practices for couponing with having to have a lamented binder full of clipped coupons. During this workshop, I learned the key to being successful at couponing. It’s all about utilizing a website that highlights store ads and matching them up with current coupons. To ensure I had all the coupons, I initially purchased four subscriptions to my local newspaper. That was too many for a family…

Art & Soul KC – SMCKC Recap

It might not be obvious how an art museum’s quest to raise more money applies to grocery world, I can assure you that I attended SMCKC’s February breakfast for more than just bacon. Angela Pritchett, digital marketer at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, how they increased their membership by changing what they promoted. Instead of focusing on member perks, Prichett began emphasizing why people are members and highlighting the shared community. They saw a spike in membership when they stopped talking about free parking and started detailing how many school children would get to visit the museum because of each donation. Each member knew the impact their money was making. One of my goals for the year is to increase contact numbers for email clients. I plan on taking a strategy from Pritchett and her team. They used a “manifesto” to tell potential members what the goals of the museum were, and how they would be helping as members. Now obviously signing up for emails is much lower stakes than giving money to a museum. However, I think some of…

Grocer Pod – Episode 13

Grocer Pod is back at the VMC show. This episode was recorded on the show floor so there is some background noise. It makes you feel like you were there. First up is David Krueger National Sales Manager for Design Greetings (1:03). David talked about what members can do to improve center store sales. Jan Sokal, from GOT Systems, tells how they can help members with their ordering processes (6:34). Then Natural Native’s Ron Cunningham discusses the hot new trend, CBD (15:51). Finally, Jason Forrester gives another update on StoreFront and how members can use it more effectively (23:54).