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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…

How AWG Retailers Stack Up

Survey Says…

How do AWG member retailers stack up against their competitors when it comes to marketing and advertising to consumers? We set out to answer this question (and many more) when we recently sent out a survey to our retail members. We wanted to know where our retailers are today in terms of their marketing/advertising strategies, where they want to be, and how they compare to other grocers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey! Below are the results. The Print Vs. Digital Debate The majority of our respondents spend about 80% of their time and resources on print advertising (which includes weekly ads, store signage, etc.) versus 20% on digital marketing (websites, marketing email, text, social media). AWG offers both services, because we believe in an integrated approach to advertising and marketing your store. Why? “The consumer has no singular path to purchase anymore. As retailers, we need to be at the crossroads of as many of their research and purchase decisions as possible to drive traffic our way. This means we have to choose…

Customer loyalty program w growth arrow

Keys to effective loyalty

Loyalty programs begin with wanting to reward loyal frequent customers, however most loyalty programs fail within 2 months of implementation because there isn’t a strategy designed to support them. Recently I attended an event hosted by Spin Pizza where I learned how their loyalty program achieved success. They started by identifying that they did not want it to be a discount program. Offering frequent discounts tells the customer you’re playing with margin and they are being over charged at regular price. Reward based loyalty performs better than instant discount by more than 42%. Upon customer sign up they load the users card with points, this kind of “primes the pump” so to speak. The customer then builds additional points per visit, when certain bench marks are reached the customer gets special perks like “Spin Club Dough”, basically cash vouchers that can be used for purchases. Loyalty rewards need to be carefully analyzed to determine how tolerable the reward is to sales. As a customer it would be nice to get paid for eating pizza, but that wouldn’t be the most…

Always Save brand Chocolate Lover's Month Giveaway graphic

AWG Brands Promotions of the Month: February Edition

Last month, I wrote about AWG Brands’ digital promotions initiatives and how these contests, giveaways, coupons and other content engages your customers and increases foot traffic in stores. The 10 Days of Pizza promotion has been successful in kicking off the year and accomplishing these goals. Now it’s time to look at what’s on tap for February! Always Save is the lucky brand to host a giveaway this month. February is National Chocolate Lover’s Month, so of course, we’re celebrating all things chocolate! Customers can enter to win a chocolate-themed product prize pack online through this link: http://woobox.com/z66xwt February 1-24. Always Save will announce the winner on February 27. Look at the Always Save Facebook page and website for graphics and content retailers can share on their own pages to promote this giveaway and encourage their own customers to win.   Looking for more content for your stores’ social media and websites? Here are some ideas: Best Choice produces a monthly recipe video. This month is Valentine’s Day-themed featuring a fun recipe for Heart Cupcakes. You can find supporting information…

Woman Holding Purse and Shopping Bag on Smartphone

Using Retail Technology to Create a Personalized In-Store Experience

With the ever-changing technology landscape for the retail industry, have you ever stopped to think about how you can use this technology to create a better in-store experience for your customers? Some retailers wrongly assume that because so much of our everyday lives have become dependent upon technology, retail technology is slowly replacing the brick and mortar store. In fact, retailers can (and should) use digital platforms to enhance the in-store interactions with their customers. During last week’s Coffee with CART, the discussion revolved around several articles highlighting the ways in which retailers are using technology to enhance the in-store experience. For example, Street Fight magazine explained how the designer denim company, True Religion, is providing their in-store customers with a more personalized shopping experience that involves the brand’s Apple Watch app. Associates working in the store are alerted on their Apple Watch when a member of the brand’s loyalty program have entered the store. The app pulls pictures of the customer from their social media profiles so the associate will be able to recognize the customer and greet them…

Coffee with Cart Graphic.

Star Trek gadgets could work today with an open mind

“3D printed food you can eat,” makes me think of the “replicator” in Star Trek. The Replicator seemed like a magical device with the ability to make something out of nothing. I had forgotten the Replicator used technology from the transporter. This means the replicator actually found whatever you ordered and sent it to you. Quickly.   At the end of a long day, I read the article mentioned in a recent Coffee with CART about the 3D edible food printer “Foodini”. Reading the article helped me shed my Star Trek Replicator assumptions and first off, I wasn’t impressed. I left work thinking “Big deal, somebody figured out how to fit a cookie factory into a box the size of a microwave, and it doesn’t even cook! Why would any of our retailers be interested?” It takes me 20-30 minutes to drive home from work, so I tend to relax some during this time. I started to think of factories that produce food. Basically, food goes in, it gets rearranged, and then packaged food comes out. Why do we have factories? To mass-produce. Now lets…

traditional marketing versus inbound marketing

How Marketing is Changing, Yet Again

I recently attended a webinar presented by Hub Spot, where they took a look at what will drive marketing success in 2016. They discussed how buyer behaviors have changed, and as a result advertising has changed. In 2007, Apple introduced the first ever iPhone. Back then, mobile did not even factor into website design. Today, mobile browsing exceeds desktop browsing. Another change is in website security. Heightened security has become more common because website attacks are happening more now than they used to. Not surprisingly, advertising has changed. TV commercials, direct mail and phone calls are all traditional ways to reach the consumer. But 86% of TV viewers skip the commercials, 44% of direct mail is never opened, and there are 200 million people on the Do Not Call list. So what can you do when advertising becomes less effective? Create content that can be found on a search and that will stay on a search over time. 70% of traffic comes from old content. If you are spending money on content, make sure it is only the very best…

Gary's Foods about us photos

“About Us” on your website

Everyone loves a story. People have been telling stories since… well, since people have been around! What do campfires, drawings in the sand, music, movies and your website have in common? All of these tools can help make telling a story easier. The About Us page can attract your customers with a story they can relate to. The more your customers identify with you, the more they will trust your store. The content on this page is also good to share via links in social media. Read this About Us example >> You may not think your story is interesting, but it only seems that way to you because you lived it. You lived the long version, day by day. Believe it or not, millennials prefer the story of how a business came to be rather than having big bold SALE! messages crammed down their throats. These stories tend to be read on mobile devices during down time, like during the commercials while watching TV or waiting for a Dr. Apt. Write about the stories you hear over and over at family get…


Taking your Loyalty on the Go

Loyalty programs are one of the best, most reliable and efficient ways to keep customers coming back. But ironically, the key to a making your loyalty program work even better might be to avoid being too loyal to it’s original format. Trends suggest the days of filling out a form and scanning a loyalty card may be over. As is the case with almost everything these days, people want it on their phones.   Customers have grown tired of keeping track of multiple loyalty cards and receiving rewards through a multitude of platforms. The best solution to that problem is to simply keep them all in one place: on your phone. By simply signing customers up through their phone number or having an app for them to download, the efficiency of their shopping trip and check out will greatly improve. Apps can allow customers to keep track of their loyalty bonuses as well as receive special notifications when they are in the store, via the iBeacon.   Mobile marketing usage is finally making the evolution from an often talked about…

Is There There There: 50 Cents Off Edition

Last week I sat down with the partners at GraphicMachine to discuss the current and future state of coupons. Programs like Excite and Fundraiser Coupon Book exist to provide additional coupon savings to our retailers customers, and they rely on the draw of coupons to the customer. Take a listen as I discuss with Matt, Patience, and Brian if there is there there with coupons: Is There There There? Podcast.