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A Case Study for Customer Surveys

Have you ever considered conducting a customer survey for business? You might think it would be a waste of your time but consider this statistic from Zendesk: “96% of consumers don’t bother to complain, making consumer surveys an excellent way for organizations to better understand their customers’ problems.” Instead of making assumptions or viewing your business from the owner or management perspective, go directly to the people who affect your bottom line: your customers. I’ve worked with several stores on crafting and maintaining customers service surveys for both their overall customer service and specifically for their online shopping programs. I used my experience working with these stores to develop a case study of how and why to create a customer service survey. To read the full case study, click HERE. Here is a quick summary of what I cover in the case study: When to Use Customer Surveys Consider running an ongoing general customer service survey so your customers always have the option to provide feedback. I highly recommend running a separate customer service survey for your online shopping program,…

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…

Curious Co-branding

Ever see a product’s advertising that infuses another brand and think, “that makes so much sense”? Things like Taco Bell and Doritos, BMW & Louis Vuitton, Apple Pay & Master Card, Boulevard Beer & Tech N9ne, wait…what?? Craft beer and hip-hop? Oh…that’s right, I forgot to mention co-branding doesn’t have to make total sense on the surface. Sure it doesn’t hurt to mesh Yum brands with bold delicious snacks or high end luxury with glam products, but if you eat Taco Bell you probably already eat Doritos and if you can afford a BMW likewise you know about or purchase Louis Vuitton luggage. However, it’s the outside the box brand collaborations that gain exposure to markets that previously might not have been available. For the content purpose of this blog I’m going to use the combo mentioned previously, Boulevard Beer & Tech N9ne (mostly true accounts from a speaking event hosted by KCDMA featuring Pat Mullin of Boulevard). Now I understand that some people reading this will not know one, if not either of these brands, so I’ll provide a…

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…

Purpose: Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Millennial shoppers will soon be the biggest purchasing group in the United States and are estimated to spend $600 billion each year. So, what does this mean to you? The marketing landscape is changing and you will now need to focus on the needs of the millennial generation. What do millennials want in a company? In a recent study they found that 81% of millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship. Traditionally consumers just “wanted” companies to incorporate social good into their business model but have come to expect it in recent years. In fact, 90% of Americans say they are more likely to trust and stay loyal to stores that actively try and make a difference. Now more than ever it is important to portray and actively pursue a socially responsible image. Studies have also shown that 88% of consumers would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit and an astounding 84% would tell friends and family about the companies cause. Turning your customers into your personal marketeers. Along those same…

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

At a recent marketing event, the speaker said something offhandedly that resonated with me. He asked, “with every marketing message and every channel, is the juice worth the squeeze?” Your customers are faced with hundreds, even thousands of messages in the form of texts, calls, ads, social media posts, etc. If you’re not standing out or struggling to get engagement from your marketing efforts, what can you do differently? Test different email subject lines and calls to action, try different kinds of social media posts or consider paying to boost your posts. Make an effort to improve what you’re doing to connect with your target audience. For some independent grocers, social media channels haven’t been worth the investment. For others, social has been a huge boost to their businesses. If it’s not working, try something new, then try again. Not seeing any improvement? Maybe the juice isn’t worth the squeeze and your audience would rather get texts or emails instead. Your weekly emails with a link to your circular might be doing well, but maybe your email with a special…

AMA - The Power to Imagine Better

The Power to Imagine Better

As you define your brand, are you pushing beyond the status quo to discover its full potential? What is your level of effort to connect with your customers? At Kansas City’s latest American Marketing Association luncheon Phil Bressler challenged us to answer these questions and then provided some thoughts and examples from other companies. Phil is a marketing/branding consultant and the founder and president of Latch – An Idea Company. Studies prove companies with creative marketing do better than those who consider marketing a low priority. I am a creative person. I have worked in graphic design in one way or another since my career began. However, I, among others run into barriers that get in the way of being creative. I find I have too much administrative work to do or too many deadlines that take priority. Other barriers people shared at the presentation include ideas becoming bottle necked somewhere else within the organization, no one to bounce ideas off of, lack of meaningful customer insight, lack of leadership support, and unproductive brainstorming sessions. One thing we do with…

Using Promo Codes to Grow Online Grocery

We’ve received mixed review about the success of promo codes in online shopping, so I wanted to learn more about what works, what doesn’t, and how we can improve marketing efforts with promo codes. I reached out to our partners at Rosie to see what their data can tell us. Alyssa Nappa, head of Shopper Marketing at Rosie wrote this blog post for us to share with you. Take it away, Alyssa! Incentivizing customers with promotional “coupon” codes is a proven strategy for growing your online grocery service. Whether your customer is placing their first order or their tenth order, promotional codes will entice them to return to your online store for their grocery needs. At Rosie, we encourage all of our retailer partners to offer promotional codes in their marketing materials, regardless if they are just launching their eCommerce service or have been live on the platform for several years. There are three popular types of promotion codes; a flat dollar amount off the total order, a percent off the total order, and a free pickup or free delivery.…

Book cover by Daniel Miyares

Creative Mornings Recap

The Power of Clear Intentions – Daniel Miyares Miyares works for Hallmark Cards during the day but he is also an award winning picture book author and illustrator. As Miyares accepted guidance from experts during the writing and illustrating of his first book, he realized a lot of decisions were made for him. He did not want to replicate that the next time. After his first book, he saw a lack of intention in his process and in his career goals. In his children’s books, he had to write them for the child; not for the consumer who may be the parent or grandparent or family friend. He asked himself the question, “What is going to relate to a child?” Not all his book reviews were favorable, but that did not stop him from creating for the young person the books are intended for. He knew he needed to have a clear intention about why he was doing what he was doing. In the grocery industry we can ask, “How can we relate to our customers? What do our customers…

Episode 9

We are back on the road at the VMC Show in Kansas City this month. If you weren’t there we did our best to recap some of what you missed. Linda Cosgrove breaks down StoreFront (1:26). Then Brian Stanley talks Cough & Cold and trends in US healthcare (10:46). Kevin Cleary tells us how to win with vitamins (19:40). Kimberly Dressler adds to the vitamin conversation (27:08). Ralph Koscheka brings another perspective on Cold & Flu (33:10). Mary McCaul discusses trends in oral care (39:13). Finally, Maurice Henry explains the Supermarket Lifecycle (45:32).