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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…

Optimizing Omni-Channel Grocery Shopping

Marketing Communications Strategies for Independent Grocery Retailers If you’ve read my past blog posts or follow me on social media, you know I’ve been busy with graduate school for the past three years in addition to working at AWG. Good news: after a full year of researching, writing and finally defending, I have competed my thesis and graduated with my master’s degree from Mizzou! So what does this mean for you? I’ve condensed my 80-page thesis down to a quick summary of what I learned. The What The lovely title of this blog post is also the title of my thesis. In layman’s terms: I studied how independent grocery retailers (like AWG members) can successfully market and communicate their online grocery shopping offerings to their customers to secure sales online and in-stores. I did this through marketing email communications. The Why Besides the fact that I work at AWG each day and have a vested interest in helping our retailers, omni-channel grocery shopping (online and in-store shopping options) is constantly evolving and grabbing headlines in the news. For example: “By…

Winning clients through empathy

I’m no salesman. To be honest, I’m not really sure why I chose Scott Schaper’s presentation at Word Camp KC 2018. I am very happy I chose that room. A lot of what Schaper said resonated with me. “The best clients,” Schaper said, “are not sensitive to price if you are empathetic to their needs.” Retailers all think our marketing services are too expensive. They don’t see why it costs so much for email or to set up a Facebook account. No list of feature will convince them. Instead, when a retailer says “That’s expensive” say “Yes. It is expensive. I know choosing how to spend limited resources is a big choice, but here is how I can help.” We need to frame everything in how we can help the retailers. We aren’t selling we are solving. We aren’t vendors we are partners. Vendors sell stuff. Partners solve problems. Vendors produce expenses. Partners produce value. In 2017 the average net profit for an independent grocery store was .09 percent. We know our retailers are working on razor thin margins causing…

KCDMA 2018 Symposium Logo: Now & Later

Lessons for Now & Later

Earlier this year, I attended the KCDMA 2018 Direct Marketing Symposium. This full-day conference was an interactive event stacked with presentations from some of marketing’s best. The theme was Now & Later – Planning for the Future. Throughout the symposium, presenters shared current case studies (the now) and how to use these lessons for future campaigns (the later). After reflecting on the event and trying to gather all of the lessons I learned into one blog post, here are the top nuggets that I wanted to share with you. Ian Baer’s “Focusing on the One” presentation: Data unlocks everything – use data to find and address your customers’ pain points. Speed and ease or not enough anymore in the wake of Amazon. Discover what quality makes your store unique because Amazon has already perfected speed and easy. Vocab word: Webroom – researching prices online, then purchasing them in store (opposite of showrooming). This new trend is causing online brands like Amazon to fight back with brick & mortar stores.   Quinn Tempest’s “Content Marketing: To the Future and Beyond!” presentation:…

Computer Video

Video Content Strategy for Smart People (IABC Breakout Session Recap)

You may have heard that video is becoming a pretty big deal in digital marketing. Facebook is prioritizing video posts higher than other types of content when their algorithm determines what to show in the News Feed. And in case you didn’t realize the level of its popularity, YouTube has more than one billion users — or one third of the internet. The last breakout session I attended at the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC was presented by Jolean Olson of Scenic Road Products. She shared with us why video is so important to marketing (both internal and external) and how to develop the best strategy for your company to use video. First she covered why video is so important. Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles. Video generates 3x as many monthly visitors to a website as other content Visitors spend 88% more time on a website that includes video Organic traffic from search engines increases by 157% with video While it’s great to…

Hallmark Logo

How Words Get You Found (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

In my first recap of the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC, I covered the keynote address about demystifying content marketing. So let’s look at this recap of a presentation that demystifies search engine optimization, or SEO. And I’ll be honest, I still find the concept mystifying in a lot of ways, but this breakout session helped me get a better idea of what it means and how to use it. In her presentation, “How Words Get You Found,” Kelly Stanze, search strategist (and self-proclaimed SEO nerd) for Hallmark shared the basics of SEO and how both the content side and the technical side need to work together to provide the best SEO bang for your buck. Kelly describes search engine optimization as the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website. She also made sure to point out that SEO has become more than “just marketing.” It’s about content strategy and technical skills for website development/maintenance. The elements of content strategy involve not only what is on the pages of your website,…

Content Marketing Demystified

Content Marketing Demystified (IABC Summit Keynote Address Recap)

If you work with me or any other AWG digital specialist on your digital marketing, you’ve probably heard us discuss content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s not just about the content we post on your social media profiles, your website or your blog. It’s the strategy behind the content that’s being posted. I recently attended the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. The keynote speaker was Quinn Tempest, a digital marketing strategist and graphic designer from Phoenix. Her presentation was titled “Content Marketing Demystified” and she covered the myths of content marketing and the lessons she’s learned about content marketing throughout her career working with various companies and individuals. Quinn describes content marketing as “the art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.” She asserts that instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your audience more informed before they buy. The goal is to deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information your customers/prospects so that they will ultimately reward you with their business…

How AWG Retailers Stack Up
InCara

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…

Snickers Hungerithm

Ease “Hanger” with real-time deals

With Hungerithm a hangry internet means cheaper #SNICKERS for you. Get your Coupon Here: https://t.co/xh5arwKrnF #EatASNICKERS pic.twitter.com/cAvNz2OUFg — SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) November 16, 2017 On November 16 Snickers announced a new program to offer discounts based on algorithm they created. The candy bar brand is monitoring social media posts for over three thousand words and phrases that indicate people are upset. The idea was debuted at 7-Eleven stores in Australia. Discounts for Snickers fluctuated in real-time based on social media monitoring. Obviously, this is going to be beyond the capabilities of most retailers. However, the principle can still be applied. The idea of real-time discounts has been around for a while. Use our text-message program to alert customers to flash deals. Do you have digital signage  in your store? Use them to call attention to a flash sale. You don’t need a big marketing agency running a fancy algorithm to let you know the mood of your potential customers. As a retailer you should be tuned in to your community. Do you need to discount liquor because the local team just lost…