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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…

Logo: AWP - Associated Wholesale Podcast
InSean

Check out the new podcast from AWG: Associated Wholesale Podcast

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]We are proud to announce our foray into the world of podcasting with Associated Wholesale Podcast. AWP is our attempt to provide our members another source of information to help them be successful. As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, it was time for us to add a podcast option for our members. The show will feature conversations with subject matter experts on wide ranging topics. If it can be applied to your store; we will talk about it. The current plan is for there to be one episode a month, but if we can provide quality content more often then that is what we will do. The first episode is available for download on iTunes and Google Play now. Or you can listen below: [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Local Pages illustration

How Local Pages Help Your Store

Retailers with multiple locations have a decision to make when it comes to creating Facebook business pages: do you make one page that represents all locations or do you make individual pages for each store? I discussed in a recent blog post how to do both, as well as how to link the location pages to the banner page. In the post, I highlighted the more practical reasons you should consider setting up the locations pages. For example, setting up individual location pages might make sense if your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. Those practical reasons are important but there is a less tangible reason to create local pages for each individual store location. Your customers are more likely to engage with a local page versus a banner page for the entire chain. According to an article on MediaPost, “local store pages generated 25 times more impressions than brand pages.” Citing research from MomentFeed, MediaPost highlighted findings of their analysis of impression data in early 2017 from approximately 50 national brand clients, including restaurant chains,…

Close up top view of young people putting their hands together.
InKate

Technology Trends in Employee Communications – Unifying or Dividing?

How companies communicate with end consumers has definitely evolved over the last decade, but the ways companies communicate with employees has as well. In a recent Kansas City International Association of Business Communicators event, Jordan Warzecha from Backstitch walked through different ways companies can make sure employees are getting the information they need. According to Warzecha, engaged team members knows their job, but also their role in the organization. Engaged employees are 20% better performers, 87% more likely to stay at a company and contribute $13,000 more to a company’s bottom line. One of the challenges companies have is that they are large. To reach this group, Warzecha said companies have traditionally relied on eblasts, an intranet, or memos in the bathroom/break room. Intranets, while a dumping ground for everything are a source for nothing, said Warzecha, and email announcements were pushed at employees but didn’t hold much value. Social intranets needed engaged employees to contribute and newsletters had much of the same challenges as email announcements. But Warzecha said these strategies are broken. 70% of employees are disengaged at…

Logo for Fresh EBT by Propel.

Check out the Fresh EBT app

AWG is working with Fresh EBT to help retailers connect with SNAP shoppers and capture a higher share of EBT spend. We know that EBT recipients are an important segment for many of our members. Nationwide, the SNAP program supports over $70B in grocery purchases, with shoppers spending tens of billions of dollars more outside of the program for food at home. Fresh EBT is a smartphone app that makes it easier for EBT recipients to manage and use their benefits. Over 800,000 people across the country have downloaded the app since it was released in early 2016. Through Fresh EBT users are able budget their benefits, organize shopping trips, and find valuable grocery content. For retailers, Fresh EBT provides direct access to EBT recipients while they are planning and conducting their grocery shopping. Retailers can advertise weekly specials, create sponsored recipes, or simply introduce themselves or share store news. Ads can be targeted by location, as well as shopping history or time of month. Through Fresh EBT, retailers can stay top of mind for EBT recipients. Fresh EBT also offers…

person holding cell phone

New AWG Text Platform

It’s been a year since I wrote the blog post “Why You Should Be Texting Your Customers,” so it’s time for an update! No, the numbers haven’t changed. Text messages have more than a 97% open rate and your messages are usually read within minutes. AWG retailers will now have the option to write and send their own text messages through our partnership with Media Solutions Corporation. If you’re already using the existing AWG text platform, we’ll be rolling you over to the MSC platform. Your texts will come from a new shortcode, and you can change your keyword if you’d like to. You’ll have the option to write and send texts blasts on your own, or you can continue to have your AWG Marketing Specialist take care of everything for you. What else is different? The new platform will cost retailers significantly less every month. Give us a call for more pricing details. What’s the point to texting your customers? First of all, customers who sign up WANT to hear from you, otherwise they wouldn’t sign up. They’re not…

Photo of trendy female riding a white kitten.

Picture perfect: Choosing images that get results

Last week Getty Images hosted a webinar by Creative Research Expert Jacqueline Bourke on how to select images what will increase engagement. In 2015, there were 1.5 trillion images were shot. That number will only continue to increase. The quality of those images keeps getting better and better. Consumers now expect high quality images in all their content. It is important that you select images that engage your audience’s emotions and senses. We are visual creatures. Ninety percent of information is transferred visually. Our audiences are being bombarded by an ever increasing amount messages. Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  A strong visual image will allow for our content to stand out from the crowd. Images are obviously crucial on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but tweets and Facebook posts with strong visual elements have more engagement than text only counterparts. Below are some trends and examples of how they have been used:   First person: This perspective pulls your audience in and makes them a part of the image. It is much easier for them to envision whatever you are pitching…

Photo of person texting and drinking coffee.

Text me, maybe?

Today, this post from My Edmonds News scrolled across my timeline asking why businesses “haven’t mastered text message marketing.” I was excited to read their theories. They lost me in the first few lines though: Quick quiz: Would you rather have a business send you a special offer or coupon: – Through email – where you have to wade through 100 daily messages to find it and then print it off and bring in to redeem OR -As a SMS text message (where you see it instantly and can redeem it simply by bringing in your mobile phone)? If a store can scan a coupon from my text messages why can’t it scan a coupon from inside my email? This obvious bias quickly distracted me from the rest of the post in which they didn’t actually provide any answers. Lucky for you readers, I am here to share my thoughts on SMS marketing. I like receiving coupons via text message. I feel like I often forget about things in my email. If I were to get a coupon from a restaurant…