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Voice search basics

The Meteoric Rise of Voice Search & Why Brands Should Care.

“Siri, turn my phone on airplane mode.” “Alexa, set up a meeting for me at 10 a.m. and invite Tim.” “Google Home, where’s the nearest grocery store with the best deal on avocados?” These are all commands that people are giving their smart devices via voice search. It’s predicted that by 2020, up to 50% of search queries will be made by voice instead of typing them into phones or computers. Earlier this month, I attended a KCDMA luncheon where Heather Physioc, Director of Organic Search at VML, presented the current state and predicted future of voice search. She noted that there are 50 billion (that’s with a “B”) voice search queries each month. This number is rising because voice search capabilities are in our devices by default, but also people are becoming more comfortable talking to these devices. Below are some important points from Physioc’s presentation for marketers and grocers to keep in mind as voice search progresses. For the Google loyalists out there, it’s important not to ignore Bing – that other search engine that no one uses,…

Graphic from KCDMA Marketing Boot Camp 2017

Innovation Acceleration – KCDMA Boot Camp Recap 1

Last week, I attended the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association Boot Camp. This full-day conference was stacked with speakers sharing their knowledge about innovation, SEO, email marketing, networking techniques, integrated digital marketing, Google Analytics and mental toughness – all subjects that make a professional marketer successful today. Throughout the coming weeks, I’ll share highlights from what I learned. First up: innovation. José Pires started the day off with an interactive presentation on accelerating innovation at any business. This is important for the grocery industry right now due to the growth of omni-channel retailing, especially after the announcement of Amazon’s intention to purchase Whole Foods Market. Innovation is a must. Traditional grocery store owners need to pay attention. Think you’re not an innovative person? Think again. Let’s start by defining innovation. Innovation is the implementation of new ideas that create value. Innovation is not about ideas or methods. It’s about people! People transform businesses; they drive innovations. In order to innovate, people need to have or develop these three characteristics: Passion Discipline Resilience The right people have these characteristics. Find these…

Grocer Pod – Episode 1

 The debut episode of Associated Wholesale Pod features conversations with Heather Standifer, Kurt Kloeben, and Kevin Phipps. Sean Kosednar starts the show with how your store can integrate into the community. Also discusses Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, National Ice Cream Month and how traditional retailers can stay competitive in the digital landscape.

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,…

Photo of two old Mac Quadra towers to make a bench.

Ambient Computing and the Future

We haven’t seen much new tech in about 10 years. Sure, many items have improved over time but not much,”Wow! What’s that?” kind of innovation. You want to know why? New tech is working hard to integrate into our lives by injecting tech into products we already know. Many everyday products now include some sort of artificial intelligence, augmented and/or virtual reality; robotics and some can even be worn. “This is ambient computing, the transformation of the environment all around us with intelligence and capabilities that don’t seem to be there at all.” – Walt Mossberg Turning off my brain when I’m trying to sleep can be a challenge. Especially when I’m working on a project I’m excited about. When I was working in Social Media my thoughts would frequently be in the form of a short 48-character post. “I almost brushed my teeth with body lotion”, and “Women walk into rooms and forget what they are looking for 3 out of 5 times a day”. Facebook announced they are working on a way to use the brain to type which…

Food Holidays or: Every Day

People often joke that it’s always an “national something day” and despite the fact that they’re joking, they’re actually correct. There is literally a national (insert noun) day every day, and many of those nouns are food. I recently listened to an NPR podcast about how some food holidays were born. Many of these food holidays were created by people and organizations whose job it is to promote these items. Others were created by Congress, which reached its peak in 1985-86, when one in every three laws passed created a commemorative day, week or month. The podcast also interviewed a lady who created 1,900 holidays just because she thought they’d make someone’s day brighter. National Raisin Day has been around since at least 1910! With nearly every day being a national “something” holiday, you’d think they’d all lose their importance, and that’s true to a certain degree. But you can pick-and-choose a few relevant ones to help drive traffic to your business and increase sales. First of all, the abundance of food holidays make for easy social content. A quick Facebook…

Clearly Organic BBQ Month Giveaway artwork

Leveraging the Power of Private Label & Organics

I recently listened to a webinar from Store Brands titled The Power of Private Brands. As someone who is focused solely on marketing our private label, this webinar confirmed my belief that AWG Brands consist of great products that carry considerable growth potential. Four key insights presented in the webinar lead me to this belief: (Almost) everyone is buying some private brand products today. Millennials embrace them. Consumers are more and more brand agnostic – they are willing to try private brands instead of always buying the national brand they consumed throughout childhood. Private brands are moving from emulation to differentiation. These key insights present exciting opportunities for AWG Brands in a variety of areas, but one that I wanted to spotlight in this post is the organics category. If you’re reading this as an AWG retailer, you should be familiar with Clearly Organic. Through rebranding, and a focus on product innovation and expansion, Clearly Organic has been a sales success for many of our retailers. Currently, organic only represents 7% of total brand sales. This presents an opportunity for…

Collage of social media icons.

Time for some spring training

Spring training isn’t just for baseball players. It is also a good time to learn new skills. Brush up on Twitter best practices. Refine photography skills. Learn to code. Each years digital skills are being democratized more and more. Tasks that were done only by professionals with expensive equipment can now be done by following simple tutorials on YouTube. Use the skills below to jump start your own spring training. COB – No, this has nothing to do with corn. It stands for Cut Out Background. Ever wonder how the Crying Jordan face gets added to things so fast? COB is the answer. Removing the background from an image can be a good idea for highlighting individual items. It may not be a skill that you use all the time. However, knowing how to do it will save you a ton of time. Photoshop allows for the most control. The more precise the cutout the better the final product will look. There are at least five different ways to cut out a background in Photoshop – here is one. This…