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outdoors, two hands and a paw

Sub Woofers

Having children is a natural progression for most people. Find a job, find a significant other, have an extravagant wedding or two and, finally, expand the franchise with a few kids. For Millennials, a new trend in this cycle is emerging. Millennials are subbing in woofers for kids at a staggering rate. A study from Gale, a business solutions agency, shows that 44 percent of individuals from the most glorious of generations view their pets as practice for eventual child rearing. The Washington Post reported that three-fourths of people in their 30s own a dog or a cat. What does this mean for retailers? Kibbles are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. These dog and cat owners are looking for healthy, high-end foods to pamper their puppers and grandpa’s bag o’ biscuits isn’t making the cut. From Netflix documentaries that uncover unhealthy and sometimes dangerous truths about popular pet food brands to transitions to raw food diets for pets, dogs and cats are trending out of the “temporary part of our lives” category and tracking their dirty paws all over…

Not Your Average Pit Stop

Who doesn’t love a good gas station hotdog? For a lot of people, the answer to that question is, “Umm, ME. I don’t love a “good” gas station hotdog.” For Millennials, the gas station and convenience store niche is booming. Whether it’s due to the actual convenience of these stores or changes in who does the shopping in their households, 11 percent of food purchased by everyone’s favorite generation is from their favorite gas station. Getting Fresh Grocers are taking note of this trend and moving to acquire, construct or otherwise cobble together their own convenience locations in order to attract this notable percentage of shoppers. With an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetable purchases, including the odd and questionable snack-sized sushi sighting, retailers are seeing increased snack traffic through the hours of 3p.m. and6 p.m. This has led to greater selections of fresh food and pre-packaged options for folks looking to satisfy their post-lunch/pre-dinner cravings. Party at the Fuel Pumps, Bro Aside from upgrades to grocery selections, these locations are also adding a bit of flair to the mix.…

Smartphone, Laptop, notebook and pen on desk

Tonight’s Top 10 List: Benefits of Text Message Marketing

Have you ever received a voicemail that should’ve been a text? Frequently, people respond to the reception of a voicemail with, “Why didn’t you just text me?” This type of response can be linked to the ease of text messaging, the short attention spans we all now enjoy and the frustration that goes along with that little notification you MUST get rid of when receiving a voicemail. To better understand how text messaging can impact your retail goals, here’s a list of the top 10 benefits of Text Message Marketing. Instant Deliverability What’s better than instant gratification? Cracking open a soda and hearing that fizzy pop is the only momentary lapse between purchase and satisfaction. The same is true of Text. The average time between message send and delivery is 7 seconds. Only Professional Bull Riding (If you haven’t seen the film 8 Seconds, you’re missing out.) and the occasional microwaved snack can get close to those numbers. Flexible Platform There’s nothing worse than limitation. With Text Messaging, you’re able to craft messages to YOUR standards, with content that YOU…

Tablet, Digital Notebook, Online Marketing

Online Targeted Advertising Webinar Recap

I recently hosted a webinar to discuss the opportunities retailers have with our Online Targeted Advertising program. During the webinar, we discussed the current digital marketing trends that point toward success with digital initiatives like OTA and how they can drive traffic to websites and stores. To start the webinar, Christine Walsh of Brick Inc. began the discussion by outlining the four formats that this program utilizes to reach potential customers. These formats include images, text, video and audio to deliver branded and targeted messages to website visitors in locations that the user requests. Next, Christine explained the current trends and statistics that show how adults over 18 in the U.S. view digital ads at a rate of 14 times that of print advertisements. This, coupled with the fact that over 60% of these adults prefer digital ads compared to print, offers insight into just how effective a sustained digital display campaign can be for retailers of any size. Christine then explained a survey that detailed why these online users prefer this type of digital advertisement. The five most important…

Idea: Photo of lightbulb in chalk outline of think bubble on chalkboard.

Check The Stats: Digital Signage

What are you doing with all of those TVs and monitors at the different areas in your store? Do you even have any monitors spread out to engage with your customers? If there is a deli special or new product that you’d like to introduce to your customers, you really need to start engaging with digital signage. A study conducted by Arbitron, a subsidiary of the trusted Nielsen ratings group, delivered some valuable data on digital display advertising success in retail. As useful and necessary as it is to employ an online marketing strategy, how do you plan on engaging with the new customers you gain through those online channels? According to the study, digital media in public venues reach 27 percent more people than these endeavors. Over 50 percent of those viewers claim to recall the exact message they viewed via these digital signage tools up to a month after the initial viewing. This type of effectiveness can launch your ads and special events into the stratosphere, where quality digital display ads develop a positive reputation with your customers…

Phone, Desk, Facebook, Login

Merging Facebook Pages

What does your store’s online identity look like? Is it a disconnected mess of Yelp, Google and Facebook pages that have been overtaken by hordes of unofficial users? Does it have more aliases and monikers than a secret agent? Maybe you’ve got it all figured out and each of the pages that represent your store are streamlined to allow for easy information sharing and feedback that would impress the pros. If you find an unofficial or unmanaged Facebook page floating around, you’ll want to find a way to merge it with your official page or delete it if doesn’t bring anything positive to the table. Why should you care and what are the perks of merging these pages? In short, it can be confusing if a customer is trying to find you on Facebook and there are multiple pages that represent your store. Sure, one of them may be better or more successful than the other (We all have one kid who is DEFINITELY our favorite, right?) but consistent identity on the web is ultimately important for clear lines of…

Dart board, Target, Dart, Bullseye

Hit the Target with Online Targeted Advertising

Finding new, exciting and successful ways to market to customers can be a difficult assignment. In order to compete with other retailers and to thrive in your marketing endeavors, searching for these new avenues is a daily project that can seem endless. There are important questions to consider when looking for new marketing methods, such as: What are we already doing well? What can we do better? What’s the other guy doing? Do I really need this entire ranch dressing cup on my salad? Okay, that last question isn’t necessarily important and I would never criticise someone’s personal preference when it comes to delicious salad dressings. Now that you’ve done a small analysis of what you are doing and what you might do, it’s time to start thinking strategically. If you have a healthy website, online shopping program, weekly lunch special or any sort of giveaway that you’d like to promote – you MUST get as many eyes on it as possible. How would a program that distributes your ads and campaigns electronically to potential customers be useful for these…

laptop, typing, desk

Recap: Data That Drives Email Marketing Relevance (KC IABC BCS Breakout Session)

During the 2017 Kansas City – IABC Business Communicators Summit, I was able to attend a breakout session featuring Jessica Best, Director of Data Driven Marketing at Barkley Integrated Marketing and Advertising Agency. She spoke to our group about the importance of email marketing and how to use data to its fullest potential to benefit an organization. Before we dive into what Jessica had to say, let’s get down to brass tacks. You NEED an email program if you’re going to reach any significant portion of your customer base. The ROI on email marketing still tops any other marketing channel’s returns and it is a relatively inexpensive platform to utilize. Aside from the low monetary investment that such a campaign requires, she made the point that your lists are known audiences and putting the data you collect on them to work can be accomplished in 6 steps: Define your Goals As with any marketing endeavor, it is important to define your goals and ask questions about what you would like to achieve. This should be the first step of most…

Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Digital Sign

Menu boards and posters are so 1980s that they still go roller skating. Not to mention you have to keep updating the content on them and hope that you don’t misspell Worcestershire again, which will most assuredly garner some laughter from your employees. Why not use something more engaging that can be reviewed and edited, scheduled, even animated to cater to your specific audience? Digital signage is nothing new, but it keeps gaining momentum as it reaches new eyes in stores and at events around the world. If you’re considering adding this type of marketing tool to your store, there are a few things you should know before jumping in. Be Consistent The first thing people often overlook with digital signage and its content is consistency. There’s nothing more off-putting than an unreadable font with a bright, abrasive background that makes someone feel as though they’re going blind. Keeping a simple theme throughout your digital campaigns can help to keep the attention of those in your store and will also prevent them from screaming in pain as your neon-green banners…