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Save-A-Label Success

The Save-A-Label program helps more than 9,000 non-profit organizations and schools raise $300,000+ each year. It’s a simple fundraising program that AWG retailers can promote to help their customers support the organizations that are important to them. The program is simple to use. If you’re not sure how it works, you can click here to learn more about it, but basically customers clip Best Choice labels and submit them to AWG for cash for their organizations. The program has been successful for decades. It hasn’t changed much since its invention, so we decided to survey our customers to see if there are any ways we can improve it. Through two rounds of surveys (one emailed to people who have signed their organizations up for the Save-A-Label program, and the second round emailed to our general Best Choice subscriber list and posted on the Best Choice social media sites), we discovered the great parts and the pain points of the program. Thank you to the 553 people who completed the survey! Here’s what they had to say: Do you actively use…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: July 2018 Edition

We’re in the thick of summer, which means National Ice Cream Month is here! National Ice Cream Month is a national campaign created by the NFRA. AWG Brands will participate throughout July by: Publishing key messages and recipes on social media and the brands’ websites. Promoting the Ice Cream Giveaway sweepstakes. Sharing content from NFRA and Easy Home Meals. We encourage all AWG Member Retailers to participate also. It’s easy: either share the content you see on AWG Brands’ websites and social media profiles (Best Choice, Clearly Organic, Superior Selections and Always Save), or use the NFRA resources to create and post your own messages. Last year, AWG Brands won a Golden Penguin Award for our participation in this campaign and we hope to do the same in 2018!   Best Choice Recipe of the Month The July Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is this Summer Harvest Pasta Salad: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/summer-harvest-salad/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or…

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The Future of Retail

If grocers could look into a crystal ball to see what the industry is going to be like one year, two, five or even ten years down the road, what would they see? The Future of Retail study tries to answer that question each year. The 2018 edition was recently published. Here are some important pieces that I wanted to share after reading the study: Consumers are quickly embracing voice-activated interactions via digital assistants and hand-free devices, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The key to success when it comes to customer data will be for brands and retailers to use this data to power more immersive experiences – without compromising consumer trust. Amazon’s dominance forces competing retailers to evolve. On average, two in five consumers (41%) receive 102 packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half for consumers ages 18-25 and 57% for consumers ages 26-35. Social media has grown as a commerce channel… new and more integrated forms of social shopping, like Instagram ads, have been a key tool for retailers. (54% of consumers report using…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: June 2018 Edition

AWG Brands are welcoming summer with fresh new content, coupons and promotions! Here’s what you can expect on the brands’ digital channels this month: Best Choice Recipe of the Month We turned June’s Recipe of the Month from the 2018 Best Choice Calendar into a new recipe video. You can find it here starting June 1: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/recipe-video-rocky-road-cream-cheese-pie/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook or YouTube. The native files which include the word document, original video and graphics of the recipe, can be found in the recipes folder. If you are on the AWG Insignia Program, signs with this recipe will also be delivered to your store during June. This creates a bridge from in-store to online, ensuring a consistent message on both. Digital Coupons New digital coupons are available June 1 – July 31, 2018. Consumers can access these coupons through a store’s loyalty program. If a store does not have a loyalty program, but is interested in setting one up, please…

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…

BBQ Chicken Pockets is the May Recipe of the Month
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AWG Brands Digital Promotions: May 2018 Edition

Is anyone else thinking, “How is it May already?” Time for your monthly AWG Brands newsletter. Here are the content opportunities you can take advantage of this May: Best Choice Recipe of the Month Each month, Best Choice publishes the Recipe of the Month online – this recipe can also be found in the 2018 Best Choice Calendar. May’s recipe is for Sunrise Baked Tomatoes https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/sunrise-baked-tomatoes/. The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites. The native files which includes the word document and graphics of the recipe, can be found in the recipes folder.   Best Choice New Recipe Video  Best Choice regularly produces professional-grade recipe videos. May’s recipe video is for BBQ Chicken Pockets. The video goes live on the Best Choice website May 1 and can be accessed through this link: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/recipe-video-bbq-chicken-pockets/. It is also viewable on YouTube: https://youtu.be/UbJ7Sh39nzE. Retailers are encouraged to either share these links, or share the video natively through the original files, which can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tlnvvokb5f90k-HIjtMVNKi8vpo2il1c.   Digital…

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:…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: April 2018 Edition

Did you hear about the new AWG Brands Digital Playbook? We launched it at the Innovation Showcase that took place March 26-28. You might be thinking “What’s a digital playbook?” The AWG Brands Digital Playbook is an online bank of content that retailers can use for free. To compliment in-store promotions, AWG member retailers should connect with their digitally savvy consumers seamlessly online. The Digital Playbook serves as that connection. It is full of recipes, social content and resources to support retailers’ own online program. We make it easy for stores to talk about AWG Brands. Check out the playbook, which can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/AWGBrandsPlaybook Best Choice Recipe of the Month  Each month, Best Choice publishes the Recipe of the Month online – this recipe can also be found in the 2018 Best Choice Calendar. April’s recipe is for Quick Red Beans & Rice: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/quick-red-beans-and-rice/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites. The native files which includes the word document and graphics of the recipe,…

How To Create Shareable Content

“Make it go viral.” Every social media professional probably cringes whenever they hear this phrase from their not-so-socially savvy client or boss. Although we can’t always guarantee or predict which piece of marketing content will go viral, we can follow a framework that will make it shareable and interesting. Justin Watkins, founder of Native Digital, presented his ideas for making content sharable at a recent SMCKC breakfast. It’s a balance between science and art. The science aspect is the data side of marketing – the analytics and strategic planning. It helps us find out who our audience is and where they are spending their time. The art is the creative side of marketing – the intuition and emotion that grabs your audience’s attention. How do marketers find the balance that will make their content stand out and possibly go viral? Watkins shared Native Digital’s Content Creation Checklist: Does it open strong? Is it digestible? (People only open the homeruns. Just show them the highlights instead of the whole game.) What emotion does it bring out? Does this help our audience?…

How AWG Retailers Stack Up
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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…

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