Tag Archives: supermarket marketing

Omnichannel Attribution

In a recent Progressive Grocer article, Diana Medina, Director of eCommerce Solutions at Inmar Intelligence, shared some good insights and best practices for today’s supermarkets’ marketing strategies.

The article noted that in a traditional single-channel model it was simple to evaluate a grocer’s marketing efforts. “An ad ran, sales increased and you knew it worked,” she explained.

But today, that attribution becomes a more complex because grocers are using multiple channels to reach customers and prospective customers, and they must”…know what’s working and what’s not, and they need to know it quickly, so they can react and optimize in real time.”

Medina goes on to identify five important factors for optimizing attribution efforts:

  1. Attribution Isn’t Just for Digital Channels. Digital’s direct impact on grocery sales is easier to measure than more traditional marketing — like the weekly circular — but a comprehensive attribution plan needs to encompass all of the marketing channels you’re using to reach shoppers.
  2. Data Automation Is Essential for Measurement. Data is the lifeblood of sales attribution for any grocer. But for data to become a truly effective tool, it needs to be easily accessed and analyzed to create actionable, optimizable insights.
  3. Technology Should Drive Your Media Mix. The days of using one marketing message for all grocery shoppers are well behind us. Thanks to technology and data, you can now predict how an individual shopper might respond to one offer, while another will respond to an entirely different message. That means you can create relevant stories and experiences that engage shoppers when, where and how they prefer to shop, throughout their unique shopper journey.
  4. Predictive Models Actually Work. Predictive, or lookalike modeling, is all about understanding and anticipating shopper needs. The more comprehensive data you have on shopper behavior, across all channels, the easier it is to stay ahead of the competition.
  5. Test, Learn, Test Again! Small failures are almost a certainty when there are so many moving parts, data points, shifting customers needs, media options, marketing objectives and channels. The trick isn’t to avoid failure, it’s to learn and respond to it — quickly!

Read the full article…

Holiday Marketing in Supermarkets

Spectrio is one of the nation’s leading end to end technology-enabled customer engagement marketing companies, and they shared some simple and innovative ideas for in-store holiday marketing.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Set the holiday mood in your store. First thing first, decorate and embellish your store so it has a holiday feel. Consider adding a few lights, holiday wreaths, or trees. Or, simply update your in-store digital signage so it includes relevant seasonal content.
  2. Create a holiday-themed in-store photo op. While you’re setting up your store for the holidays, create a specific scene that can be used as a great holiday-themed photo op. A photo op is a background or unique element that customers take a photo of and share on social media. This helps spread your brand across social media as people share their user generated content.
  3. Design a high-quality holiday overhead music playlist. It’s not enough to just put on a holiday music radio station. You should curate and use a high-quality overhead holiday music playlist. What makes it high-quality? It’s a list of songs that will please customers — but not annoy your employees.
  4. Infuse your store with holiday scents. Amplify the season by tying it to the sense of smell. Use scent marketing to add fresh holiday smells to your store like peppermint, evergreen, or pumpkin spice.
  5. Update your website. As you create holiday promotions, make sure customers know about them in your store, as well as online. Update your website so customers can clearly see the holiday specials and deals you’re offering. You might also consider combining this step with an email campaign. Spread the message about your holiday promotions by creating email campaigns to send to your customer list. Don’t just send one email. Create a plan for promoting up to the holiday and featuring individual sales, deals, and events.
  6. Create a plan to give back. Don’t make the holiday season all about buying gifts. Also, focus on giving back. Partner with a local charity and donate proceeds or run a food, gift, or clothing drive to spread holiday cheer with your local community.

Supermarket Events: An Innovative Way to Engage Customers!

Given the increase of online food shopping and the growing ability to buy groceries in non-supermarket stores, such as Walmart, it’s no surprise that the average number of “weekly stock-up” trips to the supermarket has declined.

However, data indicates people still prefer to go into a supermarket to buy certain items.

So the key for supermarket chains is to generate traffic by giving shoppers more good reasons to come into their stores.

According to a recent Progressive Shopper article, one of the best ways to connect with those shoppers more effectively is through the use of themed events.

“Gather a number of products that are complementary in some way and support a common theme, with the goal of driving increased shopper awareness, engagement and purchase behavior,” author Jeff Weidauer explains.

Weidauer goes on to suggest that most retailers are fairly-well experienced at putting on themed, in-store promotions, such as back-to-school, major holidays, Frozen Food Month, etc., and so on.

As the trend continues, the “themes” can be quite diverse.

For example, a recent SupermarketNews article reported the Marine Stewardship Council will teach New England consumers about sustainable seafood at events at Big Y and Whole Foods Market stores this month, the non-profit organization announced.

The events are part of a new campaign called “Good Catch!” MSC research has found that 58% of New England seafood consumers buy fresh fish at a seafood counter, compared with 40% of national consumers. At the same time, consumer awareness about sustainable offerings from regional seafood sellers is low. The Good Catch! campaign hopes to bridge that gap.

This more strategic use of events is also aligned with present-day marketing best practices. As noted in a recent Huffington Post article, retailers must “…build everything around the customer’s experience… they must understand the purchase journey.”

From a marketing perspective, it makes good sense to create ways of making a trip to the supermarket more value-added and more fun!

Events seem to be an excellent way of accomplishing both.



The “Customer of One” Approach to Supermarket Marketing

In a recent article posted on progressivegrocer.com, Gary Hawkins, founder and CEO of Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) shared some interesting perspective on current marketing trends used in supermarkets and other sectors of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

Comparing traditional marketing practices and costs with the newer “customer of one” approach, Hawkins paints an intriguing picture of how supermarkets, manufacturers (brands), and consumers might simultaneously enjoy the benefits of leveraging today’s technology.

“Let’s imagine you are a brand manufacturer and you have just one customer to focus on; let’s call him Joe,” he writes.

“You would want to learn all you could about Joe, but most importantly, you would want to know how often he purchases from your product category and your share of his category business. You would also want to understand Joe’s brand loyalty and discount propensity.

“Armed with this knowledge, you would then want to promote to Joe just before he’s due to make his next category purchase, aligning brand promotion activity to Joe’s purchasing cycle, ideally communicating the right offer (knowing Joe’s discount propensity) at the right time (easy to do in today’s digital world), and in the right place (including in the store as he’s approaching the category).

Over time, you would want to grow Joe’s value to your brand by increasing his purchase frequency, up-selling and cross-selling into larger package sizes, multiple units, and related products.”

The “customer of one” method enables the brand as well as the supermarket to enjoy more regular patronage and sales revenue while spending less of their marketing budget, while the customer enjoys the benefit of shopping with less effort and at lower cost.

And, as noted in various other posts, it seems the trend toward customer-driven decision-making continues…

Engaging Customers

A number of industry experts agree, supermarkets must become more innovative in their efforts to continually improve customer service and marketing.

For example, in a recent Supermarket News article, author Margaux Drake, a living well expert for a large supermarket chain and a WOTV 4 Women’s (ABC) Healthy Eats crew member, suggests taking care of customers while they travel by offering tips along with a dedicated display of healthy food and drink options that will pass through security and fit into carry-ons.

“With a bit of extra planning,” Drake explains, “your store can offer a more environmentally conscious journey too, so Mother Nature will be smiling as well.”

Among her top tips:

  1. Reusable stainless containers: They are durable, easy to clean and will last forever. When your customer arrives at their destination, they can give them a scrub and use them to store good-for-you snacks for the hotel room, beach or a day of sightseeing.
  2. Berries and wedges of kiwi offer bite size portions of low sugar deliciousness without the mess. The seeds and skin of the kiwi fruit are edible, eating the skin will only increase vitamin and fiber intake.
  3. Nuts… what could be easier to pack than raw nuts? No prep required, and the bit of fat in nuts will help ward off hunger as well.

Similarly, Supermarket Guru in a recent discussion Phil Lempert suggests retailers must find more creative ways to engage shoppers. His top three suggestions:

  1. Sample foods
  2. Cooking demonstrations
  3. Wine tasting

Maybe you have some creative ideas on how supermarkets might leverage creative thinking and innovation to engage their customers?


Do You Eat With Your Eyes First?

foodBased on information recently shared by adweek.com, marketers hope they can make consumers hungry for their products via Instagram and similar media.

And while it’s not just food brands getting in on the action,  it seems food tends to act as a great messaging medium, as other retailers like Expedia and Target are also infusing tasty treats into their pictures.

“Food is an alluring part of advertising because it’s something that everyone participates in daily, and it’s easy to make meals look good,” explained Tim Hwang, head of special initiatives for photo hosting service Imgur.

“Instagram has solidified the ‘you eat with your eyes first’ mantra,” added Irene Kim, a popular Instagram user who has posted food pics for Whole Foods in Berkeley.

So, when it comes to being influenced by supermarket advertising, might “our eyes really be bigger than our stomachs?”

Supermarkets Protecting Customer Security Breaches

A recent Supermarket News article reported that several merchant and banking trade groups, including Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association, have formed a new partnership to focus on payment card security.

The partnership comes in the wake of the payment-card data breaches and  cyber attacks that have hit a number of the nation’s major retailers as well as several food retailers.

It’s good to know someone is taking action to proactively avert future infringements and to protect customers.

Read More: http://supermarketnews.com/retail-amp-financial/trade-groups-partner-payment-card-security#ixzz2tzNsFjBd

Market Basket Rebates and More!

I stopped by the Chelmsford Massachusetts Market Basket last week.  As you may know, the Market Basket chain is owned by the DeMoulas family, and there has been a history of disagreements between two factions of the family.

In the store, I noticed several signs indicating I would receive a 4% rebate on many grocery items. My rebates totaled about $4.75,   I then noticed a hand written sign on the wall near the Service Desk that said, “This is a gift from Arthur T. DeMoulas.  You need the money more than my family does.”

This all made sense when reading this recent article in the Lowell (MA) Sun, in which Arthur T. DeMoulas was awarded “Man of the Year” by the newspaper.  The article also referenced the 4% discount program, noting it is expected to last until near the end of the year.

Shoppers and employees seem united in the feeling that DeMoulas is really looking out for them. This “good feeling” also seemed to have resulted in high-levels of customer engagement, as I was treated with respect and every store employee with whom I interacted seemed enthusiastic and genuinely interested in helping me.

Well done, Mr. DeMoulas!

Supermarket Trend Predictions: Taking A Look Back

Last December we researched a list of “expert predictions” and shared a summary of anticipated supermarket trends for 2013; and today we thought it might be fun to review some of those predictions to see if they were “on the money” or not… 

These included:

  • An increased focus on male shoppers, because  men were expected to become more active in the kitchen as well as in shopping and meal planning. In fact, some supermarkets were experimenting with “man aisles!”

  • An increased focus on healthier foods and fresh produce because Baby Boomers, who control a large percentage of the money spent on food, were expected to maintain their growing interest in eating healthier

  • Some added focus on offering more affordable yet ethnically-diverse options as a means of catering to Millennials.

  • slow-but-steady trend toward offering on-line grocery shopping options, some including delivery

It strikes me that a number of these predictions ring at least somewhat true, and at least a couple were right on the mark! Naturally we’d love to hear your thoughts!

And as the New Year approaches, we’ll be sure to research and share what the experts are predicting for 2014.