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Marketing To Your Most Important Customer

by Ryan Joy — July 1, 2010

Question: What is the most important market segment you should be targeting?Answer: Your employees. Good companies aim first to make raving fans within their own team. Employees should be excited to tell your stories, sell your products, and explain how you provide value to customers. If your employee culture is authentic and vibrant, your other customers will feel the magnetism of a special place. Here are five ways to market to your employees:

1. Orientation

Tap into the power of first impressions by creating an experience for new employees that tells them everything you want them to know and feel about your brand. At Whole Foods, the entire team votes to decide whether to accept the new team member—a process that tells employees a lot about the company’s values and culture. New employees at Apple stores are given an iPod to watch movies about the brand, including their famous “1984” commercial. How can your orientation process tell your unique story?

2. Employee-Only Tasting Events

As employees taste your unique products, explain how it was produced and what makes it special. Or give employees a punch card of signature products to try for free on their own time.

3. Names

Why does Trader Joe’s call their store directors “captains” and their employees ...
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On the Subject of Subjects

by Ryan Joy — June 17, 2010

If you’re like most of us, you read less than half of what shows up in your inbox, and only decided to open this email after considering (1) the sender and (2) the subject line. In their book Successful Email Marketing Strategies, Hughes and Sweetser deem subject lines “the single most important element in a promotional email.”1. Use Straightforward Language. Keep it simple and name the email something that lets recipients know what they’re getting. Look for words that clearly convey the benefit you’re offering (the word “coupon” performs well) without being pushy. If it comes across as a sales pitch, it will be deleted immediately. It often makes sense to put the title of the publication at the beginning, as we do with “Idea of the Week”. We’ve also found that descriptive language increases open rates—subjects with words like “sweet” and “local” perform better than those without.2. Avoid Words Typically Rejected By Spam Filters. Words and phrases like “special,” “offer expires,” and even “all natural” often trigger Spam filters and keep your message from ever reaching a customer’s inbox. Other factors include words in all caps, exclamation marks, and the placement of certain words at the beginning or end of the phrase. For instanc...
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Purposeful Marketing

by Ryan Joy — May 6, 2010

No matter how busy you are it’s critical to take the time to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Make it a part of your process to clarify the purpose of each marketing activity, using the five steps below.

1. Identify the purpose of the activity.

What specific business goal do you plan to address or achieve with the project? Try to limit it to one primary purpose.

2. Agree on the purpose of the activity.

Don’t skip this step. Put the purpose of the piece at the top of every planning document. You will need a strong endorsement of the stated purpose from senior stakeholders in order to stay on course when everyone wants a piece of the action.

3. Understand the purpose of the medium.

A direct mailer has different benefits than an ROP ad, which make it a natural fit for accomplishing particular goals. Make the most of your marketing resources by choosing the vehicle that best fits your project’s purpose.

4. Measure success according to the purpose.

Get agreement on the key performance indicators before the project starts, and make sure they measure the success of the stated purpose. If you decided that the purpose of the mailer was to raise awareness of your new Angus beef program, but your meat category manager thought it was to increase ground beef sales for the week, confusion will spread throu...
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Getting to the Point

by Ryan Joy — April 29, 2010

Each year at DW Green Company, we host a positioning workshop on a topic that we believe will benefit our clients the most. This year, we’ll work together with attendees to bring the power of purpose to their marketing and to their brand.

Demanding the fundamental “why?” behind any business practice can alter the activity, eliminate the extraneous, and emphasize the essential. What is the purpose of your website? What is the purpose of your ad? What is the purpose of your brand?While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl contemplated meaning in life. He would go on to write a book on this topic, and concluded that each person has a task. He wrote, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”Extraordinary things can happen when profound questions of meaning and purpose are asked of a brand.

Two Questions to Ask About Your Brand

  1. Why does your brand exist?
At its core, working on your brand strategy is about defining your brand’s purpose, its reason for exist...
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Social Media: So What? Part 2

by Ryan Joy — February 4, 2010

A Recap from Part 1:A consultant group we respect recently recommended that companies wait to get involved in social media because there are “no clear and obvious benefits.” While they may not be “clear and obvious,” we believe that the benefits of social media are significant. Here are three of them:

1. Positive Customer Touch Points Build Strong Brands

How many connections do you have with customers once they’re out of your store? Pursuing cost-effective ways to increase the quality and quantity of your touch points with customers is critical in the management and growth of your brand. Social media is a direct vehicle, cutting through the clutter to bring your message to the front of a customer’s mind. It is a positive, memorable, and cost-effective way to reach out to existing customers.With 300 million Facebook users, your customers are already there. Conversations about your brand are happening right now. The question is whether or not you want to join these conversations. Many consumers now expect the level of transparency and interaction that social media provides. They expect to have a voice, and to receive information in the medium of their choosing.

2. The Buzz of Onl...
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Social Media: So What?

by Ryan Joy — February 4, 2010

A Recap from Part 1:A consultant group we respect recently recommended that companies wait to get involved in social media because there are “no clear and obvious benefits.” While they may not be “clear and obvious,” we believe that the benefits of social media are significant. Here are three of them:

1. Positive Customer Touch Points Build Strong Brands

How many connections do you have with customers once they’re out of your store? Pursuing cost-effective ways to increase the quality and quantity of your touch points with customers is critical in the management and growth of your brand. Social media is a direct vehicle, cutting through the clutter to bring your message to the front of a customer’s mind. It is a positive, memorable, and cost-effective way to reach out to existing customers.With 300 million Facebook users, your customers are already there. Conversations about your brand are happening right now. The question is whether or not you want to join these conversations. Many consumers now expect the level of transparency and interaction that social media provides. They expect to have a voice, and to receive information in the medium of their choosing.

2. The Buzz of Online-Only Offers

...
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Social Media: So What? Part 1

by Ryan Joy — January 28, 2010

We’ve previously addressed what social media is and how to get started, yet with anything that’s as hyped as this new platform, the questions that often need addressing are: “Why should I care?” “What does this have to do with my business?” and “What are the benefits?”A consultant group we respect recently recommended that companies wait to get involved in social media because it changes so often, most companies do it poorly, and there are “no clear and obvious benefits.”It is true that many get it wrong and that social media is always changing. This is not a reason to avoid the medium, but a warning to enter social media with a plan, and a commitment to doing it right. Social media is unlike any other platform, so there will always be a learning curve—no matter when you start. It will always be a platform in transition. If you’re waiting for it to stand still, you’ll never get started, and companies who avoid the medium are missing an invaluable opportunity. Consider how websites were perceived in the early 90s. Many companies wondered about the value of having a website, but it quickly became apparent that customers expected them to have an informational website, and that a content-rich web presence would prove to be a valuable business tool. It’s ...
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Social Media: So What?

by Ryan Joy — January 28, 2010

We’ve previously addressed what social media is and how to get started, yet with anything that’s as hyped as this new platform, the questions that often need addressing are: “Why should I care?” “What does this have to do with my business?” and “What are the benefits?”A consultant group we respect recently recommended that companies wait to get involved in social media because it changes so often, most companies do it poorly, and there are “no clear and obvious benefits.”It is true that many get it wrong and that social media is always changing. This is not a reason to avoid the medium, but a warning to enter social media with a plan, and a commitment to doing it right. Social media is unlike any other platform, so there will always be a learning curve—no matter when you start. It will always be a platform in transition. If you’re waiting for it to stand still, you’ll never get started, and companies who avoid the medium are missing an invaluable opportunity. Consider how websites were perceived in the early 90s. Many companies wondered about the value of having a website, but it quickly became apparent that customers expected them to have an informational website, and that a content-rich web presence would prove to be a valuable business tool. It’s likely that s...
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5 Predictions for 2010

by Ryan Joy — December 31, 2009

Two of my favorite things about late December are the year-end lists and the predictions for the upcoming year. It’s December 31, and we couldn’t resist giving you our “Top 5 List” of marketing predictions for supermarkets in 2010.
  1. Value shoppers are here to stay.If there is one long-term lesson retailers should take from 2009, it is the importance of a strong value positioning strategy. Value shouldn’t be the central focus of most brands, but it needs to play a part in any supermarket’s overall strategy. Retailers who have maintained a well-crafted value message through the years reaped the rewards during this economic downturn. Stores that neglected this part of their positioning strategy are now working hard to convince customers of their low prices, as they should. There are a lot more coupon clippers and ad shoppers than there were two years ago, and the new frugality is here to stay. Like generations before them, consumers have been changed by this difficult time, and will remember these lessons throughout a lifetime.
  2. Digital signage will become a mainstream marketing solution.Since hardware prices have dropped, the return on investment that digital signage provides makes it a no-brainer for most supermarkets. Digital signage will continue to spread as retailers find proven providers, run pilot programs, and discover the benefits.
  3. Social media will be adopted by most b
    ...
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Branded iPhone Apps

by Ryan Joy — December 24, 2009

Should a branded Application for iPhone and iPod Touch be part of your new media marketing strategy? Here are 3 questions and 4 benefits to consider.Let’s say you want to connect with a group of potential customers who will never open your printed ad. As the iPhone commercial says: “There’s an app for that.”Apple has sold over 50 million iPhones and iPod Touches—contrast that with the 6 million people on Twitter, and you start to see the power of the platform as a marketing vehicle. The iPhone is the most popular phone in America, but the real strength of the iPhone is the App Store, a collection of over 100,000 applications that do just about anything you can imagine. As David Pogue of the New York Times put it, apps “make the iPhone (or the iPod Touch) do absolutely amazing things… stunts a cell phone has no right to perform.” Now with over a billion apps downloaded since the store opened in July 2008, brands like Target, Whole Foods, and Kraft have discovered the marketing value of a custom app.

Is an iPhone App Right for Your Stores?

Here are three questions to help you decide if an iPhone app makes sense for you:
  1. Do you already have a brand strategy and a strong web presence?If you have a well developed brand strategy and a website that supports your brand with rich content and feat
    ...
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