Great article on entrepreneurship

There are so many articles and books written on the subject of entrepreneurship. Most are fluffy and overly positive. Few focus on the negatives, challenges and issues that most entrepreneurs face. This is one of the rare articles that is raw and honest. It hit home for me and likely for most, so I figured I’d share. Check it out here.

Retailers offering more digital coupons on their websites

Kantar Research has published a report sharing that Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens are the leaders in their categories in terms of the increase in digital coupons offered on their respective websites. The study references digital coupons as a critical pre-shopping planning tool for customer before they go to the store. Retailers that offer digital coupons will engage shoppers and ensure those shoppers plan online and do their shopping inside that retailer’s physical stores. This online-to-offline trend is not new, but is certainly growing in popularity among marketers and consumers.

More real-time mobile offers inside a retail store

No big surprise here. Based on a recent survey, MediaPost announced that 45% of consumers want real-time mobile offers while they are inside a retail store. So it’s not quite the majority, but it’s close. I’m somewhat surprised so many consumers want to be bombarded with messages while shopping. I guess if the messages have a coupon to save you money, sure, bombard away… The most surprising trend is that acceleration of mobile promotion adoption by consumers. It’s happening faster than most analysts expected…

P&G shifts focus to sampling to drive household penetration and new trial

In a big splash article in AdAge, found here, P&G CEO announced a shift in strategy to focus more on sampling for many of its key brand franchises. He cited a loss in market share as well as a huge opportunity to increase the number of households that haven’t yet used many of P&G’s leading consumer brands. Sampling is a go-to strategy for most CPG marketers, and P&G has certainly done this for a long time. What’s new is that they are talking about spending less on traditional media and shifting that budget to digital channels and activities like sampling.

Promotion CRM and what it means for progressive data-driven brand marketers

In a recent RevTrax blog post, found here, we spoke about the power of promotion CRM for brands and the implications of smarter coupons tracked at the household level for both better consumer research and insights as well as better retailer collaboration. If brands, for the first time, now know which offers specific households are redeeming at specific retailers, this data opens up a ton of additional marketing and targeting opportunities, as well as activation opportunities between brands and those key retailers. Read on…

JCPenney Poor Q4 Results Blamed on Ron Johnson

It seems people love to hate JCpenney these days, blaming the lack of recovery in performance on “the prior strategy” of Ron Johnson, who tried to transform the company by eliminating coupons, deals and discounts and good with an everyday low price. The logic was sound. Except I’m guessing nearly impossible to pull a 180 in a company’s merchandising strategy from hi-Lo (promotional) to EDLP (everyday low price). Retraining the entire generation of customers was a near impossible feat.

ATKearney shows us the future of omni-channel retail commerce

In a great white paper by the management consulting firm ATKearney, their retail experts use some compelling data to make the argument for brick & mortar stores at the heart of the future retail model. The data don’t lie. People still spend most of their shopping time, and money, inside a physical store. Mobile and Web commerce are definitely creating additional selling opportunities, but the nature of those purchases tends to be much more of a needs-driven purchase motivated out of convenience and speed. Check out some of the great analysis in the report and decide for yourself whether physical retail is down and out.

How can Brick & Mortar compete effectively in a digital age?

Progressive Grocer recently put out a very thoughtful article that outlines some ways that brick & mortar retailers can compete effectively in an increasingly digital and ecommerce driven world. There are no surprises here. Many of these suggestions are costly and logistically hard to implement, ranging from in-store digital solutions to new employee training and customer service. Then again, if it were easy, every retailer would have already done it… Full article here.

Small businesses max out value at 13 messages

In a great article recently in MediaPost article click here, it described the value of small business digital loyalty programs. SpotOn seems to be growing on the west coast and provides merchants and consumers with a way to send and receive messages and check-in dying a customer visit with a customer’a mobile phone. Sounds pretty typical. What’s interesting is that some initial data shows that merchants who sent up to 13 messages a month saw an increase in customer return visits. Anything over 13 saw a reduction in visits with diminishing returns. 13 is viewed as an unlucky number. Perhaps we should make an exception for customer loyalty messages…

The big curiosity is if there is any relevance to large national merchants. What can national chains learn from this? – then again, many have had loyalty programs for decades, so I would expect they would know how many customer communications are too much. Then again, if you get the number of marketing messages I do from retailers, it’s apparent they haven’t found the right number yet.

Value Pricing in Retail can apply to B2B companies

I just read a really interesting article from The Retail Experience newsletter that covered the controversial and elusive concept of Value-Pricing. Many folks think about retail value-based pricing as charging different prices to different customers based on their perceived value of the same product. It’s great in theory but difficult in practice. Furthermore, issues around consumer privacy and misleading advertising could prevent value-based retail pricing from being put into practice. On the other hand, online retailers are adjusting prices all the time based on fluctuating inventories, time of day and how much the competition is charging. The big question is do you pay higher prices on Amazon than the next customer. If you found out, you might love Amazon a little less… Check out the entire article here.