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Links we Love: Nov 21 - 27

Published on by Romeo Maione.

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s your opportunity to eat like the 1% and drink like the 99%! 

You only look like this in your head

You only look like this in your head

If you’ve got a second while the turkey’s cookin’ check out these links on gamification. 

Retail Customer Experience put out a great article about picking your “gamification provider” (that’s us!). Here’s the key: “a gamification provider should be vetted like a construction company or baby sitter, because it will be handling an organization’s most valuable asset: it’s brand.” Vet early, vet often! 

Bizreport.com published a cool little story about how gamification marketing techniques forge relationships with consumers. 

Australian publication Education HQ argues gamification will transform school curricula. We’ve been saying that since Australia was a penal colony. 

I take it back Australia, forget I said anything

I take it back Australia, forget I said anything

B2C published two great articles on gamification this week. The first is on gamification strategies for events like trade shows. The second talks about how gamification can be used for employee training and customer acquisition (our specialties, coincidentally). 

Just to mix it up, Information Age released an article discussing why gamification hasn’t been fully embraced by the business community. We’d argue it’s because most people just aren’t doing it right. 

Finally Wired.com (with a very misleading headline) talks about how gamification works for recruitment and driving employee engagement. 

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Links we Love: Nov 14 - 20

Published on by Romeo Maione.

While you try and figure out what the heck you’re going to feed your kids tonight, check out our links from the fresh and tasty world of grocery marketing! 

First up is a really cool marketing campaign that started in Europe but has moved to Canada. The program sells “ugly” fruits and vegetables at a discounted price. Smart initiative, considering food waste costs grocers $27 billion a year in Canada. 

That's a face only a mother could love

That's a face only a mother could love

A neat article from strategy+business argues big supermarkets can learn something from mom and pop grocery stores: personalization. We couldn’t agree more! 

Forbes provocatively asks if “organic” plays a role in marketing. The article discusses how the “green” movement has affected food consumption. 

Macleans Magazine discusses how consumers’ desire for “authentically sourced” ingredients is making the landscape more competitive. 

The Tennessean gives some great data on how and where different demographics do their grocery shopping. 

Finally, check out this New Zealand grocery chain that experimented with personalized offers based on customer loyalty. It had some consumers puzzled! 

The only aisle I'll ever need

The only aisle I'll ever need

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Reality Check: No one Cares About Your Marketing Tech

Published on by Romeo Maione.

Does your marketing technology contribute to your brand’s success?  

It’s easy to drink your brand’s Kool-Aid (especially if you work for Kool-Aid) and that sometimes makes you lose sight of the bigger picture. I’ve got an easy test for you: If you’re convinced your customer base is so loyal and dedicated to your brand that they’re desperate to consume your marketing materials, you’re probably a victim of brand narcissism.

Who's beautiful? We're beautiful. 

Who's beautiful? We're beautiful. 

(Polite) Reality Check: Customers want value, not marketing. Marketers can choose to make their messaging narcissistic or empathetic. All about you or all about them. 

You’ve gotta put yourself in your consumers’ shoes. They don’t spend 8 hours a day thinking about the value propositions of your brand like you do. In fact, the modern consumer sees thousands of ads a day for as many products. That’s why if you ask a consumer what they want from a brand they aren’t going to say beacons, in-store wifi, branded apps and QR codes. They’re going to say “Good deals”. 

So instead of just being there to show off, fancy schmancy marketing technology should   provide real value to consumers. 

An app is good if it provides *useful* information to consumers, like store hours or weekly specials.  

In-store Wifi is good because it allows shoppers to quickly research products or kill time on Facebook.

Beacons are good if they offer specialized deals based on people’s location within your store.

QR Codes are good if they reveal quirky and unique information that makes consumers feel special. 

What all those have in common is that they provide value to consumers. Too many marketing campaigns are all about the brand and not about the consumer. It’s sad to say, but consumers just aren’t as interested in your brand as you are. In addition to showing off your sweet new tech, your marketing needs to offer value or people will tune out. I can’t blame them. 

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Links we Love: Nov 7 - 13

Published on by Romeo Maione.

For most people Thanksgiving is a great time to catch up with your family (even Aunt Phyllis) and stuff your face until you’re physically ill and pass out.  

Have fun explaining to Aunt Phyllis why she can't use "that word" anymore

Have fun explaining to Aunt Phyllis why she can't use "that word" anymore

For marketers it's the end of an arduous journey. In the calm before the storm of Black Friday, check out these links! 

B2C Magazine was on a roll this year, publishing two really helpful articles about Black Friday. The first article is a *very* detailed 10 step list to help get the most out of the weekend (plus Cyber Monday!). It’s got advice on copy, cart abandonment automation, mobile optimization and more! 

The second article gives 5 tips to make the whole shebang go a little more smoothly. The key takeaway is that Black Friday isn’t Christmas so focus your copy on time-sensitive urgency and instant gratification, not generosity. 

Marketing Pilgrim drops some predictions about this year’s spending. Based on polling data, they’re guessing millennials and 30-somethings will spend more than last year. Good news! 

Business News Daily gives some advice for small businesses struggling with their first Black Friday. Honestly though, the advice works whether you own a single t-shirt store or you’re the CMO of Macy’s. 

Consumer Affairs points out that Black Friday is really a lot more than just the Friday alone. Most sales go on for almost a week now, encompassing Cyber Monday and the intervening days. 

Small Business Trends asks “is Black Friday obsolete?”. We answer: no. 

First To Know tracks some of this year’s shopping trends. Here’s the tl;dr version - More people are shopping online (every year!) and a bigger focus on social content/experiential marketing. 

Finally, Mobile Marketing Watch reminds us that marketers never sleep by talking about how digital strategists are already prepping SuperBowl campaigns before the turkey’s even gone. 

This was the turkey the President *didn't* pardon. RIP

This was the turkey the President *didn't* pardon. RIP



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Coupons, Deals & Meals: A Grocery Marketer's Recipe for In-Store Engagement

Published on by John Findlay.

Here’s a stat for ya:  74 percent of people use their mobile phone to help them while shopping, with 79 percent making a purchase as a result. (Source: ImpigeMobileStrategy.com, 2011).

Smells like opportunity for grocery marketers, don’t it?  Before you speed dial your agency and get them whip up some nifty creative though, you need to answer this question: “what’s in it for them?”. 

Put yourself in the shoes of the busy parent hunting for next week’s meals.  What would they find valuable?  

No, other than that

No, other than that

To start with, everyone loves a deal.  Coupons and weekly specials will have sway with a good number of folks for sure.  In fact, in a recent e-Consultancy survey consumers said the top two smartphone delivered things that would influence them to purchase were coupons (28%) and sale item notifications (20%).  Kinda makes sense.

Not every solution needs to lower your margins though.  12% of the e-Consultancy survey respondents indicated that recipes are likely to influence their purchases. Pretty logical because homemakers are always looking for new meal ideas and inexperienced cooks need to know what the hell they can do with the likes of bok choy and fennel!

Apparently people actually eat this

Apparently people actually eat this

A chance to win (yup, shamless plug...but is it a plug if it’s true?) is another great way to drive in-store engagement.  Who wouldn’t want a chance to win their grocery order or a trip to the Caribbean.  This tactic has the added benefit of collecting data and converting shoppers into members (loyalty, email, social nets, etc.) so you can stay in touch long after they’ve left the store.

These tactics all have one thing in common; they focus on offering value to the shoppers in exchange for their time.  I think if you employ that mantra you’ll have a simple but tasty recipe for in-store engagement.

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Links We Love: Oct 31 - Nov 6

Published on by Romeo Maione.

Like canines and Justin Bieber fans, we are obsessed with loyalty. 

You can also be both! 

You can also be both! 

Behold the loyalty links we passed around this week. 

First up is BizReport’s top 3 tips to improve loyalty program engagement. We’d add a hot 4th one...gamify it! 

Colloquy published 3 awesome articles. The first explained why only 9% of retailers (!) effectively use the data they get from their loyalty programs. Guess those are the growing pains of the “big data” transition. 

The next article refuted the common wisdom that the best time to hook a consumer with loyalty is at the “retention” stage. The article makes a pretty good argument for starting the loyalty push at the initial customer touch point. 

They also wrote a great piece that highlights the flaw in some retailers’ thinking. 73% of consumers think loyalty programs should be a way for brands to show how loyal they are to consumers while two thirds of marketers see it the other way around. C’mon guys! Ask not what your consumers can do for you....

B2C magazine gives some great tips on how to market your loyalty program to your consumers. Our two favorites are definitely 

“Make it Easy: There are so many punch cards floating around, it’s difficult to keep them all together without feeling the extra wallet weight. All your customers need, is their smartphone. So much easier than searching through all the cards stuffed in your wallet or purse

Run a Loyalty Contest: The customer that gains the most stamps will win a gift card to your location. Not to mention the bragging rights that go along with it”

In the same vein as “make it easy” Pymnts.com ran an article that claims mobile accessibility is the savior for sometimes onerous loyalty programs. 

Bored of hearing about millennials yet? If so, skip this article about how millennials are responding very well to experiential marketing in loyalty programs.

An Australian business guru (smart guy, brutal job title) explains why loyalty isn’t always the answer and the myriad ways it can be totally screwed up

To our casual readers: Have a good weekend!

To our loyal readers: Have a great weekend! 

You know who you are

You know who you are

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Launchfire Interactive Inc.

22 Hamilton Ave N Ottawa, ON K1Y 1B6
EMAIL: sales@launchfire.com       FAX: 1.613.728.1527
INTERNATIONAL: +1.613.728.5865   1.800.896.4115

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