Jason & Scot Show Episode 195 – Coca-Cola VP of Shopper Marketing April Carlisle

A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 195 is an interview with April Carlisle, VP of Shopper Marketing National Retail Sales, The Coca-Cola Company.

Subscribe:

April Carlisle, VP of Shopper Marketing National Retail Sales, The Coca-Cola Company. In this broad-ranging interview, we discuss Coca-Cola’s digital footprint and strategy, digital shopper marketing, the evolution of e-commerce for consumables and grocery, and the future of shopper marketing.

April was inducted into the P2PI’s 26th Hall of Fame this year.

Don’t forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes.

Episode 195 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Monday September 16th, 2019, live from the Grocery Shop trade show in Las Vegas, NV.

Automated Transcription of the show

Transcript

Jason:
[0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this episode is being recorded live from grocery shop trade show in Las Vegas on Monday September 15th 2019,
I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and unfortunately Scott was unable to join us so you’re getting twice the Jason for half the cost of that’s a value in any case
but today we have a special value because we replace Scott with a small the far smarter
April Carlyle who’s the VP of Shopper marketing at the well let me get the title right,
because Scott teases me that I have a long grandiose title and I feel like yours has many words is mine.

April:
[1:04] Is it actually longer than yours.

Jason:
[1:05] I think it might be so April is VP Shopper marketing national retail sales at Coca-Cola North America.

April:
[1:13] Yes you got it right.

Jason:
[1:14] Exactly and so I’m hoping you get paid by the work.

April:
[1:17] Do I get paid by the number of Cokes that I helped sell.

Jason:
[1:21] One of those could be pretty lucrative.
I liked it so there’s probably no one listening to this podcast that’s not familiar with the Coca-Cola Company.
And yet I have a feeling a lot of listeners don’t fully appreciate the full scope of coke so can you give us the elevator pitch that we might not know about your brand.

April:
[1:42] For sure so our new positioning is beverages for life,
so yes we have amazing sparkling brands that you know and have known for a hundred thirty years so Coca-Cola.
Diet Coke Sprite Fanta Etc but we also have an amazing water portfolio with smart water and Topo Chico,
and vitamin water and Dasani and we are in the juice business with Minute Maid where in the TV asnis with Gold Peak and peace tea wear in value-added Dairy with.
Fairlife so we have pretty much any non-alcoholic beverage I need you may have we probably have a brand that either is in our full portfolio or we have lots of friends that are partnering with to see how they’re going to do in the future.

Jason:
[2:27] Until I know this from personal experience when you come to visit you you can cater to all needs everyone is well hydrated at every meeting.

April:
[2:35] That is true we have free beverage vending machines all over the building and Tackle even have an app
the tells you which particular excuse are in each vending machines you can go find the beverage that’s right for you but having said all that
you know most people have eight glasses of Beverage a day and we’re only capturing one of the eight so that’s huge upside opportunity and we’re constantly looking for how can we meet more of our consumers needs.

Jason:
[3:00] That it’s great to have a broad time to approach and it kind of helps insulate you from antitrust issues I like that.
Comes up a lot with Amazon these days so we were teasing in the opening about the title what the heck does a VP of Shopper marketing do at Coke.

April:
[3:18] So what are the basics so if you aren’t familiar with the world of Shopper marketing it’s a world that I’ve actually helped Pioneer back in my days at
Procter & Gamble but now is a very well-established field of marketing and what difference
differentiate Shopper marketing versus traditional marketing is it’s all marketing through the lens of a retailer,
so how can we build brand equity for Our Brands and the retailers Brands and assets at the same time so that is the purview of my work is leading Shopper marketing for North America,
for the Coca-Cola company so with that comes I have a team of 50 people and they’re all based predominantly outside of Atlanta where our headquarters are,
and they’re based where our customers are so I have a team in Bentonville working with Walmart at team in Minneapolis working with Target,
and their day-in-day-out job is to take our
programming and are opportunities with Our Brands looking at what the opportunities are to drive traffic and sales and category with our retail customers and then how do we jointly develop marketing programs together,
but we sit within sales which is very important because we are serving as a multi-functional resource to build the overall sales of the team.

Jason:
[4:30] And is it fair to say that unlike some other marketing discipline and Shopper marketing sits pretty well in the funnel so your success criteria is usually.
Pretty close to sales is that or am I you’re you’re giving me a look like I’m wrong which is totally cool that’s our listeners listen to the show mainly because I’m wrong.

April:
[4:49] But Jason you’re probably rarely wrong but there’s always a nuanced and so yes we are lower in The Funnel of the way I like to think about it is you know are predominantly are traditional media is to help you,
to think about considering Brands and we think about in Shopper marketing is actually helping you choose which brand is right for you,
what I would tell you though is with the onset of our retailers are now developing and owning their own media platforms they’re asking us to actually do traditional what we would consider upper funnel consideration work,
through their owned properties as well as consideration which too often is a little bit lower in the funnel.

Jason:
[5:31] Okay that’s fair enough
when they are between your mind when a wholesale partner asks you to partner on on top of funnel activation because that’s partnering with a retailer that still Shopper marketing even though it might be.
Out of home or something like that.

April:
[5:49] Not necessarily so you know our biggest customers such as Wal-Mart excetera their now developing their owns programmatic media-buying and and it’s you’re buying an audience.
So they’re delivering an audience segments that maybe maybe right for your brand and so that’s considered you know top of the funnel.

Jason:
[6:08] Yeah fair enough I just met my simple mind I’m picturing like any of my own defense like when I see a coke at during NASCAR
it’s reminding me that I’m thirsty but most of the Sharp Shopper marketing activations there’s are hitting someone when there’s already some higher buying intent.

April:
[6:30] I’ll give it to you I guess.

Jason:
[6:31] I appreciate it I’ll
I’ll take half credit you are very credible in the space so I don’t want to let you know I’m not going to argue with you and to prove that you alluded a little bit to your Procter & Gamble experience despite your incredible use you you have a storied career in The Shopper marketing space
and listeners always like to get the kind of picture of how you came to this world can you give us your back down a little bit.

April:
[6:53] For sure so I would say I’m a Pioneer in the field of Shopper marketing one day I was sitting in my chair at Procter & Gamble as a sales leader who apparently had some marketing tendencies,
cuz I was developing some campaigns with my customers and P&G decided that they needed to start developing a new competency,
and what was really driving that is our retailers,
up until the head and pretty much where untargeted it was kind of anybody with a buck in their pocket is who they would go after but are the retail customers were quickly building,
marketing teams in inside Sim actually finally leveraging all the data that you know they have access to for years and years and never did anything with.
And so with that we needed to actually be able to have people who could partner with our customers marketing counterparts.
And so they said we can take people who have sales background and understand how to work with our customers are we can take someone with a marketing background or we can try to find some people that have kind of a footing,
Bible camps in so I fell into the latter category started out my first customer was Albertsons so one day I was the saleslady the next day I was The Shopper marketer.
And I figured my way out of Albertson’s was figuring it out and moved on and eventually LED all of Shopper marketing for North America Canada and Puerto Rico for P&G.

[8:13] And I kind of got to a point in my career where I really in order to be a true marketer it’s really important that you have agency experience and understand how the the creative process works
so I made the leap went to Leo Burnett Arc and led Global Shopper marketing for them for 5 years,
all that included working with clients and helping them build their own Shopper marketing departments as well as building the agencies capabilities.
Eventually what new business for Arc and one of my clients was Coca-Cola.
And they had been recruiting me for quite a while to make the move to Atlanta and help them lead and it’s the best job ever I didn’t even realize that I had been positioning myself for this my whole career and I couldn’t be happier.

Jason:
[8:57] I think that’s often the case with great careers is that in retrospect that it’s neat they seem totally sort of obvious and and in the moment is it it’s not always as well-planned as it looks like in hindsight.

April:
[9:10] Well it’s important in cpg world that you’re that you feel really loyal and a part of the brand and I actually started drinking diet coke when I was 16 years old I can honestly say I’ve never drinking.
Never drink a Pepsi unless under total Durrett.

Jason:
[9:27] Wait what’s that other band.

April:
[9:29] So anyway it just the other funny thing is when I was at Leo Burnett Arc In This Global role I actually used to bring back empty Coke cans from other countries and my daughter had cocaine can I collection.
And so when I accept the job she and she actually by the way as a shopper marketer as well so it is totally in my blood and in her blood.
And I so she actually did a post on Insta saying you know my mom finally said yes to a company that we,
probably have been the fabric of our you know my entire life so it’s this is a lot of people at Coca-Cola that have a very similar story it’s a very
it’s an amazing brand that evokes a lot of emotions in a lot of people have a lot of some of the best memories in their life or with a Coca-Cola in hand.

Jason:
[10:14] That is awesome and I assume then that your daughter was okay moving from Chicago to Atlanta.

April:
[10:19] I actually know so she’s actually saying in Chicago and she’s got her own life and she’s a Chef America tour at tracylocke and she’s helping the the cause with some other partners and getting married next off.

Jason:
[10:32] Oh my God that’s very cool and there really are only at most second-generation Chopper marketers because for your point it’s not that old of a discipline so.

April:
[10:40] That is true in fact I only know of three kind of.
Second generation Shepherd marketers in the industry so it’s funny when she was interviewing you know they were asking about things and she knew about FS eyes and in caps.
I mean it’s a it’s a world that has its own language and my phone is filled with pictures of in caps and displays and digital media and that’s what she grew up with.

Jason:
[11:03] We have to get a couple of clarifying points out here so we over that is now owned by Publicis groupe my
my employer and there are a lot of people at we all think you have to go to Coconut because it was a dream job but because you were going to have to work with me.

April:
[11:18] Well let’s see how do I clarify that question
it is a honor and privilege to work with someone who does a podcast about stuff that people actually in our industry rarely gets talked about so you’re feeling a need in the marketplace so I’m going to give you that.

Jason:
[11:37] Well thank you for that man in your bio I think you covered a bunch of the important things one that you humbly skip,
so I live in Chicago there’s a great trade Association is based in Chicago in our industry the point of purchase at.
I think it’s changed that.

April:
[11:56] Sample IQ yes.

Jason:
[11:57] Thank you I’m sounded like you had a couple of iterations as the industry has evolved but they have a great hall of fame so I like to take my four-year-old to the Hall of Fame in Chicago on weekends and you have your own Wing as a Hall of Fame member.
I didn’t sound like he which is pretty cool so congratulations on that.

April:
[12:18] Thank you you know it’s always fun at your children are always humble you so I was on the front cover of the you know if I have to purchase magazine inside and I probably brought it home shirt with my husband and my son is 16 at the time,
and now he’s like Mom or anybody any of my friends get this magazine in the mail like now he’s like okay I need money.

Jason:
[12:38] I mean you could send it to him.

April:
[12:43] No I mean it is an honor to be recognized this as Hall of Fame in the industry and I think what I’m most proud of is in my time within the industry I really want to help.
Encourage new marketers to learn about this face because it is a part of the marketing mix that.
Is I would honestly say takes even more discipline than a traditional marking roll because you really have to blend the equities of the Brandon the retailer at the same time but what is required is you have to have a love for retail.
And I know any you know Supermarket or grocery South has loves retail
that’s you know brick and mortar or digital and so once you introduce people to this idea then this whole new part of marketing that they didn’t know exist.

Jason:
[13:36] I totally agree and that’s awesome I have to say one of the things that’s interesting to me in your role is that you mentioned digital a number X digital is a significant component of the role,
and the reason I said it’s interesting is because like of all the categories that have been penetrated by e-commerce.
Grocery with a lot of your products old is not very highly penetrated yet I would argue it’s,
it’s a having its moment right now and you have a relatively who average sales price product and so there’s a school of thought that like me and digital for that kind of product is much tougher than,
apparel or consumer electronics or something like that like like have you found it’s hard to get people at Koch excited engaged about digital order that they jump in with both feet what’s the.

April:
[14:25] So I guess we need to kind of separate digital versus e-commerce
so from a digital perspective we are all hands on deck in fact we just put a new roll and place he’s actually here he spoke at the conference this morning Brian Sappington who leads our digital integration office.
And it is more about if we were talking about the kind of upper funnel or funnel you know driving consideration so
you know as we eat has as we have moved into needs dates for our consumers and how they shop it’s really important we feel like we’re actually filling in need that digital can help bring awareness to so,
hydration is one of the preeminent need States from a Total Wellness perspective and even from a beauty perspective,
and so if we can help Shoppers understand the value and and drinking higher pH product with smart water and that we have an antioxidant,
and the way to reach them is not it you yes we want to have a display in store but we need to reach them where they’re at so they’re at SoulCycle they’re at.
You know they’re getting a facial and in finding all those places and spaces on the digital can deliver to help them bring awareness to the solutions our products can bring to their wives.

Jason:
[15:40] That’s awesome can you share any examples of like a particular digital initiative that you guys are like her proud of the coke.

April:
[15:48] Yeah so there’s a couple that I’m particularly proud of so I want is with Walgreens.
So are we are identified I need with Walgreens that they had a very low traffic time and a couple of days of the week in the afternoon.
And so as we thought about the role of Our Brands and you know particularly have 20 oz Coca-Cola a cold there’s no better pick up,
in the afternoon,
and so if we could drive Shoppers digitally to buy not only one but you know what a nice offer a buy-one-get-one-free on a nice cold beverage in the afternoon was great.
At the same time we had a national campaign that is very well-known which is called our share Coke program where we actually put names on labels of,
of people’s names proper names and and so we were able to put all of that together and it was a share a coke,
happy hour program,
at Walgreens the Walgreens loved it because it drove traffic to their stores are Shoppers loved it because it was reminded them that they could get a quick afternoon pick up and it was an opportunity to buy a cook for themselves and then share one with a friend by finding their name.

Jason:
[16:58] That is very cool and that’s feels like that require some tight integration between you guys in the retail partner like if you can share like how does the date.
Work there like is that are you primarily targeting people from a Walgreens list.

April:
[17:15] Yes so it’s both,
so I we we work in conjunction with Walgreens so we can leverage their own property so we could use their social as well as.
I email so they of course have a very robust Balance Rewards program so they know their Shoppers and what they’re buying and they’re able to appropriately
you know where you about any IP issues but to Target them where they’re most receptive the other thing is that we were also able to
look at weather and so if it was particularly hot outside so you would get an email delivered in your inbox if you are already a Walgreens balance rewards winter you know it’s going to be hot out this afternoon
you know share an ice cold coke with a friend then and sure happiness.

Jason:
[18:02] That is that is very cool you kind of alluded earlier to write how important digital influencer sales are and I’m I’m assuming.
Significantly more important than actual e-commerce sales in in the beverage space at the moment and probably forever.

April:
[18:18] In certain category so Alesso and sparkling more so and you know traditional like case pack water.

Jason:
[18:23] Sure that I could totally see that I also think it’s interesting that we have this conversation and Brands across a wide variety of categories but you know.
Legacy Brands traditionally primarily distribute through wholesale and now many are starting to kick off these first direct-to-consumer initiatives not necessary,
replace wholesale I really even competitive wholesale but just to do interesting things where they get to have a more direct relationship with a customer and I like so I’ve noticed you you guys do have a direct-to-consumer e-commerce site,
I want to talk about that but it also occurred to me.
In a way you guys have been telling direct-to-consumer longer than people realize so for example my office at Leo Burnett every floor has a Coke freestyle machine and I assume and oh by the way there’s integration with my app,
and that freestyle machine so when I do my custom mix of Dasani playing and lemon lemon lime I think it is using my app.
Like you know who I am and how much of your product on consuming.

April:
[19:29] Absolutely so the freestyle machine is All Digital AI enabled and we use it the data to inform what do shoppers want what do consumers want,
so I am the main stage this morning you heard our Brian talk about our new cook orange vanilla product spend the first flavor and in many years from Coca-Cola,
and I it was derived from the fact is that was one of the number one pairing,
that consumers were using on the freestyle machine so instead of you know what traditional approach to Flavors where you know the scientist mix up some different flavor portfolios you go to a focus group and etcetera,
if this is what Shoppers already wanted and we weren’t offering it to them in a bottle can Varian and now we do and it’s been an instant success.

Jason:
[20:15] That’s awesome and it and I feel like that’s good,
I know my it’s a defense necessary but you know a big trend of the moment as retailers launching their own brand targets launched a Big Brand in the grocery category today and they they’ve generally been super successful,
I’m with her own brand and what is the name of that scary about that is they tend to have a lot more customer intimacy they talk to the Target guest every day and they know her preference is so when they build a product,
that accessed all that data if you’re appear wholesaler.
You you know you talked about the consumer but really your customers a retailer and so that it is interesting that you guys are eating this better position where you sort of had.
A direct relationship with a lot of customers for a significant. Of time so you’re on a Level Playing Field with data at least.

April:
[21:03] Yeah and a little secret is that the orange vanilla gives me what’s the number to most labor variant together the number one flavors mom is a surprise is coming out is this Frank.
I like farts a new Coke flavor coming soon.

Jason:
[21:20] You can eat another baby wesner’s you could just tell it right now and it probably probably wouldn’t.

April:
[21:25] No you’ll have to invite me back.

Jason:
[21:26] I would invite you back anyway but that would that’ll be another reason event and.

April:
[21:34] You didn’t thank you so much it was great.

Jason:
[21:36] Oh that was a super fun.

April:
[21:38] He was awesome for all the listeners out there he did great.

Jason:
[21:40] Yeah as my wife will quickly tell you the short doses of Jason is the way to consume Json.
Usually my wife’s very unimpressed with my career about her and her whole family are from Michigan
and you had Desmond Howard at this event which is a beloved figure of course stuff from Michigan and he was humble bragging about him having his own mix on the freestyle machine eat alleged,
it was a top mix everywhere in the country except the armpit of America Columbus Ohio which is a Michigan shot at Ohio State.

April:
[22:16] Speaking in Michigan are we actually have Asher Coke bottles available in the Michigan market right now so if you’re go Blue fan you can actually find Coke bottles with your teams logo on it so go find.

Jason:
[22:28] Yeah I like I like all these more personalized products like I said it’s exciting,
slash it’s like it’s a big operational challenge for you guys like all the inventory and yeah.

April:
[22:40] Personalization at scale.

Jason:
[22:42] Yeah yeah I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot more of that.
And that is going to be interesting that actually is kind of a good transition so I often talked about one of the potential challenges Amazon might have like they’re always you know they’re so much traction they’re doing someone everything.
But their distribution system is really designed to like have a ton of something and get it close to the customer and be able to deliver it really efficiently and as the world goes to more personalized products and fragmented inventory.
A lot of the big investment in warehouses than Amazon’s made aren’t perfectly suited for like.
On demand products and highly personalized products long Preamble it wouldn’t be a Jason and Scott show without talking about Amazon Scott’s not here but he’d be very angry at me if I didn’t bring it up you guys are on the platform.
And was that a controversial decision at all and Amazon know it was.

April:
[23:40] No
you know we we want to be wherever our customers are certainly we are a bottle or distributed Network model so that does bring some interesting implications and how do we ensure that the Reno and we have 64 different
the sink bottlers that help us it should be products throughout the country and so how do you think through a lot of those Logistics them
which you know we work on every day so it wasn’t controversial I think what’s interesting is that
probably some of our brands that you lease associate with Coca-Cola are probably the ones we’re doing the most Innovation with on Amazon so if you look at the work that we’re doing with the smart water,
I’m actually integrating with Alexa and voice activation or voice-enabled ordering we’re doing quite a bit with Artie portfolio with Gold Peak tea,
I am frankly Honest Tea quite a bit as well so again some of the Brand’s where Shoppers are interested in,
I really learning more about the really reason reviews are critically important those are the brands that we tend to focus on on that platform.

Jason:
[24:55] Yeah and you know that makes no sense because you like in a traditional brick-and-mortar store there is finite shelf space and you know there’s,
significant advantage to incumbents and you probably more so than any other brand in the store but a lot of Challenger Brands like 10 to do better against incumbents on Amazon where there’s.
Unlimited shelf space and you tennis Ellen after views of the product more than pure brand recognition,
and so it makes total sense that the the sort of things that are closer to Challenger brands in your portfolio would fit much better on that platform,
so we I mentioned at the show that we’re at grocery shop you did a presentation this morning and I think the title Leading Edge marketing tactics advances in Shopper marketing data and Beyond.
Exactly once again I’m hoping you got paid by the word can you give listeners a little like recap of what would that talk was about.

April:
[25:54] Yeah so there was a we had a panel discussion so we had a Charlie Chaplin from the Hershey Company and then we also had Reesha from Albertsons,
and you know we really it was it was talking about.

[26:08] How do we think about the role of these leading-edge capabilities within Shopper marketing so the role of data the role of media mix media measurement,
so you know Richard from Albertsons was talking more about how they’re building their it infrastructure and how they’re thinking about
I’m their Partnerships and how they’re thinking about media.

[26:28] And you know Charlie and I were were thinking through how do we we know we kind of talked talked about the you know Frenemies model right so we’re at we’re friends with our customers and they’re very important to us and,
help us Market are Brands they help us provide a wonderful place for people to go by Iran,
I better now asking us to be their Media Partners and they’re asking for significant Investments you know that weren’t even on the table you know even 2 years ago,
and the reality is there aren’t more money available right so it’s a little bit of a shell game of Uno trying to figure out if we had five places to Market Our Brands and now we have 50 places to Market our brand,
how do you choose the places and spaces to go because if you go to small with a buy it makes an impact but we can,
you know we can’t not do media with every one of our key customer so there’s no better time to be in chapter Mark and you because it really it in
it in your discipline you have to be very focused on data you have to be focused on who your audience is and creating audience segments with r,
all that rich data that our customers have until I think.

[27:39] Our marketing is even better than it ever was before I mean it was kind of a layup before I mean a particularly for Coca-Cola you know what the bower Network you can go in build a big display of coke and it would sell,
and and it still does today but there’s so many other intricacies that we need to consider and that’s what makes it exciting and interesting everyday.

Jason:
[27:59] I totally agree I like to say that like yesterday’s Playbook won’t work today and to me that makes it exciting because we have to test and learn and do new things which is like your daughter’s not going to be able to follow your your playbook.

April:
[28:13] That is exactly right charity isn’t.

Jason:
[28:15] Yeah probably if she’s listening good good job the.

April:
[28:21] Make a choice of honey.

Jason:
[28:22] Yeah you can take that in a wide variety of that’s always good advice the it does feel like it’s a.
There’s an extra challenge like we all know how budgeting works like you if you know you know,
turn the budget Based On A variation from what you did last year and hey we had this budget last year and we got these kind of results with it and so you know we fight for resources without our corporate friends and we we get 10% more this year
in a space like ours where there’s all these new spending opportunities that didn’t exist it’s really hard.
Like in many cases those opportunities,
clearly visible when we went through the budgeting process 12 months ago or 10 months ago is that a challenge at Coke like if you guys got two more agile to light can you.
Transfer dollars mid-year from sort of Advil marketing to these new digital Shopper marketing activities.

April:
[29:16] Yeah there’s there’s an acronym and Coke called Sally same as last year.

Jason:
[29:20] Yeah.

April:
[29:21] And so I don’t Sally’s out the door and so we’re trying to really start from a Bottoms Up approach that you would do in a traditional
brand building where you start with the foundations of you know what is the always-on that we need to have for Our Brands and that can look very different from a Coca-Cola than it is to a vitamin water.
And frankly they’re so you know some brands that we’re spending Less on because they’re selling quite well with
you know because the customer acceptance of the brand is lovely and,
you know they’re purchased a quite frequently and so instead of you know what kind of balancing every brand get so much you know really doing that deep dive analysis to say which brands and which brands are we being challenged,
by our competitors and so which ones do we need to lean into and then as we look at that marketing mix are we driving trial are we driving conversion are we driving awareness and so if it’s a
we have a new brand coming out which again is a secret and invite me back once it launches and I’ll share it with you but it’s a brand new brand
and so we’re going to have to be all in the first 6 months just on awareness and so they’re certain customers that can help us drive that awareness more quickly than others and so it would be part of our awareness
marketing mix.

Jason:
[30:35] So Sally unfortunately is out the door a lovely person but not a good strategy.
All right so instead of talking about last year let’s talk about the future for a second
I like to say a lot that we’re sort of in the first inning of this whole digital disruption and so if you were to put your futures hat on when you come back on the show 5 years from now.
Like you have some vision for how this whole practice of Shopper marketing is likely to evolve is it digital versions of all the same analog stuff we used to do or is it way different.

April:
[31:10] That actually set for the vision for our system it’s 20 20 20 20 25 vision,
and those dates are based on the metrics of 20% of all grocery shopping will be click-and-collect next year in about 3 months right.
Anna by 2025 is I think when will see the Tipping Point for e-commerce to go to Italy for our category and so with that comes what are the capabilities and what are the focus areas going to be for Shopper marketing for the next five years so I have a pretty easy to find sin sin
and what I would say is it’s partially driven by.
Thinking through our customers as True Media Partners and what that requires is just because they have.

[31:59] Customer media available for us to buy,
doesn’t mean that we’re going to buy it at a certain percentage level of our sales or Sally or anyting you know we’re going to actually treat them as we would other Media Partners and there’s requirements that they need to fill in order to be considered,
some of them are our meeting those requirements faster than others,
but if they want to be if they want to play in the big leagues and media than they need to and it be able to feel the same requirements at the same time.
Are Media Partners also enable certain merchandising lovers within the store so we always have to keep that in mind as well so anyway it’s
and part of that is that we’re actually building in customer media capabilities within our team so people who understand the media side of it as well as what those customer requirements are and
we are in the trenches every day trying to figure it out.

Jason:
[32:52] Yeah I want to pack that 11 cuz that’s super interesting to me so that the first thing and you tell me again don’t hesitate to tell me if you have a different perspective but early day Shopper marketing a lot of the activities particular in-store activities,
we would help fun stuff that happened in retail but that source of funding it was it was it was always sort of part of the trade agreement right like.

April:
[33:17] Mean the Twister armor green.

Jason:
[33:18] Yeah we’re going to buy x amount of product from you and you’re going to give me one and a half percent of that spin back as Co-op to invest in
my store circular or in-store displays and whenever it frankly the retailer would come with some new initiative.
It was really a zero-sum game for the brand right like okay will take dollars out of this other thing we were giving to you and instead put it in to this new thing and we look at that that.
Co-op fund or that merchandising accrual fund or however you treated it as kind of a cost of doing business with at retailer
but going forward it sounds like you’re thinking at much more from a performance space it’s like how hard is that dollar working is that the smartest place I could put that dollar or could I put that dollar,
somewhere else.

April:
[34:03] Absolutely and ensuring that we’re involving our customers in those conversations so you know the some of the traditional levers the circular right,
over the past I don’t know probably 8 to 10 years the cost to having your brand featured in the circular hasn’t dramatically decrease but the amount of circulation.

Jason:
[34:23] The richest.

April:
[34:24] Has significantly decreased but for those that you know in our world I mean the role of the circular is not just what happens in the newspaper and also drives all these operational,
you know my priorities and what gets tomato merchandise excetera so understanding that but then going back to the customer and saying,
you know we could do a spend here but when you prefer that we like Walgreens help you drive trips during a time that is you know lower traffic for you actually doubles the basket cuz they went from buying one product to and build loyalty.

Jason:
[34:56] Yeah and I would also argue that campaign you mention was incremental to Walgreens and brought new customers into the door at dromore football.
Does appearances in that circular are probably shifting sales from another brand which is good for you but it actually doesn’t help Walgreens all that much.

April:
[35:15] Yeah and if it’s not growing category sales and neither of us should be pursuing it.

Jason:
[35:20] Exactly so I want to unpack Another Part Of Your Vision you kind of talked about the shift grocery pickup.
Happening very quickly and we talked a lot about it on the show I’m very bullish it feels like I’m just talked to so many customers and done so many studies in.
People just really appreciate the efficiency of ordering from soccer practice and having the the trunk get full on the way home without having to take your kids out of the car and all those things but then it sounded like you were saying and further down the road,
home delivery will well you know sort of catch on like showing your mind is.
Curbside pickup sort of an intermediate step and eventually like we’ll be getting a lot of this stuff home or do you just see them both continuing to get more popular over time.

April:
[36:04] It it’s the latter I see I see them both some continuing in popularity put a filter for the beverage category the are Brands play a very important role in online grocery pick-up because oftentimes their brands that are built in bulk so you’re buying,
12 pack or case pack of water excetera and they actually helped build the basket to get you to your delivery or your even your you know pick up minimum.
And there’s things that customers really want to stock up on and you know they just read you know pushing the 50.
So we definitely have an amazing role to play in online grocery pick-up in any Commerce will continue to grow,
the interesting thing is the role of instant consumption in a click-and-collect environment.
And so you know there’s been some kind of gloom and doom studies around you know what’s happening to the front end you know at stores for categories such as ours as well as candy and magazines and other things.
But we just did an internal study and if there’s some surprising statistics and that is that of the people who place an online grocery pick-up order,
over 76% of them actually still make a trip into the store.
And the reasons for that are multiple why it is they forgot to put something on the list they ordered it at soccer practice and then on the way they realized I forgot to put something on the list or someone else in there,
and their home I said hey can you add this to the list.

[37:32] Another reason is some people are really still want to pick their own produce and they’re not they’re not confident that someone else can pick the produce better than they can,
and getting us ice cold beverage or snack for the ride home is the third reason but they still going store,
so we still need to have a presence with our traditional front end coolers
but we’re adapting what those look like so instead of having a you know a large whatever for 5 foot you know
refrigerator door as you’re waiting in line in the self-checkout area because typically if you’re running into to get to the three items from your online grocery pick-up order that’s where you’re going so we’ve actually
design smaller coolers that fit right under the self-service register and then get drive a call to action to pick one up for the ride home.

Jason:
[38:20] Yeah it is super interesting and I heard Brian talk about that this morning in his keynote it it’s interesting because other categories they got really impacted by e-commerce.
Click and collect became super important traditionally it’s not curbside pickup its in-store pickup and it’s well-known that,
they were International purchases that were driven by that like I think Macy’s talks about her like a hundred and 20% you know run rate of the click and collect so you’re you’re finding another 20% spin when you have to walk through the Macy’s to pick up your your Macy’s purchases,
and it sounds like that sometimes happening in in the grocery category as well and you you did a good job of articulating the reasons,
I have a feeling that like again it is still the first thing we’re going to figure out some other impulse experienced as for this curbside right right so at today.

[39:15] A lot of curbside is not very robust buying the Saints like there’s people run around the store and picking and trying to get it out in front of the store just before you show up and.
And like frankly like there’s a lot of them perfect executions but as this gets bigger retailers are really investing in a Triton so now we’re starting to see like hey let’s.
Have automated picking and microfilaments centers in our parking lots and it’s going to be increasingly possible to very easily.
Expose you to these impulse purchases while you’re picking up your groceries and.
Load them in your trunk with the pre-ordered stuff without even having to go in the store so I hope some of that impulse comes back in what you didn’t talk about which I suspect you also benefit from is.
So traditionally the argument with Bo impulse purchases go way down when you order online pickup curbside for your point maybe they don’t get him quite as much as I want things but they’re also.
Is a higher LV people tend to order more stuff in different formats and per your point.
I didn’t want to get the big case of water if I had to show up at through the store and load it in the car and do all that but if someone’s doing it for me I’d rather get a full week Supply than a day’s Supply and so like you.
Like that I feel like there’s a yin and yang I feel like we have to work harder to keep get that unplanned purchase but in some ways there’s some incremental plan for just as we capture by adding these new new amenities for customers.

April:
[40:43] Dancing to as you know one of the consistent Trends in the beverage industry is is a blurring of subcategories so you know there used to be sparkling you know soda and there used to be water and now they’re sparkling water and you know all the category blurry
and so the more we can partner with our customers so I kind of have offers that allow you to kind of mix and match
I’m in a different brands I think Click and Clack actually enables at so if you
we’re going to buy one variant of a product and then you know you get on multiples offer and then you’re exposed to some other flavors are various that you weren’t aware of Shoppers actually are very appreciative and they they actually like having
you know variety within their selection.

Jason:
[41:27] Thanks so in a divided household like mine my wife and I can each get our preferred that I like that.
So when we’re coming up on time but one last question so there’s also an awful lot of Coke product that sold through on Primm
so restaurants and dressers and all these things and what are the interesting things to me is
those categories are also starting to get disrupted by digital like I’m starting you know 20% of all restaurant meals are consumed at home so I’m ordering them from
doordash or GrubHub at Applebee’s on ordering off of a touch screen instead of talking to a server.
In my mind you guys have the the expertise from the digital shelf that like you could play a big role in helping.
You do the best job of selling those Coke products in that restaurant space are you guys getting a chance to play in that space at all or is that something you can Envision happening.

April:
[42:24] Absolutely we’re looking at everything so you know we’re even thinking about do we sponsor
the GrubHub drivers or do we sponsor that instacart you know Shoppers and
and not because they’re actually you know when I was living in Chicago I shopped at Meijer and I used to use the ship’s platform,
and for a you know 20 minutes. I had this very intimate relationship with the Shopper and she was actually saying should I switch this that out or you know and then when she came to my door so you know we just need to think about all of the people that and all the touch points within the consideration process
and who can help match our Shoppers with the beverage that’s right for them.

Jason:
[43:07] That’s interesting that’s a fascinating point because I.
Traditionally when I bought those beverages in the the grocery store it was cell service experience but now as a result of some of these experiences
it’s almost a sales assistant experience in so yeah you you think about some of the best practices in sales assistant environments and part of it is,
Evangeline sizing the heck out of those
those Associates that can influence the purchase that’s that’s really smart and that’s going to be a great place to leave it because it’s happen again we blown through our allotted time
April in the event that listeners want to get in touch with you are you on the interweb somewhere like what’s the best way to follow April.

April:
[43:45] Yes so I do have a Twitter handle at April’s in size but frankly I don’t check a very office.

Jason:
[43:50] Yeah I heard you use it mainly to follow me.

April:
[43:53] I know I should be better out of it I got so frankly the best way to to get after me is through Linkedin I really have chosen that is my preferred platform so feel free to Lake in with me and glad to continue the conversation.

Jason:
[44:07] Terrific I will put that your LinkedIn
URL in the show notes of people don’t have to write it down but as always is listeners of enjoyed the show and they want to continue the conversation they’re welcome to jump on our Twitter or our Facebook and
will continue the dialogue there if this is the show that finally added value to you and help you in your professional career the thing we most appreciated you jump on iTunes and finally give us that five star review You’ve been teasing us with
April has been a real privilege to talk to you today thanks very much.

April:
[44:39] You’re awesome thanks for having me.

Jason:
[44:41] Until next time happy commercing.

Speak Your Mind

*