PROFILE

Dave Bruno

Marketing Director, Aptos
With over 25 years of experience in retail technology, Dave supports Aptos with brand development, corporate messaging, and product marketing. His deep resume includes widely varying experiences helping bring retail technology to market at GERS, Escalate Retail, RedPrairie, JDA and Epicor.

Dave is a frequent speaker at industry events and is highly regarded for his ability to identify emerging technology trends that will impact the retail model. He has worked with many of the world’s leading retailers, and he is an accomplished marketer, having won numerous awards for his content marketing programs and campaigns.

He is a member of the advisory board for DemandGen Report, and the executive producer of the CommerceofCaring podcast series. Dave is also a regular contributor to EngagingCustomersDifferently.com
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  • Posted on: 09/13/2017

    Is BOPIS degrading the in-store experience?

    BOPIS may in fact be the store's single greatest opportunity to engage, interact with and impress store shoppers. While convenience is of course important, a shopper should never be encouraged to interact with a kiosk that allows them to whisk their items away without ever engaging an associate. They should be forced to engage with an informed and empowered associate. If the associate is empowered with the customer's history, loyalty, value and related items, the experience can be of extremely high value to both the shopper and the brand. Retailers, beware of failing to capitalize on this awesome opportunity to engage!
  • Posted on: 09/11/2017

    Dr Pepper targets a digital promo to Walmart’s customers

    While engagement is, in theory, a good thing, I am not sure the rewards to the consumer balance out the costs. It seems like a lot of effort to "unlock" five bottles for a Dr Pepper-branded pool float. I believe that the benefits of any engagement strategy should always be weighted heavily toward the shopper, and this promotion feels significantly less than high-value to the shopper.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2017

    ‘Okay Google, I want to order from Home Depot’

    I have said this before, that ordering via voice really does feel like the "magic" of the internet fully realized. While product exploration is still a significant challenge, as is the requirement to memorize skills, I still can't see any way that conversational commerce isn't a significant shopper channel in the near future. It's simply too easy -- the definition of frictionless.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2017

    Do independent retailers need a marketing plan?

    Do you need a marketing plan? How can you proceed without one is the better question! Until you answer the questions Bob outlines above -- and many more -- you should not invest a dollar in real estate. Until you know who your customers are and how to reach them you shouldn't think about spending a dime on inventory. Otherwise, how can you answer follow-up questions like: What are you buying? Who will want to buy what you present? How much can I charge?Understanding your customers' motivations, tastes, budgets and expectations is the first part of the marketing plan and nothing should proceed until those questions are answered.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Will Instagram become retail’s ticket to mobile shopping?

    Beware the appeal of "hot today, not tomorrow" social networks. I would focus much less on the platform and much more on the influencers. Understanding who is influencing your customers and which influencers most consistently drive conversions will unlock much more potential in the long run.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2017

    Does Best Buy now have its own summer Black Friday?

    Perhaps the question should be, why wouldn't retailers develop their own holiday events? If they attract attention, reach customers and bring people to their brand, I frankly don't see a downside.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2017

    Will chatbots lead consumers to more purchases?

    Chatbots are rapidly transforming our expectations of the way we interact with the internet: no new interface, no download, no password. And people are clearly responding to the simplicity. When Facebook launched their chatbot platform on Facebook Messenger (with around 1 billion users), 11,000 bots were added in the first three months. The rise of conversational commerce is inevitable. For further evidence, merely reference our discussions here yesterday about Walmart's alliance with Google Home as a threat to Amazon Alexa, the mother of all chatbots. For those who ignore conversational commerce, beware: winter is coming!
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will the Walmart/Google voice deal give Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money?

    The simplicity of voice ordering "replenishment" items is, quite simply, the magic of the internet fully realized. Just tell Alexa (or now Google) what you want, and within a couple days your order appears at your doorstep. No interface, no screen, no typing. I have been waiting for other retailers to figure this out about Alexa and am not surprised to see Walmart (finally) get in the game. What I really hope this new entry will do is accelerate the pace by which we simplify the requirement for and the complexity of skills to be memorized. At the moment this is a significant inhibitor for adoption of voice. Also, it will be interesting to see how Walmart treats the exploration and recommendation of items not previously purchased. To date, Amazon requires a lot of trust from consumers when making new recommendations. Paula Rosenblum of RSR, (another BrainTrust member), Jeff Roster of IHL and I collaborated to explore this topic in a new e-book just released last week: "There's Something About Alexa: Preparing for Conversational Commerce." If interested, check it out -- Paula and Jeff both have great perspectives on the topic.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2017

    Did retailers shine or go dark on the rare solar eclipse sales opportunity?

    I feel like a broken record sometimes, but my feelings are very strong that the eclipse is yet another opportunity to create experiences that last far longer than the margins on the glasses. I frankly could care less about a few bucks made from the glasses. This is a perfect opportunity for retailers to express their creativity and bring people into their stores to experience their brand ethos. The bigger opportunity -- once again -- lies in building relationships through creative engagement.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    What bad habits do retail solution providers need to break?

    As a technology solution marketer I truly appreciate these warnings, Carol, and I would be severely disappointed to hear of our sales teams committing any of these mistakes. My big takeaway from your post that I will communicate to my sales team is a simple one: either add value or don't engage. I believe that the only way we can succeed is if our singular mission is to provide value to retailers, whether they buy anything from us or not. From the first time we meet a retailer, your article indicates that we must immediately evaluate how we can provide value -- whether it be via humble advice based upon our experience with other retailers or via targeted discussions of how our solutions can help them solve their unique problems and capitalize on competitive opportunities.If we don't see an opportunity to provide value -- with or without a sale -- then we will annoy them, we will run the risk of forgetting our place and we will be tempted to "go long" -- and if that is the case then we simply shouldn't engage.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Will Timberland climb to greater heights behind new experiential concept?

    Giving people a reason to come to the store -- in this case with targeted, curated and fresh assortments centered on a theme -- is the key to success for brick-and-mortar. Story has been successfully executing this model for years, and I applaud Timberland's efforts and anticipate good results.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Does the internet know us better than we know ourselves?

    Certainly Big Data-driven analytics are an essential and increasingly important part of modern decision making processes. However, the fundamental flaw in relying only upon behavioral analytics exists when the behavior in question is not yet an option. If customers do not yet have the option to, say, buy online, pickup in store, then we can't evaluate their behaviors. We can use analytics in an attempt to discern intent, of course, but in my opinion, focus groups are still an important part of the mix for situations like these.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Should Walmart buy Birchbox?

    The potential Birchbox acquisition seems squarely aligned with Walmart's recent acquisitions of Bonobos, Moosejaw, et al. I must confess, however, that I don't fully understand the strategy beyond a desire to expand their reach to be more competitive with Amazon, as these brands sit fairly far outside the circle of Walmart's brand promise. As such, I am not sure I can endorse another acquisition in a similar vein ...
  • Posted on: 08/09/2017

    What to do when shop local turns into look local and buy online?

    Ha! Likely not, Bob! And -- spoiler alert! -- my worm-tea nourished tomatoes this year are the absolute best tasting and most bountiful they have ever been. I am certain I have become their biggest evangelist!
  • Posted on: 08/09/2017

    What to do when shop local turns into look local and buy online?

    There are no quick fixes or easy answers to these challenges, but I strongly believe that there are two keys to overcoming these look local but buy online shoppers: assortments and experiences. Developing carefully curated assortments that minimize commodities is step one. Local retailers who fill their stores with boutique assortments that reflect the nuanced tastes and preferences of their local clientele will better differentiate from their online competitors. Secondly, local shops must look for ways to make their stores an indispensable part of the buying journey. A local garden shop in my neighborhood seems to have figured this out, and they are positively thriving. Read their fascinating -- and educational -- story here.

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