Kim Garretson

Advisor, MyAlerts
Kim Garretson is an advisor to MyAlerts. His focus is on advising retailers about consumer-controlled marketing. With rising rates of ad blocking, email unsubscribes, plus consumer concerns over their data used in retargeting, Garretson advises retailers that big data predictive analytics is still "guessing" and that they should begin to simply ask their shoppers for permission to market to them on criteria they set.

Garretson previously co-founded Ovative/Group, a boutique digital retail consultancy in Minneapolis. Prior, he was a strategy and innovation executive at Best Buy where he served as the company's liaison to the venture capital industry and other centers of innovation research. He also was a research fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism's marketing arm, where he first began to research giving the control of marketing to consumers.

Garretson is also the co-founder of two digital agencies. One is now owned by global holding company Interpublic Group and the second is now Arc Worldwide, Leo Burnett's digital and direct marketing arm. He began his career as the consumer technology columnist for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2017

    E-commerce chief expects Walmart to ‘crush it’ over next two years

    Not mentioned, but interesting, is Walmart's experiment to deliver groceries in-home where remote homeowners can unlock the door and watch via video while the delivery person enters the house and places perishables in the fridge. I like this quote from a Washington Post article: "'This is a group of people who are already used to a certain level of intrusiveness,' he said. 'But God help the teenager playing hooky or the family dog who’s not expecting the delivery man.'"
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    What is the online marketplace opportunity for retailers?

    A warning for retailers and their marketplaces comes from Best Buy's experience. "The Marketplace only brought in 1% of domestic revenue, and created confusion among buyers who thought they were able to return the third-party merchandise." "Best Buy Abandons Online Marketplace, Citing Low Revenues And Confused Customers" -- Retail TouchPoints.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2017

    Are retailers shortchanging the digital transformation?

    I agree there is too much focus on the traditional, but also too much wasted spending on predictive analytics platforms that still make guesses about what individual prospects and customers actually want. I return to the great Seth Godin who argued for Permission Marketing, where we simply ask each person how we can help them with product, price, service, etc. Smart retailers are using opt in alerting to do just this today.From Seth: "Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention."
  • Posted on: 10/11/2017

    What marketing lessons can we learn from Amazon?

    I pick promotion for the simple reason that it drives positive word-of-mouth from Prime Members to Prime Members and non-members. I frequently hear in casual conversation such things as, "I can't believe it. I placed my order at 7:30 p.m. and when I went to get the newspaper at 6:30 a.m. the box was on my doorstep."
  • Posted on: 10/09/2017

    Are retailers confusing customer service with the customer experience?

    I agree, and of course the reason why has to do with the cost and difficulty of delivering experiences versus dealing with service issues. But I predict 2018 will be the year when the much-reported chatbot technology will emerge as truly delivering one-to-one great customer experiences.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2017

    Survey says grocery has reached its digital tipping point

    Some are saying the results are overstated, and they may be. But you just have to look at increasing convenience in the digital and mobile world to imagine that we are on a path for shoppers to save time and make smarter decisions in easier ways. You only have to look at, which Meredith Corp purchased, and then added next to the recipes a button for listing which of the recipe ingredients are on sale at a variety of nearby stores to help shoppers build a quicker list, with the best basket savings.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2017

    Artificial intelligence makes brand personalities come to life

    AI is emerging across the marketing landscape, including in the planning departments of retail and brand agencies and marketing departments. A product call Lucy, built around "her" as a helpful tool, from Equals3, uses AI natural language to speed and ease where retail marketing dollars should be targeted.
  • Posted on: 09/11/2017

    Will lower everyday prices boost Target’s traffic and sales?

    I agree with Neil Saunders. There has been a lot of discussion in this forum about Target and its poor-performing grocery segment. The highlight in grocery at Target for me is the private label brands, with high quality and competitive pricing. I wonder if Target can get more creative with the promotions for these brands.Obviously Target succeeds in creative execution with its TV campaigns on fashion and seasonal items. What might Target do on TV around filling your basket with its exclusive brands? And would this put its relationship with its vendors and their trade dollars at risk? Hard to say.
  • Posted on: 09/05/2017

    Will burger and fitness partnerships reinforce Hy-Vee’s mission?

    A fascinating side note to this news if Hy-Vee brings these concepts to the Twin Cities will be the microcosm of the burger and fitness concept startups wars, since the Twin Cities area is the epicenter of some of the fastest growing new concepts in both segments. MyBurger aims to become the In-N-Out burger brand in the Midwest, and we have several fitness concept businesses aimed at different demographics, including Boomers.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2017

    Does e-commerce need 3-D shopping?

    I agree with many of the other commenters that we've been talking about and playing with this concept for decades. In fact, my agency built the first site in 1996 and we had 3-D "fly-arounds" of cars. I would say the technology really only makes sense when you need to see inside and outside of a product, like a car or a house or room.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Is outsourcing a better option for in-home tech help?

    In addition to the retailers, brands and services mentioned here, another likely source for freelance tech service providers comes from the very active sector of freelance techs serving businesses. One of the leaders in this space is Minneapolis-based Field Nation, which has raised more than $30 million in venture capital. It has the vetted techs that could be deployed to homes, too.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Will smart homes be sold in living rooms?

    If Ron Johnson (ex-Target and J.C. Penney) can make his company Enjoy a success, I would expect that company to be an early player along with Best Buy and Amazon in this area, but arguably with better techs based on the promise of Enjoy. There are no pure IoT brands at the company yet, but watch it in the months ahead.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2017

    Why don’t more retailers ‘get’ curation?

    I think a critical factor for retailers who can't out-assort Amazon and Google is to do something those companies don't do: Put human faces on the content around explanations of their curation. If the retail brands continue to use their generic brand voice behind the curated selections, this is a switch from how customers view these brands. But when they bring out front and center the real experts behind the curated selections, this can set them apart.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will TJX’s Homesense repeat the success of HomeGoods?

    No surprise here, especially considering the success of Wayfair and its huge TV budget hyping the same treasure hunt/discovery with deep discounts. The ability to see the home furnishings and match colors, is a key component of this strategy.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    Will facial recognition tech make for happier customers at Walmart?

    I wonder if Walmart realizes that university advertising schools and agencies have been using similar tech to measure the response to ads in all formats for many years. It would seem this data, especially when it's available in ad journals, would be of benefit as they look to deploy this system.

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