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: 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.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2017

    Will Dick’s price match keep it on top of the sporting goods category?

    I like the high-touch aspect of a phone conversation with a customer. Of course if too many requests are denied, watch out for social media blowback.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Are $3.00 generics a sound grocery e-tailing model?

    Reminds me of the meat brand No Name. After years of little promotion but great distribution, pricing and word of mouth, the no brand in effect became a brand. If Brandless is lucky, this might happen here.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2017

    Why do so many people love shopping at Ace Hardware?

    I'm just back from a trip to Ace this morning after two trips to Home Depot over the weekend. I went to Ace because I wanted to show the service desk that does repairs on equipment a particularly troubling project. They not only fixed the project, they showed me the products they use in the service area for the best solutions if my problem happens again. I don't think I would have gotten this level of service at Home Depot and now, having shopped both stores so close together, I can say that Ace's prices (at least on the items I was buying) were at best 10 percent higher than Home Depot.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2017

    Will consumers ever feel better about sharing their data?

    One troubling issue in this story is the rising tide of fake "don't share your data" scams, especially on Facebook. This conditions people to not trust even beneficial uses of their data. The motivation for these is someone unclear. It may be jokesters simply seeing how many share they can get, or it may be those motivated by money to get clicks to their fake news pages for ad revenue. I received the following false warning (debunked on Snopes) from two Facebook friends this weekend.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2017

    Can Hershey help grocers transition to a digitally-dominated future?

    I'm intrigued by the mention of experiences around parties. It would seem to me this concept is a perfect opportunity (not just for a brand like Hershey) to offer full party kits in-store with treats, decor, recipes, playlists and more. There are a lot of online kit options, but if you displayed the kits in-store and let shoppers customize them to their needs this could be a great high-margin experience option.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2017

    Will Amazon’s use of data transform how retailers operate stores?

    This news is somewhat tempered by the news from Google yesterday about its use of data to track online behavior to physical retail purchases. If that is successful, Amazon may not be the only giant killer in tying online activity to in-store purchasing behavior.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2017

    Will J.C. Penney find success with its new B2B venture?

    Watch for appliances to be the next category for innovation in B2B. With the imminent demise of Sears, the closing of hhgregg and the aggressive moves by Lowe's, especially in consumer appliance sales, J.C. Penney can easily add appliances like in-room refrigerators for hotels to this initiative.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2017

    Will Hy-Vee’s grocerant strategy set it apart from rivals?

    Here in Minnesota residents often turn up their noses about all things Iowa, but Hy-Vee has become a cult favorite here. Here's an article about the phenomenon in our hip weekly City Pages.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2017

    Why is Walmart so concerned about Aldi and Lidl?

    One reason is the very distinctive and, in my view, superior shopping experience at Aldi. The small stores facilitate quick trips and there are surprise discoveries in many areas of the store, not just the Hot Buys freezer cases. For instance, last night I discovered they've added grass-fed beef and lox, both at the lowest prices I've seen in any store. I don't think Walmart can compete with this combination of speed and easy access to surprises.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2017

    Do customer reviews suffer from a herd mentality?

    It makes a lot of sense that reviews skew to the positive. In my marketing career I have several times run projects asking consumers about future-planned products, with quite a few reacting that they already own the products and love them. They are trying to be helpful for what they think the researchers are looking for.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2017

    Will chatbots drive a ‘conversational commerce’ trend?

    I'm concerned that the chatbot space is already overheated and retailers are being barraged by pitches from chatbot startups, causing concern and confusion about making the right bets. The technology is fairly cheap and easy to implement, but getting the user experience and interactions right is tricky. I think it will be 18 months before both the market matures around the best solutions and consumers begin to really adopt the use cases.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2017

    What can TripAdvisor bring to retail?

    This is a great idea for one emerging technology, automated text summarization, especially when there will be staff to help travelers search the reviews. With this summarization technology, hundreds of the thousands of reviews can be "read" instantly to automatically generate a list based on the search requests. For instance, a traveler could search for free museums open until 8 p.m. within five miles of their hotel that are wheelchair accessible and have an average 4-star rating, and instantly the technology will generate this very personalized, individualized list.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2017

    Will artificial intelligence replace CEOs?

    One fast-emerging model for retail marketers is the use of AI (powered by IBM Watson) for planning marketing campaigns. A company called Equals3 has launched an AI marketing planning platform with IBM Watson that can reduce the time and labor to plan marketing campaigns from months with a large staff at the retailer and its agencies to a day or two with one staffer.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2017

    Can tailored digital video messaging transform grocery end-caps?

    With the data on beacons pushing messages to individual phones demonstrating lower-than-forecast performance for increasing sales, this is an intriguing alternative. Instead of pestering the shopper with their own screens dinging from beacon-triggered messaging, this system lets the individual shopper glance at the screen for more engaging content based on the size of the screen and decide to take action like either veering into that aisle or ignoring the messaging.

Contact Kim