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: 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.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2017

    Will IKEA find success in standalone restaurants?

    The pop-up concept plays perfectly into IKEA's growth strategy. Instead of just focusing on what you can buy at their giant stores, or online (without free shipping of course), having food there is brilliant. Who wouldn't want to consider an IKEA kitchen once a meatball cart came around? It's very much in line with the food truck phenomenon, but with this one also giving you idea-starters for your home.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2017

    Are retailers missing the social marketing boat if they’re not on YouTube?

    YouTube has a lot of work to do to overcome its recent issues if major retailers will step up to the plate this year. Consider some recent headlines: "YouTube Advertiser Exodus Highlights Perils of Online Ads" and "YouTube is facing a full-scale advertising boycott over hate speech." Plus the following, from the site ReCode: "What advertisers really want from YouTube is what they already get on the open web: tracking how many times an ad has been shown to a particular anonymized user; where it’s happening; and how people are interacting with the ad."
  • Posted on: 04/12/2017

    Will virtual reality transform in-store merchandising?

    The real advantages of VR technology will emerge once other technologies are dialed into the mix. For instance, in the Kellogg example above, Kellogg has also been using a motion sensing technology in tests to monitor what the shopper actually does in aisle. It hangs motion sensors like those in Microsoft Kinect games above the shelf. The sensor then can heat map and gather other data about which items are lifted from the shelf by the shopper and are either put back or put in the cart. With in-store tests like this, the data can then help drive the VR scenarios for further refinement of the optimum shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2017

    What will retailers gain from HHGregg’s loss?

    My question is one that is hanging over the entire retail industry: What happens to this abandoned retail space, since the country is "over-retailed"? Can others, not retailers, benefit from some of this retail? Community colleges, pop-up seasonal stores, health facilities, etc.?
  • Posted on: 04/03/2017

    Should retailers take a public stance on social issues?

    Yes, retailers should take a stand. Witness this headline and story from last week: Apple, Wal-Mart stay with climate pledge, despite Trump.

Contact Kim