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: 02/24/2017

    Is Amazon’s Alexa a threat to rival retailers?

    With Amazon already taking in nearly $2 billion in vendor advertising dollars for sponsored listings in site search, watch for innovations in this space with Echo. Sixteen years ago Seth Godin coined the term Permission Marketing, meaning, why don't we let each individual simply provide their consent to marketing on products and services they are thinking about? I can see this concept coming to life with Echo whereby a user can instruct Alexa to let them know about new and upcoming offers fitting their individual future purchase interests from Amazon advertising vendors.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2017

    Six ways to prevent your e-mails from being flagged as graymail

    A nice extra option to add to the "prepare them" option would be to suggest that they use my favorite tool: Not only does it let users unsubscribe in one session from all their unwanted retail emails, it can compile and digest those that you still want to receive to save users time.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2017

    Is Amazon the most innovative company in retailing?

    Warren Buffett seems to believe this if you read behind yesterday's headlines: "Warren Buffett just dropped Walmart and signaled the death of retail as we know it."
  • Posted on: 02/13/2017

    How price competitive does Whole Foods need to be?

    Anecdotally, I've heard from several Whole Foods shoppers that they are switching to Aldi and they are quick to point out huge price disparities. And I read that Aldi is investing heavily in new store layouts focused on organics and is aggressively adding stores. With this being just one competitor, I would say Whole Foods has a lot of problems on its hands to turn things around.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2017

    Will in-home consults give Amazon the keys to the smart home market?

    In a similar move Ron Johnson, of Target and Apple retail fame, has raised $80 million for Its experts hand-deliver tech gear to homes, offices, etc. in hours and do the set-ups and instructions. I haven't read about its success or failure, but with that much cash it has runway to try to prove and scale its model.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2017

    What makes Americans such fans of IKEA?

    It's probably a small subset of the passionate IKEA customer, but IKEA-hackers have a large following online. Because both the complete IKEA furniture items and all the separately sold pieces and parts lend themselves to creative interpretation, there are several blogs devoted solely to these creations. I would say that the DIY possibilities with IKEA's offerings are perhaps more fun and fast than trying to create a similar project with goods from Home Depot and Lowe's.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2017

    Target shelves robot store and secret e-commerce start-up

    I believe two key factors behind these recent moves are talent and geography. Target has not had a clear vision for its Silicon Valley presence from the beginning. Initially it was to embrace start-ups, then its focused shifted to IoT and then the Goldfish project came in. Rumors were that Goldfish was not a solid idea embraced by many in senior management. With all this going on there in that hyper-competitive market, attracting and keeping talent must have been tough. Back in Minneapolis, Target just lost one of its best innovation executives, Jamil Ghani, to Amazon, and Amazon is poaching talent from both Best Buy and Target there for its much broader, and more exciting, innovation projects.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2017

    How are marketers improving data quality?

    The top category for validating contact data as collected should take a jump this year as more retailers embed alerting by SKU on their websites. Today, user-supplied contact data needs validation because often users are either faking the data or making errors in supplying it. But when a contact email or SMS number is requested for alerts on the specific products the user is thinking about buying in the future, the data is nearly 100 percent accurate and does not need validating.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2017

    Will feel and touch tech transform mobile marketing and commerce?

    I like the examples given, but I think the real opportunity for advertising is in gamified ads where the technology enhances the game play for the brand's native advertising storytelling.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2017

    Will drop shipping online orders deliver results for retailers?

    Minneapolis-based SPS Commerce offers a service to validate and monitor the quality of vendor drop shipping, giving retailers more information to avoid possible service issues.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2017

    Will Alexa become the voice of IoT?

    I disagree with Ross Rubin about Google gaining the advantage in the future. For one, Amazon continues to increase its dominance over Google as being the starting point for search on products and services.Also, expect Bezos/Amazon to make more moves to put it in a position to battle Google and Facebook as the starting point place to get news. Bezos's Washington Post already offers free subscriptions to the subscribers of dozens of other papers, and Bezos just bought a $23 million home in D.C. Why? He may be angling to get closer to the action on the future of journalism, and access to news via Amazon's IoT operating system certainly must play into those plans.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2017

    Are reports on the death of newspapers greatly exaggerated?

    Look for hybrid print/digital circulars to emerge this year. To date, the digital versions of print circulars have offered a terrible user experience. They have simply tried to copy the print versions with screens full of photos and copy, sometimes as PDFs, but always with the advertiser in charge by cramming as much stuff on the screen as possible. For 2017, think of the Pinterest user experience. The print circular will be the one-page front and back, and will exist mainly to lead readers online to create their own "pinboards" of the retailers' promoted products (with their pinboards combining products from a variety of the retail advertisers).With this personal shopper-like experience, each product can offer alerts on price drops, back-in-stock, newer models by the brands and more. Price comparison between retailers on specific products will be part of the experience as well.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2017

    Will 2017 be the year of the chatbot?

    I don't think 2017 will be the breakout year. Here are a couple recent critical reviews:Motherboard reviewed chatbot-enabled messaging app, Kik: “Chatbots are going to end up missing the part where they try to be my friend. Instead, they are just cutting to the chase and trying to sell me something, or push something my way for their own good.”And Bloomberg on chatbots: “Although the majority of America’s millennials use Facebook, their approach to online shopping is systemic and drawn out, not necessarily in line with the immediate call-to-action button. ‘The average millennial might look at as many as 10 reviews to make a purchase,’ said Nora Ganim Barnes of the Center for Marketing Research. ‘Is Messenger going to work to do that? I don’t think so. I think it’s missing too many pieces that people have come to rely on and enjoy.'”
  • Posted on: 01/06/2017

    What will the sale of Craftsman mean for Sears and Stanley Black & Decker?

    What I haven't read in this news is whether Stanley Black & Decker is already a supplier to the Craftsman brand with its manufacturing capacity. Even if it is not, one major benefit of this deal will be the ability for the buyer to make better use of its global manufacturing ecosystem, and that could mean U.S. jobs and other benefits. I'm wondering when the Kenmore brand will go the same way.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Will Millennials lead a resurgence in home cooking?

    I am the father of two Millennials and in this survey of two, they both are cooking much more at home than they experienced growing up. Both plan to start using the new AllRecipes skill with Amazon Echo which talks them through preparing recipes from a database of 60,000 options.

Contact Kim