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: 12/14/2017

    Target to make same-day delivery push with Shipt acquisition

    If you are curious about what the next Shipt-like acquisition deals will be in 2018, check out the portfolio of companies held by Shipt's venture capital firm and its partner Ian Sigalow. Ian is one of the leading trends spotters and investors in these emerging consumer trends.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2017

    Why are so many brand categories woefully bad at word-of-mouth?

    As a former Best Buy staffer, I believe tech products rank high not just because of high cost, but also because of crazy short cycles of rolling out new products, versions, upgrades, etc. Unless the consumer consumes all of the tech blogs and media they can't keep up, and often they don't know when the next launch is and if they should wait, if they should go for the retiring model, if they will regret that and so on. So they turn to trusted friends who do stay on top of the tech product news.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    The new NYC Nike store will have a members-only floor

    I see another great benefit here: Special appearances by Nike-endorsed athletes and Phil Knight. With the members-only floor, Nike can do better crowd control for these appearances, by making sure only the most passionate fans of these athletes and their sports can have better access to the personalities.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2017

    Amazon is (quietly) upending private branding. Will others follow?

    I'm almost certain that Amazon deploys technology to "read" and synthesize customer reviews of its vendor-supplied goods in determining how to design, create, brand and promote its own goods attuned to the opinions and desires of its customers.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2017

    Will shoppers pay services to do returns for them?

    Task Rabbit has offered this service for a long time. I wonder if the motivation here is that with the Task Rabbit acquisition the bet is that Task Rabbit will discard unprofitable services such as this one?
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Dollar General is betting on the continuing decline of the middle class

    Responding to Art's comment: "However, we shouldn’t lose sight that those in higher income brackets shop those deep discount stores as well." Here in Palm Springs I see this trend in spades at a new 99 cent store. With tourism being the major industry here, we have a lot of service industry workers who shop this store, while I also see BMWs and Mercedes in the parking lot shopping both this store and the expensive Italian deli immediately next door.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Subscription services are moving beyond just being surprise boxes

    Based on the mention here of rich customer data, I wonder if any box service has tried asking its customers to share their Amazon purchasing history in return for personalizing their boxes with the promise to outdo the Prime experience. That could lead to interesting results.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Barnes & Noble wants to get smaller, more bookish

    One of the most popular memes on social media in the last couple of year has sobering data on the book industry, including "80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year". Of course, no source is cited, but still the data points to why Barnes & Noble is making moves like this.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2017

    Are these the best or worst of times for consumer brands?

    I lean toward it being the worst time for brands. The major reason has to do with the transformation of the agency business from many independent agencies with long-term relationships with brands, to a few global holding companies now having all the big brands as clients. The holding company agencies now have to be super nimble to be profitable in these relationships, and I think long-term brand value in the minds of consumers can suffer because of this.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2017

    Retailers are missing out on food photo ops

    You only have to search hashtags at Instagram to see that grocers are missing a very easy fix to this problem: adding an Instagram feed to their mobile sites, websites and apps. For instance, the regional grocer Hy-Vee has 40,000 posts with its hashtag, and more generic hashtags like "#groceryshopping" have nearly 400,000 posts.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2017

    Consumers plan to get started early on Christmas shopping

    This will be a big year for individualized alerting on e-commerce sites. Those retailers who have embedded the technology for shoppers to sign up for alerts on back-in-stock, price drops, release of highly-anticipated items, new reviews posted etc. will be able to capture the data and intent of the early shoppers and convert them before the holiday.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2017

    Arby’s has the meat – and it’s gamey

    I doubt other restaurants will make this leap anytime soon. Arby's has to continuously put forward new meats since that is its long-running and expensive TV spot strategy. Naturally, the idea is to bring in mostly current customers to sample the new offerings and to keep them away from competitors. Other brands would have to create new strategies for these offerings that creatively would be tougher to pull off, in my view. Ask Fuddruckers about its experiment with ostrich burgers some years ago.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2017

    Johnson & Johnson takes aim at digital disruption

    Regarding "Evolve work processes and culture": Here in the Twin Cities, with a very active co-working space real estate market, we are seeing the big companies like Target, Best Buy, 3M and others embedding small teams within a co-working facility occupied mainly by startups and solo consultants. Reports are that these innovation teams are reporting good results from getting out from under the big corporate headquarters' cultures.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2017

    Will Amazon conquer digital advertising platforms next?

    With the serious issues Google and Facebook have around political campaigns and Russia, Amazon has the opportunity to accelerate its position in the digital ad marketplace. And this stunning investigative piece by BuzzFeed demonstrates just how rotten the whole ad ecosystem is today.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2017

    How will AI transform the online experience?

    Relatedly, AI will also dramatically change the way retail marketers reach individual shoppers with individualized messaging, also improving customer experiences.Here is IBM describing its partner, Equals3, and its IBM-powered Lucy AI engine: "Lucy automates labor-intensive tasks and converts data assets into a quickly-searchable source of insights—freeing marketers to focus on complex, higher-level functions. Lucy is a cognitive problem solver. Whether it be determining market segments, doing competitive or market analysis, media planning, writing a marketing plan, developing a marketing strategy, creating organic content—Lucy’s assistance helps with every task."

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