PROFILE

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.
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  • Posted on: 04/27/2018

    Is $119 too much to pay for an Amazon Prime membership?

    With the news of Amazon's huge quarterly profits, and its $25 billion in cash on hand, plus Amazon Web Services surging in growth by nearly 50 percent, the company can certainly weather any short-term decline in new Prime members and renewals. Meanwhile, with more product brands and retailers expanding their offerings within Amazon, the value of Prime is on the rise with all shoppers, so I am confident that this increase will have little effect on the company's results, especially since the shopping portal delivers less than 4 percent of the profit story, while AWS is trending to deliver up to 30 percent of the profits.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2018

    Will Gen Zers push personalization toward individualization?

    I see a huge miss in the sources quoted here. They talk about mining social media, using AI and chatbots, etc. to reward individuals for their feedback. What I don't see is the simple act of asking each individual to set their own criteria for when they would give the brands and retailers permission to alert them on content they've specifically asked to receive.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2018

    UPS partners with retailers in launch of Groupon-like rewards program

    I love this idea for the simple reason that whenever I interact with my usual UPS drivers at my doorstep I find them to be extremely friendly and courteous. To be able to chat with them about these perks should add another level of personal customer service to what UPS offers.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2018

    Brands take recycling and their businesses to the next level

    I would like to see fashion brands and retailers really step up to combat our huge issue of textile waste. Some reports say the average American throws away 70 pounds of used clothing a year. More about this issue here.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2018

    Former Walmart U.S. CEO raises prospect of breaking up Amazon

    No to the notion of a break-up! Amazon does not snuff out innovation among its competitors, it pushes them to innovate and improve. Much of this noise from Simon and DJT has more to do with their own insecurities than with what these markets need to continue the shift to customer focus and service.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2018

    KB Toys plans a Christmas comeback

    The location of the pop-ups obviously will be critical to any success this holiday, but equally important will be the quality of the staff. I would be concerned that KB will only be able to hire a poor quality group of seasonal workers this year, who may not have the energy and personality to really engage the customer about their critical gift purchases. They can't win on price and, even with a good selection, there needs to be a high-energy vibe around the shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2018

    Are Amazon lockers turning Whole Foods into a quick shop destination?

    Since Amazon has lockers in 7-Eleven convenience stores in 300 cities, the data set about what items are picked up there by what type of customers, compared to items in Whole Foods where the parking is less convenient, should be valuable for charting the future for all three brands.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2018

    Whole Foods cuts local marketing staff

    I think the "voice of the customer" will win in the end here. If enough customers are vocal on social media and through other channels that reducing the number of locally-sourced items is affecting their loyalty to the brand, then I see Whole Foods finding a way to keep that vital element of their shopping experience in place.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Has Facebook become toxic for advertisers?

    I don't see the business model breaking down, but Facebook needs to take some bold moves in the content area. Yes, it long claimed it was not a media company, but instead was only a platform. I think that claim is now poppycock. I would like to see Facebook invest in the university journalism education industry, which is in decline, as a way to signal that it is serious about the future gatekeepers of the truth in media.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2018

    Why does Lowe’s seem to have a problem turning shoppers into customers?

    Purely anecdotally, in Palm Springs Home Depot and Lowe's are directly across the road from each other. Looking at store layouts and merchandising, Home Depot feels a lot more full of product, especially in all of the temporary pop-ups for impulse merchandise or special offers. It also concentrates smaller merchandise and smaller seasonal items at the front of the store, moving larger patio furniture more to the side and back of the front. Walk into the Lowe's and it feels different. More wide open up front with less merchandise and a big space for outdoor furniture, which is an infrequent purchase at best. Home Depot has a better pulse on the customer I believe.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2018

    Aldi to open grocery stores next to Kohl’s

    I think this is a brilliant move, especially when it comes to stocking these stores with Aldi's private label goods. While Aldi is my go-to grocer these days, I still find many of my colleagues have never shopped those stores, and think of them as selling low quality, low price items. By contrast, I have found Aldi's private label items to be of a similar or even higher quality than Target's private label brands, for instance. The Kohl's shopper discovering this aspect of the Aldi brand should be a win-win.
  • Posted on: 02/28/2018

    How valuable are social tags as research tools?

    I think it's important to consider the motivation of those using tags in the social landscape, especially considering Instagram. In the image example here, there are 30 tags with this post. Why would someone take the time to embed 30 tags? Sure, everyone is interested in expanding the reach of their posts, but in this case, and with most tag-heavy posts on Instagram, I think there is more than ego gratification going on. The heavy posters likely are looking for paid gigs from the brands to do sponsored content and other promotional work, or hope to make money in other ways, from expanding their blog reach for more advertising, etc. So I would put a filter on these results around true opinions of the brands, and what is behind the time spent on tagging.
  • Posted on: 02/27/2018

    Kroger dedicates new research center to food innovation

    I give this effort a highly likely chance of great success for Kroger, if for no other reason than the company and Proctor & Gamble are both in Cincinnati, and P&G is not in food, but Kroger is a major customer. I can see both companies seeking ways to collaborate and share data about the future of the grocery customer and where there are intersections. This effort should succeed where Target's collaboration with MIT on the Future of Food lasted less than a year.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2018

    What do shoppers want most?

    Regarding more relevant offers -- while AI is important for the future in this regard, I suggest looking at current individualized marketing trends where retailers are simply asking individual shoppers to share their criteria for relevant offers, such as price drops, alerts on the release of new products and other things.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2018

    Can Circuit City come back from the dead?

    I used to work at Best Buy in strategy and innovation, and one of our best moves was the launch of private label goods like Insignia. Not only did these items deliver more margin, they increased staff pride in our brands, and they put pressure on vendors on their pricing and innovation. I am wondering if the Circuit City has private label plans. Also another former BBYer lists the following at Quora.com as key factors in Best Buy's success:
    • Decreased dependance on product margins;
    • Understanding customers;
    • Admitting its mistakes before it's too late;
    • Last man standing.

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