Golfers couldn’t have asked for a better day at the John Holtmann Memorial Golf Tournament, June 6 in Hornby, ON.
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Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
In short, instead of offering products in your store that may or may not add value to your shoppers everyday life, you are delivering information that makes your shopper more intelligent. The framework of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as health food stores, deliver consistent, valuable experiences and information to our shoppers, they will be loyal shoppers to our store. Content marketing is focused on engagement, unlike other more transactional marketing strategies like sale flyers and brochures.
Knowing who your shoppers are and what they desire from your store, you can start to craft the base of your strategy. We are innately connected to our shoppers, just by the nature of our business model, but we don’t often take the opportunity to use that connection for more organic engagement.
Whole Foods (WF) has consistently been a leader in content marketing for several years. When you look at the complexity of their website, it’s easy to break down their strategy and see why their engagement level is incredible. It makes the lives of the users easier, less complicated, faster and healthier. What more could you ask for as a health food shopper? Let’s take a look at some of the strategies.
Whole Foods does not have much engagement on its Facebook page or other social media platforms. This is probably because customers are not allowed to use the spaces as ‘community spaces’ where they can post ideas, recipes, questions to other users or ideas. Our stores can easily provide that sense of community, something our shoppers crave, without adding much more to what we are already doing.
Having an overall checklist to follow when working on your social media content can save you a lot of time and empower more than just your marketing staff to post, blog, upload and share content. Here are the five areas you need to make your content valuable:
If you’re able to engage your shoppers with carefully crafted and curated content, you’ll quickly become the place to go for all their shopping and educational needs
Brittany Baird recently gave a two-part presentation for CHFA members, “Strengthening Buyer Skills.” As a grocery manager, store manager and general manager, and now as a consultant, Brittany has helped natural retailers increase net profit and sales growth and enhance operational efficiency.
Ultimately, improving sales, profit and efficiency comes down to improving the performance of human beings. And improving human performance comes down to effective feedback systems. Here’s a conversation I had with Brittany.
CC: Why is it so important to quantify feedback, to make it measurable?
BB: When feedback is intuitive and subjective, it may not be helpful to the receiver. It’s not enough to say, “Improve merchandising.” You need SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based). Giving feedback in this form can be an impetus for the receiver to grow – or choose to move on. Also, measurable goals make performance reviews easier, when it’s clearly defined what a good job means.
CC: Could you give some examples of measurable performance goals?
BB: You could set a goal of no more than five per cent out-of-stocks for buyers.
CC: Do you need to maintain a perpetual inventory in order to measure buyer out-of-stocks?
BB: Even without that, store managers can measure with occasional spot checks of the shelves. Plus, customer complaints can be tallied. Another example is to have written merchandising standards such as: end-caps and displays fully stocked, products colour-blocked, shelves clean and dusted, signage visible and products accessible from every angle of approach. You can have photos that show a well-stocked display. That way you can hold people accountable for what the sections of the store should look like.
CC: How can you measure customer service?
BB: Do you know the 10-4 rule? At 10 feet, you acknowledge a customer with eye contact and smile. At four feet, you greet them verbally. Then there’s how the phone is answered. How long are callers on hold? Do callers on hold get followed up on?
CC: A manager could tell that through occasional observation at different times of day.
BB: You can evaluate all the touch-points where staff interacts with customers, e.g. through social media clicks and views, and customer comments submitted.
CC: And special orders. You can record whether customers are notified within x hours that their product has come in, and how satisfied customers are with the service.
BB: I want to stress that you need to write out the criteria, the standards and the expectations if you are going to hold people accountable to them. You cannot hold staff accountable for performing up to a standard that is not written down.
CC: And you have to keep written materials up-to-date. As soon as one section of a manual falls out-of-date, I’ve observed that staff will stop using it. When it comes to maintaining systems, including training, everything is always needing refining and improving. Without that, you get a loss of organizational memory. Interestingly though, I don’t see front-end departments losing organizational memory of systems and standards the way other departments do. Maybe it’s because you have to stick with your systems for handling money and data.
BB: Quantifying is in the nature of POS and cash handling. There are also cash over/shorts and rings per minute. Where it’s more subjective is produce and deli.
CC: You can still measure performance in those departments in terms of accomplishing all the tasks on checklists or to-do lists.
BB: If you define what should be done on a shift, you can tell if you have a person who can do the job. Quantifying performance standards mitigates staff turnover and loss of organizational memory. If standards are clear enough, anyone off the street can understand and contribute to the department’s success
Fun, fresh air and fellowship are just three things you will find at the 2019 John Holtmann Memorial Golf Tournament. The industry’s most popluar golf event returns to the Royal Ontario Golf Club, Hornby, ON on June 6. This annual charity event is held in honour of the late John Holtmann, who was the president of Vita Health Fresh Markets in Winnipeg, MB. John also served on the Canadian Health Food Association’s board as a director and board chair. He was inducted into the CHFA Hall of Fame in 2010. John passed away in 2011.
The golf tournament serves as a great opportunity for the industry to come together for a relaxing and fun day, and is also a key fundraiser for Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC). In 2018, the event raised $10,000.
Registration is 10AM, lunch is served at 11AM, and the shotgun start is at noon. A reception begins at 5PM, followed by dinner. For more information, please visit chfa.ca
Recently, I asked one of my clients what they had learned in the past year. He said: “I learned that I can earn more by working less!” My response: “You just learned in a year what most MBA students never learn in a lifetime.” Not only had my client doubled his income over the past year, but he also significantly reduced his stress levels.
Retailers: Terry’s Tools & Tips is designed to help you combine passion for health with healthy profits.
As a health food retailer, you’re already passionate about helping people live their best. What if your mission could generate even more success for your store? Terry Naturally CANADA says it can, and Terry’s Tools & Tips from Terry Naturally CANADA can show you how.
In the Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical Biblical interpretation, there is a saying that the two pillars of justice are mercy and severity. The pillar of mercy represents forgiveness for our wrongdoings. The pillar of severity represents the law of karma – that we must reap what we sow.
Vancouver is well known for its outstanding health food stores. If you’re coming to CHFA West, join us for a tour of five must-see stores on Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 9AM to 5PM. From traditional health food stores to larger super centres, we’ll take you on a tour that highlights their unique offerings and share successes that could easily translate to your location. Join host Bruce Cole of CNHR Magazine for a full day of exploring, learning and camaraderie. Departing from the Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, the Retail Bus Tour is a great opportunity to network with fellow retailers as you begin your CHFA West experience. Registration fee includes lunch. $40 for members, $50 for non-members.
There is something you need to know about Janine Favreau: after 34 years as the owner and operator of Nutter’s Everyday Naturals in Prince Albert, SK, she is still as energized, focused, driven and dedicated to her business as she was when she opened the store in a blinding October blizzard all those years ago.
News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.
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