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RSR Research: Retailers doubt marketing proficiency

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walnut Creek, Calif. – While the percentage of retailers who think they know about their customers is rising, fewer retailers think they are proficient in using that knowledge for marketing purposes. According to a new study from RSR Research, “Retail Marketing 2013: Organizational Drift,” 36% of retail marketers said their customer loyalty program is a foundational element of their marketing strategy in 2013, compared to 32% last year.

In addition, 28% of retail marketers said their company knows who its best shoppers are, compared to 22%. Yet only 15% said their company is proficient at targeted marketing across channels, compared to 18% last year.

Other findings include:

  • The top three marketing business challenges are customer retention and loyalty (61%), keeping up with new ways consumers are using technology (49%) and too many communication channels have unproven effectiveness and keeping up with new ways to engage consumers (42% each).
  • The most common owners of customer experience are chief marketing executive (43%), CEO (38%) and VP of stores (35%).
  • The top three marketing opportunities are more effective targeting (53%), greater emphasis on customer experience (48%), and driving store traffic via digital channels (44%).
  • RSR conducted an online survey from May – July 2013 and received answers from 122 qualified retail respondents.
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Changing of the guard at Kroger

BY CSA STAFF

Kroger CEO David B. Dillon, a 37-year Kroger veteran, will retire Jan. 1, 2014, and will continue to serve as chairman of the board through Dec. 31, 2014. Succeeding him will be W. Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and COO.

McMullen joined Kroger in 1978 on a part-time basis on a stock crew and has been president and COO since 2009 and a director since 2003. He previously held a variety of senior management positions including vice chairman; EVP of strategy, planning, and finance; and CFO.

"As Kroger implements its strategic growth initiatives, the time is right for the transition of leadership. I am delighted that the board has elected Rodney McMullen to succeed me,” said Dillon. “Rodney has played a leadership role in every major decision Kroger has made for the past 25 years, including the development and implementation of Kroger’s Customer 1st approach as well as our current growth strategy. He is ready to be CEO. I have been honored to lead this great company for more than 10 years [since 2003] and look forward to assisting Rodney and the board in the transition while continuing to serve as chairman."

"On behalf of the board, I thank Dave Dillon for an extraordinary job as CEO and throughout his distinguished career at Kroger,” said Robert D. Beyer, Kroger’s lead director. “Under his leadership, the company has consistently delivered value for shareholders, customers, and associates. The board has planned carefully for this leadership succession. We are confident Kroger will continue its growth momentum during the transition and under Rodney McMullen’s leadership. Rodney has the right skills and experience to build on Dave’s accomplishments and leverage Kroger’s strong platform in the years ahead."

"I am honored to have this unique opportunity to serve our company and gratified by the board’s confidence in me,” added McMullen. “I am excited to lead our efforts to build on Kroger’s market position and competitive advantages to drive value for our shareholders and to strengthen our deep connection with our great associates, our millions of customers and the communities we call home."

McMullen’s successor will be named at a later date.

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Build.com IDs customer segments with Adobe Marketing Cloud

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chico, Calif. – Online home improvement retailer Build.com is using Adobe Marketing Cloud as the cornerstone of its digital marketing strategies, diving deeper into visitor data to better understand what they are looking for, how they navigate online, where they are coming from, and what drives purchase decisions.

Using new, universal visitor identification capabilities across the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Build.com can now identify and track unique customers as they enter the website, view where they are coming from, and set up tests to identify how specific segments of customers like to shop. With this ability to identify and segment customer activities, Build.com can thus develop longer-term, more holistic views of customer behaviors and preferences. This allows the retailer to build more highly customized segments and individual customer profiles, delivering more relevant content to new visitors while improving engagement and brand loyalty among existing customers.

“Adobe Marketing Cloud enables us to align how we collect and analyze data with the way our customers do business,” said Justin Bergson, director of media and optimization at Build.com. “Equally important, universal customer identification capabilities empower us to use customer profile and related data across Adobe solutions to get faster answers about how we can continually improve the customer experience.”

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