Not long ago I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Emily Barrett, a senior marketing manager who has worked on Walmart’s Grocery Pickup & Delivery business for many years. Emily was instrumental in marketing, branding, and launching Walmart’s eCommerce initiative and helped the company’s online delivery program go from a 13-store pilot to over 2,000 stores, covering over 55 percent of households in the U.S.
Emily and I were aligned on so many things: the importance of understanding the marketplace, the balance needed between driving trial and focusing on repeat customers, and how best to implement strategies that, as she put it, “poke holes in the competition,” just to name a few!
But, perhaps where she and I clicked the most is on our shared passion for connecting with customers. For Emily, that means to “be in your customer’s position, to find out what’s extraordinary (about them), and to speak to (them) directly.” As she explained, it means that as marketers our main goal should always be to help our clients “define their customers’ ‘key reasons to believe’” in the brand.
In my talk with Emily, we discussed many approaches to messaging and positioning. Emily’s recommendation? As you are working to define a client’s WHY, ask them to finish this sentence: “Only we…” When we focus on the superlatives, the solutions that ONLY this particular brand can offer, then genuine and powerful differentiation occurs.
Emily believes, as I do, in being “your customer’s voice and their advocate.”
Emily shared with me during our interview her philosophy of “surprise and delight.” All of the customer programs that Walmart does, and the ones that Emily specifically deploys for the company’s online delivery and grocery pick-up programs, are designed to have an impact and make life easier.
For the Avocet team, this is how we feel about our clients, but it is also what we DO for our clients: we help them articulate to their customers the unique and unmatchable solutions the brand offers, all the while creating opportunities for wonder and happiness!