Safeway has decided to invest in an executive resource. It has promoted Mir Aamir to president, customer loyalty and digital technologies. He reports to CMO Diane Dietz.
Elevating responsibility for loyalty and digital marketing is the right move. The Achilles’ heels of many programs arise out of two areas: being too siloed and neglecting the shopper experience. Aamir has the opportunity to make an impact in both of these areas at Safeway. Here are a few ways.
Recognizing marketing can improve service. This includes directly such as listening through social media and reaching shoppers through preferred channels. But this also includes indirectly such as leveraging shopper insights to inform assortments, in-stock levels, and pricing.
Differentially rewarding top shoppers rather than offering the same perks to all. Defection and switching rates of so-called top shoppers can be astonishing. Better learning what top decile shoppers want and focusing the organization on relevant value creates business impact.
Partnering with suppliers rather than going it alone. Inviting CPG participation forms a larger team that can work on behalf of the category, helps suppliers make better decisions in support of shoppers, and defrays costs for the retailer.
Creating the role of president of customer loyalty is a start. But title doesn’t make culture change stick. It taks persistent, tact and interpersonal effectiveness. Aamir will be in the position to do this, and can influence the business unit heads as well as the c-suite.