This is my attempt to create a list of New Year’s resolutions. The thing is, I’m tired of breaking my resolutions; year after year I fail always saying “next year is the year I’m going to get it right.” Even look at me now finishing up my new years resolutions 7 days after the New Year. So this year I decided to do something a little different to ensure that I get it right. I’m still creating a list, but this time the list isn’t for me anymore, it’s for you!

But don’t worry, I’m not going to check up on you and make sure that you kept them, so please don’t go clicking away. Below I have a compilation of 5 easy to keep resolutions for you grocers, a little present for the New Year.

Grocery Marketing Funnel

1. Streamline your marketing strategy: Think of your marketing strategy as a funnel. At the tip of the funnel are the customers that become aware that your store exists through some form of marketing.  This is where most of your marketing spending goes, so analyze which marketing strategies are best at bringing your customers all the way through the funnel.  The goal is not just to get noticed or considered the goal is to bring the customer all the way through the funnel to the point of advocacy (as seen on the right.) Work out which strategies are working and which are not in relation to their cost. Know your target market, your current customer base, and your marketing plan inside out.

2. Evolve with your competitors: I am sure that you have already started to implement organic food into your store. But just because you added some organic items does not mean that you can sit back and wait until the next big shift. Analyze the market leaders such as WholeFoods, Ralphs, and Ranch 99. These companies are constantly trying out new things. You should follow this example and implement your own strategies to meet this competition.  Implementing a grocery pos system at your store will help with this.

3. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT): This may seem vague so I will try to refine the broad subtitle. Know your best selling products, your worst selling products, your favorite customers, you most infrequent customers, your best employees, your worst employees, your best location and your worst location. It’s time to cut your losses, by patching up those wholes and optimizing your business.  The diagram below will help you:

4. Become More Energy Efficient: Change out your light-bulbs to LED lights, re-adjust isle temperatures/ product temperatures. Unused computers should be turned off, bathroom lights, break room lights and storage areas should be turned off whenever no one is in them. On top of this any other office equipment such as vending machines should be turned off at night. You should also be focusing on maintenance and tune-ups in your store. Don’t wait for it to break! Regular maintenance will save you money.

5. Look to improve the technical side of your store: Familiarize yourself with the latest and greatest grocery technology. Items such as LaneHawk, Self Checkout, Grocery POS systems, Datalogic’s Line Busting Solution, and iPhone checkout. See if you could stop some of those leakages in your marketing funnel by implementing some of these tools.

Some of these are much more manageable than others. But each offers a specific value that no other resolution point does. Pick and choose, select them all, its up to you. May this next year be a successful year.

The spike in sales during the holiday season in comparison to previous years was encouraging. The stock market has stabilized, and with that consumer confidence is on the rise. It seems that 2011 will be a successful business year for all of us. Please add some of your New Years Resolutions, I would love to hear what you are resolving to do.

Author: Luke Henry

Luke Henry is the Marketing Director at IT Retail, a grocery POS solution provider out of Riverside CA. He is an inbound marketing specialist and manages IT Retail’s Social Media, SEO, PR, PPC, and weekly podcasts. He is an advocate of using non traditional marketing channels to generate business. He enjoys helping others with their inbound marketing efforts and can be reached at email hidden; JavaScript is required.