Dietz said Just for U takes loyalty marketing to a whole new level, because of the degree of personalization involved for the customers.
“We want to have loyal customers, who have a one-on-one relationship with Safeway,” Dietz explained.
Customers who have the highest affinity for shopping at Safeway often refer to the store as “my Safeway,” and say things like “my store manager,” she noted, so those customers already feel a personal connection to the banners.
“They have that one-on-one relationship with us,” Dietz said. “So we really think the whole idea of personalization, and being able to communicate one-on-one in a targeted way, just resonates with each particular customer, vs. the old world of one-size-fits-all marketing. That’s the Genesis of this whole thing.”
She said the trend toward personalized marketing parallels the efforts being made by technology giant Apple, a company for which Dietz said she has “tremendous respect.”
“Their devices are highly personalized,” she noted. They have your apps, your songs, your playlists — and that’s where marketing is headed.”
Just for U, she noted, “looks at what matters to you,” compared with a traditional loyalty card that gives discounts on an impersonal basis.
“Loyalty cards are great, and I think there was a lot of great thinking that went into the loyalty cards in supermarkets, but this takes it to the next level,” she said.
Opportunities for Vendors
Dietz, who spent 19 years at Procter & Gamble before joining Safeway in 2008, said the company’s suppliers have been “very involved” in Just for U from early on, and Safeway has spent a lot of time trying to understand the value of Just for U for vendors.
She outlined four areas in which the program is attractive to the company’s product suppliers:
• New product introductions: If a company is introducing a new product, it can promote it to current users of the company’s other products, who might be more inclined to try the latest innovation from that particular brand.
“The CPGs are always focused on innovations and new products,” she noted.
• Lapsed users: Customers who have been buying products from a particular brand, and have stopped, can be re-engaged through Just for U.
“We can help the CPGs by saying, ‘Here is someone who was a big fan of your brand, and they shifted away,” Dietz explained.
• Affinity marketing: For companies that offer products that span across multiple categories, Just for U offers opportunities for cross-promotion.
In her role overseeing oral care at P&G, for example, Dietz sought to market not only toothpaste, but whiteners, floss and other products. Just for U allows companies to specifically target specific users of their products with offers for related product.
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• Insight-based marketing: “The last big bucket that has been really fun and exciting is theme marketing or insight-based marketing,” Dietz explained.
As an example, she said that Safeway can work with various vendors to assemble a meal package of various ingredients and offer it to customers as a quick dinner solution, at a discounted price.
“Many customers struggle with what to buy for dinner each night,” Dietz explained. “We can, based on what a customer has purchased in the past, say, ‘Here’s a lineup of products, here’s a deal just for you, and dinner is complete for you tonight.’
“We can put things together based on a theme, and that has been really exciting for vendors,” she said. “We are kind of in the infancy stage of what it is possible to do with this.”