Shoppers to retailers, “It’s not you, it’s me…”
There has been a litany of news the past few weeks about retailers deciding that the best strategy for stemming the flow of shoppers transitioning from store-based shopping to ecommerce channels is new store resets. It’s as if collectively, retail management teams have said “Hey, you know what you need shopper? Shiny new shelves!” I’m reminded of the epic video rebuke of advertising a few years back call the breakup where a tired consumer breaks up with her self-absorbed advertising boyfriend. “Hey, you know what you need? A coupon!”
Stores, it's not you, it's them. Seismic consumer behavior changes are all but impossible. The automobile didn’t kill the train or the horse and buggy, people found cars faster, easier and got freedom as an irresistible product benefit. Digital music didn’t kill the record industry, it put control in the hands of listeners who loved the convenience of whatever song the wanted whenever they wanted it (and not having to buy an album with ten crappy songs to get two good ones). Similarly, ecommerce isn’t killing stores, shoppers are just realizing how much time and energy go into the process of shopping and opting for something much easier. Ecommerce is not a true description of the replacement, its more like personal product fulfillment and people love it. With every passing day, shopping in stores becomes more of a burden compared to having things show up on our doorsteps, offices, car trunks, or wherever.
"RETAIL RELEVANCY is all about SIMPLICITY... you make her life easier, she will buy from you again, and again, and again. #RonR" - Ted Rubin
I believe that store based models are in their twilight and that resets for the retailer still in a position to afford them will hasten the closing of models that have become irrelevant. Category Killers were touted as future only a few years ago and will likely be the first to fall. Shoppers still headed to the store will consolidate trips as whole categories automate delivery of needed supplies. Look no further than the acquisition of bark by PetSmart for an astronomical $3bn to see this theory in action. The ‘buy or die’ strategy will be the prevailing model for the next few years. Likewise, a huge oversupply of fitness and sports, office supplies, auto-parts and discounters not named Walmart or Target will be economically unviable. Again stores, please don’t take this the wrong way, but ain’t nobody mad at ya, we are just moving on.
When You’re a Hammer, everything Looks Like a Nail.
Resetting stores is solving a problem that shoppers don't have. When I was on the food marketing team at Walmart, much attention was being given to the 4 o’clock problem. Many of our food suppliers had identified a data point that 75% of families didn’t’t know what they were having for dinner that night. The solution some thought was to create meal solutions within the store that would help busy families solve the problem. This view was self focused on Walmart’s current solution and didn’t take into account that families didn’t have time for stopping of at Walmart for a meal solution in between, jobs, picking kids up at school, gymnastics practice, taking the dog for a walk etc. etc. etc. A meal solution was a drive-through window, or grab and go meals from a fast casual restaurant. Imagine in on 2007, looking at that data, Walmart would have transformed into drive-through grocery, delivery and meal kits as it is today, a decade later. Relevancy can be fleeting as new solutions enter the marketplace.
The phenomenon is absolutely going to accelerate. Global ecommerce will amplify the effect Retail Relevancy as the definition of a retail is transformed from ‘a seller of goods’ to ‘a facilitator of commerce. Most conversations about the current retail battleground in the US don’t include Alibaba which has become a dominant player globally and encompasses the latter definition of a retailer. Alibaba is likely already the second largest retailer in the world and certainly the outright leader in the fastest growing market. Chinese students in my NC State School of Textiles Global Brand Management class described Alibaba as ‘perfect’ recently. When I asked what perfect meant to them they said Alibaba is simply where they transact everything from buying and selling goods to transacting airline ticket purchases and even buying sodas from a vending machine; all transacted with their phone, no cash needed. Is any current retailer ready for that definition of omnichannel with the possible exception of Apple?
The bottom line is the battle is over for many before it even began. Store based retail relevance existed when geography and proximity were the primary drivers (most shoppers buy groceries from the grocer nearest their home). Future retail relevance, perfection of you will, can be found in the simplicity of transacting and invisibility of the shelf.
Originally posted at John Andrews's LinkedIn
I’m writing about depression and self-doubt, something – you might argue – has no place on a medical device marketing blog.
But I’m writing it because (a) I bet my story resonates deeply and uncomfortably with many medical device marketers and (b) Because there is a path forward for you and me.
This is a 10-minute read so click here if you want the much-abbreviated version of this soul-exposing post.
I am a fraud.
At least this is what my self-sabotaging brain told me in March 2017.
My depressive episode was triggered by the artificial end of a client engagement. I say “artificial end” because the engagement was not over. Instead, Cameron, my client-turned-friend, very much wanted me to continue marketing his companies.
I just didn’t know how.
Why I was a fraud
Cam’s companies provide medical device design, development, and contract manufacturing services. His service and pricing are compelling.
We had a great 10 months in 2016. We built two websites: One to support a new venture (we started from scratch and no copy), the second required a complete overhaul of his 30-page site (we started without a clear point of difference, a horrible design, and no original photography).
- We engaged my preferred SEO partner and created gated content for lead capture.
- We got a proposal from the medical device business development firm I recommended to three happy clients.
- I tapped into my personal network and identified a prospect who became a customer potentially worth $1 million in new business (I was very psyched by this).
- We created new collateral, a half-page ad and a new brochure.
- I included him as a sponsor of my 10x Medical Device Conference.
Nothing fraudulent about that! I felt very good about the work. So did Cam.
“Fraudulent feelings” darkened my doorstep in early 2017. That’s when I began to question my value as a medical device marketer.
I mean, the work we did in the past was great, but what about now? We did the “easy stuff.” What came next to make his phone ring?
For context, I was Director of Marketing Communications for a publicly traded medical device company for 3½ years and did a pretty damn good job there. Cardiac Science was a $200-million business with many categories, national and international sales forces, and major distributor partners.
I was always busy there. There was always the next distributor promotion, trade show, magazine ad, blog post, lead-generation campaign, press release to do.
As a marketer there, I had strong self esteem because I was always adding value. Sales lavished praise on the marketing team.
But Cam’s situation is different. He has no distributors, just two sales guys. He doesn’t attend trade shows, make ads, and has a small marketing budget. He has nothing particularly press-release worthy. Even testimonials are challenging: Few customers will admit, “This product was designed and made elsewhere!”
So what would we do? I took to his whiteboard and wrote down everything I could think of:
You probably can’t read my handwriting (sorry) so I’ll write another post to cover these.
Among the five medical device marketing strategies I listed, we agreed his biggest challenge was “Getting Found.” We chose three of those tactics.
Tactic 1: SEO, SEM, and Remarketing for Cam?
Absolutely. A foregone conclusion. We were optimizing his site when a team member stopped it. He didn’t like how we’d have to edit the approved copy. There’s a lot I could say about this (pay-for-performance was still an option) but it’s not the point of the story. I recommend outsourcing SEO to an expert so I wouldn’t have added much value anyhow.
Tactic 2: Marketing Campaigns for Cam?
A focused campaign requires three things: A solid list, a solid offer, good creative. We had a reasonable list, built manually, over the years. We could certainly make ‘good creative.’ We didn’t have an solid offer, other than, “If you need design, development, or manufacturing help, let us know.” (We’ve yet to solve this one.)
Tactic 3: Content Creation for Cam?
We talked often about new blog posts, videos, and the like. But since I’m not an engineer, I wasn’t the one to supply it. No, we would have to wait on Cam, who could write an authoritative and informative piece for his audience.
None of these happened. And I felt worthless.
Denying the obvious
I sat here in my home office, staring at my screen, desperate for inspiration. In the meanwhile, new clients arrived and were satisfied. Outwardly there was no problem; I was valued and business was good. But the negative self-talk about the “Cam situation” persisted.
Was I good at medical device marketing after all?
Despite years of happy clients and glowing testimonials, I decided what I already did for Cam wasn’t “real medical device marketing” because it came easily to me. The hard part is getting Cam new clients and if I can’t help his medical device company that needed marketing, then I was “no good.” (Having snapped out of my depression, I can clearly see the all-or-nothingness of it all. It was hard while I was in the thick of it.)
And I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it. For months.
Content was the only way out
Then one day I realized the answer was in front of me the whole time. It was content, but a broader definition of content than I held for years.
To me, content meant creating new blog posts, new videos, new this, new that. I was thinking my hands were tied because someone else was the bottleneck. You probably have the same issue at your place: Your executive suite or prized engineer would be the source of great content, if only they had the time, inclination, and talent to create it.
Waiting for Cam was the wrong answer. And while I still lacked the knowledge and insights to enlighten his target market, there was something I could do.
I could package and share other people’s content and sprinkle in our content as it became available.
Why I believe this will work
Notice I say “this will work,” as in, I haven’t done it yet. I will experiment with my business and let you know how it goes. I’m promising myself, starting September 2017, I’ll email you with weekly updates (become a subscriber) so you can take the baby steps with me.
Here are some of the articles that inspired me to take the plunge. Read them if you’ve been paralyzed by the enormous task of doing social media “correctly.”
- Spend less time creating and more time sharing.
- Content marketing isn’t so scary if you automate.
- Produce few but excellent pieces. Then re-purpose and share. I will try CoSchedule for this.
- Use a smart algorithm to find relevant third-party content. I will try inbound.li for this.
- This profanity-laced interview with Advertising Age drove home why you and I need to jump on board.
To accelerate my progress, I decided to spend $3,000 to attend Content Marketing World in Cleveland. I’ll have a lot to share when I return.
Thank you for reading this.
To any marketers out there who wonder in silence whether they are making a difference, you’re not alone. Medical device marketing is harder than it was before the industry figured out the Internet. The rules have changed but there are many resources to make it easier to manage everything. And you’re welcome to email me if you want someone to talk to.
Please share this article if you or someone you know can relate to my Marketing Midlife Crisis.
View the full segment here.
Department stores are struggling in the current retail environment, and they may be taking malls down with them. The Reciprocal Easement Agreements, otherwise known as REAs, are contracts between malls and department stores. These agreements keep landlords beholden to retail giants on any decision regarding the mall, including changes to parking lots, and which stores can come in. Ted Rubin, CMO of Brand Innovators and Co-Founder of Prevailing Path joins Cheddar to explain why he is so bearish on major retail stores, and what malls can do to survive.
It’s the secret sauce to boost your brand’s strategy, and it’s known by too few brands, companies and CEOs.
Most brands use the outdated (and insulting to customers, especially millennials) “transactional sales model” to move product.
There’s only one problem:
- It considers the sale the goal instead of the customer relationship
- It focuses on “moving product” instead of “providing amazing value to the customer”
- It barely meets expectations and never exceeds expectations, and worst of all,
- It ignores the last, most unexpected, and most potentially profitable part of the sales cycle: the actual third leg of a “true sales cycle”
HOW VITAL IS THIS?
It’s so vital, the direct mail powerhouse Postcardmania and I decided to put together a 3-part live Webinar that sheds light on the 3 phases of branding as discussed here:
(Click here to attend this upcoming Webinar on “The 3 Phases of Branding to Create an Avalanche of Lifetime Buyers”)
YOUR BRAND’S STRATEGY
In the last 2 days, I have spoken with four different businesses that need my branding expertise and can’t wait to get started.
But there was this one glaring oddity: each of them already had more business than they could handle.
So, in each case after asking the usual questions I ask… I had to ask (since they each had all the business anyone could ask for):
- What could I do to help them?
- What did they hope to achieve?
After all, I need to know what problem I am solving.
One answered “world domination.”
Another answered “streamlining my brand and its message so it’s crystal clear, tight and powerful.”
The last one answered, “To brand myself as the authority” so he has a brand and not only a business.
My realization was this: they each had a successful business or a career, but each knew they lacked a brand as the tool to take their business and career to the next level, whether that be world domination or being seen as the authority.
I was blown away by the incredible clarity each of these businesses had.
Looking further, I realized it was what separated the great brands: Apple, Nordstroms, Nike, Coach and Airbnb from the rest. They didn’t stop at the transaction. They understood the actual transaction didn’t end there. And this insight revolutionized how they did business. And how customers perceived them.
This was an interesting and vital lesson because some might look at these companies today and think “that’s enough” and be satisfied.
But no, these guys realized having a business is one thing. Having a brand is an entirely different game. In fact, the only game that allows people to see you as the expert, theauthority, the business to choose over others.
100% OR 66%?
As I implied at the start of this post, there are phases every customer goes through with your brand. (“The 3 Phases of Branding to Create an Avalanche of Lifetime Buyers” will be covered fully in this 3-part Webinar.)
Most companies use only two of these, when in fact there are factually three (it’s not dissimilar to convincing people that the world isn’t flat).
But it’s the third one that will help differentiate you and explode your brand exponentially.
Why? Because that’s when your customer least expects you to do anything more and care anymore since they’ve paid and left.
PROBLEM IS, TOO MANY COMPANIES END THIS SEQUENCE AT THE POINT OF SALE, LEAVING AN ENTIRE THIRD OF THE BRAND EXPERIENCE OUT OF THE TRANSACTION FORFEITING LOYALTY, RELEVANCE AND A CHANCE TO OUTSHINE THE COMPETITION.
A brand follows a sequence from the experience of the customer.
It starts before they’ve ever bought, or possibly heard of, your product or service. It then progresses through and concludes at some point. When it concludes is up to you.
The stupid brand concludes the transaction at the conclusion of the sale.
The use of these three phases has helped brands with limited budgets to maximize their impact and fortify the loyalty customers have to their brands. It’s not a factor of spending more, it’s just knowing where to intelligently invest in your brand.
THE FINAL THIRD: HOW TO LEVERAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP
In short, it’s about exceeding expectations. It’s not just an idea, it’s the actual third phase the most loyal customers go through.
I learned about it when I, a devout chocoholic, ordered two flourless chocolate tortes. I simply couldn’t choose so I decided on both. When they arrived, there was only one difference: one included a card with a recipe for cognac whipped cream to enjoy my torte with and the other didn’t. Which company do you think I ordered my future torte’s from?
How can you use this to boost your brand’s strategy and bond with clients?
Here are some examples I’ve used for clients.
For Steve Griggs Design, NYC’s premier landscaper, servicing NYC’s affluent and VIP clientele, offers a custom wine bottle with their brand identity on it as the perfect “Welcome back home” gift:
With Joanna Vargas, we did this with her “post-sales” bag using gold foil, tissue papers and stunning “espresso-colored” cloth handles converting each sale into an experience of pride and fashion with this classy take-home bag:
With Bridge Street Station, we converted their takeout boxes into luggage with custom-designed “travel stickers” as those found on vintage luggage from the 1940s to amplify the boutique burger joint’s theme of the trains and burgers.
With No Worries Lodge, we designed seasonal postcards for guests to use while at the lodge and to take away as souvenirs.
For Simply Snackin’ — a coaster was designed for beverages, beers and soft drinks. A simple way to remind people of these amazing premium jerkies.
Not all post-sales branding has to reinvent the wheel. For TrendCreators‘ rebrand, it was something as simple as a stunning coffee mug for their sophisticated audience who appreciated good design and exquisite style.
How will you use the final third of the branding cycle to add value to your customer, well beyond their expectation, when they expect it least?
If you want more clarity on using this vital phase, join us at the upcoming Webinar on “The 3 Phases of Branding to Create an Avalanche of Lifetime Buyers” — registerhere. It’s free with limited slots available.)
Have you been Mattress shopping lately? How about in the last decade? The last hundred years perhaps? I'm pretty sure that the shopping experience hasn't changed in the last 50 years if ever. You are bombarded by a constant barrage of 'sales' and finally go into a store and are immediately overwhelmed by a plethora of features and benefits, all designed to add value to the process but somehow trigger everything negative about the paradox of choice leaving most people perplexed about what is truly adding to the quality and benefits of a mattress. Couple that with the incessant sales and promotions that mattress sellers are always touting and there is much distrust created in the category a shoppers have a nagging feeling that they are paying too much for a mattress due to sales and marketing. Trust becomes a major factor in mattress shopping and to date, that trust has been created by brand names and yet the industry has created a sense of dis-ease through some shady marketing and branding practices designed to create pricing and margin stratification.
We purchased our last mattress when we moved back from Arkansas to North Carolina. I did some research online and visited a few stores seeking a premium product figuring that we'd be sleeping on it the next decade or so so the investment with worthwhile. The 'paradox of choice' was overwhelming. There are just so many choices and options that overwhelm the shopping experience. Literally mattress choices range from a hundred dollars to well over ten-thousand. Is there really a 100x benefit for a mattress that costs as much as much as a decent used car? Mattress marketing is a highly competitive and confusing business. Look no further than a simple Google search for mattress and you will find ZERO organic results above the fold, there is so much digital marketing competition for attention.
I am instantly suspicious of categories that are over-marketed. Consumers ultimately pay for wasteful and inefficient marketing and in many cases it is simply supporting an overage of supply in the industry. Think how many insurance commercials run on TV daily. We are moving to a post push-advertising world and thankfully the marketplace is beginning to drive out inefficiencies by moving away from inefficient channels. As we are detailing in our upcoming book, Retail Relevancy, shopper behavior is changing not because of retail channels but because of the new simplicity created by multiple technologies solving the last mile problem for ecommerce.
Like many Tweens, our daughter Mary Catherine has been in the process of redecorating her room with her own design stamp. At the same time, my business partner Ted Rubin has been working with Leesa and I have been following his experiences with the brand. We decided to check out what Leesa had to offer in terms of mattresses as Ted had shared great experiences with his Leesa products for his new place in Florida. Leesa generously offered to provide us with a mattress for Mary Catherine's room makeover. Of course my interest always is grounded in purchase experience so we all set about as a family along the path to purchase. I thought it would be an interesting comparison with the store based model I had used before. Leesa has done a great job of creating helpful content of all types about its products using influencers which really helps active mid-funnel shoppers looking for information
Mary Catherine has been managing her own room redesign getting inspiration and information from mostly digital sources. Shannon and I both spent time discussing mattress options with Mary Catherine that fit the bedframe she selected and helping her think through the purchase process. She uses primarily You Tube and Instagram to get ideas about ways to arrange her room and then shopping a combination of physical and digital channels. The Container Store and Amazon have been her primary sources for pulling the purchase trigger. She and Shannon did the initial research on the Leesa, going through its choices and understanding the product benefits. With a frame already in place, it was easy to select the right mattress from a straightforward inventory. Finally, Mary Catherine selected the mattress that was right for her and we placed an order and got ready to receive our mattress. I was struck by the idea that the mere thought of ordering a mattress online just five years ago would have been almost unthinkable and now we're on the path to this channel becoming the norm.
My ecommerce purchase expectation is over-communication. Amazon has trained my desire to know where my order is at every step of the process and why not? All the data is there. Dominos even does this with my pizza now and we all watch to see the path of our pizza. Leesa gets this and didn't disappoint. We received several communications as our mattress made it to our home and just three days later, it was delivered by UPS. As with physical store shopping, the purchase experience is an integral part of brand satisfaction and with pure ecommerce, all of the ancillary touchpoints become the primary nodes of shopper interaction. From the website and email to various social communication channels, digital becomes the critical connection point to the brand, supplanting the roles of stores, salespeople and in many cases customer service. Leesa has a wealth of digital information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. with loads of helpful information and user experiences that help shoppers along their purchase journey all supplemented by rich content from various mattress category influencers like Sleepopolis and Mattress Clarity.
Leesa Mattress the the epitome of a modern brand and physically transforming not only an entire category but also fundamentally the way people purchase mattresses. Our experience was pretty typical of this new path to purchase and quite frankly much easier than traditional store-based shopping. We will likely replace our mattresses in the future with Leesa products. Thanks for the opportunity Leesa Sleep!
Disclosure: I was provided a Leesa Mattress for this shopping experience. All opinions and views are my own.
Want to have some fun? Mention to a marketer or retailer that shopping is changing and in the future we likely won't shop in stores and you'll get a huge variety of impassioned responses (many of which include that you're nuts). It's like to story of the blind men and the elephant, one's perception of retail is heavily shaped by the part they can feel, not the entire entity. Many retail industry professionals I speak with say that people will never buy certain categories fresh food from ecommerce. I find that overwhelmingly these folks are from smaller cities and towns where fresh food delivery has not already been ubiquitous for years. Same with many other categories ranging from furniture to clothing and even everyday household goods, if you aren't experiencing it, the threat may seem non-existent or far removed. Yet, every single day, the new reality of retail is getting closer. There is a collective 'duh' moment for many shoppers that suddenly realize just how much time and energy (and expense) is consumed by physical shopping. Traditional retail competitive hierarchies like price, location, discounts and huge product selections are becoming secondary factors for consumers seeking more time in their day and ultimately ease of use. Simple is becoming the primary driver for many shopper's retail decision tree.
There are several interacting forces that are driving retail change and the combined impact is overwhelming. The first is that modern retailers are platforms, not channels. Amazon is a MEDIA company that sells stuff. Traditional retailers are having a hard time adapting because they are still too focused on protecting their original channels. It seems every retailer is talking about omnichannel but few really deliver on the idea that products will now come to people vs. people coming to products.
Products will now come to people vs. people coming to products.
Enabling this trend is a host of technology ranging from self-driving cars to voice assistants to drones, there are almost unlimited solves to the last mile problem. The final force is shopper behavior and no amount of marketing and promotions is going to change the fact that a collective awakening is going on that physical shopping for the most part sucks. Not because it's a terrible experience, which in many cases it is, but people simply have things to do with their time. Once a shopper orders their toothpaste from Alexa, its over for stores.
Great Retailers and Brands Are Removing Friction
My boss at Walmart, Clint McClain, told me to go find friction in the shopper's journey and remove it. It is quite simply the holy grail of retail. Nespresso can keep me supplied with great coffee to brew at home without me ever having to lift a finger and even effortlessly recycle its aluminum pods for free so I get a higher level Maslow out of the experience. I pay more per cup than a Keurig but drink significantly less hyper-expensive Starbucks because the quality is at parity and I don't have to go get it! Nespresso even has machines that will auto-order for me so that I literally don't have to do anything at all! This is the kind of frictionless shopper experience that every brand and retailer that sells a product should be aggressively studying, experimenting with and implementing. New entrants like Brandless are taking a step towards simplicity by removing brands all together and selling all CPG items for $3, what it calls 'removing the brand tax'. Shoppers will reward retailers that help them simplify what is a mundane and repetitive task with their loyalty and in many cases set it and forget it with replenishment.
Video Source: Melissa and Alex Family Vlogs
Alexa, bring me a pizza (or a hamburger or a lobster dinner), you get the idea, future shopping will be done with no more than our voices and in many cases, completely automated. My Waze already reads my email and reminds me of travel times for meeting and events and is at the ready when I leave my garage, seamlessly moving into guidance mode as I shift into drive. Waze could easily have dinner waiting for me just as I arrive home. Also, if you think that shoppers are going to spend time and energy chasing discounts, deals and offers across channels and jump through hoops for loyalty programs I believe you'll be very disappointed. Most shoppers, ones that you can make money from at least, are not going to trade saving time for investing time again in playing retail games. Sam Walton sought to remove gimmicks and just give his customers the lowest price and they helped build Walmart into the largest retailer in the world. As Kissmetrics Blog points out discounts = desperation.
Simplicity is the new everyday low price (EDLP)
The Paradox of choice is real and digital will bring that home in ways most current consumers have never seen. Voice ordering from Alexa presents a shelf of two items, TWO! After that Alexa says you know what, just go visit the app and do it yourself! Choice and product selection in the CPG world went through the roof as retail shelf space mushroomed. Walk in the Shampoo aisle and your brain will be immediately overwhelmed. When P&G cut Head and Shoulders choices from 26 to 15, sales went up 10% according to a fabulous Ted talk by Psycho-economist, Sheena Iyengar. Explosive growth of automated and programmatic shopping will put additional pressure on this effect. Shopper systems will use predictive data to make brand choices for consumers further removing them from the process. To put it another way, my ecommerce channel platform will make my life easier by stocking the goods I need automatically. As trust grows in these systems, adoption will skyrocket.
Location, location, location, the strategy of place used to be critical for retail. Perhaps now the new rule is simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
Quick, what image comes to mind when you hear promotional or corporate apparel?
Branded t-shirts, big honking logos on polos, maybe even one of your favorite clothing brands all branded up? If these are among your immediate images of corporate wear, Regency360 has some surprises in store for you thanks to its new Weekend Wear™ approach to the category. In keeping with its business approach, Regency360 first seeks to understand the ultimate goal a client is seeking to achieve through its apparel program so that it can develop strategies to maximize value. After all, anyone can sell you a shirt, a great partner helps you figure out how to achieve your business objectives. Plus, your employees might actually WANT to wear their gear on their off time!
Whether your goal is employee engagement, branding and even business development, by using an advanced combination of innovation, technology, premium products and the simplicity of an industry leading company store platform, Regency360 makes it easy and affordable to have a top tier corporate apparel program for businesses of all sizes.
Want to learn more? Check out the video here.
While I was in law school at Harvard, one of our professors invited staff and students to a reception at his home. We had wine, hors d’oeuvres, and great conversation. We got around to speaking about Nigeria. He shared with me that he’d noticed a trend in applications from women from Nigeria seeking to join the Masters in Law program. In the majority of the cases, the recommending law professors from Nigeria noted (in addition to attributes that pointed to academic excellence) that the student was “quiet, obedient, respectful and very nice,” or some variation of those.
I was struck that the Harvard professor didn’t observe the same trend in relation to male applicants from Nigeria. Why did professors think it was relevant to highlight those attributes in women but not in men?
We were in agreement that the quiet and obedient aspects were especially inapplicable in law school. We also had a good laugh over how frequently law students are required to engage in healthy debate and dialogue, challenging both professors and fellow students.
Moving Seamlessly Through Cultures
In the workforce, much of how individuals are perceived as leaders is tied to the way they communicate. Effective communication takes on increased prominence as women advance and seek to lead in industries in which women may be underrepresented at the most senior levels. Effective communication helps women leaders distinguish themselves.
As India-born Indra Nooyi stated during a 2016 LinkedIn interview, “If you want to be a leader and you can’t communicate effectively, forget it.”
Excelling as immigrant women in the U.S. calls for us to move seamlessly through cultures and bring the best of each world to the other. We do this in part by possessing high versatility as leaders – the ability to adjust one’s leadership or communication style based on the context or situation. We simultaneously navigate several cultural contexts, some of them oceans apart. We also balance cultural perceptions and expectations (such as those captured by the well-meaning recommending Nigerian professors) with the perceptions and expectations in the U.S. as well as within our various professional contexts.
Enter Executive Presence
In the realm of effective communication, executive presence is especially important for senior leaders. People often refer to executive presence as the “it” factor or “gravitas,” or they point to examples of the greats, all of which can be rather mystifying.
My definition of executive presence is “the art of presenting one’s self in a manner that is professional, competent and confident and commands the highest levels of respect and engagement.” It is about communicating the value you bring, while connecting with the audience. It’s an art because there is no single formula that works for everyone, and because it should be personalized, practiced and refined over time.
Lessons in Executive Presence
While a lot has been written about executive presence, the six lessons in executive presence I have found most valuable are:
1) Embrace Your Unique Value. Your mindset matters. Going into meetings prepared, confident and knowing the value you bring to the conversation all help increase your effectiveness. Understand what excellence in your industry looks like and then create your unique brand. Also embrace your unique perspective and experience. Your unrepeatable story, as an immigrant female for example, helps you view the world from a distinct perspective. Consider it an asset and a treasure to be mined and incorporated into your brand.
2) Be Self-Aware. Body language often conveys more than words do. Be aware of your posture. Be poised and upright. Make eye contact with your audience. Use hand gestures deliberately to underscore key points, but use them sparingly so as not to distract from your message.
3) Look the Part. Your attire should be appropriate for the context and industry. It should communicate credibility and confidence and convey your unique, personal style.
4) Manage Your Speed. If you grew up in a fast-speaking culture, take time to ensure that you’re well understood. Be deliberate in your communication and don’t hurry to deliver the message. Choose your words carefully. Conversely, if you’re a slow speaker, be aware of this and know when to pick up the pace for increased engagement.
5) Breathe. Taking deep breaths before and during your presentation helps relax you and also increases your poise. Appropriately timed pauses also take up room in a conversation and bring about added attention and engagement.
6) Use Your Voice Effectively. Be clear on your message, and use inflections in your voice to communicate why your message and vision matter. Because effective communication goes beyond one-sided delivery, find ways to convey to your audience that they matter, and find ways to gather feedback from the audience – whether verbally or by reading their body language.
The golden thread that runs through each of these tools is you. Your brand sits at the core of your ability to communicate effectively, so continually nurture and refine your professional brand and then bring the best of you to your conversations.
Chinwe Esimai is Managing Director and Chief Anti-Bribery Officer at Citigroup, where she overseas the firm’s global anti-bribery program. She was born in Nigeria and is passionate about inspiring immigrant women leaders. She shares leadership insights for immigrant women at chinweesimai.com.
Ellevate Network is a global women’s network: the essential resource for professional women who create, inspire and lead. Together, we #InvestInWomen.
Think for a moment about your biggest business problems. Marketing, logistics, social media, human resources? As Mark Cuban says, “sales cures all problems.”
Whatever business needs you have, growing sales becomes paramount at some point. The team at Regency360 begins with this simple question, “What business goal are you trying to solve with the help of promotional goods and apparel?” After all, there are many companies that can help you with promotional products, direct mail programs, corporate apparel, and even company stores, but can they help you with your ultimate challenge and actually increase your sales?
Recently, Regency360 manager Stephanie Page was able to help one of her partners solve a sales lead generation problem. Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) is one of the largest specialist consultancies in cost management worldwide that helps organizations unlock their potential by finding sustainable savings opportunities. They had purchased some innovative promotional products as part of a direct mail campaign, but they weren’t doing the trick. Stephanie stepped up, and offered her perspective, helping reimagine the promo as a personalized story delivered to each potential prospect in a special and memorable way.
With Stephanie’s input, these branded gifts helped ERA increase interest in the campaign and left a more memorable brand impression for the prospects! A combination of personalization and some of Regency360’s sales enablement technology took a good idea of company logo merchandise and turned it into action.
Want to get the whole story on how this innovative thinking came to life?
Get the whole story here.
"While we had a good relationship with our previous vendor, they did not have the resources to help us achieve our goal of improving our packaging for this direct mailing campaign and we needed to find someone that could step up to the challenge. Not only did Stephanie and her team face this challenge head on, they did so with a positive and understanding outlook which made working with them rewarding. It can be hard to understand our business and some of the hurdles we face without being immersed in it on a daily basis. However, Stephanie has been able to look at our projects through our point of view since day one. Her responsiveness, knowledge, creative mind, and positive attitude makes her a rockstar. This team has been phenomenal to work with and I would highly recommend using Regency360 for your marketing needs." - JACKIE BURNES
Once upon a time, mobile devices were the size of small bricks and used exclusively by the rich and famous. Today, over 75% of the American population owns a smartphone, which they can easily tuck into their pocket.
With employees spending almost as much time on their phones as their computers, many companies are integrating their intranet with mobile platforms, leading to the rise of “mobile intranets.” While it may be a stretch to call mobile intranets the best thing since sliced bread, it isn’t too difficult to see why companies are increasingly investing in this new communications technology.
Rise in mobile communications
Employees are communicating via smartphone now more than ever. According to Pew Research, 95% of American adults now own a cell phone of some kind, and 77% own a smartphone.
Those between the ages of 18-29 are even more likely to use a smartphone. In 2017, 92% of this group owns and operates a smartphone.
Advertisers, software developers, and human resources departments are taking note. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend has topped $100 billion worldwide.
In this environment, it makes perfect sense to include mobile communication as part of an employee communications program.
Employees use mobile while they’re at work
Employees are using their smartphones wherever they go, including at the office. According to a study by CareerBuilder, 80 percent of workers keep a smartphone in view throughout the workday, with two in three acknowledging that they use it at least several times while at work.
This has caused concern for some. A LifeSkills study showed that 43 percent of enterprises are worried about young employees using their mobile at work. However, many companies are using the proliferation of smartphones to their advantage. Rather than asking employees to put away their smartphones, they’re encouraging young employees to use phones for company use. They’re implementing mobile intranets for seamless communication, making the smartphone into friend instead of foe.
Employees communicate with each other via mobile
In order to keep up with each other, employees communicate via mobile apps like Skype, Google Docs, and Trello. After all, employees have smartphones, and they can use these apps to communicate when they’re away from their desks.
Messaging apps have increased in popularity, and people turn to their phones when they want to communicate. Roughly 29% of internet users and 36% of smartphone owners use messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage, according to Pew Research. Messaging apps are especially popular among young adults. Among smartphone owners ages 18 to 29, 49% use messaging apps.
Mobile intranet solutions are robust
Mobile intranets allow companies to communicate with their employees via smartphone, and these communication solutions are more robust than ever.
These solutions do more than send a text message or mobile-friendly email. These apps can leverage push notifications, discussions, video messaging, document hosting, and user-to-user messaging. That way, employees can choose how they receive their communications, ensuring they get the info in the way that makes most sense for them.
When something happens at your company, you want employees to know about it. Rather than turning away from innovative strategies like mobile, you should lean into them. It’s time to figure out a way to bring mobile solutions to your workforce.
There’s a new race to command more visibility for your brand’s people, places, and products across the internet so you can attract more customers.
Website + App = Source of Truth…Right?
For nearly 25 years, the battleground has been your website. Face-lifted every 18 months or so, your brand’s website has been your source of truth. Then came the smartphone, when your brand shifted its focus to creating an app, which ultimately became a companion to your website — places you controlled fully, to the benefit of your brand and bottom line.
However, consumer attention is a finite resource, and you need to capture it when and where consumers are searching. With 2020 fast approaching, it’s time to look beyond your website and app, and give your brand the visibility and opportunity it deserves by becoming The Everywhere Brand.
WHAT IS THE EVERYWHERE BRAND?
The Everywhere Brand is a brand whose digital knowledge — the factual assets and attributes about a company’s brand, people, products, events, and locations — exists consistently and accurately in many online locations, not just on a corporate website and app.
A brand’s digital knowledge include its address, hours of operation, phone number, photos, credentials, locations, and office hours. Even more granularly, digital knowledge can include the availability, price, location, and ingredients of specific products as well as the date, time, location, and content of brand events.
Your digital knowledge lives across hundreds of intelligent services including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Instagram, Snapchat, MapQuest, Waze, Siri, Cortana, and Amazon Alexa. These are the places your customers seek instant information in the moments that matter. And it’s up to you to ensure the information that appears about your company in each service is on-brand, accurate, and up-to-date.
HOW DO I BUILD THE EVERYWHERE BRAND?
Friend, marketing guru, and all-around good guy Jay Baer and I just co-authored an ebook on this very subject. You’ll learn about these seven key traits that you must develop in order to be an Everywhere Brand:
These traits are imperative to becoming an Everywhere Brand and will teach you the importance of having accurate data everywhere consumers search. You will also learn how to experience exactly what consumers see about your brand across every device, and discover how to fix bad data problems with a combination of people, process, and technology.
Start to see your brand from every angle. Fix your inaccurate information. Bring the right people to the table. Deliver information about your brand in real time. Don’t be afraid to get detailed. Work on those star ratings. Be an innovative risk-taker. These are the true characteristics of The Everywhere Brand.
Jude did a remarkable job telling my story and conveying the passion for what I do. He spent the time to understand my WHY in a much deeper context than what's on the surface.
Video work is not complicated. It's telling a "story" that takes talent... Jude does that very well.
The growth of every business relies on the relationships you are able to nurture and build. It's the ultimate Know, Like and Trust factor. Jude helps you get clear on your story, and then share a compelling story in a video. ~Ted Rubin
Success in social media isn’t hard, it just requires a little work.
The first key to success is “Being Social.”
In Ted Rubin’s latest book, The Age of Influence, the social media author and speaker says, “Being social drives engagement, engagement drives loyalty and advocacy, and both correlate directly to increased sales.”
Being social means getting involved with other’s social media. You can like, share, comment and converse with just about any content and person on social. Find people that share your interests, passions and pursuits and engage with them. A comment on a social post is solid gold for others, as is sharing. Not only will they notice and engage with you, but so will others with the same interests. Perhaps the most important part for your own social media growth is the fact that the platform algorithms will also begin to take note. Building expertise and credibility in specific subject matter is as simple as consuming, sharing and participating in conversations. When you actively participate, you become part of the conversation, both physically and digitally.
Here are some simple and effective ways to begin building relationships through social media.
- Participate: Follow, like, share and comment on content that is relevant to you and your business. Easy ways to find content is through simple searches on Google, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Every day there is new content on everything from small business, sales to marketing trends. Make some time each to read this content, follow the content creators. A simple content tool is Google Alerts, which will email you fresh content daily about your preferred fields and topics.
- Share: Comment on and share the content you are consuming on your channels. Always give credit to the creator by tagging them and adding some insights into their work. Providing some simple insights into the content you’re sharing personalizes it for your readers and helps to build your authority as this is content as well.
- Succeed Together: It is especially important to engage and share the content of your colleagues and company. This helps not only to build enterprise credibility but also grows the collective impact of your own content engagement and sharing. The more you engage with your company and industry content that more attribution you will receive from social platform algorithms.
- Create Content: Content creation isn’t difficult, it just takes commitment. Sharing and commenting is a great way to start. Submitting client stories for anchor (long form blogs, video etc.) content creation to your company is another and finally, creating your own content completes the cycle. Remember, a simple Facebook post of a client image or idea is often more impactful than a formal piece of content.
- Earn Rewards: Through the unique #360innovate platform, you can earn great rewards by building your social media footprint. By engaging, sharing, and commenting on posts you will grow your reach and engagement, leading to better relationships and business opportunities (a great reward in itself) and great apparel and gear for yourself.
The thought of Independence Day brings to mind the political environment, economic challenges we have been experiencing for the past few years… as well as personal family challenges for me. Many of us go through our lives, day to day, thinking that our only recourse is to put our heads down, one foot in front of the other, and persevere. It is easy to fall into this rut and believe it is the proper course, the only way to go, and all we have to hope for in the future.
I say NO. “Action is the active ingredient that transforms goals into reality!” Let us never forget that in this great country, The United Staes of America, we can always improve the situation in which we live, make a better life for ourselves and the ones we love, and effect/fight for change even when the odds are against such change. Being courageous enough to act on your goals/desires/needs to make a better life, better widget, better business and/or better country and world, is the first and most crucial step in making your goals into reality.
I experience this reality each and every day in business and, more importantly, personally. I am 59 years old, have had wins and losses in business, and know that the game is far from over. There is huge opportunity presenting itself today in this new social media, and connectivity, empowered world… I have been fortunate enough to benefit from, and make it work for me, enable that desperately needed win, and create something to hold onto going forward. YOU CAN DO THE SAME…
Create a mindset that keeps you determined to not let it pass you by, and allows you to take advantage of the daily opportunity to be more, create more, and connect with anyone and everyone. Welcome to the ‘Age of Influence,’where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships, and make a difference… 24/7.
In addition I have faced serious challenges in my personal life that many would walk away from, as I have been told over and over by those who would and many who have seen those who do; but I am determined to have a positive effect on the lives of my daughters, and participate any way I can (even if only vicariously from afar) and continue to face those challenges head-on each and every day… even when they get worse, instead of better. Although this is exhausting mentally and physically, I do not bow in the face of the onslaught and odds that have been against me from the start. I have changed my attitude and expectations, stay present, never lose my cool, am ALWAYS there and available, and let them know every day (with my words and actions) I will always love them and will never give up… NO MATTER WHAT!#ThisDadWontQuit
Therefore in the face of all these financial and personal challenges we all face… I declare MY PERSONAL “Independence” and you need to do the same! #NoLetUp!
"Focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it." - Sam Walton
Walmart is the largest private employer in the world, only the US Department of Defense and China's People's Liberation Army have more people on the payroll. It stands to reason that the retail giant would use its greatest asset in its escalating battle with Amazon and Alibaba for shoppers switching from physical shopping to omnichannel modes. This strategy could be way ahead of its time as the whole retail world appears headed in the opposite direction at the moment.
Mr. Sam's quote above is so on point for today's shoppers. They want simplicity to get what they want, when they want, where and how they want with as little friction as possible. Much of new retail is focused on ecommerce as that's where people are headed but what about the utility of physical commerce and especially service? The pendulum has swung decidedly in automating all of the things, however, my personal favorite Walton quote captures the current environment perfectly:
"If everybody is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction."
If everything is automated, human interaction can become a great competitive advantage. My business partner Ted Rubin writes about the fact that so many marketers are simply obsessed with the machines and not the shoppers. With the exception of Amazon, all the data in the world really isn't helping most brands and retailers figure out the changing consumer and
"We will compete with technology, but we will win with people." - Doug McMillon
By leveraging its overarching strength, Walmart can position itself to take advantage of two leading shopper trends. One is the retail wreckage currently taking place the other is a predictable backlash to the automation of everything. The largest closure of stores in history is Walmart's gain. All of those shoppers are going to go somewhere and with a Walmart nearby, it stands to gain from Sears, Macy's, Penney's and countless other's loss. On a recent family visit to Crabtree Valley Mall (not to shop but to eat), we decided to pick up a few things for some upcoming summer trips. I found a couple items at Macy's and we literally could not find anyone to check out. I decided to wait at checkout to see how long it would take, the answer was over 10 minutes. Had I not been overtly curious, I would have bailed. One shopper behind me went off in search of an associate and wished me good luck.
Ultimately, those shifting shoppers will migrate some portion of their spending to Ecommerce and have many non-location based options where Walmart will have to compete on a different set of criteria. This is where "winning with people" can have the greatest impact. The opposite direction from most of retail is figuring out how human and machine interaction provides the best experience possible vs. an all or nothing game. There are times I want to talk to a person and times I don't and this is ratio is different for everyone. Of all retail competitors, Walmart and its army of associates is best positioned to experiment with this mix and give shoppers what they want instead of just assuming automation is best. With 95%+ of its 1/2 trillion in revenue still coming from its stores, it also has the world's greatest shopper marketing lab at its disposal.
Walmart can physically test almost any form of shopping interaction possible preparing it for whatever shoppers decide to do in the future. Its latest innovation is a giant drive through self-service kiosk. In a few years when our self-driving cars autonomously leave our garages and head over to pickup our orders for us, this type of platform could easily load them into the trunk for the trip back home. The range of food shopping services are growing quickly from meal kits to personal shopper services and which will prevail will be anyone's guess. Another great example is Walmart's test of using its associates as delivery personnel. Walmart is simply redeploying its human capital to match how its customers want to shop. The retail leader has the enviable position of being able to relentlessly test live omnichannel solutions and then either building, buying or partnering when it identifies what its shoppers want leveraging its expertise with stores.
When I worked as a brand marketer and called on Walmart, unlike competitors, its buyers always knew more than the brands did about their categories. When I worked as a marketer at Walmart, the smartest people in its leadership were always the ones that had worked in the stores and knew its shoppers best (like Mr. McMillon). As consumers choose prevailing shopping paths from new options, human touch will become an important part of the equation and Walmart has more humans than most of its competitors combined. By being true to Sam's values of putting the customer first, Walmart may very well emerge as the ultimate future retailer.
I suffered two very common, very preventable injuries trying to lose weight after my first pregnancy.
THAT'S WHEN I KNEW THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER WAY TO GET IN SHAPE AFTER PREGNANCY.
When I couldn't find what I needed, I went about creating it. I'm so grateful that the Body After Baby Recovery Program helped me get back in shape safely, and thoughtfully, after my second and third pregnancies. What a difference these exercises made in my postpartum recovery once I knew the correct steps to take.
Seeing my own results, and that of the many moms that followed the program, I knew it was too good not to share.
But wait, back to those injuries:
I discovered my first injury after I started running again when I was 6 weeks postpartum. The technical term for "peeing your pants" is urinary incontinence; and it is anything but fun.
My second injury became obvious to me around 6 months postpartum. Specialists were able to determine I had a diastasis recti (abdominal separation) that was manifesting as a lower backache. Apparently, when your core is weak and unstable, you will start to feel pain in other places that are trying to compensate for this injury. No one was able to determine if my abdominal separation happened while I was still pregnant, or if I had exacerbated it doing the wrong core-strengthening exercises trying to get back in shape again after pregnancy. I have a deep suspicion that the crunches, sit-ups and planks might've been at fault here, but it could also have something to do with my alignment, my breathing, and how I moved my body during everyday activities like picking up my baby, getting out of bed, carrying groceries, etc. Any and all of the above could've been the problem.
What I do know is this: My body just wasn't quite ready for the exercises I was trying to do.
Looking back, I wouldn't change any part of this journey. These injuries are what brought me to you. These challenges have given me insight into what other women must face too.
The Body After Baby Recovery Program was created out of these struggles. I know that the physical recovery of pregnancy and childbirth is to be respected, and never rushed.
My hope is this program makes your transition from beautiful pregnant lady to beautiful mother of children a smooth one. And your recovery a successful one.
BECAUSE AFTER SPORT, THERE'S MOTHERHOOD AND THAT RACE IS LONG
The other day I got off the phone with a client who wanted to sign up for services; she had been struggling for months with trying to develop just the right content for her social media platforms. When she finally reached out for help, the conversation went a little like this:
“Shawna, I’ve tried to be creative and put stuff up on my feeds, but then it seems like nothing happens and I don’t get any sales.”
When I asked her how she knew nothing was happening behind-the-scenes, she slowly replied, ” Well…..I just haven’t gotten any orders.”
In working with many types and sizes of businesses I more-often-than-not come across the same thing: individuals who are intimidated about creating their own social media content because they’re afraid to experiment.
Social Marketing Strategist Ted Rubin put it best when he posted:
I always encourage our clients here at MARC Media Squad to be fearless when they throw their social media “spaghetti” at the wall to see what sticks. But with that said, I advise that no matter how much is thrown, it becomes a huge mess if analytics aren’t reviewed at least a monthly.
This concept often has many of my clients perplexed, and so I’ve created a quick-and-dirty list of what (at a minimum) needs to be analyzed:
1. Reach: Is there a particular time of day (or day-of-the-week) where posts get more attention?
2. Engagement: How many likes, shares, and click-throughs are received on each post?
3. Visuals: Which posts get the most views? Are they videos? Infographics? Graphics?
4. Traffic: Which posts lead followers right back to your website?
5. Conversions: How many of the people that land on the website take the actions that you want them to take (ie. signup for a newsletter or make a purchase)?
Social media is full of people who have created and experimented with content, but the trick to being successful on social channels is to review and revise your proverbial spaghetti on a regular basis!
When working with our clients, we encourage that (if they wish) they walk along side us and put up a few of their own posts while we still manage the majority of the content creation. We then educate them monthly on the analytics we’ve pulled from our specialized software on their Return-on-Investment (ROI).
Call one of our Guru’s today in regards to how we can help take your social media to the next level (289.903.0058)
Hi, ladies & gents! So, this post is a little different from our normal content. Although yes, it's still gonna be bright and colorful, this isn't a post about our outfits, a cake we made, or a new brunch place we found. While we LOVE posting about all that fun stuff, we also want to make sure we use this platform to talk about real issues in the world, to continue spreading positivity and change throughout our city (and everywhere else that people might be reading this)! :)
We're sure a lot of you have heard about Red Nose Day, but we'll share a few little tidbits for those who haven't! The Comic Relief program launched in the UK in 1985, with the goal of using comedy to raise money to help those in need. The very first Red Nose Day was held a few years later, and has since become a global movement that has raised over $1 billion to help put an end to child poverty! How amazing is that?! (To read more on the story of RND and/or make a donation, click here!)
We were thrilled and honored to team up with Walgreens for its third consecutive year of being the exclusive retail partner for Red Nose Day in the U.S.!
Growing up, both of our families taught us the importance of giving back to charities such as this, no matter how much or how little money we had. In California alone, 21.2% of children live in poverty. They don't get 3 meals a day, they don't all have the privilege of attending school, and they may not even have clean water. It's easy to get caught up in your head about the little things in life, but the bigger picture is that, no matter what, even if it's just $1 to buy a Red Nose. It. Helps. <3
Walgreens has made it easy and fun to get involved with this charity. All you have to do is drive to your local Walgreens, and pick up a Red Nose (or two!) next to the register. Each nose is only a dollar, and for every nose sold between April 17th and June 3rd, Walgreens will donate 50 cents to the Comic Relief Inc.'s Red Nose Day Fund! Literally so easy! This helps lift children in the U.S. and internationally out of poverty! AND you can take a cute selfie with your nose on. :)
For more information about the Red Nose Day Fund, visit www.walgreens.com/rednoseday. No portion of purchase is tax deductible.
Walgreens invites y'all to put your “Noses On” with us, and post on social media with weekly #RedNose challenges. Starting April 17th, you can share photos wearing red noses, using #RedNose, #Walgreens on Twitter or Instagram.
We totally realize this is a heavy topic, but getting involved doesn't have to be a difficult process. Whether you can give only a dollar, or more, your generosity does not go unseen. This event is making a difference. You are making a difference.
Join us on May 25th by sharing your cute Red Nose Day photos using #RedNose & #Walgreens! We'll keep our eyes peeled for ya! ;)
Do it for the love,
Jen & Cort
This is a sponsored conversation written by us on behalf of Walgreens. The opinions and text are all ours.