Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice

#NRF17: Retail’s BIG Show Goes Out with a Bang

January 18th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Marketing & Media | Retail - (Comments Off on #NRF17: Retail’s BIG Show Goes Out with a Bang)

Although this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail’s BIG Show has come to a close, the buzz generated by the event is sure to carry on. With 35,000 attendees across retail companies from 94 countries, over 500 exhibitors, and more than 300 speakers, there is no shortage of NRF Show retail news.

APT: A Disruptor

For APT, this year’s show was particularly exciting. First, CEO Anthony Bruce was named a Disruptor on the NRF Foundation’s List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2017. With his inclusion on the list, he is one of just 25 individuals honored as the best and brightest impacting the retail industry today. Bruce was recognized during the BIG Show at the NRF Foundation Gala.

“It is an honor to be recognized on the NRF Foundation’s List alongside such a dynamic and accomplished group of leaders,” Bruce said. “I look forward to continuing our work fueling innovation in the retail space, and enabling retailers to make decisions with confidence.”


Should You Implement a Guest Loyalty Program?

April 11th, 2013 | Posted by CCorman in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Should You Implement a Guest Loyalty Program?)

FSR Magazine recently published an article by Jonathan Marek, APT SVP, about strategies to consider both before implementing a loyalty program and once one is in place. Here is the link to the article:

Social Media: Marketing Steals the “Location, Location, Location” Adage from Real Estate

March 7th, 2011 | Posted by retailblogadmin in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Social Media: Marketing Steals the “Location, Location, Location” Adage from Real Estate)

Location based marketing is “here.” From Chili’s to Target, leading restaurants and retailers are showing an enthusiasm for piloting offerings from a range of hot New York and Silicon Valley start-ups including Foursquare, Shopkick, and Gowalla.

While each location-based service (LBS) is unique, they are all oriented around a central core principal: offers and coupons are most effective when restaurants and brands can target consumers at a specific time and place. (more…)

This post is the third in a three part series on ideas that will shape restaurant performance in 2011.

Part Three: Marketing


Restaurants Get Social

December 1st, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Restaurants Get Social)

Several high profile social media campaigns have made the news in the restaurant world, including Applebee’s Veteran’s Day campaign, Chili’s FourSquare chips & salsa promo, and McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Chipotle on Facebook Deals.

As these offers become more mainstream among major restaurant chains, the way restaurants invest in and measure social media will need to “grow up”, as we argue in this recent post on our media blog.

Why Is This Ad in My Train Station?

November 29th, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Why Is This Ad in My Train Station?)

McDonald's Ad at Lafayette BART (with apologies for picture quality)

I live in an upper middle-class suburb of San Francisco, where 99% of the population speaks outstanding English.  This train station is on the BART line that commuters take from that suburb into San Francisco or Oakland.  My best guess is that thousands of people pass under this ad each weekday, and maybe a dozen or so per month read Chinese but not English.

So, why is it there?  I really don’t know, but perhaps:

  1. Their media targeting model is producing terrible results
  2. They’ve designed a very poor Chinese-language media heavy-up test
  3. Someone thinks this ad might work for non-Chinese speakers.  After all, I don’t speak Chinese, but I completely understand the price point and product.  Had it been in English, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

If it’s the first two (or the third, for that matter), give me a call.  APT can help. 

If it’s #3, color me impressed!

Chipotle Drops Ad Agency

October 11th, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Chipotle Drops Ad Agency)

The most interesting part of this article, in Ad Age, is the comments section.  The ad world sure doesn’t like it when a company drops the agency and brings creative in-house!

Chipotle’s position is interesting to us because it presents an ongoing challenge:  how do you keep the “green” message fresh, and how do you measure your success in doing so?  Promoting a central theme, like sustainable, local, organic ingredients, shouldn’t absolve a brand from measuring the dollar-and-cents success of their marketing activities.

As an aside, the “dress-as-a-burrito” promotion is a great example of getting killed on non-incremental promotions.  Maybe Halloween is the right time to talk about the two scariest words in the industry?!?

Looking to Hire a Wacky PR Person?

July 12th, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Looking to Hire a Wacky PR Person?)

You might look to hire someone from YUM Brands.  Or their PR firm.

Fresh on the heels of Taco Bell’s petition to the Federal Reserve for more $2 bills, KFC’s latest publicity stunt is a post-World Cup Vuvuzela Exchange Program (promoting the Doublicious, not to be confused with the Double Down).  I’m not sure this is driving YUM’s business, but it sure does make the industry more fun.

I Remember When…

June 4th, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on I Remember When…)

.. newspapers were used to market restaurants and retail stores.  Now, here’s an example where an In-and-Out Burger gift card is being used to sell the LA Times.  Not good, the newspaper business these days.

Searching for Mother’s Day Dinner

May 11th, 2010 | Posted by JMarek in Marketing & Media - (Comments Off on Searching for Mother’s Day Dinner)

From Google, via, here’s a fascinating table of “hot” search trends around dinnertime on Mother’s Day.  6 of the top 20 are for chain restaurants.

Though anecdotal, this is the best evidence I’ve seen of ability of Search impact to drive restaurant traffic.  Many of the best retailers are already testing to quantify the impact of online ads on in-store sales (see our whitepaper).  Will restaurants catch up?