Business Trends to Leverage in the New Year
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
As we kick off 2017, we’ve filtered through the business trend predictions for the new year to determine which have the most impact for retail dietitians. Here’s our top five list.
- Subject matter experts are the new rainmakers. In his December article in Forbes, Ian Altman indicates that anyone at Amazon can take and process an order. Then there’s the salesperson whose sole goal is to sell you something. The subject matter expert, on the other hand, is someone the consumer can pay to provide insight and deep expertise on a topic. You, the retail dietitian, are this subject matter expert, this rainmaker. In 2017, the challenge ahead of you is to consider how you make your expertise a valued service and scalable.
- Content marketing is the new sales pitch. Whether it’s buying a new car, a new computer, or food in the grocery store, integrating selling points into a story has truly been embraced as the most effectively way to reach consumers. From your blogs to presentations to intercom messages, consider how you tell a story instead of simply dispensing nutrition advice or featuring benefits of a product.
- Video engagement is essential. With the explosion of Facebook Live this past year, it has only eclipsed consumer reliance on video for information and entertainment. If videos aren’t a current part of your programs and services, set this as your goal for 2017. Partner with your digital team on what it will take to have your own healthy living YouTube channel or establish an editorial calendar of Facebook Live events. Rely on vendors to support your video efforts.
- Personalization and customization reigns. When the consumer heads to the doctor, he doesn’t want a broad diagnosis; he wants information specific and unique to him. The Millennial wants the ability to customize a recipe or an order at a restaurant. Mass marketing e-mails are never opened. To effectively leverage this personalization trend, consider how you offer customization in your services and programs. Is it a 15-minute individualized consult following a class or store tour? Do you capture better information about your top service users so you can tailor programs and communications directly to them?
- Intelligent things. From virtual, robotic assistants to chips and sensors to drones and smart appliances, the access to intelligent things that simplify tasks is expanding rapidly. Retail RDs must get educated on these options, especially those being used or proposed for retail and the consumer’s kitchen, to ensure programs and services continue to meet the tech savvy shoppers’ needs.