Marketing in a Digital Age

The world of marketing is fast evolving to keep pace with an influx of new technological options, and no one knows this better than Jared Sturtevant, who recently stepped into the newly created director of marketing role at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes.

In his new position, Sturtevant orders, proofs and provides artistic direction on all in-store point-of-sale (POS) material, including print and online advertising.  He is transitioning into coordinating and purchasing the chain’s TV and radio campaigns and is also the administrator for Nice N Easy’s growing social networking/digital marketing program.

“The way we’re marketing now is changing so rapidly that I’m learning something new every single day,” Sturtevant said. “I’m really into social networking and digital marketing, which is growing, and we want to be out in front of that in our industry, doing it and doing it right.”

Preparing for Tomorrow
It was his interest in social marketing and his initiative in starting the company’s Facebook and Youtube pages a year ago, combined with his close involvement with their current marketing campaigns that helped him gain Nice N Easy President and CEO John MacDougall’s consideration for the director of marketing position.

“This is the first time anyone in our company has been given a marketing title. It’s quite an honor,” said Sturtevant, who has been transitioning into the position since May, officially taking on the title as of Oct. 1.

As Nice N Easy delves deeper into digital marketing, it continues to reach customers via Facebook, Four Square, Twitter and text marketing, and has plans to roll out a smart phone app. The company also has utilized Youtube to post commercials, as well as training videos viewable only to employees.

Sturtevant’s goals in the position are straightforward: “Improve what we’re doing now, get ahead of what other chains are doing, and build consumer advocacy through our connections with customers, utilizing social media,” he said.

From Clerk To Corporate
Sturtevant started his career in retail as a McDonald’s employee during high school, but always had his eye on the c-store industry. “I was working at McDonald’s and applying to Nice N Easy everyday, but they had some reservations about me because I had a ‘questionable’ appearance, including spiked hair and a chain collar.” But he finally combed his hair, got the job and quickly earned the respect of the management team.

Sturtevant received an education in hard work early in life as he grew up working beside his father who was in the logging business. “I was operating heavy equipment, pulling cable and hitching trees when I was very young.  So I learned a different type of work ethic than most people from that experience,” he said.

His work ethnic helped him climb the ranks at Nice N Easy, propelling him from store clerk to supervisor to manager. Then, in 2005, he was promoted to buyer and he moved to the chain’s corporate offices. In 2008 he became the director of category management, where he purchased for all retail categories with the exception of foodservice, lottery and fuel.

“Category manager is a great position—it is a job everyone wants to do and thinks they can do better than you, so naturally it is one of the most criticized jobs in the industry; everyone is an expert,” he said.

Because of Sturtevant’s 14 years wearing a multitude of hats at Nice N Easy, he comes to the marketing role with a broad knowledge base. “I know our stores very well, and I know the buying side, which has to work very closely with marketing, and I understand our food program, so it’s easier for me to step into this role than it would be for someone from the outside,” he said. “We have a unique company culture, one everyone finds important, and I embrace it.”

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