Tom Hutchison will never have access to your name, your address or your phone number, but he's got your number if you shop at Raley's and use the Something Extra club card.
A lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Hutchison has been the West Sacramento-based grocer's director of customer relationship management and analytics for just more than a year. He ran shopper analytics for the Brown-Forman conglomerate before a headhunter recruited him to Raley's.
His team takes the purchases of each Something Extra shopper, runs it through optimization engines and ranks up to six coupons that each individual shopper would value. You might well ask why all the data are being collected.
"The holy grail " Hutchison said, "is one-on-one marketing."
Loyalty cards, by collecting oodles of data, provide a vehicle to get there, he said, and technological advances are coming that will transform the shopping experience: Shopping lists, linked to the loyalty card, will automatically populate based on purchase habits, and coupons will appear as needed.
Consumers will be able to press a button at the end of an online Tide commercial and automatically load a coupon right to their Something Extra card. And, new electronic programs will improve the shopping experience.
"You'll be able to say, 'Google, take me to Raley's and give me my shopping list,' and it will give you driving directions to the store," said Hutchison, demonstrating with a diagram on the white board behind his desk. "You'll park at the closest entrance. You'll come through this door and it will recalculate, and the traveling salesman algorithm will optimize your path through the store and tell you the best way to get out."
Grant marshals 'Forces'
The nation's leading nonprofits accomplish their missions by sharing leadership with their volunteers, a practice that consultants Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant chronicle in their book "Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits."
Grant will share all six practices on May 8 at The California Museum, 1020 O St., in Sacramento. Monday, in an interview, she spoke about the importance of nurturing nonprofit networks and inspiring volunteers, or evangelists as the authors call them.
"If you think about Habitat for Humanity, for example, they have more than 1 million volunteers for their cause," Grant said. "We know that building relationships and networks and engaging evangelists for your issues is a really important way that nonprofits can have more impact."
Grant and Crutchfield have updated their book to include a number of small nonprofits that also use the six practices. One of them is Meet Each Need with Dignity, an anti-poverty organization in the San Fernando Valley.
"Since the recession hit in 2008, applications to some MEND programs have increased 400 percent," Grant and Crutchfield wrote, "yet the organization has never had to wait-list a person for food, clothing or educational services. How does an organization with just 24 paid staff administer this vast offering of services without maxing out on its capacity? The answer is to share leadership in this case, extending leadership out to its networks of evangelists and other local nonprofits."
Learn more about Grant's lecture from the Nonprofit Resource Center, www.nprcenter.org/.
Giant Orange almost here
Richard Ameil said he and partner Dean Talbott will spend roughly $300,000 in all to open their Giant Orange burger stand at 1407 Howe Ave. by mid-May, a bit more than expected. "We had to redo all the wiring because all the booths are in different places," he said. "It's taken a little longer than expected, but it's going to come together real quick because all the furniture, all the appliances and the equipment are all in storage."
Ameil and Talbott lived in Sacramento for many years but moved down to Southern California and opened up the successful Grill-A-Burger restaurants there. They missed Sacramento, though, and have returned. Ameil said hiring will begin in a couple of weeks.
Call The Bee's Cathie Anderson, (916) 321-1193. Follow him on Twitter @cathiea_sacbee.