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7:48 AM

If You Can Rent the Runway, Why Not Rent the Marketer?

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Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the turmoil it unleashed, there is some cautious optimism among CMOs out there for 2021. Gartner’s Annual CMO Spend Survey found that 73 percent expect a return to a positive business and economic climate over the next 18-24 months,  and that’s good news. 

But the fact remains that marketing budgets have taken a hair cut, launch plans have been stalled or curtailed, and there is a little more risk aversion in planning than there might otherwise have been. 


It may seem counterintuitive, but tapping on-demand marketers to close gaps in staffing levels or skill set can be cost effective and pay great dividends at times like this.  


Think Rent the Runway, a subscription service that provides an affordable way for women to wear designer fashions for a discrete event or period of time that they couldn't afford otherwise. They wear the outfit when they need it then send it back when they're done. 

By hiring a hands-on marketing expert for discrete projects or defined timeframes, you can basically do the same thing: Get an expert with first rate skills that can contribute right away, for however long you need them.  


These are just a few examples of what I mean:


  • your team is stretched to the boiling point but you’ve got sales kick-off coming in January and no one to do the new sales playbooks that have to get ready.   
  • You have a new strategic product to launch but aren't budgeted to staff up full time and you’ve got no one else to launch it.
  • Maybe you just need someone to roll up their sleeves and do the market research needed to understand your market segments, the buyers in them and how they make their buying decisions. 


At Chaddsford Planning Associates, we are passionate about marketing that creates outstanding value for our customers.  Here's a quick look at what we do.



9:42 AM

What it means to say "Semper Avanti"

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A few years back I wrote a book chronicling the personal crisis that threatened Bob's life and our entire family.  I think it is important for our clients to understand who we are Chaddsford Planning Associates.  The quality of our work stands on its own, but who we are as people is an important part of our business.  So here is a little book trailer to get the story started.   Semper Avanti book trailer
2:43 PM

Are Buyer Persona's Worth It?

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A buyer persona is a fictitious person that exemplifies the characteristics and attributes of the person or persons that influence the purchase of your product, service or solution.  Is anyone really using them?  Are they getting results?  Here's our one minute perspective

10:29 AM

Chaddsford Planning Associates comments on the USDA Innovative online SNAP Pilot

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The Innovative Online SNAP Pilot enables SNAP shoppers in states that participate in the Pilot to purchase food online using their SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) benefits.

We are pleased that USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which is responsible for the rollout of the Pilot, has had such success in bringing electronic payments to the SNAP program.

The nature of the SNAP program makes rolling out electronic payments for food shoppers  paying with SNAP benefits much more difficult than rolling out a simple debit card program. The SNAP electronic payment program, for example, involves coordinating the requirements of  the federal government, 53 state and territorial governments, numerous food retailing companies and food stores scattered across the country, as well as the requirements of the electronic payments industry. This unique combination of Federal, state, and multiple private sector requirements is a challenge for the Pilot. 

The Pilot currently includes the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Texas,and Washington. Other states currently approved to move ahead with planning to allow online SNAP food purchase include Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Vermont.

Having contributed to the SNAP online food purchase Pilot in its early planning days, as an EBT Subject Matter Expert for one of the contractors hired to help plan the Pilot, Chaddsford Planning Associates is proud to see the Pilot grow to include more than 4 million more SNAP participants through the addition of Kentucky, Missouri and Texas, who will be eligible to conduct their SNAP benefit transactions online. Kentucky will add 500,000 SNAP individuals to the Pilot, Missouri will add another 650,000 SNAP shoppers. Some 3.2 million Texans receive SNAP benefits and will be part of the Pilot.

In 2018 we reviewed and provided commentary on discussion guides to be used with retailers that participate in the online SNAP Pilot program. The retailers currently accepting SNAP payments online include  Amazon, Walmart,  Wright’s market and Shop Rite. Pilot retailers, including Internet retailers, must obey the Food and Nutrition Service retailer (FNS) stocking requirements, and be an FNS authorized retailer, although a separate FNS authorization will be required for online SNAP transactions. A participating retailer must also currently sell its goods online and its website must be capable of being updated to meet all of the FNS requirements to participate in the online SNAP food purchasing Pilot. Retailers wishing to take part in the Pilot must contact FNS in writing to express its desire. Retailer systems must be capable of successfully completing end-to-end system testing of the online production environment with FNS. Retailers interested in being part of the FNS online SNAP Pilot are advised to contact the Food and Nutrition Service directly for more information.

The Food and Nutrition Service continues to receive interest from other states that wish to join the SNAP online food purchase Pilot as it expands further. However the third-party processors that help process SNAP transactions in their states as well as any retailers (including those already authorized to accept SNAP payments) that desire to join the Pilot are responsible for being technologically ready to participate in the Pilot.

Background

Congress, by way of the 2014 Farm Bill, mandated that the Agriculture Department conduct a pilot project to test the feasibility of conducting SNAP transactions online. The Pilot described above is designed to meet that mandate. The online Pilot is required to be secure, private and easy to use for SNAP shoppers. Retailers must be prepared to provide the same level of support as that afforded customers executing non-online SNAP transactions. SNAP benefits accessed online can not be used for service transactions of any kind, including delivery charges. Food retailers wishing to participate in the online SNAP Pilot should submit a letter of interest  confirming that they are capable of meeting the requirements of the program at sm.fn.snaponline@usda.gov

Why should we continue to support USDA’s Innovative Online SNAP Food Purchase Pilot?  The reasons to continue supporting the online use of SNAP benefits for food purchase are the same logic that led to the replacement of food stamps with EBT as the authorizing instrument for the purchase of a family’s supplemental food paid for by the Agriculture Department. No one questions the logic of eliminating food stamps as the purchase instrument for SNAP benefits in favor of EBT cards. Nor should the addition of online use of SNAP benefits be questioned, since the logic behind the Innovative Online SNAP Food Purchase Pilot is the same as that which gave birth to EBT. Part of that logic was inclusion. Online payment with SNAP benefits is another step towards allowing SNAP shoppers to use the same payment technology as non-SNAP shoppers. It also simplifies the SNAP transaction at checkout by providing a transaction that looks just like a non-SNAP online payment. And because of this, the SNAP shopper is another step closer to removing the stigma of a Government payer. For the retailer and the state agency, the Online SNAP Food Purchase Pilot provided an electronic tracking system for purchase transactions made online, similar to online transactions made through a bank card, thus streamlining reconciliation.

For more information about our work in e-payments, visit us at www.chaddsfordplanning.com
12:28 PM
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Fraudsters attempt to use COVID-19 crisis to to take advantage of SNAP program recipients

SNAP recipient could be the targets of fraudsters taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. The Agriculture Department’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services which administers the SNAP program (formerly called Food Stamps) has issued a fraud alert. The alert was based on reports on several attempts to defraud SNAP shoppers.

The fraud attempts included using the COVID-19 crisis to pry confidential information out of a SNAP participants. Examples of the confidential information sought are Social Security Numbers, Bank Identification Information, or the SNAP participant’s EBT card or PIN number.

The scam involves asking SNAP recipients for the confidential information in order to qualify them for COVID-19-related financial assistance.

USDA warns SNAP participants that if they are unsure whether a request for confidential data is legitimate or not to contact their local SNAP office. In the alternative participants can contact their state agency (https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory)

For more information on this or other scams targeting SNAP shoppers, USDA recommends a visit to its SNAP Scam Alert webpage at (https://www.fns.usda.guv/snap/scam-alert)

In response to the attempt to use the Covid-19 crisis to defraud SNAP participants, Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA ’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services said, this is a difficult time for us all, and we certainly don’t want to see bad actors taking advantage of those in need.        

For more about us, visit www.chaddsfordplanning.com          

8:02 AM
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Chaddsford Planning Associates, LLC is pleased to announce it is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women. We recognize the commitment to supplier diversity that is embraced by corporations and government agencies today and we can add diversity to your supply chain.

Why is this important?  Because in today’s multi-cultural business world, diversity matters.  New research by McKinsey shows that companies with more diversity in their workforce perform better financially.  Of course, we’d be the first to acknowledge that it’s no guarantee, that correlation does not equal causation, but the data are clear that when companies commit themselves to more diversity, they tend to be more successful. 

Although McKinsey focused on executive leadership, the evidence is similar for  supplier diversity programs.  These programs are not just something companies do altruistically or to meet some mandated quota.  There are tangible benefits of committing to a strong supplier diversity program.

A major study of 50 companies from both the services and manufacturing sectors conducted by the Atlanta-based Hackett Group demonstrated financial benefits from business relationships with diverse suppliers. Companies with a strong supplier diversity focus drove an additional $3.6 million to their company’s bottom line and are generally more profitable than those who don’t.

That brings us back to Chaddsford Planning Associates, LLC, and what all this means for our clients and colleagues.   

Product Marketing works at the intersection of Product Management, Marketing and Sales to drive growth. 

We work with our clients to ensure their go-to-market plans include the following because, believe it or not, there are usually gaps in these areas:
       A well-defined and understood target market and audience
       Differentiated value proposition
       Influential point of view (POV)

Our product marketing services are designed to close gaps wherever an organization may have them, answering four specific questions: 
  1. Are you solving a problem people will pay for?
  2. Do your sellers have the right story to tell?
  3. Are your marketing messages aligned with your sales or launch strategy?
  4. Is your content resonating with the right audience at the right stage of their journey?

Our services are meant to help where it’s needed most, closing gaps in skills or resources, wherever you may have them, big job or small.

For more information about our services please visit us at www.chaddsfordplanning.com
1:16 PM

Trump administration restores SNAP program to its original intent

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In December 2019, the US Agriculture Department issued a news release stating that it had promulgated a regulation restoring what it called "the original intent of SNAP" SNAP is the nutrition program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue stated in the release that the new rule is designed to help able-bodied SNAP recipients transition to self-sufficiency and employment capable of supporting them and their families.

According to Secretary Purdue, the new rule restores SNAP to what Congress originally had in mind when it created the food program: assistance through difficult times,  not a way of life.

Lest anyone view this change as some hard-hearted conservative political move by the Administration, Secretary Purdue pointed out that "Americans are generous people who believe that is is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens" and that in this "government can be a powerful force for good."

For historical perspective, Secretary Purdue also informed readers that when President Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in 1996 that law as drafted by Congress instituted a work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).

Secretary Purdue underlined the current economic conditions, writing that "with a booming economy that has more jobs than workers to fill them and the lowest unemployed rate in 50 years"  it is clear that we need everyone who can work, to work.

To read the Department's release, visit press@oc.usda.gov

The final USDA rule promotes work for able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependents and doesn't apply to children and their parents, those over 50 years of age, including the elderly, those with a disability, or pregnant women.

Secretary Purdue further expounds on the role that work plays in American daily life in his oped The dignity of work and the American dream  which was printed in the Arizona Daily Star.

The Agriculture Department oversees 15 nutrition programs of which SNAP is one.

For more information about us, please visit www.chaddsfordplanning.com.