Food companies have used experiential marketing to boost product awareness for many years. Well-placed, deliciously presented samples can set brands apart in consumers’ minds, but managing hundreds of brand ambassadors and merchandisers across thousands of stores requires sophisticated software and a deft touch.
Michael got started with Dietz & Watson many moons ago as an entry-level merchandiser. Working his way up the ranks over the years, he’s become a jack-of-all-trades. Now a Senior Special Projects Coordinator, he’s responsible for helping protect the company’s high-end reputation.
“Dietz & Watson insists on the best possible quality,” Michael says. You can sense the pride in his voice as he describes a sense of commitment that extends beyond the 80 year-old company’s growing lineup of delicatessen meats, cheeses, snacks, and condiments. “We’re very hands on. We don’t just put our product in the store, we make sure it looks the best it can, and make sure accounts get serviced properly.”
Unlike many foodmakers, Dietz & Watson staffs and supplies their own samplers for in-store product promotions. Michael’s job includes overseeing 450 brand ambassadors and 150 merchandisers that visit nearly 2,000 stores per week - a task that would be nearly impossible without a specialized software platform. “We do all of our all our brand ambassador scheduling, reporting, and payroll processing with MainEvent,” Michael says. “It allows us to manage the entire program in a powerful and transparent way,” he notes.
Dietz & Watson has introduced many new products in the past few years (including organic and gluten-free options), and sampling is an important part of introducing customers to them. The company even hires professional chefs to develop recipes - like a buffalo chicken-based dip - to show off in stores.
Michael’s job involves trying a wide variety of new food combinations that D&W chefs come up with, though he admits he’s personally more of a traditionalist. “I love a lot of the charcuterie stuff like genoa salami, sopressata, and pepperoni,” Michael says. “Pretty much all the Italian meats.”
When he isn’t using MainEvent to oversee staffing, payroll, and recaps, Michael roots wholeheartedly for Philadelphia sports teams and attends as many concerts as he can. “I also play a lot of golf,” he says, “especially down the [Southern New Jersey] shore.”
In the office and behind the deli counter, Michael is a great representative for Dietz & Watson. His dedication to all phases of the experiential marketing process is apparent, and makes him a natural choice for Ninja of the Month. Congrats!