On Facebook Messenger, Whole Foods Is All About Restraint - eMarketer

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eMarketer Interview

On Facebook Messenger, Whole Foods Is All About Restraint

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An interview with

Jeff Jenkins

Global Executive, Digital Marketing and Channel Activation, Whole Foods Market

Topics: MobileMarketing

Interview summary

Facebook Messenger is the hot new marketing toy—every brand wants to play with it. And while it’s tempting to create a Messenger bot that can perform many tasks, the key to building a bot that’s more about longevity than novelty is zeroing in on a specific, relevant use case. Jeff Jenkins, global executive of digital marketing and channel activation at Whole Foods Market, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about why the grocery store chain is treading carefully with its new Messenger bot. [Editor’s Note: Jenkins has since joined CKE Restaurants as chief marketing officer.]


eMarketer: What are some of the ways that you’re using Facebook Messenger?

Jeff Jenkins: We launched a chatbot last July, and so far we’ve used a hybrid approach. We started with a very narrow use case based on customer insight—we know that people walk around the grocery store with their phones and are often chatting with their partner, spouse or roommate, asking, “What do we have at home?”