Mike Templeton doesn’t care what “used to work.”
As director of digital marketing for Casey’s General Stores, he knows that customers don’t care about that either. “Today, customers want what they want when they want it,” he says. “If we can’t fulfill that need for the customer, someone else will.”
This isn’t Templeton’s first online rodeo. For more than eight years—more like 80 in digital years—he was with another Iowa-based chain, Kum & Go LC, where he oversaw digital marketing.
“I have been able to absorb new ideas on behalf of the business and then find ways to operationalize the technology,” Templeton says. “I’m watching trends and monitoring adjacent industries for creative sparks, but ultimately it’s about turning those ideas into strategic assets for the business. And that’s exactly what Casey’s is in the midst of right now.”
Some tech trends Templeton is following include artificial intelligence and machine learning, voice commands and driverless cars.
Casey’s “has some catching up to do” on digital, Templeton admits. He says it’s his job to make sure the company has the right technology foundation in place to get to its end goal.
“The definition of digital success for convenience has already moved on,” he says. “We can’t continue to just be happy to have a mobile app when the other places customers shop are offering order ahead, delivery and augmented reality. The bar for retail experiences is set not by the convenience store across the street, but by the apps and brands consumers are interacting with every day, regardless of channel.”
“Today, customers want what they want when they want it.”