Here is the eighth entry of the Twelve Components You Need in Your Merchandising Plan titled: Aggressively Plan Forecasted Sales- Be a hunter and not a fisherman. Fishermen wait for a fish to respond to the lure. Opening your front door and waiting for shoppers to drop in is an example of fishing. Hunting means tracking down your target. Become a customer focused marketing and merchandising company by targeting customers and developing a strong focus on customers based on specific product offerings. This will help your company’s inventory more accurately reflect your customers’ fashion/accessory/jewelry desires and more accurately project actual sales.
How do your targeted customers reflect their approaches to fashion through accessories like jewelry? What sort of value do different customers place on jewelry? Some professional women state that jewelry is a necessity to complete their outfits. Knowing how targeted customers value jewelry will help marketers more effectively develop and deliver marketing communication messages. Knowing how to influence consumer behavior is a key to successfully promoting jewelry.
Being customer focused means buying what customers are naturally drawn to purchase. The performance of merchandising managers should be directly tied to a percentage of product that is sold without discounts and is not aged inventory. This is helping reduce or eliminate buying based on personal preferences. Having a focus on the customer means understanding their approach to fashion, accessories and jewelry and knowing what brands and trends are top of mind with targeted customers. Having a keen sense of what customers are inclined to purchase is valuable market knowledge.
Do you use a calendar to plan out your promotions? Do you complete all marketing plans and product promotions a full six months in advance? Too often advertising is a last minute decision and this sort of execution can only minimize performance and limit potential return on investment. Developing well thought out strategies for sales promotions and advertising and public relations and event marketing and visual merchandising and window displays will increase effectiveness and create synergy for your marketing efforts. This is how companies are able to create momentum in their sales and marketing and more aggessively and accurately forecast sales.
Do not plan a percentage of sales for your marketing expenditures. Instead, develop a list of all of the activities that will build your business. Then analyze the costs and make decisions of what items will create the greatest return on investment. Start with your objectives and then see how many of them you can afford to fund. Remember, that marketing is your first cost, not your last expense. So start with a budget that will allow the business to grow in the marketplaces that best represent the future for the company. Expect to make money from your sales promotions and not just spend money. Aggressively plan forecasted sales and fund the necessary sales promotional activities to meet those sales objectives.