JCK Show: Scarpa talks about the whats and hows of marketing

Debra Scarpa, president of DJS Marketing Group, discussed the fine points of marketing-what to do and how to do it-using her Miami firm’s focus as a model for any jeweler looking to improve a marketing plan. DJS is a 16-year-old marketing firm specializing in promoting fine jewels and timepieces for wholesale and retail jewelers and manufacturers.

Scarpa hit the main points of a successful marketing campaign, starting with television. Television is an area where jewelers can run local advertisements in or around a national marketing program. This allows you to “rub elbows” with the national brands, she said. Radio is also an effective tool. In fact, Scarpa pointed out that radio reaches 95% of all consumers in your market each week. Drive times are crucial, said Scarpa. No matter what other offers you receive to go outside the drive-time slots, stick with what gets you results. “You want to reach a captive audience during peak listening hours,” she said.

Use national magazines to advertise locally. This type of promotion is mainly used for image branding and can elevate you to the ranks of the “big” national luxury brands, again rubbing elbows, this time, as Scarpa said, “with the giants.”

Newspaper shouldn’t be forgotten, but your ad will be good for only one to three days, Scarpa noted. Therefore, she suggested creating a high-impact schedule. One suggestion: Place your ad in the same spot. Scarpa also recommended a two-column, 7-inch-long ad, which has the best opportunity to “float” to the top right-hand corner of the page.

Scarpa said outdoor advertising is one of her favorites, and she noted that it can be extremely effective and very inexpensive. Most importantly, “it never sleeps.”

Scarpa also touted direct mail as an excellent advertising medium. “You are inside someone’s home,” she said. “How much more intimate can you get? And you weren’t even invited.” If approximately 85% of your sales come from current customers, Scarpa noted, then they are the people you should be targeting with your best direct mail. She also suggested that while you can prospect using this technique, you should use less expensive packages.

Scarpa highlighted successful marketing campaigns that use a comprehensive media mix, including television, radio, magazine, outdoor, direct mail, public relations, co-op, Internet, and Web site. Your media should “outshoot the competition, maximize the manipulation of available co-op dollars, and they must absolutely garner measurable results.”