Jewelry Advertising Dos and Don’ts From 1984

Jewelers in today’s marketplace have a seemingly infinite number of choices when it comes to advertising their businesses—websites, social media, television, as well as radio, magazines, and newspapers.

While the media that retailers utilize to get out their messages have changed in the last 28 years, have the guidelines for crafting those messages changed all that much?

I dove into JCK archives and found the following advertising dos and don’ts from the January 1984 issue of JCK. Are any of them still relevant to jewelers today? Do you employ any of these tips in developing your advertising strategy?

Jewelry Advertsing Dos and Don’ts

  • Set goals. A good program starts with good planning—and that starts with marketing goals.
  • Split goals into general and specific. General goals might be to increase sales 5 percent to 10 percent and build your image. Specific goals might be to build fine diamond sales and attract younger customers.
  • Set a budget. Study projected sales figures—last year’s total plus your expected increase for this year. Apply your ad percentage. Most successful jewelers spend between 3 and 5 percent of gross on advertising.
  • Allocate your budget. Look at last year’s, in percentages by department. Now check your goals. You want to attract young customers and boost diamond sales. So increase the amount of advertising devoted to costume jewelry and diamonds.
  • Stay flexible. An ad program must allow for unexpected opportunities or cutbacks. Build a cushion—a straight percentage figure of 10 or 15 percent that can be deducted from each part of the budget.
  • Pick media. Define your prospects in terms of sales goals, and then decide which media will reach them. You may use different media for various departments. To reach buyers for gems, gold jewelry, and engagement rings, you might depend mainly on radio and newspapers. For costume jewelry and school items, you’d use only radio. Direct mail and billboards might supplement newspaper ads for watches, tableware, and service.
  • Organize a schedule. As a rule of thumb, media spending should be spaced evenly through the year, with increases at holiday and gift-giving times.
  • Define your sales message. Ask yourself what you offer that your competitors don’t. Fair prices and excellent service, perhaps. What do they offer that you don’t? List your competitive advantages and disadvantages. Correct the disadvantages if you can. From the advantages, choose the top three customer benefits. They’ll be the nucleus of your sales message.
  • Be realistic. Far-fetched claims quickly turn off prospects.
  • Be confident. Strong, to-the-point messages gain interest quickly.
  • Be simple. Don’t clutter your message with many sub-messages and useless artwork. You don’t have to use every inch of space.
  • Use the term “sale” sparingly. Don’t run discounts so often they lose credibility.
  • Specify a time limit when advertising sales; create a sense of urgency.
  • Don’t put yourself in a position of having to honor a sale price beyond a reasonable time.
  • Don’t advertise the same products or store features to all markets.
  • Do plan appropriate ads for each market segment. Don’t push teen fad items to over-40 customers, or eternity rings to youngsters.
  • Change show windows regularly.
  • Don’t allow merchandise or signs in windows to look shopworn.
  • Save any ads you’ve seen that you like for future reference and ideas.
  • Don’t settle for the humdrum.

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