Marketing know-how

Ellen Fruchtman, CEO, Fruchtman Marketing, Toledo, OH, talked to jewelers about “Marketing Anonymous: The 18-step Plan,” last week at The JCK Show ~ Phoenix. During her presentation, she offered 18 specific tips on how jewelers could hone their marketing skills.

1) Define who you are (your store is). For example, what’s your niche, and if your store were a person, what would its characteristics be?

2) Decide who you (your store) want to be. “Who is your ideal customer?” she asks. And does that customer match your store’s personality?

3) Set a realistic budget. “You should be spending 5%-8% of gross sales on marketing,” says Fruchtman.

4) Set a few major objectives for the upcoming year. Some possible goals include increase loyalty with existing customers, get women to self-purchase, and increase name recognition.

5) Examine current creative with a critical eye. For example, is your current marketing strategy working? Is it conveying the right message or tone?

6) Examine your current staff. “Your staff is the most important marketing tool you have,” observes Fruchtman. How well-trained are they, and are they motivated?

7) Examine your current operating procedures. Make a list of in-store procedures you want to make sure your staff is successfully completing. “Then have a secret shopper shop your store to make sure operations are in order,” urges Fruchtman.

8) Examine your current inventory. Is it what you like or what your target audience would like? “Are you reading the magazines that your customers are reading for fashion?” she asks.

9) Write a plan. Include your store’s desired image, a description of your desired customer, your long- and short-term objectives, and rough budget projections to make the plan a reality.

10) Establish a consistent look and message for your advertising. “When you change your creative, your customers have a difficult time recognizing you,” says Fruchtman. Develop a strong creative and stick with it.

11) Make your staff your support group. Unveil your plan to them, explain goals and long-term commitment, and detail planned projects to get them excited and involved.

12) Remind yourself often that immediate gratification is not the answer. “Stick to your plan,” advises Fruchtman. Keep your exposure consistent, stop fretting about occasional downturns, and concern yourself with three- to four-year [economic] averages. “Results [for marketing plans] can not be measured immediately,” she says.

13) Don’t be a copycat. Be different, distinctive, and yourself in your marketing strategy.

14) Be open to new things. For example, not showing jewelry in jewelry ads is a strategy that works for some jewelers. “Try stepping out of your comfort zone,” she suggests.

15) Stop listening to your customers. “Don’t expect that the minute you implement a media campaign you’ll receive immediate feedback from your customers.” Also, stop worrying about whether you’re seeing or hearing the ads, unless you fit the profile of your primary customer. “Once you’ve defined your customer, target your media buy to those customers, and run the message consistently,” says Fruchtman.

16) Pay attention to details. Send thank-you notes, bouquets of flowers on 1st anniversaries, and gift certificates at the holidays.

17) Stop selling the piece: Sell the dream! “Focusing on selling specific brands is a risk,” she says. As proof, Fruchtman cited some recent surveys in which nearly 40% of respondents couldn’t mention any brands. “You are not selling jewelry, you are selling dreams,” she says.

18) Evaluate the year’s activities. “Build on important elements of the plan,” says Fruchtman. “It takes time to become a household word, so give it time.”

For more information about Fruchtman or her marketing services, contact her at (419) 539-2770 or visit www.fruchtman.com.