The Strategies of Marketing May Change, but the Rules Never Will

On July 9, I blogged about jewelry advertising dos and don’ts that originally ran in the January 1984 issue of JCK.

I posed the question: Is any of the 28-year-old marketing advice still relevant to the modern jeweler?

Nate Davidson, a luxury brand strategist for Facet Marketing Group, came up with some answers.

First, the 1984 article discusses “setting goals.” Should I be surprised? No, not really. Inherent in any success—particularly luxury jewelry retail success—there must first be goals set as to where the retailer is trying to go. We often ask our clients if they’ve ever taken a trip that had no destination. Sure, you could do it, but you’d have a really hard time knowing if and when you ever got to where you were headed.

The article also encourages jewelers to “set a budget.” Again, this is as true in 2012 as it was 28 years ago. A budget is your guide as to how your marketing will play out. It helps determine the media you’ll choose as well as the feasibility of your marketing plan.

Next up is “choosing your media.” You know, interestingly enough, jewelers still need to pick the media outlets that will help them best reach their target consumer base. The thing that has changed, however, is the sheer volume of media outlets to choose from. Back in 1984 a store in a large market would have had a couple daily newspapers, about four or five local TV broadcast networks and radio stations to choose from. Direct marketing would have played a major part in most marketing plans, as well as personal store follow-up. Today, that landscape has changed by leaps and bounds. Cable providers offer hundreds of networks to subscribers, broadcast TV now has TiVo and DVR, radio stations have HD signals, newspapers and the Yellow Pages are struggling, and of course, [there’s] the Internet.

There’s actually a plus to all this media fragmentation. If you think about it and utilize all the consumer information available these days, it’s in some ways easier to market to your core audience. With social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, consumers are telling jewelry store owners what they’re interested in. Communications aren’t just based on “pushing” advertisements to consumers. Your clients can now engage with you online and are beginning to “pull” communications and advertisements from jewelers as they research online before buying.

Lastly, the article warns against constantly using the word sale because discounts often lose credibility when continually offered. It goes on to say that retailers need to ask “What do I offer that my competitors don’t?” This statement will be true so long as there are messages to be advertised. These items of differentiation are called a store’s Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. It’s what sets you apart from the competition and delivers an inherent value to your consumers that they cannot get anywhere else. This should be the core of your marketing message.

Reading this article was enlightening, not because so much has changed since 1984 in regards to jewelry store advertising, but because so little has changed. The same rules that applied then apply today, and I’m now certain that they will apply 28 years from today. Our strategies for complying with these rules of marketing may change, however the rules remain the same. In a world where we’re being convinced of the constant change occurring, it’s nice to know that the development of a marketing message really relies more on education and adaptation to changes than it does on total reinvention for luxury jewelry retailers.

Facet Marketing Group specializes in marketing and advertising for luxury jewelry retailers. For more information, visit facetmarketinggroup.com.