An easy-to-follow marketing program to bring more traffic to your store
Many jewelry retailers lack a coordinated and focused marketing program—often because they don’t know what to do or where they should start. Every store, however, can benefit from an effective marketing campaign. Just be sure to follow these six steps:
1. Define your objectives. You don’t see Olympic superstar Usain Bolt lope off down the track at the sound of the gun. He crouches down and gets his legs in position to power away from the starting blocks. The same is true for your marketing. Defining your objectives and marshalling your resources is the starting point. Who is your target market? What promotions have worked for you in the past? Do you have a database, and how accurate is it? What product is your most profitable? What is your sales target for the coming 12 months? What percentage of your sales occurs in December? These are the questions we use to help our clients position themselves for marketing success and are the questions all store owners should be asking themselves. (As a JCK reader, you’re eligible for a free copy of our 40-point marketing questionnaire to help get you started. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
2. Determine your budget. Plan your marketing spend for the year, and remember to consider rent. If you are paying a high monthly premium for a prime mall space, this is part of your marketing expense—you are expecting the mall to deliver you shoppers and are paying accordingly, unlike the lower-rent strip shop that must generate its own foot traffic. Setting a budget will prevent overspending or last-minute decision-making (for example, when the local newspaper rep shows up to sell you next week’s feature, the one “you absolutely must be in”).
3. Put together a plan. The days of opening your doors and waiting for customers to walk in are gone. If you aren’t already doing so, you need to undertake some form of activity every month to drive traffic to your store—because your competitors certainly are. Review past promotions that have worked, and don’t be afraid to reuse those winning formulas. And consider how you can apply effective promotions by businesses in other industries, to your store.
4. Execute the plan. Even the best-laid plans are pointless if you don’t do something. By completing Step 1, you will determine the resources you have—and need—to carry out the plan. You will set your spend in Step 2. And in Step 3, you will decide the promotions you want to initiate and when you want to run them. In Step 4, you follow through with your plan.
5. Take responsibility. You don’t have to undertake every promotional task yourself, but you need to ensure every task gets done. Delegate as much as you can—your staff is better at doing what they are told than you are. Many of them will relish the chance to be involved in a marketing plan and may even bring some fresh ideas and new perspectives. Some of them are keen Internet and social media buffs, and can contribute worthwhile knowledge in those areas.
6. Figure out what works.The beauty of direct mail, e-mail, and social media is that the results can be easily measured. You also have the opportunity to split test—that is, send different offers to different people and compare the outcome. Not measuring your marketing is similar to buying a lottery ticket and not checking the winning numbers. With modern marketing techniques, it is easy to track responses and to use this information to determine what stays and what goes in your marketing program.
This simple six-step program will get your jewelry store marketing program off to a sound start for 2011. Not every promotion will work, but given that direct marketing can be very affordable, you can learn from your mistakes without spending a fortune. The important thing with marketing is doing something: You can’t win the race if you don’t enter!
Illustrations by Jason Lee