Whether you’re a marketing wiz or have no marketing knowledge at all, there’s 9 golden rules to market a retail business and you will need just two things to use them: some common sense and an honest appraisal.
Common sense seems obvious of course, it’s no good promoting a product that nobody would buy or at a price that is not competitive. But honest appraisal is often more difficult because we are all naturally very subjective. The key to this is being honest about what your activity is actually achieving rather than what you might want it to achieve. Different techniques work in different ways, in different situations, but the same core essentials allow you to professionally evaluate your activity.
So, for any marketing you are planning consider these 9 golden rules:
- Be sure that your promotional activity is temporary. If it’s not, it isn’t a marketing promotion, it’s just a way of doing business.
- Identify the actual benefit to customers. Spell it out, and make the benefit as obvious as you possibly can, because that’s the only thing that interests consumers.
- Clarify your immediate sales goals and/or marketing goals, even if they’re as simple as a sales figure you have in your head. Otherwise you have no way to measure what’s happened and assess it’s actual worth to your business.
- Identify any further sales or marketing goals beyond your immediate ones, that you hope this promotion will help you achieve. If you miss your first target you might still hit others.
- Decide exactly how you’ll judge the success or otherwise of this marketing promotion. Measuring revenue can be simple, but if you’re trying to encourage new customers to visit or trial something it can be more complex.
- Find out the most cost effective way to communicate it. Just putting an ad in the local paper because that’s what you’ve always done might not be the best, or cheapest, or most relevant solution. Technology is constantly changing everything in our lives.
- Be clear on the distinction between promotional and other marketing messages you might want to communicate. Selling off old stock at 40% discount is a very different message to creating awareness of what services you offer, and requires different approaches
- Ensure you are using the medium to best effect but be careful you’re not expecting it to do something it can’t deliver. Test different approaches – the costs might well be fixed but maximising what you get back isn’t.
- Be sure you are aiming at your own sales or marketing goals not someone else’s, such as a supplier or brand owner. All too often retailers get involved in a brand’s promotional activity with little or no benefit over the immediate sale. Piggy-back marketing may sometimes work for you but remember that the brands always take the lions share.
We cover these points in more detail with examples in the MyStreet book ‘Sell Clever’, but this digest gives you the key questions to ask yourself for every marketing promotion – you just need to add your natural retailer common sense plus an honest appraisal.
David Tallon – MyStreet
David Tallon is a founder partner in MyStreet which helps small independent retailers compete with the major multiples by marketing themselves more effectively. MyStreet is a unique combination of phone app and monthly marketing advice and tips where everything is ‘done-for-you’ by experts. He has worked for more years than he cares to admit in retail marketing and advertising and wants to see more diversity in our high street shops.