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Marketing Strategies for the Sub $1.5M Jeweler

Marketing Strategies for the Sub $1.5M Jeweler

by Shane O'Neill, Vice President Let’s face it, marketing dollars are a precious commodity and it’s difficult to compete with larger jewelers who have larger budgets. So, what’s a smaller jeweler to do? Embrace change. When it comes to developing a marketing budget, one must consider multiple advertising avenues. Compounded by the rise in digital marketing and the slow decline of other traditional mediums, such as newspaper, knowing the proper allocation can be challenging. However, if you’re open to a change in thinking and willing to adapt to new opportunities, then you can create an environment to help your business grow. It’s all about the eyeballs. Almost every marketing opportunity revolves around one single thing – people who see it. Slice it, dice it, but that’s the bottom line. So, with that in mind, your first step is to look at what marketing avenues can provide you with the most exposure. Make it simple and list them out, along with the monthly costs associated with them. That said, you still have to think about the audience each medium will reach. Are you going to advertise bridal in a newspaper? No, please no. “But my paper is really…” No. Now, one of the things you may notice is the higher costs associated with more traditional media. I’m not here to say that traditional media isn’t important, but one has to look at an overall marketing mix. For most sub-$1.5 million jewelers, some traditional marketing can become a budget suck and limit other opportunities that may actually perform better for the jeweler. Digital provides targeted reach. Again, digital marketing is not the be-all end-all in marketing, especially if not done correctly, but it does provide targeted eyeballs that can deliver results. For example, let’s look at Facebook Advertising vs. Billboard. For those of you who “just don’t get Facebook,” or understand its part in a marketing budget, look at it this way: It’s an online version of a billboard. Facebook and billboards are primarily about one thing; branding. What’s the rationale for doing billboard advertising? Simple — put it in a prime location where many people see it. Eyeballs. That’s pretty much it. You’re not targeting any particular group. Anyone who drives by will see your ad. That’s called casting a wide net, and it will cost you. $1,000 – $3,000 a month or more. Well, Facebook does the same thing, except you can target the people who see your ad to an amazing degree, for much less. For most sub-$1.5 million jewelers, this simple change in approach could stretch marketing dollars and save thousands per year that can be applied to other marketing initiatives. Ad fatigue. Another issue smaller jewelers face frequently is ad fatigue. They have been doing many of the same things for years now, even as some of those marketing mediums have almost become irrelevant. Take the Yellow Pages, for example. Paying for placement is an exercise in futility, but many still do it. Those marketing dollars would be much better allocated to online paid search. There is a much larger audience online today and paid search can be a fresh approach. Smaller jewelers need to deploy marketing dollars toward channels that can provide them with the most targeted eyeballs at a reasonable cost. For most, that’s digital marketing. Finally, and what may be the biggest challenge, outline who you are. You have to hang your hat on something or you’ll get lost in the sea of other like jewelers. Are you primarily a custom jeweler? Then be that and craft all of your marketing around that message. Are you a big bridal store? Well, good luck, so is everyone else. Your job is to figure out what makes you different and how that translates into your marketing. Smaller jewelers can’t compete with larger stores in marketing dollars, so the best solution usually is to focus on your specialties. That will begin to develop your brand message and position you for growth. Like we always say, it starts with a plan.
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