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The Four Horsemen of the Marketing Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Marketing Apocalypse

by Shane O'Neill, Vice President Let’s be honest. Today’s jewelry market is hyper-competitive. The rise of digital marketing and the proliferation of mobile devices has completely changed how the consumer shops. It has also presented numerous new ways to reach and connect with potential customers. The result is the continued fragmentation of marketing channels and confusion as to where to best deploy assets. For some, it’s the inability to adapt to this new environment. For others, it’s using valuable marketing dollars in non-strategic ways, which creates waste and lack of effectiveness. So let’s take a look at four of the biggest mistakes independent jewelers make in their marketing and how you can change your approach and grow your business.
  1. Not having a plan: I see it all the time. Sprinkle some marketing here, a little there. Inconsistent messaging with no real rhyme or reason. Think about what area of your business you want to grow and attack it head-on. What’s your message? How do you plan to reach and acquire new customers? Most importantly, will you stick with it? Marketing, specifically branding, takes time. Customers all have different sales cycles, but with a solid branding strategy, you’ll be top of mind when that time comes.
  2. Building a budget: If you don’t have a pre-determined marketing budget, you’re probably guilty of mistake number 1. If you’re looking to grow your business, building a budget is essential to understanding where your dollars are going. It’s also great because it forces you to plan, which helps you look at what needs to be done and when. In addition, seeing where your marketing dollars go allows you to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, so you can build on successes. It’s also important to determine an adequate budget based on your sales. Underspend and the marketing you do could be less effective. Overspend and you could potentially be wasting money with unnecessary overexposure. Everyone’s needs are different, but a good rule of thumb is 6% – 8% of gross sales.
  3. Understanding new media: Just because it has worked in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. For example, advertising bridal in a newspaper doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not just because readership is declining, but because there are much more effective ways to target the bridal consumer. The explosive growth in digital and other new media opportunities is happening due to the change in how consumers shop. Technology has fundamentally altered how we communicate and it has been a swift move from the tried and true. Many struggle to understand the function and application of this new media and, as a result, may avoid it altogether. Make no mistake though, these digital assets are powerful and essential tools to connect with today’s consumer. Those who fail to embrace it will slowly fall behind and, eventually, close their doors.
  4. Investing in their website: One could argue that a jeweler’s website is just as important, if not more important than the actual store. After all, it’s more than likely the first exposure the consumer has to the jeweler. They shop, price, and browse the website and, in many cases, it’s the impetus for paying a visit to the store. Yet it always surprises me when a jeweler doesn’t see the value in building this powerful “storefront.” Today it’s literally the central hub for your business. Yet, all too often, some focus on just the most cost-effective solution. The truth is a good website isn’t cheap. Pricing is dependent on the types of functionality you wish it to have and how you want it to perform for your business. If you’re doing any type of serious digital marketing, you’re going to want to make sure your site is capable of delivering the best user experience. Anything less would degrade the power of your marketing dollars. Think of a website like a car. There are many different types with endless features, but if you want to be in the race it’s best to opt for the V8.
Today’s marketing options are enough to make your head spin. That’s why it has never been more important to understanding the marketing needs of your business. Anyone can improve their bottom line with a few focused steps; and like we always say, it starts with a plan.
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