Canadian Retailer - Spring 2015 - 22
Mystore retailer'S Guide VOl. 11.2: marketing
know the audience
"Know your audience." This mantra is worth
repeating every time you sit down to plan a
marketing venture. If you don't know who's listening, you won't know what to say, how to say
it, or what they want to hear.
Communicate through the audience's preferred channels. Once you have an idea of who
your customers are, and who influences them,
the next step is to determine what communication channels these people frequent. Are they
more likely to hear you through Facebook or
Twitter? Do they prefer direct mail pieces or a
the diFFerence Between Marketing
Salimah Mamdani, president of The Marketing Boutique,
says it's important to remember the difference between
marketing and advertising. The two activities relate, but
they serve different functions.
When we talk about marketing, we talk about the communication strategy and goals. When we think about
marketing, we think about what it is we want to say about
ourselves. What makes us unique? What do we want to
accomplish in terms of branding, status, sales and customer relations?
Marketers use a variety of tactics to reach customers.
One of these tactics is advertising. Advertising transmits
a specific message that helps to market the store to customers. If the retailer has the money, advertising might
be a good way to bring a message to customers. But other
tactics, like press releases, event hosting or social media
networking, might be a better way to help the retailer
meet their marketing objectives.
Find the key influencers. When thinking
about audiences, the current trend is to identify the key influencers. Key influencers are
like the popular kids at school-people look to
them for advice and follow the lead they take.
Who influences your local customer base is
the big question to answer. Who, if you persuade them to make your store their store, will
bring the most customers with them?
Kate Driscoll, a marketer at Lux 9, says it is a
mistake to underestimate the influence of these
people. She says that many younger consumers
have a group mindset. They often got to the web
and look for recommendations from friends and
people in their networks. "They won't make the
purchase without sign-off from their friends,"
she says. "The influencers and adorers are how
you are going to drive the transaction."
canadian retailer | SprinG 2015
Meet face-to-face with key influencers.
Maybe the person with a following is the
president of the PTA, maybe she has a great
blog or maybe he's the guy on Twitter with
thousands of followers. Regardless, reach out
to this person and invite them to the store.
Give them the deluxe treatment and plenty of
reasons for them to recommend you to their
friends and followers.
Surprise and delight customers. If the goal
is to persuade customers to speak favourably
about your business, give them something to
talk about. Consider dropping a handwritten
thank you note into a shipment and tell the
customer that you discounted the shipping
costs. Or add samples to every package that
you ship with a promotional coupon for them
to buy the product from you if they like it. Or
serve warm tea on a cold day or iced tea on
a hot day. "It's those little moments that give
people something to talk about," says Driscoll.
leverage community connections
If there is one area of marketing where independent retailers have mastered the game,
it's in community involvement. In fact, it might
not be an exaggeration to say that since the beginning of time, when the heavens separated
from the earth, independent retailers have been
sponsoring soccer jerseys and hockey tourneys.
As you sit down to fine tune your marketing
plan, consider honing your approach to marketing through community outreach.
Concentrate your resources. As Suzie Sykes,
owner of Catapult Marketing in Edmonton explains, retailers should "pick one charity for the
year and say no to others." While it may be hard
to say no to schools and charities who come looking for help, the more commitments the retailers
makes, the greater the drain on resources.
Retailers will want to ask: Is this charity the
right fit? How will my customers perceive me?
Will my name be seen? Is this charity event a
relevant moment-does it match my business?
By applying a strategic filter to charitable commitments, the retailer can ensure that resources
align with the goals and, most importantly, the key
audience sees the retailer's efforts. (If one charity
isn't enough, then make it two. But the goal is to
support charities that will put the retailer's name
in front of more potential customers.)
Spell out the terms of the sponsorship. Sponsorship isn't charity. Sykes advises retailers to
outline with the event organizers what you will
get in return for your sponsorship dollars. Put