Quickfire marketing – Simple marketing steps you can take today

Steve Hasler fires bullets in his regular ‘Try This’ column

As an independent retailer, there’s a little bit of marketing in everything you do. You can always explore new ways to reach new customers and convince existing ones to return. Here are some simple steps:

  • Plan for success. Allocate some time to look at the next 12 months and decide on themes, promotions and events to make the upcoming year your best ever. Share your plans with your suppliers and ask them how they can contribute.

  • Outdoor signage and window displays. Make sure your external messaging is regularly updated and changes in accordance with your marketing plan. Get suppliers on board to help with posters and materials to support you. Build inviting and engaging displays that jump out and encourage new customers to come in.

  • Create theatre. Have something happening regularly in store, including product demonstrations, sampling, tastings, talks, advice sessions and any other kind of event that fits with your product offering.

  • Look at the data. If you have EPOS you will be surprised at the amount of data that is being recorded. If you have a website you can use Google analytics for free to find out how your visitors found the site and what they did once they got there. Facebook also offers free analytics, known as insights.

  • Flyers for every customer. Print flyers on your office printer with information on upcoming promotions or offers and include them in the bags with all transactions. Identify quieter times and use incentives to encourage customers at these times. Feature your social media channels prominently on all literature.

  • Write an email newsletter. Collect email addresses wherever possible from your customers, remembering to obtain consent to send your updates, and use a service like MailChimp or Mailerlite to create monthly newsletters to send to your customer base.

  • Register your business on Google. Even if you don’t have a website, make sure you’ve taken ownership of your store on Google’s ‘my business’, ensure that all information is correct including location, opening times and contact details. Encourage your customers to review your business and take time to read what people are saying.

Steve Hasler is a marketing consultant to independent retailers. independentretailermarketing.co.uk

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