Before you dive deep into reading you’re probably going to ask yourself throughout the blog why do we keep referring to a furniture store? Well R&A Marketing is a full-service advertising agency specializing in furniture retail and creating dynamic marketing strategies. This focus and energy brings a uniquely deep set of skills to the independent furniture retailer that the typical agency cannot. Ok, that was our sneaky way of plugging ourselves. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
Not every marketing plan you come up with for your furniture store is a “good” marketing plan. Just because everyone else in your industry does it this way or was successful for them means it’s going to work in your market. If you’re planning your advertising that way you’re setting yourself up for failure right from the start. Remember, even though you might be selling the same product as ABC Furniture Store – your store, brand, budget, and people are 100% different.
It is pretty easy to tell a “potentially successful” marketing plan apart from a run-of-the-mill marketing plan. Generally, there is a unique framework that every great marketing strategy should include along with specific metrics that it needs to meet. This blog will look a five items that should be a part of each strategy you develop.
1. Focus on the market.
First and foremost, you need to define your target customer. That’s right I didn’t say market I said your customer. You need to discover and develop a unique customer persona that represents the current customer in your market. Remember, you can’t reach every single customer. Doing so will actually put more pressure on you and may result in lost sales.
Everything else in your strategy will be essentially based on the customer personas you develop. From there you’re able to create target audiences in all forms of media. Creating customer personas is even more important when deciding how to invest in digital because of the data that is provided. The formula lies in choosing, dividing and then conquering.
2. Product. Product. Product.
This goes hand in hand with the market focus, but needs need to stand by itself with its own point. You own a furniture and mattress store for a reason, so you better be showcasing furniture and mattresses. Today’s consumer shops based on emotions. The easiest way to trigger an emotion is to utilize imagery and great content. You want your potential consumer stating “Wow! I can really picture that in my home”. So every piece of your advertising better be pushing consumers to a website that makes their shopping experience identical to your in-store experience.
3. Have measurable data.
Every part of your marketing strategies should have some sort of data apart of it. However, the most important data you should focus besides sales is your average ticket. Days are gone of seeing a high amount of foot traffic.
In 2010 furniture today published that the average consumer visits no more than 3 furniture stores. She is going online first and deciding to come in to shop. Any solid marketing strategy should focus on making sure that you’re one of those three furniture stores.
4. Accountability and responsibility.
Great marketing strategies can help change your business, where out-of-date marketing strategies can result in the slow death of your business. Every furniture retailer understands that marketing is the key to the success and growth of his/her company. Yet there are a lot of small business owners that believe that can solve it in-house or by juggling multiple companies in a piecemeal marketing plan.
A good marketing plan needs more than just involvement — you need to be committed to it. Not every business can afford to maintain a strong internal marketing team and usually it is just one (owner) or a few people wearing way too many hats. In the long run that is only going to hurt your business and your budget. When it comes down to it you need focus on managing your business not your advertising.
5. Revisions and reviews.
A marketing plan is really a guide and not necessarily a plan. We live in an ever changing advertising landscape and cannot afford to have frozen marketing plans. A great marketing plan will do everything from creating new business goals to performance tracking.
Change doesn’t just happen. It’s rooted in data, powered by a plan, and enabled by compelling work. It requires to be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary. When in doubt follow the 6 step process of developing effective strategy.
1 – Discover
2 – Strategize
3 – Create
4 – Execute
5 – Measure
6 – Refine