Connecting with today's consumer
By Eric Bauer -- Casual Living, 6/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
In our April article in Casual Living, we noted the solid fundamental sales and marketing techniques that worked in the past still work today only if those techniques are updated and applied for the changing world in which we live. Now let's fast-forward and get right to it: What you need to do to be successful in 2010. Let's begin with your advertising.
I attended an informative seminar in the NHFA Resource Center while at the High Point Market in April. Presented by a representative from Google, the title was Capturing Customers in a Down Economy Using Google.
In April we asked if you have begun shifting your ad dollars to online resources. I'm going to assume the majority of you really haven't made great strides in that area. Further assuming that Google's numbers came from folks just like you, most of you spend about 45% of your ad budget on TV, 20% in magazines, 25% in newspapers, 5% online and the other 5% in miscellaneous ways. Please read this next statement very carefully:
Please read this next statement very carefully:Google's research indicates 81% of people shopping for home furnishings cite the Internet as their top source of information and more research is done on specific retailer sites then general comparison sites.
Isn't it amazing how such a "disconnect" triggers a bright white light to go off in our minds? Again in our last column we asked what you are doing to bring traffic into your store. How is your online presence today? When was your Web site last updated? What kind of "E-Smarts" do you have? Are you sending e-newsletters to your customers who've purchased from you before, as well as shoppers in your store? How fast is your e-mail customer database growing? Have you selected your local hub Web portals where your banner ads should be placed?
Google's information indicated 34% of home furnishings shoppers use search engines four or more times before purchasing and 10% use them 10 or more times before purchasing. Consider them well-informed shoppers. Further, 53% are looking for savings and discounts and 46% for coupons ... no big surprises here. There is more data available at www.google.com. If you're going to be in Chicago in late July, Google is presenting another workshop on Monday, July 20 at 4 p.m. This one is titled Reach New Audiences and Target Your Ideal Customer.
It is time for you to get serious about the disconnect between the dollars you invest in media placements and the media that is being used by the majority of your customers. Update your Web site, put some time and money into good SEO, create your e-newsletter with savings coupons, build your data base and disseminate to your customer's e-mail addresses and don't forget the disclaimer. Start reaching your customers where they live today.
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