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Digital is the Future; But Traditional Media Brings Clients Today

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Recently, I was on the phone with a jewelry event organizer who said, “We want to stay on the cutting edge of social media and digital marketing.”

Just one problem with that … the digital marketing emperor isn’t wearing any clothes! I can count on one hand the number of jewelers I know who are primarily making a living on their digital marketing efforts. 

Yet, the industry is more than obsessed with it. I’ll wager 90 percent plus of all marketing-related educational content at jewelry trade shows is focused on social, email, SEO, SEM, etc. I teach some of those classes myself. (Above case in point: If I don’t, I won’t get booked to speak.)

Stop buying the hype; rebalance your marketing and education to work on both.”

Unfortunately, the results for brick and mortar jewelers just don’t justify the attention. Want to know what the research shows?

As few as 5 percent of your Facebook posts are exposed to your followers — the people you’re trying to sell to. Typical open rates for email are under 14 percent and falling. While click-through rates for social media, search engine ads and email are cheap individually, the conversion-to-sale (acquisition) costs are about the same as traditional media. 

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But, because so few people are actually seeing your digital marketing in the first place, even good conversion rates tend to generate only a few sales. And those precious millennials you covet so much? Abandoning Facebook in droves, in favor of other platforms … at least until those other platforms get too “addy” for them.

My experience with hundreds of jewelers shows if you want to generate sales in volume, traditional media still works better. That means “snail mail” first, radio in the right markets, even TV and occasionally print.

Part of the reason digital results are so abysmal is advertising there is executed so poorly. New media, but everybody applies old techniques. Emails are designed to look like ads in a magazine. So are Facebook posts. But people don’t engage with either of those media for the advertising.

I’m not saying abandon digital marketing. Simply return to balance in your marketing approach. Remember, you still need to make sales day after day, and for that, there is no more a current substitute for traditional marketing strategies than there is for fossil fuels to run cars.

Stop buying the hype; rebalance your marketing and education to work on both. Traditional for today; digital for the future.

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