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Andrea Hill

Follow These 8 Marketing Tips to Stay Strong During Inflation

From rewarding existing customers to how (and where) to raise prices, here’s how to manage your marketing right now.

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IT’S BEEN A minute (OK, 40 years) since we’ve experienced serious inflation. If you’ve been listening to news, watching the Fed and starting to get queasy, here are eight things you can do to take some of the sting out of inflation.

1. Double down on brand messaging. It’s time to reinforce those three questions you’re supposed to answer with everything you do: Who are we? What do we do that makes us different? Why do we matter? Consumers will price-compare, but they find it difficult to abandon brands they trust.

2. Express your values. Talk about and demonstrate your brand values inside the store and out, and your core customers will stick with you through everything.

3. Reward existing customers. Skittish businesses are competing on price. Instead, protect your best customers by giving them extra attention and rewards. Sending a handwritten “just glad you’re our customer” note with a $10 Starbucks card can get you as much in loyalty and word-of-mouth as a $500 boosted ad on Facebook.

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4. Get creative with product selection. Offer options for all kinds of budgets. If you haven’t offered a bridge or silver line in the past, now is a good time. A well-planned merchandising strategy can take much of the sting out of price increases.

5. Promote products with the best margins. Yes, inflation means prices are increasing, but those increases don’t occur evenly across all products and categories. You can always find promotional opportunities if you’re looking for them.

6. Scrutinize your ad spend. Competition for ad words and phrases that are important to you may have softened, outdoor advertising companies are struggling to get renewals, and depending on your market, this may be a good time to negotiate for better radio or cable TV buys. At the same time, do a deep dive on your current ad spend and cut out anything that is underperforming. Now is a good time to invest in customer appreciation, word-of-mouth, and any excuse to host an event or throw a party.

7. Use more marketing automation. A properly implemented marketing automation system will crank out welcome emails, nurture prospects, follow up with customers, send birthday and anniversary greetings, manage your text promotions and a whole lot more, for anywhere from $150-$800/month, and these systems don’t call in sick or take vacations.

8. Raise your prices (and don’t apologize). If you need to raise prices, just do it. Don’t make an announcement or excuses. If a customer happens to notice and brings it up, be transparent. “Yes, our suppliers have increased our prices and we’ve passed along some of that increase.” Inflation affects everyone, and most people understand. Just avoid doing across-the-board price increases. Be strategic and raise prices only where you need to.

It’s a good time to get creative with your marketing. Remember that fortune favors the bold, and being bold is not only more fun than hunkering down, it has an infectious energy that attracts more customers.

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Andrea Hill is owner of Hill Management Group, with three brands serving the jewelry industry. Learn more at hill-management.com.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

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