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Here’s Why the New Age of Marketing Requires New Methods

The good news is there are ways to do it affordably.

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GONE ARE THE days of holiday event marketing as the standard advertising practice for local jewelers. 25 years ago, four timed radio advertising blitzes was a surefire, successful way for a jewelry store to spend their marketing budget for the year. The jewelry store owner told the story of their brand in short snippets before Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a made-up holiday in the summer, and the traditional holiday season.

The old days may have been simpler, but there was no chance to remind people that their local jeweler was there for them during the other 40-odd weeks of the year; 40 weeks with folks falling in love, getting married, celebrating anniversaries, having birthdays, getting promoted at work, and of course, husbands just needing a way to get out of the doghouse. 40 weeks of missed opportunities.

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Back then, you couldn’t type “engagement ring” into Amazon during breakfast and get one delivered to your doorstep before dinner. 25 years ago, a jeweler may have been competing with two or three other jewelers in their hometown. Now, the competition is worldwide. Today it is crucial that a jeweler keep their name and message in front of consumers, because their personal touch is the thing that Amazon will never be able to compete with.

Fortunately, engaging with the right customers is more affordable than ever. The independent jewelers that are thriving today are the ones who utilize technology to keep themselves relevant to their customers. They are the ones that have a killer website, a loyal following of fans on social media, and the ability to bring folks from those resources into their stores when the occasion strikes.

Most people know that a website built by a professional is a must. It has to be fast, pretty, updated regularly, and people have to be able to find it. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are getting more complicated and competitive each year, and people who don’t follow along get lost in the dust. Small business owners have enough on their plates without having to keep up with constantly changing algorithms, and would be better off letting the professionals handle that so that they can focus on their customers.

Social media seems easy enough. Everyone and their grandma is on Facebook, how complicated could it be? It turns out that it is pretty darn complicated. Businesses with successful social media pages aren’t just putting up posts of a pretty ring and hoping people like it. They build their business by hyper-targeting ideal customers, then getting those customers engaged with the story of their business. They then develop those online relationships by presenting them quality content, both organically and through paid re-marketing campaigns. I can’t imagine a business owner having time to learn how to do that along with all of their other duties, let alone having the time to plan and execute a strategy.

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Event marketing still has its place, but that place is all year-round. A jeweler can still pump up their ad spend for major holidays, but they can also hit those personal moments missed. If a jewelry store owner 25 years ago wanted to target every person in a relationship with someone who has a birthday next month, they had no choice but to advertise to everyone in town. They would need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on billboards, radio ads, and television to catch that event. Today, they can reach nearly everyone who meets that criteria for a fraction of the cost. They just have to know how to do it.

Mike Webb is a veteran in the jewelry marketing business with more than 35 years’ experience. He has worked with independent jewelers across the country with remarkable results. He has worked in an agency environment as an employee as well as an agency owner. He is now with Epic Strategies, utilizing their extensive digital capabilities to grow their jewelry clients’ business. Reach him at [email protected]

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A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way

For 25 years, Stafford Jewelers of Cincinnati, Ohio, was THE place to go for special gifts, engagement diamonds, high-end Swiss watch brands — in other words, the crème de la crème of fine jewelry. But this summer, the Stafford family was ready to retire. So, they chose Wilkerson to help them close up shop. “One of the biggest concerns was having the sale in the middle of COVID,” says Director of Stores Michelle Randle. Wilkerson gave the Stafford team plenty of ideas as well as safety guidelines, which they closely followed. “All of the employees felt safe, the customers coming in the door felt safe and we did a lot of business,” says Randle. How much business? “The inventory flew,” she says. Translation: They sold millions and millions of dollars-worth of merchandise. Randle calls it, “an incredible experience.” Would she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers who are thinking of thinning their inventories or retiring? “Everyone got more than what they expected out of the sale. You have to hire Wilkerson. They’re amazing.”

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