Whew! We made it!

After a decade of stagnation, the economy is finally on the grow. If your store is still standing, you’ve got to be feeling relief. Recent stories of increases in jewelry sales, including number of people buying, the sizes of their purchases, and the resurgence of diamonds must be good news to everybody.

With sales on the upswing and jeweler confidence rising along with it, there are, however, two dangers.  

First, he who rises with the tide will also fall with it. Although the last recession was exceptionally long, we live in a cyclical economy, and recessions will happen. Simply riding the economy will eventually lead to a decline in business.

Second, it remains a competitive world out there, and it’s getting more so. Riding the economic wave often results in competitive complacency, and a failure to compete will limit growth during boom times and result in accelerated decline when things go south again.

“Direct response marketing asks your prospects to take specific steps in the buying process.”

So what to do about it? Three suggestions … 

First, institute an aggressive growth plan now by devising a marketing plan designed to drive exceptional business.

Two, do not concede ground to either the Internet or the big chains. Being satisfied with current good fortune, but allowing the online and big-chain competition to gain market share, unchecked in your area, will limit your growth and leave you vulnerable when things turn again.

Third, shift your marketing efforts to direct response, rather than a mere “branding” approach. Direct response marketing asks your prospects to take specific steps in the buying process. This allows you to accurately measure all of your marketing and advertising efforts, “genetically engineering” them for ever-increasing results.

Brand will automatically be built in the process, but you’ll experience the added benefit of commanding both short and long-term control over your marketing destiny, which will help you clobber the competition, regardless of size or power, in good times and bad.

Finally, there is a myth about what caused the massive consolidation in the jewelry industry in the last decade. That is, jewelers went out of business because of the economic collapse. And while the economy played a role, it was more a failure to take any action, or action too late, or the wrong actions, in the face of the economy that proved the demise of most who lost their businesses.

The same can happen in a good, but highly competitive economy. The smart jeweler, the surviving jeweler, the thriving jeweler is the pro-active jeweler who takes charge of his or her own business destiny with strong, consistent, current and measurable marketing efforts that continue to drive business, regardless of what’s happening in the surrounding economy. Be that jeweler! 

Jim Ackerman is the marketing coach to the jewelry industry and has helped hundreds of jewelers increase advertising response. Jim is offering a free digital/traditional advertising analysis to jewelers for a limited time. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800) 584-7585.

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of INSTORE.

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