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The New Marketing Landscape for Jewelers is ‘Word of Mouth on Steroids’

Use new media to pull in your customers, not push your message to them.




The New Marketing Landscape for Jewelers is ‘Word of Mouth on Steroids’

This article was written by business trainer and author Rick Segel and appeared in the March 2013 edition of INSTORE.

NOT LONG AGO, I was working with a flower shop on a one-to-one consulting session that was in need of a fresh outlook, a fresh look and fresh enthusiasm.

I asked the owners how they planned to market their new business. The owner quickly said, “We collect email addresses from everyone we do business with.” 

I thought that was great, but then I asked each of the four people in the consult the same question. I said, “If someone were to get in touch with you what would be the best way?” One of the owners said to call her on her cell phone, the other owner said to just call the store and leave a message and he would always get to that. One of the younger floral designers said that we had to text her while the final one said to call her at home and leave a message.

I then sheepishly admitted I had over 6,000 emails that I needed to sort out. (I will read my emails but mostly on my Blackberry and rarely delete them from there.) But there are definitely emails that slip through and the best way to reach me is to text me. So here were five potential customer types that would most likely not be reached with an email marketing initiative. This store didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that the world, specifically the marketing world, has changed dramatically. Now let’s think about all of the ways someone can communicate with you. Here is a short list:

  • Face-to-face
  • Telephone at home
  • Telephone at work
  • Cell phone
  • Answering machine
  • Email
  • Text messaging
  • Faxing
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Online bulletin boards
  • Online forums
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Websites

And I haven’t even mentioned any of the traditional advertising vehicles!

The point is simple: We have a new assortment of what I call “touch tools.” These new touch tools are cheap and they are coming onto the market — and gaining acceptance — at accelerating speed.


So what does the future of marketing look like? It rests within an old ad campaign from Burger King: “Have it your way.” Customers today will decide what they want to read, watch or listen to and will determine the method they will use to gather that information. The days of mass marketing are nearing the end of a very good run, but the future belongs to one-to-one marketing messages. What is the solution?

Well, the solution is simple, but the implementation will confuse us for years to come, and that is inbound marketing. That means we become the source that customers seek out and we must be seen, read, and watched in as many places as possible.

We are living in the dawn of “pull marketing” where we no longer use “push” or traditional advertising to attract customers. We want customers to discover us because people are talking about what we do. Then we just pull them into our world and our community. It is “The Age of Word of Mouth on Steroids.”

Rick Segel is a business trainer and author of The Retail Business Kit for Dummies. Email him at [email protected].

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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