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Shane O’Neill: The Four Horsemen of the Marketing Apocalypse

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Reaching today’s bridal shopper starts with a plan.

The rise of digital marketing and the proliferation of mobile devices have completely changed how the consumer shops. The result is the continued fragmentation of marketing channels and confusion as to where to best deploy assets. So let’s take a look at four of the biggest mistakes jewelers make in their marketing and how you can change your approach and grow your business.

1. Not having a plan: I see it all the time. Sprinkle some marketing here, a little there. Inconsistent messaging with no real rhyme or reason. Think about what area of your business you want to grow and attack it head on. What’s your message? How do you plan to reach new customers? Most important, will you stick with it? Marketing, specifically branding, takes time. Customers all have different sales cycles, but with a solid branding strategy, you’ll be top of mind when that time comes.

2. Not building a budget: If you’re looking to grow your business, building a budget is essential to understanding where your dollars are going. In addition, seeing where your marketing dollars go allows you to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, so you can build on successes. Everyone’s needs are different, but a good rule of thumb is 6 to 8 percent of gross sales.

3. Not understanding new media: Just because it has worked in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. For example, advertising bridal in a newspaper doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not just because readership is declining, but because there are much more effective ways to target the bridal consumer. These are people who are actively searching for a product or service and they’re online, not reading the paper. And let’s not overlook the cost. For the cost of most one-time ads in the paper, you can run a full month of bridal paid search. Add to that the value of digital marketing, like Facebook advertising, which allows more targeted and engaged reach at a fraction of the cost. This is not to say you should abandon traditional marketing, but rather you should begin incorporating other types of marketing into your “marketing mix.” Make no mistake: These digital assets are essential tools to connect with today’s consumer. Those who fail to embrace digital marketing will slowly fall behind and, eventually, close their doors.

4. Not investing in their website: One could argue that a jeweler’s website is just as important as the actual store. Consumers shop, price, and browse your website and, in many cases, it’s either a catalyst or a roadblock for them to visit your store. Yet many jewelers don’t see the value in building this powerful “storefront.” Of course, a good website isn’t cheap, and if you’re doing any type of serious digital marketing, you need a site that is capable of delivering the best user experience. Anything less would degrade the power of your marketing dollars.

Today’s many marketing options mean it’s never been more vital to understand your store’s marketing needs. Anyone can improve the bottom line with a few focused steps; but it starts with a plan.

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Shane O’Neill is the vice-president of Fruchtman Marketing (www.fruchtman.com) and can be reached at [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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