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When Advertising For The Holidays, Pick One Medium And Do It Well

Then continue that strategy in the future.




LET’S BE HONEST. You have no marketing plan for 2020. Well, you did, but it was thrown out in March. You’ve been leading your store day by day, flying blind, not knowing what will happen next. If this year has shaken your confidence in your business, your community and your country … well, you’re human. And here’s the real shocker: It’s been a great year, financially, for many of America’s finest jewelers!

In all my 25 years as a marketing consultant in the jewelry industry, we’ve never seen anything like 2020. So, one would naturally assume that everything that worked pre-COVID no longer applies, right? The rules of advertising have changed, haven’t they? Well … in some ways yes, and in others, absolutely not.

All jewelers I’ve ever worked with are guilty of at least one of these three advertising mistakes:

  1. Too much of nothing. You nibble a little here and there, or you don’t really advertise at all. You’re too proud or too cheap to invest in your brand, so you just bounce along hoping “word of mouth” and your “reputation for quality” will build your business. Hope is not a plan. These stores never grow beyond their own limitations.
  2. Too little of everything. Still more of you do something that might be just as bad. You buy a little of everything. You don’t know what to buy, so you say yes to everyone with a pitch. You put a few dollars down a lot of empty wells. In a world where we are literally surrounded by advertising 24/7, a little here and there will never get you frequency, share of market and share of mind.
  3. Not enough of one thing. Almost all of you are guilty of this. The most successful jewelers in America buy one medium and do it well. I call this “media massing.” If you can dominate one medium (radio, TV, billboards, or digital ads) in your market, you will start seeing a steady return on your advertising dollars. You will achieve frequency, share of mind and share of market. I’ve helped build many of America’s largest, most successful jewelers using this one simple principle.

This holiday season is no different. Folks are desperate to get back to normal. The concepts of love and family are central to that, and I believe no retailer in your market is more important to America’s healing process than the fine family jeweler. Isn’t love and family what we do? Obviously, every market and every store is different, so your advertising opportunities are limited by your store’s sales volume relative to market size. I suggest you pick one medium, dedicate your dollars to it and stick to it for an entire year. Frequency over time changes minds.

Get started this Christmas. Be somebody! Spend 60-75 percent of your budget on just one medium. We recommend the balance go into digital, your website and online advertising. Develop a hopeful, positive, love and family message and shout it from your mountaintop! Your goal is to be there when your customer is ready. If you are top of mind, you will get that opportunity. This Christmas, more than ever, they need you, and you need them.


As founder and president of Freshley Digital, Bruce Freshley has helped build some of America’s most successful, family-owned fine jewelers. Founded in 1993 as Freshley Media, today the Freshley Digital team delivers award-winning traditional media, state-of-the-art websites and digital advertising exclusively to fine jewelers from Maine to Hawaii. Reach Bruce at or (866) 955-3331.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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