When you think of advertising your mind automatically goes to the offer game right? You’re probably thinking to yourself that Ms. Jones is so use to coupons and deals that why wouldn’t she want to play the offer game. What you really need to start thinking about is that all she really wants you to do is reinforce the decision she has already made a couple weeks ago. All advertising does is persuade Ms. Jones to understand that you are an outlet to buy the products she had already decided on at the right price and personal experience.
When Ms. Jones is sitting in her living room watching her children jump up and down on the sofa and decides she needs to replace that sofa. She does not immediately sit at her doorstep waiting for your shinny direct mail to arrive nor does she sit glued in front of the TV to wait for your stores commercial to air. She heads straight to the web (via Smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc)! According to GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper Study found that 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store and spend an average of 79 days gathering information before making a major purchase.
All of this information that she is collecting is helping to shape her buying decision long before she even steps foot into your door and maybe even your website. When she is online she is searching for “what is the best sofa to match with a bright orange area rug” or “what gives the better nights sleep: pillow-top or firm”? She discovers that there is millions of articles of content delivering effective answers on each of those areas and only a small percentage sell anything. Go ahead visit www.google.com and type in “which mattress is best memory foam or spring”. I bet you not one traditional retailer shows up on the first or second page.
Why? Is it because we don’t understand how to build an effective online profile? Is it because as an industry we always seem to be two steps behind everyone else? No. The real reason why is because we are merchants. We don’t make the product in the back of our store. We are in business to sell the manufactured product for a mark up. As a result, no matter how hard we try to position ourselves as the experts that will help make Ms. Jones room come together or that we buy for the trends of today we cannot.
We rely on our manufacturer partners to develop the product that the consumer wants and at the price-points where we can make money as organizations. As a result, we are just spinning our marketing wheels if we are trying to establish ourselves as the experts who understand what she needs when we should be driving towards delivering the customer what she wants.
How can this be done? By following these three concrete principles when delivering your advertising message:
1 – What does Ms. Jones get?
Whether we like it or not we live in a society that is driven by get something now for less than we thought we would get. As a result, we do not have to inflate our prices but we do need to offer Ms. Jones something tangible that she cannot get anywhere else. She has made up her mind on what she needs we need to make up her mind that we are place that she gets what she wants.
2 – Where is Ms. Jones going to get it?
Sometimes we try to make advertising more complex than it really is. The most important thing advertising does is alert Ms. Jones about the advertiser. Not the offer. Not the product. According to a lot of our client’s Google Analytics, the number one organic search term they receive is their stores name. Ensuring your name is visible in your advertising is vital to help drive Ms. Jones to your online location and helps ensure she comes into your physical location.
3 – When is it over?
Convincing Ms. Jones to drive somewhere today is very difficult when she has the convenience of her finger on a tablet device or a click on a computer. She needs to have an urgent reason to come into your location. Turning up the urgency with a final date or limited time message only helps encourage her to drive in to buy from you…and not someone else.
Our marketing window to get her dollars is small and if we don’t make it as easy as possible for her to pick us…then we won’t ever get a chance to get her as a customer.