Hardware Retailing

MAR 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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Page 63 of 114

March 2018 | HARDWARE RETAILING 57 W e're only a few months into the new year so Hardware Retailing thought now would be the perfect time to review the basics of crafting a cohesive marketing campaign. By carefully coordinating your marketing efforts, your operation can boost sales, engage customers and amplify your brand by breaking through the clutter. The clutter is thicker than ever, says Hilary Welter, marketing and research coordinator for the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). In her role, Welter has helped the association accomplish wide-ranging marketing campaigns to advertise events, raise awareness about association products and services and strengthen its brand. On the following pages, she offers helpful insight into the steps of a marketing campaign. So whether you're totally new to developing a marketing campaign or have led your operation through dozens, take a few moments to review the most important components to make your marketing magnetic in 2018. Go for the Goal A marketing campaign is simply a plan to reach a goal. You can develop a marketing campaign for any goal your business has, from increasing foot traffic or advertising a special sale to strengthening your operation's brand recognition, Welter says. It's important to keep your marketing goals realistic. A clearly defined goal keeps every subsequent part of a campaign in order, giving each element a purpose to help structure the overarching campaign. "Without a specific goal, it's difficult to gauge if your marketing efforts are working," Welter says. "If you're spending time and money on marketing but aren't using it to achieve anything specific, you may be wasting your resources without realizing it." Make sure your goals are achievable. While it would be great to get 100,000 new subscribers to your e-newsletter in a month, it's not probable. Setting lofty goals seems ambitious, but they can dilute your marketing efforts and lower morale if the goals aren't met. Start with a practical goal that your staff can work toward. Know Your Audience While every step of a marketing campaign is important, correctly identifying your target audience is key. Without reaching the right demographic, your marketing campaign has little chance of success, no matter how hard you and your staff work. Let's say you and your team want to encourage customers to sign up for your e-newsletter. Directing your marketing toward customers who haven't yet subscribed is beneficial, but it's also important to think of who you'd ideally like to see sign up: new homeowners, younger customers and local builders would be good demographics to target. Welter says that one way to think of potential marketing targets is by considering your longtime customer base and then going one step removed from them. "You probably don't need to spend much time and energy marketing to your loyal, lifelong customers," Welter says. "But it may be worth asking yourself, 'Where are these customers' children, grandchildren and friends shopping?' How can you market to those people, too?"

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