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.

Issue link: https://hardwareretailing.epubxp.com/i/945288

Contents of this Issue


Page 86 of 114

HARDWARE RETAILING | March 2018 80 If you're going to throw a party, make sure you let everyone know. Having a well-rounded marketing plan is essential if you want to draw a crowd. Talk About It in the Store In the weeks leading up to the big day, the store should look as if something is about to happen. Hang posters or banners advertising the event. Create bag stuffers cashiers can hand out at checkout. Most importantly, get employees to talk it up. Personal invitations will be the most effective way to get people to put your event on their calendars. And customers are more likely to be excited about the event if employees are. But the best way to get employee buy-in is to keep them well informed about the details so they can answer customers' questions. Talk About It on Social Media Use every type of marketing available to you, including radio spots and targeted email marketing. But next to personal invitations, social media could be one of your most powerful assets. "Facebook has become a very important marketing tool for us, and it's the way we are reaching a lot of our customers now," Wilkins says. "We've also used it to find customers outside of our immediate market." Facebook also presents unique opportunities during the event. Wilkins had an employee shoot a Facebook Live video at Rocking R Ace's last ladies' night. That video and the photos he posts during the event help generate interest among people who didn't attend and may be interested next time. The social media content also gives him material he can use to promote the event in the future. Talk to Other Businesses More than likely, other local businesses would be interested in being a part of a special event, so consider creating some partnerships. Look for ways other businesses can participate. At the ladies' night at Rocking R Ace Hardware, Wilkins invites other local businesses to share their products and get involved in other ways. "We ask local eateries to donate food," he says. "They set up a table to give out samples of their food and in return get exposure for their business." Last year, a local coffee shop brought in coffee, a bagel shop donated desserts and a food truck made grilled cheese sandwiches. When other businesses participate, they will likely promote the event ahead of time to their customers, which is not only free publicity for you, but gives your business exposure to a new set of customers. In addition, partnering with other small businesses in your area strengthens your buy-local message. Talk It Up If your event is supporting a local nonprofit or community cause, the local media might consider it newsworthy. Prepare a press release talking about your event, then send it out to local newspapers and radio stations. Emphasize the value your event has for the community, not just your store. If they deem it newsworthy, they may publish it, which is a bit of free advertising for you. If you need help putting a press release together, download a template at TheRedT.com/press-release. Money-Saving Tip The ladies' night event at Rocking R Ace Hardware includes local vendors who offer samples of their food.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hardware Retailing - MAR 2018