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    How to Promote My Store Properly?

    Q: We're a brick and mortar store and we sell online, as well. We do some online advertising with banner ads on a site that gets us about a million unique hits a month. We do newspapers too, which, believe it or not, works. We’re going to do some other local magazines, radio with a jingle, and we’re starting a local tv campaign. Any other ideas?

    A: I believe newspapers can work in rural areas, that's fine. But banner ads on someone else's site is not your unique website that gets a million hits, just a note.

    So first thing I have to ask is, do you know your ROI on all of these expenses? Because TV ads tend to be very expensive. Or, when they're cheap, they're in the middle of 1 a.m. in the morning. I don't know if that's your target customer.

    I can give you a million ways to spend money, but if you're the one I think you are when I took a look at your name, I think you have 5,000 fans on Facebook, and I think you're an olive oil store. Why not have a cooking show or a new way to talk to your fans on a regular basis?

    I looked at your website and you have a graphic that says “suggested pairings.” You have the same exact bottles next to each other with just the two names, which is worthless.  So make a video for each of those. Why do those pair together? And why is that great? And then put that on Facebook, and become a resource for cooks.

    It looks like you're more of a warehouse and, frankly, at the end of the day, your website looks the same as another website for olive oil.

    The product looks the same as one I can get on Amazon.

    How are you going to cut through it? You have to become a trusted advisor which says, "Here's how to use this in a new and different way."

    I would encourage you to be looking at your ROI because if you have all that money you're spending, I would take that out and then divide that by the number of people you got in your store last month or last year and look at what you're spending for your acquisition of your customers and then compare that to your average check.

    Take a look and see if, "Wow, maybe we are spending a lot of money and just chasing our tails."

    Short emails to your own list always are good. Direct mail though expensive can still deliver sales as long as they go to your own list who know you. Make sure though your website looks different than your competitors and is more of a resource than multiple products that look the same.

    While the best marketing is word-of-mouth, that isn't a strategy. That comes only from creating an exceptional experience, one customers will rave about. Until you truly have that I would suggest refocusing on training your crew with my SalesRX online interactive sales training and saving your marketing money to be strategic.

    See also, What Is a Marketing Plan and Does Your Independent Retail Store Need One?

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