Retailing 106: Everything You Do … Is Marketing!
Consumers remember your brand as the sum total of everything they have seen, read, heard or experienced about your store.
Marketing is not a task, and it’s not a job function! Many specialty retailers don’t completely understand what marketing is. Peter Drucker is no longer with us, but in addition to being remembered as the father of modern management, he offered this definition of marketing:
“Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function … it is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view.”
Powerful words, but what it boils down to is the simple fact that everything you and your employees do today is marketing. Research has discovered that consumers perceive retailers and retail brands as the sum total of all their experiences with that retail brand over time.
If you are in the specialty tennis retail business, you already have a brand — and consumers remember your store brand as the sum total of everything they have seen, read, heard or otherwise experienced about your store … everything!
Not Good Enough
One of the changes that came along with the “New Normal” consumer economy and marketplace is a shopper that is no longer satisfied with adequate service from retailers. The end result is that there are no neutral retail experiences today — a shopper will either have a good, or hopefully, great experience … or a bad experience.
Back in the time before the New Normal, a specialty retailer could almost get away with some not so good shopping experiences, but not in today’s marketplace. Shoppers have too many choices, including the Internet, and they will no longer tolerate simply adequate!
A satisfied shopper won’t voluntarily tell you he or she is satisfied unless you ask them. Likewise, an unhappy shopper won’t tell you either … but dissatisfied customers will tell 11 to 13 other people about the unsatisfactory or bad experience they had at your store.
Keep in mind that we all tend to be passive in person, yet aggressive online. We are reluctant to tell store staff or a manager about a bad experience, but we will aggressively tell everyone we know on Facebook, which can make social media either a minefield or our best word-of-mouth marketing tool.
It’s About Consistency
Specialty tennis retailers need to focus on the consistency of their overall marketing, which translates to the consistency of the “experience” they provide to shoppers.
There is a whole toolbox of services available from the TIA to assist with developing the required consistency, but it comes down to looking at every aspect of your business as marketing your store brand to consumers, and focusing on consistently delivering a good to great retail shopping experience.
The keys to making sure everything you do is marketing, and helps build positive collective consumer memories of your store brand, are:
- Make everyone who walks into your store feel truly welcome, and comfortable!
- You have to ask if your customers had a great shopping experience, or not. If not, find out why and do everything you can to make it right. If they were satisfied, ask them if they will recommend your store to friends, family and co-workers.
- Present one consistent face of your business to the public. Use your logo and graphics consistently across everything that touches your customers in any way!
- Your website is the hub of your marketing and promotion, and use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to amplify your marketing message and image and your direct response outreach.
- And last, but not least, be proactive in generating positive word-of-mouth about your store brand.
For more details, contact the TIA and ask for the podcast of the recent “Everything You And Your Staff Do … is Marketing” webinar.
Manufacturers’ representatives — a tennis retailer’s best resource.
This is part of a series of retail tips presented by the Tennis Industry Association and written by the Gluskin Townley Group (gluskintownleygroup.com).