written by Rita Wade
Marketing and Events 2021 ~ The 2.0 Version!
I am not sure if you all feel the same way that I do, but I wish that I could wake up tomorrow and realize that this was an exceptionally long BAD dream! I can’t even believe that we are STILL talking about marketing with TONS of COVID-19 restrictions but in some states, we are seeing a record number of you folks facing incredible challenges that do not appear to have any relief in the near future. That all being said, I don’t think it’s time give up! What I learned this year was how to transform every single event into something that worked WITH the restrictions. It made so many of us BETTER on the digital front. Something, I hate to say, was the kind of nudge (or push in some cases) that was needed for Jewelers. I am not making light of the losses globally, but I believe that we all have to agree that it forced many of us to re-evaluate our digital footprints in a very big way!
Have you ever been in that position where you are planning for a big event at your house? I have planned a couple wedding events at my house and boy is it a lot of work… I remember when my daughter got married that we had rooms painted, we re-did two bathrooms, we bought a few new pieces of furniture, and had a professional landscaper help us get the outdoors ready. It was months and months of planning and preparing for 1 weekend of events. My events went off without a “Hitch!” In both cases, most folks might not have seen all the planning that took place but for years afterwards we have enjoyed all the hard work we put into that planning.
I cannot stress enough that planning for an event means that you sit down with a calendar at the beginning of the year and plan out each month, each week, and each promotion you hope to have, and in the end, it will help to propel you into a “Year without a hitch!”
This year while creating that calendar I am asking you to think about all the articles I have written in the past that include LIVE Facebook Events. Without them, many of you might not still be open. So, plan to have a LIVE event 1 to 2 days prior to your In-Store event. If you are a JHJ subscriber, pull out the step-by-step guide to the LIVE articles or feel free to reach out to me and I will send them to you to review how to literally GO digital with your entire store experience.
One final exciting part of this year’s events with Sparkling Insights is that when you choose one of my packages, I have launched a new events-based platform that will track the effectiveness of your direct mail. I will be able to upload your mailing list and from the time that the invitation card hits your customers mailboxes for an event it will begin delivering ads to all their devices through social media platforms and google ads. It will EVEN re-target the ads if they visit other competitors’ sites. I cannot wait to share more about how this is huge game changer in our events and promotions!
Without further a-do… let’s get down to business and start planning! This planning guide is the 2.0 version from last year with a few added events and suggestions!
STEP #1: Pull Out the calendar
The first step for me is to pull out ALL of the Calendars. I use several to build my annual strategy. Download the National Day Calendar (You can print it for FREE if you don’t want to purchase the big calendar) Grab a few of the industry specific Calendars, like MJSA, JCK and any of the calendars that keep track of when we might be attending a show and finally I print my local community calendar. In the marketing efforts and coaching that I have done for many stores… I have found that pretty much every community has a community calendar and some communities or towns have more than one including a local Chamber of Commerce calendar. Print your calendars along with 12 months of a google blank calendar and place it in your Binder.
Part of building your calendar is laying out your plan! If you did ANY successful events… even pop-up events, make a list of them and begin penciling them into your events strategy worksheet for the new year. (E-mail me if you are interested in my strategy worksheet.) Add in any NEW events you would like to try. I believe you need some sort of “Event” or “Call-To-Action” every 6 to 10 weeks. That means at a minimum I recommend doing 8 events per year. That does not mean 8 BIG events like a “Ladies Night” event… It means every 6 weeks have a REASON or Call-To-Action to bring your customers back into the store for something. Here are a few examples of events I work with clients on creating.
Live Selling Show – this is a MUST for a general show and all the events you have for the season! I help you transform every event into a two-pronged event with LIVE streaming!
- Ladies Night Event
- Galantines Event (Valentine’s Day for Ladies)
- A Ring for Spring (Bridal Event)
- Partnered Bridal Shows
- Spring Fling
- Men’s Panic Party Themed Event
- Engagement Ring Event
- Diamond Event
- Wedding Band Event
- Diamonds & Chocolate Event
- Gemstone Event (I loved partnering with Artinian Gems for this)
- Designer Event
- Custom Design Event
- Store Anniversary Event
- TV Giveaway Sales Event
- Rain on your wedding day event!
- Snow/Heat Event
- Small Business Saturday Event ~ Shop Local Event
- Friends and Family Event
- Black Friday SALE Event
- VIP Night
- A “Must Go” Sales Event
- Roaring 20s Event (eFiligree has an AMAZING package for this) Estate Event or Vintage Showcase
STEP #2: GATHER YOUR NUMBERS
Now let’s create your marketing budget. More specifically, you need to know what your store makes on a monthly basis, along with any seasonal fluctuations. On my worksheet I recommend pulling the past 3 years of a P & L statement to help put the budget together.
The other set of numbers that you need (if you have them) are your sales conversion numbers. You can harvest this information from your point-of-sale software. If you are using the EDGE then this is where it is important to make sure every event is set-up in the “Why-In” tab and folks are REALLY using it to help you collect the necessary data.
I love the EDGE and I really love it when my clients are using the EDGE… however, what I have found is that many of you are not using ALL of the amazing tools it offers! One of them is the “Why In” button! I believe one must utilize EVERY tool possible to target their marketing and this is an easy one! If you tell me that your staff won’t use it, then in the administrative features of the “Why IN” button make it a required field and please don’t put in one of the choices “Returning Customer” or something too general for this to be a set-up for failure… Make sure that your “Why In” buttons REALLY capture your audience!
In addition, be sure to analyze your sales and revenue trends from last year. Where did most of your business come from – new or existing customers? How long was your typical sales cycle? What were your best lead sources?
Document your lessons learned from the past year and think about improvements you’d like to make this year. Reviewing your past marketing performance plays a crucial part in effectively creating a marketing plan that builds upon your successes.
STEP #3: SET YOUR BUSINESS GOALS
Before you can plan your marketing activities, it’s important to set your company’s strategic growth and revenue goals. For example, if you plan to grow your business by 20 percent then you’ll want to do a lot more than just do one event or send one email annually.
Questions that will help you determine your stores goals include:
- What are your revenue objectives and profit goals for the year?
- What are your revenue and profit goals for each quarter?
- Are there specific business goals that you want to accomplish in the next year/quarter that will require resources (ex: launch a new service, hire a new employee, increase the sales of a particular product, etc.)?
Your number one priority is to determine where you would like to see your business grow to a year from now, and then you work backwards into each quarter. From there, plan the steps and activities you’ll need to each week, each month, and each quarter to help you achieve your overarching business goals.
STEP #4: BUILD YOUR MARKETING PLAN
Once you have gathered your numbers and understand your business goals and activities, you are armed with the information you need to develop a marketing plan to achieve them.
Developing a marketing plan will ensure that you are spending your marketing dollars on the right efforts at the right time – you develop marketing activities to support the realization of your business goals.
As you create your marketing plan, specify which marketing activities your company will focus on to achieve the revenue, profit, and business goals you want to accomplish for the year. Be sure to build upon successes you’ve had in the past. For example, if you’ve noticed that you are getting a steady stream of leads from your website, then see if there are opportunities to strengthen its marketing power through a redesign or enhancement.
For example, you might want to plan activities around any or all the below:
- Live Shows
- Weekly Video Ads
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Direct mail such as postcards or letters
- Advertising (print, radio, television)
Remember to consider which marketing channels allow you to reach the right audiences. One of the things I offer folks is assistance in doing the research on your demographics and geographical data to help you deliver the best marketing for the best results. If it is not me, don’t be afraid to ask a professional to assist you! It can often help you save thousands of dollars on something that does not work!
It’s Time To Execute!
Putting your strategy together means that each part of your marketing plan has been plotted on a calendar and your budgets have been set. Take it to the next level and detail each thing you would like to do for each of the events or promotions you have created. You want your events to go off without a “hitch” then let’s start planning!
I believe in being flexible, and certainly we all did more than a few pivots… By now I feel like we have gotten the hang of the changes and to be honest, I believe the marketing for 2021 is just going to be BETTER! Not because it is going to be easier but because on the other side of Covid-19 we learned and grew from the challenges we faced! As always, my fellow jewelers, Go be GREAT this year! If you are one of those people that need a coach to stay on track… I would love to help you create your plan! Please e-mail, call or text me at Rita.Sparklinginsights@gmail.com, JOIN my private facebook group for weekly ideas @SparklingInsi