Has your showroom traffic slowed down? Have sales started to slip? This is not the time to cut back your marketing budget. When things slow down, you need to spend as much or more on marketing and you need to be more creative than ever.
- 1. Advertising
2. Public Relations
You absolutely must have a detailed, itemized written marketing plan for 2008. It can easily be done in Excel format. For each month, list every marketing activity you plan to utilize. Assign a budgetary number to each item. I suggest 5% of total showroom sales. You should be able to recoup 1.5 to 2% of this in co-op dollars from your vendor partners.
Promotions are activities that you organize or participate in that are directed towards:
The goal of all promotions is to stimulate people to want to buy. Promotions need to be motivational. They need to move people closer to making a buying decision. They can also be used to educate prospective clients on who you are and what you do.
Let’s look at a number of promotions that have proven successful in my business or the businesses of my clients. The key to all good promotions is creativity. Most plumbing wholesalers are terrific at managing inventory and accounts receivable. They know how to buy right, warehouse and deliver products. But they are not as strong in advertising, public relations and promotions. The showroom business is more retail than wholesale. This demands the understanding and implementation of great marketing. Here are some ideas:
At our business, we did an 8-day “Tent Sale.” We advertised heavily (using a lot of co-op dollars). We turned it into a real event: Hot air balloons, free hot dogs and sodas, singing in the shower contests, live radio and more. These eight days generated huge dollar sales. You can scale it down to just a two-day sale. Don’t forget to have the wholesale side of your business include their unwanted items also. Turn and earn!
Following are a few other promotions that have worked for me and others:
Promotion possibilities are endless. They will cost you some money but the results can be very rewarding. Have something exciting happening all the time. Be creative, look outside the box for ideas and get help from outside professionals if necessary. Have fun and watch your sales grow.
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