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RETAIL THERAPY: Added Up, You Can Compete

Advertisers love me.

I cry at Cheerios’ commercials. My heart races when I see Tiffany blue, and I always click on the engagement ring ads that pop up on the side of my Facebook page.

These advertisers get it—or at least they get me. They know their products and what makes their target demographics tick.

Most importantly, they know where to find their customers. Even though I know I can’t afford anything in it, the Tiffany & Co. catalog is the first thing I open when it comes in the mail. While I barely find enough time to cook dinner, I found time to click on a Lay’s potato chip contest on Facebook to vote for the next chip flavor.

I know what you’re saying, “Well, my advertising would rock too if I had the budget of Cheerios or Frito Lay.”

Hogwash. (I would use a different word, but I have to keep this G-rated.)

I don’t buy for one second that independent retailers can’t compete in the advertising sphere. Will your campaigns look the same as a Tiffany’s campaign? Probably not, but your flexibility and strong connections with customers should make finding advertising success that much easier. In fact, some of the most recent advertising trends will likely give you an edge.

For example, because today’s consumers are pummeled by media advertisements—did you know there were 71 product placements in the latest “Transformers” movie?—it’s customer recommendations, word-of-mouth and one-on-one relationships that are really selling these days.

Plus, the abundance of inexpensive media doesn’t hurt either: It costs next to nothing to use social media and send email blasts.

In addition to reviewing your options of how to deliver your content, it’s imperative to calculate where you can get the best returns. The article explains which types of advertisements attract consumers when they look for home improvement products. Mixing this information with data on where your peers are spending their advertising dollars should arm you with tools to analyze and adjust your current strategies.

If there’s one thing I hope you take from this, I hope it is to be open to new avenues for advertising. I’m sure those jewelers who advertised on Facebook were hesitant about social media too. But, hey, in the end, they won my business: My boyfriend proposed last month!

About Jaime Koch

Jaime Koch was the managing editor of Hardware Retailing Magazine. Jaime regularly traveled around the country and internationally to visit with retailers and share their stories. Jaime was honored by the American Society of Business Publishers for Editorial Excellence.

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