How much time and money does your store put into marketing and promotions each year? Each month? More importantly, do you view it as an expense, or as an investment?
The distinction might seem nuanced, and yet they are important in how you determine your return of investment in marketing. Sometimes it can feel like you're shouting out into the void, but promoting your store is absolutely vital to your success in a competitive market, and you need to know what to look for when determining if your marketing has paid off.
Bob Phibbs of RetailDoc.com suggests that the first step in determining your marketing's ROI is actually understanding the gist of the message.
As Daniel Kehrer says, “Calculating ROI oblivious to the business objectives context is like trying to keep a game score without even knowing what sport you’re playing – a fruitless endeavor to be sure.”
So in order to try to justify costs, you need to keep in mind the three steps in your buyer’s journey to your product or service... to you.
In the first step, Awareness, they realize they have a problem. In step two, Consideration, they define their problem and seek ways to solve it, and finally, in the Decision stage, they choose a solution.
It always shocks me when I see a retailer having a going-out-of-business sale.
Where is the first place they advertise?
In the newspaper. Talk to most any newspaper representative and they’ll tell you the company never ran an ad before claiming there was no return on investment.
There is an ROI, just make sure to not expect it to be as clear as number-of-coupons redeemed, and make sure you spend more time in the awareness and consideration stages of your buyer’s journey.
Promoting your business, like retail sales training of your crew, is an investment. It is not an expense.
If you want to succeed, the focus has to be on how effective your message is to each of the three distinct segments of a shopper’s buying journey, and not on whether the $200 ad you ran once in the freebie weekly got enough coupon-clippers to justify the cost.— Bob Phibbs via Retail Doctor
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Whether it's print or digital, MBS is committed to making marketing as easy and affordable as possible for your store as well. We've made the MBS Promo Guide, a directory of ready-made, customizable materials designed to promote your store's textbook events with eye-catching posters, graphics, social media posts and more.