Marketing may seem like it all happens outside the store, in media or cyberspace -but great retailers make sure their exterior messages are unified with their in-store experience. It’s a disappointing slide for customers who have been promised “the widest selection” and then see a limited range of products or to quickly realize the “best prices of the season” are only on a couple of items. There are some critical ways to make sure your store’s external messages are harmonized with the in-store experience.
Keep your employees in the know. Each week, every sales associate should know the current key marketing messages. It should be a topic of the weekly sales meeting (You do have one, right?) and a prominent message on the backroom message board. Help store employees by integrating the current marketing message with “say’s and do’s” each week. Sales and sponsorships should be a part of the front door greeting as well as the way the phone is answered. Create a message that associates can feel natural saying like “Welcome to our store – If you’re here for our February Clearance Sale, all of our sale products are in this aisle.” Stay away from things like “Welcome to our store where this week we are featuring a buy two get the third half off on every toner cartridge over $25.” The same is true for a phone message. Keep it short and helpful. But make it clear that marketing messages are a non-negotiable requirement for answering the phone.
Match the marketing message to the right message location. Think of marketing message as having one of three main goals:
1. Attracting people into the store – this will primarily occur outside the store: in windows, doors and the visible area within the storefront.
2. Making a sale in the store – these are the messages that should lead a customer from consideration to purchase. Keep messages focused and updated.
3. Building loyalty for a return visit – often forgotten, this is the opportunity to ratchet up your brand and make your store top of mind for future purchases.