We take a big deep breath… and another… and maybe a 100 more – then commit to opening our very own store. All the work is done to design it, do the build out, get fixtures, create logos and a brand, travel to trade shows, curate product, train staff, advertise and marketing….and then the doors are open. HOORAY. It is a big day. Your live has revolved around everything in those four walls. You have been on your own retail planet.
Customers discover you. Relationships are formed. You keep working to get better and bring in better merchandise. You work hard to provide the best of everything for your raving fans.
But that isn’t enough.
The hard cruel reality is this: you do not own your raving fans/customers. All the work we do to create this fabulous experience and place for them gives us the illusion that we own their attention. If we send out an email or an Facebook post, we expect a response. The illusion of owning the attention of our customers causes us to be disappointed if that response isn’t what we think it should be. The fact is that our customers are all just as busy as we are. Their attention is pulled in a million different directions at one time. It is fleeting and we must constantly earn it.
There has never been a better time to be an independent retailer because it has never been easier to earn their attention. But it’s not good enough to do the best you can. You must have a plan.
Enter omnichannel marketing. You must have a plan on how to utilize as many channels as possible to get your customers attention. The plan involves the message and consistency. You chose a message. Create the content. Share it via email, FB posts, Insta pics, FB ads, in-store signage, conversations that your team has with customers instore and on phone calls made to specific customers who you believe will want and be served by the message.
At the end of the day, it really is all about service. The best service you can offer your customers is to send your message out every where all the time via omnichannel marketing. You have to remind them about your great store and your fabulous events. That is how you earn their attention.
“Oh, thanks for the reminder. I forgot about you!” This is the reality.
They will be happy that you got their attention.
A few more notes that I have to fit in somewhere.
The plan helps to create the pull of gravity that a planet has as it circles around and around – omnichannel marketing literally pulls your raving fans and customers to you.
Everyone complains about it. “I already have so much to do.” As I always say – if you aren’t spending 20% of your time marketing it WILL NOT MATTER what you are doing with the other 80%.
The mindset must be changed. It isn’t that you HAVE to do this, rather you GET to do this. You have access to most of the same tools as the big retail guys. You have the ability to reach as many customers as they do. And the reality is that your raving fans like you more! 😉 They do just forget about you.
OCM – THERE IS NO CHOICE. Do you want to stay in business? It must be done.
You GET to use your platform to share your mission with the world.