“We should be busier than this!” you think to yourself after checking your daily sales total for the third time in the last hour, even though you know it hasn’t changed.
Your store is full of beautiful inventory that you have spent so much time carefully choosing and editing for your customers, so where are they?
You always start the season with so much hope and excitement, why does this keep happening?
The reason is simple:
You’ve fallen into the Feast or Famine Marketing cycle – You haven’t marketed consistently.
What happens to many retailers is that they get caught up in what has to be done every day to run their stores, juggling inventory, staffing, and a long to-do list. And they think they don’t need to worry about marketing because sales are fine (the feast phase)!
Until all of a sudden, they’re not (the famine phase)…
Frantically you start throwing together ads, sales, emails, postcards and events to try to get people to your store. But by now it’s usually too little, too late.
Soon another trade show comes along and you find yourself buying for the next season, working like mad to get it all out and merchandised beautifully, only to find yourself once again with a dry well and not enough customers.
You start marketing like crazy again and it becomes a vicious cycle. I get it because I’ve been on that rollercoaster with you!
Well I am officially pulling the brakes on this rollercoaster. It is time to get off!
How to Eliminate Feast or Famine Marketing
The solution to this problem is to be systematic about your marketing and putting it on autopilot.
There is only one way to make sure that you have a steady consistent stream of customers – Having a steady, consistent stream of marketing.
The best way to do that is to make all the pieces of your marketing run on a system, like a well-oiled machine that doesn’t need you to be there the whole time, just once in a while to make sure everything’s running smoothly.
Having a system that handles ALL of the pieces of your marketing is the key to increased profits and more fun.
I’m not a very disciplined person by nature, so I counteracted that by making sure everything in my store had a system and process to automatically increase my sales, profits and free time – this is something I have to keep deciding to do for myself to this day. Every day I CHOOSE to be intentional! If I can make progress here, you can do it too!
When your marketing system is broken (or non-existent) there are 3 steps to fixing it:
#1: Market Effectively
The very first step is to make sure your marketing is as effective as possible so you’re not wasting money and time.
That means clarifying who your ideal customer is, where you can meet them and how to use your unique message to speak directly to them. I tell you exactly how to do this here.
#2: Create Your Marketing Schedule
Next, identify specific marketing activities that must be done morning and afternoon, daily, weekly and monthly (check your social media insights for data on when your ideal customer interacts with your pages).
In addition there are specific messages that have to go out at precise times in your seasonal cycle. Many of these things are so systematized that once you have done them, they can be automated and delegated.
For example, at the starting point of your season, your marketing content will highlight new arrivals, reveals, pre-orders, product launches and behind-the-scenes glimpses from trade shows.
Mid-season will be all about showcasing your merchandise – one clothing item styled 3 ways, beautiful tablescape inspo, fun game demos – use photos, videos and lives to show your customers how to use your products!
At the end of the season your marketing content will be focused around your clearance sale and targeting your sale-customers, to successfully move out any unsold inventory before your cycle starts again with fresh new inventory!
Add all these activities to your calendar, schedule them and set them to repeat!
#3: Assemble Your Content
Now that you know when, where and to whom you’ll be marketing, it’s time to assemble the what.
Create content based on your ideal customer, platforms and goals – this task can be delegated or outsourced if content writing, copywriting, photography or graphic design are not your strengths (the beauty of having the clarity of step #1 is that it makes it very easy to outsource or delegate this step while keeping a consistent brand voice/message).
By having a set time to create this content, and a schedule to plug it into – you are building a consistent, automated marketing strategy, so you can let go of the feeling of panic, and start being proactive instead of reactive.
Your Next Steps
Set up systems for everything in your business that relates to marketing and sales:
- Mark the trade shows that you regularly attend
- Identify the start, midpoint and end of your season
- Clarify who YOU are and who your IDEAL customer is for more efficient marketing
- Create a schedule with the marketing tasks you (or someone on your team) will do daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, and at the specific points in your selling season
- Schedule in time every month for content creation that matches your message to your ideal customer, your chosen platforms and your goals
When you set your marketing up to be systematic, you can finally get off the rollercoaster named “I Don’t Have A Plan and I Wish I Did.”
I see so many retailers on that ride (including myself 🙋♀️) and it doesn’t have to be you. If I can change, so can you!
Now you will be on track with a consistent marketing plan that’s easy to take action from and that will result in more sales and profits.