How to Define the Right Marketing Mix for Your Retail Store

In the most basic terms, the marketing mix definition is placing the right product, at the right place, at the right time, and at the right price in front of your potential customers to see and buy it. The trouble lies in doing it well, in order to make the most sales possible. How can you define the right marketing mix for your retail store?

Let’s break this down a little further, shall we?

Have a Plan

Your first priority in defining your marketing mix is to create a plan. Now, this plan isn’t necessarily set in stone, it may evolve as you go along, but creating a road map will at least give executable steps to follow in place of spinning your wheels. In the plan you’ll want to include things like sales goals, anticipated timelines, metrics to measure success, and information about the product you want to sell. For each product you plan on selling you want to know who your target market is, the value of the product, the price of the product, how and where you are selling it, and how you will promote it.

Product and Price

Things you should consider regarding the product are:

  • The value and price of the product, and potential discounts that could be offered
  • When people will want it (for example, can it be a gift for the holidays?)
  • How often they will want it (i.e. a repeat purchase product)
  • Accessories or bundle purchases that work well with the product
  • Sizes and colors, etc…

Promotion and Placement

Odds are your product will be placed on your retail shop’s website, but if there is a specific product you are trying to push, will it be given special treatment? By that I mean, will it be prominently placed on your homepage? Will it have a separate landing page that you will drive traffic directly to? Will this product be featured as part of a set? Then, how will you promote the product?

Factors to consider for promoting your product include, but are not limited to:

Paid vs Organic Search

In truth, we could write an entire article on the pros and cons of paid vs. organic search, but the best marketing mixes include a blend of both. The idea is to get as many eyeballs as possible on the product’s page, and fill that page with as many relevant details as needed to get the customer to click the purchase button.

Social Media Promotions

Where are the people that would be most likely to buy this product hanging out? For example, if visual promotions would work best for your product Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram may be good choices. However, if your best promotions are going to be an article or blog post explaining the product, links via Twitter, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn may be better options.

PR Campaigns

Is it possible to get your product on the news or in a local publication? If so, can the outlet link back to your product? What makes your product newsworthy?

Email Campaigns

Do you have a mailing list of leads? Perhaps creating a strategic email campaign for promoting the product is in your best interest.

Partnerships for Promotions

Perhaps an affiliate program or some other joint venture campaign would be best to promote your product. Thinking outside the box could generate more sales.

Consider the Sales Process

One of the biggest mistakes retail shops make is not in promoting their products, but in the sales process after the customer visits your shop.

CBS News reported that “nothing can kill sales success faster than a lousy sales process.”

If you’re too pushy, they leave. If you’re not informative enough, they leave. If you don’t guide them along in the process, they leave. If it’s not incredibly simple to purchase, they leave. Are you seeing a pattern here? For people to part with their money, they want the entire process to be as seamless, and pain free as possible. They don’t want to guess or worry about any step of the sale.

Once they buy, the ending stages of the sales process should be seamless as well. Products should be delivered as promised, and in a timely manner. Any errors or issues should be addressed promptly, and courteously so the client will come back. According to Forbes Magazine, as many as 49% of people find alternate companies to purchase from due to poor customer service. Don’t let that happen to you.

Finally, once the sales process is complete, don’t forget to follow up. People want to know that you care about them. So, check in and make sure they are happy with the purchase. It also doesn’t hurt to offer them an invitation to return for more purchases and/or to ask them to refer customers to you.

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How to Build a Retail Marketing Plan

With today’s crowded marketplace, it has never been more essential to ensure that you have a sound marketing strategy in place to foster the growth of your business. Modern consumers are so regularly overwhelmed with content coming from all angles, social media, email, commercial, billboard, all vying for their patronage and hard-earned dollars.

This challenge is especially true when it comes to the retail space, which has faced quite a bit of disruption over the last few years thanks to the rise of eCommerce businesses. But traditional brick-and-mortar or digital based — all eCommerce businesses need a retail marketing plan to reach their full potential.

Heading to Market

To set yourself apart from other eCommerce businesses takes more than just a cursory idea of what your customers want. Rather, you must develop a deeper understanding of your place in the market and devise a thorough strategy that is tailored specifically to your product and the users you hope to reach. Only then will you be able to tap into your business’s potential for growth and realize the most effective ways to engage your customers. Here are a few steps you can take to jumpstart your company’s retail marketing plan.

  • Identify your mission statement: Before you launch any kind of marketing effort, it’s absolutely imperative that you first establish a firm grasp of your business’s mission and objective in the marketplace. More specifically, you must know the need your business fulfills with customers. This understanding of your value will inform all subsequent decisions you make regarding how you market your product.
  • Know your target audience: Once you know enough about the role your business plays in the market, the next step is to establish a clear idea of your ideal customer profile. These two are, of course, inextricably linked, but many companies neglect to recognize that how your business is designed and marketed plays an integral role in determining your potential customer base upfront.
  • Decide on your branding: Now that you have defined your mission and audience, you need to then decide how to best connect the two. Everything from your logo to the outward messaging you send consumers shapes the specific branding of your business. Take a look at the competition for inspiration, and consider how you can distinguish yourself in the eyes of your prospects. What makes your approach different? For example, are you leading with price or quality? At this stage of your marketing strategy it’s critical to review your pricing and identify how it comes into play.
  • Establish a marketing presence online: Given the age of social media we live in, it should be no surprise to realize that your business should have a presence among leading sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. However, your online presence doesn’t extend solely to these. Sites like Yelp, YouTube and Google Plus can also help expose your business to new prospects and boost your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.
  • Define yourself as an expert: In recent years, content marketing has become a more central way to gain awareness for your business, but it’s only one of many ways to establish the expertise your business brings to customers. You can also build upon this with partnerships with other companies, guest posts on popular sites (yes, even for free!) and events that position your business as a thought leader within your industry. This goes a long way toward building your credibility among prospects.
  • Monitor results and adjust accordingly: Even if you are actively marketing your business already, you need to be prepared to adjust your strategy when something isn’t working. This flexibility to recognize a failed effort and to switch things up is essential to develop the further growth of your business. To keep your company from staying stagnant, be sure to have analytics in place to monitor results and act quickly if changes are needed.

The Future Awaits

While the technology involved in eCommerce lends businesses a certain flexibility, this aspect alone is not enough to keep your business afloat. Every day, new challengers are entering the fray, and there’s never been a more critical time to review the marketing plan you have in place to reach your target audience.

These steps are simply the start of a grander, more effective approach to connecting with consumers. Endless possibilities await you, and you’ll truly need to stay vigilant with your retail marketing strategy to achieve the continuous improvement and forward growth your business deserves.

For more invaluable insights into how you should approach marketing your eCommerce business and use automation to drive future success, check out our new eBook, “Key Automated Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Store Success.”

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