Thursday, 19 April 2012


If you’ve ever been beaten over the head by an advertising sales rep about top of mind awareness, tell them to back-off. This is their way of trying to increase their sales not yours. Those of you who have hundreds of locations around Canada may have the advertising budget to strive for T.O.M.A., all the rest must pick their battles.

Think of yourself as a boxer with huge muscles but no stamina. Independent jewellery retailers have the strongest offerings in the industry. You carry more unique product, higher average quality jewellery/gems and you tailor your inventory to the local market. Without stamina (in this case, a huge marketing budget that allows constant broadcasting to your audience) you need to bob-and-weave, and save-up your energy for periodic flurries.

I spoke to a jeweller who has tried numerous marketing tactics over his 30 year career. He told me he now spends his marketing budget during four or five big promotions per year. Not a bad idea. Promotions offer the perspective client an experience. It could be a gold-sale, restlye and design event, diamond expo, trunk-show, clearance sale or any number of themed events.

You can wait for the dreaded visit from your advertising sales rep who will try to get you to commit to spending 15% more than last year. Or, you can engineer some sort of promotion and call them to solicit a proposal: “I’m having a 3-day promotional event, and I want to do 10 days of advertising leading-up to it and then a day after for a thank you and prize-draw announcement. If I give you a $2,000 prize package to give away, what kind of advertising proposal can you offer me?”

I guarantee you’re going to get all kinds of value offered to you. A prize give-away can often net you 3-5 times the retail value of your prize in advertising over and above what you pay for.

It’s a question of initiative. If you don’t have a plan for your advertising budget, you will receive many compelling offers to take it off your hands.

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