END OF SEASON SALE depicted on a bright red background along with the sale period duration as well as maintaining its position of being a fashionable store.. IV. PROMOTION: LIFESTYLE
The Retail Marketing strategy is similar to Marketing strategy
Marketing strategy is an integral component of corporate strategy, defining how the organization will successfully engage with customers, prospects, and competitors in the market arena.
It is derived from broader corporate Strategies, corporate missions, and corporate goals
The various strands of the strategy , which include advertising, In store communication, internet Marketing, promotions and public relations can be orchestrated.
Many companies cascade a strategy, by creating strategy tactics that then become strategy goals for the next level or group. Each group is expected to take that strategy goal and develop a set of tactics to achieve that goal. This is why it is important to make each strategy goal measurable
Key elements …
Map your customers needs.Create a niche based on demand.
You will have price sensitive customers and you will have customers who are willing to pay extra for Quality
Remmember you cannot make sense for everything to every body. Have a Target Group which you think will respond to your USP
Every communication Every time should talk about the same positioning else it will be difficult for the customers to relate to you as a retailer and as a business
Avoid multiple channels of communication. Choose the ones with which your customers engage the most. It will also help in measuring the success of your marketing mix.
Monitor constantly through interaction with customers the success of your sales pitch. You could go terribly wrong thinking all the while that you have been able to grab more heart and mind share than your competition.
You may not be able to measure success instantly but you can keep looking for signals which will tell you if you are headed in the right direction.
Marketing is more than just selling and advertising. It's about what you need to do to capture and keep your customers over time.
Your marketing plan needs to answer the question:
Why am I in business ?
What do customers want ?
and Why will customers buy from me and not my competitors?
Developing your marketing plan covers four main aspects:
Monitor and control.
Before you develop your marketing goals and strategies you need to identify what are the most promising Retail opportunities you should pursue. You need to consider:
Your Products and Service
It may seem obvious, but you will benefit from analyzing your product/service offering from the customer point of view. Ask yourself what:
benefits are you offering your customers?
which ones will be most valued by customers?
Do customers look for a wider choice or a sharper price in your context ?
What constitutes Quality as in Consumers perception ?
How much more they are willing to pay for Exceptional Service? Can I differentiate with Better Service ?
Understand your market and identify factors that will impact on your business. Aspects to consider:
What is its size and is it growing or shrinking?
Where are your target customers located?
What are its characteristics, eg. gender, aspirations, ability to pay?
What changing social trends and attitudes could affect your business?
Once you have researched your market you can define the specific segments you intend to target. Market segments are groups of customers who share similar attributes and attitudes -
location (distance, Neighborhood type)
ethnic identity ( South Indians, Bengalis, Expatriates)
attitudes ( frequent shoppers ,treasure hunters, discount seekers) and
attributes (Washing Machine owners, car owners)
You need to understand the factors that will drive your customers to buy products at your store
Identify both direct competitors (those selling the same products in similar retail format) and indirect competitors (those offering same products but in different format).
Information you need to know about competitors includes:
What exactly they offer their customers ?
How well established they are and their reputation?
Their strengths and weaknesses and what makes them successful?
Their Promotion strategies
What’s the level of service customers get at your competitors store
Market Research Sources
Exit interviews at competitor locations
Discussions with Suppliers
Your SWOT Analysis
Using the information you have collected you can undertake a SWOT analysis to help you determine your marketing goals. Your SWOT involves assessing:
Strengths you should build on
Opportunities you should exploit
Weaknesses you need to overcome
Threats you need to manage
You need to develop strategies to deal with each identified issue.
Setting Your Marketing Goals
Your marketing goals build on your broader business objectives and specify:
What product/service you will offer for which market segments ?
What key benefits you will offer – Customization, Service, Ambience?
How you will gain a competitive advantage – Price, Quality, design ?
What specific targets you aim to meet over what time frame- market share, revenue, Footfalls ?
Your marketing goals should pass the SMART test:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Time bound
Based on Market Dominance
Based on Competitive Advantage
Based on Innovation
To put your goals into action you need to develop specific strategies to achieve them. Key aspects that need to be covered regardless of what your strategy is :
Product Your product offering including width of assortment, quality, packaging, guarantees, after-sales service.
Price Your pricing policy – cost plus or consumer facing, target margins including mark downs
Your pricing should be based on a realistic assessment of all your costs and taking into account what the market will bear and the image you are trying to create.
Promotion Your approach will depend on the nature of your business and can include new arrivals, buy one get one, flat discounts selling, cross category promotions, loss leaders, competition based.
Place How you will advertise – Posters, Banners, In Store Communication, Print or electronic Media, Newspaper Flyers. It is important that you use the correct medium irrespective of the cost.
There is no point using a medium with which your customers do not relate as there will be no impact of such communication.
Monitor and Control
Marketing is a necessary cost to the business and you should set a marketing budget, including monthly cash flow, as part of your business plan.
Measuring the results of your marketing activities will ensure you continue to get value for your marketing investment.
Assessing an increase in revenue or customer numbers as a result of promotional activities allows you to decide what activities give you the best return.
Winning at Retail
Ander and Stern’s book Winning at Retail puts forward a model designed by Norm McMillan and Sid Doolittle, that can steer a retailer towards success. It is a simple and straightforward model that has been designed from the consumer’s point of view. The cornerstone of this new model is the Est model of retail success. The Est model guides retailers towards making their firms the best in one of five essential areas:
1. Cheap - Essentially: Winning with Price
2. Big - Essentially : Winning with Dominant Assortments
3. Hot - Essentially: Winning with Fashion
4. Easy - Essentially: Winning with Solution –Oriented Service
5. Quick - Essentially : Winning with Fast Service
The retailers must strive to be the best in their segment of specialization, whether it is low prices they are offering or superior service or the most fashionable clothes. A retailer has to decide on how to differentiate themselves from all the other stores who provide a similar or same service and/or product. Location is often used as a segment specialization but in recent times that has been proven to not be a strong enough reason. It might work in tandem with one of the Est factors but unlikely to do so alone in the long term.
To be successful at holding an Est position, a retailer must ensure that the entire company has the same focus. To sell products keeping a low margin, a company must have low operating costs. Wal-Mart is the perfect example of a retailer in the Cheap-Est position. The company focuses on its products being the cheapest and this position translates into every decision that the company makes.