On Advertising and Promotion: Food for Thought
I read "Retail's Big Blog" today (the blog of the National Retail Federation). It had an interview with Dr. Marianne Bickle, professor and department chair for South Carolina University's Department of Retailing and author of The Changing American Consumer. I have to pass on part of that interview for you to think about. Although they are specifically talking about retail, this particular question and answer are as applicable to our wholesale suppliers as it is to our retailers:
NRF: You say that the sign of a real economic recovery is when consumers start spending similarly to how they spent prior to the recession. What, if anything, can the retail industry do to catalyze consumer confidence?
Dr. Bickle: Oftentimes retailers cut back on advertising and/or promotion when hard economic times hit. This is a big mistake. Consumers must always have confidence in your company, your brand and your employees. The minute consumers see a weakness in the company's product or service offerings they will probably start to shop elsewhere. It is critical to the financial success of any retail organization to show a strong front to its consumers. This means that retailers should:
- Continue to promote the business during difficult times;
- Conduct promotional events that bring consumers into the store (e.g., trunk shows, fashion shows, demonstrations);
- Have a strong and constant social media presentation; and
- Always maintain visual appearance of the store and website.
I have always found it a very curious thing that when times get tough, advertising and marketing always seem to be the first thing to go. A business still needs to get its message out there and stay in front of its customers. Othewise, as Dr. Bickle notes, they will shop elsewhere. As consumers/customers, if we don't see you, we forget you.
For the full interview, visit: http://blog.nrf.com/2012/04/25/why-politics-national-security-and-tax-policy-play-a-significant-role-in-how-americans-shop/