With the exponential increase in customers moving toward an online shopping experience, it has become essential for brick-and-mortar showrooms to adapt and create a strong digital storefront presence. Digital marketing is the great equalizer for small businesses in the land of corporate culture and can bolster growth while attracting new clients. In the waning art of the personal shopping experience, brick-and-mortar showrooms can offer all the same resources and access to information with a strong digital presence while offering the security of a personal connection with their clients.
In the decorative plumbing and hardware space, consumers have become more aware of the risks associated with purchasing luxury products online. However, utilizing the internet as a primary resource for information such as product selection, specifications, pricing and availability has remained. While small businesses do not need to have an online store, presenting a digital catalog, providing product resources, blogs and displaying social media integrations can yield increased foot traffic and customer satisfaction.
- Digital product catalog
- Social media integrations
- Product resources
- Blogs and videos
- Client Engagement Tools
Digital marketing can help businesses create more touch points for clients in addition to their physical storefront. Rather than limiting the interaction with a store walk-in, various opportunities and options for interaction can be established through digital marketing. Creating multiple touch points makes it simpler for consumers to engage with the business and for new potential clients to discover the business that would not otherwise visit the storefront.
Digital Touch Points:
- Digital newsletter
- Email marketing; special offers, announcements, product releases
- Social media posts that align with messaging and website
- Contests and giveaways
It is critical to be very selective about the frequency of newsletters, ads, announcements and contests. Over-saturation can quickly turn a consumer off from the business. Finding that happy medium between consistent presence and valued messaging is the key to keeping existing clients connected to the business while engaging new clients.
Building trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, including business. Nothing is more important than earning consumer trust, and the quality of content is the magic formula in digital marketing. High-quality content can come in the form of high-resolution images, valuable product information, specifications, informative videos and ads with crystal-clear messaging. In addition, detailed and strategic descriptions and client reviews can yield greater SEO results for the company website.
- High-quality content and information
- Strategic advertising and messaging
- SEO; descriptions and client reviews building loyalty
Loyalty campaigns are designed to target consistent and repeat customers by creating a campaign with incentives to encourage them to give repeat business. Offering a loyalty program that rewards clients with member-only benefits, discounts and even products is an excellent strategy to establish a more loyal client base.
Independent showrooms have an edge with the ability to be more agile and flexible than a franchise or national dealer. Rather than creating a template loyalty program that has boundaries and the same track for all customers, an independent dealer can tailor their loyalty program to the needs and desires of their clients. In addition, the program can adapt quickly if the needs and desires of their clients change.
The A&D community and contractors would be the best examples of repeat business for bath and kitchen showrooms. Establishing a loyal client base within those communities yields more consistent relationships and growth within your business. The success of the loyalty campaign is then nurtured through relationship marketing in the form of feedback on content through social media posts, email marketing and customer feedback.
Of course, never underestimate the power of simple and old-fashioned communication. Building personal connections through superb communication skills will never be replaced by technology because human beings naturally want to feel connected.
Proximity targeting allows businesses to establish a radius or particular area they want to focus on through geo-fencing (setting a geographic perimeter around a specific location). Customizing campaigns, advertisements and prompts that are relevant to potential clients within this location has a higher probability of increasing foot traffic with those who are local. In addition, increasing interaction with more local clients better establishes your business within the local community and develops your reputation as a local business that the community loves to support.
Now that in-person events are beginning to normalize again, there is another touch point to engage with your local community. Create engaging events that encourage your target market to connect with you and the promotion of these events can be part of your digital marketing strategy. Live CEUs may have lost their luster, with many options now being available online. What we have discovered through feedback is that consumers are more interested in interactive and experience-based events that inspire more human connection.
The Digital Marketing Package
After assessing each segment, it is time to create the ideal digital marketing package. The overall objectives of building trust, increasing engagement and maintaining client satisfaction are the cornerstones of the ideal strategy. Deciding what the branding and imaging will look like, followed by the frequency of the delivered content, will be key to finding the perfect balance. Think of it as a form of communication; in other words, how do you think your digital presence communicates with consumers, and how are they receiving it?
Consistency and alignment of the different content segments avoids potential confusion. Make sure whatever is being posted on social media is in alignment with newsletters and web content.
Last, but certainly not least, analyze the data. Factual data can be very powerful in revealing what consumers are best responding to and what might be seen as irrelevant. Data is the key to consumer visibility. Which social media posts drive the most engagement? Is there content that drives increased sales? Is the newsletter producing quality engagement and driving new business, or is it causing more consumers to ’unsubscribe’? What product resources do consumers find most valuable; are downloaded the most? Without asking the right questions and analyzing the data, you might as well be throwing spaghetti at a wall. Effective analysis and implementation of what consumers respond to positively validate a successful digital presence and strategy. ▪