Driving Store Traffic Wins Through Event Marketing
When I was a retailer, the number one challenge that kept me awake at night was bringing customers in the door. Fast-forward to the present, and that conundrum has become more vexing than ever for any retailer with a brick-and-mortar presence. Paradoxically, the “survival mode” thinking that dominates so much of today’s retail strategy has created an environment where many of the most effective live customer engagement tactics have been abandoned. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of ever-declining customer counts, and moves the focus away from the showroom and into cyberspace.
But is this a necessary outcome?
As a manufacturer, we have been collaborating with our retail partners to bring back one of my favorite retail strategies: non-promotional customer event marketing. In doing so, I am learning that such events resonate with consumers in new and very positive ways, and, just as importantly, this legacy strategy can be “supercharged” using up-to-the-minute social media communication strategies, which are incredibly efficient and cost little or no money to implement.
Surprisingly, we are finding those same potential customers who are so reluctant to enter a retail store to research and make purchases because it’s more convenient to do it online are, at the same time, starved for the positive experiences and unexpected value a well-run retail event can provide. We all know there are two primary ways to build customer counts: new customer acquisition and stimulating existing customers to return. Event marketing can do both.
From my experience, event marketing is most effective when there is no sales hook attached – just the promise of a great time and the chance to learn about new products or technologies and perhaps win a door prize. It’s not about convincing people to buy, but rather about getting them excited to walk through your door and engage your Brand.