In the great juggling act of running a small business, marketing efforts all too often find themselves at the bottom of the to-do list, de-prioritized in the face of more pressing concerns like fixing a broken appliance, reordering inventory or simply dealing with customers. And yet, tearing yourself away from your iPad Point of Sale and ensuring positive word of mouth has never been more important or less time consuming.
Following up on our recent guest blog post by Resource Nation’s Megan Webb-Morgan, we thought we’d reach out to some of our favorite ShopKeep POS Merchants and see how they go about getting the word out.
It being nearly Mother’s Day we sought out a florist, a baker and a women’s clothing retailer to help get you in the mood. We’ve also asked our in-house marketing guru, Hadley, to share her thoughts on the techniques that these retailers employ.
The Clothing Retailer
Sadie Grace Inc is a boutique in Greenville, Ohio. Set up by Dennis and Kirsten Berghoff, Sadie Grace offers a wide range of women’s clothing for fashion forward locals. Kirsten shared the following marketing wisdom:
1. Connect with your local community. Kirsten places advertisements and discount coupons in her local newspaper.
2. Create Anticipation. Kirsten promotes upcoming new products on Facebook.
3. Showcase your Community. Kirsten shares pictures of her customers trying on her wares on social media.
Hadley: The concept of ‘social proof’ is really important. Ever wonder why they include a laugh track on TV shows? It’s because we feel more comfortable doing something if our ‘peers’ are already doing it. By sharing pictures of customers enjoying her clothes, Kirsten validates them as desirable.
The Flower and The B. is a ‘farmer’s market of flowers’ in Oakland, California set up by Brian to showcase artistic, unique arrangements of locally sourced flowers. Brian suggested these marketing tactics:
1. Remind customers of upcoming events. Brian uses social media to remind his customers of important upcoming dates, from Mother’s Day to Valentine’s Day.
2. Build your customer database. Brian is collecting customer emails as much as possible.
Hadley: Brian is totally right to prioritize the collection of customer emails. By building out your customer database, you are able to connect with your customers more directly, more regularly and in a more personal way. Also, leveraging event based marketing is a really powerful idea. The natural deadline makes it easier to create a sense of urgency around the need to purchase.
Tipsy Cupcakes in Billings, Montana was born out of owner Kari Jones’ love of baking and her desire to start an enterprise she could make work for her while raising her daughter. Kari suggests that you:
1. Make it personal. Kari shares photos of customers enjoying birthday cakes on her Facebook page.
2. Choose the right location and word of mouth will naturally follow.
3. Keep the customers up to date. Kari shares daily cupcake flavor updates on Facebook.
Hadley: Kari is definitely correct about the importance of choosing the best possible location. A high profile location, with lots of foot traffic, can really make the difference in how quickly people find out about you. Kari’s regular social media updates are also really important. There is an expression in marketing, ‘Top of mind is tip of tongue’. Keeping your product fresh in someone’s mind not only means that they more likely to frequent your store but they’re also more likely to encourage their friends to do so too!