Justin Barnes is the Vice President of FurnitureLand and Ashley Homestores headquartered in Delmar, Delaware. He’s an effervescent combination of purpose, energy, and vision who leads with a servant’s heart.
In this dynamic episode, we talk about creating a culture of ownership, making the mattress department your office, and why you shouldn’t train salespeople until they get it right—you should train them until they can’t get it wrong.
Get your notepad handy because Justin drops gem after gem of wisdom and ideas.
In recent months when retailers across the country had to close stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, having an online store became essential to doing business. More and more, customers are coming to your website before they visit your store, if they even visit the store at all. Times have changed and today, your website is where a majority of customers will form their first impression of your business.
When it comes to the job your website is supposed to do, here’s the headline: be visible to shoppers searching for solutions, and make it easy to do business with your company. Another important thing your website should do is create trust. Jennifer Danko, founder of Site on Time and a division of Nationwide Marketing Group, says, “Ask yourself a simple question: based on our website, would someone shopping online have a favorable impression of our business?”
To accomplish these goals, your website should serve as your online store. It’s where customers can get a feel for your brand, learn your story and see what your business offers. By creating a website that acts as your online store, you’ll better market your business, increase visibility, and strengthen your customers’ experience with your brand. Here’s a few steps to take to turn your website into your online store.
Match the In-Store Experience
Your online store should replicate the experience you want customers to have in your store. Start by asking, are all the options available in-store also available online? It’s a simple question, but often difficult to investigate. Do the hard work.
For example, if you’re a mattress retailer, customers expect adjustable bases, remotes, and bed frames to be available for purchase on your website. Give shoppers the ability to purchase product protection. Let them easily buy and schedule white-glove delivery—if there’s an additional charge for shipping to a specific zip code, design an online experience that lets them pay that surcharge and schedule delivery. Make it easy. Every barrier to buying is a signal to consumers to bail and go somewhere that’s easier to do business.
There are two main ways to show inventory. First, you can show exact inventory. This makes some retailers nervous because inventory can turn quickly. If your site shows only one or two of an item left, it creates a sense of urgency. If you don’t want to show exact inventory, the second option is to categorize items as either in stock or quick ship.
When buying something they need right away, customers want to know what you have in stock. If a refrigerator breaks, the food will go bad. Someone buying a fridge needs one today and doesn’t want to view items that’ll take two weeks to get.
Inventory visibility increases sales and improves margins. If a consumer needs a product today, they’ll prioritize availability over price.
This goes back to mirroring the in-store experience. Online sales for many traditional retailers have been incremental. Years back, people never imagined buying cars online. Now it’s fairly common. There are even car vending machines.
Today, people are confident in making purchases online. Your job is to come up with ways to aid the customer by connecting them to the exact information they need to make the decision. For example, dimensions are a key factor for furniture and mattresses. The problem with online sales is that customers who are more apt to buy online are more likely to leave bad reviews. Call or communicate with the customer after they make larger purchases to ensure they have everything they need.
Many retailers overthink the website design and focus on inconsequential details. Most business owners want to make their site a little different. Customers want obvious and intuitive.
When looking at design, make sure it represents your company and matches your branding. Then make sure it’s user-friendly. Larger companies in your category have figured out designs that work. Don’t think so outside the box that people don’t know how to shop on your site. Don’t get bogged down in small details. Look at the overall experience. Some retailers want to do “daily deals.” People don’t visit independent retailers’ websites looking for daily deals. The customer wants to check if items are in stock; see current sales, rebates, and financing; and have a clear understanding of how delivery works.
Your online store should be priced to compete. Shoppers have options. Even if you feel your exclusive product commands a higher price, put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and find out if the online shopper would pay a premium. If you’re trying to sell $199 queen sets to compete against Amazon, you’ll likely lose—unless you create a winning strategy to upsell accessories and increase average tickets. Prices need to be competitive. And if you’re not offering the lowest price, make sure consumers understand the value added through service, delivery, financing, or other offers.
Be available in the channels where people want to communicate. Use messaging platforms like Podium to enable live chat and text capabilities. List a phone number on your website. Set up social messenger services. Give customers the ability to contact you in their preferred channels and staff those channels with people who respond immediately.
When customers set out to solve a problem, like the need for a new mattress, they want to solve it in the moment. They’re dedicating time now. The company that responds first wins.
Make the Shift
For retailers, selling online has long seemed counterintuitive because it’s not how they built their business. However, times have changed and today, having an online presence is essential to doing business.
Turning your website into your online store will enable you to better market your business and increase visibility. When your website is easy to navigate and clearly shows consumers what your business is about, customers will want to do business with you. Your website is a tool to establish trust and that’s what keeps people coming back.
For more advice on marketing your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 195 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.
Have you ever wondered about the man who is responsible for Mark Quinn? Wonder no more. In this week’s episode, we host the man, the myth and the legend that is Mr. Nick Quinn.
As with many of us, Nick didn’t start out solely in the mattress industry, but rather indirectly as a retailer for Montgomery Ward. Montgomery Ward sold mattresses (and rocking chairs and carpet, but you’ll have to listen in to hear about those foot traffic driving ideas) and eventually when his other son went to work for Mattress Firm, he joined in to assist in its growth and profitability.
In his early retail days, one industry changing ideas occurred while still at Montgomery Ward. The idea of the “value zone” which relied on verticalizing the mattress merchandise (which was unusual for the time). To increase skus without increasing footprint in the store, Nick increased inventory from three (3) in store mattress to 16 (and sometimes 18) and then challenged his customers to visit the competitor (the up-and-comer wholesaler known as Sam’s Club). Quinn banked on the idea that people liked variety and they liked multiple price points for the same product . His vision paid off and the “value zone” was born and repeated time and time again.
Quinn is now retired and treats everyday like it’s Saturday, except for Sunday. Even being a spectator in our wildly changing industry, he still had nuggets of wisdom to impart and strongly believes the best is still ahead for brick-and-mortar retailers. Our two favorite takeaways:
1. Play your own game. Don’t play someone else’s game. They will always be better at it because it’s theirs. Stay in your lane and do your thing.
2. Worry less about percentage and more about product. As he said so eloquently, “last I checked, dollars paid bills, not percentages.” Businesses get so consumed about the margin in their inventory, they forget the principles which is stocking and having good, quality merchandise on hand. Don’t fear massive quantities of single items. Find a good product and market it effectively and people will come.
Let’s say you’ve invested in marketing your product or store to consumers. You’ve placed ads, built a website and posted tons of promotional content on social media. Now that you have done all of the work to get people into your store, what are you going to do with them?
This is where the sales process comes in. Whenever working with retailers, we ask what makes them different from the competition, and the most popular response is “Our people set us apart.” This may be true, but it’s not always enough.
Your people alone aren’t necessarily going to be what brings you major sales. Consumers are smart and good at navigating around sales people they see as only interested in their commission. What you need to do is customize your sales process to give your customers a unique value-add they can’t find anywhere else.
The first step to creating a customized sales process is determining what value you have to offer. This article will help you to understand how you can offer value through unique promotions that help you connect with your customers and keep them coming back.
Prioritizing Value and Trust
Think about it. You haven’t purchased a bed in years, but now you’re in pain because your mattress sucks. You start doing research online to educate yourself on what bed is going to be best for your body and your budget.
Big problem, though: this is way more confusing than you thought. After you battle through all the sales, promotional messaging, fake online reviews, and pushy salespeople who are only after your money, you realize that this process is much harder than you imagined.
Our friends at Mattress Warehouse understand the in-store experience they deliver has to be unique in order for them to be the go-to for great sleep, so they follow the bedMATCH diagnostic process. You lie on the bed, they hit the magic button to measure your body, and out comes a mattress recommendation based on your height, gender, distribution of weight, lumbar curve, neck pain, back pain, and so on.
At this point, you realize that this retailer is actually trying to uncover your needs and fit you for your perfect bed; they want to help you, not just sell you. This gives Mattress Warehouse a value-add advantage over their competitors because the process requires the RSA to ask the consumer questions about their sleep, which ultimately builds trust—and trust is the key to the sales process.
A typical selling process involves some form of the following steps. Your job is to make sure your brand and your creative ideas come through in the process.
Establish trust and connection.
Discover needs and wants and map to solutions.
Create a memorable win-win outcome customers want to tell their friends about.
Think about ways to customize your selling process with a unique promotion. If a certain percentage of your proceeds goes to one of your favorite charities, have a nice picture board in the front of your store that highlights all the good things that group is doing in your community. If a consumer does an official test of your featured item, maybe they get a special discount offer or, better yet, one of Grandma’s homemade cookies.
Tell me and I’ll listen. Show me and I’ll watch. Involve me and I will buy.
Don’t just sell your customers; have fun with them. If your current shopping experience and process are just like those of your competitors, then there is huge potential for you to connect with your customers in a more compelling way.
It’s pretty obvious when you’re shopping for a product and the person helping you is in it for the commission. Encourage your sales people to see the value in helping your customers. For example, it’s not just about selling mattresses, it’s about helping people improve their sleep.
When your salespeople realize they are in the life-improvement business and every “up” they get on the selling floor is a chance to help someone sleep better and live better, their motivation will change and your sales will increase. We all know what it feels like to be on a car lot or in a retail store and be sold by someone working toward a big commission.
We also know what it feels like to work with a sales consultant who is focused on helping solve a problem. Those are two very different experiences that will get you two wildly different results.
In building a successful business, the first step is marketing your business to customers. The second step is that once you’ve captured their attention, create an experience that will build trust and keep them coming back. The second part is sometimes the scariest, but with some creative thinking, you can design a customized sales process that helps you to connect with customers.
Remember, at the heart of your sales process should be your value. When you lead with a purpose-driven approach, you show customers that you are not just in it for the sale, but that you care about their well-being. Do this and you’ll set yourself apart from the competition and put yourself on a path to success.
For more advice on building your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.
It’s prediction season! A listener reached out and asked, “Hey, when is Dos Marcos doing their famous predictions episode?” and as you know, we’re here to please. Thus, here it is, in all its glory.
1) Supply Chain and Verticalization in the Industry. Be prepared for continued supply chain issues and watch growth of verticalization in industry. As orders go unfulfilled and manufacturing times take longer and longer to complete, we predict many brands and companies will begin internally taking steps to make their own raw materials.
2) Consolidation. We predict the big guys are going to keep getting bigger using the leverage they have to takeover larger shares of the market in everything from the supplies to small business retailers.
3) D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) Brands will continue to expand.
4) Sleep Knowledge. Sleep behaviors and patterns will continue to evolve and sleep expertise will be sought after education.
5) THE FAM. The Dos Marcos FAM is getting a whole lot bigger.
6) Intimacy in the Customer Experience. The consumer journey will continue to get much more intimate. From texting your customers for marketing to invoicing them for payment via text or social media, retail will continue to get more familial.
7) Make Data Work For You. Data is going to continue in its surge to become a kingmaker. In 2021, you must take your data and translate it into accelerating your business forward.
8) Disinformation Will Continue to Expand. We are losing the ability to distinguish between truth and lies and if we can’t distinguish fact from fiction, we will continue to erode as a society.
9) B.A.P. = Big Ass Parties. We have been cooped up, isolated and social distanced for longer than our hearts or minds were meant to handle. Prepare yourself for big ass parties. They’re going to happen.
10) Quinn will finally wear a sweater vest.
To dive into the substance of each of these predictions, listen in and text us your thoughts and any of your own 2021 predictions. 843-MARCOS-2 (843-627-2672).
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said your brand is what people say about your business when you’re not in the room.
The best way to know what people truly think about your business is your reviews.
Today, internet reviews are one of the most powerful forces shaping consumer behavior. People want to see third party sources that praise your company for its service or product. Reviews can often make the difference between someone choosing to give you their business or not.
Customer reviews should reinforce your brand position. Your store reviews had better substantiate the claims you’ve made. If you position your business around convenience, a significant number of customer reviews should back up this claim.
When your reviews support what you’re trying to say about your business, that’s when you are on your way to building a successful brand. Consider the following to get the reviews you want and leverage them for marketing your business.
How to Get Reviews
The two best ways to get reviews are: to ask and to make it easy.
If you’re a successful local business, chances are high that your average customer is a happy customer. Unfortunately, though, happy customers are far less likely to leave reviews than unhappy customers.
You can overcome negative skewing by getting more people to write reviews. Don’t just try to get happy customers; encourage everyone to leave a review. While you may be hesitant to ask for reviews, fearing negative feedback, by not asking everyone to leave a review you actually give your few unhappy customers an outsized voice in your online reputation. The reality is that unless there’s a fundamental issue with your product or business, you’ll be fine. You will attract positive reviews that would have never surfaced otherwise. Ask everyone and make it easy.
How do you make it easy for customers to leave a review? Find a channel that can’t be ignored. Text messages, for example, or providing customers the ability to submit reviews from within emails through a service like Podium. Eliminate log-ins. Digital requests work better than analog ones. Conduct user testing. Map the review journey. Reduce friction. Test and see what produces the highest yield.
Store and Product Reviews
Don’t ask for people to leave a review while they’re in your store. That feels wrong. But do contact the customer immediately after they leave your store.
By contacting a customer while the experience is fresh in their mind, you’re more likely to generate a response and get rich and colorful information about that person’s experience.
On the contrary, gathering product reviews immediately after the purchase is virtually worthless because the customer hasn’t experienced the product. Target thirty to ninety days, which gives people time to try the product. Timing your review request to arrive shortly after the trial period ends (based on your return policy) may help you get feedback mostly from customers happy with their purchases.
Also, your customer service team can follow up with a call. That sends a message that you stand behind your products. Your service person can tell the customer, “We care about our customers’ long-term satisfaction with the products we sell, so we’ve partnered with the leading independent mattress review platform, GoodBed.com, to collect feedback that will really help other consumers looking for a good mattress.”
When you do get negative feedback, it’s an opportunity to wow that customer with amazing service and turn a hiccup into word-of-mouth marketing. Invest in preparing your customer service people with empathetic responses and plans for making things right.
Where to Collect Reviews
Even retailers who have done some of these things often make this common mistake: they focus their reviews on only one or two websites. This would be fine if every single one of your prospective customers only went to those sites when deciding where to shop—but this is not how consumers shop. You need to have a positive online reputation everywhere your prospective customers are looking.
It’s not enough to only have reviews on your website or Google. Spread them around. Once you’ve earned a sizable number of reviews on one platform, the next review on that platform is less valuable to you than the first review on another platform.
For example, once you have one hundred reviews on Google, ask customers to post reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and any industry-specific review sites such as GoodBed.com. Consumers become aware of your business through a variety of channels. That’s why it’s important to pepper each path with plenty of reviews to prevent any channel from looking like a ghost town.
How to Use Reviews
Reviews are assets. You can deploy them in your marketing. They can be used to encourage your team. They should be used to make your business more credible and trustworthy.
Reviews are also third-party validation for any claim you make. Anytime you make a claim, follow it up with, “Don’t take our word for it…” and then fill in the blank with a review that substantiates the claim.
If you say, “Our mattress store is the most convenient place to shop,” then you’d better have customer reviews that say things like “I picked up the phone at 11 a.m. and by 3 p.m. I was lying down in my bedroom on my new mattress. I can’t believe how easy it was.”
Consumers are fairly cynical and guarded. They don’t believe what companies say and often doubt claims as soon as they hear them. Reviews give them a reason to believe.
Another crucial step is reading all reviews about your products or those that you carry. Product reviews are a huge part of the customer journey. Before you can guide the customer to new information, you need to start by meeting them where they are. If your team doesn’t know at least what your customer knows, how can they credibly position themselves as experts?
Leveraging Reviews for Your Brand
What people say about your business matters. While you should strive to give every customer the best experience possible, negative reviews are somewhat inevitable. The best way to maximize positive reviews is to proactively encourage customers to review your product or store.
By making reviews part of your marketing strategy, you will be more likely to gain positive reviews that help you increase business. Remember, the ultimate goal is that your reviews backup your brand pillars. When you achieve this, you can feel confident that your brand is resonating with consumers and contributing to a positive customer experience.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.
After being behind-the-scenes for a few months, Yo Adrienne! made her first official appearance on the Dos Marcos Show. Yo Adrienne! handles all social media, email, and much more. She told The Marks about a secret sleep survey she pushed out to her personal social media contacts and the results deserved a deeper dive.
In this episode, you’ll get to know Yo Adrienne and discover what more than 400 of her friends think about sleep and buying a mattress online.
Plus, the triple play foot traffic-driving idea that’ll light up your sales floor, and a tip on selling better sleep that involves dirty rats.
A major part of promoting your business is what you say, how you say it, and where you say it.
Most retailers get into an advertising groove. They run the same promotions year after year with the same media outlets. When foot traffic doesn’t boom and sales numbers stagnate, they wonder why the business isn’t growing. The simple answer is that these retailers are focusing their advertising on sales, or discounts, when they should be focusing on substance.
Advertising isn’t just about promoting your sales and encouraging customers to give you their business. It should be part of your larger strategy to tell your story and connect with consumers. When you do this, you’re more likely to capture the attention of customers and that’s when you see your business grow.
Here we’ll explore a prominent example of how choosing substance over sales can pay off for your business and highlight takeaways that you can use to shift the focus of your advertising to better communicate your story and purpose.
It’s About Building Connection
In 2008, Chick-fil-A was facing tough competition from other fast-food restaurants that were giving away items for free to create spikes in business. Giveaways may generate some traffic, but it’s short-term thinking and brutal on the bottom line.
Chick-fil-A decided not to participate in a price war. Instead, they created Daddy-Daughter Date Night. Jeff Rouse, owner of a Chick-fil-A in Olathe, Kansas, wanted to host an event that would drive people into his store and give dads and daughters a memory that would last a lifetime.
Little girls put on their best dresses, dads wore suits, and they stepped into a fast food restaurant that had been transformed with soft music, white tablecloths, and fresh flowers on every table. The event was such a smashing success, Chick-fil-A stores all over the country adopted Daddy-Daughter Date Night and added red carpets, carriage rides, and strolling violinists. It has since grown so big that community members now volunteer to help make it a special night for everyone involved.
Competitors were advertising discounted chicken. Chick-fil-A was advertising the opportunity to deepen the connection between fathers and daughters.
Prioritize Value, Not Profit
The biggest mistake retailers make when it comes to advertising is getting stuck on product-price-and-promotion messages. If that’s where you focus, where do customers place their attention? Is a transaction the only outcome you are after?
There is no reason you can’t use advertising to hook your audience while also building value in your products, process, and people. If all you do is scream “SALE” during every major event, you blend in with every other business. You become noise that’s easy to tune out.
Carve out space to talk about something cool you’re doing in your community. Imagine a television ad with twenty seconds spent building value in something special or telling a story, coupled with a ten-second pitch about the offer. That format still works, and you’ll accomplish way more than your bland competitors will, doing what they have always done.
Promote Your Purpose
When you focus on substance rather than sale you create an opportunity to promote your business’s purpose. Chick-fil-A advertised Daddy-Daughter Date Night instead of a price-focused promotion. When we see that Chick-fil-A cares about our family enough to create this sort of event, it connects us to them in a special way.
Consider how you want to connect with your customers. Is there a cause in your community that you care about? Can you give back in some way? Choosing to focus your advertising on your purpose will enable you to better tell your story and build strong connections with your customers that will help your business grow.
Remember that this doesn’t mean you can never run promotions. Just make sure that’s not all you do. If it is, you’re missing a real opportunity. Get creative, be brave and go beyond your typical advertising messaging. You will be glad you did.
For more advice on marketing your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 190 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.
Dos Marcos heard a dirty rumor that the guys from GoodBed.com are starting a mattress podcast. In classic schoolyard style, the Marks confront Mike Magnuson and Jeff Cassidy to get the details.
Does the industry need another mattress podcast? What will their show be about? Can the universe handle another bedding business show, or will it get sucked into a black hole of sheets, springs, foam, and fiber?
In the first season of their show, they’ll talk about how COVID has affected the consumer journey, threats facing the mattress industry, and answering the question, “Is retail walking dead?”
We’ll announce when the Mike It Up podcast goes live, so be sure to subscribe to this podcast for the latest.
With so many communication channels, from TV to radio to social media, it can be difficult to determine where to market your business. Ever had something like this happen?
A team member says, “Let’s create a print ad!” A week after the ad hits publications, somebody says, “Let’s produce a video to match that print ad.” Before you know it, you’re tackling multiple channels one by one when you should have pushed your message out all at once.
A better method is atomizing one idea and pushing it into every channel. Considering making a list of all potential channels. This is an easy way to force yourself to create assets for every channel you own, bring in the right people to support the execution, and make sure you don’t end up looking back on a promotion, wishing you had done more to make the strategy work.
By pushing your promotions through multiple communication channels, you’ll achieve a more holistic marketing approach. As a result, you’ll maximize your exposure and avoid missing opportunities to promote your business.
Here are the channels you should prioritize for a holistic, multi-channel marketing approach, including a list of the possible ways to leverage each channel for exposure.
Partner for a promotion
Press releases and media coverage
Consider what media publications your audience reads. Is there a top trade publication for your industry? Or maybe you want to reach high-level business leaders through The Wall Street Journal.
Once you identify the publications that are most important, think about the best way you can get into them. Is a print or digital ad the best way to communicate to your customers? Or is this something that may garner earned media attention with the press release. Other options to consider include email blasts and paid partnerships.
Television and Radio
Partner for a promotion
Press releases and media coverage
Television and radio have long been popular ways to market to consumers. You may choose to work with a local radio station or depending on your budget, maybe you want to reach a large number of people across the country through a national ad. Again, consider the best method of promoting your message through this channel whether it be with a TV or radio spot, a digital ad, email blast, paid partnership or earned media coverage.
Content to post
Survey / poll
Contest for fans
Personal outreach to fans
Post to other groups
In the digital age, your business should have a presence on social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the most widely used platforms. You don’t necessarily need to have a presence on all networks. Choose one or two that fit your business best and use them to promote your business and connect with customers.
For social promotions, consider what content you can post. Could you do a survey or poll to increase engagement? How about a contest for fans? Would paid digital ads help further promote your message?
The possibilities for social promotion continue to grow. The most important thing is that you’re speaking directly to your customers when you interact with them on social media.
How can this idea become news?
Create in-store event
Article for publication
Partnerships with other businesses
As you’re brainstorming marketing ideas always ask yourself, how can this idea become news?
One of the best ways to garner attention for your business is with media coverage. Media coverage serves as third party endorsement and whenever it helps tell consumers how great you are, the more likely it is that the coverage will positively impact your business.
Home page update
Blog posts or articles
Your website is one of the best channels you can leverage for marketing your business. In our digital world, your website is increasingly becoming the place where consumers form their first impression of your business.
For promotions, consider updating your homepage. Or for larger promotions, you may also want to consider creating a landing page. Creating a blog or news section on your website where you post articles is a great way to establish your thought leadership and showcase your values and purpose.
Communication to employees
Sales-team training and creation of selling materials
Email signatures adjusted to campaign
Communication needed throughout the campaign
Notify other divisions and partners
Update all website properties you own
An important communication channel that sometimes may get forgotten is your internal network of employees. Consider how your employees can support spreading news about your business. This could include creating sales materials for the sales team or designing a campaign email signature.
Be thoughtful in how you communicate with all parties in your business. Some may need more information than others. It’s important to make sure you’re keeping everyone informed and up to speed as the promotion unfolds.
Social media posts
Partner with other businesses
In recent years, influencers have become increasingly present in companies’ marketing initiatives. Consider if there are any influencers in your industry who can help tell your story and support your promotional efforts. This could mean partnering with influencers on social media posts, blog posts or giveaways.
Blog posts or articles
As a rule of thumb, make sure to consider all the various types of general content you could produce to promote your business. This may include digital and/or print ads, email marketing, blog posts or articles, videos, and press releases.
The more content you create, the easier it will be to tailor the content for each channel.
Putting It All Together
It can be easy to stick with the marketing channels that are familiar to us and forgo others. However, failing to explore all channels can lead to missed opportunities.
Next time you begin planning marketing assets, take time to consider how you can leverage a multi-channel approach to maximize your marketing exposure. You won’t always need to create content for all channels. Instead, pick and choose the best tactics for each individual promotion.
By leveraging a holistic approach, you’ll more effectively maximize your ideas and create marketing assets at once so they work in tandem to promote your business.
For more advice on marketing your business, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos,The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.