How Partnering up with Your Retailers Can Help You Achieve Marketing Goals
This is part two of our two-part series on the importance of investing in your retailer.
In my previous blog post I talked about the importance of investing in your target store from the start - both in terms of time (communicating with the store buyer to gain a better understanding of the local market) and money (your local marketing budget). This week I want to emphasize the importance of partnering up with your retailer and committing to ongoing digital marketing efforts. This, of course, calls for a tailored marketing plan for each of your stockists - a plan where the boutique owner and her marketing team are part of the planning process.
Now, if you’re not convinced a local digital marketing strategy is necessary, or that it can even deliver results, allow me to offer a few reasons for you to consider:
According to Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas, Lisa Gevelber, Google searches with the phrase “near me” have seen a dramatic increase over the last few years. She also says that these searches come with a “pretty strong signal of intent” - in other words, these are very interested buyers searching. What’s more, over the last two years, very specific mobile searches like “wedding dresses near me” and “evening dresses near me” have seen an increase of over 600 percent. Great news for bridal brands!
Another Think with Google article explains that brands with multiple retailers have a huge opportunity to deliver on the “heightened expectations of today’s impatient shoppers. Provide always-on assistance and ensure high-intent shoppers find what they need at the time they’re nearby and ready to buy.”
The idea is to employ an omni-channel bridal marketing strategy where brides-to-be are immediately able to find out which gowns are stocked at retailers near them while increasing Google Ad bids around those business locations. This drives 80 percent higher rate of incremental store visits and it is why a coordinated digital marketing strategy with your retailer is now more important than ever.
For those brands that are able to allocate resources to Google Ads, you have the opportunity to attract high-intent buyers with strategic ads. For those with fewer resources, coordinating with your retailer, ensuring your brand is listed on their website with a clear description of your brand and gown styles available at that location, increases your chances of getting found.
Becoming part of the local community gives your brand credibility. When researching a purchase, consumers tend to trust information from someone they know over information the brand presents to the public. Make your brand part of the community through local marketing efforts and you’ll gain not just your retailers’ trust, but also the brides’. And don’t be afraid to go the extra mile, find out what matters to your retailer and his or her community and give back. It’s a win win.
Keep in mind, you want to always include your retailers in your digital marketing efforts because they have valuable information about local brides’ buying habits. They can tell you, for example, if their brides are fanatical Instagram users, or whether there’s a local wedding blog brides trust. Also, the retailer’s social media following is almost entirely local, so you want them to expose your brand to their community which, even without paid marketing, is already an advantage. You can amplify your reach by investing in local targeted marketing and by collaborating with the store as well as other local vendors.
I know our instinct is to resist paying for advertising in the era of digital connectedness and social media, but shopping habits have changed precisely because of digital. It’s time bridal brands evolve their sales and marketing strategies to meet these challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Your best bet right now is to make every retailer your ally and an integral part of your marketing strategy.