There are several different approaches you can take to help your company market successfully. There are two main parts of retail market: 1) marketing to attract new customers, and 2) marketing to customers once they are in the store.
In-store marketing includes loyalty programs, contests, and prize giveaways and can ensure that your customers come back. While these steps are crucial to continued business success, getting customers in the door for the first time is even more important. Here are a few ideas to find new customers:
- Daily Deal Websites (Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, etc.). Daily deal websites can be an excellent resource for you as a frozen yogurt storeowner. Groupon does not charge up front for their services, and in most cases, the fee is a percentage of the revenue generated through the “Local Deal” created by you. Most of these deals last 24 hours, however there are options to run even longer or shorter deals as well. One example is to offer a deal where $10 paid by the customer through Groupon will give that customer $18 in credit to your store. But you can create any deal you want to offer – with approval from Groupon. This is a great way to attract first time customers, especially if you are opening a new store. Once customers come in, you can utilize your in-store marketing techniques. Living Social, Amazon local, and local daily deal websites are also good options in addition to Groupon.
- Partner Marketing. Many yogurt stores are located in strip malls or in very close proximity to other businesses. Common neighbors are gyms, movie theaters, nail salons, pizza parlors, and other types of restaurants. Reach out to your neighbors and ask them to place flyers or coupons in their stores near the registers. If someone is walking out of a Chinese restaurant for example, a quick glance at on one your flyers on their way out the door could be all it takes to have them pop in for a little dessert. In exchange, you can help advertise for your neighboring companies.
- Sign Marketing. Depending on your location, different regulations may exist for placing or even hiring people to hold signs to advertise your shop. Your town, city or county will handle these regulations. If placing a stand-alone sign is not acceptable, sometimes having a hired worker hold a sign is a viable option. But be careful about using sign holders. An energetic, well-groomed worker who is charismatic can attract customers to your store, while a lazy-looking, sloppy individual with his sign sitting on the ground can drive customers away. You can also use a lighted sign at night to attract attention
- Traditional Advertising. This is usually the most expensive option, but can reach the most people as well. Traditional advertising includes television, radio, newspaper, coupon pack mailers (moneymailer.com, www.valpak.com), and the back of grocery store receipts.
- Online Advertising. Google AdWords Express is a great way to advertise locally online. It is a local version of Google’s traditional AdWords platform. When people click on your ad, the link can go to your website or to a free Google business page. Customers can also call your business directly. You pay when a someone clicks on your add or calls the phone numberin the ad. Visit http://www.google.com/adwords/express/ to get started.
The most important thing to remember is that you CANNOT rely on the famous quote from the movie The Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” …If they don’t know about it, then they definitely won’t come!
Be creative and try several different things until you find marketing methods that work for you. And if you have any ideas or suggestions we’d love to hear about it – please contact us.