It’s crucial for retail associations to have a marketing plan to ensure that objectives are set, messaging is consistent, and goals are achieved.
- Setting objectives is crucial: It’s important to make your goals as clear as possible and put numbers against them – it’s the only real way to measure success.
- Create cohesive messaging and campaigns: Develop marketing campaigns with consistent and cohesive messaging – that is, messaging that supports all stores individually and the precinct as a whole.
- Market when it matters: A year-round marketing strategy is crucial for retail but ramping up marketing at specific times of year can also really make a difference in the success of a marketing campaign.
- Review the results: Taking the time to analyse the results will give you invaluable insights.
Retail associations that decide to undertake marketing often discover pretty quickly that creating a marketing plan can be like bringing a family together to plan a milestone birthday celebration.
Everyone has different ideas about what the celebration should look like; everyone has something they’d like to achieve. Some family members will fight tooth and nail to get what they believe constitutes a great night out, while others (parents) are simply happy to get out of the house. It can all quickly turn into a hot mess, with the end result being a mediocre event that’s quickly forgotten.
Retail associations are a collection of similarly eclectic stores and businesses, often at various stages of development and with a variety of goals – bringing them together for marketing purposes requires a plan, and the experts to execute it.
Here’s what retail associations need to consider when developing a marketing plan.
Setting objectives is crucial
Identifying what it is that you actually want to achieve as a retail precinct is the first step in any marketing plan.
Given that every store in the precinct will have their own individual goals, depending on their offering and their positioning within their own sector, it’s important to come together and define common goals.
The most obvious goals would probably be to bring more people to the precinct and to increase sales. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll soon uncover others that will benefit all businesses.
If your precinct features grocery stores, children’s clothing and bookstores, for example, a goal might be to establish the area as a family precinct. Similarly, if it’s dotted with restaurants and eateries, you might want to establish it as a gourmet food destination.
It’s important to make your goals as clear as possible and put numbers against them – it’s the only real way to measure success.
For instance, you might want to increase foot traffic by 30 per cent by the end of the financial year, you might decide that increasing your website traffic by 10 per cent each month is an achievable goal, or you might want to boost brand awareness so that shoppers think of your retail precinct when they need to make a purchase.
These goals should inform every stage of your marketing plan.
Create cohesive messaging and campaigns
Once you’ve defined your goal, the next step is to develop marketing campaigns with consistent and cohesive messaging – that is, messaging that supports all stores individually and the precinct as a whole.
Not only do they have a robust digital presence, with a functional and aesthetically pleasing website, the precinct rolls out a mix of campaigns every year across digital, print, and other traditional advertising platforms. Additionally, they host several activations and larger-scale events to bring their precinct to life and as a way to encourage people to physically visit and shop in local businesses.
Aside from doing a varied mix of marketing activities throughout the year to algin with their goals, the Camberwell Centre Association has a consistent message and brand representation across every campaign, allowing their audience to recognise their brand when they see it.
Market when it matters
A year-round marketing strategy is crucial for retail associations – every interaction a customer has with the precinct’s brand should have consistent messaging and serve as a building block – but ramping up marketing at specific times of year can also really make a difference in the success of a marketing campaign.
Christmas, for example, is a great time to market shopping precincts, because of the volume of people shopping and the variety of their needs.
That’s why a year-long marketing schedule is important. It helps identify key dates for marketing activity, and also identifies potential gaps. Is there a bit of a quiet spot in early October? How about creating a buzz around the spring racing carnival?
Review the results
It’s an often-overlooked aspect of marketing campaigns, but it’s vital to review the performance of your marketing campaign to ensure the success of future campaigns. Taking the time to analyse the results will give you invaluable insights.
It’s not just about whether a campaign successfully met its targets – more importantly, it’s about what worked and what didn’t.
Was there a spike in sales directly following that print campaign? Were you able to identify a steady increase in foot traffic when the Easter Bunny began hopping around the streets?
What you learn from these results will help inform what marketing elements you include in your next marketing plan, and where to invest money and resources.
Marketing support for retail associations
Creating and executing marketing plans are at the best of times complex, but particularly so for retail associations that service many varied businesses – that’s why calling in the experts is what delivers the best results.
Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, with vast experience of working with and delivering tangible results for retail associations.
To find out how we can help your precinct with marketing, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.