Marketing may seem like it all happens outside the store, in media or cyberspace -but great retailers make sure their exterior messages are unified with their in-store experience.  It’s a disappointing slide for customers who have been promised “the widest selection” and then see a limited range of products or to quickly realize the “best prices of the season” are only on a couple of items.  There are some critical ways to make sure your store’s external messages are harmonized with the in-store experience.

    Keep your employees in the know.  Each week, every sales associate should know the current key marketing messages.  It should be a topic of the weekly sales meeting (You do have one, right?) and a prominent message on the backroom message board.  Help store employees by integrating the current marketing message with “say’s and do’s” each week.  Sales and sponsorships should be a part of the front door greeting as well as the way the phone is answered.  Create a message that associates can feel natural saying like “Welcome to our store – If you’re here for our February Clearance Sale, all of our sale products are in this aisle.”   Stay away from things like “Welcome to our store where this week we are featuring a buy two get the third half off on every toner cartridge over $25.”  The same is true for a phone message.  Keep it short and helpful.  But make it clear that marketing messages are a non-negotiable requirement for answering the phone.

    Match the marketing message to the right message location.  Think of marketing message as having one of three main goals:

    1. Attracting people into the store – this will primarily occur outside the store: in windows, doors and the visible area within the storefront.
    2. Making a sale in the store  – these are the messages that should lead a customer from consideration to purchase.  Keep messages focused and updated.
    3. Building loyalty for a return visit – often forgotten, this is the opportunity to ratchet up your brand and make your store top of mind for future purchases.

    Then match your locations to each message.

    Our next Blog Post – Matching Messages and Locations in Stores – is all about the best practices for doing exactly that.