The future can be a scary place - especially for traditional retail businesses. The way we connect with people has changed rapidly - sometimes daily - and it can be tough to keep up. When you’re a 60-year-old, family-run business, the struggle is real.
From Here to Eternity
More than 60 years ago in Upper Gullies, Winston and June Smith opened a small shoe and variety store. Throughout the years the business evolved little by little, but their commitment to customer service stayed the same. Eventually, Smith’s became Smith’s Furniture and Appliances and over the years, a total of three stores - Upper Gullies, Mount Pearl, and Wihtbourne - opened, offering the newest appliances and furniture to local shoppers.
Throughout those 60 years, a lot has changed around how to get the message out about your business, special promotions, and sales. We’re pretty proud to have worked with our partner Intuitive Media on helping to bring the store into the future of marketing.
Welcome to the Future
So what’s changed? First, we’re no longer stuffing your mailbox (your physical one) with a flyer you don’t want. All Smith’s flyers are online and digitally sent to those who want them through an e-mail newsletter service.
Do we reach fewer people? Yes. And that’s the point!
Meeting Your Customers Where they Are
When we first meet with any client, the first and longest conversation is always about your audience and what we have to do to reach them. As the world becomes more connected and media overloaded, it’s more important than ever to find the people who are going to be your customers in the places where they are. And in the case of Smith’s that’s right in their inboxes, rather than their mailboxes. Plus, it’s greener!
It’s an Online World
We’ve also moved from splashy ads everywhere to a heavier digital approach. While 60 years ago placing an ad in The Telegram was considered good advertising, these days, most people are consuming news and media online and on social media. This is another example of meeting your audience where they are. A great digital advertising campaign targets the people who are interested in what you have to offer. By targeting new homeowners, people interested in home decorating, those who already follow Smith’s suppliers like Maytag and Whirlpool, we’re able to directly reach people interested in shopping for furniture.
Traditional and Trendy
Sure Smith’s is still doing some traditional advertising - print ads in select publications, radio ads, and strategically-placed billboards - but these materials are far more focused than in the past. Specifically, we’ve worked together to zero in on the client’s USPs - or unique selling positions. In the case of Smith’s we’ve cut the copy WAY back. Rather than selling a single washing machine type or a specific sofa, we’re purposeful when talking about flexible financing, free delivery, and trusted warranties.
These cleaner ads, paired with brand consistency, help them to stand out amongst the clutter when you do see traditional advertising.
So, what has all this change amounted to? Well, first of all, we can track the results of our efforts better. We’ve seen a huge increase in social media followers, above industry average open rates, and, most importantly, an increase in annual revenues.