Marketing is an integral part of a retailer's success. Using the elements of the retail marketing mix, including advertising, public relations, sales promotions, merchandising and store atmosphere, retailers build up the value of their brands in the marketplace. Some retailers don't place enough emphasis on marketing, even though it helps them develop and grow a customer base.
Retail marketing helps your company maintain competitiveness in its industry. In an industry with a lot of players, this is an important benefit. Marketing helps keep your company and brands at the top of consumers' minds. It also provides a direct channel to compete head-on with competitor promotions. Many retailers offer price match programs and promise to beat competitors' prices if consumers bring in competitor coupons or fliers.
Build and Maintain Awareness
Marketing helps your company generate brand awareness when you first open. You may have the best products and services around, but without marketing, your targeted audience doesn't realize that. Word of mouth helps, but this evolves slowly if you don't introduce your company to a consumer population in the beginning. As you go along, marketing allows you to maintain the public image you desire. If you are a top service provider, you use marketing to maintain this image. The same is true if you want to promote your product quality or low costs.
Leveraging customer relationship database tools, retailers can more efficiently target specific customers with personalized promotions. CRM software allows you to collect and store customer data and have a history of customer transactions. Direct mail and email marketing campaigns are used to create an interactive relationship with primary customers. They allow you to send distinct promotions to customers who haven't bought from you for a while, who have purchased specific types of commodities in the past or who fit the market for a particular product promotion. This gives you a significant return on investment in marketing.
In the long run, the goal for most retailers is customer loyalty. This emotional attachment can bring customers to buy from you even if it inconveniences them, and they are very resistant to promotional efforts by your competitors. Consistently reinforcing your brand messages in marketing and backing them up with product and service quality help generate this loyalty. Some retailers go a step further and offer customer loyalty or frequency programs that reward top customers who buy a lot of products over time.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.