With so much on our plates, it’s easy for advertising to tumble down to last place on the to-do list. It can also be the first thing cut when cash flow is tight. However, as famed coach Lou Holtz told his audience in a commencement speech (and I’m paraphrasing here), “You are either growing or you’re dying. A tree is either growing or dying.”
To grow, you must increase your sales by attracting new customers and inspiring current ones to make a purchase. Consider strong brands such as Coca-Cola or Home Depot, who certainly own a huge portion of market share, yet continue to advertise. It’s clear they subscribe to this philosophy. None of us have the marketing budget of Home Depot or Coke, so what’s a florist to do?
Develop a marketing budget
How much will you spend and what media will you use? I recommend spending a minimum of 3 percent of your total sales. If your store is located off the beaten path with low visibility and your facility costs are lower than 7 to 10 percent, move some of the money you are saving on rent to advertising. The converse is also true if you are paying a premium to be in a high-traffic area.
FTD’s Co-op Advertising Program is a great way to stretch your budget. FTD will match your advertising spend up to $2,500. It’s super easy and FREE! My shop used it to expand our Mother’s Day advertising budget and it definitely paid off.”
If the goal is to promote your brand, make sure your costs are covered. If the goal is to boost sales on a particular product or in a specific time frame, your advertising should not only cover costs but add to the bottom line. In my opinion, both advertising goals are crucial.
I am familiar with the idea of going fishing when the fish are biting, but that approach tends to just build holiday sales. What about all the other reasons to purchase our wonderful product? It can’t be one-and-done. It’s about building momentum and keeping it rolling!
As you build your plan, make sure that your advertising is as unique as your designs! There’s a lot of room to be creative here and really give potential customers a taste of your design skills and aesthetic.
Your leads might not buy today, but stick with your plan. If they receive a message from you on a regular basis, they will find a reason to give you their business.
(Floral Design Credit: Tina Coker)5