Dec. 9/16, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 12
In today’s evolving retail environment, it’s increasingly important to embrace digital marketing strategies. It’s no secret that consumers in the market for flooring today typically begin their research online or seek out referrals/recommendations on popular social media sites.
That’s why the Market Maker Events, organizer of the upcoming winter Flooring Markets, strongly suggests flooring retailers use all the marketing tools at their disposal.
“You’ve been hearing it for years: ‘Social media has become more important than ever,’” said Lori Kisner, managing partner, Market Maker Events, which puts on annual trade shows in Atlanta, Dallas and Biloxi (see sidebar). “Marketers around the world have picked up on the importance of digital marketing and its various platforms, but some industries have yet to follow suit. As more flooring manufacturers are beginning to utilize digital marketing, so should flooring retailers and distributors—that is, if they want to stay relevant, grow their business and #SellMoreFlooring in 2020.”
Each dealer who attends one of the Flooring Markets will gain access to the Dealer Playbook, a comprehensive toolkit sponsored by FCNews that is designed to revolutionize the way dealers sell flooring products.
Following are some key points of the Playbook as it pertains to social media marketing.
Embrace the digital consumer. Since emerging in the ’90s, the Internet has changed consumer behavior significantly. Nearly 293 million Americans use the Internet, 257 million Americans own smartphones and almost 80% of the U.S. population have a social media account.
“Now that more people are online than ever before, it’s important to work with a manufacturer that has an online product catalog complete with room scenes that can be featured on dealers’ websites,” Kisner said. “This type of content will enhance user experiences and may lead to an increase in sales.”
Remember: content is king. In addition to shaping the way people behave, the Internet has also had a large impact on how they view different products. The web has made many products so widely available that they seem like a commodity, placing more importance on a dealer’s branding than ever before. “Prior to agreeing to work with a specific manufacturer, it’s important for a dealer to ask about what kinds of digital content they can provide for promotional purposes,” Kisner stated. “By choosing their manufacturers carefully, dealers can gain an edge and elevate their brand above the competition.”
Use the tools. High-quality assets such as video content, product photography and room scenes can all play a critical role in enhancing the look and feel of a dealer’s brand. By utilizing these components from their manufacturers, dealers can create visually appealing marketing materials, which is far more valuable than merely offering the lowest price.
“Be sure to pay particular attention to whether or not a manufacturer offers video content to their dealers, as social media posts that contain a video receive 48% more engagement than those that don’t,” Kisner noted. “Manufacturers understand the importance of video advertising, and many will even pay for a percentage of a dealer’s advertising budget if it includes their content.”
Flooring retailers may find that not all manufacturers are able to support a retailer’s digital marketing strategy, but this does not mean you shouldn’t do business with them. “There are more ways that they can elevate your marketing, including product samples, promotional offers and more,” Kisner said. “The best thing that you can do is speak directly to your manufacturers and see what they can offer you in terms of marketing support as even small differences in your marketing approach can have big impacts over time.”
To learn more about how you can enhance your marketing and ultimately #SellMoreFlooring in 2020, visit marketmakerevents.com.