Whether you’re just starting out, or have been investing in marketing for years, the same questions are always asked: Where do I start? Is this the right marketing channel and approach for our business?
In an industry which is in a constant state of innovation and ripe with opportunities, we spoke with the HFA on how furniture retailers can best position themselves to test, learn, and build greater connections with their customers.
Building a Foundation and Being Nimble
It’s okay to start slow and work yourself up. No one person or business can do everything at once. That might be the ideal state for some, but trying too soon can ultimately slow you down, surface frustrations, and result in overspending.
It’s important to first understand your customer. Behaviorally, how are they adjusting to different factors happening on a day-to-day basis? During 2020, as traveling and vacation budgets were put on hold, they shifted towards home remodeling and redecorating with online sales growing 47% YoY. Being able to see activity, such as what products consumers are searching for, is a great lens into general sentiment, providing you with the opportunity to be nimble and quickly capitalize on your customers’ wants and needs.
Managing Your Budget, Being Efficient, and Understanding Your Return on Investment
Digital marketing can get expensive, but you have to spend something if you’re working to accelerate your business’s growth. Now more than ever, it’s vital that marketing, technology, and business KPIs stay aligned and work off of the same sheet of music of who your customer is, what they need, and what the business needs.
One way to start is by looking at your marketing funnel and consumer map — where are customers engaging the most, the least, and how can we get them closer to that next step of what they may want? Looking at analyses like diminishing returns helps us determine whether or not we’ve maximized a certain channel or customer. Some customers are more valuable than others, and it’s important to understand how much it costs, what the limit is, and when we need to introduce another channel to keep them engaged.
Being Your Own Customer and Auditing the Experience
At Incubeta, our teams become the customer, going through the purchase itself. What we learn coming out of that shapes how we use data and analytics technology and helps determine whether a different channel is the right experience for customers. Feel and understand the experience for yourself.
Test and Learn
Is there a format that has worked for you in the past? Are you curious about new and emerging technologies and strategies? Know who your customer is first — who they are, why they’re on your site or interacting with a specific channel, and how they consume media — from here you can only expand. The information is all there to help you make the best choices for your business.
There’s clear value in putting yourself and your organization in a position to test and avoid future pitfalls. Doing too much or not enough can lead to missed revenue and excessive waste of your marketing budget. Build a hypothesis for why a specific medium may work. Run your tests, measure the outcomes, and make adjustments from there.
Mediums like Connected TV are opening doors to different audiences and business models. What used to be expensive, limited in space, and tough to measure is now becoming an integrated marketing playground — testing different creatives, times of day, audiences, and budgets to capture the greatest opportunities.
No one digital advertising strategy will work for each furniture retailer, but creating a solid foundation and testing approaches based on your data is vital. With a better understanding of your customers and what resonates with them, you can become more advanced with your strategies and drive both marketing performance and business success.
Watch Ed’s entire discussion with the Home Furnishings Association here.