The second cancellation of the CLA Game Fair in 5 years is likely to lose the rural economy over £70m – around £30m spent at the 3 days of the show, another £30m to the local economy in terms of accommodation and general expenditure associated with the event, and a further £10m or more lost from forward bookings or kit that would have come from the CLA.
The wettest June on record was all the rural economy needed
In response a number of innovative shooting suppliers and grounds put on 2 day mini-game fairs in response to the “free weekend” in peoples diaries. Having attended one I know that they were successful but they cannot replace the CLA Game Fair but it helps. The CLA is often seen as a “shop window” to attract new customers to your brand or part of your plans to sell surplus stock. One retailer agreed that their mini-game fair worked very well indeed but it could never replace the CLA – good news for the CLA but how do we all recover from the loss.
There is no magic wand to wave so what can you do? Best bet is to work on the rule that that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers but you will need to work hard to secure the sales. This means potentially promoting your services and products even harder than you would normally do at this time of year – you ought to consider putting aside what you have saved from stand, travel and accommodation costs at the CLA into additional marketing spend.
You need to “milk” your existing client base as much as you can to help make up for the loss. Think of what you were going to promote at the CLA and then use all possible forms of marketing communications to promote the offers – email newsletters, mail-outs to all the customers especially the ones that you do not have email addresses for, add promotional flashes to adverts – violate adverts with big corner flashes etc, add promotion messages to all paper correspondence – invoices and letters. The more ways that you tell people of what you have on offer the higher the chance that they will take up the offer!
As a final thought keep on growing your database – be more proactive in capturing people names and address and in particular email addresses – then these can be used to promote your services or brand in the future not only to safeguard the CLA being cancelled again.
If you would like to discuss anything I have written please call me on 01491 832617 or email me at Neville@gillmarketing.co.uk or visit www.gillmarketing.co.uk
There will no doubt be some readers who will be thinking what an earth is he on about? Well I am hoping that most readers of this column will be aware of both Facebook and Twitter. You may not like either of them or want to understand why you should use one or the other or both but they are both a great way to help promote your business. There are other social networks that you could also utilise but if you are using one of the above that is a great start.
What is the difference and what do they do?
Twitter only allows you to send or as they call it “Tweet” a message of 140 characters – it does not allow you to add pictures but you are able to add a link to a website which may be a special offer or a promotion. It is more of a marketing tool letting people know about ‘snippets’ of information. You can also integrate your Twitter feed into your website so viewers to your website can see what you are posting and allow them to sign up.
Facebook is more interactive and allows you to “post” far more information and images onto your page which then allows people to comment and start “conversations” about your post. Often you can get caught up in these “conversations” which I find can be very time consuming – so you need to be prepared to invest time on a daily basis to make it work the best for you. So if you do not have the time to get too involved then maybe Facebook is not for you?
A landing page is a good idea – this is the first page that people will visit if they are searching for you. See the one below created for Just Cartridges – it’s a good way to reinforce your branding and these can be created for you for a small cost.
You need followers!
This is the key to using social media successfully – you need to encourage your customers to like you or sign up as followers. Easier said than done but let people know when they come into your shop or promote that you are on Facebook or Twitter on your website and all forms of print communication. If you have some great offers you will find that your followers will often then send the messages that you have tweeted or posted to other friends….that’s how it works and people get to hear about what you have said.
Remember that it doesn’t happen overnight but takes time to grow your followers.