The Missing 83

The Missing 83

by Robert Hendrickson

[The following article is referencing "Who's Your Competition" shared HERE.]

Danny, your article on “The Missing 83” was a nice reminder why I still use radio as part of the marketing plan at centers not brainwashed by "trendy marketing experts" who advise against using "old-timey marketing" techniques.

In some markets when done properly, radio remains a proven method to story-connect with missing shoppers companies don't have while reminding customers they do have at the same time.

While different marketing delivery methods have their place in a multi-layered approach,  enews, Faceblur, Pintmess, etc connects mostly with fans a company already has. And maybe a few more... if a company counts on other people doing their work for them.

But even an "old-timey billboard" in the right location would connect with more of the "Missing 83" in a week than all of a garden center's social media Likes, Forwards, Shares, etc combined. What the “if it’s old-time marketing it’s bad marketing” type folks forget is that successful marketing has always been a combination of logic/numbers… how many people can be reached… and emotion/impact… does what you have to say actually matter to people.

The welcomed visits of so many new customers at garden centers this past spring supports one my favorite perspectives...

Retail Rules of the Road #83 ;)

"Businesses don't find customers as much as customers find businesses. When the customer decides the time is right."

It also proved Doug Hall's maxim that real growth/big growth comes from attracting new customers, not relying on getting more and more money from current ones.

We all saw what eventually happened when garden center customer count declined as average sale increased. For a while no one seemed bothered by the fact that fewer shoppers (Customer Count) were spending more (Average Sale) replacing the sales volume lost from fewer customers. “No worries. My total sales volume is going up regardless of how many people are in line at the registers," seemed to be the comfort statement heard within the industry.  But I clearly remember the conversation with a good client/friend who during this false comfort period called and said… “This fewer customers but higher average sale thing is going to end bad.”  He was right, although his high school English teach would have a fit... just several years ahead of the awareness curve.

Keep in mind, the rush of new customers this spring was an unexpected result from C19 (see Rule #83 above) Mo customers created mo money... just as Doug Hall espouses. But once C19 is behind us the real battle for attention begins. People will return to their frantic, time crunched life with an endless array of places and ways to spend their time and money. And countless businesses will be anxious for their return. Garden centers able to retain some/most/all the new customers they served this spring will be ones that provided a successful (yet very different from the preferred method) shopping experience, captured contact information from new shoppers, will use the information to stay connected, while carving out their position in the bigger marketplace. Marketing to the 17% is very different compared to marketing to the "Missing 83%."

I still believe a garden center needs a plan for both.

Just for fun I attached a radio story-ad example from Bedford Fields. The "I got this”" wife and "reluctant but willing" hubby have become a recognized couple in the market. Gotta think most New Englanders would see themselves or someone they know in the ad and think it's a nice place to shop. And probably tell their kids, neighbors and friends to do the same. HEAR THE RADIO AD HERE.

Got questions about the Right Message or need more information about your marketing programs? Give Robert a call or email!

Robert Hendrickson
Cell: 443-255-8282

Robert Hendrickson is founder and a service provider for The Garden Center Group and our "guru" for how to best tell your story.

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Robert Hendrickson, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer!


Share this post:

Comments on "The Missing 83"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment