How do you market your small business? Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations or all of the above?
**This is how I define each. I don’t look up definitions but I speak on experience. So your idea or a dictionary may have a different meaning that what I am writing.**
What is Advertising?
Advertising is a way trying to entice consumers to shop at your store or use your service via newspaper, magazines, TV commercials, mailings, web site, email blasts and more. This is a way of telling customers what you have in your store, what you offer or just a reminder that you are still around. Some will include a special discount or offer to really grab the attention of the person looking.
Does it work? Sometimes you get a small return but it seems like unless you invest millions, you don’t get the return you would want. For example, the Bed, Bath and Beyond postcard that comes in the mail every month where you save 20%, I know and you know that we all have a drawer full of them just in case. This is a company that can afford to remind you that you will save 20% no matter what the expiration date is on that card. So do I advertise, yes – but I try not to do it by sending coupons, I do it to define what my company is all about – to build an image. That’s a whole different topic all together so I will go there another time.
It really depends on your product and who is looking for it – I personally wouldn’t look through a discount magazine or newspaper to try and find quality jewelry. It just doesn’t work. But some may look for a free eye exam with purchase or additional services if you clean your air conditioning vents. Targeting advertising is important but is very difficult unless you can really target that market which can be challenging in the jewelry business.
What is Marketing?
Marketing to me is tricky. It is so broad that it is difficult to account for just about everything in one blog but I will try. Simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers. How you address your customers, how you handle yourself in public, how your sales team works with customers and the feeling of appreciation and happiness when they walk out the door. My mission statement to my team is, “Every customer should leave happier than when they walked in the door.” This is part of my marketing strategy. Is it realistic? Yes. It definitely is. Sure I get customers that walk in with a chip on their shoulder. My goal is to make sure the chip is long gone before they leave and 99% of the time, it is. Marketing to me is not all process, it is the personality and make up of yourself and your team. In the jewelry business, we get all sorts of personalities that come in here. Some strong, some light. We cater to all and know how to adjust and build relationships with all of our customers. Each customer is offered coffee or a light drink, they are greeted with a good morning/afternoon/evening, my team is all smiles and we try our best so the customer gets the piece they desire at the price they desire. They leave with a Casale bag and friendly goodbyes from the entire team.
But you ask… how is that marketing? Marketing to me is all the work done to make people feel comfortable and trusting to work with you. Whether it’s working with customers inside the store, social media marketing or me marketing myself at networking events, charity functions and more. That’s the whole part of me marketing myself and relationship building. I am with the SIEDC, Chamber of Commerce, South Shore Rotary, BNI and attend one off networking meetings to meet others and market myself. It is the whole process of building relationships which I mentioned in my previous blog about networking on Staten Island. I could discuss this for hours at a time but I will cut it off here. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.
What is PR?
PR, or public relations is a way of getting out into the public eye by getting involved in community activities. It is more personal than business related. Working with charities, helping others in need and doing the little things to create a positive environment for others are all part of PR. Politicians are big with PR because you get to see what the person is really about – or what they say they are really about. To me, actions speak louder than words. I make sure I support at least 1 or more charities each month. It is my choice to help out organizations that are dear to me and that need help such as American Cancer Society (ACS) and Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. I would much rather put my time and money into a charity than pay $3000 a month for a billboard.
If you would like to get involved, follow me on Facebook to see what events I am coordinating or helping to raise money for. My recent event was on Dec 15th at my store where we raised over $4000 for Cooley’s Anemia. We had a Holiday Light Show with DJ, break dancers, Zumba, Dominick Mancino, Santa himself and more. Check me out on NY1 news.
What is Viral Marketing?
My definition of viral marketing is a healthy combination of all 3. I have the opportunity to get creative with ads, market myself as a business and person and build a positive image for myself and my company as I get the opportunity to give back to society. Yeah, I don’t get to hang out with the boys much and I don’t see my wife during the month of December due to Christmas, but being a successful business owner is a lifestyle. You don’t work your 9-5 and hope to be successful. You do whatever you can to get yourself out there by utilizing advertising, marketing and PR strategies.
What is my favorite and what do I think has been most rewarding?
It’s a tossup between the social aspect of Marketing and PR. Both of which I get to meet and learn from others and network plus I have the opportunity to attend and sponsor charity events. All of which allows me to meet others with the same qualities as I do. Again – the whole relationship thing. Read my other blog if you didn’t already.
Have fun, be creative and be positive. Make sure you have a team that supports all of these and you or you will not succeed. Take care of your customers as you would your friends and family cause if you screw over 1 customer, they will be sure to not come back and tell everyone about their experience. And if you’re from Staten Island or a small town, it becomes like a virus and spreads fast. Good luck.
If you would like to contact Casale Jewelers for that special gift, please call Cory Schifter at (718) 351-8300 or visit their store location at 1639 Richmond Road. Casale Jewelers has been in operation since 1986 has been owned by Cory Schifter since August of 2009. Casale Jewelers is a retail jeweler with a jewelry designer, licensed repairman and diamond setter, gold and diamond buyers, and a full staff of trained professionals with over 15 years of experience on site.
Watch brands include Casio G-Shock, Citizen Eco-Drive, Pre-Owned Rolex, Skagen, Wenger Swiss Army, Fossil and much more.
Jewelry brands include Swarovski Crystal and Jewelry, Picturesongold.com, Kameleon Jewel Pops, Zable Beads and Charm Bracelets, Hershey Kiss, Adami and Martucci Fine Jewelry, CHISEL, Posh Mommy and Benchmark Wedding Bands.