Where Flooring Retailers Should Invest in Digital Marketing in 2024

Where Flooring Retailers Should Invest in Digital Marketing in 2024

One thing you can always count on with the digital marketing landscape is that it constantly changes. Frank Chiera, senior VP of marketing and advertising, CCA Global Partners, and Terri Daniels, VP of public relations, offer guidance on marketing strategy for flooring retailers in 2024. Frank Chiera, senior VP of marketing and advertising, CCA Global Partners.
Floor Trends & Installation: What advice for marketing are you giving to your retail members for 2024?  Floor Trends & Installation: What advice for marketing are you giving to your retail members for 2024? Frank Chiera: One of the big takeaways is that we need to get more members to advertise more, and that the members that are advertising more are absolutely seeing better results than members that aren’t. Members that have pulled back in this slowdown are the ones that are struggling the most. The tools that we’ve put together, whether it’s digital marketing or social media or organic marketing, or even traditional marketing, we need them to use the tools that are in the arsenal of assets that we have and leverage our programs. We brought all the teams in a couple of years ago, all of our paid digital folks or Google certified experts, our social media folks are certified expert. We know how to drive traffic to stores. My key takeaway is leverage the assets that you have. No one has the depth and breadth of marketing materials than we do. Just throttle up in 24, get moving and drive that business forward by advertising. FLOOR: For those who aren’t doing as much advertising as they should, what’s their reasoning? Chiera: When your business is down, you try to figure out where to cut expenses. Advertising is a relatively easy thing to cut because it’s a variable cost. I think that’s part of it. I think the other challenge that the members that are having that are down are they’re not sure where to spend the money. We have a tool we call Scope. It is a tool that’s sort of an amalgamation of data, census data member purchasing data, sales data. We have flooring market potential information in that particular market, the number of competitors. All of this data combined, we’ve put together and made recommendations to members on what they should be spending locally in their market. Our members are incredibly smart business people. They know product, they know how to service customers. They know how to install great, beautiful floors, and they get great reviews. They don’t know marketing, and that’s not anything against them. It’s just that they’re not marketing experts. Terri Daniels, VP of public relations, CCA Global Partners. FLOOR: What has changed in social media? Terri Daniels: Our focus is about all about local and giving them local opportunities. We offer social media programs. It’s through syndicated contents content, and we have a boosting strategy. We’ve been working on refining the boosting strategy. We’re focusing on engagements. We’re encouraging them to be local, and members are understanding that, building that awareness. You’ve got do the whole funnel. I was talking to a member last night and she said she was focused on just the promotional message, and she’s results from awareness because they just want the lead, but you’ve got to work that—you got to nurture that lead. We’re always changing content, testing, looking at our results, looking at what people like so that we do more content like that. Every month we’re looking, what do we need to do differently? What do we need to change? FLOOR: What do you see working? Daniels: There’s so much noise on social media that in order to kind of break through the clutter, you have to do things that are more a bit jarring. I think consumers are so used to seeing just brand content, promotional content on social media that when you do see something local or you see something that’s specific to your area, it’s like, oh, it’s a little bit more eye catching in. And the results are incredible. The hyperlocal program that we piloted has been incredible. We worked for several months refining it to figure out what’s going to work and how we’re going to be able to scale that program with a more personalized approach to make it more local. We also did a test with TikTok and that had really surprising results. We’re going to be rolling that out for the national brands. We have a lot of engagement, a lot of people looking for home decor on TikTok. Chiera: It’s a test. We don’t want to leave any stone unturned. And even though that format right now might be something that’s geared a little bit younger, we don’t know yet. It’s always good to test those kinds of things to see what can move the needle. And the demographics really surprised us: they weren’t all young. FLOOR: What’s the top goal retailers should put in place for their marketing in 2024? Chiera: The goal probably isn’t just spending more money, but the members definitely need to invest more in their business from a marketing perspective period. That’s investing in advertising, it’s investing in helping their sales professionals convert more leads. I always say every lead that you get, it should be treated as gold. I can’t tell you how many times stores tell me that they’ll get a lead in and they send it to their salesperson, and they don’t know whether they followed up with it or not. For me, the top goals for retailers would be invest in your business. And that’s from an advertising perspective, inspect and make sure that your sales team are working every lead and doing everything they can to convert that lead to a sale. The third one would be around integration. Take your online presence, your promotional strategies, your sales management techniques, and thread that through the entire organization. Make sure that it’s aligned. You’re merchandising with Retail 2.0. What we’re trying to do is make everything so that there’s never a disconnect for the customer from the moment they see that ad on Google to the moment they get the floors installed. FLOOR: Tell me more about that seamless digital experience. Chiera: Everything talks to each other and looks the same. When a customer fills out a lead on form on the website or visualizes the room, that lead information goes down to the stores. When the customer comes into the store, they can pull up that information on our digital screens. It is about that seamless communication. FLOOR: How about your customer relationship management software (CRM)? Chiera: Drive is neat. I’ve been saying it’s not your grandfather’s CRM system anymore. We’ve evolved Drive over the last several years based on member feedback and all the marketing journeys, the triggers that happen once a customer enters the stream. It’s pretty incredible. Even members using Drive for just sample checkouts, we can check out samples and then remind customers to bring the samples back. Or if a customer has an open quote and we never heard from the customer again, we continue to follow up with that customer. We have been deploying these email campaigns on just open quotes, quotes that never closed for whatever reason. Digital direct mail is really cool because that visitor who comes to the website—who doesn’t do anything, who doesn’t call us or fill out a form—we then send that first class postcard to their home. We’ve driven incremental new business by just sending a 5×6 postcard.

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