Video contributed by Adam Jacobs of Jacobs Jewellers
Independent retail and the importance of customers
We interviewed Adam Jacobs, chair of the board of Reading UK, about the strategies his business has used to move forward in 2020, with hints and tips on listening to your customers and improving your marketing, ready to bounce back in 2021.
For some, it's to sell products or services. For others, it's to generate leads. Or, sometimes, it's simply to provide visitors with more information about what you do. Why is it vital to pinpoint the purpose of your site? Well, it's the only way you'll be able to check if it's fit for purpose. Now we've discussed why purpose is important, let's take a look at how you can ensure your website is primed for success.
Adam's marketing tips for independent retailers:
- Know the business inside out and be able to communicate it clearly when asked ‘what do you do’ – I’ve heard it's called the ‘Granny method’: it is being able to explain it succinctly to an elderly grandmother, which is a good litmus test of expression and clarity!
- Stay close to customers – it doesn’t mean serve everyone and do everything but observe, listen and reflect whenever it’s possible. In any business interaction, one can look at how their customers are treated and take or leave insights you make. Shopping, dining, on or offline, are all opportunities to get inspiration and ideas.
- Test things
- Fast for things that are easy and have low risk. They can be put in quickly, adapted swiftly and taken out quickly if needed.
- Stay the course for longer, deeper changes – give time to bed in, and ideas a chance to thrive.
- For us, we have a long buying cycle, almost 5 to 7 years, so, our marketing takes that into account in its planning horizon.
- Meet people – not necessarily in a hardcore handshake speed date way, more simply being out and about. Participating in voluntary or business support groups where you have an interest or stake, being yourself will help forge new connections. You never know where clients will come from, or when. The Reading Recovery network is a great example of positive, supporting and likeminded people.
- Know what the crowd is and what trends are, though remember one doesn’t need to follow it.
Team, Network & Suppliers
- Extend your team by talking with a peer group of similar businesses – they don’t have to be in the same industry as you, they just need similar curious and co-operative mindsets.
- With any marketing or ideas you have, involve the team – sometimes more, sometimes less, but staff are an organisation’s front line advocates so consider how, when and to what degree to bring them in.
- Look for good ideas everywhere – suppliers often see things you don’t with other clients and can pass on best practice and ideas.