Rugby Fitted Kitchens boss Trevor Scott explains how he is shocked at many retailers’ haphazard approach to marketing
Marketing used to be easy – drop a couple of hundred quid with the local rag every week and another with the county magazine once a month plus, of course, a half-page in the Yellow Pages. Job done.
Then along came Auto Trader, which removed 30 to 40% of the readership, followed a few short years later by the internet and Right Move, which killed another 50%. Local newspapers started dropping like flies.
Advertising in local newspapers had become pointless and although we do still go in the strongest survivor every now and again, this traditional source of marketing is fundamentally dead.
RFK is now in its 25th year and well over 70% of our business comes by way of recommendation. So how do we attract the other 30%?
Last year, Neff asked me if I would judge the ‘Best Use of Marketing and Social Media’ category in the Neff Master Partner Awards, which followed on from RFK having won said category the previous two years.
I’d assumed that all KBB retailers had a well thought-out marketing strategy, as we did. But I was frankly flabbergasted by the clear lack of strategic thinking shown by most of the entrants – and these were for an award related to marketing. The three eventual finalists were no-brainers and the winner was head and shoulders above the other two.
We are all busy. There are never enough hours in the day and it is easy to let something like marketing become reactive rather than proactive – you know, taking an advert out because of that phone call or e-mail.
Here at RFK, we have outsourced the services of a small PR and marketing guru who liaises with our selected advertisers, designs the adverts and ensures our marketing campaigns are cohesive and coordinated across all media. He prepares our social media posts and preplans when they will hit and will boost them for events and promotions. For example, the recent Neff ‘Up to £500 Cashback’ promotion was advertised on the radio, in local magazines, and on all forms of social media.
We do many events that help promote RFK but are not direct sales messages. These include providing a pop-up kitchen for local food festivals. We do sit-down evening cookery demonstrations with all of our major appliance brand partners. We have just agreed to involve the local Majestic wine merchant at these events and we will mutually advertise each other. At our last event, we had around 50 guests – our record is over 80.
Your website needs to be current and include case studies and an up-to-date news feed. As for case studies, these are so important and research has shown this page is the most-hit on many KBB retailers’ sites.
There are many other ways to promote your business than mentioned here, but the main thing is to be organised and to not apply a scattergun approach.
Over the past 25 years, our marketing budget has more than doubled, but our turnover has more than quadrupled. So hopefully we’ve done a better job than many in discovering how to get our marketing mix spot on.