The KnowledgeFest show in Dallas last week generated plenty of marketing and sales advice for retailers. Here are 10 pearls of wisdom to take away from the event:
1. Sales are actually up year to date in car audio according to recent NPD Group statistics, said several vendors. Additionally, the Consumer Electronics Association predicts 2 percent growth for the aftermarket this year. There’s momentum in the industry due to the rise of Internet integration into head units. So retailers need to market their businesses, concluded an industry roundtable of industry leaders from Pandora, Sirius XM, Kenwood, Sony and Alpine.
2. More women are entering the market so get ready. Clean up your store, take down the posters; you know which ones. About 65 percent of all final decisions on purchases are made by women, said NAV-TV’s Derek Schmiedl.
3. Of the 250 million vehicles on the road, 150 million are 9 years or older and left the factory without Bluetooth, Pandora or an iPod-ready radio, said Kenwood’s Keith Lehmann.
4. Go Where the Fish Are Biting. Almost 60 percent of shoppers start their search online, said John Haynes of Al & Ed’s Autosound. Start advertising on Twitter, Pandora, even Sirius XM. Pandora says it delivers hyper-targeted marketing to your zip code. Sony’s Mike Kahn suggests putting up posters in the local coffee shop [Starbucks] where the kids hang out.
5. Have multiple smartphones in the stores loaded up with Pandora to demo a connection to the radio, said Alpine’s Mike Anderson. The new customer qualification begins, “So I see you have a smartphone.” And show the customer how it works with a radio.
6. Go back to your customer base with email marketing six times a year, said Jim Ackerman of Ascend Marketing. Don’t worry about bothering them. Some popular catalogs like Lands End send top customers catalogs up to 16 times a year.
7. On the first sale to a customer you often lose money. If you factor in what it takes to keep the lights on, the payroll, advertising, etc. the real profit doesn’t happen until the customer returns for a second purchase. You must focus on getting repeat customers and one way to do that is to show you are the expert by telling the customer something he didn’t know, said Ackerman.
8. Spend 30 minutes a day on the marketing of your business. Don’t do it for 2.5 hours on Friday; it will never become a habit. Entrepreneur magazine says the top entrepreneurs spend 25 percent of their time on marketing. You can hire it out but no one cares as much about your business as you do, says Ackerman. Get off the sales floor by training your sales people with scripts on how to sell. Test them and hold them accountable through rewards and penalties. That frees you up to spend time on marketing.
9. You can get 10 to 30 percent additional profits through up-selling and add-on selling, said Ackerman.
10. Of the 4 P’s–product, pricing, promotion and placement—product is only 25 percent of the equation. What’s going to drive floor traffic? Social media, said Kenwood’s Lehmann. Just start experimenting. No one’s the expert yet on social media.