Posting Dates:

July 2010
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If it ain’t broke, you might not be looking close enough.

I’ve been working in the marketing business for many years and have certainly established opinions on what works and what doesn’t – so here is my best advice:  Throw away your opinions.

An opinion is still considered up in the air – it is not fact.  The best marketers will use their knowledge to make judgments while still keeping their mind open to alterations.  While you can always find many ways to do something wrong in marketing, you can also find many ways to do something right.

Many years back, when working for a Western Canadian department store chain called Woodwards, I learned a valuable lesson in merchandising that helped me to keep my mind open even when a strong opinion was held.  We always spent a portion of the day tidying the store to make it more presentable.  But what works in one case did not in work in all cases.  For instance, shoes needed to be merchandised differently than most items.  We always had the newest shoes displayed as everyone always displays shoes.  If you were having a sale, nothing sold more women’s shoes than a big mess.  Dump the shoes out of the boxes on to a big table and pile them high with the sale sign on top.  Women would rummage through the shoes searching for their size in hopes of finding that special shoe for a special price.  As hard as it was to see the table sit messy throughout the sale, nothing sold women’s shoes better.  Men on the other hand needed the boxes organized on the table, organized by size.

Does it make sense that men and women buy shoes differently? Perhaps.  Does it mean that they still buy differently?  No, not necessarily.  I’m sure many things have changed in the past 25 years that could have affected the buying habits of both men and women including online sales, discounters, specialized stores and quantity of sales promotions just to mention a few.

Woodward’s has not been in business for many years now.  While I’m not sure that has anything to do with how shoes were sold, they were not able to survive the changing times.  Even though we found what we thought was the best way to sell sale shoes, perhaps it wasn’t as good as the ways found by others.  Perhaps we should have kept trying to find new ways of being successful.

The world has changed and your marketing should have too.  Marketing is fun and exciting if you approach it with some dedicated effort and the desire to win.  Don’t get stuck in your ways with marketing your business.  Try new things.  Change your creative.  Adjust your offers.  Merchandise differently.  Try something that failed previously.  Do something different.  You can always improve.  You can always Evolve!          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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