Marketing to customers – Academy in Action 2020

In week nine of a 12-week series, the IAA and Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I help Thushy Subramaniam improve his marketing to customers

Marketing to customers means promoting and advertising your store in ways that help new shoppers notice you, as well as attracting existing customers back more frequently.

Retailers who do this well plan for success by setting a marketing budget and record what’s working or what hasn’t to make sure their investment is worth it.

Thushy Subramaniam bought Sturry Road Premier & Post Office in 2019 and has recently undergone a refit.

Prior to Thushy taking over the business, the store was with the same owner for 40 years, but without much investment.

The store is on a main road and benefits from a mixture of passing trade, local residents and university students.

Thushy wants to target students and local residents in store and online, but isn’t sure where to start.

How can the IAA and Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I help him better market his business?

Why I take part

I wanted to get an outside perspective to suggest ways I could target my customers. Marketing to customers is important because it helps to drive footfall and, in turn, drive sales.

If you change your business and don’t shout about it, then customers don’t always notice your efforts. I’m positive that the action plan agreed by myself and Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I today will help improve my marketing techniques.

IAA advice

Making local people want to use your shop

Thushy benefits from good parking availability and has a Post Office fascia, but it’s not obvious he offers more than these services, so passers-by don’t always stop. What can Thushy do to better communicate his offering?

Craid says: “Thushy has a great space at the front of the store for customers, but it’s not clear they can use it or that he’s a convenience store. In addition to his new fascia which will shortly be installed, Thushy can invest in signage to highlight the car park and that he offers more than just Post Office services.”

ACTIONInvestigate different signage options to better communicate your offering and attract passers-by in store

Communicating your offer to your target shoppers

Thushy uses social media to promote new products and offers, but he wants to target a younger demographic from universities. How can he use social media to communicate his range to students?

Craig says: “Social media is great for new promotions, but it’s hard to measure its success. To engage with local students, Thushy could run an online promotion on an in-demand product, and work with suppliers to get involved with social media campaigns to drive excitement in store and online.”

ACTION ➜ Run exclusive online-only promotions to build engagement with local customers and nearby universities

Promotions and loyalty schemes to encourage spending

Thushy places new products by the till area to create excitement, but some are hidden by screens and signage. Thushy wants to increase purchases of high margin products, but how can he do this?

Craig says: “Highlighting a new product or product of the week is a great way to engage shoppers and increase sales. Thushy has an established relationship with his customers, so they’ll listen to his recommendations. By creating a label or sign to use in the till area, he ensures customers are always aware of these products.”

ACTION Create a label or sign to increase visibility of and recommend new and high margin products to shoppers

To find out how Thushy got on following his visit from Craig Starling, click here.

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