Anti-Marketing Retailers… How do you shake ’em up?

I have been presented with one of the toughest challenges a Shopping Center Marketing Manager could ever ask for! A work place full of anti-marketing mom and pop stores have officially added five (5) more years on my age!

It’s time consuming enough to brainstorm ways to drive people to a low traffic shopping center, let alone convince retailers to participate in initiatives that will only help them in the long run.  Let’s take for example my latest attempt to drive BTS (Back to School) traffic.

Here’s a recent article from LA Times:

“Department stores are expected to see a surge in back-to-school traffic thanks to private label brands, promotions and aggressive social media campaigns. According to the survey, 57% of back-to-school shoppers will head to a department store, up from 53.9% last year and the most in the survey’s eight-year history. 

At the college level, parents and students will spend an average of $808.71 on apparel, electronics, dorm furnishings and food items, down from $835.73 last year.”

Since BTS is one of the busiest seasons next to the holidays, I thought Tenant participation would be a no brainer.  But I was wrong. So far, the national stores are the only ones that have responded to my request to participate but the ones that really need the attention are the mom and pop stores. Unfortunately, they refuse to participate. How will they ever grow if they don’t want to do any marketing? What’s worse is that they expect instant results!

If successful brands like Coca-Cola, Old Navy, Target, or Pepsi spend millions on marketing, mom and pop stores should consider the reason behind the madness. Entrepreneurs should never shy away from marketing initiatives, especially those that won’t cost much. Take advantage of local events, social media, and referral and loyalty rewards! Those are the top four (4) marketing channels that mom and pop stores must first explore.

What’s my plan? Well, I will be bringing in outside vendors to make my event more festive. That way, I can trigger the store owners in the shopping center to ask the question “Why are you bringing these people here?” then, I can say: “I wouldn’t have to if you participated.” It is a bit of a battle but it’s the right battle to fight! If the goal is to get more shoppers to the shopping center, then, I expect everyone to chip in.

The moral of the story is, whatever business you’re running, always remember that the best of the bests is always doing something more for brand exposure. Everyone is replaceable. So to climb to the top, you must first learn what it takes to get and stay there!

Published by Sweeney Mae - Marketing and Events Expert

Sweeney Mae is an award-winning Marketing Professional who has organized thousands of events and has collaborated with hundreds of organizations in the last 10 years of her career. She has worked with some of the great movers and shakers in the industry: Bill Walsh, America's Business Expert; Jarvee Hutcherson, Founder of Multicultural Motion Pictures Association; Max Amini, Actor and Comedian; Apl de Ap with the Black Eyed Peas and many more! Some of the organizations she's worked with includes: The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, NBA All Stars and more! She's passionate about helping start ups and small business owners in improving their marketing skills and strategy.

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