So you’re planning a grand opening in a new market. Market research, media announcements, ground breakings, local sponsorships, advertising, hiring events, community breakfasts and luncheons, celebrity spokespersons, ribbon cuttings and tours. So little time and so much to do with such small budgets.
And through it all, you wonder: What is the impact and value of all this new market promotion?
Well, if it is any consolation, you are asking the right question. Getting results is paramount, but measuring, interpreting and learning from them is equally important. Of course it all begins with objectives – preferably crystal-clear, detailed objectives. It’s great that management wants you to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to the store and generate sales, but what does that mean? Increase sales from what to what? Drive how much traffic and from which demographic groupings over what time period… and what if they go online instead of into the store? And how much sales of which product categories over what time period?
So, yeah, before you even get started, you need to know where you want to end up. Then you need to survey or at least audit the marketplace to determine awareness levels, perceptions and behavioral intent. You also need to understand market dynamics (how many competitors, locations, likelihood of their marketing response, etc.). Then you need to design the right campaign strategies to achieve your goals in light of these market conditions.
And please, PLEASE do not forget about execution. Every little thing you do AND the way you do it conveys your brand to this new community. Execution must be flawless – appropriate, timely, consistent. It takes a village of dedicated workers marching in unison.
Finally, you must measure and evaluate the hell out of your results. Learn what worked and what didn’t, examine all the possible reasons why and determine – going forward – how to use this new knowledge.
From the outside looking in, it is all ribbons, princesses and balloons. But from the inside looking out, it is a lot of work – strategic and creative execution – that ultimately has the ability to add value to the bottomline.