OFA Bulletin May/June 2010 : Page 1

May/June 2010 • Number 921 Recession or Recovery Marketing? H by Bill McCurry “ ow should I market during the recession, and what should I change when my area starts to recover?” In the past, this may have been an intelligent question, but in 2010, it’s almost irrelevant. Politics aside, recovery will still look like recession until your spouse, kid, or neighbor “gets their job back.” And in many cases those jobs aren’t there to get back. We are living in a new reality. Even if the unemployed get a job paying the same wages, the attitudes have shifted. Some believe that shift is permanent. If you had parents or grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, you saw how those years impacted their attitudes toward money, investing, and sacrifice. The indelible marks on our psyche won’t go away easily or quickly. That said, you and your staff still have to eat, so how do you effectively reach your customers and new prospects? How do you get them to spend money with you today? And then how do you get them to come back to spend more money tomorrow? Start with WIIFM? If you’ve heard me speak at OFA Short Course, you’ve heard this term – What’s In It For Me? That’s what every customer (and employee) is asking every minute of every day. We’re all looking out for our own interests. Your customers won’t shop with you if they aren’t getting what they want out of the transaction. Are you sure you know what they Continued on page 6 seasonal ones. While it may seem relatively easy to bring customers in during the busy season, it is important to capture consumer interest at non-peak periods. This effort can help reduce seasonal fluctuations in sales and spread revenue. When cash flow is king, the driver of most businesses, keeping customers coming in year-round is a good strategy. Making the effort to entice customers to come in might help drive those off-season sales. Using a planned calendar of themes will help you to attract attention and garner some additional sales. Inside this Edition... Recession or Recovery Marketing? Merchandising Throughout the Year The “Real” Cost of Fungicides Ignite Your Retail Marketing Strategy 1 1 2 4 Less is More: Increase Profitability & Sustainability by Optimizing Fertilizer Inputs Social Media: The Next Generation of Visibility? Ask the Doctor Keys to Increasing Sales – Be Proactive 12 14 17 22 See the Newest Introductions in Plant Material OFA Short Course Schedule at a Glance OFA Short Course Registration Form OFA News 23 24 28 30 Merchandising Throughout the Year S by Bridget Behe ome businesses are seasonal and operate only during the busy spring time, but year-round businesses outnumber Initial Planning Consider your annual merchandising calendar and select one or two themes for each month. Don’t have a formal calendar? Now might be a great time to start one. Select one key theme and another secondary theme for each month. You probably already have some events with useful themes, but it’s important to have at least one topic or theme per month on which to focus your efforts. You should have a list of about 24 themes for customer inspiration (see Table 1, page 9 for some ideas). Continued on page 9

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