Magazine of The Week – Modern Gardens

Modern Gardens Magazine

So Spring is finally here, hallelujah!

And so with Spring comes naturally improved footfall in to our garden centres and an overwhelming desire to make gardens look beautiful again so what better time of year than this to introduce a new gardening magazine to your range. Introducing you to Modern Gardens magazine.

Bauer Media is launching a new magazine into the homes and gardens category, aka Modern Gardens.

The title will provide inspiration and easy ideas to develop gardens with a more ‘modern look’.

The magazine will also feature recipes that readers can use with various ingredients that can be grown in their gardens.

According to Bauer Media, Modern Gardens targets ‘lifestyle gardeners’ who see their garden as an extension of their home.

So whether you are a flourishing garden centre, a DIY shop or a local shop this new magazine is worth a punt. Give us a call on 0121 405 0260 to get the wheels in motion.

Designer Knitting Magazine

Designer knitting magazine cover

Designer knitting is, of course, a niche specific magazine and one that we would like to introduce you all to.

As we all know crafting is becoming ever popular, no doubt with a little bit of thanks to sites such as Pinterest, and knitting falls under this umbrella.

Magazines in this niche work well in store as they provide creative ideas and tutorials and are pin point targeted. Following on from the immediate purchase in store, many of our niche retailers in this sector report of customers coming back into the store to buy materials for a project they may have come across in the magazine they bought just days before.

This particular magazine features more than forty fashion-forward projects by both the premier Seventh Avenue designers and the leading talents in the international fiber arts design industry and comes complete with detailed instructions for creating the gorgeous, fashion worthy sweaters.

If you’re in this sector or even, a local, corner shop with space for magazines then this magazine and many others like it could be a great move for you.

Give us a call on 0121 405 0260 if you’d like to know more or, if you’re already a customer with WWMD and would like to add this magazine to your range.

Magazine of The Week

Candy Crush Magazine

Its true what they say… there is truly a magazine out there for everybody and this is one for all of the Candy Crush addicts out there.

Candy Crush’s audience is so wide that this particular title lends itself to a whole host of stores and so we thought we’d share it as this week’s magazine of the week.

Puzzler Media has been granted the licence by creator of the Candy Crush franchise, King, to launch the first Candy Crush Puzzles magazine.

The new monthly magazine replicates the games iconic images and colours with puzzles created exclusively for the magazine. Issue one comes with an exclusive Candy Crush pen and the chance to win £5,000.

WWMD’s A-Z of Marketing & Business Terms ‘D’

A to Z of marketing D

D stands for DOOR DROPS

As a bricks and mortar retailer, it’s likely your customers are located within a specific geographical area. As a result, you can take full advantage of leaflet advertising.

Affordable and effective, leaflets can put your shop’s message directly into the hands of your target customers. And don’t make the mistake of dismissing leaflets because they’re ‘old school’. In fact, leaflets can be more effective than digital alternatives. Think about it… with so much marketing activity happening online (because it’s perceived as cheaper and quicker), the letterbox has become a lot less crowded. As a result, it’s easier for you to stand out and get your message home when you invest in print.

To make leaflets work for you, there are some key factors you need to consider. Let’s take a look through these now:

Your strategy: First things first… you need to know what you’re doing with leaflets – otherwise you risk wasting your money. Be wary of pure brand awareness advertising and instead opt for direct response. This means structuring your leaflet so you can test its effectiveness. After all, if your leaflet results in no extra business, you don’t want to run it again. In comparison, if your leaflet leads to a flurry of activity, you’ll want to repeat the campaign to amplify your results.

Distribution: Your leaflet can’t do anything unless it actually makes it through the letterbox. So when choosing your leaflet distributor, don’t necessarily opt for the cheapest. Instead look for a reputable company that employs responsible staff – even offers GPS tracking.

Appearance: Nobody likes junk mail. So make sure your leaflet passes the ‘first impressions test’. You have just seconds to stand out and convince a reader that your leaflet is worth a closer look. So invest in eye-catching design and don’t overlook the feel of your leaflet. A printer can advise you on appropriate paper stock, to ensure the tangibility factor supports your message.

Frequency: You can’t expect a single leaflet drop to transform your retail business. For starters, not everyone will want what you have to offer right now. But that doesn’t mean to say they won’t in the future. If you make door drops a regular thing, you’ll begin to seep into readers’ subconscious. You’ll get on the radar. You’ll raise your profile. Then when the time is right for your customer to buy, which shop do you think will be front of mind?

One big thing: I know it’s tempting to talk about lots of different things in your leaflet – but that’s just confusing. Keep it super simple and focus on just ONE THING. You’ll get better results if you do.

Offer: We’ve already talked about direct response tactics, and your offer is one of these. You need to give people a REASON to visit your shop – and that’s where your offer is key. In fact, your offer is arguably the single most important part of your leaflet. It’s so important that it can overcome rubbish copy! So what could you entice your customers with? A generous discount, a free gift, a special package of products? Think back to your customer avatar, explore different ideas, and test to see what works.

Headline: Very few people rush to read a leaflet when it falls through the door. In fact, they are looking for reasons NOT to chuck the leaflet straight into the recycle bin! And that’s why you need a headline – to stop people in their tracks. Your headline has one job – to hook people in and to entice them to start reading. So use your headline to call out to your target audience, attract their attention, and make a big promise.

Contact details: It sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to forget something crucial when you’ve got so much else on your mind. Make sure people know where you are and how to get hold of you. Otherwise your leaflet will be worthless.

Test: Leaflets DO work – the key is to find the angle, message, and offer that works for your target audience. And the only way you can do that is to give leaflets a go.

Copy: The words on your leaflet matter – a lot. You need to deploy copywriting techniques. Speak to your target audience, focus on benefits (not features), and make your offer so irresistible that customer want to say yes.

If you’re thinking about creating leaflets to promote your shop then check out these resources. You can download a free PDF leaflet checklist HERE. And if you’re stumped with what to write, this comprehensive workbook will take you step-by-step through the process of crafting compelling copy.

Magazine of The Week

Food heaven cover

Baking Heaven

Food is BIG everywhere at the minute… everybody is loving the trend of Tasty videos and still Jamie Oliver keeps on being a constant success so what better magazine to choose for this week’s magazine of the the week than this one.

Anthem Publishing is adding value to the March issue of Baking Heaven with a chocolate supplement, following its success in 2015.

Last year’s issue sold 9,906 copies across the UK, generating a retail sales value of £59,336 – making it the strongest performing issue of 2015.

Baking Heaven is a series which brings together a high quality collection of recipes covering the most popular food topics, including cupcakes, baking and cake decorating.

If you think your shop could do with a bit of chocolate food heaven then don’t hesitate and get it on your shelves. Call us on 0121 405 0260

WWMD’s A-Z of Marketing & Business Terms – ‘C’

A to Z of marketing C

C is for COPYWRITING

At its core, copywriting is about persuading your customers to take action.

This action can vary enormously – depending on what you want a piece of marketing (or content) to achieve. For example:

1. Persuading a customer to buy a particular product
2. Enticing someone on Facebook to like your page
3. Running a promotion to boost in-store sales etc.

To achieve any of the above you need to find the right words to make your proposal irresistible. That’s why good copy can translate into big profits – because it can entice people who had no intention to buy – to whip out their wallets and fill up their baskets.

The good news is that copywriting is a skill that you can develop over time. It’s well worth familiarising yourself with the basics – even if you choose to work with a professional. That’s because an understanding of ‘words that sell’ can help you to recognise top-notch marketing. In turn, you can use other people’s advertising (look beyond your industry), to inspire your own thinking and help you to ramp up your efforts.

In terms of a crash course in copywriting, here’s some theory to get you started:

1. Headline:
Regardless of the type of marketing that you’re creating, your headline contains the most important words. Your headline has one job – to attract attention and hook people in. If your headline sucks, then it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your text is; it won’t get read. That’s why top copywriters spend a disproportionate amount of time honing this critical sentence.

2. Write to be understood:
Be conversational. Write as you talk. Keep it simple. You’re not trying to impress; instead you want skimmers and scanners to grasp your offer immediately. Many retailers make the mistake of thinking they need to sound all ‘corporatey’ to be taken seriously. That’s not the case. Your words will be far better received if you write as if you were speaking to a close friend.

3. Use power words:
Some words and phrases pack a greater punch than others. Remember the aim of your copy is to keep readers engaged so that they feel compelled to keep reading. Words to try include free, simple, easy, now, offer, hurry, suddenly, and startling – they all make an impact. In comparison other words are overused and dumb down your message so be wary of phrases such as exciting and innovative.

4. Dual readership pathway:
It’s unlikely your copy will get the same level of undivided attention we give a great book or a favourite magazine. Instead, readers will probably scan and skim their way through your message – honing in on bits of interest. That’s where your subheads come in. Use subheads to signpost key points and help a scanner get the gist of your message without the need to read the detail.

5. Sell benefits not features:
Buying is an emotional decision which we later rationalise with logical thoughts. Remember, people don’t buy things… they buy how that thing will make them feel. So use words to stimulate emotional desire for what you’ve got to sell. And if you want an example, think Apple. They do this brilliantly.

6. Make it easy to read:
We’re in an age of information overload. Knowledge is everywhere, in abundance, and at our fingertips. So avoid big blocks of dense text. Replace wordy words with shorter ones, and use bullets, bold, italics, and underlining to pick out key points and pull readers through your message.

7. Use YOU more than WE:
When customers are reading your copy they want to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ This means that if your message is pitched from a ‘we’ perspective, you’ll turn readers off. Instead, flip your emphasis and weave in lots of YOUs and YOURs. Do this and you’ll speak directly to your audience and your response will soar.

8. Ask for the sale:
Remember, great copywriting achieves a desired outcome, so don’t fall at the last hurdle. Instead ask people to buy (or take the next step – whatever that may be). Never assume your reader will know what to do. Instead be clear and specific in your instructions.

Download your FREE copywriting checklist

Copywriting is an in-depth topic. While this post has given you a flavour of how to write great copy, there’s so much more to this art. If you want to know more, a good place to start is this blog – you’ll find a downloadable copywriting checklist too.

[Copywriting checklist – the 14 essentials of every marketing campaign.]

World Wide Magazine Distribution’s Customer Focus with Jeans Wool Shop

Jeans wool shop - wwmd

Today I’m speaking with Jennifer Carlisle who owns and runs Jeans Wool Shop Located in South East Belfast. It has been in existence since Jennifer’s parents opened the store all the way back in 1957 with her Dad having worked previously as a local wool Rep. Jennifer started running the shop in 1983 and the shop remains today a traditional knitting shop providing a wide variety of quality wools, buttons, needles and other essential accessories. With tradition comes community and the best part of running the store for Jennifer is her interaction with long term customers she has known for years where she has got to know whole families and they have become more friends than customers.

The store has been stocking magazines for many years and currently stock Simply Knitting and Inside Crochet. While stocking the magazines is not a huge influence over footfall it does bring in customers who come to buy the titles and then end up buying other products in store. This also works visa versa with customers buying the magazines as an up sell on discovering the magazines in store and also from adverts within the magazines.

A point of advice here would be that ordering sealed magazines such as Simply Knitting sell better because it discourages simple browsing and thus encourages actual purchasing. This is evidence with the 2 titles Jeans wool shop sell with simple knitting tending to be a sealed title as opposed to inside crochet.

It is clear from speaking with Jennifer she is very passionate about what she does with the only drawback been the lack of time off she is able to have due to her working alone running the business. With the business running for so long in the same family Jennifer hopes to pass the running of the store onto her niece in the future. In the meantime I’m sure she would welcome anybody into store to see her great range of projects and to take advantage of her many years of experience within the industry. Or you can get in touch with Jean Via their Facebook page.

WWMD’s A-Z of Marketing & Business Terms – ‘B’

A to Z of marketing B

B is for BUILDING

As a retailer, it’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of your shop. In fact, so much so that the daily priorities dictate your focus and you risk spending more time firefighting and troubleshooting than growing your business.

Big changes happen when you invest quality, uninterrupted time to work ON your business. In short, give yourself the space to think strategically and BUILD assets.

For example:

1. Build a list of customers
If you collect contact details (start with an email address and expand over time), then you can take control over the conversations you have with your customers. Think about it… if you’re reliant on people remembering to visit your shop, then you’ll reduce your footfall significantly. In comparison, if you have an email address, you can stay in touch, add value, and send out timely offers to tempt people to come back. After the hard work of enticing someone through the door in the first place, it pays to capitalise on that visit and give yourself a fighting chance to get that customer back again. As you know, repeat custom is the holy grail of retail.

2. Build relationships
We don’t need more massive supermarkets. In fact, customers are becoming more drawn to a unique shopping experience – and that’s where you (as an independent retailer) have a great advantage. You see, you can position your shop as the go-to for the people that you serve. If you run a niche or specialist shop, your expertise can help people make great buying decisions.

Become the trusted expert – the go-to supplier – and customers will come again and again.

3. Build your presence
As a bricks and mortar retailer your physical presence is a big asset. So make the most of it. What could you do to turn your shop into a destination for the hobbyists and enthusiasts that you serve? From your range, to your displays, to the in-store vibe and any courses or workshops that you run… your profile can help your shop to grow.

4. Build marketing assets
With marketing, you can proactively influence the fortunes of your shop. And marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. If a campaign delivers a profitable return (i.e. gives you more in profits than the promotion costs you to run), then marketing becomes an investment in your growth.

You can start simply. For example:

• Run a promotion, using leaflets and target a specific geographical area (check out this DIY leaflet workbook to help you)
• Initiate conversations on social media
• Run an in-store promotion to attract passing trade (and capture email addresses where you can)

The key is to ensure you have a plan so that you can take advantage of all the seasonal events. In short, make your shop relevant and the customers will come. (To help you create a retail marketing plan that works, CLICK HERE).

5. Build your business
You don’t want to be in the same position this time next year. Don’t they say that unless you grow, you at best stagnate – at worse reverse? If you invest time into all of the above, you will make progress in the year ahead.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to build

WWMD’s A-Z of Marketing & Business Terms – ‘A’

A to Z of marketing A

A is for customer AVATAR

Selling products to people is at the core of what you do as a retailer.

But when you look closer, you’ll discover that not all customers are created equally. For example, some will complain over price or visit once in a blue moon. In comparison, others will make a beeline for your shop, return again and again, and spend a stack of cash each time they visit.

Which of these customer types do you want more of?

I know the answer is obvious! But it’s not a trick question. As a shop owner, you CAN influence who comes through your doors, because you are in control of your marketing.

Unless you truly are a mass-market retailer, your business won’t (and shouldn’t) appeal to everyone. In fact, if you look more closely at your best customers you’ll notice they have things in common. And that’s why it pays to understand these people – so that your marketing can get them through the door (and turn the wrong people away!)

Remember, the quality of your marketing directly impacts the quality of trade you attract.

So how can you ensure your message and your marketing speak to your perfect customer? Who do you want to serve? Who values the love and effort you invest into your shop?

The start point is to create an in-depth customer avatar for your retail business.

Let me explain…

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a customer avatar is simply a profile of your target audience.

You build this profile by collecting information about the people you want in your shop. Your profile will include information such as gender, age, and occupation as well as deeper insights into your customers’ motivations. For example:

• What do they want?
• What do they fear?
• What challenges do they face?

You don’t have to rely on guesswork to do this. Some of the information you’ll know already because you see these people each and every day. That said; speaking to customers and gathering feedback face-to-face can prove massively valuable, so take the time to ask some of your regulars why they choose you. Alternatively, create some simple feedback cards and invite customers to share their thoughts on paper.

One more thing… you don’t need to create your avatar in one sitting. Your avatar will develop over time as you learn more about your target customer. See it as a work in progress and get into the habit of reviewing your thoughts as you gather more insights.

And don’t think you need just one avatar. It could be that you attract a variety of customer types into your shop. If so, make a separate avatar for each and consider targeting them separately.

[If you’d like an avatar template to help you get started, you’ll find one here – it’s free].

This exercise is worth your while
A customer avatar can seriously empower you in your business. Once you know WHO your target customers are, you can transform your marketing… because instead of talking to a generic anyone, you’ll begin to speak with a specific someone.

Try it for yourself and see.

Keep tuning in for the rest of the alphabet :-)

Magazine of The Week – Slimming World

Slimming World cover

We all know by the numerous conversations we hear around us how many people follow Slimming World – plus they’ve brought out their own range of foods much like Weight Watchers to emphasise their success so our lovely Connor, here in our offices picked this as magazine of the week.

The March/April 2016 edition of Slimming World is a health special featuring 10 real life slimmer who have changed the way they look on the outside and taken control of serious health conditions including diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.

In addition, the issue contains 42 pages of feel-good food and motivational features that contain tips, ingredients and advice to help readers feel happier and healthier.

So if your shop has a large female audience then this magazine is certainly worth a punt and will undoubtedly add to your shop’s average basket spend.

Give us a call on 0121 405 0260 and we can get this on display in your shop in no time.

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