Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tell Us Where to Find You!

Here's a fun little exercise, and the results will surprise you.

Take a look at the circular from any major chain store that you've got hanging around the house. Maybe one that was mailed to you, or one from the Sunday paper.

Now see if you can find any indication of where the nearest store is located. I'll give you 2 to 1 odds that you won't find any locations listed at all!

The big box stores are the prime offenders, but the problem extends to department stores and smaller chains too. The stores seem to assume you already know (how? by osmosis?) where their stores are located. Personally, I find it aggravating. And from a marketing standpoint, it's foolish.

I get a circular in my Sunday paper every week for OfficeMax. They used to have a store a mile away, but closed it about two years ago. I like OfficeMax, but haven't shopped there since the local store closed. Why? I don't know where they are! But they keep putting a circular in my newspaper anyway.

If you're lucky, a chain store might, in its circular, provide a telephone number you can call to find its store locations. "Press 1 to find a store within 10 miles of your home; Press 2 to find a store within 20 miles..." Frankly, It's not a call I'm about to make.

I find this amusing: When a department store, and Macy's is a prime example, runs a sale there's always a section on the last page of the circular that lists all the exceptions in very small print - "domestics not available in Hanover, shoes not available in Brockton" and so on. It's written to satisfy the lawyers, not the customers.

With a little rephrasing that back page disclaimer could satisfy both the lawyers and the customers:

Hanover open daily 9-9 (domestics not available); Brockton daily 10-10 (shoes not available).

Wouldn't that be useful information?

If you're serious about increasing sales, don't forget to tell your customers where to find you!

Coming Up Next Time: "Fred's Advertising Clinic - Part One"

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