What are the most important elements of a convenience store marketing plan?
Even the most seasoned professionals struggle to build a bulletproof marketing strategy. As a business owner or manager, you probably don’t have time to pour over every detail of your marketing plan. That’s where we come in!
Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of business owners and managers master their craft.
From scaling their small businesses to driving repeat customers, we’ve helped growing companies reach or exceed their sales goals.
A modern convenience store POS system is a significant component of a high-powered marketing plan.
In this post, we’ll share the three most important elements of a convenience store marketing plan — and how you can utilize our industry-specific POS system — to deliver next-generation marketing campaigns to your prospects and customers.
Convenience Store Marketing Plan: 3 Important Components
The most important components of your convenience store marketing plan include a simple market analysis, researching your competitors, and coming up with strategies and tactics to draw customers in and keep them coming back.
Before we dive into the elements, let’s first establish the importance of a growth-oriented marketing plan.
In short, a convenience store marketing plan is a strategy containing an outline of future efforts to target your desired customers and bring them into your store.
This plan typically includes a combination of advertising, pricing promotions, in-store signage, and more.
A marketing plan ensures that all campaigns are targeted, measured, and strategic.
It’s the difference-maker between launching a wildly successful promotion that aligns with your customers’ unique wants and needs, or launching a lackluster promotion that totally misses the mark.
If your marketing campaigns aren’t backed by strategy, you could end up wasting hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars!
To avoid wasting time, energy, and capital on ineffective marketing, here are the three things that must be included in your convenience store marketing plan.
1. Target Audience Overview
As a first step, we recommend conducting a simple market analysis.
If that sounds too technical or intimidating, don’t worry… it’s actually a lot simpler than it seems.
For example, you could survey customers as they walk through the door. While observing your customers, consider the following questions:
- Who are you trying to attract? Why?
- What does your target customer need? What do they appreciate?
- What does your target customer not need? What do they dislike?
- How much money are they willing to spend on your products?
“Market research allows you to meet your buyer where they are,” recommends Debbie Farese in HubSpot’s How to Do Market Research: A Guide and Template.
“As our world (both digital and analog) becomes louder and demands more and more of our attention, this proves invaluable. By understanding your buyers’ problems, pain points, and desired solutions, you can aptly craft your product or service to naturally appeal to them.”
Answer the questions above to help you better understand your customers. As a result, you can craft messaging that resonates with them.
RELATED READING: 6 Retail Ideas to Promote Customer Appreciation
2. Competitor Analysis
Next, review your competitors. Are there any other stores in the area that are competing for your customers’ attention?
A simple first step is to ask your customers where they shop. Are there any patterns in their answers?
Visit those stores and learn more about them.
- What products are they stocking?
- What do their marketing efforts look like?
- Do they beat you on pricing?
You might even consider evaluating the effectiveness of their POS system. Purchase a product. How would you rate the checkout experience?
It’s important to note that some POS system vendors on the market today come ill-equipped to support you and your business at checkout. Some vendors will even overcharge on point of sale system features that you’ll never need!
Here’s how POS Nation stacks up against the competition:
- POS Nation vs. Clover POS
- POS Nation vs. NRS POS
- POS Nation vs. Epos Now
- POS Nation vs. ShopKeep
- POS Nation vs. Square
- POS Nation vs. Lightspeed
These questions will help you better understand your competitors. Use this insider intelligence to beat your competitors at their own game.
RELATED READING: 9 Must-Have Features of a Convenience Store POS System
3. Marketing Strategies and Tactics
Finally, your convenience store marketing plan must include a few simple marketing strategies and tactics that you plan to utilize to drive business.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a marketing genius to activate most of these marketing plays:
Promotional Campaign: Everyone loves a bargain! What better way to pull new customers into your store than by offering a temporary discount on a product or service?
You can advertise this simple promotional campaign through local channels or even social media.
Use Your Location To Your Advantage: If you get heavy foot traffic, use bright signage to advertise things like local produce. Let’s say you’re near a busy train station; install a coffee machine or offer fresh juices that people can grab on their way to work.
Give Your Store a Facelift: Customers want to feel welcome in your store. Make it look inviting! Have a plan for your customers. Make your store layout intuitive and make it easy for people to grab what they need.
Use a POS system to generate reports on what’s selling well and what isn’t. Identify trends and patterns and stock and display more of what your customers want.
In-Store Signage: Another simple strategy is to use in-store signage to draw customers’ attention to special promotions or new products. You can print and post these signs or repurpose one of your in-store televisions.
Some POS systems offer customer displays for which simple promotions can be displayed.
Customer Rewards Program: To create loyal, repeat customers, we recommend launching a customer rewards program. A customer loyalty promotion is a great way to keep your best customers coming back.
POS Nation offers built-in customer loyalty program features, allowing you to reward repeat customers quickly and easily.
RELATED READING: How to Display Advertisements in Your Convenience Store
POS Nation Powers Your Convenience Store Marketing Plan
So what’s the best way to actually activate your new convenience store marketing plan?
It starts with an investment in modern, next-generation software and technology.
POS Nation offers a point of sale system that can provide immediate enhancements to your marketing and promotional efforts.
With access to customer data, loyalty promotions, reporting, and more, you can learn about your customers’ buying habits and tailor the entire marketing experience to align with their unique interests, wants, beliefs, and needs.
To learn more about POS Nation and our experience working alongside convenience store owners and managers just like you, we recommend downloading our free Convenience Store Point of Sale Buyers’ Guide.