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Paul Friederichsen is the founder of BrandBiz, a company that specializes in PR, media strategy and placement, sales incentives, training and mobile marketing as well as social media. Visit his website www.brandbizinc.com

7:26:21 AM 
Today's Big 3 Considerations for Floor Covering Marketers

One of the interesting things that I'm seeing with flooring clients and others planning ad and communications strategies is a recognition of the confluence of three considerations or influencers on strategic thinking: 1) the economy, 2) the increasing reliance on the Internet (social media, mobile and e-commerce), and 3) the changing female demographic landscape.

The economy, of course, is something we're all painfully familiar with. The prolonged nature of this slump is effecting consumer behavior in a profound way, no less than the Great Depression did a generation ago. Just ask a retailer and you'll get an earful about it. For floor covering dealers, it has largely been a question of traffic (or lack there of) and the urgent task of turning shoppers into buyers.

The pervasiveness of Internet use has turned it into our new traditional mode of information gathering and communication. It's no longer a question of having a website (how passe). Nor is it just a question of participating in social media (though many still begrudgingly resist). It's now a question of how mobile your communication is ... Is your website optimized for it? Are you using QR tags? Oh, and are you "pinning" on Pinterest? Pinterest is the fastest growing social platform in the (short) history of the Internet--2 million "invited" in just 6 weeks--but surprisingly so many marketing professionals have never heard of it. That's how fast things are going.

An Internet trend retailers should really be watching is the steady growth of e-commerce. Forrester Research predicts online sales will hit about $300 billion by 2015 by growing an average of 19% annually. Purchases are no longer just books and fruit baskets, but moving into larger big ticket items, like refrigerators and flooring.

Lastly, the third strategic consideration is the shifting consumer demographic of women. In floor marketing, baby boomer females have enjoyed the most attention, but that's shifting. The leading edge of boomers are now enjoying senior night at iHop. Gen X women (under 47) is where it's at. According to a recent Hearst Media survey reported in AdWeek, moms 35 to 45 have on average a median income of 75k, and wealthier and better educated women are having children. Oh, and she texts with her kids. Even though the fastest growing Facebook demographic are boomer women, Gen X women are far more comfortable online. She visits auction and coupon sites, gets financial info, and pay bills with complete ease. But here's one fact that's still steadfastly true, 75% of women are the primary shopper for all household products, no matter what the age.

Marketers, whether they're The Home Depot or Mom & Pop Flooring, need to stay on top of this fluid situation to stay competitive. Success doesn't depend just on sale prices (for the economy) or having an optimized website (the mobile/digital culture) or understanding Gen X. It depends on understanding all three. The Big 3.

Edited by Admin 4/18/2012
7:27:32 AM

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8:22:37 PM

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