Nationwide Execs Highlight ProgramsFebruary 29, 2012 By Nancy Klosek
Nationwide Marketing Group executives at the PrimeTime meeting this week offered a few verbal thumbnails of the programs and marketing and merchandising tactics they are emphasizing with membership this year.
• “We see PrimeTime as the best opportunity to help members draw more customers into stores and make more profits,” said Rick Weinberg, senior vice president, appliance merchandising.
A goal at the show was to help members target and reach a younger customer demographic beyond the baby-boomer client they are most attuned to, he said. Some of that outreach can be achieved through marketing but also some through the selection of high-margin products outside dealers’ normal scope, such as air purification systems. “Social media is also a very big piece of it,” he said. “Many members are progressive in it but some are not as far along in that continuum. So we have programs for all of our members at all levels to bring them along… They need to take their marketing across multiple channels and touch the customers not just online, not just on the web, not just from email.” The future, he said, will include providing ways for them reach out both digitally and through conventional legacy tools such at TV ads, digital signage and POP.
• Jeff Knock, senior vice president, appliance marketing, spoke about the “Draw-Escape-Sell” program crafted with full-line vendors Whirlpool, Electrolux, GE and LG. It is designed to simplify SKU selection and emphasis for dealers where, of thousands of available SKUS, only a handful truly represent 80 to 90 percent of a dealer’s business velocity. The “draw” piece is the first piece in the line; the “escape” piece is the go-to piece, at a slight premium, and the “sell” piece is the higher-premium model. The program also includes some Nationwide-exclusive models that cannot be shopped across the big-box stores. It has been in place for around 90 days, said Knock, and has been embraced by dealers and vendors. “Our members need to simplify their business models and align with key vendors who support their businesses,” he said, adding that it has also resulted in better model availability and fewer backorders.
• Doug Schatz, vice president of electronics merchandising, spoke of the group’s emphasis on teaching multi-channel merchandising. “In today’s market, if you’re doing brick-and-mortar and web sales, how do you do differentiated assortments that let you win on the web and still maintain in-store profitability? If you’re a retailer looking to navigate those waters, we’re providing that education.” Schatz also reported February as a “strong month” for customer demand within his category. “Consumer confidence will have its fits and starts, but we’re cautiously optimistic going into the election. There are lots of exciting TV technologies, including voice and gesture control, that all create consumer interest. It’s still a challenging economy, and we’ve a ways to go before spending becomes robust again. However, when people want to feel good they gravitate to CE, which is also part of a nesting scenario. If they can’t afford a new car, they can afford CE.”