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Marketing Products From Manufacturers You Represent.

Last month, one of our Letters to the Editor struck a chord with me: Barry Lewis, CEO of Openrange in Crestwood, Ky., opined, "Dealers are the marketing and advertising arm of the manufacturers they represent." His observation illustrates the vital role our industry's storefront dealers play on a daily basis.

Every day, storefront dealers are grassroots advocates for the shooting sports--influencers in their local communities. Your success as a storeowner is dependent on a number of factors, including how well you can educate customers on making a proper purchase to meet their needs and persuade them to buy it in-store. In these interactions, you serve as an ambassador for a particular brand under consideration by the customer. After all, why would you stock a product if you didn't believe in its ability to reliably meet his or her needs? Further, your bottom line is dependent on the types of margins you receive in the sale of said product.

These transactions are under constant threat by price-conscious consumers, who can quickly look up online prices with a couple swift maneuvers on their smartphone. As Lewis points out in his letter, some manufacturers allow their products to be sold online at prices a brick-and-mortar store "can't possibly compete with." His response? "I'm reacting by only carrying brands that protect their dealers' margins." It's a bold stance, given he shared several of them are "mainstream brands"--which we can assume command a large following in the consumer market.

Dealers, I'm interested to get your thoughts on this subject. Do you continue to carry products you know are being sold for less online? If so, what's your success rate in converting the sale in-store? Send me a note directly: editor@shootingindustry.com.

Join In National Shooting Sports Month

This month is National Shooting Sports Month (NSSM). An initiative launched by NSSF last year, NSSM serves two very important purposes: 1) It celebrates the passion we all have for target shooting and 2) NSSM reminds the public shooting is a safe, fun activity enjoyed by millions of Americans every year.

While NSSM 2017 was widely billed as a success, NSSF has additional goals to further its reach this year--such as broadening its scope to 500 participating ranges or retailers hosting events/promotions, reactivating at least 5,000 lapsed participants, enhanced social media impressions/engagement and more.

As a storeowner or range operator, it's not too late for your establishment to start promoting and encouraging customers to participate in this unique month-long event. NSSF makes it easy by providing several resources in a promotional toolkit, available on the official NSSM website: www.shootingsportsmonth.org. Host an event or sales promotion--or simply tie in to an existing one with National Shooting Sports Month. Lastly, encourage participants to use the hashtag #LetsGoShooting to publicize their involvement on social media.

How are you participating in NSSM? We want to hear from you! Visit www.shootingsportsmonth.org.

New SI Program Coming Soon

Shooting Industry will soon roll out a new program to benefit dealers and marketing partners. Launching in September, Dealer Advantage is designed to enhance SI's existing dealer marketing platforms--including a monthly opt-in email service that highlights co-op advertising programs, special offers, rewards promotions, exclusive product lines, B2B news and more.

Dealer Advantage will give manufacturers a dynamic digital avenue to promote new products to dealers, as well as providing selling points for a particular SKU or program. As part of this initiative, manufacturers will be able to market their new product or program through multiple channels--including video, a social media post and accompanying SI email blasts.

This program will make its debut in early September, premiering with a profile of the Lynx 12--an AK-style shotgun from SDS Imports. Dealers will learn why they should stock Lynx 12, its top selling points and what factors make it a unique option to offer customers. (The ability to bundle accessories with the sale of a Lynkx 12 is one of several strong selling points.)

If you're a dealer, visit www. shootingindustry.com for more info and to opt-in. For marketers, contact advertising@fmghq.com.

NSSF has made an array of downloadable materials available on its website to help you promote National Shooting Sports Month. You'll fi nd mock Tweets, Instagram or Facebook posts and more at www. shootingsportsmonth.org.

By Jade Moldae
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Title Annotation:EDITOR'S NOTE
Comment:Marketing Products From Manufacturers You Represent.(EDITOR'S NOTE)
Author:Moldae, Jade
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Aug 1, 2018
Words:721
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