How real estate, sales and marketing work together to make a location strategy succeed

In many retail organisations, real estate, sales and marketing work in parallel, almost as individual "islands". Unfortunately, this means they miss out on a wealth of opportunities. Here are 7 tips to collaborate more effectively and maximise your location strategy.

Sales: ensure the stores are well matched to the local area

As soon as real estate gives the green light for a new location, the challenge for sales is to tailor it to the local environment. All too often, we see new stores being opened in an almost haphazard way. It's important to realise that carefully choosing the range, store surface area, pricing and opening times are crucial to the success of your location!

Real estate: provide sales insight into the stores' sales potential

It is crucial for sales to have a good understanding of the genuine (theoretical) potential of a location: what kind of turnover could a store or branch theoretically achieve? The actual added value of the store is also important: what does an individual store contribute to the business results of the entire network of stores? In other words: how many customers would the organisation lose if the store were no longer there? And how many of these customers might we be able to win back?

Sales: let real estate know about branches with no future prospects

Are there branches with low profit margins that have limited future prospects and/or added value? If so, sales can advise real estate to cut the costs of the store or office (downsize or review the lease) or close the location and search for alternatives.

Marketing: create exciting store opening events and run a strategic campaign when a store closes

Most of the collaboration between sales and marketing takes place after a decision has been made about real estate. In an ideal world, marketing takes the baton at this point and comes up with creative campaigns aimed at the right target group(s) to boost awareness of the new store. And if a store closes, marketing tries to entice as many of the "non-digital customers" as possible to other stores and to migrate the "digital customers" to the online store.

Marketing: know your customers before you close a store

What people often forget about when closing a store is a good targeted retention campaign. Obviously, you don’t want to lose your customers to your competitor(s): it’s far better to entice as many as possible of them to use one of your other shops or your online store. A campaign like this relies on having a complete and up-to-date profile of your customers. Planning to close a store soon? Be sure to get to know your customers while you can: this is an investment that's bound to pay off! 

Marketing: listen to sales to improve store performance

It is also important for marketing to receive instructions from sales about opportunities for underperforming stores to improve their performance: where exactly are things going wrong? Is it important to commit to customer activation, or are loyalty campaigns a better strategy? And which stores are failing to exploit the halo effect sufficiently?

Marketing: experiment and inspire!

Today, marketing departments play an important role in agile retail organisations. There is a great deal of experimentation with the use of new media, or the use of existing media in new ways.

Of all the departments in an organisation, sales has the best insight into the ups and downs of individual stores. Marketing can use these insights to design experiments such as a targeted retention, activation or loyalty campaign. Successful results for marketing will inspire and energise the sales team to deliver new sales and real estate strategies.

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