Jim Ackerman is a retail jewelry marketing expert who has spoken to jewelry retailers at JA New York, JCK, The Smart Jewelry Show and others. He can be reached at 800-584-7585, ext. 3 or by email at mail@ascendmarketing.com.
Forgive me a New Year’s boast, but several of our clients had incredible years in 2016.

This is something we at Ascend Marketing take pride in, and some credit for, because in each case we assisted them with the marketing that resulted in substantial--sometimes even dramatic--sales, revenue and profit increases.

But the real credit goes to the forward-thinking jewelers who came to a critical realization about their businesses and their roles within their businesses.

Kyle Bullock of Bullock’s Jewelry in Roswell, New Mexico, may have said it best: “Expected to be down 20 percent this year because of the oil issues in our area. Decided to get proactive and put our minds to work halfway through the year--we are beating last year's number! Special thanks to Jim Ackerman and Ascend Marketing for starting our season with a turnkey promo that has been the most profitable and successful promotion we’ve ever had to date!”

Not a bad claim from a 90-year-old store and a fourth-generation jeweler. Love it!

But the key sentence in that quote is NOT the accolade for me or our turnkey program. It’s in Kyle’s second sentence, “Decided to get proactive and put our minds to work.”

Kyle, Bonnie Harris Frey, Hadley Perry Pacheco and a host of others made a decision. They looked at their markets, the economy, the trends and their marketing and decided they were no longer content to just let things continue as they were; that there had to be better, more productive ways to do things. And most importantly, they acted on their decisions.

In each case, these independent jewelry store owners shifted their attitudes and their roles within the business. They began to realize that their primary responsibility to their enterprise is to bring people through the doors, and therefore their primary role within the business needed to shift to CMO or chief marketing officer.

They also realized that the old Yellow Pages/newspaper world of yesterday is gone, but the over-digitized marketing world of today has not yet been mastered. And in that realization they concluded they must move to a direct response approach to marketing, advertising and sales, which is testable, traceable, measurable and improvable.

Their actions toward that end made all the difference, as each experienced marketing initiatives and events that generated tens of thousands more for their stores than they had previously experienced.

Just a few quick examples ...

Harris Jewelers’ Bonnie Frey took a different approach to an estate sale and generated $61,000 on a mailing to a list of just 312 people in one weekend. It generated nearly a 12 percent response at an expense of just $1,100.

Hadly Pacheco of Perry’s at Southpark does a customer appreciation event each Christmas. By changing her marketing to a direct response initiative sales went up by more than $198,000 this year over last (almost triple) with no increase in marketing costs.

And Bullock’s private sale to just 150 customers consisted of a two-page sales letter in a hand-addressed envelope with a live stamp. The $300 marketing investment generated upwards of $70,000 in one week, nearly $50,000 of which was profit.

Now, here is the question and the challenge for you.

How much money have you left on the table in the last five or 10 years because you have not made the same decisions that these jewelers and dozens of others of our clients have, to become a better marketer? How much did you leave on the table in 2016 alone?

Finally, will you continue to market as you have in the past, both in the attention you give to marketing and in the way you execute your marketing? And therefore, how many tens of thousands of dollars--or perhaps more--are you willing to leave on the table in 2017?

If you haven’t changed your attitude and approach to marketing, isn’t it time for you to do so?

Marketing speaker Jim Ackerman has addressed jewelry retailers at JA New York, JCK, The Smart Jewelry Show and others. Ackerman is providing National Jeweler readers with a $397 Marketing Fitness Check-up, for just $97 until January 31. Send an email request with your name and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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