What do you think? From emerging trends to the latest business principles, Furniture News is setting out to gauge the trade’s feelings on a variety of industry-specific topics. Today, we’re asking some of our retail correspondents: How do you market your business locally?

Mike Murray (Land of Beds): We advertise the business locally through specific geo-targeted ads on Google, Bing and social media channels. These ads are served to customers within a specific radius of each store. The campaigns are tailored to the needs of local customers

Huw Williams (Toons Furnishers): Advertising is difficult because we sit on the edge of both the East and West Midlands. We use a mix of local radio and social media – I feel the days of newspaper and leaflet advertising are long gone

Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): We use a full range of marketing media across our bricks-and-mortar trading area and online to a UK audience. TV, radio, direct mail, digital mail, social, online, sponsorships, doorstep, outdoor – they all play their part

Wendy Martin Green (Peter Green Furnishers): I am on the marketing team with my MD Mike Devey and our digital media manager, Iulia Pop. My daughter provides the artwork for us. We have a TV ad which is served to our target demographics and works very well for us, and we use various local radio stations quite heavily. In more recent years we have turned to social media, and we do very much less in the way of printed advertising now. We are a creative group, with marketing, writing and graphic skills – our ads are created in-house, and we seem to do very well with them. Most of all we enjoy it, and I think our listeners and readers can feel that

Steve Adams (Mattress Online): We advertise on local radio and occasionally the printed media. More recently we have joined the local Chamber of Commerce, which has raised awareness of Mattress Online as a great employer and contributor to the local economy, in both Rotherham and Sheffield

Andy Stockwell (Gardiner Haskins): We’ve moved to a more digital-based marketing strategy since Covid. Social media is growing in importance, and we use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. We have even used a ‘social media influencer’ who lives locally and now appears on national TV. We have the obligatory listing on Google Maps and have a new website under development. We occasionally use local radio (we stopped using it for a while, but we had a jingle that really stuck in your head, and when we stopped using it many of our customers thought we had gone!). We also use local press and glossy magazines, though this is much less frequent than it used to be. For an independent retail business like ours, it’s important to connect with the local community we serve. Customer loyalty is incredibly important to this kind of business, so advertising needs to reflect that. Whether it’s digitally or in print, we always get more feedback from our advertising when it has a personal touch

Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): We very much focus on direct mail combined with social media, and have stopped all our regular press and radio advertising. Our new building is situated on a busy main road, so our advertising spend has actually gone down due our prominent location

Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): We market locally through a wide variety of media. Targeting our key demographic, each medium is tested and measured to ensure ROI is provided. Types of marketing employed are TV, press, radio and direct mail, mixed with modern digital media such as AdWords, email and social channels

This article featured in the July 2022 edition of Furniture News magazine.