Navigating the Mystifying Marketing Maze

Written by Steve Bryant

February 3, 2020

If you’re like many Nationwide Members, your company has been at this marketing thing for years, maybe generations. There’s a decent chance you’ve recently experienced, and perhaps even been overwhelmed by, the dramatic increase in both the number and complexity of advertising options.

As we work with Members, a question we’re often asked is, “What works best?” Our response is usually, “It depends.” With more than 5,000 Members in a wide variety of markets, selling different product categories and with varying budgets, there is obviously no “one” option that can work best for all. Instead, determining what is the best marketing mix for your store is a multilayered process that involves matching messaging, media options and ad placement with consumer demographics, dealer offerings and budget.

Below are answers to a few of our Members’ most frequently asked questions. We hope you find them helpful as you make your marketing decisions.

How Much Should I Be Spending On Advertising?

Of course, ad budgets tend to vary by product category and dealer type. Here are the average advertising spends for those combined categories in 2018:

Marketing, Navigating the Mystifying Marketing Maze, Nationwide Marketing Group

These percentages provide you with a good rule of thumb as to what others in those categories are spending as sourced from 2018 U.S. Government Standard Industrial Codes.

Where Should I Place My Ads?

There have never been more advertising channels or formats available for deploying your advertising assets than there are today. Here is a snapshot of some key ad formats and their balance of spend in the United States for 2019, sourced from the Winterberry Group.

With 15.5% in U.S. growth from 2018 to 2019, the hottest channel in advertising today is digital marketing. It experienced $129 billion in ad spending, compared to $221 billion for the traditional channel, which remained virtually flat for that same period. Digital search, display, paid social and email marketing combined to represent 34% of total ad spending nationally.

Traditional linear TV accounts for approximately 20% of spending, with conventional radio coming in at 4% and digital radio at well less than 1%. Digital signage for in-store and digital out of home (OOH) formats combine for 6% of spending, while traditional outdoor or billboards accounted for 2.5%. Together, these channels captured approximately 33.5% of the total spend last year.

In contrast to its lofty position at the end of the 20th century, print has been consistently experiencing loss of share over the past couple of decades. After another double-digit decrease in spending last year, newspapers and magazines each represented only 2.5% of spend, while direct mail came in at 12.6%.


Here is an overview of industry promotional patterns with a few ideas we hope you’ll find helpful.

  • Holiday Advertising: Not surprisingly, retail advertising is most commonly done around holiday events. The good news is that consumers are already conditioned to shop during those periods, so you’re sort of “fishing while they’re biting.” The bad news is that your competition is doing the same thing, so breaking through the ad clutter and competing on price present their own challenges.
  • Off-Holiday Advertising: In the white spaces on your calendar between the holidays, business is being done and being done with less visible price competition. Surprisingly, during the period between Independence Day and Labor Day, more business is done than during those two holidays combined. That’s why Nationwide executes the group-exclusive Best for Less event with unique offers on sheltered products. Additional opportunities for off-holiday events include clearance events, anniversary events and grand openings. There are CE opportunities around the Super Bowl, March Madness and the Olympics. Earth Day is perfect for promoting ENERGY STAR®-qualified products, and Father’s Day is a great time for recliner sales.
  • Replacement Shoppers: Every day, consumers go to use their TVs and appliances, only to discover that they no longer work. Or they may wake up with a backache from that sad old mattress. They’re ready for a replacement, now. In fact, replacement is responsible for 62% of appliance sales. These highly motivated shoppers need to buy, and they need to buy soon, which is why it’s important for your advertising to be visible continuously, not just during events. On top of that, having a quality website with an effective search strategy is a great way to stay top-of-mind with those under-duress shoppers.

How Can I Get Commercials and Videos Products for My Company, and What is the Cost?

Rather than explain the scores of exclusive creative ad options you have as a Nationwide Member, allow us to direct you to www.nationwideprimemedia.com. There you’ll find national-quality television spots that can be personalized with your company’s logo, your name professionally voiced and your offer inserted, starting at $199 each. There’s also an array of web videos and in-store digital signage videos available for a variety of seasons, offers and applications. Some are available at no cost without personalization, while others start at $29 each with graphic logo in- sertion or $199 with your logo plus your company name voiced and your offer inserted. These high-quality, low-cost, group-subsidized video assets allow you to spend your advertising dollars on your media buy rather than video production.

What Can I Do In My Showroom To Increase Sales?

To communicate your store’s competitive advantages, your promotional offers and products’ most salient features to shoppers who are actually in your store, you can depend on video from Nationwide’s MemberNet TV digital signage system. MemberNet TV is home to thousands of marketing and informational video messages, plus entertainment movie trailers, sports footage, music videos and more for TV walls. And hundreds of options are available in 4K quality. MemberNet TV makes your showroom an information-rich buying zone where you can easily create your own custom playlist or let the PrimeMedia team create an automated list that updates itself while you continue to run your store.

For more information on Nationwide PrimeMedia’s products and programs contact the PrimeMedia team by calling Nathan Edge at 678-306-4071 or emailing nathan@nationwideprimemedia.com.


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