Canadian Music Trade - February / March - Page 17

NAMM NEWS By Zach Phillips 2018 A NOTE FROM ZACH: RETAIL RESOLUTIONS Our members tell us that getting one good idea can pay for your entire trip to The NAMM Show. But in reality, I believe most attendees walk away from NAMM U sessions with dozens of great ideas. The only challenge is finding time to put those ideas to use when you leave Anaheim and return to your business. To help you get started, we’ve outlined some key areas to focus on in the new year. Think of this as a priority list to navigate 2018. And don’t wait until the next NAMM Show to pick up more ideas. Summer NAMM, held June 28-30, 2018, at Nashville’s Music City Center, promises to offer new tips, strategies, and best practices to help you grow your business. Start planning your travel now! Map your customer’s journey. At 2017 Summer NAMM, retail futurist Doug Stephens referred to an airline that earned his business with brilliant marketing, only when he boarded his flight, he spotted a duct-taped window – not exactly inspiring his confidence. When your customers want new musical products or services, what’s their complet e experience, from their first Google search to the moment they purchase to their experience post-purchase? Where are you exceeding expectations? Where could you up your game? Walk through the entire customer experience, identify your duct- taped windows, and make fixing them a goal. Focus on voice search. A few years ago, you nailed down your search engine optimization strategy, and now you’re done, right? If only. Between Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, voice search has changed the SEO game. More than ever before, consumers search for musical products and services online by asking questions and using phrases. Is your website optimized for natural language search? It’s time to give this a second look. Consider upping your events schedule. I recently spoke with a new independent combo retailer operating in a competitive market. In its first year, the store is projected to hit $1.4 million, and it’s driving traffic and business largely with a bustling events series. This includes everything from manufacturer- sponsored clinics to themed sales to participation in Make Music Day. The takeaway? If you’re a brick- and-mortar retailer, you’re in the events business. Expand your sales channels. If you’re already selling through eBay,, and Craigslist, consider creating a Facebook store or selling through Instagram. Make purchas- ing easy for your customers by going where millions are already buying and selling. Keep an eye on emerging technologies. If you’re a school music retailer, how will self-driving cars impact you in the future? For brick-and-mortar operations, how can virtual and augmented reality be integrated into your show- room experience? And what new opportunities do these technologies present? New smart- phones already have augmented reality technol- ogy built into their operating systems. Now’s the time to start exploring these questions. And keep looking for great ideas year-round at NAMM U Online by visiting nammu. It’s a fantastic resource designed with you in mind. Zach Phillips is the Director of Professional Development for NAMM, the global not-for-profit trade association representing 9,000 manufacturers and retailers of musi- cal instruments and sound products. NAMM’s mission is to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 17