Guitar Center Says MultiChannel Marketing Is Not Enough
Guitar Center was doing all the right things: working on search engine optimization, linking store and warehouse inventories to give online customers an integrated shopping basket, and more. But the chain was still losing market share to price-chopping online-only retailers.
Guitar Center's response? Hyper localization, with a templated website that lets managers and salespeople within each store share profiles, pictures, and promotions highlighting the local store, employee expertise, local artists, and news about the local music scene.
Individual stores also post pictures, prices and descriptions of used merchandise available exclusively at that store. The site lets customers browse profiles and contact local employees who specialize in serving guitarists, drummers, keyboardists, home-studio geeks, and so on.
Guitar Center used an iPad contest to encourage employees to share pictures and profiles, and 4,000 were posted within weeks. The effort put a human face on a national chain, highlighting local expertise that stores without retail employees can't offer. The next step? Integrating profiles with Facebook and other social networks.