We sat down with Frank Chiera, VP of Marketing for Flooring America and Flooring Canada, for a 15-minute Skype interview on how he works to help FA members market better. Flooring America has 550 stores across North America, these stores are part of a bigger cooperative group called CCA Global Partners. In all, CCA Global has 2,000+ retail stores across Canada and the United States. Its retail members cover more flooring than most of the big boxes combined.
When it comes to online marketing, Flooring America’s retail members rely on FA to provide not just turnkey programs, but strategic overall direction as well. Frank comments, “Over the last 4 or 5 years, we really made a contentious shift to dedicate a lot of our marketing energy around online marketing. Particularly SEM, SEO, PPC, and now what we really need to focus on is social media marketing.” At the end of the day, it all boils down to giving FA retailers a leg up on getting found.
So, in an effort to maximize store visibility with consumers, Flooring America has been working on ways to involve their local stores in any national creative. In FA’s latest campaign, they’re involving local charities in a cause related effort to help members better connect with their communities. As far as retail members’ response to being more involved in FA’s national marketing, Frank says that, “They’re responding unbelievably well. It resonates with who they are.”
On continuously connecting with their retail member communities, Frank counts that as most important in keeping a current understanding with their business needs. Flooring America itself holds national conventions twice a year, and communicates regularly to its retail partners via meetups, email newsletters, and webinars. FA members also have 24/7 access to the co-op’s official intranet site that houses everything from product updates to sales and marketing training videos.
Now, Frank’s adding regular member store visits to the mix. “We firmly believe in the importance of being out in the store, rolling up your sleeves and being with the retailer. Understanding what they go through everyday helps us become better marketers.”
For other brands looking to better connect with their retailers, Frank says being authentic is king – both with retailers and consumers.