MANCHESTER, N. H. -- Key brands from CCA Global Partners, including Flooring America, Flooring Canada and The Floor Trader, traveled to Canada to host Building Buzz, its annual independent retailer-focused digital marketing conference.
Held from July 22-24 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal in Montreal, the event featured an all-star lineup of leading marketing experts from North America. Building Buzz aims to provide independent retailers with actionable strategies that can be easily executed and implemented at the retail level.
"It's all about focus at Building Buzz," said Keith Spano, president of Flooring America/Flooring Canada and the Floor Trader. "The bold technology, marketing and merchandising programs we will be unveiling these next couple of days focus on giving our members the tools to transform their businesses -- to take them from ordinary to extraordinary."
A key highlight at this year's Building Buzz is Drive -- one of the boldest marketing initiatives developed by the marketing team. Drive is a technology-driven, marketing automation platform with a state-of-the-art CRM system, incorporating real-time lead scoring, lead-conversion and lead-nurturing in a suite of bundled marketing services that create a more personal customer experience.
According to Frank Chiera, senior vice president of marketing & advertising, "We've built Drive to be a game-changer for independent retailers across multiple verticals, and have invested a considerable amount of resources to bring our members a fully integrated and centrally managed stack of marketing services. Drive will help close more sales, convert more leads and elevate the customerâââ€š¬ââ€ž¢s experience through highly personalized marketing communications."
From a product perspective, the group introduced a couple of key product initiatives that continue to trend with today's flooring shopper. First up is a new introduction this summer addressing the challenge for today's customer who desires the beauty of carpet but needs extreme performance. According to Cathey Gundlach-Links, vice president of merchandising, "The fear of stains, spills, pets, kids and wear will no longer deter the soft surface consumer with our new Rival by Resista brand." From a waterproof backing to a high-performance fiber, Rival is protection from top to bottom.
Also, according to recent research done across members' websites and social media engagement, "waterproof" is a frequently searched term by consumers when researching flooring. Therefore, the group continues to focus its efforts on products like Downs H2O with its waterproof, kid proof and pet proof protection story. According to Gundlach-Links, "The newest launch in our exclusive collection of Downs H2O fusion core luxury vinyl will complement the collection with a beautiful new 5 inch wide plank."
Additionally, at this Building Buzz, we have an impressive line-up of speakers to include Futurist, Brad Grossman who will discuss how to stay relevant and successful in the face of rapid cultural change. Grossman has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times and Fast Company to name just a few. We will also hear from longtime flooring executive, Piet Dossche, Shawâââ€š¬ââ€ž¢s president of US Floors & executive VP hard surface at Shaw Industries, who will share insight on the latest trends in the flooring industry.
Driving Momentum at Retail
To stay competitive and continue to innovate around financing options, for the first time ever, the cooperative will introduce Project Pricing, a financing option that allows sales professionals to focus on increasing the average sale while ensuring the customer's happiness.
Spano explains, "We know that the average sale increases when we offer financing to our customers. In fact, according to a recent article in FitSmallBiz.com, the average small business sale can increase by as much as 120 percent and we want our members to capitalize on these opportunities.
"And, we're not stopping with financing," continued Spano. "Building Buzz is the perfect platform for us to unveil two strategic partnerships we've formed with Rugs.Shop and Updater, two initiatives we feel will drive incremental sales and create new leads for our members."
To capitalize on the booming area rug segment, the co-op partnered with Rugs.Shop, an e-commerce platform with an extensive selection of area rugs. This turnkey and centrally managed program can be easily added to Flooring America websites. Members receive all the benefits of selling rugs online with all the back-end operations being handled by Rugs.Shop.
The partnership with Updater, a technology company that builds powerful tools to help people move, will provide members with qualified leads based on consumer data of those who have recently moved into new homes or apartments.
Spano concluded, "We strive to always be one-step ahead of the competition and no other cooperative delivers the groundbreaking technology and programs as well as actionable strategies like we do for our membership, allowing them to maximize sales and drive growth."