#1. Get shoppers into your store (or onto your website). This is the basic purpose of sales promotion, advertising and public relations, all components of promotion. They get the word out about your store, creating interest in potential shoppers and driving them into your store. The problem with these forms of promotion is that games stores (and comic shops, for that matter) appeal to a very niche market. Almost everybody uses toothpaste and laundry detergent, a comparatively tiny segment of the population plays Magic or Settlers of Catan and there isn’t much in the way of mass media that reaches them easily, at least not in any form that is not prohibitively expensive for all but the top grossing stores. Most stores find word of mouth their most effective way of bringing in new shoppers and, of course, word of mouth is one form of public relations.
Check back Tuesday for Step 2.