Mervis Diamond Importers
Headquartered in Tysons Corner, VA with additional locations in Rockville, Maryland and downtown D.C., Mervis Diamond Importers (MDI) has been the region’s preeminent diamond retailer for more than a quarter-century. Mervis also markets directly to potential clients in Baltimore, Frederick, Richmond and Fredericksburg. Mervis specializes exclusively in diamonds, and drives new and repeat business by focusing on delivering the highest levels of customer service and customer education and saturation-level advertising in key, mass media. ROI has been Mervis’ agency of record since 2002.
The Target Audience
Mervis’ primary target audience is adults 25-54, with an emphasis on "engagement motivated" men 25-34, in the Washington D.C. metro area. This group accounts for some 80% of Mervis’ annual business. Mervis also markets aggressively in Baltimore, Frederick, Richmond, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg.
Within its overall primary target audience, Mervis’ sales promotion media addresses two main groups:
- Young men 25-34 (and young couples) looking for engagement rings
- More established, high income buyers 35-54 who are inclined to spend $20,000 to over $100,000 per year on diamond jewelry
Both segments are addressed by emphasizing and increasing an already established, marketplace brand awareness with higher media frequency and more efficient media targeting in this very competitive retail environment.
The Marketing Mission
ROI was given a budget that was to focus primarily on radio advertising in three major markets (D.C., Baltimore, Richmond) and three sub-markets (Frederick, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg), with a goal of increasing Mervis’ business by 25% within the next two years. That meant we needed to analyze how the business was generated by market and where new business potential lay, then redistribute the media spend appropriately to get the maximum ROI in revenue. Another objective was to develop a minimum of 15% in added-value media bonus weight and bonus promotions each year to enhance the initial MDI annual media spend.
The Marketing Program
In ROI’s first year with Mervis, by tracking and analyzing DMA sales from the previous year, we were able to focus Mervis’ media spend more proportionately and more effectively in markets that produced the highest dollar revenues. ROI also reduced the weaker markets’ media profiles without reducing Mervis’ visibility and sales productivity, by concentrating media buys in those markets on fewer stations that proved most dominant and efficient against the target audiences.
Each successive year to date, ROI has continued to revise and refine the Mervis media budget and strategy through market research, strategic analysis of media productivity reports and sales tracking. In this way, ROI has maintained Mervis Diamond Importer’s dominance in market share of voice.
Each year, ROI has also exceeded its 15% Mervis added-value objectives, attaining between 20% to 25% promotional commitments, including multiple weeks of bonus airtime.
During our first year with Mervis, the company enjoyed a sharp increase over the previous year’s sales (double digit percent increase) and well beyond “reach “ goals, without spending more annually than in the previous three years. In our second and third years, Mervis continued to enjoy significant sales increases.
Mervis also spends sales promotion dollars in the digital space and continues to grow their presence within that medium. However, Mervis still consistently focuses their marketing budget primarily in one medium — radio — and by continuing to do so, Ronnie Mervis has successfully branded himself and Mervis Diamond Importers as the most visible, most dominant and most successful diamond retailer in the region.