The sale of firearms in our country has been strongly influenced by our political climate and often times the men sitting in the Oval Office. Gun rights advocates and politically conservative-minded individuals like their firearms. Therefore, when a Democratic President, or a member of the Democrat Party in Congress (or a state legislator) threatens our 2nd Amendment Rights, it has resulted in consumers purchasing large amounts of firearms, bullets and related accessories before laws change—a literal run on guns.
Since 2008, between the mass shootings, Obama’s actions (and re-election), and the possibility of Hilary becoming President in 2016, consumers rushed to stock up on guns. The rise in sales was a direct result of fear that the democratic lawmakers would succeed in making it more difficult for consumers to purchase guns.
The 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and the 2016 San Bernardino shooting caused even greater talk about gun control which also lead to a surge in gun sales.
After Donald Trump was elected President, the fear of gun control dissipated, and sales of firearms declined exponentially. According to National Sports Shooting Association, there was an 11% drop to gun sales from 2016 to 2017.
Gun manufacturers are now reporting a decline in revenue from gun sales since President Trump was elected in 2016. A drop so significant that The Wall Street Journal reports industry insiders refer to it as the ‘Trump Slump’.
Many in the firearms sector have miscalculated the election as well as the impact on their sales, and therefore need to focus on new marketing initiatives in order to remain competitive. They cannot wait for a change in the political climate or rely upon channels like Facebook, Google or other Silicon Valley platforms that prefer to censor their messages, to become a driving force in their marketing initiatives.
As several large gun manufacturers have suffered such severe losses in revenues like Sturm, Ruger & Co Inc. (or close to a 50% drop like Smith and Wesson), others have been shutting their factories, such as Remington. Thus, it is high time for many to focus on regaining market share, target marketing towards the lowest hanging fruit with prospecting through firearms email lists, and then create initiatives that attract newer consumers to the market, such as women.
For example, the rise in female gun ownership presents a good opportunity for use of female email lists to prospect for these consumers. Furthermore, conservative email lists could be used to offer discounts and sweepstakes to entice new or experienced gun owners to purchase from your company. These opt-in email lists provide marketers a cost-efficient way to reach a large qualified based of consumers and often times we can match your existing customers to databases for look-alike campaigns.
Furthermore, members of the firearms community and gun manufacturers must stop giving money to Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley platforms that oppose their industry and are more likely to censor their advertisements than help find prospective customers.
Another great opportunity for gun manufacturers to reach consumers is the Shot Show 2019, one of the largest annual trade shows for the industry.
We will have representatives at the Shot Show and will be available to answer any questions you have regarding tactics and strategies to best target consumers during this challenging time in the industry.
If you’re not able to attend Shot Show to meet with us, but would still like to discuss our services, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. One of our digital marketing strategists will be happy to explain our methodology for increasing your sales.