You Need a Target Before You Can Target Your Marketing
Recently three of my consulting/coaching clients have started the process of updating their web sites. All three of them had sites that were created several years back and have since sat on the web with few if any changes, updates or the addition on any new content. Only one had a blog. All three of them also came to realize that prospects were not finding their sites via search engines. However those prospects were going to their sites to find out more about the remodelers after they already had a first meeting and became aware there was a web site to look at. As a result of my questions and little follow-up discussion with their prospects these remodelers came to realize they essentially had static on-line brochures that offered little to differentiate their businesses from other remodeling businesses. And, they also learned that their sites did not attract prospects or help them move them along to a decision during the sales process.
I’m sure this story is true for many remodelers. If you’re one of them and you’re tired of never ending sales cycles, having to sell on price, working for people you’d rather say no to and you can’t seem to generate enough volume and or gross profit to have a healthy business; it’s time to decide who you want to target for prospects and start strategically marketing so they can find you and so you can convert them into customers.
Think of it like this
The target below offers a shooter points no matter where the bullets land, as long as they land on the paper. However, if the bullets land in the center the shooter will get far more points than if they hit somewhere around the perimeter. The goal for the shooter should be to calibrate his or her weapon and then properly aim so the bullets hit the center each time. The same holds true for remodelers. If your margins are low because you’re not hitting the paper, or if you are and you’re only getting low scores, it’s not the targets fault and it’s not the weapon’s fault, it’s the shooter who needs to make the adjustments.
One resource remodelers can take advantage of for help with better targeting is their vendors. Vendors who carry well known product brands know which demographic of customers buy different products based on their quality, benefits and related cost. They also typically get support in this area from the product manufacturers and distributors they do business with. If you establish a relationship with a good vendor who offers marketing help and support, it can be like having a whole team of marketing experts working on helping you find more and better customers. The great part about it is that helping the remodeler helps the vendor, the distributor and the manufacturer all at the same time. When something gets sold everyone one wins!
Recently I had a discussion about this topic with Marshall Baser, Business Development Manager for AW Hastings in Enfield CT. Hastings is a distributer that specializes in the Marvin Window and Door brands. Marshall and his team work with the vendors they supply to help remodelers and replacement contractors improve their businesses and therefore sell more. One way they do so is to help contractors better target their marketing to the right prospects for the different price points of windows Marvin offers. In addition to help with strategy, Hastings also helps vendors and remodelers attract quality leads through joint advertising that highlights the remodeler, the dealer and the products. If that has you excited you’ll love the fact that Hastings and their vendor partners typically share the cost of the advertising with the remodelers they work with.
Ready for the new normal?
Being successful and profitable as a remodeler is and will be different as we eventually enter into an improved economy with new and changing customer demographics. Smaller remodeling businesses with fewer resources need to find ways to gain an edge in the marketplace. I think Marshall summed it up really well for these businesses when he shared this advice: "Contractors should consider aligning themselves with retail suppliers who truly understand them and their business. They should get to know each other well, and create a strong business partnership with one another. A quality retailer can be a tremendous resource helping the contractor improve their overall business volume and profitability through the products that they sell, as well as through the value added services that they offer, including targeting the right prospects for those products."