You’ve heard the old saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” You know that you need a marketing plan for your home improvement business, but do you know how, or even where to start?
Entrepreneur Magazine has a good five step list of ways you can start your home improvement marketing plan process…
- Know thyself—The place to start is understanding your products and services and what sets you apart from you competition. We all sell the same types of products, but what makes you and your business different? Taking this step will help you determine the best way to position yourself in your marketplace.
- Know thy customer—We all know we want to sell to homeowners who have a need and the finances to do the project, but have you ever really sat down and defined who your ideal customer is. Doing this will help you really focus on not only the best way to reach them, but the most effective.
- Know thy objectives—The next saying that applies here is “If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t like where you wind up.” Set your goals and work backwards towards the daily actions necessary to accomplish your marketing goals.
- Know thy direction—Taking into account all of the steps you taken so far, now’s the time to create your home improvement marketing plan. One tip here as you think through this…don’t narrow your focus to just how you’re going to get leads that are ready to buy today. If you do, you’re restricting yourself to about 3% of those in the market for your products and services that are ready to buy right now. A more successful home improvement marketing strategy targets homeowners at all stages of their buying cycle.
- Know thy budget—Ultimately, your budget determines how your marketing plan plays itself out. Don’t forget “pay as you go,” where you determine an acceptable percentage of revenue that you’d like to achieve for your marketing efforts and commit to putting that amount aside every time you deposit a customers check.
Making Your Home Improvement Marketing Budget Go Farther
There are other ways to make your budget go further, but still maximize your overall marketing efforts…
- Balance—Today's final old saying is appropriate here... “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket." For example, if you think TV is the way to go, make sure you are doing some other, lower cost, things. Your overall expense, as a percentage of revenue, balances out.
- Layering—This is when you use more than one method to target the same segment. Think about something like, just as an example, blanketing a neighborhood with direct mail, then sending in your canvass team to market a previous customer program. Effective layering can set the stage for further efforts, creating expectation and being more cost effective. We did a recent guest post about how you can take layering to an even higher, more effective, level.
- Sales training—Thought we were talking about marketing, right? Sometimes we think that running more leads helps us take advantage of the numbers game, but not at the expense of on-going sales training. Anything that helps to raise your, and your teams, closing percentage, makes your marketing efforts more effective.
- Bigger tickets—It’s common sense, but we sometimes fail to remember that if a lead costs an average of $300, an $8000 sale is preferable to a $6000 sale (assuming same gross margin percentages). What can you do to raise your average selling price?
As we move towards the last quarter of 2016, begin thinking through the process of creating a home improvement marketing plan. Let us know if we can help.