Planning season for 2018 is upon most building products companies so it seems appropriate to share our early marketing forecast for 2018 just in case you read this post.
We firmly believe marketing has two purposes. The first is to identify, articulate and manage the brand (aka reputation) of your business to assure the value of the business is optimized for shareholders and, second, to generate leads to sales.
In 2018, we believe lead generation will be the Holy Grail of marketing. What we mean by this is simply lead generation will be the focus of all marketing efforts across all platforms. When asking you the question “What does this mean to the business?” the answer must be it generates leads to sales. Websites, social media, advertising, content marketing and so on must all be built and operated as lead generation tools. The reason we describe this as the Holy Grail is because making this commitment and executing it well is hard and requires a special skill set.
A word of caution regarding lead generation is automated marketing software can not and will not make lead generation easier unless you know how to leverage it against the very unique buying journey of each of your customers. This too takes tremendous skill and experience. We believe there is a very real need for services to support this type of software not provided by typical agencies.
In the year to come, building products manufacturers will fully embrace video and learn how to properly use it to generate leads to sales. Companies are beginning to shoot videos today; however, they are typically product knowledge or installation videos or maybe Facebook Live or some other social media video. Sometimes the quality and content is good and many times it is not good at all. Once the video is shot, what happens next? Video marketing answers the question of how to best use your video investments to generate leads to sales and gain a meaningful ROI.
It is time for building products manufacturers to enlist the help of professional writers for their blogs, eBooks, white papers, articles and social media posts. Your customers and prospects are savvy researchers and read your published content along their path to making decisions about specifying or buying your products. Your writing and content matters. Unfortunately, we are seeing a terrific amount of poor writing coming from building products companies. Poor structure, buried leads, rambling and so many other errors that your high school English would run out of red ink in her marking pen.
It is not just the poor writing but the lack of a considered, written content strategy is another reason for the engagement of professional writers. Do you have a content strategy for your business? Does it include the four content pillars? Maybe you should enlist a professional writer for your publishing in 2018.
We have written about this incredible asset and our successes with our clients. In 2018, targeting your customers cellphones, laptops and tablets with specific messages at dedicated times of the day at the locations of your choice will be the media of choice. We have targeted contractors within a mile and a half of their dealers as they prepare to make their buying decision. Imagine being able to talk with your customers just before they place their order. Geo-targeted advertising does just that. We are using the same tool for trade shows and events for the cost of the average show sponsorship.
There has been a lot of chatter about personalization through your automated marketing software in the past two years. As we shared in the lead generation section, most owners of these types of software lack context when using them. We are talking the return of the personal, hand-written note, the in person meeting and, fingers crossed, the answered telephone call. Taking this a step or two further, we believe in 2018 people will begin to take pride in their personal relationships and nurture them through their sales and marketing experiences. We still believe people buy from other people and not an impersonal email or text.
As you begin planning for 2018, we encourage you to investigate each of these five trends as opportunities for you and your company to stand up and stand out. Let us know if you would like help with these trends or other challenges you are anticipating for the new year.
Shawn Draper | DraperDNA.com | 443-370-8815