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Continuum Offers Highlights of the 2010
Remodeling Show Marketing Seminars

Continuum offers notes from the 2010 Remodeling ShowDuring this year’s annual Remodeling Show, Cynthia and I attended marketing and sales seminars, searched the trade show floor for specialty marketing vendors that might be of value to our clients, and talked with about 20-30 remodelers about the opportunities they’re seeing and challenges they’re facing in today’s industry.

We’ll be putting all these new insights to work for clients throughout the year. In the meantime, we thought readers would appreciate a summary of our view of some of the most useful ideas, innovations and discussions from the 2010 Remodeling Show.

Online Search

  • It’s not just for “the younger generation.” Homeowners – of all ages – increasingly research and shop for remodeling services online. Helping these Internet searchers find your remodeling firm is critical.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no longer optional. This point was made loud and clear by both seminar facilitators and by remodelers who are finding how well Search Engine Optimization is working for them. I don’t want to sound self-serving, but this is exactly why SEO is one of the many new services Continuum has been rolling out over the past year.
  • Smart Phones as Search Tools. We’re all doing more online research using our smart phones. But according to one speaker, women in particular are “phoning in” their online research. If we are able to validate that this trend applies to how homeowners research remodeling firms, we will develop affordable responses for our clients, such as creating mobile device friendly websites and mini-sites.

Social Media

  • When to add it to your marketing tool kit. I’m sure social media will soon become part of the standard marketing mix for remodelers. But the speakers who are preaching that social media must be used NOW seem to be from vendor companies that don’t focus on remodeling firms, but on companies that generally spend more on marketing than remodelers do. We know that social media can work. The secret, however, is finding a way to make social media work for remodelers without requiring them to invest extraordinary amounts of time or money in this one element of the marketing mix. We are following some very promising models, and working with some of our clients who are experimenting with a variety of social media ideas, approaches, strategies, tactics, tools and processes. We’ll let you know the minute we have evidence for when and how remodelers can see worthwhile ROI from social media.
  • What about Facebook? According to one speaker, the fastest growing segment on Facebook is women 55 years old and older. Women actively use Facebook to share tips far more frequently than men do. To the men in this seminar, it was a revelation that women are actively sharing shopping tips with Facebook friends. To the women in attendance, this seemed like old news!

Prospects & Proposals

  • Preparing a winning proposal. Paul Winans, of Remodelers Advantage, gave a great presentation on preparing proposals that get customers to say YES. I couldn’t hope to encapsulate the approach he presented, but I will say that his approach makes excellent sense and covers all the bases. We will find out if his presentation is available from Remodelers Advantage as a seminar or webinar and let you know.
  • Finding your ideal client. At Continuum, we have a proven system for defining and profiling your absolute best clients. That’s why we’re able to help remodelers develop such targeted marketing programs. But at the Remodeling Show, we heard an interesting idea for going an extra step and limiting your focus only to clients who meet all your criteria and who will be “referral engines” for your business. In a hot market, when you can afford to be super selective, I can see where this might be a good idea. In a lean market, however, I’m not so sure you want to filter out all those almost ideal prospects simply because they may not actively refer you. In my mind, a much better approach is to cast the broader net and have a plan for getting ALL your prospects and clients to become referral sources. That’s the approach we have always taken.

Budget

  • How much should you spend on marketing? One of the remodeling marketing consultants who spoke at the show recommended that – in this economy – full-service and design-build remodelers regardless of size should spend 10% of their gross sales on marketing. While that seems very high to me in historical terms, it is not that much higher than what I have heard other remodeling business and marketing consultants recommend during the past two years. At Continuum, however, we find that no single percentage works for all remodeling firms. The size of your firm, size and number of projects, the economy, and other factors all factor into determining the right marketing budget. However, our experience does confirm that a higher percentage of gross sales should be allotted than in the past. Six years ago, for example, a typical full-service firm could do well investing only 2-3% of gross sales in marketing. Today, most remodeling firms find that they need to spend more on marketing to stay competitive.

From the Exhibition Hall

  • More online marketing vendors. SEO, Pay Per Click, and Social Media vendors had a bigger Exhibit Hall presence than in the past. However, remodelers seemed to represent just a small portion of these firms’ clients. In fact, some firms did not even mention remodeling firms in their handouts. As with conventional marketing services, remodelers generally get better results if online marketing services are focused on their specific needs rather than one-size-fits-all services. From our perspective, this means Continuum clients continue to have an advantage in that all our marketing services – including our newer online services – have been developed and optimized specifically for the remodeling industry.

Smarter Marketing

  • Praise for Continuum from Victoria Downing. Being a Remodelers Advantage Inc. MemberPerks Expert – and being endorsed by Remodelers Advantage – we naturally visited the Remodelers Advantage booth and talked with RAI president Victoria Downing. Having seen the trade show exhibits, she made this comment about the companies on the trade show floor:

    “All the marketing companies selling to remodelers offer one type of service or a list of services, but only Continuum Marketing Group really works with remodelers to select the right strategies, tools and tactics based on what the remodeling company needs and not based on what the remodeler happens to ask for or what the marketing company happens to sell. I think Continuum’s message would be something most remodeling companies would be very interested in.”

    Victoria is right. We have indeed found that our value proposition resonates with remodeling firm owners and marketing executives. Something else that resonates with our clients is the fact that we are cautious: investing in R&D so we can be as sure as possible that what we recommend makes good sense for remodelers in this economy. Going to shows like the 2010 Remodeling Show is part of our ongoing effort to keep ourselves – and our clients – up to date and at work with the absolute best marketing strategies, tactics and tools.

We hope you find this summary of the Remodeling Show helpful. And, as always, please call us if there’s any aspect of your marketing you’d like to look at with “fresh eyes.”

Best,

David Alpert
David Alpert
President, Continuum Marketing Group, LLC

Remodeling Show
Special Edition
Continuum Marketing
Group LLC


Serving Smart
Remodelers Nationwide

PH: [703] 759-0106
FX: [703] 759-0512

info@continuum-mg.com
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ContinuumExpress.com

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In This Issue
 

Highlights of the 2010 Remodeling Show:

Online Search

Social Media

Prospects & Proposals

Budget

From the Exhibition Hall

Smarter Marketing

We are Proud
Members of:


• NARI - National Association of the Remodeling Industry

• AMA - American Marketing Association

• DC Web Women

• Remodelers Advantage MemberPerks

Our Services

Continuum
Marketing Group

Smarter Marketing
for Remodeling Firms


Full-service, strategic and tactical integrated marketing services for remodeling firms, featuring our special & exclusive ASPIRE-CM® methodology:

    Assessment
    Strategy
    Plan
    Implementation
    Review
    Evolution

For more info go to Continuum-MG.com

Continuum Express
For remodeling firms interested in specific tactical services, tools and programs

We offer Full Service, Assisted and Do-It-Yourself services for:

• Custom Targeted
e-Newsletters

• Custom Targeted Print Newsletters

• Jobsite Post Card Mailings & Marketing

• Highly Targeted Mailing Lists

• Website Development

• Web Hosting and
e-Mail Hosting

• Search Engine Optimization

• Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing

• e-Surveys and Polls

• Cost Effective Short-Run Online Printing

For more info go to ContinuumExpress.com

Our Services

Continuum
Marketing Group

Smarter Marketing
for Remodeling Firms


Full-service, strategic and tactical integrated marketing services for remodeling firms, featuring our special & exclusive ASPIRE-CM® methodology:

    Assessment
    Strategy
    Plan
    Implementation
    Review
    Evolution

For more info go to Continuum-MG.com

Continuum Express
For remodeling firms interested in specific tactical services, tools and programs

We offer Full Service, Assisted and Do-It-Yourself services for:

• Custom Targeted
e-Newsletters

• Custom Targeted Print Newsletters

• Jobsite Post Card Mailings & Marketing

• Highly Targeted Mailing Lists

• Web Hosting and
e-Mail Hosting

• Search Engine Optimization

• Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Marketing

• e-Surveys and Polls

• Cost Effective Short-Run Online Printing

For more info go to ContinuumExpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recommend that
you look into these
fine companies...
They complement the services we provide and many of our clients have found them to be helpful.
Remodelers Advantage Inc. Remodelers Advantage Inc. provides peer group roundtables, seminars, consultation, training and much more.
GuildQuality GuildQuality provides customer satisfaction survey services that help remodelers adjust and improve their internal and external processes and procedures.