Kitchen & Bath Design News

DEC 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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RICKI, THE KITCHEN Think Tank, recently released a report on the top five marketing tools used by designers and dealers in the kitchen and bath industry. The initial survey done by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence included a list of 26 tools, and the top five selected were based on perceived effectiveness. The top five tools used, in order of most used to least used, included referrals/word of mouth, website, Facebook, Houzz and print advertisements. However, it's one thing to have a top marketing tools list, and entirely another to know what to do with it. Each platform cre- ates a launch pad and should be augmented to assure the greatest visibility to your target audience. For that reason, this month I've taken the top five tools and broken out addi- tional suggestions to maximize each vehicle, ensuring optimum consumer interest and sales conversions. REFERRALS/WORD OF MOUTH At 73%, word of mouth referrals was deemed the number one marketing tool used across all segments of designers and dealers. Word of mouth creates a buzz and is a free form of advertising activated by the customer's experi- ence. By impressing one person, that person spreads the words to friends and they tell their friends and so on. According to referralrock. com, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family are more compelling than other advertising. Enhancing referrals • Tie in email marketing to your client base and offer a reward, gift or discount for referring a friend. Additionally, ensure all interaction with customers asks for an email address to keep the customer up to date on current products and special offers. • Ask for customers to review your company on Google+, Facebook and Houzz. Entice more reviews by offer- ing a gift or a chance to win a gift. • Take written referrals and craft them into social media posts. For an even greater impact, include a photo of the client or project. WEBSITE Not surprisingly, 68% of designers and dealers use their website as a primary vehicle to market their work. A website is the perfect place for a designer and/or dealer to showcase his or her work. An attractive website design including a portfolio of professional photography of your firm's projects is a great way for consumers to make a connection to your work. Enhancing websites • An effective SEO strategy should be im- plemented to ensure a dealer's website is found by consumers searching the web. • Make certain your current website is responsive and automatically adjusts to sizing for mobile phones and iPads. Mobile traffic accounts for a minimum of 30% of overall traffic. A slow site will be ignored over a faster loading website. • Be certain your website is secured with a HTTPS protocol to assure ongoing visibility online. Websites with a stan- dard HTTP URL will lose favor over a secure HTTPS website. Your webmas- ter can seamlessly implement a secure site for you. FACEBOOK Facebook is used by 50% of designers and dealers to promote their work. We predict that this percentage will increase over the years, as younger generations who use social media more often will begin purchasing their own homes. Facebook is also a great avenue for cheap advertising that reaches thousands of users. Demographics can be specifically chosen to target households that make a certain income, have interest in kitchen and bath remodeling and more. Enhancing Facebook • By defining your audience, setting attainable goals and mixing up your content regularly, you can put Facebook to work for you without breaking the bank. Conversely, by utilizing the tools that Facebook offers, you don't need to spend every waking moment on it to keep your page up to date. Facebook also taps into a two billion user market! No matter your industry or market space, you're sure to find your clientele here. • What unfortunately tends to happen with those using Facebook is that businesses start out strong with a digital market- ing push that they oversee on their own, thinking it is the most cost-effective method to market their brand. That may be true and effective to a degree, but what often happens is, over time, the attention to detail gets lost, and the oversight to maintain and push the brand can be diluted. This situation presents itself through inconsis- tent posts, incorrect or missing partner tags, improper audience designation, etc. There's nothing more cringe worthy to a digital marketing person than to scroll down Instagram (a subsidiary of Facebook) and see a designer posting content with hashtags that have incorrect characters. This ultimately creates failed execution and the attempt to market themselves properly is unsuccessful. The result is the designer/ dealer/business just spent a year throwing money into something that was not prop- erly assessed and executed. This prevents people from trusting a process that could make them exponentially grow. HOUZZ Falling close behind Facebook, Houzz is used by 49% of designers and dealers to market their businesses. This percentage is also likely to increase, as Houzz continues to offer more opportunities for professionals to promote their projects. Opportunities include both free and paid features. Enhancing Houzz • Ideabooks chock full of professional photography of your work will draw homeowners to your business page. Be certain to "tag" and provide as much " Develop your marketing arm to become a fully functional extension of your business. Remember, marketing is not an expense; it's an investment to ensure your business stands out from the competition." Top Marketing Tools for Design Firms DENISE GROTHOUSE 22 Kitchen & Bath Design News • December 2018 DIGITAL MEDIA STRATEGIES

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