EM NARI closed out 2017 with an amazing evening full of great information, networking, and giving back! Our sponsor, Mark One, Inc. again collected toys for Toys for Tots. Thanks to all our members who generously donated to help a child in need in our region this holiday season! (Make sure you scroll to the end to see all the pictures!)
The December membership meeting featured a panel discussion, “Targeting Your Marketing for Growth,” expertly moderated by Roger Gallagher of Gallagher Remodeling, Inc.
The panel included: Bob Ernst, FBN Construction; Bill Farnsworth, Custom Contracting, Inc.; Sarah Lawson, S+H Construction; Sean Reynolds, Woodmeister Master Builders; and Amy Cafazzo, Studio A Marketing. The panel spent time discussing how they define their target clientele, identify good prospects, and manage their business growth.
We asked Roger, and members of the EM NARI PR Committee, to follow up with their thoughts on the meeting and what they learned:
Regardless of the size of your company, or the extent of your marketing efforts, your company should have a written marketing plan.
A written marketing plan will define your market, your ideal customer, and how you intend to reach that market and those customers. It will also define the activities and their frequency for implementing that outreach. Each instance of those activities should be placed in a budget, and the total budget should correspond with the total budget for marketing. Panel members agreed that the industry standard for an annual marketing budget should around 2% of revenues.
Total revenue can be budgeted for by projecting the number of projects to be performed in a year, multiplied by the estimated average size of those projects. If you know the company's close rate, the number of leads required to acquire the necessary number of projects can also be estimated. Then lead generation goals are defined for the marketing plan, and actual leads and their sources can be measured against projected leads, to monitor the effectiveness of the marketing plan.
I learned that it is important to stay active on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I also learned sometimes it is ok to walk away from a job that you know won’t be a good fit for you!
Before putting together your marketing plan, you need to start by defining your best customer prospects. Where do these people live? What is the ideal project size? Where do these prospects look for recommendations? Remember that, your marketing plan should be designed to speak to appeal to that audience alone in order to get the most out of your marketing budget.
Whenever I go to any type of marketing seminar, it’s the same old same old blah blah blah of some “expert” that is something that literally goes in one ear and out the other. Usually it’s a “listen to me and then if you want more, you have to hire me.”
This seminar however, was completely different. It caused me to change my 2018 marketing strategy completely. Print was something I was planning on in either ’19 or ’20 and decided to change our plan one week before our annual budget meeting. The one thing that resonated the most was Bob Ernst’s comment that he personally hasn’t been on anything in over three years, yet I see his ads in multiple places, multiple times. In today’s digital world, it can be very scary to go with a large budget into something that has no guarantee of a return, but after the seminar, I firmly believe it is part of the right thing for my 2018 marketing campaign.
The one comment that made the biggest impression on me was from Sarah Lawson. She indicated that you can spend a ton on marketing and promote your business all day long, but if you’re not executing well and providing a quality product, it’s not going to matter! In essence: you must execute well, strive for excellence, and put out a good product as your starting point for marketing. Then you have something worth marketing…
I really liked hearing about the lead scoring system that S&H has in place. It takes the guess-work out of qualifying leads, and also makes the lead qualification process something that can be scaled. Right now, I do all of the lead qualification, and sometimes it can be hard to quantify why I have qualified or disqualified a particular lead. We plan to put a similar structure in place now.
I liked the idea of having a score card for the “gatekeeper" to fill out when a lead contacts the company. A lower score can mean a lower possibility of success down the road and save serious time and effort. In the end, we want everyone to feel successful. Figuring out what is a good or poor fit in the start of a relationship can help the company, and the lead, find a good overall project experience.
Thanks to Jay Groccia, OnSite Studios, for capturing this event for us! Click the image below to see the gallery.