Target Marketing Is Dead; Target Messaging Is Alive
I hope this finds you well. In this issue of the Executive Report, we want to look at an issue of critical concern – how to make your Marketing expenditures be effective! There are two big problems in the world of Marketing these days:
- Marketing costs keep increasing.
- Response rates keep decreasing.
That’s pretty dismal, isn’t it? Yet smart companies work around these facts by using three ways to deal with today’s reality:
- Make sure that their selling prices include full allowance for their Marketing costs.
- Make the absolute most of every lead they get, following up carefully on them and working hard to nurture the leads they do not immediately sell.
- Make sure that their Marketing dollars are spent wisely with messages that appeal to a wide range of potential customers rather than the narrow group that they believe to be their target customer.
Everyone who has ever thought about Marketing and Sales has a common thought at some point: What is the “holy grail” lead for my business? Exactly what does the prospect look like whom I am most likely to sell to, if I can just bring them in the door?
Those are great questions. But, when it comes to residential metal roofing and other high-end home improvements, here’s the reality:
Almost every consumer out there has the potential to be a “great lead” that turns into a “great customer”. You simply have to reach them with the right message at the right time. Target Marketing is dead but Target Messaging is alive and powerful.
Let’s face it, chances are that if someone asks you what the demographics of your typical customer are, you’re probably going to say something like: “Our typical customer is a couple in their mid to late 50’s, recent empty-nesters, and anticipating retirement in the next 10 -15 years.” And, yes, sometimes that prospect can be absolutely perfect for you. But here’s where it all falls apart:
Consumers increasingly are not all alike. Instead of fitting into a few “buckets,” they fit into hundreds of buckets or even make their own personal bucket! The typical pattern of a consistent age pattern covering marriage, career, home ownership, kids, retirement, grandkids, and eventual downsizing is not at all reliable anymore. People are getting married in their late 20s and early 30s, not their early 20s. The average age of first-time homebuyers is increasing. People are buying second homes later in life. Older homeowners are looking to “age in place” and not necessarily downsize. People are living longer. There are more multi-generational households.
But, wait, even what I said above does not hold true for every consumer our there! Some folks are opting to always live in multi-family housing. Some folks are opting for tiny homes. Some older folks are nomads, shuttling between the homes of their children, or living out of an RV. There are a zillion ways people are choosing to live today and they each have their own motivating factors for the decisions they make.
Your target of 55 year-old empty-nesters thinking of retirement is still out there and may be an excellent prospect but there are fewer of those folks every year as people’s life journeys are ever-changing!
This makes Target Marketing essentially dead because the old targets are too small to create a sustainable business for you. But, there is good news — thanks to technology, you can “Target Message” and this allows you to reach consumers in personal ways that connect meaningfully with them.
Here’s a fact: Prospective customers are visiting your website and thinking of your business every day but quickly moving on to other options. Why? Because they do not see a message that makes them think “These folks understand me and can help me!”
Here’s the skinny: Your current messaging is turning away great customers every day because they do not see themselves as a match for the customer that you are targeting. And that’s because consumers are changing. Your messaging has to open you up to a wider range of customer demographics or your market will dwindle and your business will suffer.
So, how do you do that? Every day, your company is seen in a variety of ways by consumers who all come to you with individual needs yet your messaging is trying to fit them in one simple box – the box of who you believe to be your “target”. How do you work beyond that box and connect with more people exactly where they are, drawing them in as leads before they head on to the next website, the next booth at the home show, etc.?
Outbound marketing options such as keyword advertising, social media advertising, and direct mail allow you to send specific messages to well-defined audiences. Want to appeal to that traditional target market? You can do that. Want to appeal to owners of tiny homes? You can do that. Want to appeal to consumers who have vacation homes or only live in their homes part-time? You can do that. Want to appeal to consumers who are involved in urban renewal projects? You can do that. Want to appeal to younger consumers who make decisions based upon what is best for the environment? You can do that.
It takes time, creativity, and effort but you can make your marketing dollars reach more broadly by adjusting your messages to hit consumers where they are, not where you’d like them to be!
Here’s one more thought before I close out this issue of the Executive Report. Consumers may stumble across your website by accident, they may be drawn in by advertising you’ve done, they may have heard of you by referral, or they may have gotten there one of dozens of other ways. The point is, once they’re there, how do you deliver a personally impactful message that hits home for them? It’s simple really – ask them!
Get your website visitors involved by doing a simple single-question “survey” of sorts on your home page that directs them to content that it most relevant to their place in life. This allows you to break down your potential customers into some wide buckets and then, if necessary, segment even further from there. The initial question may look like this:
Want to sort through everything and make your visit today as productive as possible? Click to answer the following question and we’ll immediately take you to details that address your needs:
Which of the following descriptors most closely resembles what brought you here today:
Remodeling an older home
Busy family person
Owner of multiple homes
Tired of home maintenance
Seeking to do the right thing for our environment
Once they click on their choice, your site can then bring them to Target Messaging designed just for them. This allows you to meet prospects where they are.
Thanks so much for being a faithful reader. Here at Isaiah Industries, we love doing whatever we can to make specialty home improvement contractors even more successful. Please contact me anytime.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
You may pull quotes from this article provided you include a link back to the original article on this site. You may not reprint this full article, or even a significant amount of the article, without explicit permission. To gain permission, click here.