What Should Your Next Advertising Move Be?
During business downtime (which always comes at a point in your business that feels like the worst timing ever), many contractors, landscape architects, and designers find themselves looking for quick wins; a quick email blast with the latest pricing offer, a direct mail piece, or anything similar.
Unfortunately, that's not how today's buyer thinks or purchases. Sure, there are still plenty of spontaneous purchases being made all the time. Research, however, is more important than ever before for buyers. With so much access to info, like competitors, websites, and reviews - how could anyone skip looking at the tools?
Back to your options, sure, you might close a sale via a quick marketing sprint with an email blast for a discounted service. This however isn't sustainable. It's also a great way to decrease your brand value; instead of being viewed as a luxury service provider you'll be one of those "quick, get it fast, ask now, call today" companies. Ask yourself how you feel about those companies- then consider how your image as a brand looks when it's you that sounds this way.
Establishing a brand image that screams quality work (without the shouting) and naturally demands the higher-quality costs isn't easy - it's takes a significant amount of time and brand dedication to make it work and meaningful. This doesn't mean you have to choose to stop all screaming efforts right away - we know that (in most parts of this country), there is a seasonal business with home improvement - and transitioning to a more stable marketing approach takes time.
So what is this longer term solution that decreases chaos in your life and constant ups and downs and doubting? Inbound Marketing.
Think of your website or business as a "retail store." The quick wins like the email blast or direct mail is your 5 blackboard sandwich stands on the sidewalk - asking people to come in and look to buy something on sale - today. None of those people are coming back again and when they refer you to their friends, they'll remember your business as "they were cheap and fast!" Not a great reputation to have in your referral network!
Inbound Marketing instead puts helpful reading material in local restaurants and other stores - something relevant to your business and your soon-to-be customer. They read it, see your logo or company name and store it in their brain. A couple of days later, they see something else they can read. No one however is screaming to them to come in buy something before the "sale ends." When they do have a need for a service of yours, they'll come to you since you've branded yourself as an expert in all that material they've read. When they mention you to their friends, they're more likely to say something like, "it was amazing, they knew exactly what I needed, I felt great."
It takes time to develop this circle of ongoing visitors to your "store," but it eliminates the rush and madness of quick and unnecessary sale offers and constantly tarnishing your brand. Especially since you don't even establish a healthy referral network from these quick wins. So before you proceed with your next marketing tactic, think about your next year, two, or three (and more!), and start considering establishing a more stable flow of traffic, leads - and customers. Related: Stabilize Cash Flow by Filling up Your Sales Funnel.