Kitchen and Bath Marketing 2012

October 22, 2011

I am truly amazed by the speed at which we are not only exposed to new technologies and platforms, but are required to leverage and embrace them.   And with each new love affair, there is a savvy marketer discovering how we should make it a part of our integrated marketing plan.

There was a time when we had the time to warm up to a new technology before we “needed” to employ it.  According to Advertising Age’s History of Advertising 1704-1999, 1704 saw the first newspaper ad; it took 218 years, until 1922, when the first radio broadcast was sold to an advertiser.   19 years later, in 1941, the first TV commercial, featuring a Bulova watch hit the air.  Ahhh… a simpler time.  We could take our time to get comfortable with the new-fangled fads.

But today, we are required to move at warp speed – consider that the first web browser was born in 1990, by 1995 the web had an estimated 16 million users, three years later there were 147 million users that went to 500 million by 2001.  Facebook launched in 2004; YouTube in 2005; Twitter in 2006; the iPhone in 2007; the first Android smartphone in 2008; and the iPad in 2010.  Each one of these technologies/platforms/innovations has become an integral and required aspect of our integrated marketing programs.

As you begin your 2012 marketing plans, keep these truths in mind:

You need a presence on mobile devices:

  • 40% of Tablet & Smartphone owners use them while watching TV (Nielsen)
  • 17% of women / 21% of men looked up product information because of a TV commercial (Nielsen)
  • 79% of consumers use a smartphone to help with shopping (Google: ZMOT)

You need to put video to work for you – on TV… online …on handheld devices.

  • 37% of shoppers were stimulated to make a purchase decision by a TV ad (Google: ZMOT)
  • 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them (Google: ZMOT)
  • 74% of consumers remember an ad when viewed across media platforms (TV+PC+Phone+Tablet) (Nielsen)
  • In August of 2011 YouTube was the 5th most popular web brand with 127.9 million visitors, spending 1 hour and 42 minutes EACH on the site (Nielsen)
  • Q2 2011 – 36.2% more Mobile subscribers are watching video on a mobile phone than a year earlier (Nielsen)

These are just two critical areas, but there are more… and as the technology advances, you need to be ready to make it work for you in bringing leads to your kitchen & bath showroom.

Consider developing a fully Integrated Marketing Program for 2012 where you can leverage your resources to best fit your market, your customer and your budget.  And, of course I am always available to help you get started.  Email info@kitchenmarketing.com to get started

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The Changing Face of Marketing Your Kitchen & Bath Business

August 13, 2011

As regular followers are aware, each week I endeavor to find a marketing gem that you can put into practice immediately in your kitchen and bath showroom; something that will help drive traffic in a “less than stellar economy”.

This week, in an effort to answer the question “where should I place my marketing dollars for the greatest return on my investment?” I landed on a new study: “2011 Social Media Matters Study” by BlogHer and sponsored by Ketchum.

I want to share some of the findings and place them in context for the kitchen and bath industry.

First you should know that the respondents of the BlogHer audience consist of 2,763 women and 98 men who are blog users. The data was secured from a network sample: survey fielded across 2,500 blogs & 25MM+ audience – ages 18-76.

The report stated that “everyone is an early adopter [to technology] – thanks to mobile devices. Adoption rates of new services and tools are high, but volatile”.

The BlogHer audience is labeled “early adopters” and the percentages below supports that assertion.  All figures are 2011 percentages as compared to 2010.

  • Facebook – 2011: 84%; up 1% from 2010
  • YouTube – 63%; up 6%
  • Smart Phone Mobile & Apps – 57%; up 32%
  • Social Media Games – 21%; up 4%
  • Read Blogs – 94%; down 2%
  • Message Boards – 41%; down 4%
  • Watch TV/Media Online 42%; down 14% (while YouTube is up 6%)
  • Twitter – 39%; down 13%

The study continues by telling us that “Women have an ever increasing appetite for media. Despite few declines in usage, we have made time for new choices. Mobile is driving early adoption & rapid abandonment.”

In the Kitchen and Bath industry, we know we need to reach women to be successful.  This study shows us that women are using new technologies, social media and blogs – it follows that as kitchen and bath professionals, we need to incorporate theses technologies and tools into our overall integrated marketing plans.

Z promotion & design, through our new program, The Kitchen & Bath Channel provides kitchen and bath professionals with a cost-effective, simple way to employ new technologies.  Immediately, we can place you in the mobile marketplace, on YouTube and Tweet you hundreds of Twitter followers.  And as we prepare to launch our upcoming versions, you will have new opportunities to reach your target market utilizing the latest marketing tools as they appear and without the hassles of having to keep up yourself!


Lights… Camera… Action!

June 26, 2011

Are you ready for the re-discovery of TV… or more accurately the re-emergence of Video?  There was time the kitchen and bath industry shied away from video, because TV was the only platform for displaying your images – and it was an expensive proposition.  As video technology improved, costs came down and potential delivery systems increased, more kitchen and bath professionals turned to video loops in showrooms, home shows, DVDs for potential clients and for some – the Internet.  Today there is no excuse to ignore marketing with video.  Online video is growing at astonishing rates…

Here are some stats to get your heart pumping (according to Media Recruiting Group)

During the month of May 2011 –
YouTube:  8,860,520,000 total video streams were logged during the month of May for an increase of 1.3% over the previous month.  And if that is not mind boggling enough, the average American spent 2 hours and 31 minutes on YouTube during the month.  Add to that another 135,168,000 video streams on Facebook and you’re looking at a lot of potential exposure for your kitchen and bath business.

And allow me the latitude to make a prediction from my crystal ball… Christmas 2011 will see the opening salvos of the Google TV vs Apple TV battle for your eyeballs.  And those “TVs” will be pulling videos from the likes of YouTube and Facebook to your [traditional] TV set.

So, how can you capitalize on this explosion?   Simple – Get in the Game!

  1. Professional Photography – all those high-quality, professionally shot photographs you published in magazines make excellent high-definition videos.  See The Royal Cabinet Company video on The Kitchen & Bath Channel.
  2. Professional Videographer – as with photography, don’t try to save a few bucks shooting your showroom, your project or yourself by yourself.  Take a look at this video on The Kitchen & Bath Channel from Roomscapes in Laguna Niguel, CA to see what a professional videographer can do.
  3. Pre-Production – before you begin any shoot have scripts and shot sheets ready for a variety of video projects, it will save you time and money.
  4. TV Commercials – marketing on TV or Cable has been very effective for kitchen and bath professionals in this economy.  When you shoot the commercial, be sure to shoot a lot of extra “B-roll” that you can edit later for additional commercials or other projects (see #3 above).
  5. Online Video Portals  – take advantage of existing video destinations online for displaying your videos such as:

When you consider the number of places you can showcase your video, your marketing investment becomes very affordable.

If you have a video you want to display on The Kitchen & Bath Channel (YouTube), contact me and we’ll post it on the channel.  If you need video, would like some clarification about using video in your marketing plan, we are available to assist – just contact us.


Kitchen & Bath Channel – Shameless Self-Promotion

February 6, 2011

One of things I truly love about blogs is that fact that one can shamelessly self-promote and blather on about anything and everything.  Well this sunny, warm(ish) Sunday February morning in North Carolina is going to be just that – shameless self promotion.

Within the next week or two, my partner Max Isley, CMKD and I are scheduled to officially launch the Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone Mobile Apps.   These are [unabashedly] the greatest marketing tools to hit the kitchen and bath industry since the advent of direct mail, if not ever! 

These apps are free to the consumer.  They include a database of over 15,000 kitchen & bath and remodeling professionals.  When your customer launches the app (on the iPhone, Android or Blackberry), the phones’ geo positioning locates the closest kitchen and bath professionals on a map.   From that map they are able to access each professional’s profile.  In addition, the consumer can search for a kitchen and bath professional through a number of queries including, city, state, room they want to renovate, profession of the remodeler, accreditation, products and more!

So, as a professional, how do you stand out from the crowd?  You take top priority among your 15,000 peers through “Gold” or “Platinum” annual subscriptions.  

  • With a free, standard listing you are placed in alphabetical order, with a contact name, phone number and address. 
  • An upgrade to Gold moves you to the top of the list, gives you a link to auto dial, an interactive map for directions, your website on the phone’s browser, a link to send an email and the ability to be linked to the user’s contact file. 
  • If you upgrade to Platinum, you receive everything a Gold subscriber does PLUS the ability to include up to 5 photos and 5 videos of your choosing and you appear above the Gold Subscribers in the list of results.  Click here for more information.

In addition to the apps for the customers “on the go” – the website KitchenBathChannel.com is a database of professionals where your customers begin their research!

I’ll post again when the apps are ready for download – but in the meantime, if you are a kitchen and bath professional become a subscriber BEFORE the apps are launched and SAVE 25%!


Whatcha Wanna do? Idaknow… You?

December 26, 2010

I observed something during this snowy (for much of the country, it not the world) holiday weekend.  It seems the kitchen and bath industry, along with the rest of the world took advantage of some down time to reconnect and do some online exploring. 

The Z promotion & design Facebook page added close to a dozen new fans, and my personal page became a few friends richer, as well.  My Twitter account found followers and the Kitchen & Bath Channel on YouTube got viewers as if we were showing “It’s a Wonderful Life” – and Christmas Day was among the busiest this blog has seen in weeks.

What’s the lesson to be learned?  Simply that your online presence should be all-encompassing – a website, a [business] Facebook page, Twitter account, a blog, YouTube – create a presence on any social networking site you are comfortable maintaining.  The key is maintaining – even when you are closed, you’re open.  Be sure your information is up to date, accurate and compelling. 

A reminder that the Kitchen & Bath Mobile App is almost ready to launch, with marketing to the consumer becoming finalized.  We are still offering our pre-launch specials, allowing you to save 25% on your annual Platinum or Gold subscription.  This is the kitchen and bath industry’s first ever marketing tool that will drive customers to your front door WHILE they are out shopping.  Don’t miss out on the incredible pre-launch special!

Click to join the Kitchen & Bath Channel


iMarketing

December 4, 2010

During the course of the past week, two of my clients made similar “out of the blue” comments – “let’s look at how we can better assimilate the iPad into our marketing program.”  

Now, as an early iPhone adopter, I look at the iPad as an overgrown iPhone and didn’t run out to purchase the first generation – in fact I was under the misguided impression I could go through life without an iPad – I am mistaken.

Both clients intend to create photo galleries of their kitchens, baths and other design and remodeling projects, displaying  them proudly during sales calls – utilizing the iPad as many of us use a photo album or PowerPoint  today. 

In addition, one client is concerned that the Flash elements and Flash video on his site are not visible on the iPad – Apple and Adobe may never come to terms over this travesty of egos that hurts us all.  We are changing all the Flash to “less compelling” animations.  However, his complete site is now visible to all – on all platforms… he can easily go from showing his slideshow of kitchen and bath projects to his website, without embarrassment.   

As you look into your 2011 integrated marketing plans and budgets, consider the iPad, as well as mobile marketing as real opportunities.  As always, Z promotion & design is just a phone call (9119-932-4600) or email away if you are looking for marketing assistance.

Join us on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/Zpromotion

Join us on YouTube @ http://www.youtube.com/user/KitchenBathChannel


Back Up

November 20, 2010

What a week it has been!  After two days out of the office at very fulfilling client meetings, I returned to find my hard drive dying a slow, painful death.  Well, that put a crimp in a week that was once filled with promise.  Two days with tech support (very helpful Dell Techs out of Nashville!)… two days reloading software and hopefully not too many additional hours getting my system back to where it was – you know, all those preferences you create over time, get used to and can’t live wihtout. 

Think about it, can you afford to take three or four days off unexpectedly?  Regardless of your profession – in the kitchen and bath industry or not, here are some ideas to help keep your sanity when (not IF, but WHEN) your computer crashes.

Keep [multiple] active, up-to-date back ups.  Whether it is to on-site hard drives, or through an online service, it is a necessity.  Client files, databases, and other files are obvious… but also consider

  • Your “document and settings” folders (Windows).  Copy your profile, as well as the others available to you – a number of preferences are stored here.
  • If you use Outlook… a current pst file.
  • Keep your music, video, photos on your hard drive?  500GB portable drive should be must for these files.
  • Maintain a list of applications that you use infrequently, but you’d miss if they were missing? 
  • Keep a list of usernames and passwords that your browsers remember for you?
  • Software programs typically require registration information – be sure you have that information handy.

Knowing where to find your back up information, will make your computer disaster a bit more palatable.   And one more thought to consider… keep an older computer (perhaps a laptop) in good working order, so while you are recreating your primary computer, you are not 100% “out of pocket” – only about 80%!

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The Kitchen & Bath Channel on YouTube is beginning to catch on… hits and views are growing.  Kitchen and Bath Professionals with videos on the site are also getting referal hits to theirwebsites.  If you want to join us, email me.


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