2012: a New Marketing Reality

October 11, 2011

Just when you thought you had a handle on marketing your kitchen and bath business the rules are changing again.

There are a number of recent statistics that may shock you and should (at the very least) put your current marketing plan on trial.

  • We now spend more minutes each day with apps than we do with web sites.  On average 81 minutes are spent with apps compared to 74 with web browsing.  The increased usage of smartphones and digital tablets (such as the iPad) is credited for the new reality.

But as the many kitchen and bath professionals I speak with tell me – “that doesn’t affect me, my clients are older and smartphones and digital tablets are in the hands of kids.”   – if you subscribe to that concept, the reality doesn’t support your theory. According to an August 2011 Nielsen study, demographics break down evenly.

  • Smartphone Owners as of Q2 2011:
    • Ages 35-44          19%
    • Ages 45-54          20%
    • Ages 55+              18%
    • 50% are Women
  • Tablet Owners as of Q2 2011:
    • Ages 35-44          17%
    • Ages 45-54          18%
    • Ages 55+              19%
    • 43% are Women

As you begin thinking about your marketing plans for 2012, these numbers should represent a guide.  Yes, you still need to consider traditional marketing to stimulate the customer – TV is a good bet (as an aside).  But beyond that, are you supporting your digital and social efforts with allocated and dedicated resources.

  • Is your entire website visible on mobile devices?
  • Do you have a mobile version of your site?
  • Do you have a presence on a smartphone/mobile device app?
  • Have you allocated resources to maintain your social sites?

The 4th quarter is when most of us pull together our budget and marketing plans for the following year – your leads in 2012 will be coming from a new reality (in addition to a new economy) – be prepared!


ZMOT? OMG!

August 20, 2011

Last week a friend of mine directed me to a new book that has dramatically focused the way I look at marketing.  When I first began reading ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth I took it with a grain of salt (to say the least); as it is written by Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director, US Sales & Service and I envisioned a commercial in book form.  But reading quickly dismissed that notion.  Google is in the business of collecting data and using it to help businesses (including their own) sell product in a more efficient way.  ZMOT is simply naming the way we shop today (and should market), whether it is Business to Business or Business to Consumer; whether it is widgets or kitchens the process has evolved with the technology around us.  And individual kitchen and bath professionals better adapt.

For years I have been discussing the concept of integrated marketing for your kitchen and bath business.  In this blog I have talked about how there is no magic bullet that will singularly drive traffic to your showroom – not TV commercials, not your website, not magazines, not social media sites, not seminars, not anything by itself,  but rather a combination, an integrated approach that will move a consumer to close.   Let me explain.

The way it was:

We marketed based on three critical moments in the shopping/buying experience

  1. Stimulus:  the consumer is spurred to a product or service by an outside stimulus such as a TV commercial, print ad, seeing his/her neighbor’s new kitchen – something that stimulates the consumer to consider a purchase.
  2. Shelf (AKA – First Moment of Truth (FMOT)): the consumer goes to the store, sees a great display, speaks with the right sales person, something in the buying experience (at the shelf – the point of decision; the moment of truth) draws the consumer to purchase.
  3. Experience (AKA – Second Moment of Truth (SMOT)): the consumer has a great experience with his/her purchase and is a customer for life.  Contrary, a bad experience sends him/her down a different path the next time.

The way it is:

We have added a fourth critical moment in the shopping/buying experience.

  1. It begins as the three step did, with a stimulus.  But between the stimulus and the FMOT – enter:
  2. ZERO MOMENT OF TRUTH (ZMOT): Before today’s consumer looks to the shelf, they look to the internet for websites, for blogs, for reviews, for examples, for any information that will help them in their decision making process.
  3. THEN they move onto the First Moment of Truth,
  4. followed by the Second Moment of Truth.

84% of Americans Engage in ZMOT Activities Prior to Purchase

The book proves the following stats (among others):

Question: When you were considering purchasing [product] what sources of information did you seek out to help with your decision?  (red is ZMOT; green is FMOT)

  • 50% – Searched online, used search engine (net)
  • 49% – Talked with friends/family about the product
  • 41% – Looked at the product package in the store
  • 38% – Comparison shopped products online
  • 37% – Read brochure/pamphlet about the product in the store
  • 36% – Sought information from a product brand/manufacturer website
  • 33% – Talked with a salesperson or associate in the store
  • 31% – Read product reviews or endorsements online
  • 30% – Looked at signage/display about the product in the store
  • 22% – Sought information from a retailer/store website
  • 22% – Read comments following an article/opinion piece online
  • 20% – Talked with a customer service representative on the phone
  • 19% – Tried a sample/experienced the product in a store
  • 18% – Became a friend/follower/”liked” a brand

The consumer is not only heading to the computer in the den, but to the computer in their pockets, as well.

As the author states “Mobile is an Accelerant – Don’t let anyone tell you mobile is the future.  It’s already here. Lorraine Twohill (Google’s Global CMO) gave me a great statistic on this: Two-thirds of us sleep with our mobile phones right beside us.  So that’s around 3.3 billion people who have cellphones with them day and night.”

“The way we use those mobile phones will keep changing. With GPS technology, location-based services for local businesses will be off the charts. And who knows what the next killer app will be?”

For the Kitchen and Bath industry, the killer app is The Kitchen & Bath Channel.  It was created by kitchen and bath professionals for kitchen and bath professional explicitly to give our subscribers the ZMOT edge!  Our vision is that The Kitchen & Bath Channel will become the one stop (online and mobile) for the consumer in every ZMOT (red) statistic above.

I invite you to join us today to take advantage of this marketing revolution BEFORE your competitor does… imagine stealing a customer away from your competitor with the touch of a finger for $300 or less a year!go ahead and click to learn more…


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!


How to Attract Kitchen & Bath Customers in Today’s Economy

June 4, 2011

We all know that selling a kitchen or bath design project is not like selling a widget – it’s a process that is based on a potential customer finding you, learning about you, meeting you, trusting you, and accepting you.   In this unstable economy it’s a long, and time consuming process.

Before the “great recession” it was different… remember?  Money flowed more freely, opulence was in vogue, and customers were willing to wait until YOU were ready to begin their project.  The tables have turned.  Money is tight, cost is driving design decisions and you are now one of a dozen “remodelers” in the mix.

It seems many kitchen and bath professionals are not willing to accept the new reality.  They are not willing to spend money to make money, as the old adage goes.  There is a feeling among many professionals that a single marketing avenue will bring in new business.  Are you among them?

  • If you think your Facebook page alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think your Blog alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think Search Engine Optimization (SEO) alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think Search Engine Marketing (SEM) alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think your Website alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think your TV Commercial alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think your Magazine Ad alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.
  • If you think your Direct Mail Piece alone will bring new clients, you are incorrect.

See the pattern?  The answer you are looking for is known as Integrated Marketing.   It is just what it sounds like – it is integrating all your potential marketing and advertising avenues together under a single message based on your competitive advantage.  Think of it as the place where traditional media, the Internet and newer marketing technologies come together to engulf your market with your message.   If it sounds scary, it’s not really – you may just need a guide.


The Week That it Was

March 26, 2011

Yesterday not a soul on the planet (or beyond) visited my blog.  It’s not the first time, but it just seemed weird.  Perhaps, because it coincided with other “slumps”.

  • KitchenMarketing.com visits were at a monthly low.  Did the kitchen and bath industry take the day off from Marketing concerns and I missed the memo?
  • Duke lost in the Sweet 16 – and for the huge Duke fan that I am, it was very abrupt and quite unexpected – shocking actually.  Slump-inducing for us fans?  Is there a shrink in the house?
  • It was the week I officially sent Internet Explorer packing for draining too many resources from my computer – welcome Chrome… I am still getting use to your idiosyncrasies, but “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”  – as Rick said to Louis walking into the foggy night at the end of Casablanca.
  • …and this morning, to top it all off – I have nothing to say in my blog, as you can tell.

Some days, some weeks are like that… but as Harry Chapin so aptly said in his song “Greyhound” – “It’s got to be the going, not the getting there that’s good.  That’s a thought for keeping, if I could”

So each little slump over the past couple of days is a part of life’s ups and downs and as I think about it, each slump was countered by a highlight –

  • KitchenBathChannel.com visits are exceeding expectations and it isn’t officially “ready for prime-time” yet.
  • Since I switched to Chrome, my computer hasn’t locked up… b-bye IE
  • Yet still nothing can salvage the NCAA Tournament for me… EXCEPT my schedule has freed-up, as I am no longer tethered to CBS, TBS, TNT & TruTV… whoever wins this year, wins …please… just don’t let it be UNC – again!  (that little sentence just assured them an NCAA Championship… UNC fans – thank me later).

So perhaps you will read my blog, visit KitchenMarketing.com, subscribe to The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App and with a bit of luck the Apps will find their way to the apps stores this week and Kyrie Irving will forgo millions of dollars to stay at Duke [at least] one more year…  then maybe, just maybe next week’s posting will not be so maudlin.

++++++++

Make plans to stop by the Kitchen & Bath Channel booth at KBIS (Booth C5627) and say hello!


Tech Rules in 2011

January 1, 2011

As we welcome 2011, the media is filled with lists from 2010…

We can take a look back at newsmakers, quotable quotes, funniest moments, celebrity sleaze, images, notable deaths and technology – to name a few. 

CNN gave us these technology trends

  • A year ago we had never heard of an iPad…
  • Were you on Facebook?  Did your showroom have its own page?
  • Had you even considered “watching the web” from your TV set?
  • You always bought software, owned the disc and loaded it on your computer… what the hell is an app, anyway?!?

My advice moving into 2011… watch the technology trends and with every new “toy” you hear about, think to yourself – “How can I use that to increase my kitchen and bath showroom traffic?”

Here are a couple of 2010 innovations for the Kitchen & Bath Industry’s marketing efforts moving forward.

Follow this blog for 2011 advancements!


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


%d bloggers like this: