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!


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.


Social Snooping worthy of 007

May 28, 2011

I was surprised this past week when a business I am following posted a question I considered to be confidential, somewhat proprietary information.  The question the owner posted to his followers was innocuous enough, or so it seemed on the surface.  But it was seeking a response regarding a possible business alliance – would the follower consider this an opportunity worth pursuing?  What the business owner likely didn’t realize was that among his followers were competitors, members of the press and dozens of others he probably didn’t even know.  Add to that his, and all his followers privacy settings, their ability to tweet and repost and you are set for a world-wide announcement, you may not be ready to make.

If you are going to use social media, use it responsibly.  I hate to sound like a PSA for alcohol, but if you’re going to participate, understand the risks.

Facebook has taken off among Kitchen & Bath industry professionals.  Spend time on any of the LinkedIn kitchen and bath industry discussion groups and you’ll see that “liking” one another’s Facebook pages are among the most “discussed” discussions.  Be sure you know who “likes” you.  Your customers and their friends – that’s who you are looking for; or your competition (local or regional).

As a marketing professional, I encourage my clients to first and foremost determine their competitive advantage in their marketplace.

How?

Among my suggestions – snoop on your competition to determine what they do, how they do it, how successful they are at it, etc.

Snooping is getting easier with new technology.  In the “olden days” you needed to watch for TV commercials, find brochures, search for ads and maybe wait for a home show.  Today just “like” them on Facebook, visit their website(s), Blog(s), follow them on Twitter… what’s next?

Are you making it easier for your competition to size you up?  There is a fine line between enticing your customers to come visit to learn more and putting it all out there for the world (your competitors) to see.

As Stg. Phil Esterhuas of Hill Street Blues always said – “Hey, let’s be careful out there.”


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.

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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


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