Let’s Call it Gilligan’s Marketing –

February 22, 2012

gilligans island marketingHave you ever compared your kitchen and bath business to the adventures of Gilligan, the Skipper and the rest of the gang on the classic 60s sitcom “Gilligan’s’ Island”?  Didn’t think so, but it is an interesting analogy, if you bear with me.  And for those of you too young to appreciate the comparison… read on anyway!

Think of your kitchen and bath showroom as an island in a sea of potential customers.  There were times you felt stranded on that island, and like “the Professor”, used all your creative [and marketing] resources to grab a passer-by’s attention.   You employed every form of outgoing marketing and advertising you could – TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, home shows, direct mail, even yellow pages – just to cajole a customer to your island.

Eventually, although it took a made for TV movie sequel, the gang from Gilligan’s Island was rescued, employing science and technology (details on Wikipedia).  To make a long story longer and add another made for TV movie sequel (or two) – the castaways end up back on the island, only this time it becomes a resort where visitors find them.

…and now, back to our analogy…

Technology came to your rescue at the height of the economic downturn … in the form of smart phones, mobile devices, social media and the convergence of it all!  The Professor would be lovin’ it!

Your showroom is still an island in a sea of potential customers, but now they are searching you out.  They are “Googling” you, searching for you on apps, looking for your social media links, unearthing your blogs and researching as much as they can, just to find you.

Can you be found?

Shopping has changed.  By the time a customer shows up in your showroom, they are yours to lose.  They have done their research, they know you, and they are ready to work with you – just as long as you measure up to what they found during their due diligence.

Your marketing needs to change to keep up.  You still need to employ outgoing marketing efforts, but you also need to create an incoming marketing strategy.  For the kitchen and bath professional, that means reallocating your resources (personnel and cash) and developing an integrated marketing program.

Are you ready for the challenge today? …or do you need a few made for TV movie sequels to benefit from your rescue?


Can You Compete with the Big Boxes?

December 31, 2011

During the holiday season a friend of mine went a big box to purchase Christmas lights.  Suddenly, to her surprise an apron approached her and asked not if she needed help choosing lights, but rather – “Are you happy with your kitchen?”

“Huh?”

“Are you happy with your kitchen?” repeated the apron.  “Is there anything you would change about your kitchen, if you could?”

“Sure” my friend responded suddenly realizing that she had become the victim of a sales call.

The apron continued with “did you know that we will come to your home, take a look at your kitchen, measure and give you design ideas – all at no cost to you?”

The big boxes have a pipeline to thousands, make that millions of shoppers who are in the store for nothing remotely related to a new kitchen.  Yet their sales team is planting the seed… shoppers like my friend are likely to go home and every flaw in their kitchen becomes magnified.  It becomes exacerbated by crowds of holiday revelers and family.  Come January the seed germinates the customer comes back to the store to take them up their offer!

…in the meantime, you’re reviewing your year with disdain and wondering how to generate additional showroom traffic.

The short answer is Marketing.

For your consideration –

  • What if your apron was a commercial on HGTV, The Food Network or DIY?  Your audience is “in the store” and you are stimulating them to buy with a great offer.
  • What if the customer visited a big box, became frustrated and stormed out of the store?  Would they know to come to you next?  Have you considered the mobile app of the Kitchen & Bath Channel?
  • What if the big box germinated the seed, but the customer went directly to the computer or mobile device, rather than back to the store… are you be there to be found?

Believe me, after working with the Kitchen & Bath industry exclusively for over ten years, I have seen the highs and lows.  You cannot pull the plug on marketing and hope to survive, but you can be more effective in how you spend your marketing dollars.  Yes, you can compete against the big boxes and win!

If you want additional information or have questions – don’t hesitate to contact me.


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


Technological Advances in Design and Marketing

September 20, 2011

I recently went to an NKBA Chapter meeting where one of the most technologically advanced ovens was featured.  Although I have been dubbed by many a “technology guru”, I was agog – it never dawned on me that I would ever be required to download software updates in order to cook a casserole.  But, apparently the future is now – calling Jane Jetson! (chuckle now if you’re old enough to get the reference)

The designers surrounding me (young and old alike) were not surprised.  Perhaps they had read about it, gotten the head’s up from their rep, seen it before or even anticipated this advancement.

And that’s what surprised me!  because many of these same designers seem to fear technology in their marketing efforts.  Effective marketing means anticipating and keeping up with the latest technological trends and turning them into sales opportunities.  It was true of radio in the 1920s and 30s; TV in the 1940s and 50s; Internet advertising in the 1990s and 2000s; and the emerging mobile opportunities of today.

Your website is no longer enough of an edge.  SEO is confusing, difficult and expensive to corral and everyday new technology gives birth to new marketing opportunities… and all you want to do is design and build kitchens, bathroom and other living spaces.  The Kitchen & Bath Channel is your conduit to bridge the “marketing with technology” gap.  Our mission is to provide you, the kitchen and bath professional, with easy, cost effective marketing tools, utilizing the latest technology, marketing trends and industry knowledge to drive today’s customers to you.

If you will keep up with design technologies and trends, we will keep up with marketing technologies and trends!


How to Stimulate Your Customer

August 27, 2011

The last posting on the Kitchen Marketing blog talked about the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – that moment in the shopping/buying cycle when your customer finds you on their mobile device or computer and determines that you are going to get their business.

The shopping/buying cycle, and therefore the marketing cycle now has four components –

  1. Stimulus
  2. Research (Zero Moment of Truth)
  3. Shelf (First Moment of Truth)
  4. Experience (Second Moment of Truth)

The Zero Moment of Truth has become an all-important factor in the shopping cycle; without your ability to be found at the ZMOT, there is no Shelf, no sale and therefore no Experience.  But what drives your customer to the ZMOT? What is the best Stimulus? Where can the kitchen and bath professional invest their marketing dollars and expect the greatest return from their Integrated Marketing Plan? According the studies done by Google™, these are the stimuli to which consumers respond:

  • 37% Saw advertisements on television
  • 31% Received mail at home from a brand/manufacturer (e.g., catalogue, brochure)
  • 29% Saw an ad in a newspaper/newspaper insert
  • 28% Read newspaper articles/reviews/information
  • 27% Read magazine articles/reviews/information
  • 24% Looked at/read magazine advertisements
  • 23% Read information in an email received from a brand/manufacturer
  • 22% Noticed advertising while browsing online
  • 22% Received mail at home from a store/retailer (e.g., catalogue, brochure)
  • 21% Watched a TV show that featured the product
  • 16% Saw an ad on an outdoor billboard

These figures underscore the importance of developing an Integrated Marketing Plan for your kitchen and bath showroom.  With consumers still requiring a stimulus to get them in the shopping mode, you cannot expect your website, Facebook page, Twitter account or other online venture to stimulate business by itself!  Your online and mobile presence is your representation at the Zero Moment of Truth – not your way to stimulate consumers into the buying mode.

In fact, one additional figure from the book ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth that I found quite telling is that “83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them”.  As you plan your marketing and advertising, consider that TV commercials stimulate 37% of the general audience, but 83% of moms – that female demographic for which we are searching.

If you need help developing your marketing stimulus, contact Z promotion & designinfo@kitchenmarketing.com

Or to secure your place at the Zero Moment of Truth immediately, subscribe to The Kitchen & Bath Channel


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!


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