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…


Shopping from the Palm of your Hand

July 30, 2011

When we first conceived of the Kitchen & Bath Channel Smartphone App it was based on a simple scenario that all kitchen and bath professionals have experienced.

kitchen and bath channel subscriber

Platinum Subscriber Profile Page

A customer arrives at your showroom having just left your competition (or a big box) because it wasn’t the “right fit”.  They are in the mood to buy and you got lucky because they “somehow” arrived at your front door!

What if you could direct customers to your front door WHILE they are out shopping?  Through the Kitchen & Bath Channel Smartphone App, all kitchen and bath professionals within a 50 mile radius of the customer’s exact location appear on the map.  With the touch of an icon (for the featured listings) the customer has access to your website, to auto-dial your phone number, step-by-step Google map directions to your front door, samples of your projects and more!

The apps have been available since late April.  Downloads and session times grow daily.  Current and prospective subscribers love the concept, but often times ask questions that send us researching stats (see “Getting Your Share of $150 Million” and “Using Today’s Technology to Reach Today’s Customer“) – such was the case again this past week when a prospective Platinum subscriber asked the question, “Are people really using smartphones while they are out shopping?”

Here is what I found:

The website Digby, in an overview of Mobile Commerce Stats validated our assumptions.

  • 46% of consumers have used their phone to get product information while in a store
  • 56% of people believed mobile can make the shopping experience more enjoyable
  • 34% of mobile shoppers make $100,000 or more a year
  • 58% of mobile shoppers are ages 18-34; according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University this demographic (under 35 year olds) accounted for almost $12.5 billion in total expenditures with remodeling professionals during 2009.
  • 31% of consumers research a product on their mobile device before buying it in-store
  • Within the 49% of mobile users who have made a mobile purchase in the last six months
    • 84% look for local retailer information
    • 73% find a specific manufacturer or product website
    • 63% search before purchasing in a store or from a catalog
    • Among smartphone owners 38% prefer using a mobile application
    • Mobile commerce showed 86% year-over-year growth from 2010 to 2011

While kitchen and bath professionals understand that buying a new kitchen is not something you can click and purchase from a mobile phone, the conditioning of the consumer to turn to their smartphone for shopping is clearly on the rise.

The Kitchen & Bath Channel provides the kitchen and bath professional an easy and cost effective entrée to the world of mobile research, shopping and Generation Y – those born after 1975. 

For as little as $200 a year, the Kitchen & Bath Channel keeps up with the expanding technology and its implementation in marketing your business, so you can concentrate on designing kitchens and bathrooms!

Getting Your Share of $150 Million!

July 23, 2011

I was speaking with a Platinum subscriber to The Kitchen & Bath Channel the other day about the potential market for the app. I immediately sent him to my previous blog (Using Today’s Technology to Reach Today’s Customer). He stopped me and said he understands the potential to reach the younger generation(s) that’s why he was an early subscriber, but he wants to know what does it mean to him – in his community – in dollars and cents… so we did some math.

The iPhone and Android apps were released in time for KBIS (BlackBerry a week or so later), so they have been in use for roughly 90 days. Through today, there have been a total (on all three apps) of 6,117 sessions. A session is defined as one use by the end user – typically from launch to termination of the program.

Let’s assume that 5000 of the sessions are legitimate (an individual using the app for its intended purpose – to locate a kitchen and bath or remodeling professional), and let’s further assume that the average cost of a kitchen remodel is $30,000 (his figure for his business).

5,000 searches x $30,000 = $150,000,000 of potential kitchen remodel business is using the app nationwide.

If we agree that there are roughly 30 major metro areas and divide $150 million by 30 we find that in each metro area there is $5,000,000 of potential business using the app over the past 90 days.

Divide that $5 million by the 90 days the apps have been live and there is about $55,000 – a kitchen AND a bath remodel floating around you EVERY DAY!

Our subscriber was thrilled. And was surprised and pleased that he was the only Platinum subscriber in his market – to quote him “Spending $300 to stand out from my competition in this economic environment in a fight for 5 million dollars – this marketing concept is a no-brainer! Nothing personal Phil, but for my sake I hope you don’t get any more subscribers in my market!”

I don’t typically use this blog as a sales tool, but the excitement and buzz around The Kitchen & Bath Channel is growing exponentially daily – our Twitter followers hit 500 in less than a week… and mostly from people I didn’t connect to first!

Click for some articles –

Click for additional information –

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Website – with links to the apps

“Help Me Market My Kitchen & Bath Business”

June 10, 2011

It’s the cry I hear almost every day from every kitchen and bath professional calling my office, emailing, texting or otherwise messaging me via social networking.

My previous post touched on the subject through its discussion of Integrated Marketing – leveraging traditional and new technology with social networking to drive traffic… this posting is going to give you concrete, real-life solutions that will help drive traffic.  But remember, the essence of the last post is that no single effort is the magic bullet.  But rather, it is how you integrate your media and marketing options together to most effectively drive your message to the consumer.

  • Competitive Advantage – there is no need to go any further until you understand and establish your competitive advantage in your marketplace for your business and your target market.
  • Messaging – once you know your competitive advantage, what is your message exploiting that advantage?  Does it resonate with your target market?

With your competitive advantage and your messaging secure – how will you get the message out?

  • Television / Cable – this is probably the most cost effective and efficient way to reach your customer and it is more affordable than you’re thinking.
  • Video Production – doing TV? You’re going to need a commercial.  Again not as expensive as you are imagining plus consider the other uses – YouTube, your website, Facebook, in your Showroom, on your iPad for client visits, you are only limited by your imagination… and technology.
  • Social Media – it works… but you better have a plan, know what sites you will use and understand both the positives and negatives.
  • Local Banner Ads – local newspapers, magazines, cable companies, TV stations all offer some sort of advertising on their websites – take advantage to drive traffic to your website…but first, make sure your website is ready for the traffic and ready to be your best salesperson!
  • The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App it’s a little over a month old, but is quickly gaining traction and has been proven to work for a San Francisco dealer.  It’s priced right too.

These are some of the solutions I have seen work throughout the country.  They are certainly worth your serious consideration.  And, now is the time to get your plan together.  You need to be ready to blanket your market with your message for the fall!  Whether you choose to retain Z promotion & design, or just want to talk about options – I am usually easy to catch at the office 919-932-4600 – 8a-6p EDT.

Marketing Innovation

April 16, 2011

In the time and place we find ourselves, we are all struggling to bring in business.  What is our competitive advantage, what will give us the edge over our peers in attracting customers?

I don’t know the answer for every Kitchen & Bath Professional out there – if I did, I’d have that fortune we aspire to.

But I will tell you this – to stay a step ahead of the competition you need INNOVATION – you need to think beyond your competition, originate, and establish the new reality for your market.

I did.  And my innovation can help your next client find you.

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App

The Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App

I am talking about The Kitchen & Bath Channel.  Together with my partner, Max Isley, CMKBD, we developed the Kitchen and Bath Industry’s first Smart Phone app that puts you in the palm of your customers’ hands WHILE they are out shopping – Literally!

Have a Droid?  Download your FREE App now to try it out.  When you love it, give it a 5 Star review!

Have an iPhone or Blackberry?  The apps are in the review process and will be available within days.

Our subscribers have the opportunity to stand out from their competition!  Subscribe yourself at The Kitchen & Bath Channel

Visit The Kitchen & Bath Channel @ KBIS – Booth C5627

Learn more about Z promotion & design @

SEN Answers Your Business Needs

March 19, 2011

I recently returned from New Orleans and the semi-annual SEN Design Group conference.  This is my company’s 10 year anniversary as the marketing, advertising and creative services vendor to the group and our 19th consecutive conference.  During my tenure, I have seen the group evolve from the “kitchen and bath industry’s first buying group” to its current incarnation as “the kitchen and bath industry’s premier business education group” – the living vision of its founder, Ken Peterson, CKD.  

If you consider NKBA the ultimate industry organization for kitchen & bath design/designers; SEN is the ultimate industry organization for kitchen & bath business professionals.  And, without a strong a business, there is no need for design, is there?

What struck me after ten years is how the SEN Design Group has evolved over time.  Looking at it through the eyes of the “great recession” we have experienced solidifies the group’s importance to the industry.  Those SEN Members who took advantage of the numerous business education aspects are not only still in business, but many have seen increases in profits and revenues, as well as the overall health of their businesses, while many of their peers have shuttered their doors.

As a marketer in the kitchen and bath industry, I receive a number of calls each week from kitchen and bath professionals looking for the “magic marketing bullet” that will salvage their business – you know what, there isn’t one.  But in these still difficult times, more and more I send these callers to the SEN Design Group – I firmly believe that if the professionals running SEN Programs cannot help, a new profession may be in your future.  I have heard it time and again, and my conversations with the recession survivors – make that thrivers – coupled with the phone calls I receive, precipitated this posting. 

Without sounding like a commercial, SEN offers one-on-one business coaching with an accredited licensed professional business coach, an ongoing series of business webinars, boot camps, seminars, marketing and sales tools, and of course the buying group rebate program, among a myriad of other tools and schools designed specifically to help the kitchen and bath professional improve their overall business; operations, sales, budgeting, marketing, showrooms, the list goes on…

If you think your business could you a boost, take a look at the SEN Design Group


Kitchen & Bath Channel Smart Phone App ALERT!!!!

To take advantage of our pre-launch 25% annual subscription discount – act quickly!  Once it hits the app stores (it looks to be the week of 3/21) the discount goes away…

View the Kitchen & Bath Channel powerpoint overview

Subscribe to The Kitchen & Bath Channel

The Kitchen & Bath Channel will have a booth at K/BIS – C5627

The Secret Tools to Creativity

January 15, 2011

Are you sitting at your computer mouse in hand, staring at the keyboard, glancing at the screen, searching your brain for a nugget of creativity?   Perhaps you’re designing a new kitchen, looking for the right words to describe your showroom, considering a new positioning line or logo – but nothing is flowing from your brain to your computer.  The problem is likely that you are using the incorrect tools to creativity.

You only need two items to get the creative juices flowing: a legal pad and a sharpie.  The legal pad can be yellow or white, although I have always found yellow produces better results.  The sharpie… not the fat fine points – those bleed through too many pages, and not the new Sharpie Pens – they lack the personality required for this type of operation.  The Sharpie MUST be an “ultra fine point” – only this type of pen can release the creative imagination required to be successful.  Color?  Not important, but having a variety at your disposal can help capture your mood.

The most creative guy I ever met gave me this tip… and oddly enough it has been reinforced by novel writers, designers and others who make their living with “on-demand creativity”.  I am not a neurologist, but I believe it has to do with the process of hand to page – that direct flow from the brain thorough the arm to the hand to the Sharpie to the legal pad.

Don’t believe me?  Try it and report back!


Getting ready to lauch the Kitchen & Bath Channel Mobile Apps within the next few weeks.  Be sure your showroom is included.  Visit The Kitchen & Bath Channel for additional information – or email or call (919-932-4600).

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