Guest post by Mollie Elkman of Group Two Advertising
Every day, marketers and business owners are faced with “the next big thing” in marketing. Whether it’s tools surrounding native advertising, or plain-old public relations, the choices are endless and the call to be “in,” to be advanced, is strong.
But as we face a new year, the best thing you can do to get your company on the right marketing footing for 2018 is to not just chase the next best thing. Instead, go back to the beginning, strip back to the fundamentals, and embrace the basics. This is the only way to ensure you’re marketing efforts are designed to target your core objectives, keep within your budget, and ensure ROI.
Step 1: Determine Your Budget
Many home builders don’t realize that the best way to start is by creating a budget. When you determine this up front, you make better decisions throughout the year. Instead of spending as each promotion pops up, you’ll be able to decide if an opportunity takes up too much of your budget or not enough.
It’s certainly not easy, but if you approach it by considering your sales projections from start to completion, then determine the small percentage of those expected sales that can be allocated toward marketing.
Marketing can be debilitating. There are so many options, so many buzzwords, so much FOMO (fear of missing out). Simplify your process by bringing decisions back to your budget and goals.
Step 2: Determine Your Specific Buyer
Your buyer in your market is different than every other builder out there. Obtaining broader information on buyer demographics is a good place to start, but you need to go deeper and determine how buyers live in your market. Making this determination, and using it to guide your planning and decision-making, will help you connect with them better, through the right avenues and with the right messaging, and better position you for success.
When we talk about creating a budget and determining a strategy and buyer profile, what we’re really talking about is creating your positioning and your objectives, which will guide all marketing decisions going forward. Does this idea meet our budget? Does it reach our specific buyer? Does it accomplish our objectives?
Step 3: Get Your Team on Board
Once this foundation is spelled out on paper, it’s essential to make sure your internal team is on the same page. And that has to start from the top. A lot of builders struggle with driving buyers to their door because they don’t have this strategic budget and positioning from senior management. If the team at the top is not sure about who the company is and what the company stands for, there is an immediate and ongoing disconnect that can undermine your objectives and tactics. Everyone must understand and embrace your positioning for it to be efficient and effective.
By stripping to the basics, you make the foundation of your marketing stronger. Once you’ve returned to and established these basics, that’s when you start talking about tactics and making decisions about which tools and platforms are most important for the buyer identified while keeping within the budget. This is the foundation upon which an effective marketing program is built.
Ready to learn more about these concepts? Join Group Two Advertising and Zillow Group for a Master Session during the International Builders’ Show, “Back to Basics: Marketing Essentials to Build Your Brand.” Being held Wed., Jan. 10, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., this workshop will examine several tools for back-to-basics planning, including knowing where to start, performing a competitive analysis, differentiating your message, and daily strategic implementation. Learn more here: http://www.nahbclassic.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=259917.
About the Author
As President and Owner of Group Two, THE ad agency for home builders, Mollie Elkman is a thought leader on marketing for the home building industry. She specializes in understanding the consumer experience and creating successful, traffic-driving advertising programs for builders from coast to coast. Mollie is an international speaker on all subjects relating to marketing for the building industry, with audiences ranging from small team training sessions to large conferences, including National Association of Home Builders, the International Builders Show, regional Home Builder Association conferences, and NAHB 20 Clubs. Prior to joining Group Two, Mollie learned the ins and outs of the advertising world at two of the leading international advertising agencies located in Florida and Southern California. She has worked on large campaigns for clients within a variety of industries. Learn more at GroupTwo.com.