As states started to reopen, there was optimism we were inching closer to the return of live trade shows and events.
We know the important place home shows hold for marketers in the water quality industry. Many dealerships devote around a quarter of their marketing budgets toward these shows.
But with the recent surges in coronavirus cases, it is not likely we will see the return of home shows or live events anytime soon.
A recent post from Event Manager Blog shows that fewer events industry professionals expect exhibitions to return at all in 2020. In another viewpoint, an article in Customer Think laid out the case that it will likely at least be the second quarter of 2021.
For many home-oriented businesses, these are vital missed opportunities to get products and services in front of prospects. Without these events and shows as an option, business owners need to generate their leads elsewhere.
Research has shown that simply pulling back on marketing has negative consequences. According to Forbes Magazine, “When marketers cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its 'share of mind' with consumers, with the potential of losing current — and possibly future — sales. An increase in 'share of voice' typically leads to in an increase in 'share of market.' An increase in market share results in an increase in profits.”
Bottom line, do not cut back on your marketing. Change it up.
Reallocate Your Marketing Budget
It is time to decide how to reallocate the dollars you were planning to spend on home shows elsewhere.
Sure, you can plow more money into Google and hope for the best. Or, you can take the initiative and seek out the best possible customers for your business.
Here are your best options to generate new leads:
- Direct mail
- Email marketing
- Digital display advertising
- Marketing to the same households – using all these channels
People are home. They are reading their mail. Right now, direct mail is giving marketers a top ROI. That is because during a recession mail provides the best entrance to the lead generation funnel of any marketing channel.
Direct mail offers homeowners a chance to engage in multiple ways. Homeowners can respond by phone, online or using a QR code that directs right to a landing page.
Direct mail starts the purchase journey better than any other channel.
And, the best part is that direct mail is so incredibly targetable. Advertisers spend their marketing dollars reaching their best prospects. Work with a quality list company, like Dataman Group in Boca Raton, Florida, to insure you are getting the best list for your specific offer. You do not want to waste any money on renters or people who cannot afford your products.
Make sure your mailer stands out in the mail. Provide a compelling offer. Focus on the benefits quality water provides, not what your system looks like.
Work with a professional printer who knows all the postal regulations and can also set your mailing up for Informed Delivery. This way you get another impression in your prospects’ In Box.
Love it or hate it, telemarketing still generates leads at a low cost. Since you will need to figure a new way of generating leads without home shows, you will need to try lots of marketing methods. Nowadays, in addition to landline lists, scrubbed cell phone lists are readily available. Need I say more?
Since people have been home and focused on their digital devices, the response to email blasts has gone up. The availability of email lists has also changed. We can append email addresses to your direct mail list. This way, you are assured that you are targeting the homeowners you want to reach.
Emails can be appended on either an individual or household level. Learn more.
The list is provided to you in excel for your own use. Make sure you pay attention to the rules of your CRM software so you stay in compliance.
Email lists can also be uploaded to Facebook and Google ad words. This gives you some depth in your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns. It also offers you additional visibility to your prime prospects via another marketing channel.
Digital Display Advertising
We can take the same mailing list and run it through a process called addressable geo-fencing. What we are doing is mapping each address on the list (think GPS) so we can “shoot” digital ads to their devices. This can even be done on the new homeowner list. Estimate we can reach 92% of the households on the mailing list.
Since these digital display ads will be matched to your mailing list, you will reach these same people when they access their digital devices. This is yet another way to reach the same people with the same message through different marketing channels.
Here’s a here is link to Dataman Group that explains the rest of the process.
We have all heard that frequency increases response. In this case, we are not only taking advantage of the frequency rule, but going way further than that.
Sending the same message to the same people via multiple marketing channels will give your business a huge lift in response. There are two reasons for this. First, people view and respond differently to different media. Second, seeing/hearing the same message in different formats makes it more important. Last, this method provides greater recall and branding. And, all of this visibility is to your most important prospects.
Bottom line, you will need to create a new menu for generating leads without home shows. While I know you will miss participating in home shows, there is no reason why you can’t fill up your marketing funnel through other means.