Brad Good is partner for The Good Marketing Group. Good can be reached at [email protected] or 484.902.8914.
No one can argue that 2020 was not a life-changing event for everyone that was predominantly reactive by the day. Some bad and yes, some of it good. We have been hearing about the “new normal” for some time. This new normal seems largely reactive. While a lot has changed in how we work, live and shop, it cannot be denied that the water quality business is evolving and changing over time for the better. That change is driven by the industry’s proactive actions and because water quality has been taken more seriously by the general public. It is time to become a proactive marketer.
Increased Consumer Awareness
As an advertising agency marketing for water treatment dealers and based on experience over this past year, the new normal for water treatment, as well as several other home service industries, is being considered by homeowners as a valued service. They are taking more time to digest the information and act upon our marketing messages. Healthy living is now top-of-mind, therefore, “What’s In Your Tap Water” is catching the attention of your target audience more than ever before.
It is important that your marketing strategy is also proactive and not reactive. Many homeowners react when bad water affects them. They engage your perceived competitors — for example, a plumber or contractor — or they try to fix the problem themselves with expensive cleaners or at the big box home improvement stores. Be proactive in your marketing message by educating, featuring the benefits (what’s in it for them) and guiding your prospective customer to a solution before they have to react.
In early 2020, as shutdowns became the norm, Americans reacted by stockpiling everything from toilet paper to bottled water. In fact, bottled water was picked clean from the store shelves just like toilet paper. Not only the lack of availability but also the expense of bottled water became a real burden and therefore, there was a renewed respect of reliable, accessible quality water. Why? Because another real-life situation involving people’s health made them take water quality seriously.
Moreover, being stuck inside made homeowners focus more on home maintenance and upgrades, safety, nutrition and family life. Stains and water spots, low water pressure, bad taste and smell from the tap, dingy clothes and linens all became less of an irritant and now a major concern. Seize the opportunity to remind them about your water treatment solutions now.
Just this past January, six years after the Flint, Michigan, water crisis occurred, eight former Michigan officials were charged in what the Michigan Attorney General called “the largest criminal investigation in the history of the state of Michigan.” Water quality and water supply, including its municipal management, are being taken seriously and evaluated everywhere. However, your customers want to take control of something that is easily corrected on their own to provide peace of mind. Empower them to proactively choose water treatment services that will provide their family and home with quality water. They will have one less thing they have to react to in their lives.
Do not be afraid to tell them the facts. Of course, we always walk a fine line between scare tactics and solid, factual information. That is where messaging becomes vital. Water problems have happened before and they will happen again. You have their unprecedented attention on pathogens in water, poor municipal quality and savings in both groceries and appliance life.
How to Be Proactive, Not Reactive, With Your Marketing
So how do you get proactive with your marketing? Get your message out there in front of your target audience. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use testimonials wherever you can and frequently in your advertising.
- Reward referrals but do not pay for reviews.
- Make sure you drop a lawn sign for service and installs, if the neighborhood allows it.
- If the budget is there, radius mail the homes around your monthly sales and service addresses.
- Be sure your online advertisements are hitting the proper audiences, behaviors and keywords.
- Respond to social media posts and articles as your company (not personally) and as the water quality expert.
- Sponsor events focused on healthy living, for example 5Ks, school sports and community events.
- Post about new certifications you and/or your employees have earned.
- Use your website combined with social media to promote unique solutions or common bad water problems you have solved for other homeowners.
- Post/share to your company website and social media “before” and “after” photos from customers. For example, a glass, white sheet or shower door before and after the installation of a whole house filtration system.
- Use videos to show how installations are not invasive and what the pipes looked like before your water treatment installation.
If you do not have time to be your own proactive marketer, designate someone in your office or seek outside help from a company that can get your message out there consistently, frequently and to your targeted audience. This would be a terrible time to lose momentum to perceived competitors. Your target audience is ready to listen, you only need to go get them before they react by going to someone else.