Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

By Building Experts Team
home light automation iphone e1375373532997 Home Connectivity Caters to New Homebuyers

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As the housing market continues to grow, builders and realtors are faced with meeting the demands of the new generation of homebuyers. According to a 2013 Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey of the 18-35 year old demographic, 84 percent believe technology is an absolute home essential and 64-percent would not live in a home that was not up-to-date with the latest tech capabilities.

Builders and home hardware manufacturers must find ways to cater to this generation that values technology over curb appeal and home automation over a newly renovated kitchen. These smart home systems have the stigma of being expensive luxury items, which may not succeed with this new audience. Instead, they should focus on what resonates with this group: technology, energy efficiency and convenience.

Smartphones should be at the center of this trend, providing an almost universal remote for users to control home functions such as temperature, lighting, blinds, door locks and more. As a generation that is constantly connected to their phones or tablets, controlling home systems through smartphones provides the ultimate convenience.

By Matt Bivons

The app economy is booming. Actually, booming may be an understatement; it’s exploding. The mobile app ecosystem is poised to continue an exponential growth rate for the unforeseeable future. According to the App Developers Alliance “The market for mobile apps is growing, and growing fast. Innovation and strong businesses are driving that growth but we are all benefiting from it. Better apps, better services and more opportunity for businesses to thrive is good for us all.”

Big Brother: The Marketer

By Katie Barrett

iStock 000011362238XSmall e1365168425723 Big Brother: The MarketerLate last year, Verizon filed a patent application for the creation of a new television technology that will listen to viewing audiences and allow advertisers to serve ads that react to those conversations. The patent, “Methods and Systems for Presenting an Advertisement Associated with an Ambient Action of a User”, describes that the system would utilize microphones, 3D imaging, and thermographic cameras to detect what goes on in viewers’ living rooms.

For example, if the TV were to detect a dog barking, the user may be served an ad for dog food. Or, if a couple has a conversation implying they are going out to dinner, they may see a commercial for a restaurant. The system will use words, background noises and even a viewer’s mood to determine what content is relevant.

Is George Orwell’s Big Brother becoming a reality 30 years late? Can society look past potential privacy concerns and let marketers into their intimate conversations? Is there an extension for B2B marketing?

By Social Marketing Team

If you’re not calling upon social advocates as an extension to your wellness brand’s advocacy efforts, it’s time. Nielsen’s Global Trust Advertising Survey found 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations, above all forms of advertising. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising. These influential brand ambassadors make up just 1% of a brand’s social community; they are primarily the ones driving the conversation and the shares.

Although 1% of your social audience may not sound like a lot, they can make a big impact. This group of loyalists can drive up to 70% of traffic to any given campaign. Identifying these influencers who are driving the conversations is the first step to understanding the audience in your social community.

By Building Experts Team
ProductsImage e1354739752193 Decipher Your Customers’ Decisions

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You’ve thoroughly researched your target audiences before marketing to them. We’re sure you know them as well as your family (if not better). We recognize how important it is to educate your audience about your specific industry so they can understand the key benefits of your products. But what we don’t always think about is what the most significant factors are in each audience’s consideration set.

The BuildIQ team recently learned some interesting insight into what a few key audiences are looking for when selecting products for their next project. Take a look and let us know what you think.

By Lindsay Muller

Realtor 300x279 Why “why” is more important than “how”A recent Fast Company article stated that “we are at the tail end of an era that has focused almost entirely on innovation of products and services, and we are at the beginning of a new era that focuses on the innovation of…’behavioral business models.’”

The author goes on to say that “these models go beyond asking how we can make what we make better and cheaper, or asking how we can do what we do faster. They are about asking why we do what we do to begin with.”

As marketers, this concept of understanding and then changing behavior is critical. In fact, it’s so critical that we should pause for a moment and think about how we’re conducting business currently and what shifts we need to make to better reach our target audiences.

I was reminded of this concept when I stumbled on a July 6 HousingZone article this week. The article highlighted how homebuilders, developers and even realtors are merging demographic with psychographic market research to hone in on prominent buyer groups. Like the Fast Company article, the piece talked about how understanding the “why” is critical to effectively communicating with target buyers.

For example, a realtor should understand that “traditionalists” tend to be attracted to predictable, formal floor plans, large, private back yards and traditional architecture and design elements. Another growing segment, “Winners With Heart,” are interested in large, open spaces, outdoor amenities and the latest design elements for easy living, like kitchen conveniences and storage.

Once these preferences are determined, realtors and sellers will have a better understanding of how to highlight certain areas of a home over others, which homes to show to which prospects, etc. Ultimately, the process should be more efficient and productive for all parties.

How is your company merging demographic and psychographic research? Do you agree with the concept of behavioral business models?

By Social Marketing Team

Ever since our post on 2012 trends in the building industry, the IMRE social marketing team has been loudly trumpeting the importance of taking brand content to the next level. Simply put, online audiences are demanding rich, visually-compelling content from brands on their social media channels. “Man on the street” videos and photos snapped on your mobile phone still have their place, but most brands will begin to see engagement decline on their social channels unless they invest in higher quality content production. It’s a matter of supply and demand: As more brands supply social content, online audiences feel comfortable raising their demands for better quality. (more…)

QR Codes Don’t Fail, Brands Do

By Christine Pierpoint

The end of the year is generally a time to reflect on the things that got everyone buzzing and offer up a re-cap of “best of” categories. People Magazine just announced their annual Sexiest Man Alive (alas, not George Clooney), and it won’t be long before Time declares their Person of the Year. In the advertising tech world, mobile was big, but the darling of 2011 was undoubtedly the quick response (QR) Code.

That little square that vaguely resembles a black and white checkerboard became ubiquitous as marketers clamored to add it to everything from print ads to billboards, packaging and direct mail. The QR code has actually been around for years in manufacturing and distribution as a way to track inventory. It’s only been since camera phones took off that marketers recognized the potential to use the codes as a communications tool. Suddenly marketers had a new way to deliver content – for example an ad in a trade journal could link readers to OCT 11 Cover 555x650 256x300 QR Codes Don’t Fail, Brands Dobonus information.

When used appropriately, a QR code can be an effective way to enrich a brand experience or drive conversions. As a direct response device, the codes can be a convenient tool for a prospect to take action. For example, a potential buyer could scan a code to instantly download a coupon or enter a sweepstakes. In those scenarios the customer is able to realize an immediate benefit, rather than simply linking to a website. Marketers also benefit because each scan can be measured and provide marketers with data about the effectiveness of the campaign.

It didn’t take long though for critics to point out some fails in QR code use. For example, featuring QR codes in places where there is no signal, like the subway, or using them on billboards – ever try to scan a QR code at 65mph? In seeing some of these foibles, its no wonder people are skeptical. A recent study by Comscore found that only 6.2 percent of mobile phone owners have ever scanned a QR code leading some trade publications to declare QR codes a waste.

While the critics make valid points, we see this not as a failure of the QR code, but of marketers themselves. A QR code is a transmittal device, no more or less special than a phone number or a website URL. Simply having one of these devices does not make for an effective campaign, it’s the experience a consumer has once they activate that device that counts. For example, if you’re running a campaign that features a phone number, you want to make sure the person who answers the phone accurately represents the brand. The same is true for QR codes. Marketers need to have a campaign strategy that encompasses the end-to-end experience that includes the media, the QR code and the destination.

By Shawn Draper

Phil Jackson, legendary pro basketball coach and proclaimed Zen master, was a true innovator with his development of the Triangle Offense. His triangle offense is based on the strategy of leveraging a “two-man” game. Jackson used the triangle offense while coaching both the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers winning more than ten World Championships.

Today, the triangle offense is working in business, too, under a similar strategy. The business triangle has three axis points – revenue growth (A), profit growth (B), and service (C). Your business will reside along one of the three lines between these axis points:

Buildphoto Triangle Offense Is Not Only For Basketball
  • A + B – revenue growth and profit growth
  • B + C – profit growth and service
  • C + A – service and profit growth

The position along these lines represents the focus of your business and the implications. The business along the A + B line focuses on revenue and profit growth. The implication is that service will be secondary or sacrificed for revenue and profit growth.

The business that focuses on profit growth and service will not have revenue growth as its primary goal, and the business emphasizing service and revenue growth will forego profit growth as a focus.

Where does your business reside?

I know all three of these areas are important, and that we can and should pay attention to them all at once, but where your emphasis lies has specific implications.

For example, a business with the revenue and profit growth model will provide a lesser level of service due to the cost to profitability. In this approach, the business will need a strong business development capability to offset the reduced service and the potential turnover of customers. Costs low (service), revenue high, and profits high.

The example of revenue growth and service will require an investment in both business development (revenue) and service, which will reduce profits.

Finally, a business focusing on service and profit growth will not invest in new business development as a priority, but rather it will depend on organic growth and customer loyalty. The risk here is the loss of a customer and the ability to replace them.

Can a business change paths?

A business can change their focus over time. During highly competitive markets like today, a business may focus on revenue growth and service to assure they are adding to the customer base and retaining existing customers. Growth may occur through acquiring greater market share or an opportunity that others have yet to recognize. This approach will likely reduce profit growth. This requires a good business development approach and commitment to succeed, as well as, a solid service model to keep customers (and your team) happy.

Now the market improves, more customers start opening their doors to you with greater opportunity. The business can move from a revenue growth and service focus to a profit growth and service effort because the availability of new business is greater and less expensive. New business development, while still important, is less so when new customers are now more readily available. We still want to service our customers because the cost to replace them is high. Putting a greater focus on profitability assures that we are leveraging the investments we made in more demanding times, and that they are paying off now and not being wasted.

The triangle principle is simple and direct. The implementation and implications are complex. There in lies the magic or skill of Zen.

I would love to learn what you think of the triangle offense.

Where Did The Jingle Go?

By Shawn Draper

jingle by farm3 static flickrdotcom 300x225 Where Did The Jingle Go?I am a fan of the TV show “Two and a Half Men.” One of the main characters, Charlie Harper, is a jingle writer/composer. Watching the show one night, I wondered What ever happened to the jingle?

I grew up singing marketing jingles like M’m good, M’m good. That’s what Campbell Soups are M’m good And Oh, I’d love to be an Oscar Meyer Weiner. Jingles were the vehicle by which brands were best identified. Where did the jingle go?

When I was working for Andersen Windows almost twenty years ago, the Andersen jingle “Come home to quality. Come home to Andersen.” was being phased out. I was disappointed when the jingle completely disappeared. At the time, all you had to do was begin the jingle and young and old alike would sing the jingle. There are other building products company jingles including GE (We bring good things to life), Ace Hardware (Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man) and Menards (“Save big money at Menards”). Why did we stop using jingles?

At a time when we are designing marketing and sales campaigns to create awareness and attain engagement with customers, the jingle seems like the perfect choice. We do not need the latest song from a recording artist to launch a new product or brand. All that does is create hits for the musician. Now is the time to resurrect the jingle. Use it within your social media channels – Facebook, YouTube – and your website, radio, and TV advertising. The only challenge you may have is finding a jingle writer. Charlie Harper is not available. The producers killed him.

What is your favorite jingle and would you like to see them return to the marketing mix?

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