On target for success

Sue Davenport, group marketing director for Liniar, discusses how installers can implement a targeted approach to marketing.

As a marketer, the question I’m always asked is ‘How can I generate more leads for my company?’

Sales funnels are a numbers game to some extent – the more leads you generate, the more chances you have of converting them into sales.

But there’s a lot of work involved in sifting through leads, qualifying them into potential customers and getting rid of the timewasters and ‘tyre kickers.’

Maybe the question you should be asking instead is “How can I generate more leads from the exact type of customers I want?”

Imagine your perfect customer. Someone who’s a pleasure to deal with, communicates their needs, recommends you to other people and pays their bills on time.

Now imagine if you could find lots more customers just like them. This is where targeting is critical – looking at your potential market in terms of smaller segments and putting your efforts into connecting with them.

Get started by asking yourself a few key questions about your ideal customer. For example, how old are they, how much do they earn, where do they live, how do they communicate and what might be their biggest objection to choosing your company?

This is information that can help define your targeting strategy. This is really a fancy way of saying you can paint a picture of your ideal customer, then focus your efforts (and marketing budget) into finding more of them.

For example, your ideal customer may look something like this: They are a co-habiting couple who own their own property, have lived in it for 20 years and have a couple of teenage children. They live 20 miles away from your company address, earn £50-£75k per year as a household and their mortgage payments are low, with a few years left to run.

They communicate by WhatsApp or email in preference to telephone, and they carry out lots of their own research online before deciding on important purchases. They look for reviews on both Facebook and Google and are influenced by these. Their biggest objections are likely to be cost, financing and colour choices.

Now you have an image of your target customer, you can think about steps you could take to find and communicate with them.

First, make sure you can overcome any possible objections. Post the answers on your website and Facebook page as helpful information, together with making sure your company ‘About’ page highlights the key reasons to buy from you – speed of response, highly energy efficient products such as the Liniar range, short lead times, wide colour choices, after-sales care, etc. This means you’re ready for when they find you and ask these questions.

Next, gather as many positive reviews as possible from past customers on both Google and Facebook, and make sure you respond to any that may require it. This will provide ‘social proof’ of your expertise.

Once your online presence shows your company at its best, you can start to find your potential customers. Think about groups or pages they may be members of and join them too, then look for opportunities to be helpful (not salesy!) by answering questions.

Facebook advertising is definitely worth a try – for a low cost you can zoom in on a specific target demographic and guide them to your company page. It’s also measurable so you can see what’s working – and what isn’t. Top tip: make sure you have communication channels and processes in place to handle enquiries via WhatsApp, Facebook messenger or email if this is what your demographic prefers.

There are many other marketing channels you could try once you start thinking about it – and hopefully this has given you food for thought for your own business. It really does all start with targeting!