Out of sight is out of mind
Michelle Wright, the Glazerite UK Group’s marketing manager, shares why marketing your business is as important as ever.
When a business needs to tighten its belt, it’s often the marketing budget first up for the chop. Yet, maintaining brand awareness and keeping a connection with customers in a challenging climate is key.
In difficult times, consumers feel compelled to look for brands they know and trust, equating familiarity with reliability. Remaining visible and resisting the urge to slash marketing activity means your customers don’t end up in the arms of your competitors, and you don’t impact long-term brand awareness with short term reactive decisions.
Having a flexible approach to marketing and customer communications puts you on the front foot, and maintaining or even increasing your marketing budget in a downturn enables you to remain visible in a potential customer’s space. Being able to amend your approach to reflect the climate is also key, something we found out ourselves last year as we quickly adjusted to reflect the pandemic.
As the first lockdown hit, Glazerite’s marketing team reacted by shifting the tone and content of our own marketing away from products and services-led messaging to one offering resources and guidance relevant to the situation we found ourselves in.
As our sites closed and fabricating ceased for much of April, we instead focused on sharing guidance from the government, and links to home school resources, things to do at home and contact information for mental health charities. By softening the tone with supportive posts on our social media, we hoped to balance the dark times we were all facing with light.
Post-lockdown we signposted our installer partners to our ‘Getting Back to Business’ hub, supplying information on the latest measures for working safely in other people’s homes, and linking to guidance around government-funding schemes. We also provided our marketing material in a digital format so our installers could still showcase products – albeit online – simply by embedding a code on their websites.
In a digital age it is essential marketing uses digital tactics, and it’s an area we’re focusing on hugely this year for those installers who already take advantage of our marketing support packages. This includes the imminent launch of a new-look retail website that can be tailored with our customers’ own branding and messaging, as well as access to a social media toolkit that can be adapted for use on their own channels.
An online presence is an expectation these days, and often the first port of call for a potential customer. Use your website and social media channels to strengthen brand perception by visually showcasing your installs with photography and video, and sharing customer reviews and testimonies. If you play a role in your local community in the form of sponsorship or volunteering share these stories too, or simply profile your team so customers can put faces to names.
Finally, be responsive to queries and comments on your social media channels and via your website, and look to add value for potential customers by sharing content that could be relevant to them, such as home improvement trends or schemes they could take advantage of.
If you’re an installer, it’s also worth investigating the marketing support on offer from your fabricator and other suppliers, such as content you can share on your social media channels or website with the likes of Ultion and Kubu leading the way with consumer marketing materials.
Paying attention to your marketing strategy now can really add value later, keeping you firmly in front of potential customers who are more likely to convert further down the line with the brand they have already become familiar with.