Rethinking your approach to marketing

By Andrew Scott, CEO of Purplex Marketing.

It seems everywhere we look these days we are bombarded with an avalanche of choices and options; whether it’s the products we buy, the services we use or the way we consume news, media and entertainment.

And it’s a moving feast with a flood of new companies, products and marketing/media channels emerging almost every month.

Winning the hearts and minds of customers – brand loyalty – has become increasingly difficult, while competing for ‘share of wallet’ requires more resources and investment than ever before.

So how can the glazing industry adapt to this changing customer landscape and grow successfully?

In today’s frantic, fast-paced world where we are overwhelmed with choice and have less available time, our buying habits are influenced by brands.

Whether it’s the phone you use, the car you drive, the trainers you wear or the coffee you drink, it comes down to familiarity and trust. We are more likely to buy a product or service from a brand we know and trust because we have a perception of what it means. A Rolex means status, Primark means low price.

The companies with stronger brands (irrespective of premium or budget positioning) attract more customers.

Marketing experts know how valuable brand recognition is. Nestlè has stretched its Kit Kat brand with more than 100 variations and launched all-new Kit Kat product lines, from drinks to ice cream and merchandise. The result is a brand with a $1 billion valuation.

If Richard Branson launched ‘Virgin Homes’ selling windows, doors and conservatories, consumers would flock to the brand.

Lead generation is, of course, the lifeblood of the glazing industry (especially in the retail sector) but companies that invest in their brand amplify the results of their lead generation.

In a market place swamped with choice, customers are more likely to request a quote, place an order and spend more with a familiar brand that they trust than one they don’t recognise.

The major shift in choice and options doesn’t just relate to products. It applies to the way we consume information. In years gone by, positioning your brand in front of potential customers was easy with a handful of advertising channels.

Today, there are hundreds of marketing channels, media and platforms, and customers interact with different channels at different times for different reasons. Perhaps Facebook in the morning, radio on the way to work, email and LinkedIn during the day, browsing online while watching Netflix in the evening, and keeping a track of the kids via Snapchat.

Passive and subliminal advertising, such as outdoor billboards and buses, are as powerful as ever, but they are competing with music streaming and podcasts on earphones. Traditional marketing channels including magazines and direct mail are having a resurgence, while radio is fighting back against digital marketing.

You can have the strongest brand, great content and a large budget, but it is meaningless unless you go where your customers are.

I once had a trade customer tell me “I don’t want to do email marketing because I don’t like receiving lots of emails”. It doesn’t matter what you think, it only matters what the customer thinks.

We can’t avoid the shift in customer behaviour; it has already happened. Companies need to rethink how they approach marketing and business growth.