Spreading the word

Sam Tynan, trade sales support representative at Rehau supporting trade counter customers and Authorised Partner installers, and Stephen Beresford, head of marketing communications at Rehau, discuss marketing and how to get yourself noticed.

The internet has transformed everything, from the way we communicate with each other to how we purchase goods and services. For a business, harnessing all that digital power is essential, particularly when so many people have the web at their fingertips 24/7.

When the internet began, the marketing industry was quick to see the potential to reach a wider – and potentially new – audience through the web, first through company websites and online advertising, and now through social media and search engine optimisation.

Almost every windows and doors business has a website and most also have a Facebook or Twitter account. Video content and pictures work really well on social pages to promote what you do alongside the people and personalities who make up your business. Rehau uses video content for ‘how to’ videos and case studies, as it’s an engaging medium for sharing the brand’s expertise.

The support provided by a firm to its customers post sales pitch is also evolving online. This year Rehau launches the 360 digital marketing portal, to allow customers to personalise, download and order literature and other sales support material with ease – from the website and into their prospect’s hands in just a few clicks.

Rehau is becoming far more digitally focused as many of its tools and products are now ‘smart’ and easier for customers and their customers to access and buy windows. Globally, Rehau has also launched a consumer-led windows campaign – Rehau View – which features the brand’s reality and vision of networked, intelligent windows through the introduction of new and exciting smart technologies.

Of course, if you are contacting people with literature – or emails – to promote your company, ensure you stay on the right side of the GDPR legislation. People must have opted in to receive information from you, and any unsolicited correspondence could land you in hot water.

But the digital revolution doesn’t end with peddling your wares on your terms, and it’s important to understand the power of third party endorsement. The momentum towards a digital future is fast gathering pace and all companies, including those within the windows industry, need to embrace the change and use it to their advantage. The advent of the internet and online reviews means that customers today usually have a preconceived idea of what they want so it’s important to effectively communicate not just with your direct customers but with wider stakeholders as well.

Consumers often take a recommendation from a friend, neighbour or colleague before they make a big or important purchase, but nowadays, people are more likely to get this information online through websites like Check a Trade and Trust a Trade. Therefore, maintaining a good profile and encouraging existing customers to leave positive reviews and feedback is essential to help you establish a strong reputation online.

While digital marketing is very effective and comparatively cost effective, it works well as part of a wider mix of marketing tools. Some installers still canvass door-to-door, proactively speaking to prospective customers to create demand for their services, and the power of face-to-face marketing should never be underestimated. ‘People buy from people’ as they say, and even if a homeowner isn’t ready to upgrade their windows or doors there and then, you will be front of mind when they do.

If you are going ‘offline’ with your marketing, having the right materials is essential. You need literature that is professional, filled with useful information and eye-catching in design – something that reflects how professional your organisation is. To effectively bring this to life, we have begun to engage in several digital-led marketing activities that communicates our ability to meaningfully innovate products with a customer-first mentality.

With many marketing routes, it may be tempting to think that the impact will be instant. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. A key thing to remember with your marketing campaign is that you must be patient. Plan your marketing campaign using a mixture of marketing tools and build it up over time. You might need to wait for results, but the more you raise awareness of you and your products, the better your chances of future success.