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Marketing is far more advanced and scientific than ever before

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Tech Talk by Peter Mate
Peter Mate is co-owner and president of Planit Canada, a software and services company devoted to servicing the manufacturing industry. For more info email peterm@planitcanada.ca
Looks like Facebook is in some hot water… Should that detract you from thinking about revamping your marketing strategies for your business? Absolutely not.
Marketing is far more advanced and scientific than ever before. A sign on a building is no longer enough. There are so many opportunities to use your money much more effectively than ever before.
A beautiful showroom is nice, but it’s so expensive! Today’s sales process starts well before the prospect ever steps foot in your showroom. If you’ve taken full advantage of the new world marketing strategies, the prospect has already looked you up, saw your ads, explored your Facebook and Instagram pages, read reviews on your business and has formed a general opinion of your business before ever even coming into contact with 
any member of your team 
in person.
Spending money on targeted advertising through Google and Facebook is an incredibly efficient use of your advertising dollars. Tradeshows and showrooms are likely the most expensive. A great website and social media advertising are great ways to attract and interact with your customers. Not everyone wants to pick up the phone or drive to each kitchen cabinet manufacturer in a 100 km radius. Consumers do their research and when they walk into your showroom, they do so knowing more than ever before about the trends, products and your business.
There are even marketing automation tools that will continue to engage your prospects until they are ready to take the next step.
For example, say you meet someone at a tradeshow you are exhibiting at. They are not ready to buy a kitchen, but one day, they’ll be looking to remodel. Maybe they get an email after the show thanking them for their visit and pointing them to your Houzz page for inspiration. A few weeks later, they get an email with information about a renovation tax credit that would help pay for their remodel. A few weeks go by and they get another email bringing them to see some testimonials on your Facebook page. Maybe they get invited to an event where you bring in a chef for a cooking class. This can go on and on… The day they decide to pull the trigger, you have a very good chance at winning their business. They feel more comfortable with you than any other cabinet shop.
Whatever you choose to do, do it right. Marketing on social media and other high-tech options are a significant loudspeaker for your message. Make sure your message is not boring or archaic. Spend the money to get someone who is good at this stuff and let them do their thing. It’s not just one piece of a puzzle that will make a difference. You need a complete strategy. Typically, experienced marketing companies can take your budget and come up with a good plan on how to use it.
Last but not least, reduce or eliminate spending in antiquated areas. The phone book is no longer relevant. Mail outs are expensive. Maybe they still have a place, but cut here if you’re looking for funds to get going online. Once you get a strategy in place, keep at it and follow through. It doesn’t help your case if you do all this great marketing and when the customer walks through your doors, you have a poor showroom or can’t serve them.
The bottom line is continue educating yourself and changing. Get out of your shop and go learn what others are doing and what you can do to grow your business.

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