Fine-Tune Your Marketing Plan

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Your strategic marketing plan begins with becoming very clear about what you are selling and what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. To have a successful business, you will need to put a marketing plan in place to generate quality leads to achieve your budgeted sales revenue, gross profit margin, the salary you desire and net profit.

February 01, 2007

Doug Dwyer
Contributing Editor

Your strategic marketing plan begins with becoming very clear about what you are selling and what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. To have a successful business, you will need to put a marketing plan in place to generate quality leads to achieve your budgeted sales revenue, gross profit margin, the salary you desire and net profit.

Strategic implies more than what most people's marketing plans include, which is typically a list of ads that can be run or used to generate referrals. Marketing covers every aspect of your business, from how you answer the phones to how you dress. And, is that intentional or by chance? What do your vehicles look like and are they kept clean inside and out? Is the job site clean and organized? What do your signs look like? What vocabulary do you use and what's permitted while interacting with customers? How are jobs staged?

Marketing also includes how the hand-off is handled between the client sale and production; how quickly proposals are turned around; the quality and look of your invoicing, brochures, business cards, letterhead, advertising and their effectiveness; your Web site and the image it projects and how easy it is to navigate; and the design of your office, warehouse, shop and showroom.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather to show that marketing is how you package, sell and deliver your product to the consumer — your remodeling client.

Over time, I've tried positioning my company to be everything to everyone and at the same time market specialties, too. It doesn't work well and isn't the most profitable way to do business. I'm sure many of you can relate or might have wondered if your strategies are the best way to run your business. It is more beneficial to your bottom line and quality of life to focus your company either on a specific niche of remodeling or to be a generalist. Don't try to be both under the same company name. The odds weigh heavily that being everything to everyone will not produce the results you desire.

Also, decide on the level of work you will provide: low-, medium- or high-priced. And, what is the demographic of the customer that will buy that product at that price? Toyota, which owns and created Lexus, doesn't sell it under the Toyota name or off the Toyota showroom floor. This reinforces the concept that marketing touches every part of your business.

Once you decide on a niche, you'll need to establish your USP. How are you going to stand out and be different? For example, for many years FedEx used the slogan, "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." This slogan lasted more than a decade before FedEx had to change it. Maybe your slogan will, too. You will build your marketing and advertising materials around getting that message to your prospective clients with the quantity and frequency needed via different media to achieve sales and profit objectives.

This can be an overwhelming process. I recommend getting help from a professional in this area. If this is not possible for you, then take it one step at a time and net-work with other like-minded business people who will be glad to lend a helping hand.

If you are interested in more information on putting your marketing plan together, visit ProRemodeler.com and look at my article, "Marketing: To Survive or Thrive?" I think you will find it beneficial to your marketing efforts.


Author Information
Doug Dwyer is president and chief stew-arding officer of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen by Worldwide, one of the nation's largest remodeling franchises. He can be reached at doug.dwyer@dwyergroup.com.


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