Tuesday, January 4, 2011

THE DARK SIDE OF MARKETING PLANS

Most modular home factory management teams and certainly almost all modular home builders do not have a marketing plan.  It should be a crime to start 2011 without one, yet sadly there will only be a handful of you that will even attempt it. 



Even many of the largest modular factories in our industry don’t have one.  They say they do but in reality all they have is a set of goals, objectives and mission statements.  Is anyone held accountable for implementing and monitoring the marketing plan?  Most factories have a Sales Manager that is tasked with the job of meeting the goals set out in the marketing plan but their time and energy is used to ride the butts of the sales staff that was sent into the field with very little knowledge that there even is a plan.

So let’s go back to the beginning and see where all this starts to fall apart. Creating a marketing plan is the easy part.  Including the appropriate strategies to make it a success for the factory or the builder is the hard part.  There is a need to understand what a strategy is before you begin your plan.

To become the market leader is not a strategy…it’s an objective.  To serve our customers with honesty and dignity is not a strategy…it’s a mission statement.  To double the number of new modular homes sold is not a strategy…it’s a goal.

Having goals, objectives and mission statements are nice but without a strategy to achieve them, you are doomed to continue to miss your goals and objectives this year just as you have in the past.  Looking at each of the three segments above will bring to light the strategy and tactics needed for success.

To become the market leader, for either the factory or the builder, an effective strategy might be to carve out one or more narrow market niches and dominate it.  Tactics might include doing extensive market research looking for an underserved market and laying out a defined plan of attack.  Remember, this is war and your company’s survival depends on knowing what your enemy (competitor) is doing.

To serve your builders or home buyers with honesty and dignity you might find that the most effective strategy begins in the hiring process. Hiring sales people with little or no knowledge of the modular industry, not training them, staying on their butts to produce sales will force many of them to take short cuts or outright lie to their customers.  The best tactic here is to interview each candidate several times and check them out carefully.  Then start a training regime that not only helps them understand your business but also our unique industry.  Finally they will need training on how to help customers, in the case of factories and home buyers in the case of builders, become educated in effective selling and marketing.

To reach the goal of doubling your home sales, an effective strategy could begin by inviting your builders and customers to become part of referral program, a network of people that already know your ability to deliver a great home at a fair cost.

It takes dedication to the cause to implement and follow through on an effective marketing plan and meet the goals and objectives you desire.  One of the best ways to make sure that your entire organization is behind it is to work with everyone to contribute to it.  If you aren’t committed to adhering to your marketing plan, please don’t even prepare one!  There is nothing more frustrating than failure and a marketing plan that is doomed from the starting gate will decay the morale of you and your people.

As my Dad used to say…”you can’t get lost if you don’t have a map.”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen.
Give us the tools we need to do our job. If the guy in the Mill's saw breaks, you buy him a new one. And you don't hand him a hand saw. All factory owners would be quick to see that he has the tools he needs to do his job. Why is the approach different, less important or non-existant when it comes to Sales support & marketing. This is the life line of your businesses. In this environment it is needed more than ever. May factory owners prioritize this & empower their Sales Managers!

German said...

Really, It is reliable information sharing here!! and All factory owners would be quick to see that he has the tools he needs to do his job.Thanks

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