Thursday, July 5, 2012

Basic Marketing for the Modular Home Factory

The majority of modular home factory management still view marketing and sales as one in the same.  I doubt that this will change soon.  There are some factories that use marketing properly and understand that sales is a unique and separate entity and are actually increasing their presence on social media sites; updating their websites and seeing the positive results of an interactive blog presence.

For those factory people that want to get started on a marketing program but just aren’t sure where or how to begin, let me give you some tips:

  • Don’t run out and hire a PR firm.  This alone will probably sink the little budget you set aside for marketing.  Try using your own people and supplement that with a part time consultant.
  • Start with your website.  Plan a promotion or an Open House and put up a banner with a link to the featured event.
  • Use email marketing to increase your TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness.)  Constant Contact is the one we use here at Modular Home Builder.
  • Publish articles about your factory, your builders and any special project that you have completed.  ModCoach is always looking for news and pictures about things related to the system built industry.
  • You might try running a contest.  I recently visited a website that offered a treasure hunt within their website and the first 10 people that found the items won a $50 gift card to Red Lobster.  I tried it but could only find 8 of them but I did visit every page on their site!
  • Start a blog featuring things about your factory, your builders and the factory people that build the homes.  If you need help in creating and maintaining a blog, just drop me a line.
  • Use email autoresponders and handle your email efficiently and effectively.
  • Contact your local newspaper and television station, tell what you do and ask if they could have someone report on your next home set as a human interest story.
  • Hold an Open House during the work week.  Builders aren’t the only ones that want to see action in the factory, your builder’s customers do too.
  • Look at your literature and floorplans.  If they haven’t been updated in the last 3 years, throw them out and bring out new ones and make sure they can be easily downloaded as PDF files for your prospective new home buyers.
  • If you are brave enough to list your authorized builders (some factories are afraid that giving these names is like an invitation for a competitor to pillage), provide links to the builder’s website.
By following the above tips you’ll be on your way to creating a marketing program that is both effective and inexpensive.


Randy said...

I would like to agree with your comment about hiring a PR firm. I have a new modular consulting firm out west and have spoken with several firms who want to "market" my product. All I get is SEO,Website, LinkedIn etc etc. All important to be sure but that is not going to get people TO those sites. You can't spend your budget with a PR firm that wants to create a "plan" which takes up 50% of your budget and then the other 50% is implementation...isn't there a 30/70 scenario?
Good article

Anonymous said...

Most mod factory guys I've met have outsized egos for the size of the companies they run. Sure, their factories have paid their bills, put kids through college etc, but few have the vision or desire to become true high growing companies. They dont see the world has changed, as you point out, and they're content to sit around hoping to be fat and happy, like in the old days. My guess is most will get pushed out of business by NY hedge funds who see the future and are acting now to create the framework.

Jennifer R said...

Anonymous, it really doesn't matter if you like the factory guys or not. They put their money and hard work into building their companies and they have a right to a little ego blast. When you pony up a couple of hundred thousand dollars to gamble on starting a modular factory in today and succeed, I'll bet your ego will show too.
Hats off to the men and women who wake up every morning knowing that their life savings is a risk.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer-Its simply dumb and dumber to put your family's lifes savings and financial future at risk every day. If a guy who wants to marry your daughter told you, he will risk everything they have, every day, to make a moderate income, I hope you tell your daughter to run. I would.