It’s a generally accepted fact that marketing can make or break a business. We’ve all marveled at the millions spent on Super Bowl ads or full page ads in major newspapers or trade journals. The simple fact is, when it is done right it yields huge rewards. But, marketing is also one of the first areas of the budget that gets trimmed when times get tight.
So, what’s a company to do when they don’t have the same size marketing budget they used to have?
If only there was an inexpensive, yet highly effective way to market your products, business, and customer service.
But wait! There is!
I’m talking about the most underrated kind of marketing, the one that doesn’t cost anything and can have the greatest impact: a company-wide, top-down marketing atmosphere.
Every company in the building industry – regardless of size, niche channel or product mix will benefit.
Winning Companies Know Every Employee Is In Marketing
What does that even mean?
Thinking of marketing as only a line in your budget or just commercials and flyers is narrow-minded. Start thinking of marketing as a function of every employee. It costs nothing and it pays dividends forever.
This is a pervasive mindset in every employee that part of their job is to market your company. Not by blasting their friends and family on social media or blindly promoting your company. You don’t want this to seem like a chore or be gross. You want to foster an organic marketing mindset from the first to the last employee.
As a leader, part of your job is to demonstrate enthusiasm and exuberance. Be enthusiastic about your company, your products, and your customers. Be excitable about your opportunities and even relish your challenges when they help you grow. The more you demonstrate a positive outlook and encourage your co-workers and employees to do the same, the more people will take notice.
Let it be known how much your company wants and needs employee interaction and suggestions. Make your environment not just open to, but capable of fostering innovation and adaptations. Don’t disregard any suggestion, no matter who it comes from.
When you empower employees through encouragement, what kind of attitude do you think they take to their customers? One that never says “we don’t do that” or “we can’t make that happen.”
You’ll become known in the building products industry for encouraging change and adaptation. Your customers will come to you with innovations and suggestions and your product mix will probably greatly improve.
Basic acts of courtesy and professionalism earn respect. Simple, genuine thanks for business every single sale is a memorable action that encourages repeats. If every single person – from janitors to reception to sales and on and on up the ladder – thanks me genuinely for my business, you can bet I will remember it. If it is honest and sincere, I know you are making a commitment to instilling this in employees – not to make a sale, but because your core values include being grateful.
Teach your sales people to thank their customers – no matter the size – for each and every sale. Make it part of your sign-off and watch your customer satisfaction skyrocket. The building industry can be kind of a gruff place, so work to put a smile on everyone’s face whenever you can.
Going Above And Beyond – Every Day
Isn’t it amazing when someone does something you don’t expect? It is even better when this happens over and over again. Maybe some companies pump this idea into their water supply because they implement it seamlessly.
Have employees look for opportunities to go beyond what the customer expects in every situation. From holding the door for someone, calling a customer when their main product is on sale or suggesting a new solution to a problem, consistently going above and beyond is a hallmark of a company that cares about its’ customers.
Make sure everyone on your team knows how to handle a mistake. They should know not just how to resolve it, but how to take responsibility. Teach employees how to apologize meaningfully and rectify the situation quickly. Give employees the power to fix things without needing management go ahead.
How do you demonstrate pride?
First, be proud of where you work, who you work for and with and what products you are involved in. Because, if you aren't proud no one else will be by your example.
Next, if you aren't proud…get to work and fix it.
When you convey pride in your work, workplace, and co-workers, etc. your customers feel it. If you aren’t proud, why should they feel proud to use your products? Make quality products that fill a need and teach your employees why they matter and how they improve lives.
Make your words count and be honest in all situations. Finally, treat everyone respectfully you can look back every day knowing you did the right thing.
Marketing is a mindset as well as a concept and instilling this mindset in everyone in your company will help you succeed in the building products industry.