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Why your home services business needs an annual marketing planDecember 14th, 2021 by
Your annual marketing plan is a roadmap for how your marketing strategy will align with your business goals. All businesses benefit from having a documented strategy. This is especially important for home services companies, remodelers, and home builders. Having a plan provides stability and direction when there are ups and downs caused by seasonality, economic changes, and other external factors.
Creating an annual marketing plan allows you to be proactive. By setting long-term goals, you can keep your company on track, while providing a comprehensive vision for where you want to be in a year.
What is a marketing plan?
A successful marketing plan includes four essential elements.
Build your annual marketing plan around key performance indicators (KPIs). These are financial milestones you use to measure your progress. They should be based on your company’s past performance, industry benchmarks, and growth goals for your business.
- Understand your baseline.
- Example: Your quarterly revenue growth was 5% last year and you want to improve that number.
- Set your goal:
- Example: You set a target of 10% quarterly growth in your annual marketing plan for the next year.
- Annual KPIs can be set around several criteria. This includes everything from growth percentages to sales goals.
Your plan needs to include the current state of the market. This should include obstacles you’ll need to overcome to reach your goals.
- A realistic appraisal of housing growth
- The number of homeowners doing remodeling (based on recent figures)
- The influence of loan interest rates and zoning laws
An annual marketing plan is supported by a strategic mix of marketing tactics (social media, online advertising, content marketing, print advertising and email campaigns). How do you choose the mix?
- What your competitors are doing. If you see similar companies advertise in leisure magazines, you may consider doing the same.
- Your target customer. If your typical customer is a young couple buying or fixing up their first home, you’ll want to understand where and how they are looking for answers online.
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You will need to strike a balance between how much you want to spend on marketing and what you want to do.
- Display advertising is the most expensive option, while organic social media marketing is free but takes time.
- You may want to spend your marketing dollars to hire a professional marketer who can optimize your budget to your goals.
- What is most important is that you put money to work in the areas that have the greatest impact on your business.
6 steps for creating an annual marketing plan
So now that you know what should be in the plan, how do you put one together? Follow these steps.
1. Make a market assessment.
You need to know where you stand in the current marketplace. This means understanding the growth prospects for your market and understanding your status in that marketplace. Determine what market share you have and what your strengths and weaknesses are compared to competitors.
2. Write your value proposition.
What is the reason someone would use your service over a competitor’s? Do you offer better service, pricing, or quality? Do you have a solid reputation? The answers to these questions will determine how you craft your marketing message.
3. Document your strategy.
After you determine your marketing mix, your plan should list specific ads, messages, frequency of posting, and dollars you will spend on each element in the mix. Your strategy should include a calendar for publishing on each marketing outlet.
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4. Monitor your marketing.
Examine how many responses you get based on where your marketing appears. Is social media working the best, or are display ads most effective? Are you getting a strong response from email campaigns?
5. Check your return on investment.
In addition to measuring the number of responses, evaluate how many of those turned into sales. For every dollar spent on marketing, how much do you receive in sales revenues?
6. Evaluate and adjust.
Once you’ve identified your most effective and least effective strategies, focus on the strongest areas and reduce your efforts in the weaker spots.
By looking ahead, you can take charge of the growth of your company. It is impossible to predict every contingency that could affect your sales. However, you will be ahead of the game if you have marketing strategies in place. Home services, remodeling, and home building are unique business types in an industry that experiences a lot of change each year. Having an annual marketing plan offers the stability and direction needed to achieve your goals.
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