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Is Content Marketing in Business 2 Business Marketing the New King?

October 29th, 2011 1 comment

Entrepreneur recently cited a study by HiveFire, a Cambridge, Massachusetts based internet marketing software company. The topic was fascinating and I believe there was some good takeaways from HiveFire's report. That said, in reviewing the study, it brought to mind the following fabled quote:


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”  –

Mark Twain

Like many great writers, Mark Twain had the ability to turn a phrase with style and wit.

Let me emphasize that I think there are some good takeaways from the HiveFire research, which we will review and use to springboard to what we hope are GENUINE lessons to be learned that may benefit your marketing. But YOU DECIDE if the you think the analysis summarized below is a cleaver use of statistics.

According to HiveFire, content marketing is the new king.

They arrived at this conclusion having surveyed “nearly 400 marketing professionals about the state of the business-to-business, or B2B, market, and discovered that marketers are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing tool box.”

According to HiveFire's B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report  twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising.

The firm defines content marketing and it's use in this fashion: “Content Marketing is the creation and publication of original content, such as blog posts, photos, videos, website resource pages, case studies or white papers to enhance a brand’s visibility.”

"Caveat emptor" =  Let the Buyer Beware!

10.28.2011_HiveFire_Marketing_survey_results posted on MHMSM.com


Let me say straight out that we believe in content marketing, advocate it for many Manufactured Housing Industry clients or prospects and practice it routinely ourselves.

Part of what concerns me in the graphic above is there is no mention of social network marketing. One has to live offline and never speak to those who have smart phones or internet connections to think that Facebook, Linkedin, Twitters and rising Google Plus are among the social media tools being used by businesses to do B2B and Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing.

Blogging is inserted by some as a 'social networking tool,' though it crosses from that space into others, and could arguably deserve its own category.

Another missing item in the above chart is the lack of mention for email marketing.

Do you get emails from businesses trying to market their product or service to your operation? If you are online, of course you do. Let us not presume that this and social network marketing are in the only 13% (the 'other') category. I'm not saying they are 'lying,' but who were these nearly 400 companies being surveyed? And isn't the purpose of their white paper to promote the purchase of a software/service that helps some do their brand content marketing? Moreover, isn't content marketing tied closely to SEO Marketing?

Participating at trade show events such as the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show and the Great Southwest Home Show, I'd concur with HiveWire that event marketing has genuine value in our industry and others too.

HiveFire_Marketing_Survey_credit,_Most_important_marketing_objective


Marketing_Challenges_credit_HiveFire_

The same questions apply to the above. If HiveWire surveyed firms who happen to like content marketing, their numbers may indeed be spot on! But the issue is which firms were surveyed, what are the tendencies of those firms, and did they skew the results they would have had if they had used a broader based cross section of the B2B marketing universe?

Hive_Fire_Marketing_credit_trends_survey_Main_objectives


Marketing_budget_dedication_to_Content_Marketing_-_credit_HiveFire

These charts, similar disclaimer/questions above. I know some firms that spend zero dollars on their definition of “content marketing.” I agree that they should be investing in it! More on that below.


Another fact they report of these marketers surveyed is that 79% of the content they share is being shared online. That makes sense. The Internet is the generally the lowest cost way of sharing content.

4 Kings of MarKeting MHMSM.comThe Four Kings of MarKeting

Now, let me share a different perspective, what we will call the 4 Kings of Online MarKeting.

  1. First, Content Marketing is closely tied to SEO marketing. Anyone who is writing intelligently, is trying to use their content to capture a 'regular audience' they hopefully have or create, as well as to attract attention from search engines. Some content may not help your SEO much – as in the example of boldly cut and pasted content that is 'scraped' from other sites word for word without credit – even if it is 'good information.' The quality of the information, the originality of the content makes you look good AND it also has the advantage of improving your SEO over time. While there are SEO tactics like Google Ad words that can be purchased – and at times, is a good idea – and others that can enhance SEO, the bottom line is that good content and good SEO methods should go hand in hand. So Content is a King that ties in with good SEO. Such content is delivered online via traditional websites, CMS websites (Content Management Systems such as Joomla, Drupal, etc.), blogs, etc.

  2. Email Marketing. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that “email marketing was expected to generate an ROI of $42.08 for every dollar spent on it in 2010. As such, it outperforms all the other direct marketing channels examined, such as print catalogs.” (EmailingMarketing). We recommend email marketing in both B2B and B2C marketing efforts. (FYI, the DMA statistics, and a MerchantCircle survey of over 8,000 local business owners in the US found email marketing cited by 35.8% as a Top 3 most effective marketing or advertising method. These facts are among other reasons I question the HiveFire numbers.)

  3. Social Networking and Blogging: As of January, 2011, Econsultancy reported that

700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook and 60 million Facebook users engage with it across these external sites each month. 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog. When you engage the public via blogging and social networking, you can potentially reach tens of thousands to millions of readers in way that impacts them over 5 times more than traditional advertising. When blogging and Social Networking are combined with traditional ads, on or off line, you gain a power that is hard to match.

  1. All other forms of marketing. We do believe there is a place to use event marketing, print, mail, other traditional ads, video (especially online video) and radio.

> What makes the best sense for you and your firm? The right answer requires facts.

> Are you markeing B2B, B2C or both?

> Within those groups, who is your target market and why?

> What are your budgets?

> What are your goals and desired outcomes?

> What is your time line to reach them?

> Do you have time to keep content generation strong, or would you rather outsource your content and online marketing?

You can call my cell at 832-689-1729 or email tony@mhmsm.com with our answers to those 7 questions above to learn more. There is no charge for an initial review, as we only want to serve those companies we believe that can benefit and profit from our services. If we can't serve your needs, we will make recommendations to those who might for your consideration.


Before closing, let me say we will do a periodic series elements from the topics from the 4 Kings of MarKeting in more depth.


I'd also say, one take away from the HiveFire report is this. When looking at ANYONE's claims – including ours – ask questions! Use common sense!


Does the information provide you have a back up source?


Are there similar studies that provide similar results?


Is it purely an agenda driven study or self serving?

In the case of this HiveFire report, while I find it brings up some useful ideas, such as the importance of Content Marketing, it leaves plenty of questions on marketing unanswered. # #


post written by

L. A. 'Tony' Kovach
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com  or www.MHMSM.com or www.MHProNews.com 
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Short and Sweet, the switch happens this weekend!

October 26th, 2011 No comments

The switchover from the current website format of MHMSM.com – MHProNews.com – to the long anticipated new one will begin Saturday evening at 11 PM Central Time.  While many of the changes are technical ones that only a web-pro will notice, faithful readers like yourself will see dozens of new features and a more modern format.  Navigation will be enhanced, and even more information will be available.

At 11 PM Central Saturday evening, you will see a splash page that advises visitors that the site will be 'down' until approximately Noon Central time Sunday.

Once live, your feedback will be appreciated. # #

post by
L. A. "Tony" Kovach,
Publisher and Marketing Director of

www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or www.MHMSM.com or www.MHProNews.com

Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

MH Pros – Make More Money in 2012!

October 23rd, 2011 No comments

Access No Money Down Finance,

Free Sales Training, Business Building Seminars & More

 

Yes, You Can! Grow your Sales, Profits and Business in 2012 with free Louisville Manufactured Home Seminars!

 

The Louisville Show offers an unparalleled opportunity to start the new year with a positive bang. Who says? Here is one of many sample comments:

Rising Sales posted on MHProNews.com

It was great to have the Louisville Show back in 2011! It has always signaled the start of the new selling season. The spirits were high from those in attendance in 2011. I think the 2012 show will be more exciting and rewarding.”

Knute Chauncey, Tie Down Engineering

 

At the Louisville Show you can compare products and services from some 80 plus vendors and suppliers, PLUS see dozens of new homes, all indoors!

 

With the business building seminars, you can “Learn more to Earn more!” See this incredible line up of topics that manufactured home retailers, community owner/operators and builder/developers can attend FREE during the 2012 Manufactured Home Show at the Kentucky Exhibition Center (KEC) in Louisville KY.

 

1) What's working for MH Retailers and MH Community Operators in Sales Today. Get the “Best of the Best!” in retail sales and profit making practices  learned from Top selling U.S. Manufactured Housing Retailers. Chad Carr from Rainmaker Software will be doing a recap of the best ideas presented by top manufactured housing street retailers and community based sales operators from across the country from their November 13-15th 2011 summit meeting.

 

3) The Best Third Party Manufactured Home Financing Available Today! All of the top manufactured home retail lenders will present their best programs in this workshop.  In alphabetical order, 21st Mortgage, CU Factory Built Lending, Triad Financial and US Bank will present their best finance programs as part of panel discussion on industry financing available right now! FHA Title II lenders also plan to attend. Learn what's available Today to sell more homes at your retail center, community or development!

 

Mike_Moore_2) "If you want to sell more homes, stop selling!" Creating Your Successful 'New Economy.'  Mike Moore, of MHSpeaker's Trainers and Making Customers.  Moore will explain how an adjustment in how one approaches customers will positively impact the otherwise bruised and broken customer/sales relationship.

 

4) The Best Community Financing and Refi Options Available Today! Big name lenders and community specialty mortgage brokers are planning to share their best programs available to finance or refinance your manufactured home community!

 

5) Federal Program offers No Down Financing on Fee Simple Sales! Can you really get rate competitive, no down payment, low closing cost loans legally on manufactured homes sold in fee simple sales? Thousands of Industry pros will be surprised to know that the answer is 'yes.' This may sound like a dream come true to some, but this is a real federal loan program that federal officials have tentatively committed to presenting to 2012 Louisville Manufactured Home Show attendees!

 

These seminars will be held on January 11th and 12th, 2012. Other presentations and speakers may also become available, and as plans evolve, we will update you as the information becomes available.

Kentucky_Exhibition_Center_home_of_the_Louisville_Manufactured_Housing_Show_MHProNews

Louisville is where CEOs and executives from major companies, association leaders, and literally hundreds of the 'mom and pop' businesses all come together. Here is your chance to see dozens of new homes under one roof, talk to manufacturers about your needs and compare. Some 80 service and supply firms will be there!  The Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation, Dennis Hill at Showways Unlimited and hundreds of others work hard to make this the event to start the New Year. 

You should be there.

 

Members of our MHProNews.com team and I will be there too, so I hope to see you at Louisville 2012. For more info, click here. # #

 

post by

L. A. 'Tony' Kovach
Publishers and Marketing Director
MHProNews.com & MHMSM.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Haircuts, Hamburgers, Modular and Manufactured Housing

October 16th, 2011 No comments

We can't all give each other haircuts.  We can't all just flip burgers in restaurants.  Check out lines are necessary, but we can't all be in retail stores.  Someone has to produce something!  Producing nations – be it production in agricultural, energy, raw materials as well as goods (i.e.: manufacturing and building) – are historically more powerful, more independent than non-producing nations.

Haircut_wikimedia_commonsSo while you can have "a service economy," in fact, the service economy over time compared to a production economy – all things being equal – will tend to see the producing nation gaining in wealth and power.

To be sure, this is an over-simplification, one designed to make a point.  There are other factors, such as the political system one works in.  Part of what made America great and so rapidly growing after the Revolution was our freedom, relatively lower taxation and less corruption than many other nations. 

The point is that production is necessary for 'the wealth of a nation' and its people!  Sure we need teachers, doctors, nurses and scientists.  We also need people who build homes, buildings, cars, computers, shoes, clothing and those who produce on a farm, ranch, etc., etc..  When we have more people making and producing – intellectual production can count too – then we can actually have more people giving haircuts and hamburgers (service jobs), who can make more money doing it. 

What does this have to do with marketing modular and manufactured housing?  Plenty! As you will see below.

While America has had a long love affair with the automobile, housing is a far more important part of the U.S. economy than cars.  The basics of life are food, clothing and shelter.  While transportation is important, you can transport people in many ways.  By contrast, housing is necessary for survival.

Potential Market Demand for Housing, Factory Built and other

A smart marketer (or business owner/executive) wants to know many things, including the need for the product or service he or she wants to promote.  The marketer also wants to know what the potential demand for the product or service can be.  With that in mind, let's take a look at some facts.

On October 9, 2011, we had 312,387,546 Americans according to the U.S. Census Bureau's population clock. More facts:

        OCTOBER 2011
   
    One birth every………………………………………………….   8 seconds
    One death every………………………………………………   12 seconds
    One international migrant (net) every……………… 45 seconds
    Net gain of one person every…………………………..  13 seconds

Look at the population patterns since 1980:

    Year.   Population.          %/+

    1980    226,545,805        11.5%
    1990    248,709,873         9.8%
    2000    281,421,906        13.2%
    2010    308,745,538         9.7%

What does all this mean?  By July 1, 2030, the United States Census Bureau says we will have a population of 363,584,435, less current population of 312,387,546 yields a net gain of an estimated 51,196,889

Side_walls_are_constructed_and_Placed_onto_Floor_System wikimdia commons posted on MHProNews.com Cutting Edge in Online Marketing Blog

 

Using the current 2.57 people per household, we will need 19,920,968 new housing units by 2030, PLUS the need for the number of homes that will be retired or lost due to fire, natural disaster, deterioration and similar factors.

If manufactured housing captured an average of 20% of this market need for housing, we would have to build 3,984,194 homes by 2030.  This is roughly what the Industry has averaged in as our housing market share in the past 20 years, so this is not an unrealistic number.

That is 209,694 homes a year.  That's roughly 4 times what we are currently producing! 

We would need to add about 150,000 jobs in factories alone to meet that need.

That would mean whatever your part of the Industry is, you would need to do about 4 times more business, or in the case of manufactured home land lease communities, you would likely be full and adding sites where possible.

Frankly, I believe we should be targeting a lot more than 20% market share.  But my point is even at 'historic' levels, those who survive have the opportunity to thrive.

Problems spell opportunity in disguise

Ladies and Gentlemen, we can't get bogged down in thinking about just the current housing downturn and the forclosure glut the media loves to focus on.  In fact we are awash in opportunity in the housing business in the U.S. alone.  But let's not forget the need for housing in other parts of North and South America. Think about the housing needs of Asia (where 60% of the world's population currently lives), or Africa, Europe,  Oceania and the rest of the world.  We could be shipping homes overseas, IF we get our 'act' together as rapidly as possible.

With incomes down and population rising, American home building – in factories! – offers a huge opportunity.  Energy and other sectors of the economy are important, but we are in some phase of the factory home building industry and we can uniquely able to serve every part of the population.

A smart business professional should think about a two parallel paths to present and future success.

Path 1: A Plan to grow your businesses' share of your location's housing market. 

Plan 2: A Plan to advance the image, acceptance and thus marketing potential of factory built homes.

To summarize, the facts support the reality that housing is heading for a boom.  With so many site builder's decimated and out of business, manufactured and modular construction may be uniquely well poised to take advantage of that coming boom.  300 factories now shuttered in the last 12 years could rapidly be tooled up and re-opened. 

But we have to deal with and implement a marketing and image program in order to achieve that potential!

Path 1 is the subject of our popular Dominate Your Local Market Seminar that was presented at the recent Texas Manufactured Housing Association and New York Housing Association annual meetings.   It is supported by the Attracting More Customers  with Good Credit Seminar that will be presented Wednesday, October 19th at the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association's annual meeting.  If you are planning to attend, please say hello after the presentation and share your feedback.

Path 2 are reason we should be pursing the MH Alliance/Phoenix project, so we can boost sales and improve results now, and continue to do so on into the future.  Read a news story about the project here.

To learn how we can help boost your marketing and business results now, click here.# #


blog post written by
L. A. 'Tony' Kovach

http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

“Detroit and Japan halt mid-sized, SUV and Luxury car production…” & California Dreamin’

October 9th, 2011 No comments

Picture for the next few moments the imaginary headline above. It would cause shock and surprise in the automotive world. The entry level market is nice, but only entry level cars?

 
Or worse still, what if the following where the headline:
 
 

 

"Lexus blasts Corola, Yarls & Scion"
 

 

"Insanity!" we might say, when the high end blasts the entry level, or if the reverse happened, or if any Toyota brand attacked another.

 

 
 
But isn't that something that people advocate in factory built housing on a daily basis?  Which is why we digitally penned "Builders of HUDs and MODs, can they get along?"
 
 

 

Some want to 'focus' on either the entry level or mid/upscale side of our industry only, which is fine for an independent retailer, builder, developer or community to do if they so chose.
 

 

But as an industry, we should not abandon one for the other.
 
 

 

I cut my teeth in this industry sellng hundreds of entry level HUDs, often in very down markets – post oil bust Oklahoma in the 1980s – where the team I was privileged to lead sold 196 homes in a year, in a rural town of 4500 souls that was an hour plus drive from Oklahoma City.  That record result during a time when 80% of retailers went out of business put us in what became Automated Builder Magazine's Top 100 Retailers in the U.S., and brought my first big speaking invite which was in Edmonton, Alberta.  More recently, we have had the privilege of marketing the most expense HUD Code homes in a market area, and set sales records doing it.  When I say, most expensive, the new lower priced product at one location was $79,900 for a single section 16×70 and went to $99,700 for a 16×80 single sectional. And the multi-sectionals could sell for $179,900.  We had site fees $300 a month higher than others in the same market. Part of how we did it was ignore the 'competition among HUDs and other land lease communities.  We focused on the site built customer and went after them!
 
 

 

While there were mistakes made by some and things could have been better, the numbers didn't lie.  Modest adjustments could have made this a historic outcome.  As it was, getting a Chicago media reported 75 closed contracts in 90 days, and 212 closed in one year was not bad outcome at all.
 
 

 

We can win at every level – entry, mid or upper end – if we market, serve and sell smarter than we have in the past.  Remember and think, KYP:
 
 

 

  • Know Your Prospect.
  • Know Your Product.
  • Know Your Presentation.

 

 
California Dreamin'
 
 

 

In our recent trip to see a client in the aptly nicked-named Golden State, we had the opportunity to see some more upscale product than the standard VOG entry level HUD code home. As noted above, I cut my teeth selling and marketing entry level HUD Code product.  We believe and know we can sell HUDs and MODs that run the gamut from single section entry level HUDs to the "15 box" multi-story Modular Mansion that builder's manager Tom Flynn told me was sold to a doctor in Indiana.
 

 

Dream it, Do It credit NASDAQ and Spirit Airlines posted on MHProNews.com
 
 

 

Our California trip included tours of various manufactured home community based sales centers.  The staff wee all pleasant and dressed professionally.  We identified ourselves as who we are and had a great conversation.
 
 

 

One particular property we saw was based in a land lease community that been burned out by a wild fire driven by Santa Anna winds some years before.  While this may have created a tragic but naturally caused urban renewal of the property, occupancy has clearly never recovered.  This meant the HUD Code prodcuct on the property was quite new. The setting was residential and visually appealing. In spite of the potential and appeal, with high priced conventional housing the rule in the area, near the community's entrance, perhaps 50% vacancy or more as far as once could see was evident.
 
 

 

Golden West manufactured home in CA land lease community
 
 

 

The right marketing message and sales approach could do wonders in such a fine, appealing property.  Why?  Because site built homes go for a tidy sum, even by Chicagoland standards.
 
 

 

CA HUD Code Manufactured Home in a residential style land lease community
 
 

 

We as companies and as an industry need to do a better job of telling our story, and when we do, such properties can rapidly be filled – yes – even with higher site fees.
 
 
 

 

The product we saw included Silvercrest Homes by Champion, Skyline Homes and Golden West product.  These homes had residential styling and finishes, high ceilings. upgrade appliances, and numerous special treatments. The homes were well staged. The roof pitches tended to be low, but many of the conventional houses in the area had low roof pitches too. If you blind folded a consumer who hated "mobile homes" and brought them across the threshold, and unmasked them once inside, they would be pleased with the quality and wowed with the price.
 
 

 

Ladies and Gents, that is part of the secret we need to tap into!
 
 

 

The main time in California was spent with a visionary team who have a bold vision for using MODs and upscale, residential HUDs to tap into numerous opportunities in their market.  With everything from modest "back yard homes" to an elegant and expansive multi-module home all on their planned agenda, one can only wish them the best in their pursuit of a noble and achievable dream; the dream of serving others with quality affordable lifestyle creation.
 
 

 

New York and Indiana
 
 

 

Next week, we will be in New York, for my first trip to the Empire State.  It will be good to see Nancy Geer on her home territory. I'm looking forward to observing the New York Housing Association's fine line up of topics and speakers.  For those of you who attend, please say hi after taking part in our Dominate Your Local Market 2 marketing and sales building Workshop.
 
 

 

In Indiana the following week, it will be good to see Mark Bowersox and the IMHA team!  Again, a fine line up of protection and promotion topics to defend and build the business of retailers, communities, builders, developers, lenders and suppliers. Please say hi after my How to Attract More Customers with Good Credit business building workshop.
 
 

 

All of these topics tie together.  We must stand together, be smarter and tell a better story.  We need to realize we have the opportunity for growth, but we have to re-evaluate what we have done, and make positive changes in order to advance once more. # #
 
 

 

(Editor's note: Read unCommon Sense and see the new supporters of the MH Alliance info updates🙂
 

 

post written by
L. A. 'Tony' Kovach
MHMSM.com publisher and marketing director