Archive for June, 2014

Marketing Coca Cola: the Real Story behind the Real Thing and Manufactured Housing 

June 25th, 2014 No comments

It's an iconic brand found in over 200 countries around the world. For its first five years in existence, the formula included tiny amounts of cocaine. It was the original 'energy drink,' no wonder the short name for this product is "Coke."

For decades, Coca Cola held a wide lead over any other 'like' product. But the famous "Pepsi Challenge" gave them such a serious run for their money, that Coke's senior leadership did what was later seen as unthinkable, they changed the formula.

"New Coke" was born.

It was widely seen as one of the most bone-headed moves in corporate history.

In record time, the public clamor brought the return of "Classic Coke." What many forget is that in short order, Coca Cola was #1 again.

In more recent years, sugary drinks are under assault. "It's the Evil Thing" say health critics. What happened?

Coke's CEO said they were; "Slow. Not innovative and we lost our way."

Lessons for Manufactured Housing?

Those words by Coke's president should be etched into every manufactured housing professional's brain. It's a recipe for weakness, even for a world leading product like Coke! Before continuing, let's share CNBC's broadcast on the subject of Coca Cola's marketing and sales success.

Since it is true that a failure to innovate and be in tune with the market can be costly even to a major global brand such as Coca Cola, what does it mean to an owner, executive, manager or sales leader in manufactured housing? Do you see the point?

We can't afford the kind of mistakes that Coke can.

Creating Positive Associations

Coca Cola invests mega bucks not only in marketing their product, but also in understanding consumer psychology. They deliberately want to inspire emotions and establish positive associations in the minds and feelings of their customers.

This Coke commercial originally aired in 1971. Even though it is over 40 years old, it has had about 1.5 million visits on YouTube since it was posted 5 years ago.

Do you see all the 'feel good' that is going on in this promotion? Do you see the emotional connections they are seeking to establish with consumers?

Lessons for Manufactured Housing Pros

First, our industry must invest more in marketing, period. That investment ought to take place at the location, corporate, state and national levels.

Next, consider what Ken Segall of Apple marketing fame told us in his exclusive article for MHProNews,

Marketing and the Power of Love

We tell our clients and the live audiences at corporate or association events that ours is a complex, unique situation. Very few products face the challenges we do, but that is precisely why we have enhanced opportunities!

We must address heart issues as well as mind issues in our marketing and sales presentations.

It isn't enough for us to 'brand' a product, part of our problem is that we HAVE been branded, and negatively so! Therefore, we must UN-Brand and Re-Brand our products!

There are sound reasons why we used in our original logo and tag line these words, “Innovation, Information and Inspiration for Industry Professionals.”

As a unique industry, we need equally unique solutions.

On our site, you see dozens of quotes which include the names of the professionals who shared the comments. Each of these highlights certain needs, skills and results we've demonstrated over the years in driving results for clients in communities, retail, finance and other segments of the MH Industry.

So what we preach here isn't theory, it is proven in practice.

Even with all the head winds, Manufactured Housing is rising. But we could be doing so much more!

It begins with belief. An attitude. “Inspiration” if you will!

Then it must proceed to some innovations, because the same methods are sure to achieve the same results. If you want new, better results, then you must be willing to innovate!

Finally, information is needed on both the B2B and B2C levels that ties the inspiration and innovation together.

Think again about what Coke's CEO said a few years back, they were slow, lost their way and failed to innovate. Today, Coca Cola's leaders are responding to the new challenges to their product. When Pepsi challenged them, they tried something new, and even though it 'failed,' that 'failure' actually led to the successful rebirth of “Classic Coke.”

There are plenty of lessons for manufactured housing to be found in the story of the Real Thing. Because we have the Real Thing for Quality Living, and it just happens to be affordable. Good for us…

…when we put those advantages to work!

Go sell something! ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: 

Money Motivations

June 13th, 2014 No comments

There are many motivators in life. In sales, some pros speak of the five motivators of pride, profit, love, need and fear. A certain consultant you may know routinely uses fear tactics as a motivator, why? Because it can work. So too the other motivators, in the case of today's column, money or 'profit.'


The 2008 Financial Meltdown, a Gift in Disguise for Manufactured Housing?

Please don't get me wrong. In an ideal world, we would have had no meltdown in 2008. But our world isn't perfect, so given that reality, the crash of the conventional housing market offers numerous prime opportunities for manufactured housing pros.

Among them is the fact that millions no longer believe that a site built house is a good 'investment.'

That said, a savvy marketer or sales guru can position a message that effectively says… "The money saved by buying our home can be used to invest, for travel, cars, charity, education, you name it!"

Profit is the common motive for why:

  • people invest,
  • or why they try to save, or why
  • they open a business and
  • they may opt for this career over another.

Even in government, money is a motivator. Bureaucratic programs often have a de facto incentive to spend all the money allocated, or they may get less funding the next year. The VA scandal reminded us that bonuses exist at the federal level, and that if staff can't earn the bonus honestly, they may "game the system" to get the money by stealth.

Quality Pays

When someone's budget is tight, there is no point in trying to push a solution the buyer can't afford. But when discretionary spending is an option, a savvy sales pro can justify a higher price through the message that "quality pays."

Resonating not Manipulating

Speaking of the customer, be it this or any sales and marketing methods, let's restate a basic premise. We are not about manipulating the customer. For some 25 years, I've preached that a deal is only a good deal if all involved benefit from it.

So why learn sales and marketing methods at all? Because some customers need to be guided in their decision, and when you see what motivates them, you are in a better position to advise and serve them.

You can get everything out of life you want, when you help enough other people get out of life what they want.” – Zig Ziglar.

The Five Motivators

In all of your sales and marketing, think about how money motivates. And think about how all of the 5 Motivators, pride, profit, love, need and fear. As you ask questions, listen and do your discovery with a customer, you will often pick up the clues that tell you which of the motivators is the best one with the prospect in front of you. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: 

Earn $43 for each $1 invested? Manufactured Housing, You and Email Marketing

June 6th, 2014 No comments

Be it business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C), email marketing is a very important part of staying in touch and generating business.

Building an email list takes time, and effort. That translates into costs. But are the costs worth it?


Frankly, as the it is a TOTAL no-brainer!

The Direct Marketing Association provided the statistic above, but IMHO, that is way to LOW for much of the manufactured housing industry!

Let's do some quick math. You are a retailer or MHC that sells homes. Or you are a lender, and want more good loans. One lead that 'cashes' is worth years of the modest cost for an email marketing program!

First, you hopefully are using a CRM system – please see this article by Brad Nelms on that topic –

Next, hopefully you have a great website, if not, look here:


Third, with a good database/CRM nested on a good website that attracts and keeps new customers coming in, you'll get an pretty darn automated system that can keep your clients informed!

Fourth, You have to offer them something they want to know about, of course.

In our case, here at, we offer Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use. People have learned that using our email news updates is a time saver and keeps them informed.

Translation: our emails save and/or makes MHPros money. And it is free.

You should do something similar with your clients. Need a hand? Give us a call.


BTW. If you haven't been added to our NEW and IMPROVED emails, here is how they look, scroll all the way down the a single issue in moments, scan the headlines you like, click on the articles you like.

If you aren't on our emailed update system – many keep track of all the big and less obvious things too that are going on in MH using our emails – sign up in seconds here.

Do the math. One home sold, one site filled, one new client, could be worth years of payback. Is email marketing worth it? As they say in Wisconsin…

Youbetcha. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: | | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: