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?

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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 –

http://MHProNews.com/home/featured-articles/june-2014/117-marketing/7683-you-your-manufactured-home-business-your-image-and-bottom-line

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

http://MHProNews.com/home/featured-articles/june-2014/117-marketing/7671-does-it-really-matter-who-you-use-to-build-a-manufactured-or-modular-home-industry-website

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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 MHProNews.com, 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.

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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.

mhpronews.com/subscribe

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 ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

 

Bombs in the Burry

May 22nd, 2014 No comments

"Hurry, hurry, hurry, bombs in the burry!" is a colloquial expression that conveys a sense of haste or urgency. A burry is a patch of burrs, or a bitter cold climate like northern Minnesota's in winter. It was MHC and RE industry legend, Sam Zell, who told some 200 MH Industry pros that we needed a greater sense of urgency, and that among the risks of 'cheap money' and QEs was that it created a diminished sense of urgency.

There are indeed times when urgency is called for – and when bombs are falling, or the cold is bitter – could certainly be among them.

But in business, when you are interacting on a big ticket item – the sale of a manufactured home, for example – one must read the signals and circumstances.

Indeed, sometimes urgency is exactly what is called for to make a deal happen. But urgency with an analytical buyer who is nowhere near the fence – much less on it – can cost you a good customer.

The successful fisherman doesn't try to set the hook before the fish has taken the bait! Fishing takes patience and discernment, when to act in haste and when to be patient.

Customers often fear a decision. There are many reasons that may be so. Once you understand them, and their circumstances, you can better help them in their buying process.

Lifetime Value

Jay Hamilton expressed a truism last year, too many in our industry are stuck in short term thinking mode. They fail to invest injim-clayton-tony-kovach-mhpronews-interview proper marketing and training. There are costs to that which are far greater than may first meet the eye.

Harvard University did a study on the Lifetime Value of Customers, and proposed a formula to calculate that value. Let's keep it simple today and say, that a happy customer is more likely to come back and send their family, friends and co-workers.

Jim Clayton in our upcoming follow up on our video interview speaks about investing and developing people. Around 80, he is still doing that today! Do you think the $1.7 billion dollar payday he made when Clayton Homes sold made investing in people and systems worthwhile?

Answer, you bet.

If you meet someone who thinks they are too smart to learn from others, remind them that billionaire Jim Clayton is still learning, still investing in people and processes that yield satisfied customers. Jim sat near the front of the room when Sam Zell spoke.

Check out part one of Jim Clayton's video. And watch for part two coming in June as a featured article. ABL = Always Be Learning!

Marketing and Training

All of this relates to issues that connect with marketing and sales training.

Pat Curran, a veteran who has spent decades in insurance and finance in MH and has seen dozens of sales operations, sent this in which makes a great point that dovetails with Jay Hamilton's.

pat-curran-inspiration-blog-mhpronews-com-

We must not set our sights too low on marketing.

Should an MHCommunity or MHRetailer be surprised that the 'get me done' customer arrives when many essentially advertise for that profile of buyer?

And when you do attract a good credit customer, are you surprised that you don't close more of them if your people are not prepared to deal with that better qualified buyer?

There are times when urgency is needed, and there are others when patience should prevail. How to identify and know the difference is a matter of training and experience!

Sam Zell's organization and Jim Clayton's both share this success key: they make the investment in developing the right people and processes. The payoff is long term success!

If you are the smallest mom and pop in the industry and have no budget to spare, at a bare minimum, you must require your people to read and study to learn and grow. If that describes you, and you are reading this, great, but then make sure your people read this 'and get it' too!

In the ideal, if you have the right kind of people and have a budget, you must invest in them!

If you have the wrong kind of people, why is that and how do you plan to solve it?

Tim Connor asks the question, how much are your lost sales costing you? We could add to that, what does it cost you to market to the least credit worthy audience?

The lowest hanging fruit is likely already on the ground, and may have worms. The best, juiciest fruit may take more effort to get, but once you do, isn't it worth it?

Everyone needs a good, decent place to live, so don't misunderstand the point. "Selling up" doesn't cost you the lowest rung on theshow-me-the-money-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-2014-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-.jp financial ladder. Those 'damaged credit' customers will come your way anyway. Remember, over 58% of the population has a credit score 700 or above, while only 15% have one under 600.

Marketing and selling up, along with investing in the processes that make that a successful reality, that's where the long term value is. Who says? The experts, leaders and legends in our field!

Treating all customers – and your staff – the way you'd want to be treated is how you maximize the lifetime value of everyone you meet.

If you want the better qualified customer, learn to how to market to and attract them, and then learn how to successfully interact with them to earn their business.

If you have good people, invest in them directly via training and indirectly via providing them the tools they need to be successful..

You'll be glad you did. Investing in your people and business is the safest bet you can possibly make, and the one you have the most ability to influence and control. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

 

Video and Social Media Statistics for 2014 for Manufactured Housing Marketers

May 14th, 2014 No comments

Ladies and gents, this post will be short and sweet, but not as short as a Tweet.

When you watch this video, don't jump to the conclusion that all that you should be doing is social media and video. IMHO, that would be a huge mistake.

But it would be an equally huge mistake not to invest some of your time and marketing resources into these areas. We do!

You should too.

When we say 'we do,' keep in mind that for all the limits on us in budget, time, etc. we dominate with our two main sites – MHProNews.com and ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com – in their respective niches.

We help our clients dominate in their local markets too. Watch the video above, see our own video report on this topic, see the video report by our colleagues at ManufacturedHomes and call us with any questions. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

 

Dare to Compare! Banner Ads vs. TV or other Media

May 9th, 2014 No comments

Last year, Ben Kunz – Vice-President of strategic planning at media agency Mediassociates penned a column in Digiday called, “In Defense of Banner Ads.” Kunz opened with a pithy set of points:

If you believe banners suck, you’re not alone. The poor things are so disparaged that the entire digital industry has repositioned them as display advertising to wipe off the banner stigma.

But the truth is, banner ads work just as well as most other forms of media, which is remarkable given their small size, surrounding clutter and creative limitations.”

In fact, some of Kunz's findings make banner ad results better than most other forms of media, and of course, can be more targeted and thus at a far lower cost.

earth_moon-comparison-wikicommons-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com

Compare to TV

“Nielsen, the typical U.S. consumer is exposed to 4 hours and 38 minutes of TV a day, about 40 percent of which is commercial time.” Kunz points out that with that giant screen, the response rate is still only .05% for TV. The average consumer sees about 6,600 commercials monthly.

Compare to Radio

The typical adult in the U.S. listens to 1 hour and 23 minutes of radio daily, 2,500 minutes a month, and at 15% of radio being commercials, that's 750 thirty second spots a month. Results?

.013 percent.

No wonder they repeat those toll-free phone numbers, over and over, and over…

Compare to Billboards

Kunz used NY Suburbs in his example, here are his numbers: “…$320,000 for 26 large 14-by-48-foot billboards (for a 50 GRP level). That provides 28.2 million impressions a month.” Response rate? 0.03%.

And Banner Ads?

Kunz states that Facebook ads were running .03%, and that the Direct Marketing Association and Google uses a range from .03% to .09%, with .07% being tossed about as 'typical' by others.

The bottom line is that banner ads would meet or beat TV, radio and billboards.

In an operation such as MHProNews.com, there would be no way to cover the nation with as many manufactured housing industry professionals other media for anything like the low cost of our banner ads.

So while all reports suggest that CTRs (Click Through Rates) stabilized at a lower level than they were some years back, they still compete very well with other forms of media, so sayeth Ben Kuntz!

DC Marketing Pro

Brooke Jordan in DC Marketing Pro, gave her 5 reasons for using banner ads.

1) “…Regardless of measured click-through rates, banner ads still create a favorable attitude toward the ad due to repeated exposure.” (Journal of Consumer Research)

2) Research shows that consumers engage with banner ads more than TV or outdoor ads.  Banner ad CTRs average at 0.07% (Digiday).  TV response rate is 0.05%, according to Nielsen. Outdoor has a 0.03% response rate (Digiday). Radio, which lacks the visual component of the other three media, has a response rate of 0.13% according to Arbitron.”

3.) “Banner ads have the ability to hyper-target by age, lifestyle, and geography better than most other mediums.  Maybe that’s why eMarketer projects the top five sellers of display advertising to generate $18.6 billion in the U.S. alone in 2013, a 20 percent increase from 2011…” 

4) “Video and display advertising are effective at driving a significant lift in site visitation and SEO, even in the face of minimal clicks on ads. (comScore)”

For me – and for most of you – the real hitter was Brooke's point number 5!

5) “It’s all about ROI.  Marketers continue to pour billions into banner ads due the sheer scale and efficiency.  Low CPMs, compared to other media, mean that marketers can afford a high volume of impressions at a relatively low cost.  When you combine the business generated directly by clicks with the “collateral damage” that occurs beyond the click, most advertisers find the investment is worth it.” (Bold emphasis added).

In yet another study, Smartinsights claims CTR rates are around 1 per 1000 impressions.

When Jordan was talking about the “collateral damage,” she is using that as a humorous, positive euphemism for “impressions.” An impression is defined by Wikipedia as:

“An impression (in the context of online advertising) is a measure of the number of times an ad is seen, whether it is clicked on or not. Each time an ad displays it is counted as one impression.”

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In a recent 90 day campaign for a client, we generated over 1.5 million impressions and some 900 click throughs. More important to the client, they grew their outcomes by 14.7%, which made it a good investment.

The exact record of their campaign results: 1,566,675 impressions and 946 click throughs.

A longer term client, the MMHF working with Show Ways Unlimited and the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, gave us a historic performance track record and testimonial, linked here.

Impression Gold?

Ad-Mays in a report on impression-based advertising stated the following:

  • 52% of Internet users actively respond to banner ads.
  • While 31% of users click on the ad immediately, a large percentage conduct searches for the brand or product, visit the company’s website, or respond through social media. This can be termed “the Silent Click.” 
  • The Online Publishers Association found that after viewing a display ad there was a 50% increase in brand name searches after one week, users spent an average of 12 minutes longer viewing the website, spent 10% more money and higher income audiences were attracted.

The bottom line? Banner ads work and both CTRs and impressions deliver great value. This is why the market is booming!

Looking for a great way to reach the business to business (B2B) market for manufactured housing? Based upon the both external and internal studies, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value that the banner ads, impressions and related campaigns we can create for clients on MHProNews.com. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach 

 

Content Marketing World!

May 4th, 2014 No comments

We've quoted Sunshine Homes President, John Bostick's memorable saying, “Easy doesn't pay well.” There may be 'easier' ways to market, if you have a big budget than using 'content marketing.' But content marketing has tremendous advantages when it comes to getting organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So we have been believers in Content Marketing for years.

Did you know?

content-marketing-world-ad-cleveland-ohio-airport-terminal-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-comContent Marketing is so big, they have their own events. In a recent trip to Cleveland OH, I couldn't help but notice the banner ad which promoted their upcoming Content Marketing World event.

What is Content Marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute uses the following definition:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Let's be candid. Industry News, Tips and Views Pros can Use can be seen as a form of content marketing, just as Fox News, MSNBC or other media platforms are a way of attracting certain target audience.

In our case, the content we deliver here on MHProNews.com is specifically designed information for the manufactured housing professional, investor or other aficionados or experts keen on our topics.

Does that mean that the news and views are not real? Not at all! In fact, it is precisely because we share relevant information on MHProNews.com that you and thousands more like you log on daily here. The featured articles on our home page often provide business building tips, inspiration or more.

One example is our website builder/designer, Joe Karn's, who this month sounded off on Creating Marketing Plan.

How can YOU Use Content Marketing?

If you have a website, you should be keen to create relevant content for your target audience!

Did You Know?

Did you know that some websites are better than others at maximizing the SEO power of content marketing? It's true!

For example, there are some 'freebie' websites out there that better for them then they are for you. When you consider the value ofmens_brown_derby_leather_shoes-wiki-commons-posted-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-com your time, you don't want to waste time on a website that could cost you in the algorithms that Google, YouTube, Yahoo or Bing use to decide what ranks higher in an unpaid or 'organic' search result.

Put Yourself in Your Target Audience's Shoes

woman's-red_shoes-wikicommons-posted-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-blog-mhpronews-comBefore you type the first word or take the first photo, or create the first video, think about your desired target audience. Is what you plan to share of value or interest to them? Once you can formulate a message that is meaningful to your target audience, then you are on the path to good content marketing.

For example, our target audience are the MHPros and investors. What do they need to know?

Legal topics –

 

Marketing/Sales – Brad Nelms, Joe Karns, Scott Stroud, Tim Connor, LA Tony Kovach and more.

featured-articles-mhpronews-home-page-cutting-edge-marketing-sales-management-blogCruise the home page, center column, and you'll see the featured articles for this month on topics ranging from events, interviews, management and more. See the graphic from our home page, to see where the featured articles are every month.

Remember, content marketing isn't just using key words to 'trick' a search engine or reader into coming. The idea is to provide REAL Value to the reader, so they will keep coming back!

Certainly, there is more to content marketing than what's noted here, but that's why people charge the bucks for attending the seminars at Content Marketing World.

Think about your target audience(s), and try to provide not just content, but routine content that is of relevance to them. Then, get that message in front of that audience. When you do, over time, you will build an ever larger – and given quality, a loyal – audience that is a win-win for the audience and you too. ##

(Image credits – Content Marketing World = MHProNews.com, Shoes = Wikicommons)

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Business and Public Marketing & Ads: B2B | B2C Websites, Contract Marketing & Sales Training, Consulting, Speaking: MHC-MD.com | LATonyKovach.com | Office 863-213-4090 Connect on LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach