Posts Tagged ‘blog’

For Individual Consideration or Group Discussion – Becoming a Manufactured Home Evangelist

May 29th, 2017 No comments

Analogies are a useful way to share a new, misunderstood, unique, or different concept. We’ll use a powerful insight based upon a widely understood analogy today to illustrate a professional point.

 For Individual Consideration or Group Discussion - Becoming a Manufactured Home Evangelist, Cutting Edge Manufactured Housing Marketing & Sales, Blog, MHProNews,

The common concept of ‘evangelization’ is a spiritual or religious one. Indeed, we will briefly examine that use of the term ‘evangelization,’ to see how – by analogy – lessons may apply to the manufactured housing profession.

But let’s not forget that Apple is an example of a super-successful operation that applied the evangelization concept in their business.

We’ve made the point before that one should not be bound to only FAB (Feature Advantage Benefit) forms of selling a manufactured homes. Yes, you need to know FAB for about 1 out of 4 types of customers. Please don’t conflate or confuse FAB with what what is being illustrated.

Example of Spiritual Evangelization

(In Corinth, Paul) “…for three months he debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 19:8.

Be ready to give an explanation for the reason for your hope.” – 1 Peter 3:15.

Let’s key in on some of those words in bold typeface, beginning with “Be ready,” which implies routine training, study and practice.

Because preparation – training, study, practice – are how anyone becomes “ready” to ‘explain to’ or ‘debate with’ others.

Debated,” boldly” (confidently), “persuasive arguments,” “Be ready to give an explanation,” “reason for hope.”

There are many more examples in God’s Word of encouraging followers to be able to give a proper explanation or ‘witness’ to their beliefs.

Applying the Analogy to MH

But think! How many tens of millions are looking for hope in housing! How many wish to ‘be saved’ from renting, or higher costs of housing?

We’ve said publicly several times that if pretty pictures or even great looking home videos were enough, manufactured homes would be selling several hundred thousand new homes annually. The proof is found in the big numbers on MHVillage (for a fuller analysis, linked here).


What follows isn’t FAB, but it has a similarity.

We have to be able to give witness to the kinds of concerns that millions of prospects have about manufactured homes.

Listen to Tom Fath, an HVAC engineer by education and training. Keep in mind that engineers are not always known for high levels or emotional enthusiasm.

Yet listen to the evident zeal in Tom’s voice!

Also, for the purposes of this post, pay particular attention to what he has to say when realtors are peppering him with questions.

Then, if you are using this article for a group discussion, ask the group this question.

What other examples of evangelical zeal can be found besides Tom’s (or mine) in this video explanation by Tom?

"It's amazing what you don't know about something you've been aware of or involved with much of your life." That quote is my paraphrase of what a baseball legend said about his profession. That quote applies to everyone, in every profession – but it is truer for manufactured housing than most realize. Here’s another pensée to ponder. “Learn the basics, do the basics, and teach others the basics. Doing the basics honestly, well, and consistently will put you ahead of most of your competitors.” Among the communication basics we believe in is that stating the obvious can bring amazing clarity and insights to an issue. Here’s the obvious clarity. What matters to a business is reaching their target market. There are lots of ways to do that, please let me share an example we know well. Example In marketing, a big chunk of success is a result of repetition – how many touches – which means you want to be where your target audience is. We looked at our industry with fresh eyes - approaching 8 years ago – before we launched what we now call MHProNews. We continue to step back from time-to-time and take a fresh look, and we adjust or recreate ourselves in the light of those discoveries. Be Honest With Yourself, Then Be Compelling with Your Market We all have strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). Almost 8 years ago, we saw that there was no consistent or easy way to get and stay in front of the manufactured housing professional audience. There were only 2 ‘full’ trade shows, and one partial one, and then smaller events. These – while useful – are not routine enough or profitable enough on their own for a year-round B2B marketing campaigns. That problem was an opportunity in disguise. It motivated us to create Seeing the big gap, we began to fill it by launching By creating “Daily Business News” – stories that no one else in the industry was doing – plus numerous other features – and later MHLivingNews - we’d feed the needs of thousands of professionals. That also is an obvious way of giving businesses trying to reach other MH Professionals a way to engage them every time they logged on. We rapidly became and remain number 1 as a result of doing the basics. In April 2017, in the tiny manufactured housing industry, we averaged over 7400 visits a day. Think about it! Thousands of professionals, logging on daily! That’s more than many other platforms touch in one or more months. Are Emails Enough? “But Tony, our business has a great email list.” If so, Terrific! • But what are you doing to reach those not on your list? • What are you doing to get those who may receive your email – but rarely if ever open it – to discover who it is sending them that message? "It's amazing what you don't know about something you've been aware of or involved with much of your life." People you know, and who you think know you, may not realize something you want them to. So, your operation has to “step in front of them.” Often! Daily, if possible! That means, you have to be where they are already looking, because they want to look there. B2B, that best place is MHProNews – thousands of readers just like you, from the industry’s billionaires and billion-dollar operations, to the mid-sized companies or the mom-and-pop businesses. This same principle applies to those businesses selling products and services to consumers (B2C). So back to the top. Marketing and Sales 101. Get and stay in front of your target audience. Do so in ways that your target audience will a) want to find you and b) will keep coming back, because they want to come back. Why are we more successful than others that have come and – mostly – gone? Because we KNOW the retailing, production, communities, lending and other services that go along with manufactured housing. We know the professional audience and the public too. We have the tee shirts, because we’ve sold the homes, knocked on the doors, walked the lines, been under the homes, know the firnancial services and what makes them tick, etc. etc. Everything else are details and commentary. Check back next week for more Marketing and Sales basics. And if you need specialized products or services - call or email us, first or last - but call us. Odds are we can do more for your budget than anyone else. Because we know, live and love the manufactured home business! We know and have your target audiences! ## L. A. 'Tony' Kovach | | Office 863-213-4090 | Connect on LinkedIn: +++ Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. - Henry Ford

To see Marketing 101, Be Where Your Target Audience is, click the image above. Image credit, All Rights Reserved.

Tom explains the power of what we teach and do with clients. It has transformed their MH business. It has made positive impacts on others too.

If you want to learn more about how this process can be applied to your operations, call or email for a free initial consultation.  In the meantime, are you doing group discussions in your sales meetings?  A number of MH operations are using articles and videos we do precisely for discussion group purposes. Try it. ##

(Images above created by


Think beyond Feature Advantage and Benefit – FAB – which only positively impacts maybe 10% of all MH shoppers! FAB should only be used when needed. Learn what 21st century customers today really want. Tony is the most widely known and respected MH marketing services and consultant and MH sales trainer in the U.S.. He and his team publish and

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

What comes before marketing and selling?

December 10th, 2011 No comments
Before marketing, before selling, comes planning and something that is so important that it can't be over-emphasized. It is "The Attitude Check."
I've seen great systems messed up by someone with a lousy attitude. I've seen mediocre systems soar due to good attitudes. I'll bet if you think about it, you have too.

There are good reasons why we have:

And other writers and resources like that on our "Attitudes determine your altitudes."

Get the attitude right, and you see opportunities. Get the vision for the opportunities, and you we will solutions your competitors (who don't have good attitudes) will miss.

Our author Mike Moore (the other Mike Moore! 😉 talks about checking your intentions, to make sure they are good. The right intentions can set the tone for all that follows.

Our writer Greg McClanahan has long shared stories that inspire and touch the heart. They tell us what good intentions look like, or what the consequences of bad or poor intentions can be. Keep in mind, Greg sells factory built homes! Think about it.

Zig Ziglar talks about attitudes too, and giving yourself a "check up from the neck up."

Start with your attitude. I used to have a card on my desk that said, "smile." It was a reminder to smile before I answered the phone. Over the years, it became a habit.

Smile. Check your attitude. Check the attitude of your team.

Feed your team good attitude building information, and everything else in marketing and sales that you do will prosper. ##

post by
L. A. "Tony" Kovach, MHM  or 
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals 

Office – 815-270-0500 or 

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

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.



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?



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 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  or or

Getting Technology Out of the Way

April 17th, 2011 No comments

You hear this a lot lately. It’s a philosophy that Apple has successfully employed since 1984. Get the technology out of the way and empower the user to imagine and create.

The truth is that hiding the nuts and bolts of advanced technology from the user reduces intimidation and allows a wider variety of people to use the gadgets we take for granted.

The same is true of your online marketing. When the technology behind your marketing tools is complicated or too time-consuming, they are not used to their full capacity. You end up getting a lot less value for your investment of time and money.

At, we have always promoted a 1-2-3 Online Marketing Strategy™:

  1. Your website
  2. Your email marketing campaign
  3. Your social media strategy

Each of these three parts needs to be carefully planned in order to come up with an overall solution that allows the client (you) to manage their online marketing with maximum effectiveness and minimal expenditure of time and money.

A simple interface that is no harder to use than a word processor, use of automation wherever possible and integration of functionality allows even a non-techie to manage the day-to-day necessities of a powerful marketing system is essential to the success of any online marketing program.

Creating an online marketing strategy that accommodates these requirements takes some planning and is at the heart of the 1-2-3 Online Marketing Program™. This plan didn’t come into existence full-blown, but has evolved over the years from our beginnings in the web marketing business in 1996.

Let’s take them one at a time.

1-Website and/or BlogYour website
Using the popular (with good reason) and easy-to-use WordPress platform to deploy your website enables you to have a traditional page-based website with the ability to place fresh content on your site on a regular basis. This is important to achieve and maintain good ranking in he search engines for your keywords.

If you can use Word, you can use WordPress to create or update content, insert or change images and manage an interactive website that truly incorporates social media.

The WordPress platform is Open Source (free to use) and the self-hosted version is extendable by the use of plugins to do much more than the core version does right out of the box.

This is currently the world’s best platform for developing a new website or for refreshing older, static websites.

Automation possibilities include automated backup, search engine updating, discussion management, connection with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and much more.

2-Email MarketingYour email marketing campaign
An effective email campaign is still the best way of maintaining regular contact with your current and prospective customers. With an average Return on Investment (ROI) of over $45 for each $1 invested, email marketing in projected to be a major play in marketing for many years to come.

You need a solid platform to run your email marketing program, one that allows you to create multiple mailing lists, design and send an email as easily as WordPress allows a post to be created and supplies you with the tools to monitor the effectiveness of your Email Marketing Campaign simply and accurately.

I have used and tested all sorts of email marketing programs, applications and providers and I have to say that there is no better than Aweber.

Aweber is the granddaddy of Email Marketing Service Providers. Economical and easy-to-use, Aweber pioneered many of the services that emailers take for granted these days.

Offering over 150 templates to make your emails look their best and videos to guide you through the process, Aweber is as easy as it gets.

You schedule emails to go at any time you like so you can set up emails to go while you on vacation or a business trip and the system handles them automatically.

A completely automated autoresponder system lets to send a series of emails at predetermined times after a subscriber signs up.

You can even set it up so that the application sends an automated email every time to post to your blog.

Your first month’s service is only $1 and you only pay for the number of subscribers you actually have. Only at Aweber.

3-Social MediaYour social media strategy
Having a great social media strategy gets more important every day regardless of the demographic your customers fit into. For example, the age segment showing the fastest growth of Facebook users are the “over 55s.”

Once more, using available automation techniques and plugins can make your life easier. They can’t do ALL of the work for you, but they can make many functions fully automatic.

When we set up a 1-2-3 Online Marketing Program™ for our clients, we use WordPress plugins to not only allow visitors to easily “like” your Facebook Fan Page and quickly send your post to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr accounts, we also set it up so that every new post is sent to Google, Bing, Yahoo,, Facebook and Twitter – and you don’t have to do a thing to accomplish it.

And we offer ongoing training to make sure you always get the most out of your online marketing investment. Things change fast in this business and keeping you on top of those changes is what we do.

For more information on services, visit the website.

Marketing Manufactured Housing Online – Where Do I Start?

April 10th, 2011 1 comment

Where do I start?“Where do I start?” That’s a question I hear from retailers, community owners and clients from other industries alike. And it’s the question most likely to need an answer from a professional like myself.

Here is the key thing to consider before even calling a professional in. Because without an answer to this question, a campaign cannot be properly planned and executed.

What you expect your online marketing campaign to do?

For sake of discussion, a campaign could be a website, an email campaign, a social media campaign or a combination of all of them.

So let’s use an example and sketch the beginnings of a build-out to suit that example.

Read more…