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Posts Tagged ‘business building’

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 

Hard Truths and Dominating Your Local Market

March 8th, 2014 No comments

If a business routinely treats their customers like dirt, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that sooner or later, that business will suffer and likely be forced to sell out to someone more savvy or close.

If a business owner treats its staff with disrespect, it is self evident that even in a tough economy and job market, the staffers will sooner or later find their way to a better place. In the mean time, can the disrespected staffers be expected to perform their best for the owner who maligns them?

If you are an association leader and don't get along well with people who have a differing view point than you do – alienating some, losing some members and creating avoidable adversaries along the way – would it be a surprise if the results of such an association leader would be slim at best?

There are a number of hard truths that every professional person must face. The above are so obvious, that they are shared to make a point. The hard truth is that 4 years into our industry's recovery from the bottom hit in 2009, we are faced with yet another wave of challenges.

But as John F. Kennedy wisely said, “When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

written-chinese-crisis-composed-two-characters-one-represents-danger-the-ot ... -opportunity-john-f-kennedy-copyright-2013-lifestyle-factory-homes.jpg

Brutal Winter and CFPB Regulations

The combination of a brutal winter up north and new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulations represents a genuine crisis for some in our industry. Don't get me wrong, some will come through this profiting more than they did before. Some are doing well in the very areas that others are struggling. But others will fail or will have to hand over the keys to their business to someone else, likely at a distressed price.

marty-lavin-jd-manufactured-home-community-owner-on-board-spy-sea-.jpg

One of the more successful professionals in our industry – Marty Lavin, JD – who has been:

  • in retail with an operation that sold 5,000 homes a year
  • operated a manufactured housing finance firm that originated more loans than some of the chattel lenders we have today
  • survived a big downturn in the land-lease communities business, and still successfully owns and operates to this day
  • is an industry attorney who dealt with some of the biggest names in our industry and the likes of mortgage giants, Fannie and Freddie

said to me in his 6 million dollar list price 72' boat, “Tony, the problem is not the product!” (more from Marty Lavin, linked here).

We have a great home, at an incredible value. We have not done the sales training and marketing needed to grow the business. Who says? The likes of former Fleetwood manager and current state association executive Jay Hamilton:

We are an industry that for years has desired the best for our industry representatives, our customers and our distribution system but for all these years have been hesitant to:

  • invest financially in training our people,
  • marketing our product's image,
  • updating our technology,
  • improving our delivery system, etc..

Manufacturers and Retailers have made some bold attempts at the previously listed task but always fail to follow through because they don’t see immediate profits from marketing or training programs. 

We are an industry that has the need for all of our profits to be immediate. Future growth and maturation always loses out to the need for immediate results and immediate profits. 

jay-hamiltong-executive-director-georgia-manufactured-housing-association-gmha-posted-mhpronews-com(1).jpgUntil we are willing to train our people well, invest in technology, invest in customer service, invest $ in creating a brand image with the understanding that is will cost a percentage of our industry profits and will not necessarily produce immediate results we are doomed to keep repeating our same mistakes over and over.

Thank You,
C. Jay Hamilton
Executive Director
Georgia Manufactured Housing Association

At the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, I'll be presenting on the topic of Dominating Your Local Market, version 2.0. A variation on this topic drew praise and a standing room only attendance at the Louisville Show.

You'll also have the opportunity to get the latest in

  • Manufactured Home financing, including information from lenders not present at Louisville
  • Commercial Land Lease Community Financing, both moderated by Dick Ernst of FinmarkUSA.com
  • Manufactured Home Community Lessons Learned Panel Discussion, moderated by Jenny Hodge
  • The Importance of CRM for your Retail or Community sales operation, a panel discussion

and more!

standing-room-only-2014-louisville-manufactured-housing-show-seminar-room-masthead-blog-mhpronews-com-.png

If you're marketing fails to attract enough of the good credit customers who are third party financeable or cash buyers in significant numbers, in the Dodd-Frank/CFPB era, you may not make it.

Learn more about what you need to do differently in today's market, at the free panel discussions and seminars linked above at the rapidly approaching Tunica Show.

You won't find these same topics all in one place at one event anywhere else in the U.S. at this time, so don't miss this opportunity. More information on the free business building seminars at the 2014 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show is linked here. ##

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 

The Power of Video for MH!

February 14th, 2014 No comments

StatSpotting cites Cisco as saying that by 2011, half of all traffic on line was video. Half! The second biggest search engine behind Google isn't Yahoo or Bing, it's YouTube! Our industry certainly uses video, which is good. The use ranges from pretty ragged, to some that is top notch.

Like many of you, we've done some low-tech video YouTube, some of which has had impressive results.

Manufactued-home-hit-by-tornado-mhpronews-com-views.png

http://manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dramatic-video-of-a-manufactured-home-hit-by-a-tornado-and-high-winds/

Since we partnered with ManufacturedHomes.com, who has an entire department that does video and other marketing/branding/CRM functions, we've done some new videos that have turned heads. They do a top job on production work.

But don't take my word for it, see this video as an example of what they do.

Worth More Than a 1000 Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words – and we believe in using lots of good quality photos and graphics in marketing and sales – then a good video is worth many times that proverbial 1000 words!

We blog and write about the value of going to events like the recent Louisville Show, or the upcoming Tunica Show or MHI/NCC Congress and Expo. That has value and is proven to attract professionals to the events.

But for those who need 'something more' to 'imagine' why it is good to go to a live event, videos can be a powerful tool.

The same is true for marketing and selling homes.

 

Imagine doing something like the above to market your homes!

Let's close by inviting you to attend our FREE 'Dominate your local market' seminar at the Tunica Show. We will be in booth 13H, right be the seminar room. A similar presentation was packed at Louisville. Don't miss it. Please check it out, along with all of the other great, free business building educational sessions, linked here.

When you think marketing, today, think and do at least some video. It can pay rich dividends as part of a robust marketing mix! ##

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 

What’s CRM? How Can it Make Your Location(s) more Money in 2014?

January 12th, 2014 3 comments

The value of CRM is demonstrated by the fact that hundreds of thousands of companies of all sizes in the U.S. use it to grow their business and improve their bottom lines. Our company doesn't sell CRM services, but we recommend it's use to the majority of our client's. So lets's answer a few common questions about CRM, you and your operation.

crm-word-cloud-300x216.jpgWhat is CRM?

Because we promote its use in articles, at live events and in training, a common question we get is what is CRM?

CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. Briefly, CRM is software that when properly used helps a company's professionals stay in touch with prospects and customers.

Why use CRM?

Bluntly, because using CRM makes you more money! Common statistics are that proper CRM use will increase your business 15%-25% or more. When you consider the modest cost, this is a real no brainer.

CRM also protects your marketing investment! Most sales or leasing people can handle no more than 20-40 prospects using paper or manual notes. If you are getting a volume of leads or walk in customers, CRM use protects the dollars you are investing to bring those customers in.

Respected JD Powers and Associates studies are among those that point out the common sense fact that those who stay in touch with their customers greatly increase the odds of doing business.

I emphasize using CRM properly, because some may have CRM, yet fail to use it. Don't waste your money that way! If you get it, or have it, then use it.free_crm_systems.jpg

And if you have CRM, and don't like your current system, then why not see what else is available?

Why CRM in MH is More Important Now than Previously

In the Dodd-Frank/CFPB regulations era, CRM is arguably even more important now than previously. Why?

Because studies show that cash or good credit customers tend to shop 90-180 days in advance. They have cash or good credit in part precisely because they plan ahead. Those who stay in touch with those prospects are far more likely to close them than those who have a hit or miss approach.

Flash Bulletin!

Enjoy a Free, Special Presentation at the Louisville Show on CRM! We arranged for two industry veterans to do a rapid fire 25 minute session on CRM. Get first hand insights in their respective CRM systems. Learn more about this on the Show's opening day, Wednesday at 9:30 AM in the Seminar Rooms at the Louisville Show. See the map below for the location of the seminar rooms.

By the way, here are the other free, show sanctioned seminars that will take place at the Louisville Show:

http://louisvillemanufacturedhousingshow.com/louisville-2014-show-money-seminars/

Tony Kovach will do a quick introduction to this session on CRM, and the presenters will be:

Scott Stroud of BuilderRadio and Sell More Homes Academy, you can see Scott's current article at this link:

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/january-2014/117-marketing/6873-selling-to-or-against-buyer-perceptions-part-2-10-steps-to-changing-buyer-perceptionsp

Our other presenter will be Jason Brady with ManufacturedHomes.com, you can see his current article on our site, linked here:

http://www.mhpronews.com/home/featured-articles/january-2014/138-general-manufactured-housing-industry-topics/6870-start-the-year-off-right

There are 48 new model homes, 80 exhibitors, receptions/mixers, great networking and now 5 free, show sanctioned and business building seminars as reasons to be in Louisville January 22-24th. If your plans take you to Louisville, please be sure to attend this fast paced, insightful session on CRM and how it can help YOU close more sales in 2014! ##

FYI, we will be in booth #115 at the show, right by the main entrance to the show floor.  Please stop by and say hi!

(Image credits, MHI and MHProNews)

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 

Examples of how Cross-Marketing Works!

November 17th, 2013 No comments

As regular readers and most industry pros know, manufactured housing faces unique challenges in marketing. We have a great product that is not well understood or appreciated by most of the population. We will talk another time as to the reasons why that could become a blessing in disguise for those who understand how to attract potentially millions to their offices and sales centers who have cash or good credit. But today we'll focus on how cross-marketing works, by showcasing examples of cross-marketing in action.

This month on MHProNews, we had three 'exclusives' from industry leaders featuring extensive quotes found no where else in the manufactured housing industry. ELS Chairman Sam Zell, CU Factory Built Lending's Barry Noffsinger and Skyline Home's Terry Decio each have such featured articles.

I won't say which of these was in the lead in readership early on this month. But what I will say is that Terry Decio's company did a simple act of cross marketing near the end of the first week of November, and that simple step caused his article to ROAR ahead. All they had to do was take the easy step of a short post and photo to their corporate Facebook page.

skyline-corporation-facebook-page-cup-of-coffee-with-terry-decio-posted-cutting-edge-blog-manufactured-housing-pro-news-_001.pngWe preach cross marketing periodically in Featured Articles here on MHProNews and on the Cutting Edge of Marketing and Sales blog too.

Why? Because done propertly, cross-marketing works!

We promote our featured articles, but in this example, Skyline took the simple extra step of cross-promotion on their Facebook page. Viola! That article was suddenly the #1 read column on MHProNews!

What would happen if ELS or CU Factory Built Lending did the same? Think about it, because the answer is obvious!

 

Beyond Articles, Other Living Examples of how Cross Marketing Works

The upcoming Louisville Show is another example of cross-marketing. Everyone in the mix does some degree of promotion. The show does promotion of its own too, using mailers, along with banner ads on our website that look like the one below.

But what if everyone involved in the show could step up their cross-marketing game? What if everyone would cross post the Louisville Show or a show related article on MHProNews, as Skyline did on the interview with Terry Decio, linked above.

Louisville-Banner-show-me-the-money

Cross-posting links the Louisville Show website or to articles on MHProNews would obviously boost the show! The more pros who attend the show, the more all involved benefit.

It's a no-brainer.

Subtle Cross-Marketing

Most savvy players already send out invites for people to come to their specific booth or display. But why don't more take the extra step of emailing out a link to the FREE Business Building "Show Me the Money!" Seminars? Or emailing out a reminder about the networking mixer that KMHI and MHI are co-hosting at the Show?

Sometimes when you spotlight something on someone else's website, you draw a different and deeper kind of interest in what you do and offer. This is one of many ways that cross-marketing works.

Boosting the Industry Boosts You Too

manufactured-home-living-news-sharp-ipad-.jpgThe rising tide raises all boats. That's the simple yet powerful concept behind ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com. We use that here on MHProNews as well. Because cross-marketing works.

You have scores of tools online (and off…) to advance your career, your location and company.

As Tax Time Looms, Remember This Tip!

Want to lower your taxes for 2013 and boost your business for 2014? Then remember, have your accountant confirm that your advertising dollars are a tax deduction!

Invest in what will grow your business. Make cross-marketing part of that plan. Call or email when you are ready to advance your location or operation to the next level of marketing or sales success. ##

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for November and see the other new stories at MHLivingNews.com too.

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