Andrew Scott, Managing Director of Purplex, the window industry marketing consultants, says it is time for the industry to change its marketing approach:
The industry has bounced back in recent months with most business leaders reporting healthy forward order books. After years of battening down the hatches, companies can at last invest with confidence and plan for serious growth.
In recent years companies have focused on winning new customers – overheads need to be covered and production lines kept busy. Against fierce competition, sales people were tasked with bringing on new customers and margins were often sacrificed for volume.
But as the market picks up it makes sense to review your customers and discount structures. Instead of simply chasing volume now is the time to build your brand, strengthen customer loyalty and implement marketing plans that attract profitable customers, increase order values and create new sales opportunities.
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when they get busy is to switch off their marketing activity. A busy order book is not the time to stop marketing; it is a time to switch tactics. Focus on building your brand, attracting the right kind of customers and replacing your low margin and difficult customers. This way your business can achieve sustainable growth and improved profit margins.
There is another reason why you shouldn’t cut your marketing. While many of your competitors reined in their marketing budgets during recession, they now have the confidence to invest. They are going to be more active, more aggressive and more determined than ever. Cutting back your own marketing activity because you are busy is a short-term answer that could damage your business long-term.
The industry has changed in the last five years and so have your customers. Having the right strategy – and the right advice – can make all the difference to your marketing plans in 2014.
Managing Director, Purplex Marketing