Pool Builder Marketing
Recommendations for 2013
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
One of last year’s predictions (from others, not me) was that the year 2013 would never arrive. But now that it’s shown up anyway, I’m compelled to offer you my latest, greatest collection of marketing recommendations for pool builders and others in the swimming pool industry.
Let’s take a look at the major trends that I predict will affect all of us (and our buyers) in 2013 and beyond, so that we can identify the appropriate strategies and tactics to implement for each.
This clever little mutant acronym is as insightful as it is fun to say. It refers to the merging of 3 previously independent trends in the arena of “Internet search,” namely: Social, Local and Mobile. Let me elaborate:
- Social refers to the ever-growing desire of people (especially younger people) to “connect” through various social media.
- Local refers to Google’s (and other search engines) diligent efforts to provide more “local” search results based on your geography. (Who cares about a bakery or pool builder in Albuquerque if you’re located in Charlotte North Carolina?)
- Mobile refers to the unstoppable growth of Internet searches occurring on mobile devices as compared to desktop devices.
Now just because we’ve merged these 3 words together doesn’t mean that we can use one strategy to address all 3. So, Lo and Mo are each going to need their own specific and independent strategies.
I’m referring to the ever-increasing number of choices all of us have in front of us whenever we want to make any sort of buying decision. Thanks to technology, globalization, education and innovation, every day brings yet another option or idea to consider. This is not a NEW trend, but because it continues unabated (much like throwing trash in a landfill, or watching kudzu grow), it will continue to have an increasingly “clogging” affect on everyone’s buying decisions.
This trend is perhaps the hardest to put your finger on, but it’s something I predict you are going to see and enjoy in 2013. I’m referring basically to the “pent-up demand” that has been long sequestered as a result of:
- The ongoing uncertainty about our economy. (5+ years!)
- The 2012 elections. (It’s over, by the way)
- The anxiety over the “fiscal cliff.” (It’s NOT over, by the way)
- The bitterness of an “Us vs. Them” mentality (in politics and elsewhere).
- The Mayans predicting the end of the world. (Silly but real.)
Bottom line – People are sick and tired of waiting and wondering and worrying about what’s going to happen next, and whether or not it’s okay for them to do something as substantial and self-indulgent as to get themselves a swimming pool. In 2013, we’ll see more people deciding that “quality-of-life” is too important to keep putting on hold. So despite the uncertainty, many of these people will decide to go ahead and enjoy life now, while they can.
CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS
In 2013, your marketing efforts don’t have to be overly complicated. But they should definitely include some aspect of all of the following:
- Continue to focus on nurturing your referrals. (It’s the only thing not affected by the trends noted above.)
- Make sure your website is modern, up-to-date, and loaded with fresh, interesting, easy-to-read and useful information.
- You should also make sure your website is “mobile ready.”
- Implement / dial-in an appropriate level of “non-overwhelming” social media strategy(ies) for your company.
- Check your Alexa rankings. If you’re not showing up in the world’s top 10 million websites, get professional SEO help .
- Keep things simple. Choices are good, but make your justifications, your website, your brochures, and your sales presentations as brain-dead simple as possible.
- Maintain (or automate if possible) your follow-up: Before, during and after the sale.
- Be ready for an uptick in demand. I’m not talking about “a massive bull market,” but I am talking about more and more people tentatively knocking on your door, wanting to talk about the possibility of using your services. Be ready for them!
I have LOTS more specific examples of “2013 advice” to share with you, but that would turn this blog post into a book. So I’ll stop here, and offer more specific advice in my next post.
To your success,