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Smart Marketing Recommendations for 2022…

(This article was originally published in Aqua Magazine, JAN 2022.)

Have we finally put the pandemic behind us? I’m not sure anyone can confidently predict when THAT will occur. But I’m fairly confident about the following predictions:

  • Demand will remain strong in our industry, most likely well into the year 2023.
  • But that demand will gently taper off throughout the year, just as we saw in latter half of 2021.
  • And shortages in materials and manpower will continue to challenge the industry.

With that in mind, I offer the following “checklist of marketing recommendations” to make sure you are as prepared as possible for what’s ahead of us in the swimming pool industry.

#1: WEBSITE

We’re starting with the most basic of marketing requirements: Your website. For those few internet laggards who still haven’t gotten the memo, you need to:

  • Have one.
  • Make sure the hosting is “secure.” (To confirm whether or not your website is secure, just click the little “lock” icon at the top of your browser, to the left of your URL.)
  • Make sure it’s clean, fast, attractive, modern, and easy to navigate.

WHY? Because in this industry, most of your prospects will visit your website before picking up the phone. If the website is clunky or out-of-date, or not secure, or non-existent, you will lose that prospect before the first phone call.

(For a thorough and professional analysis of YOUR website, you can request a free website evaluation from us here.)

#2: A COMPELLING STORY

The second crucial marketing fundamental is to “tell a good story.” As human beings, we’re all overwhelmed with too many options, too much noise, and too many decisions to make. So you’ll need to give us a darn good reason to choose your company over the competition. When you do, we will happily bestow you with our loyalty and our money.

WHY? Because the alternative to a compelling story is “platitudes.”Hollow, empty, meaningless statements that sound good in your head, but are devoid of proof, and mean absolutely nothing to the listener. (e.g., “We’ll get the job done right the first time!”)

When you feed your prospects platitudes instead of facts, they will remain unimpressed, and presume you are no better than anyone else. Which means they will simply choose whomever has the lowest price.

(Let us know if you need help telling YOUR story in a powerful and compelling way.)


The two suggestions above are basic marketing fundamentals that every business owner should have embraced at least 10 years ago. So let’s move on to the more advanced marketing plans and strategies that will help us deal with the unique challenges of 2022 and beyond.


#3: AUTOMATION

Sales and Marketing Automation is fast becoming the next “must-have” marketing item for anyone in the pool industry, and any other industry that is currently overwhelmed with demand.

That’s because most pool companies are too busy to even answer the phone, much less spend 30 minutes talking to every prospect that suddenly got the bright idea to get a new pool, or pool renovation.

The right marketing automation will send a variety of emails and text messages to your prospects BEFORE you have to talk to them, to set and manage expectations from the get-go, without you ever lifting a finger.

Same for setting appointments. You shouldn’t have to chase anyone to get a face to face meeting. If they want to talk to you, they need to click a link and find a space on your calendar when you are available, and schedule it themselves. Then the automation will remind BOTH of you of your upcoming meeting. (Including an automated text reminder to them an hour before the meeting, to eliminate those annoying “no shows.”)

And this is not just for prospects. You can also use automation to nurture clients through the construction process, and for years after the project is completed, for referrals and 5-star reviews. And again, this can all happen without any involvement from you.

(If you want to see how we’re helping pool builders with automation, you can schedule a free demo here.)

#4 SALES CRM

To properly and effectively implement automation, you’ll need to start using a “Client Relations Management) system, a.k.a, Sales CRM.

I must say I was shocked a few years ago when I surveyed over 100 pool builders, and discovered the #1 most popular method of tracking sales opportunities was a piece of paper and a pen. And the second most popular method was “none.”

People – we are better than this! With sales opportunities well-exceeding $50,000 each, and the inherently scattered nature of trying to manage an overflow of leads, I simply can’t imagine running a new pool construction business without a professional CRM in place.

(If you want to see the CRM we are recommending for pool builders, you can schedule a quick demo here.)

#5 DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital marketing (already a juggernaut) is likely to become even MORE popular in 2022 and beyond for two reasons.

First, as noted previously, the general lead flow in our industry is beginning to decline. So if you want to maintain your current level of operations, you may need to start feeding that sales funnel with digital marketing (Pay Per Click advertising and/or Search Engine Optimization).

Secondly, the highly-targeted pay-per-click side of digital marketing can be laser-tuned to appeal to your ideal target market. This will help protect you and your sales team from wasting time with so many unqualified “tire-kickers” who never should have called you in the first place.

(For some expert free advice on PPC and SEO, I suggest you speak with my revered and admired Digital Marketing associate Dane Wiseman, a.k.a “The Professor.”)

#6 VIDEO

The next smart marketing decision for 2022 is to get a lot more serious about video.

If you’ve created the occasional “how to” videos, or some drone videos showing off your work, that’s fine. But I’m talking about a different kind of video. There’s a lot of leverage to be gained from a well-produced video that tells your compelling story in an engaging and intelligent way.

Not only will a well-crafted video help generate more leads from your website, it will also prequalify and educate your ideal prospects in advance. It will also help to filter out those mismatched prospects who would be wasting your time.

(For some expert help with VIDEO, I suggest you speak with my esteemed colleague and pool industry video expert Mr. Randy Beard.)

#7 SOCIAL MEDIA / ONLINE REPUTATION

And last but not least is Social Media.

Platforms such as Facebook, Houzz and YouTube (and to a lesser degree Angi’s list, Yelp, Pinterest and TikTok) can be a great source for both paid and organic leads. But what I believe is significantly more important right now is to make sure your online reputation is solid.

Just like a clunky website will stop people from calling you, a few bad reviews will prevent many people from ever getting to your website in the first place. This is no time for “out-of-sight, out-of-mind.”

(If you don’t have someone already managing your online reputation for you, then I suggest you contact us for help.)


BOTTOM LINE – 2022 is likely to be another challenging year, but in somewhat different ways from 2020 and 2021.

So if you’re ready to get off that crazy pandemic-fueled hamster wheel of the last 2 years, and get ahead of the sales / marketing curve, then this is the year to tighten up the loose ends described above, and make some smart marketing decisions.

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