Saturday, January 3, 2015

Modular Home Marketing for Builders 101

The first lesson is that Sales and Marketing are two entirely different things. Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects and the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed contract.

Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of your company’s ideas and services to create changes that satisfy your business objectives.

Marketing is an approach to doing business that focuses on identifying the customer’s needs and preferences. Using this information, you can shape the services it provides, as well as the strategy it uses to bring these services to new home buyers, based on satisfying the customer.

Marketing is often thought of as the five Ps - product, price, packaging, promotion and positioning.  
  • Product – Having a series of homes for your target audience.
  • Price – Determine what that target audience will have to pay for your homes.
  • Packaging - What is the information package you provide and how it is tied into the contract.
  • Promotion – Designing promotions specific to your target audience.
  • Positioning - This can refer to where you want to build your homes. It also refers to how home is placed in a perceived way; such as a premium product.

The second lesson is that Advertising and Marketing are also two different things. Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It's the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. It’s the part that usually costs real dollars.

To succeed with the right marketing strategy you need to understand your customer. Marketing is as simple as understanding your customer, communicating effectively to your customer and ensuring that all the experiences the customer has with your company are positive.

Your customer can be an individual or household that needs a new home for personal use.  

It is important to understand the needs of customers which are commonly discussed in five categories;
  • Physiological needs - this refers to the needs of the human body, such as food and water,
  • Safety needs - need to be protected from physical harm,
  • Social needs - need of people to interact with other people and be accepted,
  • Esteem needs - for people to feel important in others peoples lives,
  • Self-actualization needs - for people to recognize their potential and to achieve their potential.
As a modular home builder, you have to be able to look at this list and develop a strategy to market your homes and business to one or more of these customer needs. Safety and Social needs should be easy to develop into a marketing plan.

Often new home buyers don't have the necessary information they need to make a purchasing decision. They don't know who to trust. Purchasing a new home should make people feel better or eliminate a stress in their lives.

You need to understand the new home buyer you are targeting better then your competition. You need to create confidence with the new home buyer and you do this by being noticed and remembered, understood and differentiated and trusted. You need to find the marketing approach that makes you the preferred builder for your target market.

This concept differentiation helps builders to be aware of the differences between the features of the features of their homes and the benefits derived from them. People differentiate one home builder from another as part of the choosing process. There are many things people consider and this is what marketing is about. Once you know how people judge or think of your homes, you can begin to use that information in a way that helps you improve and market your homes. 

Here is an important part of Marketing. Your home can have great features and benefits but the price of the home can have a greater influence on how it will sell in the marketplace. Some people will pay a higher price if they believe the product is a better quality and will perform better and last longer.

Only you can determine the price your homes should be sold at. There are many pricing strategies to choose from while keeping in mind what the cost of the product is, the costs to sell and market it and what the competition is doing.

Think of what you as a consumer do when you see two different products on a shelf that are priced differently.  Think of the thinking process that you go through.  As a builder developing a marketing strategy you want people to buy your home so you have to create the right strategy to convince the customer. 

Understand the thinking process consumers go through to make their purchasing decisions.

To recap; Marketing is a way to identify who would benefit from your homes, telling them why they should buy from you; satisfying their ‘needs’, creating a trust and finally finding the price range that works for both you and your new customer.

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