Monday, March 18, 2019

9 Reasons a Modular Home Builder’s Marketing Efforts Will Fail

Marketing is not sales. Marketing is not budgeting. Marketing is a unique beast that you can tame and use to increase your sales leads and bring fresh new home buyers into your office for that important first meeting. Too many modular home builders don't have a Marketing Strategy and some can't even imagine wanting one.

Most modular home factories and builders don’t think much about marketing until business takes a downturn but by that time it’s too late to start. The time to begin marketing is right now.

For the modular home builders that are already dabbling in marketing on social media here are 10 reasons that it might fail. Avoiding them is not easy but success is very rewarding.

1. No Written Marketing Plan. This one is obvious - if you don’t take the time to create a marketing plan for your modular home business, you are doomed to repeat history instead of creating it.

2. Goals Are Poorly Defined. Every good plan starts with goal definition. If you don’t define the goals for the plan, there’s no point in preparing a marketing plan. Make sure marketing goals are aligned with the business plan and with key business objectives. I’m assuming here that you have a business plan for your modular home business.

3. Unattainable Goals. Nothing is worse than working a plan where the goals are not even possible. Set realistic marketing goals that can be achieved if the marketing plan is executed well. If you built 6 homes last year, do you really think that a goal of 50 new homes this year is attainable?

4. No Buy-In. Who executes a marketing plan? Everybody in the company does. As such, the plan needs to be created with buy-in from key employees who ultimately will own the execution of the plan. Everybody must be aware of it and have a part to play including your clean-up people.

5. No Clear Responsibilities or Accountability. Marketing plans fail because tasks are not assigned to individuals and there is no accountability. Be sure to define who is doing what when as part of your marketing plan.

6. Wrong People Working the Plan. Even the best laid plans fail if the people who are in charge of execution don’t have the skills and attributes needed for successful plan implementation. If you have never done a marketing plan before, ask for help.

7. No Discipline to Execute the Plan. Some modular home builders and even modular factories talk a good game on planning but lack the discipline required to implement a plan. The ball gets dropped before the game even gets started.

8. Lack of Commitment. In order for a marketing plan to be executed successfully, you’ll need to motivate your team, both with carrots and with sticks. If they are not committed to improving sales through marketing even the best plan will fail.

9. Lack of Time or Lack of Money. Nothing is more frustrating than writing a marketing plan and then finding out that there’s no budget to cover it and everybody is too busy to execute the plan. Be sure to include your marketing budget and available resources before you finalize your plan.


Scott said...

Coach - Youn nailed it! And without consistent marketing, sales will falter and the company will ultimately shrink. The good news is that, with a little time and thought, an effective marketing plan can be made and implemented - even on a slim (or $0) budget! Thanks for calling attention to the most overlooked and under-utilized facet of growing a business.

PS: #10: The Right Tools to measure and manage marketing and sales! That starts with an easy to use CRM.

Kevin said...

Thirty years ago before I purchased my first home I was exposed to the process of system built homes given I performed inspections at that point in my career. I had to educate myself on the differences between manufactured homes and modular homes because everyone around me looked upon modular as an extension of manufactured homes. And we all know what that impression was and still remains today amongst many that are uneducated.

Marketing a product that is new to the industry or marketplace as a whole and still looked upon as not the solution to affordable housing shortages, work force shortages and quality control in this country will require education not only to the consumer but to the site built contractors that outnumber modular home builders.

Now thirty years ago I had a difficult time getting anyone, manufactures, builders, industry publications, etc. to provide facts why modular over site built. Yes, that has improved a great deal yet the industry is still on the 25 yard line and needs to advance down the field as you can’t build a website, hide the info under a tab and except consumers to seek it out on their own. In my area of the east coast most builders, the public at large, appraisers and assessors look upon modular as a lesser product than site built. Now yes I have been told many, many times that appraisers and assessors are required to compare modular with site built in the market for comparable's all the while they grade the modular as a C or D and grade a site built home an A or B. So yes they use site built as a comparable while valuing it as a manufactured home classified as real property. Marketing is education not legislation.

So what does this have to do with marketing, well if perception becomes reality and the public lacks confidence in the product, financing becomes more and more difficult as cost doesn’t equal market along with a lack of educated facts from fiction at the finance, appraiser, consumer and/or builder level you have a marketing problem that continues to impact sales.

By the way I just completed my first modular home as a consumer, not a builder, and while touring 9 different factories I learned a lot and to me the secret to marketing is in the tour and the personnel on the line working in stations for 15, 20, 25 and 30 years alike who are a wealth of knowledge and are proud of what they produce and should be. The tail is wagging the dog folks…………….more the ball down the field for better position in the market.

Anonymous said...

Builders who effectively use the various platforms for marketing are doing well. Builders who don't understand how to market will fail over time. Linking only to the factory web site is NOT an effective tool. Buyers want to know WHY you coupled with the features and benefits of home using modular construction. Showing homes at set explains the initial process but what does the end product look like with the features and add-ons you the builder installed. Look at your middle market site competition and see if their marketing is driving business to them and learn what works