Review of the Summit: The Death of Old Media

The last topic that was covered at the previous Home Improvement Summit was Internet marketing. This represents a huge opportunity for home improvement professionals moving forward because there is a large sector of the industry that is still not using these tactics effectively.

The first speaker on the panel was Tom Audette who is the Business Development Director for Three Deep Marketing; a digital marketing agency that does search engine optimization, paid search management and email marketing.  He has over 17 years of direct industry experience as a Sales Representative, Sales/Marketing Manager, Business Executive and as VP of Marketing for a large home improvement company where he generated over 30% of revenues via the Internet with marketing costs under 10%.

Tom discussed the shift that is occurring from traditional marketing to new age marketing tactics and how many companies are using these tactics to achieve tremendous results. To be blunt, marketing for contractors is changing and many companies are still behind the curve.

Some statistics that he quoted:

  • In 2008 Yellow Page advertising dipped below its 1998 levels. In the next 4 years, ad spending will drop an additional 39%. (Media Futurist)
  • The average DVR user sees only 46% of the commercials in the programs they watch; consequently, 70% of advertisers now feel the DVR will “reduce or destroy” the 30 second commercial.
  • 85% of product / service inquiries now start on the Internet. (B2B Magazine)
  • US Internet ad spending is expected to grow from $25.7 billion in 2009 to $44 billion by 2011. (Emarketer)
  • 17% of all US advertising spending in 2010 will be online. (Emarketer)
  • Social Media now represents 17% of Internet users total time spent online (Emarketer)
  • Paid search spending will grow by 10-15% in 2010, to $14 billion (Covario)
  • Despite the recent relaunch of Bing, Google maintains an 83% market share of all search spending (Covario)

Companies today are using their advertising dollars on the Internet because:

  1. It’s where homeowners are searching
  2. It’s cost effective
  3. It’s highly measurable

In the past the traditional focus of the home improvement professional was on the Yellow Pages, newspaper, television, direct mail, radio, home shows and canvassing. Each of these elements is still effective to a certain extent, but the companies that are ahead of the curve are beginning to focus on paid search, search engine optimization, local search, e-mail marketing and social media.

Over the next few years the home improvement companies that use these tactics effectively will gain a more dominant position in their market while the rest of the competition will be playing catch up.

Some more facts to consider:

  • Google has over 75% market share in online search. If your customers can’t find you there…you aren’t even in the game!
  • 43% of search engine users are looking for local services
  • 50% of searchers substitute search engines for the yellow pages
  • 97% of Internet users in the U.S. gather shopping information online, and of those consumers 51% explicitly characterize their behavior as “Shop Online, Purchase Offline” (NPD Group)

If you have any questions about this blog posting or about home improvement marketing in general, feel free to e-mail Tom directly.

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