Three-stage marketing strategy for trade businesses
In my own trade business, DR. DRiP Plumbing, we’ve applied the following three-stage marketing strategy, designed to attract, deliver and retain customers in the competitive trade marketplace.
This model highlights marketing activity examples across the three stages, which we refer to as Pre-love (attract), Present-love (deliver) and Post-love (retain). The aim is to activate a combination of all three to maximise your marketing.
The best marketing in the world will fall flat if your business’s website is outdated from a design, content, architecture and conversion perspective. This is your trade business’s shop front. First impressions count! In most cases, we suggest you lean on professionals – a web developer, a designer and a copywriter – to work with you on your website.
Some businesses refer to their use of AroFlo field service and job management software on their websites, to show prospects they’re running an efficient, well-managed operation – and that they’re tech savvy.
There are many ways the functionality of AroFlo can help support your marketing efforts, particularly in the Present-Love stage – the stage that focuses on increasing the amount a customer spends at each job by delivering an exceptional customer experience.
We use this technology at DR. DRiP Plumbing. AroFlo’s advanced SMS Alert Software allows us to send automated text messages to customers when our technicians are on the way, which contributes to the important marketing process of building trust and loyalty.
Prior to setting up this system, our technician would call the customer 30 minutes before their arrival. What we found was, few customers would pick up because they didn’t recognise the phone number. Now, the SMS alert gives customers a helpful heads up, before the technician puts in the call. This has increased the pick up rate by close to 90%!
Another function we take advantage of in the Present-love stage is the ability to easily send automated emails with downloadable PDFs, such as invoices and safety inspection reports. Again, your customers will appreciate a streamlined experience with you.
If your target customer spends time online, you can’t go past an e-newsletter.
In your newsletter, consider including information about:
- Your business. Keep your stakeholders informed
- New technologies and tools you’re using
- Accomplishments, such awards and news features
- New products and services you’re offering
- Features and benefits of a particular product
- Special discounts and offers
- Employee of the month
- Topical news, such as the addition of a new puppy or eventful jobs.
Whichever activities you choose in each stage, always remember, marketing should be impactful and measurable. It is also a process that requires fine-tuning to optimise success. Having a set-and-forget approach to marketing is never going to cut it.
Marketing your trade business will change constantly. Google algorithms change, new competitors will enter the market, customer expectations evolve – there is no room for complacency if you are motivated to stay top of mind for your customers and prospects.
Last but not least …
Marketing can seem complicated, which is why many trade business owners end up making the mistake of being ad hoc about it. When you break it down, marketing is really about communicating with your target customers at the right time, in the right way. This will differ, depending on where you’re located and the type of trade business you’re in.
Above all else, your marketing efforts need to be persuasive. Be clear on what your customers want to know, not what you want to say. When you approach your marketing strategy from this position, the rest will fall into place.