Narrowcasting vs. Broadcasting

This spring, I spent a lot of time at local trade show events, Pro Expos, in 15 different cities, presenting “20 Proven Ways to Boost Your Marketing in 2010.” Boiled down from over 600 marketing ideas, these 20 tips seemed to click with the groups who sat in on these presentations.

Many of the “20 Ways” focused on the importance of having a good Web site and developing methods for capturing demographic data about potential customers on your Web sites in order to fill your marketing funnel. (Please send me an e-mail and I would be happy to send you a copy of our presentation.) Now, a few weeks removed from those presentations, an over-arching theme seems to have emerged in my mind: The more targeted your message is to a specific group of prospects with a specific offer, the better your marketing results will be. This seems logical but you would be surprised how many remodelers spend their hard-won marketing resources to broadcast generic marketing messages to a broad local or regional audience even though they are not set up to service all of the eyeballs and viewers they are paying to reach. Yes, many very large remodeling firms and home improvement companies thrive on broadcast messages, but the vast majority of small, quality-focused remodeling firms need to think about reaching very targeted groups of qualified prospects.

A year ago in Richmond, Va., I met a remodeler who epitomized the right way to narrowcast a specific offer to a qualified group of prospects, specifically people who own waterfront property. Let’s all agree that people who own waterfront property generally fit the income requirements of those who typically hire a qualified remodeler. To hit these people right between the eyes, this full-service remodeler touts his ability to build and repair boat docks. This is tough work to do. You have to get in the water to do it, but man, do people need someone who will take on this job. This remodeler places ads in a local coastal lifestyle magazine and, perhaps most significantly, he has built his Web site in such a way that his site is No. 1 when dock repair and dock building is searched in his local area. Best of all, each time one of these prospects become clients, they are presented a packet explaining all of their kitchen/bath and room remodeling expertise. Dock building is their way to deliver a needs-based message and thereby build a foothold with a well-heeled customer base.

As I told this story around the country this spring, many other presidents and owners of remodeling firms came forward with similar stories. There was a full-service remodeler in Boston who created a division focused solely on building front porches. He developed a separate identity for the firm and a separate marketing budget and the leads began to flow. In this age of Web 2.0 applications like Facebook and Twitter, where extending your brand is free to those who choose to roll up their sleeves, the opportunities for narrowcasting your needs-based remodeling solution expands with each passing day.

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