Your marketing budget as a building material manufacturer can determine a lot about revenues and overall growth. In the year 2023, getting it right will be more crucial than ever before.
Building material companies have tended to be behind the times in terms of how they spend on marketing and outreach. Not because resources are scarce, but because money isn’t being spent in the right places.
Going forward, if you fail to optimize your marketing budget…
- Your digital presence will become quickly outdated and out of line with what customers expect.
- Your customers, be they homeowners, dealers, or contractors, will feel frustrated when trying to buy your products.
- Your competition, realizing the need to get smart about marketing, will gain ground in today’s most impactful strategies.
By starting from a blank slate, asking what you want to accomplish, and figuring out what it takes to get there, you’ll find you almost certainly do have the budget to meet important marketing goals. It just requires shifting resources and making tweaks to your approach.
Let’s dive into which marketing initiatives you should question and which ones you might consider spending more on, in order to lay out the most effective budget possible for the coming year.
Things to Question
Almost certainly, you’re spending a substantial amount of money each year on initiatives that don’t warrant it.
That’s because they’re not producing a great return on investment, and are unlikely to ever do so. These are often line items enterprise marketers think are needed, but are not.
Eliminating these activities, or at least reducing spend on them, will free up money for key investments in digital marketing that will produce real, trackable results.
Here are some of the items to question as you go about making a more sensible budget for 2023:
Industry trade shows and conferences can be great to attend. They’re a chance to get in front of dealers, distributors, and other potential partners who are looking to connect with a reputable building materials brand.
However, there are significant costs, including travel expenses, booth reservations, marketing materials, and more. Many companies fail to factor those costs in, and often lack an objective entirely.
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), as quoted by Threadfellows, claims thе аvеrаgе соmраnу uses 31.6% оf the marketing budget for еvеntѕ and еxhіbіtіng. However, 70% of companies have no ѕресіfіс goals fоr trаdе ѕhоw appearances, making it impossible to tie those efforts to new contracts and sales.
If your trade show attendance is failing to yield lots of qualified leads and new business year after year, it may be time to reconsider the prominence of these events in your yearly budget.
Paid Media for Branded Campaigns
Brand advertising campaigns, as the name suggests, are a type of marketing that helps build awareness and recognition of your company’s brand.
However, these campaigns often don’t come with any directly-measurable metrics, and aren’t tied to an ROI you can easily calculate.
Think of a flashy billboard on a highway, an entertaining TV commercial that doesn’t ask viewers to take a specific action, or the online equivalent: a digital banner with little more than your brand’s logo and a catchy tagline.
These kinds of efforts will increase the number of people who know your brand exists, but you often don’t know what you’re getting in terms of sales. For that reason, it makes sense to monitor how much you’re spending in this area.
Physical Marketing Materials
Traditional advertising collateral, such as brochures, flyers, catalogs, and more, can be useful brand-building assets to have on hand. That said, think about whether you’re seeing a sensible bump in revenue from using them.
Sometimes wiser spending is a matter of reducing the frequency of output, without getting rid of the asset altogether. For example, if you print a large annual product catalog to send out to customers every year, is it reliably leading to lots of new sales?
If not, you might think about releasing and sending out a new catalog every 2 or 3 years, instead of annually. This allows you to save on printing and distribution costs, and spend on materials more likely to drive results.
Any Long-Term or Legacy Systems, Projects, and Activities
A critical eye should be given to anything your business has done for a long time — including customer relationship management processes, marketing software, or other activities that come with more than a trivial cost, but have uncertain sales impact.
Things to Consider
After minimizing and eliminating old strategies, it’s time to allocate more dollars towards new, future-ready initiatives. Of course, this means investing in your building material brand’s online presence…and doing so in a smart, ROI-oriented way.
Here are some of the biggest opportunities in marketing for 2023, which likely deserve a place in your marketing budget:
Content Marketing and SEO
Content marketing, be it through a blog, in-depth articles, or an email newsletter, accomplishes something important for enterprise building product companies: it builds empathy and trust with consumers, an important foundation for sales.
In a 2019 UK survey, Zazzle found that up to 96% of marketers believe content marketing to be effective, with 1 in 5 calling it “extremely effective.” With so many marketing professionals seeing the impact of content, you won’t want to skip making the investment in 2023.
What does it look like? A siding manufacturer, for example, can write an article comparing vinyl with fiber cement siding. Roofers could share roof maintenance tips in their email newsletter during a particularly harsh winter. Driveway and walkway contractors can share an eBook or YouTube video explaining how they design accessible spaces for people with disabilities.
Content like this helps customers see your brand as a thought leader who actually cares about their concerns.
In addition, you can optimize your blog for search keywords, and gain organic web traffic without paying an extra dime in advertising. Search-optimized (SEO) content can deliver outsized returns on investment in the long run as more and more content is added.
A Dealer or Contractor Locator That Generates Leads
Customers who visit your website directly probably know, like, and trust your brand already. They just want to know where they can buy your products.
That’s why having a great locator matters. It’s the portion of your website that allows customers to quickly find the nearest retail store or local contractor.
On top of this, lead generation should be a central part of your 2023 planning. According to HubSpot, 61% of marketers say their biggest challenge is bringing in new traffic and leads. A great locator will help you retain customers and build relationships.
If you want the best locator possible, you’ll want to use a top software tool like Bullseye. It’s the leading platform for building materials manufacturers who want to build competitive, branded, easy-to-use “where to buy” pages that reliably generate leads.
The relationship-building advantages of a locator built with Bullseye are many:
- A responsive, mobile-friendly interactive map that customers can drag to automatically populate lists of nearby dealers or installers, thanks to a seamless integration with Google Maps.
- Search filters that enable customers to find exactly the dealers or local pros who offer a specific product line from your brand, or have specific services to offer.
- Integrations with top sales and marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, and other leading platforms.
- Customer reviews from sites like Google and Yelp imported to your dealer and contractor listings, helping to keep customers on your site and undistracted from the buyer journey they’ve started with you.
- Local events and deals displayed for the dealers who have them to offer, giving your web users even more incentive to take immediate action.
One of the most important benefits of Bullseye, however, is its lead generation prowess. You can add a form that captures the name, email, and phone number of a customer, should they want to get more info from a dealer before visiting or ordering.
That means you’ll no longer lose track of customers as soon as they find a dealer, leaving you without a clue as to whether your locator is effective. You’ll have complete visibility all the way to the point of sale, while knowing which dealers are moving more product.
It all reveals a measurable ROI you can act upon.
Marketing Asset Management
You have tons of assets already: product spec sheets, brochures, sell sheets, flyers, product images, videos, and even your website as a whole. They all play a role in your strategy.
To use them to their best effect, however, those assets need to be optimally organized, managed, and distributed. Only the best marketing asset management (MAM) software solutions enable you to do it at scale, and there’s no better option than RevBase.
RevBase is the #1 solution for building material manufacturers to organize, track, and share content and other assets internally and externally. It can drastically reduce the hours spent (and dollars lost) on finding and using those sales-boosting materials your marketing outreach relies on.
RevBase keeps all your marketing and sales materials in one secure and accessible place, allowing for immediate action when a content piece needs to be sent to a customer, referenced by sales reps to provide answers, or shared with local channel partners like dealers and contractors for printing in bulk and educating customers.
Make room in your budget for a solution like RevBase, and the savings will inevitably add up.
Digital Marketing Materials
Everything in marketing seems to be going digital these days, and many incumbent building materials brands have been slow to change. Why change what’s familiar and works well enough?
The answer: because digital marketing works faster, better, and less expensively. Plus, the competition is catching on quickly. In HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing survey, 61% of marketers reported an increase in their digital spend.
Investing in digital materials makes sense because you can scale up your efforts much easier than with physical materials. Printing, shipping, and other costs are eliminated, and you can reach as many customers as you wish, both through paid advertising and organic content that slowly builds your web presence.
As you produce more digital content, just remember that RevBase is the ace up your sleeve when looking to drive leads and sales.
Within moments, RevBase allows you to locate and share any content piece with customers and channel partners — or simply give your local dealers and contractors secure access to download key materials on their own.
That will only help those dealers and pros be more persuasive as sales partners, and more effective as professional users of your products.
Direct Response Paid Media Campaigns
We’ve talked about paid media that isn’t trackable. What about paid advertising that does come with metrics and instantly-trackable results?
In HubSpot’s 2020 study, only 35% of marketers reported that understanding the ROI of their campaigns is “Very Important” or “Extremely Important.” That means a whopping 65% of marketers are missing out on the ability to see the impact of every dollar put towards advertising.
That’s the premise behind direct response marketing. Combine it with your digital assets, and you have a one-two punch for extremely scalable, sales-driving outreach.
In contrast to paid media for brand awareness, direct response media asks customers to take action right away. As a result, you can measure exactly how much it will cost you to gain a new lead, or to convert someone from a lead to a paying customer.
Today’s biggest online advertising platforms, such as Facebook and Google enable you to create effective direct response ads and campaigns that drive action and put prospects into your online sales funnel right away.
This is useful for limited-time promotions as well as long-term “evergreen” lead generation, along with any brand awareness campaigns you already have running.
The best part: at the end of a direct marketing campaign, you can test different messaging and ad creative, and refine your messaging overall so your advertising yields better and better results.
To Win in 2023, Gear Your Marketing Budget Towards Maximum ROI and Customer Engagement
When it comes to optimizing your budget, don’t think in terms of adding things that are hard to justify, or taking away processes your company is already comfortable with.
Instead, think about shifting the resources your business has to higher-leverage areas. An overall focus on best practices in digital marketing, plus the addition of authoritative content, SEO, and direct response campaigns, will give you the edge and help you realize substantial gains.
To seal the deal, however, you’ll need best-in-class tools that draw in leads, tighten up your sales funnels, and maximize the potential of your online marketing materials and web presence.
Bullseye is the best lead-generating solution for getting customers from their desire to the cash register, as well as tracking local sales performance. RevBase is the premium tool you’ll need to distribute and share your marketing and sales materials at scale.
An investment in platforms like these means you’ll not only be likely to measure and optimize your ROI — you’ll have a much better shot at boosting your marketing outreach and overall revenue.
To see the difference Bullseye and RevBase can make in your marketing mix for 2023, schedule your demo today.