With existing home sales continuing to rebound, marketing of products to “recent movers” is once again becoming a key focus for companies that sell in home improvement channels. In contrast to tactics that may have worked 5-6 years ago, before the bubble, a new and carefully crafted mix of in-store and out-of-store communications can help you engage these heavy spenders and convince them to choose your brand over others.
National Association Of Realtors (NAR) research indicates that 53% of homebuyers undertake a remodeling project within the first thee months of purchase. Buyers of newly constructed homes lead the average spend at $5,690. The average for all buyers -- new construction and previously owned homes -- was $4,550 in the March 2013 study.
The most popular rooms for remodeling projects were the kitchen (47%), bathroom (44%) and the bedroom (38%) for all types of buyers. The most popular projects included lighting (41%), appliances (37%) and landscaping (34%).
To connect with recent home buyers, timing is everything of course. And while it may seem that you need to be everywhere on their radar screens, there are some core marketing initiatives that are critical to building trust and confidence.
First, your brand needs to be sharp wherever home buyers are turning for information about the projects they are doing. Important are:
- Product knowledge (PK) materials for store associates.
- How-to videos on your website and YouTube channel as well as on frequently visited sites of your retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon plus general DIY sites such as PlanItDIY.com.
- Complete product information online for ready reference.
If your products are on Amazon, consider upgrading to Amazon A+ content for selected products, allowing longer product descriptions and rich content including video.
Refined SEM Strategy
Whether prospects are searching for information about how to change their door locks, repaint a stained ceiling, replace broken sprinkler heads or do any of the things that need doing in the first few months after moving, an SEM campaign can yield big benefits in engaging homeowners. Tips:
- Consider increasing your budget for Google AdWords and similar initiatives
- Review key words, focusing on search terms that recent movers are using in your product area
Digital Ad Campaign
With new sophistication now possible in ad targeting, reaching recent movers through behavioral buys, pay-per-click and other means is not only effective, it's measurable. You can set campaign goals and monitor exactly how you are doing, adjusting your messages, social/online mix and spending as necessary.
Refreshed Landing Pages
If you want people to click on your ads and visit your website, be sure you have something worthwhile there for them to resource: Videos. Case studies. Photo galleries. All are important to recent movers. And rather than sending them to your home page, consider developing pages that provide greater depth on specific subjects, as connected to your advertising and PR.
PR Campaign With Social Media Components
Many home projects require more study and planning than others. If your products fit that mold, it's vital that you have an ongoing PR campaign with closely aligned social presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz and other communities. Use contests to inspire Likes and stay connected, particularly through the first 1-2 years of home ownership. Target bloggers that are key influencers. Also encourage your PR people to dig for human interest stories from end users, adding before-and-after images, videos and other content that inspire sharing.
In-Store Merchandising For Easy Selection
Product selection systems are very confusing in many home improvement product categories. It's made even more challenging in planograms featuring a mix of brands, each with their own color codes, product names and other selection criteria. Cleaning that up to make it easy for shoppers is critical to maintaining your shelf space and increasing conversion rates. Also providing how-to brochures is still a valid tactic for products that aren't realistically purchased without further research and planning at home.
Call us if you'd like to talk about your campaign efforts with recent movers, or any other home improvement market segment.