The Effectiveness of the Internet as a Lead Generation Source
Internet marketing is a more effective way to generate home improvement leads.
Really, Joe, are you sure?
We’ve been working our way through a series about how to look at marketing your home improvement company from a different standpoint, and there have been very few posts or series that we’ve done that have generated the kind of passionate responses and questions this one has.
I don’t mind telling you that quite a few of these have challenged our assumptions. Most of these responses are accompanied by some horror stories about money invested in some self-proclaimed SEO guru that returned nothing but grief.
So, let’s take a quick break from our conversations about home improvement lead generation via internet marketing to discuss whether or not there is any benefit, or whether it’s just the latest fad.
Figuring that the few comments that I got expressing concerns were representative of a larger block, I decided to do some research to find out how pervasive these doubts might be.
What Home Improvement Owners Think About Internet Marketing For Lead Generation
I ran across an article about what home improvement owners think are the top 10 lead generators. Feel free to take a read now, ( it will open in a new window) but be sure to come back and let’s discuss.
If you read the lead sentence, you’d get the impression that internet marketing would be, at best, a marginal lead generator. However, looking deeper into the numbers may lead to a different conclusion…
- Internet marketing is the marketing activity that generates the highest percentage of leads. Referrals and previous customer sales are most often (or should be) a sales effort as opposed to marketing. I do have window partners that create specific marketing programs around existing customers, but, from my in-home selling days, getting referrals and going back to existing customers for more was a sales responsibility.
- Effective marketing IS about being where the customers are. We’ve established that customers are researching online, even if only on review sites. They also like to see, touch and hear about home improvements initially, at least, in a non-sales environment. Internet, events and home shows represent the largest percentages of productive home improvement lead sources.
- PPC is a high cost, low return form of internet marketing. I’ve never been a PPC fan, at least for what we do. I can’t name you any of the many home improvement owners that I have dealt with that sing the praises of PPC. The one place that it might have limited success is for a new home improvement business in a competitive market that is trying to buy some traffic. If that’s you, in my opinion, pay someone smart to run your campaigns. PPC is not for the DIY’ers…
- Social marketing is not about lead generation, it’s about low cost branding and reputation. As you saw in the article, internet referrals from social media, including the ones that specifically serve our potential customers, aren’t very profitable lead sources. That’s not an excuse not to involve your company is the ones that make sense, as there are branding opportunities, as well as the benefits of spreading your good reputation around.
Real Relationships Versus Digital Ones
If I read the story correctly, the overriding theme of this article is that our customer still needs “…real relationships—not virtual ones.” Not only do customers need those, we do to; unless we’re selling low cost, commodity products.
What we can’t forget though is what the today’s customer WANTS…they want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold.
That’s why we need to be visible when they are doing the things that help prepare them to buy. The internet allows you to build a relationship in a non-threatening environment that may not only increase the probability that you’ll get the opportunity to develop that face to face relationship, but you’ll have a “warmer” opportunity to boot
The key is to be able to figure out how to wade through all the crap out there.
That’s why we’ve put together this DIY home improvement marketing series. Hang on, we’ve just gotten started! We’ll even talk about those self-professed SEO gurus you’ve heard so much about.
Whether you totally agree with the effectiveness of this home improvement internet marketing lead generation thing or not, there’s one piece to this puzzle that you absolutely can’t argue with and that will be the topic of our next get together.