We’ve reached the end of our brief series on creating a home improvement marketing plan and—just like Santa—it’s time to deliver the goods.

We’ve determined that equating planning to “knowing your numbers,” is basically flying by the seat of your pants. Then, we talked about the right elements of an effective plan from a 30,000 foot level.

Today, let’s pull it all together and define the “what” and “how much” of an effective plan.

As we discussed previously, planning is one of the best ways to make sure that you don’t fall in love with just one or two lead generation sources. This is not just important from a diversification standpoint, but also from a point of view for costs.

So, the best way to think about your plan is to ask yourself these four questions:

  • What segments will I target?
  • What is the “best” way for me to target each segment?
  • How much revenue can be generated from each segment?
  • How much will it cost me to generate that amount of revenue?

Sounds simple enough right? But, in practical terms, how does it work?

First, the foundational work. And, by the way, this is where “knowing your numbers” does come in.

By now, hopefully you’ve done some overall planning for 2019, projecting some level of growth based on your marketplace and other factors. Plus, you have a general idea of what you’ll spend on marketing/lead generation in 2019, based on your preferred percentages. That’s obviously your starting point.

Picking Your Segments

This is obviously a highly personalized choice based on many different factors, including (but certainly not limited to) the size of your market, your current level of brand recognition in that market, and another component that’s often not taken into consideration: sales force ability.

Targeting Those Segments

Work towards a mix of successful segments (as defined from the five parts of a good plan), as you already understand, including your most successful means for targeting that segment, along with some new ones. Take into account how you can target a new segment and any feel you have for how your potential for success lies in that segment, not only with regards to generating leads, but also in closing sales. In other words, choose new segments not just based on cost, but also their effects on sales cycle.

Here’s a good starting list of potential segments:

Referrals, previous/repeat customers, company website (organic/SEO), events/home-shows, word of mouth, media, canvassing, Internet pay-per-click programs, direct mail and social media marketing.

Revenue by Segment

You generally know the revenue levels that your previously strong segments brought you in 2018. Apply similar levels of growth to your overall business, and you’ve got this number.

While determining new segment revenues can seem like a crapshoot, a shortcut here is to determine how much of your overall business you think that this new segment could provide, and then go from there.

Cost by Segment

Again, for segments from 2018 that you’ll revisit in 2019, these numbers are readily available. For new segments, the easy way might be to back into revenue by determining the number of leads necessary to get you to a desired revenue amount, which is based on your businesses sales performance numbers, and by applying a cost per lead figure.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to factor in promos. I’ve always looked at designing promos in terms of doing at least one of two things:

  • Get a lead that I might not have gotten (or get it earlier), or
  • Shorten the sales cycle by getting the homeowner to a “Yes.”

For those segments that might have a tendency to lengthen your sales cycle, you might benefit from applying a promo. This also has a turbocharging affect on your efforts, as we discussed during our first foray into the marketing/planning question.

For those of you used to doing this type of planning, I know that I may have over-simplified by not including things like the effect a particular segment might have on average ticket, for example. I get it.

For those of you who aren’t, I truly hope we’ve been able to shed some light on what I believe is one of the most effective ways to insure a successful 2019 from both growth and margin viewpoints.

Happy holidays to you and yours! I hope you are as excited about 2019 as we are!

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