So Many Technologies to Drive Marketing and Sales, What Do They Do And Which Ones to Choose?
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Whether you’re just launching your home design or kitchen and bath showroom or if you’re looking to kickstart your digital marketing operations to promote your store online, chances are the plethora of tech tools available to B2C companies like yours is daunting. Once you’ve defined your buyer personas and have done some basic research on local keywords to attract these customers, how do you implement this strategy? How do you choose the tech that will enable your marketing campaigns, know which ones are best for your industry or when all your tools start looking like the Frankenstein tech approach (when you have a CRM from one company, a marketing automation tool from another and a social media aggregator from yet another)?
This article should help you answer these important questions for your business, and show you options that suit your specific needs.
What are the categories of tech tools B2C companies have in their tech stack?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tool
Your CRM is where you track email addresses, create properties to assign to leads for followup, get an overview of your sales pipeline and even monitor your revenue and, with certain CRMs, post-sales operations. A lot of kitchen and bath firms use excel and, in some very unnecessary cases, pen and paper to do all the above. This is a big waste of time and leads to avoidable mistakes because a lot of online, easy to use CRMs...are free!
Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing Automation Tools might not seem like a top-of-the-list component of your ideal tech stack because they seem costly and a bit unnecessary. After all, home remodelers aren’t as interested in leads but rather in-store sales and moving on to the next customer, right? Wrong. Only a relatively small percentage of your inbound leads will be ready to make an immediate purchase, leaving upwards of 90% of your inbound leads on the table. This is a huge opportunity to lead nurture your potential customers who aren’t ready to buy right when they discover your home remodeling website or social media pages but might be in the future.
The goals of marketing automation tools are to build processes, have analytical insight and the ability to iterate and double down on effective initiatives. Every time a lead comes to your website, this is an opportunity to capture their information and automate contact during key trigger events.
Use marketing automation tools to send email sequences with helpful information to your leads about kitchen projects, new designs and discount codes or referral programs. Use these tools to set up publishing across all your social media sites when you write a new blog. Set up A/B testing for Google Ads campaigns to see which ones had the best ROI. And finally, rely on your Google Analytics dashboard to make sure you are measuring the results so you have actionable insights.
Sales Tech Overview
It’s hard to separate sales and marketing tools since none of these tools will actually do the selling for you (that’s your job!), and they all seem geared towards boosting efficiency and making the sale easier for you. So, I’ll group sales tools as the ones that are closer to the last phases of client decision or interaction. These tools comprise call tracking software and other communication or conferencing apps. You might also want to consider specific design and remodeling tools like those that deal with 3D visualization. Check out these remodeling software tools here.
Keep in mind when selecting your tech stack, some services will overlap
If you select a handful of tech tools that advertise themselves as affordable (cheap), then you might be “Frankensteining” your tools together, having to spend a disproportionate amount of time managing each one, overlooking some tasks that might have led to sales and potentially spending more overall in the end on your tech! The opposite of Frankenstein Tech is buying more high-end tools that are “one-stop shops”. For example, high-end CRMs like Hubspot and ActiveCampaign also offer marketing automations, reporting and give you access to beautiful marketing email templates. They also like to your social media pages
To be scrappy, or not to be scrappy?
Let’s take a step back and consider what is best for your design or remodeling business. What marketing tools do you need for your kitchen and bath remodeling business, to attract your ideal buyers online and to have control over how you get automated reports and insights? At the bare minimum, you need a way to manage your contacts, you need to have an understanding of how your Paid Ads on Google and Social Media are working and you need to know how your SEO (including your website ranking and keywords that attract leads) is trending. You, and every other small business owner, need these bare minimums.
Let’s consider this: a young couple is interested in finding remodelers near them in New York City. They start by searching on Google, “home remodelers and kitchen designers near me”.
In this case, a bunch of Ads dominates the top results (which is normal), and then a map which shows some local listings. Now, experts disagree slightly on this, but according to one study, only 6% of people even click on Ads, most of us mentally skip over them and go to the organic results, which appear after the Map in this case.
Let’s approach this in the order of appearance on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page, as pictured above). As a remodeler in the kitchen and bath design space, you need to have the tools to research paid keywords that have a high search volume and low cost, proportionately, to get your Ads to show up, and you need analytics to monitor that performance. You also need a tool (often included in the high-end CRM!) to build landing pages that appear after a lead clicks on your ad and entices them to leave behind their emails. Then you need a CRM or marketing system that can automate a sequence of emails or offers to these leads.
Next, for Maps, you need to optimize your Google My Business and all other listings pages (like the BBB, Angie’s List, Yelp, Houzz and more) and keep your citations updated to appear correctly on the Map. There are tools like Yext that help you manage your listings, so you don’t need to go into all of those pages individually. Again, some tools like Moz.com will help you do keyword research and manage your local listings! So stay on top of that overlap!
Finally, for organic content and SEO, you need either your own staff or outsourced resource to write the content that can get you to appear after the Map, where most buyers go to get the info they are searching for. You can work with an agency that automates well researched and market appropriate content for you, with SEO baked into it, so that Google will index you as an expert source of content that gets you ranking high in the SERP.
This is just one real-world example of how your customers search online and the tools you need to appear in their searches, capture those shoppers on your website and initiate automations that help them make their decisions.
How will you find the time to manage all of this?!
There is no easy, cost-effective fix to getting your marketing and sales tech stack in order. There is a reason that cheaper tools fall short or are for specific tasks and more expensive marketing juggernauts offer one-stop shops for most of your tech needs. And knowing what your goals are is essential to understanding how much tech you need and when it’s becoming more of a burden than useful support.
Start by auditing the website tools and tech you currently use, do a deep dive into your customer personas and how they find you online and which social media sites they prefer and analyze the effectiveness of ads so you can decide what tools you need. Then go to their websites and ask for demos. Finally, select the right tools for your budget.
Or, you could work with an agency or hire someone to do all this for you. This is also something you will want to consider as part of your strategy as time, expertise and budget play into this decision. With an agency, you at least know that a team of experts is staying on top of even the most comprehensive tech platforms and furthermore are thinking about your digital storefront and local listings so that you can focus on serving your clients best.
We hope this helped clarify, not overcomplicate, your understanding of tech tools so you can make the right decisions for your remodeling business. We offer free consultations to get to the bottom of your needs and can make strategic recommendations on how to get you started! Contact us today at 267-714-4224 or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.