To push or to pull, that is the question.
As a custom home builder or remodeler that's looking to grow their business, you have two basic methods to use for marketing; pushing or pulling.
Pushing is providing a tantalizing broad offer to anyone who might see you, while pulling is providing a specific solution to a hyper-specific niche. One of these focuses on who you are, the other focuses on what your clients want. Pushing is kinda like offering free samples to anyone who walks by. Pulling is rolling out the red carpet for a select few. Neither option is the wrong choice, because they both work.
The key to using marketing (algorithms, hashtags, copywriting and images) effectively is having a clear strategy and TRACKING your results. You must know what type of marketing brings you the best ROI.
Pushers take a shotgun approach to marketing, finding customers by spreading their message wide in order to reach many. They create ways to consistently reach the subconscious minds of potential customers.
Every Geico commercial tells you the same story. They do it in lots of different ways but their main message stays the same - save 15% with Geico.
Orbit Gum gives us “A good clean feeling no matter what.” They show this in a wide variety of hilarious ways but we all know to wait for the little “Ding!” when the person smiles at the end. You just heard a British accent in your head right?
Both these companies are excellent pusher marketers. You know who they are, what they’re offering, and what they can do for you.
The people who watch their commercials might not all be gum-chewing, insurance-buying people at the exact moment they see the ad … but if they ever do want car insurance they will most likely recall how much they can save with Geico. And, when they're standing at the checkout aisle of the grocery store you can bet they recognize that pack of Orbit gum. THIS is the power of pushing.
Marketing a company this way requires a bigger budget and more time but it IS effective.
Whether you’re using print ads, Facebook or Instagram, or some other marketing channel —your goal is to stand out. To push your message to the front of the subconscious mind, you’ll need to do a couple things.
1. Decide what makes you unique.
Is it a free grill with every new deck? Are you the fastest kitchen remodeler East of the Mississippi? Maybe you offer a signature type of craftsmanship when building homes or a certain style of renovation?
2. Decide on your company’s persona.
Are you funny and down-to-earth? The cool and prestigious type that your clients can brag about to their neighbors? Or, are you a friendly and helpful sort of guy who reminds them of their helpful neighbor?
Once you’ve answered those questions you’ll want to design all your marketing to reflect your unique value and persona.
Consistently hammer home your message and soon enough the people who live in your area will begin to recall your company as the builder that does whatever unique thing you do. When people are ready to build their new home or renovate their kitchen, they’ll know just who to reach out to.
Pullers do things differently. Pullers take a rifle approach to marketing, finding customers by narrowing their message to reach a select few.
To be effective using the pull method of marketing, you first need to understand a few things about your potential clients:
Who they are: i.e. 52-year old homeowners about to become empty nesters.
What they're looking for: i.e an outdoor living space to use for gatherings and personal enjoyment.
When they're looking for it: i.e. finished by May to enjoy for the Summer.
Where/How they will look for it: i.e. searching for ideas on Pinterest, asking for recommendations in a Facebook group or searching on Google.
Pull marketing means being aware of the common characteristics and behaviors of your ideal client. Pullers research relentlessly. They know their niche inside and out, maybe even down to what their ideal client likes to eat for breakfast.
This article is a great example of pull marketing in practice. We know that our customers are most often small to medium construction businesses and are experts in custom home building and remodeling — not necessarily marketing. We know that they are always looking for ways to grow their business and would rather teach themselves how to do it than hire it out. Lastly, we know that they often turn to Google to find ways to learn.
Maybe that's how you arrived at this article, or maybe not. The point is, you're here.
We don't offer marketing services, but we do offer software that helps builders and remodelers improve communication with their clients. Using pull marketing we've written an article that fits a common need of our ideal customer with the hope that you'll also be willing to learn more about what we do.
It's as simple as that.
Successful builders and remodelers understand what their potential clients look like. If you're a high-end custom home builder, your clients value uniqueness and detail. Your marketing should speak to what they're looking for — highlighting details in your craftsmanship that communicate your ability to deliver exactly what they need.
Everything from your website to your Facebook posts to your Instagram hashtags should revolve around your ideal client. Advertising execs make millions using these techniques but it isn’t rocket science.
The easy way to get started is by having some discussions with your existing clients to discover what they all have in common. Once you know how they spend their time and what they value, you'll be able create marketing that will pull open the door to new clients and welcome them in.
Remember, no matter which method you decide to use for your business, you won't be wrong. The key is making the choice and putting it into action.