Sergio Alvarez is a performance marketing expert, digital attribution leader and CEO and founder of Ai Media Group.
As far as digital marketing is concerned, the home services industry has been a later adopter than most. Considering the personal nature of the products and services sold in this industry, it makes sense that businesses would do more offline and in-person marketing.
That is no longer enough, though. Even consumers of services such as lawn care and house remodeling are using digital platforms to find the services they require. The time for these businesses to shift to digital has arrived.
Customers are shifting online.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the home services industry in transforming marketing techniques is that the customer and the service or product all exist solely in the physical world. Historically, I’ve noticed traditional marketing has dominated this sector because consumers predominantly seek out service providers through physical channels.
This is shifting as tech-savvy Millennials enter their prime home-buying years and have represented the dominant share of property buyers for several years in the U.S. The home services industry now faces a crossroads: Their products look the same, but the purchasing habits of their now-ideal consumers are shifting—and so must their marketing tactics. Tying in the offline and online worlds is key.
Start with mapping your customer journey.
One key to transforming your home services marketing is understanding your customer journey and identifying which part of that is digital and which happens offline. Then, look for ways to tie those two parts together seamlessly. Customers in this sector are doing research about options, checking reviews and requesting appointments online. Once this portion of the sales funnel is complete, more in-person interactions start to occur.
One way to meld these two parts of the funnel is by offering a text message service. By providing a channel that allows prospective or current clients to have on-demand access to your business, you provide personal connection combined with the functionality of the digital world. Such a service is also a great lead magnet that you can use to follow up on prospects that didn’t immediately convert and provide valuable after-sale service.
In my experience, home service purchases typically involve a longer buying process than many other industries. Depending on the urgency of the service required, conversion may take several months from the point of initial contact. Often, homeowners are making contact to understand exactly what type of cost is involved, and only after receiving the quote will they go on to secure the funds required for the purchase.