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Digital Marketing Strategy for Home Builders

Digital Marketing Strategy for Home Builders

A common thread of marketing resources for home builders runs along tips, tricks and tactics for action at the ground level. Have you taken a look at the big picture lately? This article addresses the need for home builder marketing plans, practical and forward thinking to continue your current building success. We will look at home builder digital marketing strategy through a three step framework. The framework is what you put in as investment, how you work with your investment in digital marketing, and where you want to be in the future. Let’s get started.

How Much Are You Investing?

When analyzing and planning marketing for a business (home builders included) a simple starting point is seeing what you put in, how you use it, and what your home building business puts out.  Without further ado, let’s start with what goes into marketing: the budget.

Talking about money is never easy. In order to effectively determine your marketing strategy, budgeting is a must upfront. The National Association of Home Builders recommends investing at least 2% per of each sale toward marketing. Take out a pencil and paper, crunch the numbers briefly. How does that value compare with your current spend on marketing, it at all?

Take another moment to think how many more new homes you would sell, and customer relationships you could establish, if you bumped up advertising spend to 3, 5 or even 10 percent. This section varies highly from builder to builder. For instance, differences in sales volume, profit margin and cost of leads are unique to each home builder group. If you haven’t looked at the preceding metrics in detail before, give us a shout! We consider it a privilege to counsel distinguished brands as they move their businesses ahead of the playing field.

Above all things on budget, it is essential to remain close to your competitor’s advertising spend. Lagging in marketing spend will result in decreased exposure of your home builder brand, decreased leads and smaller amount of new home sales in time.  Moving forward, let’s look at how you use the marketing spend input into your business.

What are your business needs?

Regardless of marketing spend amount, how marketing spend is used is a far more important question for marketing strategy.  When allocating digital marketing spend, take a quick inventory of your assets, weaknesses and opportunities. Some key questions of your inventory might look like this:

+ Can I attribute sales leads such as calls and emails from my website?
+ (If applicable) what is my current cost per conversion from PPC advertising?
+ How long have I had the existing design on my website?
+ How do my marketing campaigns compare to my competitors?
+ How do my new home sales compare to my competitors?

After you’ve arrived at the answers to those questions, think one level deeper and move to the following thoughts about the workings of your marketing program.

+ What is the most difficult part of customer acquisition online? Is it also the most costly?
+ If my primary source of customer leads went away tomorrow, how would I fill that gap?
If you answer these questions honestly, you should have a rough picture of what you need to pursue and nurture in a digital marketing strategy. Compare the needs, weaknesses and opportunities you just arrived at. Does your current budget allocate enough resources to meet and surpass these needs?

Where do you see your business in 5 to 10 years?

This final area is crucial to future growth as a home builder in a still uncertain market. Do you see yourself as a local builder aspiring to become regional or owning the local space? Look at the list of current needs you just made and compare the distance to your future goals. Working with these two data points, identify what you need to accomplish and how. Whether you find gaps in your plan or simply need to find a marketing partner, contact the Forthea team to grow help grow your business through digital marketing.

Nick Lindauer
Nick is the vice president, client services and operations at Forthea. He’s been working in internet marketing since 2002, when – ironically – he answered an ad in the newspaper. When he’s not at work, he’s off spending time with his family, working on his house, building furniture, cooking on his two Big Green Eggs & brewing hot sauce.


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