Culligan Marketing Q&A at CDANA Tri-State Convention 2022
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
The Tri-State CDANA (Culligan Dealers Association of Norther America) Tri State convention took place in Battle Creek, MI in September 2022. Representatives from nine states met for three days at the Firekeepers Casino and Hotel for the latest industry developments.
Five marketing agencies, including Fusion Digital, participated in a marketing Q&A panel taking live questions from the Culligan dealers in the audience. Below are Fusion Digital's responses to the questions.
What is the best way to follow up with inbound leads? Should email, text, or phone be used? How many times?
The speed of response is a key factor. Some evidence suggested that conversions could be doubled the faster you follow up with a new lead. As a rule of thumb, it is best to engage with a new lead about six to seven times, irrespective of the platform.
Fusion Digital believes that you should start with at least three emails, allowing for tracking and open rates to be analyzed, collecting data so you know who has interacted with the emails the most. That said, picking up the phone right away is always a good idea!
While face-to-face meetings may be the most effective way to follow-up, Fusion Digital noted that using automation and data collection and analysis lets you learn from the leads you receive and build off that information. By using automation, you free the time of the sales reps so that they are not spending their time on lead generation but rather on closing the sales that the automated system filtered out.
There are three main categories when it comes to marketing with Culligan; Corporate, Co-op, and Local. Where should you be spending marketing dollars? Where should Corporate be focusing? Where should the Co-op be focusing? And where should Local be focusing?
Each category has an important role to play. On a national level, Corporate has buying power that the Co–ops or Local do not have, in particular for advertising campaigns on national TV or Radio.
Fusion Digital said, if you look at the statistics, there are lots of people searching for the brand and fewer searches for the generic keywords such as water filtration, water softening, etc. It is evident that Corporate is doing an excellent job for brand recognition. Due to this, the Co-ops and Local can capitalize on using keyword research. In addition, running campaigns according to regional and hyper-local initiatives can bring the customer directly to you. For example, if keyword research shows that a popular search question in your area is “why is my shower door always stained?”, the Co-op and Local can focus on these specific search problem/solution questions, explaining what hard water does and how water softening can help, in an effort to direct the client to Culligan dealership.
With all your marketing campaigns, it’s important to be sure that your Local marketing budget should be focusing on core marketing such as the website. When developing your website and online presence it is important to include unique information, unique content and keywords that are data driven.
While in some communities Local marketing spend might be better spent on TV, using data as a means to track and monitor your performance is essential.
Customers move and relocate. How do we know when people are moving and how is it best to target and connect with them?
Social media uses data from various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and others. We have all experienced the requests to accept cookies on websites we visit. This allows the sites and platforms to collect and use that data.
Fusion Digital believes that one of the best platforms to use in these scenarios is YouTube, which is currently and consistently the most visited site platform for video search. It is possible to filter data to see what people are searching for to determine who might be moving. With this filtered data, a marketing strategy can be built on an analysis of that information to generate specific target audiences for a campaign.
In addition, it’s important to understand how to maximize on the paid ads within these platforms. For example, when someone watches a full video you pay for the ad on YouTube, if someone watches for fewer than 29 seconds, that ad is free, so you want to make sure to use that for effective marketing initiatives and branding. What is better than free branding?!
Whether it is direct mail or digital platforms, you can do a lot of customization. Fusion Digital suggests that you try five different promotions or email subject lines and see to which people respond best. This can be measured based on the unique URLs or QR codes that are on the direct mail, which can then be tracked and analyzed. Essentially, even if it is a non-digital campaign you can break it back to visuals and get that data and track it accordingly.
As the economy slows down, what's the best way to gain market share and weather the downturn? Is it TV, radio, or buying Google Ads using keywords?
Culligan is a strong brand, so a marketing mix is important. Keeping the brand strong is essential in a downturn and you should resist the inclination to reduce marketing and focus most of your marketing spend on lead generation and sales only.
Fusion Digital believes that companies should keep spending on marketing efforts. The smaller companies have a tendency to cut back on the allocated budget but without marketing, your company will no longer get noticed and you will be “out of sight, out of mind”. Stay away from “quick fixes” as they are your enemy.
We need to focus on today’s strategies and marketing methods to weather today’s economy. The methods that worked in previous economic downturns won’t be as impactful now that digital marketing is so crucial to brands.
Of course it is important to be strategic about where to spend your marketing budget, so be sure to focus on spending on the right platforms. For example, LinkedIn is a great place to advertise because you can filter to specific target audiences. While a mix is good, Fusion Digital understands that digital marketing is trackable, and that information is invaluable. Keeping track of your efforts will guide you as to where to spend the money on what is actually working.
What is the most successful way to market to the B2B/Commercial industry?
Targeting commercial entities is somewhat harder because there is less data available but it’s important to remember that B2B searchers are still people using search engines. Many of the search terms they use will be similar. While some of the agencies believe that building relationships and networking over time, using LinkedIn is an excellent platform, there is no silver bullet.
Your ads and case studies must be industry focused and well structured. Make sure that this information is on your website so that you can track your commercial marketing efforts.
Fusion Digital also strongly believes in the power of LinkedIn for commercial marketing. As we know, LinkedIn allows you to target specific people or according to filters, including job title, industry and Geo-targeting.
Relying on keywords and search terms makes it more difficult as the commercial industry will be using the same search language and keywords as a regular client. It is for that reason that it’s important to build excellent content using those keywords, referencing industries or products that you are aware the commercial entities are searching for. Using a combination of keywords and content will increase your chances of higher rankings in Google search results, making sure that you get noticed and increase your traffic.
We understand that you might have more questions and we are happy to answer any that arise. Be in touch with us at Fusion Digital so that we can answer your specific enquiries and help you build a customized and well-structured marketing strategy for your business.