Starting a Local Image Campaign
The biggest “buzz” in the industry right now seems to be about how we can underwrite an image campaign that will explain to consumers why manufactured housing is the right choice for them. It’s an idea that has been proposed for years, but instead of waiting for a national campaign, why not do a grassroots campaign at your retail center, community, or manufacturing facility to get things started? What you do and promote at a local level can only help your business directly, and the industry indirectly. Here are some easy (and inexpensive) ways to get things started immediately.
Add Some Color
The weather has finally cooled off a bit and people are out enjoying the fall season and activities that go with that. Show that you are in the spirit as well bit by freshening up your model homes with Fall themed colors and accessories. These will be current all of the way through Thanksgiving so you can have lots of time to talk about your Fall themed decors. Walmart has great tabletop plates, linens, etc this year, and a lot of them are less than $3.00!
Wondering what to do with those Fall decorations after the season is over? How about doing a promotion where if you buy a home from us now we’ll provide the tabletop accessories (plates, napkins, candles, etc.) and a gift certificate to a local market so you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in your new home in style. This would be easy to do for Christmas as well - buy a home from us and we’ll give you a tree and decorations to enjoy your first Christmas in your new home in style. You would then highlight this promotion in your model home using the tree and decorations that would be included in the promotion.
The Chamber of Commerce
This is a group that has often been overlooked as a lead source, but is the perfect place for your local image campaign to start. Try hosting a meeting of your local chapter, or have an evening where you invite them to your community and you provide the food and beverages. This also works well with any group that might include potential customers for you - sports leagues, Jr. Leagues, religious groups... there is always a need for a meeting place if you are involved in a group. Or possibly start your own group that would meet in your models - what about a book club? The more people that physically get to tour your homes and understand what a great value we offer, the more chances we have of selling more homes.
Put together a closet full of “goodies” - start with promotional items that your vendors might be able to provide, then add information and items that give the customer additional information on your homes. This can be very inexpensive - pretty colorful bags can be purchased in bulk from ULine.com then you can personalize using a sticker or card with your information. If you have ever been to a fundraising event that has goodie bags, you’ll see that people fight over getting one even if it’s full of ads and coupons they might not ever use. How about asking local stores, restaurants, etc. if they would be interested in offering a coupon and a discount that you could include? By working together you have developed a new ally that wants you to be successful as well. A few pieces of candy and a thank-you for visiting our community... give this to them after they tour your homes and it will be the perfect ending to a great visit.
If you contact one reporter a day, or reach out to one politician a week to let them know about manufactured housing, think of how much of a difference we all can make in a year! It’s not just up to the manufacturers - we all owe it to each of us in the industry to do our part to help all of us succeed.