The evolution of technology and the impact on how we conduct business is staggering. I remember when I first started my company more than 30 years ago, if someone had asked me about my marketing strategy, I would have replied, “I’m in the Yellow Pages.” I know it may be hard for some of my younger colleagues to imagine such a world, but before the internet, people had no way to get in front of potential customers other than one-way communication pieces such as direct mail, billboards, or radio ads.
Today, with the introduction of websites and social media sites like Houzz, Facebook, and Twitter, any company with any size budget can expand their reach and grow their business. In fact, it’s even possible to tailor our marketing based on online feedback and analytics.
So you may be asking yourself, “Ziz, why does this matter to me?” According to Forrester Research, buyers are anywhere from 66-90 percent through their buying journey before they contact a vendor. That means they’ve formed an impression of your company long before your first conversation. See the article “Content Marketing: It’s All About the Customer” to learn more about why you should be creating a strategy and working to build your customer relationships before they call or walk through the door.
While it may seem overwhelming, simply being a member of the NWFA provides you with a variety of marketing tools that can help you quickly showcase your dedication to your craft. Present your expertise to your customers using the following resources:
- NWFA Logo: Use the NWFA member logo to identify your company as a member of the largest trade association anywhere dedicated exclusively to the wood flooring industry. The logo is available in a variety of formats and can be placed on your website, social media profile, building, or even on your trucks. This tells the consumer you’re reputable. NWFA Certified Professionals also have exclusive rights to specialized NWFACP logos.
- Hardwood Floors Magazine Industry Guide: The Industry Guide features a comprehensive listing of all NWFA members. Available both in print and online, this annual publication is one of the top resources for connecting members to business prospects.
- Digital Badging through NWFAU: Completion of online courses through NWFA University provides valuable marketing benefits. As courses are completed, they lead to earning badges. These badges are a digital representation of a learned skill that can enhance your social media platforms, website, marketing materials, and even your digital resume on platforms like LinkedIn. I was traveling last month to visit a mill in Poland and I completed six courses while on the plane. NWFAU is awesome and if you haven’t tried it yet, I wish you would.
- Find-a-Professional Search Feature: As consumers look for wood flooring professionals through NWFA’s website, searches are ranked by training levels. Earn a badge, move up in the rankings; earn two badges, move up again; earn a certification, move up; earn two certifications, move up; etc. This platform offers consumers a real glimpse at how NWFA members commit to their profession through training and continuing education.
- Wood Floor Styles & Trends: This informative “look book” promotes the uses and benefits of wood flooring to help you successfully sell wood, and includes dozens of photos to inspire your customers. Best of all, it can be customized, allowing NWFA members to brand the publication to use as a targeted marketing tool. A digital version suitable for e-blasting and hosting on member sites is available as well, making it a valuable marketing tool to help our members grow their businesses.
NWFA’s mission is to serve wood flooring professionals. My mission is to keep pushing you, our members, in the direction of greater success and higher profits. As such, we are in the process of creating a new online marketing toolkit to help you educate your customers with tip sheets and communications pieces that you can add your company branding to while utilizing the credibility of the association as the source of content to impress upon your customers.
Do you have ideas about things that would help you in the marketplace if we created them and added them to the toolkit? I’d love to hear about your ideas.