Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Individuals as the Future of Brands

Traditionally, notes Hearsay Social's CEO Clara Shih, corporate marketing teams controlled the brand voice.  Now, Shih suggests, individual voices of employees, customers and the greater public are being empowered and transforming marketing processes. You can read more on Hearsay Social's blog.

It can be argued that the corporate marketing process is being transformed to what can be called curatorial or a facilitative role.  The "silo" approach with centralized control is changing to more of a consumer-directed dialogue.

Customer Comment Board: Empowering the consumer voice
Social networking has been driving much of this change; however, there are other ways to solicit and encourage your customer's voice. 

Take a look at the Whole Foods Customer Comment Board  featuring an interactive touchscreen.  Stores are practicing proactive customer service -- actively asking for input, soliciting advice, encouraging shoppers to highlight particular team members because of their engagement.  Team members respond to every one of the consumer comments, suggestions, requests and Cool Beans recognizing employees. 

It's no longer about putting out fires -- this is about focusing on the opportunity to do better business and stay relevant to consumers.

Are you reaching out to your customers to understand their needs and provide personalized service? What processes do you have in place to actively encourage consumer dialogue and integrate their voice into your brand?


Monday, April 28, 2014

Selling New Homes? How Your Neighborhood Can Win Over Resale

Home shoppers today can find many reasons to purchase new: improved construction processes (think structural reinforcements if you're selling in tornado- or hurricane-prone areas); energy efficient appliances and related savings, customization choices...no doubt, much of your sales and marketing attention focuses on these tangible items (and it should!).

Close to Everything: Take a Look at What Interests You!
At the same time, Marilyn Lewis' article, 20 Signs You're Buying in a Great Neighborhood, reminds us "a great neighborhood sells a home"!
What are you doing to promote your new neighborhood? Lewis' article (you can read it here) suggests the first thing you can do is: get out and learn about the neighborhood! Take a walk, pick up a latte, locate school resource guides and, soon, you'll feel comfortable talking-up the area to your home shoppers.

Lots going on in this walkable neighborhood!
Of course, there are brochures, guides and the like but...why not put technology to work introducing your neighborhood to your home shoppers?  Make it an engaging exploration; add personalized touches (we love the John Marshall's "Must Try" pick for their dining examples); Go Interactive!

Take a look at the SalesTouch interactive touchscreen presentation location displays above and to the right: you're able to view the local  area map and select a topic of interest mirroring

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Builds a Customer Relationship? Conversation!

We all can recognize an essential fact about conversations: it's really difficult to have one with someone you don't know!  Where do you start? Do we have a common interest?

Interactive Touchscreens Engage & Start the Conversation
That's one reason we champion interactive touchscreens for use in sales and information centers: they get conversations started.  Between home shoppers, between consumers and sales agents, even between prospects and a touch monitor!

People walk up to a touch monitor when its visually inviting.  They've seen a message they're interested in and want to start engaging.  In other words, they're starting the conversation with your brand!

Take a look at the image above: the home shopper has viewed Camberley Homes' Lakeshore floor plan and taken time to personally note they love the Open Kitchen.

What can we gather from this interaction? We'll suggest that a conversation has been started, the sales

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homebuilder Collaboration Software: Enhances Office-to-Field-to-Vendor Interaction

Traditionally, there were separate sets of knowledge, requests and data.  Homebuilders developed schedules and assigned tasks to their vendors.  There were faxes and telephone calls to communicate what needed to be done -- with more calls and invoices indicating what had been done.

Shared Schedules, Punch Items, Safety - Anywhere, Anytime

Today, homebuilders are focused on replacing localized data with a central repository of information accessible by authorized team members via the lowest common technology denominator -- software utilizing an internet browser.  This process means that office desktops, mobile phones and tablets are able to share information -- and design drawings have been added to this shared set of information.

CPS' Vendor Portal meets the core objectives needed for effective collaboration: organizational features such as security settings, user authorization and the like; communication features including publishing items such as FieldCollaborate construction schedules, management features including work standards and sharing/viewing/working with design drawings through 3rd party add-ons such as

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Today's Home Buyers are Looking for...Energy Efficiency is in the Top 3

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently reported (MortgageOrb summarized here) that today's single-family home buyer's list of most desired features includes: convenience, livability and energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency: How Buyers Can Save $$
Do you recall an earlier Solutions blog, Bringing Green Out from "Behind the Walls?"

Energy efficiency is right there in the Top 3 desired features -- specifically Energy-Star rated windows, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated appliances.

How does your Marketing Plan address these buyer objectives? We'd like to suggest Go Interactive with a SalesTouch system engaging
Show your buyers how a programmable thermostat works
your home shoppers and providing an interactive experience highlighting the "green" features of your homes and the benefits. 

Get specific: show them how much they can expect to save with new energy-efficient appliances.  How cool a room stays with low thermal emissivity windows.  How a programmable thermostat works and why it is so useful in a new home.

And, how about incorporating these "green" features into a "green" marketing program?  Go Interactive  provides print on-demand brochures as well as e-brochures. Build your "green" brand as you provide energy-efficient solutions at the first consumer encounter as well as within your homes!