Published On: Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

Compelling marketing tools help close the sale

It’s no secret that the conservatory market has changed.  The number of traditional conservatories is in decline and replaced by fewer installations with a much higher overall sales value – in short, fewer customers who have an appetite to spend more.    So with fewer customers in the market, but the opportunity to make better margins – how do retailers convince the buying public to choose a conservatory specialist as an alternative to the builder route for their extension and orangery projects? Alex Hewitt, Ultraframe Marketing Director, shares her insights and explains how Ultraframe is supporting its customers to win work that would have previously gone to a builder.

“We’ve talked a lot previously in Windows Active about having the range to support today’s aspirational, glazed extension market. But having the range is only half the story.  The other half of the story is about how we are supporting our retail partners with the most compelling marketing tools and the insights that are allowing them to engage a customer from the moment they think ‘lets extend our home’.  This complicated buying journey was brought to life at our recent lead generation training courses.  With over 100 customers attending at 5 locations around the country, we really focused on the practical steps a retailer can take to increase and improve the quality of their leads.

“To put this into context. We know now that the sphere of influence in the home extension space is has changed dramatically in the last two years.  Consumers are getting their knowledge from a broad spectrum of platforms – TV, social media, digital advertising, lifestyle resources such as Pinterest and Houzz now feature heavily in a consumer’s research dominated by strong imagery.  We’ve reflected this image-led bias in our own website and, through our partnership with digital firm ICAAL, have developed a vast number of tools for Ultraframe retailers to use to engage homeowners early in the process. 

“All of our sole-supply customers can received our new Virtual Reality kit worth £12k, enabling them to ‘plug’ the VR tool into their own website.  This fully immersive experience goes straight to the heart of the consumer’s need for inspiration.  Equally, our retailers can now take advantage of the Quoting Tool allowing them to give consumers complete freedom to generate a quote in their own time, but critically, this process is backed up by a full CRM system that qualifies the lead and generates a follow up action for the retailer.  We also recognise that many retailers don’t have the luxury of a marketing firm on tap, so with ICAAL, we’ve developed a fully configurable, SEO ready website that any of our sole-supply customers can take advantage of.  We’ve also transformed our marketing portal and today it contains over 2000 new marketing assets.  We’re constantly refreshing it to ensure that no matter what campaign a retailer is running there is wide range of ready-to-go assets available for them to use. 

“Consumer buying behaviour in the home extension market is changing rapidly.   A home owner carries out their research long before they think about the practicalities of who will build their extension.  Yet it’s in this relaxed mind-set that we are able to educate and convince consumers about the unique attributes of an Ultraframe home extension.  Equally, the days of engaging consumers with conservatory shapes, such as the Edwardian or the Victorian, are out-dated.  Home owners want bespoke, an extension that they feel is unique to them and reflects their individual style.  Using our tools and resources, we’re supporting our retailers to deliver that powerful and fully immersive online experience as well as providing an entire new set of marketing materials and ideas through our marketing portal.   

Stuart Jones from Paxtons, based in Saffron Walden, attended the course, Stuart comments: “The Ultraframe lead generation session was a real eye-opener to the realities of today’s consumer behaviour and how we can use these insights to our advantage.  Having Ultraframe as our roof supplier brings no end of advantages, not least of all being able to access their marketing campaigns and online tools.  It’s this level of support that will ensure that we’re in the strongest position to take advantage of today’s home extension opportunity.”