Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2024

Less about the market, and more about the marketing

Do you have the tools to engage with a new house-buying generation, asks Hurst’s Sales Director Mark Atkinson.

According to the Office for National Statistics, property values were £6,000 lower in November 2023 than they were a year earlier – having fallen by around 2.1% on average. While some believe this may delay renovation plans, Hurst’s Sales Director Mark Atkinson argues there may be significant opportunities for window companies if they have the right tools to capitalise on them.

“There is a group of people who could benefit from falling house prices, and they are first time buyers – those who don’t have a house to sell before moving,” Mark says.

This group, Mark says, will typically be younger than your average house buyer in a normal year, and this could change the landscape when it comes to marketing and selling home improvement products.

“If you’ve gone through the house buying and selling process before, you already know the ‘rules’ and fall into step with the process fairly seamlessly,” he says. “The same is true for researching and buying home improvement products – you know where to look, what to look for, and how to go about buying what you need.

“This new generation of home buyers, on the other hand – which could represent a significant proportion of the house buying and renovating households in the first quarter of 2024 – aren’t tied to old ideas, and are receptive to new ways of engaging with home improvement.”

Mark points to social media, feeling at ease with tech, and healthy sense of impatience as key differences between older and younger generations.

“Last year we launched a new campaign, specifically to change the way the industry approaches composite door sales, and engaging with this new generation of homeowners,” he says.

The campaign is built around new marketing tools integrating print, video, and new digital tools. They are designed to be used by anyone involved in the door marketing and selling process, including retail specialists and independent installers.

“Significantly, many people are moving away from the showroom model of selling, and towards engaging with online tools, and this has helped shape our marketing support package,” Mark says.

One element of this marketing package is a new augmented reality sales tool, which allows homeowners to superimpose a selection of Hurst’s most popular composite door styles against their property using their mobile phone or tablet.

Opened in their browser, homeowners can choose from the 12 popular composite door styles, which are featured in lifestyle images throughout the new brochure, viewing them as a fully rotatable and zoomable 360° 3D rendered image which they can then superimpose against their property on the screen of their device.

“We are not moving away from traditional marketing tools, such as brochures,” Mark explains. “But they interact seamlessly with a new generation of assets that allow our customers to provide their customers

with the ultimate retail experience and guidance when choosing the perfect door for their property.”

The door styles featured in the new Hurst Augmented Reality Composite Sales Tool, include options drawn from across its Classic, Cottage, Contemporary and Designer Collections.

The new Hurst AR Composite Sales Tool builds on the suite of retail assets launched by Hurst in the second half of 2023, which includes its new composite door collection 65-page lifestyle brochure ‘You’re Home With Hurst’ which sits at the centre of its fully integrated retail sales campaign.

It features Hurst’s extensive range of composite door styles including Classic, Cottage, Contemporary and Designer collections, plus its extensive choice of furniture, colour and glass options.

It also explains door performance in simple and easy-to-understand terms, with additional explanation of performance delivered in short professionally created videos, accessed via a QR code. These demonstrate the features and benefits of choosing a new Hurst composite door before the homeowner uses the AR tool to see how different door styles look on their home.

“There are always opportunities,” Mark says, “as long as you have the marketing tools to capitalise on them.”