A recent report prepared by Market Development Group took a close look at professionals in the plumbing and heating industry and how they are currently using digital marketing tools to enhance their business. This is quite interesting considering that this industry has been one of the slower ones to develop an interest in online marketing, mainly because they prefer to do business face to face, are not familiar with it or are set in their ways.
Yet no matter how set in stone a plumbing professional is, the fact is that the world is changing and their customers expect to see them online. Existing customers want the opportunity to connect with the business, share their experiences through ratings and reviews and read more about tips, how-tos and extended warranties. New customers use the Internet to compare plumbers, HVAC repair companies and material suppliers, read reviews and get quotes. Plain and simple: If a plumbing/heating company is not using digital marketing, they are missing out on business.
Fortunately, more plumbers, HVAC repair and service professionals and material suppliers are realizing this and turning to the Internet to research product features and benefits, read product reviews and purchase products. They can also compare pricing, stay on top of the trends by checking out new products and research product training. However, the most common websites that plumbers, HVAC repair and service professionals and material suppliers use are distributor ones where they purchase fittings, valves/faucets and fixtures.
Now, here’s where things get interesting. In the report, 98% of the distributors interviewed had an e-commerce strategy in place. But only 40% of the distributors had a dedicated website. This indicates that there are many distributors out there that have yet to move their sales online, and contractors are only getting access to a small percentage of distributors.
In the next 3 to 5 years, we should see a significant increase in the number of distributors who sell plumbing products online. This will create more competition and give plumbers a number of options when purchasing parts. A stronger online presence can also lead to more promotion within the industry, as distributors are willing to promote specific manufacturers’ brands, and plumbers will probably want to do the same.
If you are in the plumbing and heating industry and have yet to develop a strong online marketing strategy, it’s time to get things into gear. More plumbers, HVAC repair and service companies and material suppliers are creating online websites and social media campaigns, plus are reaching out to online distributors to get competitive rates on products. Contact Kevin Dean or Eric Wiedenmann to develop your business strategy at 925-648-0680, visit MarketDevelopment.net, or contact WSI Net Advantage for more about customer research surveys and marketing survey services.
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage...
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