Volume 13, Issue 1 - January/February 2009

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Online Response to Market Changes

In some of my previous columns, I have advised that your website needs to respond to the dynamic nature of our industry and business as a whole. The global economic disaster that we’re facing has now created an environment of panic where many potential customers’ spending has dried up. This money freeze has forced some window film dealers to rethink their marketing strategies and enhance the products and services that they provide.

Your website provides you with a distinct advantage when it comes time for a quick change of strategy. It is an effective marketing tool; and unlike the Yellow Pages, which are static for a year, your website can be modified quickly and fairly inexpensively to reflect your new marketing strategy or additional products and services.

Consider the window film dealer that has specialized in automotive installations. This dealer has probably created an effective marketing plan that allows for consistent growth, year over year, but the success that took so long to achieve may now be at risk due to the economic climate. Adding paint protection film, which is less seasonal than window tint, to his product range may help him survive the down market with minimal disruption in sales. The fastest way to communicate this new product offering is by updating his company’s website.

When there is a change in your company that provides customers with additional reasons for transacting business, highlight that change on the home page of your website. In the above example, this dealer can call attention to that change with some Flash animation of a luxury car being bombarded by gravel that chips away at the car’s paint. When the animation is complete, a headline reading “ABC Window Tinting Now Installs Paint Protection Film” and a “Click Here” button can take the visitor to newly-developed paint protection-specific content. The website can communicate this new service.

Another great way of providing your prospects and customers with updates about your company is to begin an online company newsletter. Hosting companies such as GoDaddy.com provide canned online newsletter solutions that are easy to use. Simply pick a design template, upload your contact list, and type the content that you want to communicate. For example, you might consider positioning your flat glass window film dealership as a local authority on energy conservation. Providing homeowners, via an online newsletter, with tips on how to conserve energy may enhance your credibility as an energy consultant and ultimately lead to more sales. You can email prospects and customers as often as you’d like as long as you have their consent. For more information, visit the FTC’s website: http://www.ftc.gov/spam.

The internet provides a marketing and communication mechanism that can be changed as quickly or frequently as our businesses, our industry, and our economies do. Navigating these tough times from behind your computer monitor can be an effective and inexpensive way to drive sales during these tough times.

Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Products Distribution in Baltimore. Mr. Hondroulis’ opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine. If you have questions, e-mail Manny at mhondroulis@epdwindowfilm.com.

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