7 Marketing Strategies – Interior Designers, Consider These Areas

Interior Designers need to understand their whole marketing strategy and how each of its 7 constituent tactics work together to grow the business.

This article is a checklist. Go through each of the points I’ve listed and apply it to your sales and marketing in your business. My opinion on what are particularly important marketing communications for interior designers are highlighted in bold and might differ if you target business rather than the public. Let me know your thoughts:

1. Search Marketing – Get your prospect at the time of their decision-making.

* Search engine optimisation (Higher rankings)

* Paid Search / Pay-per-click (Google AdWords)

* Paid for inclusion / feeds

2. Online PR – Create Awareness of your brand by getting it mentioned.

* Industry Portal Representation (eg Thehousedirectory.com)

* Social Media (blogs, feeds, communities)

* Media Alerting Services

* Brand Protection

3. Online Partnerships – Link your brand WITH OTHERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY

* Affiliate Marketing

* Sponsorship

* Co-branding

* Link building

* Widget marketing

4. Offline Communications – You should know these.

* Advertising

* Personal selling [out]

* Sales promotion

* PR

* Sponsorship

* Direct Mail

* Exhibitions

* Merchandising

* Packaging

* Word-of-mouth (your old clients are your best and cheapest salespeople)

5. Interactive Ads

* Site-specific Media Buys (only if you target businesses)

* Ad networks

* Sponsorship

* Behavioural targeting

6. Opt-in Email

* House list emails (your clients and prospects)

* Cold (rented lists)

* Co-branded (share the marketing load wisely and boost your brand image)

* Ads in 3rd party newsletters

7. Viral Marketing – Electronic variants of traditional ‘word of mouth’

* Pass along emails

* Word-of-mouth (eg using the share & enjoy functionality below)

* Buzz marketing [out]

* Generating media mentions

What do you think?

And as a PS I will follow this up with 2 more articles; one about different ways of engaging (financially) with clients; and a second about using Facebook for an interior design business. The first comment, below, reflects a theme running through many questions posed to me: website designers (techies) and ad agencies (space sellers) are trying to get you to part with your hard earned design fees; I would read a book on digital marketing that comes more from the marketing end rather than the technology end eg. “Mastering Web 2.0 bu Susan Rice Lincoln”, that’s a good way to start. DON’T SPEND £10k/$15k on a new web site think about your customers and how they behave, your marketing communications need to latch into their behaviors.

Would You Employ an Interior Designer to Build Your Home?

Imagine going to a furnishings store.

You see a set of curtains that you like.

You love the colours so much that you decide to build a home around them. You call in an interior designer and get him to build the home.

Inevitably the building doesn’t work efficiently or effectively as a home. The plumbing might not work. The electrics, the position of the doors, the construction timbers might not be as strong as they should be. The house probably wouldn’t pass certification by your local council.

So you have to call in an architect and then a builder to remodel the house so that it meets the demands of the family using it.

Obviously no sensible person would begin to even think about building a home around a set of curtains because they like the colour.

Yet that is how 99% of people go about building their website.

· They have a corporate colour or logo that they want their site to match.
· Then they call in an interior designer to design the look of the site.
· Then the designer builds the site.
· And it almost inevitably does not work for those who want to use it… searchers.
· So then they decide to cal in an architect to fix the problem.

The architect is an SEO guy. Not a technical one, that’s a civil engineer but an architect who researches and understands what works from a usability or market point of view.

Before you even begin to discuss the layout of your website with your web-designer, find out what our potential customers want and the build your site around that.

And just like the house, designing, building and decorating, are entirely different skills. You wouldn’t ask your interior designer to design your house so don’t ask your web-designer to design the structure of your website.

The term web-designer can mislead many people because of the “design” element in the term but it’s no different from the design word in interior-designer.

Now you may have your interior designer acting as project manager for building your home. That’s fine because they would consciously employ an architect and builder, plumber, electrician etc.

So don’t overload your web-designer with tasks that they aren’t experienced in undertaking. It’s not fair on them and, as helpful people, they will often agree to do the SEO for you. Yet for both you and your web-designer, you will both end up with a below par website.

To demonstrate the point, how many clients’ websites do you see on Page 1 of Google? Very few.

2 or perhaps 3 for most searches.

You’ll see directories, recruitment sites, education courses and wikis taking up most of the Top 10 sites. In many industries, they take up Page 2 and 3 as well.

The reason is that those sites, which are built by web-designers, aren’t optimised to appear on Page 1. So if your web designer says they know and can do SEO, ask them how many of their clients are on Page 1 of Google.

To be fair, I don’t have a clue about creating a design for a web-site. I know my limitations. Make sure the service providers you employ are honest about their limitations.

Everyone will produce a better result that way.

Kitchen Interior Design – Should You Buy New Appliances When Remodeling Your Kitchen?

This is a fact: your kitchen interior design plays a big part in determining your overall home design’s effectiveness. Often times, your kitchen is one of the largest, and certainly most used rooms in your home. Without a good style for this area, your home design will not work.

One of the big questions most people are faced with when determining whether or not to remodel their kitchen interior design is whether they should purchase new appliances. Here are some guidelines to help you determining whether these steps are really necessary for you.

First of all, always decide on and complete your kitchen décor design or theme before deciding whether or not to purchase new appliances. This way, you can look at and evaluate whether or not your kitchen’s appliances match the overall theme.

If not, then you should probably purchase new ones. If your current kitchen appliances already match the theme and still function properly, there really is no reason to purchase new appliances for your kitchen interior design.

If you do decide to change your kitchen appliances, and are on a limited budget, it is probably a good idea to do so one at a time. If you aren’t able to afford the whole project, then changing your appliances one at a time and waiting until you can afford the next change will be a tremendous benefit to your wallet while at the same time allowing you to move forward with your new kitchen interior design without breaking the bank.

If you have decided to change the kitchen appliances, remember to pick them out according to your new kitchen interior design theme. A good suggestion when shopping to bring along a photo of the new kitchen interior design so that you can compare it to your potential appliances and determine whether or not it will match the overall kitchen. If not, then you’d best move on.

When shopping, try to avoid looking for new appliances at your traditional department or retail store. Often times, you can locate much cheaper items at discount or outlet stores, and especially the internet.

You can usually find much cheaper prices on the web than you could ever find offline. Also, on the internet there generally is a much wider range of options available to you.

When you are shopping at the local department stores, you are somewhat limited in selection, depending on what the store carries. However, the internet literally offers thousands of different sites that retail these new appliances, at the click of a button. Follow these tips, and you will achieve the kitchen interior design you want and at the price that you can afford.