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.

Interior Design – You Too Can Be An Expert

The interior design industry has exploded over the past decade, with more and more interior design magazines appearing on the shelves of new stalls and news agents and a huge increase in the amount of television viewing hours given over to interior design television programs as well as make over programs.

To go hand in hand with this increase in popularity there has also been a huge increase in the amount of people claiming to be interior design “experts” or fully fledged interior designers. But what can these people do for your home that you cannot do yourself? The answer is probably very little in all honesty, that is unless you get a top grade interior designer who has made it their life’s work to re design the interior of people’s homes.

Many of the people who today claim to be specialists in the field of interior design have no more qualifications than a year or two studying at the local college in the evenings after they have finished their regular day job. This is not what I would call an expert. So unless you are totally satisfied that you are getting a time served, fully qualified interior designer who will be able to come up with plans and ideas that you yourself could not do then steer away and why not have a go at doing the job yourself.

Having a go at doing a little interior design in your own home may seem a little daunting at first but there is absolutely no reason why it should be, after all it is your own home and if you get it wrong who is going to be angry? No one, it’s your home you can do as you please. To make the job a little easier there are a few things that you can do before you start any work and there a few things you should get right in your own mind as well.

Firstly you need to be honest with yourself, if there are any jobs that you feel that you are not capable of doing then get a professional in or a friend who may be able to do it for you. The last thing you want to do is try re-plumbing a bathroom and flooding the whole house. Know your limits and budget accordingly.

Take the time to write down all of the thing that you want to achieve with your interior design project as well as a time scale and cost attached to these items. Always be generous with these budgets as it’s is much easier to work to a realistic budget than a hopeful one.

As certain rooms within the home are easier to work with it may be an idea to have a go at working in these specific rooms first, namely the living room and the front room. Things to take into account when working with these rooms is the amount of light coming into them as well as the amount of living room furniture that will need to be placed or replaced. It is important to understand the lighting in the room to give you an idea of what color tones to use that will enhance the features within the room. The furniture issue is more of a practicality one, over size living room furniture is very popular at the moment and needs a larger room to accommodate it, if your room is not as large as you would like you will need to try another method of furnishing the room.

When you are happy that you have got the hang of the basics of interior design you might feel comfortable at having a go at other more difficult jobs within the home. If you do get stuck for ideas there are plenty of interior design resource sites and forums on the inter web that should be able to point you in the right direction.

5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment

For many homeowners deciding on a theme or style for the interior of their home seems about as simple as splitting an atom or negotiating peace in the Middle East. Daunted by an overload of magazines, web-sites, books and television shows each presenting dazzlingly photographed interiors filled with chic, stylish and wildly desirable objects and each slapping an editorial spin on what this look will be called; is it any wonder that most homes languish in an unfocused design haze far longer than necessary?

To cut through the clutter and the confusion here are 5 Steps to Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Style for Your Home or Apartment:

1. Understand the Architectural Style in which you will be living. Maybe your home is a California Bungalow or a New England Cape. Maybe your condominium building is heavily influenced by Mediterranean Architecture or is a symphony of modern glass and concrete. Regardless of what’s going on around you to intelligently parse out what will happen inside your home you should have a grasp of your homes’ architectural styling.

2. Have an opinion on what will happen inside your home. Good design is not for wimps and great design actually necessitates a home’s owner to have well formed opinions about what they want to live with every day. So do your homework. Visit a Designer Show House, tour model homes or spend a Saturday afternoon flipping through pages of design and architecture books and get in touch with what makes you smile. You don’t need to identify every element in the room on the page you just need to know that looking at it makes you smile. While the smile is still fresh on your face place a post-it-note on that page and we’ll come back to it shortly.

3. Play nicely with those who share the same address. Few things are as tedious as are constantly bickering couples. On the best of days finding harmony amid life’s madness can be a challenge. Please don’t add decorating discord to the list of topics on which you and your spouse joust. No one ever wins these bouts; in fact everyone within earshot actually loses. So think in terms of mutually beneficial negotiations as you hash through the thoughts and ideas shared by your life-partner and seek ways to weave together the single best idea each one brings to the table. Melding two design ideas under one roof is neither revolutionary nor improbable. In fact, it’s been done for decades with happy relationships as a delightful by-product.

4. Create visible reminders of the agreed upon direction (s) for your home. If “Big-City Modern with a touch of French Empire” is what’s been agreed upon then make it the law of the land by memorializing the decision with a pin-board and shared idea-page. Own the decision which is the result of your hard-fought negotiations by establishing visual markers. This way those in your spheres of influence can hold you to your choice and support you as you together create your new home.

5. Don’t hesitate to call in professional reinforcements. There are times, both in the negotiation phase and in the shopping phase, when outside help can be priceless. Learn who the pros are in your area who you can call for that bit of non-partisan back-side kicking. And don’t be shy about dialing their number. Writing a check for an hour or two of design consultation can mean the difference between a good room and a great room. You’re worth it being great so do what’s necessary. You won’t regret the call.

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