After the unprecedented challenges faced by businesses in 2020, there is set to be a shift in the industry in 2021. Here Andrew Scott, Managing Director of leading full-service marketing agency Purplex, discusses why opportunities will be out there, why the online marketplace will become the new battleground to win business – and what Purplex will be doing to provide their customers with a competitive edge.
It goes without saying that the glazing industry has had a challenging year, from the impact of lockdown and businesses grinding to a halt to the floodgates opening to an under-prepared industry experiencing record levels of demand and causing major supply chain issues in the process.
But it hasn’t all been bad news. Despite the economic impact of Covid-19 the home improving market has continued to operate well above expected levels as consumers avoided holidays and found themselves working from home.
With all the above having a knock-on effect moving forward, and with a working vaccine now being rolled out, what will 2021 look like?
Crazy supply chain issues are likely to continue for the first half of the year, but the good news is that an increase in demand will continue.
And while the vaccine will mean that consumers spending habits are likely to change, with long haul holidays back on the agenda when things start to return to some semblance of normality, for professional, well run companies, the opportunities will be there.
The winners will be those investing to acquire market share; either organically through strategic sales and marketing activities, or through acquisition, while the losers will be those that stand still.
And the Prime Ministers ‘Build, Build, Build’ commitment, the future home’s standard 2025 and the UK’s commitment to Net-Zero carbon will only stimulate the industry further.
Marketing will be more important than ever before to connect with your audience. Consumers will always gravitate towards brands they know, and trust and it will be those companies who invest in building their brand, alongside their online marketing, who will emerge the winners in the long run.
Offline marketing is the best way to build your brand. Last year may have pushed businesses online, but our industry has been built on face-to-face contact, with deals being done on a handshake, not over Zoom.
With this year seeing the return of the FIT Show in May and the Glazing Summit, which we are organising again, it will be great to get that energy and buzz of a live event back, and it will be important for companies to engage and get their ‘face’ out there again.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and as a result we are living in a new era of digital and the smartphone will rule supreme.
Overnight, your website has become your most important business asset and companies are already deploying more sophisticated activities around search engine optimisation (SEO), biddable media (paid search), content marketing and social media to drive customer behaviours and convert ‘interest’ into qualified sales leads, while rival firms are oblivious to the business they are losing.
Ignoring this digital-first shift in behaviour is a recipe for disaster. Companies that fail to realise that the current upturn in business will eventually subside will be left completely exposed when orders slow down and find themselves unable to compete with rivals who have already invested in their digital strategy.
Giving clients the edge
With the digital shift in motion, at Purplex we are building increasingly sophisticated websites that include e-commerce, booking systems, product visualisers and integration to CRM.
Our team are currently working with over 170 businesses to help them maximise their website and smartphone strategy to attract new customers and engage with existing ones. This has ranged from advanced e-commerce solutions for global suppliers, complex digitised product catalogues, and lead generation websites that have generated 400% more leads than the previous website.
In preparation for being able to support our clients even more, we have also invested around £1m in a new office facility on the same South West site as our current headquarters.
It will feature a TV/recording studio and dedicated training centre and become the first net-zero carbon office in the South West. It can also accommodate 150 plus additional employees and our expansion plans will benefit our clients and help us continue to produce the results they demand.
For more information, visit www.purplexmarketing.com or call 01934 808132.