In this month’s GGP Magazine column, DOORCO Operations Director Jayne Sullivan, discusses the changes the leading composite door supplier has seen this year when it comes to marketing doors.
Marketing & PR has been an integral part of building the DOORCO brand for many years. We’ve mainly focused on the trade media to gain customers and increase door sales, building the DOORCO name through advertising and sending out news releases and editorial about the company and our products in the form of PR – news, articles, letters, and the like. We’ve had a social media presence and along the way we have created collateral like door brochures, websites, and a bespoke door designer and ordering system, that support our customers with their own marketing. Over the years, we’ve become bolder, taking the same innovative approach we apply to our product development, but the focus has very much been on DOORCO and our own growth. This made sense; we don’t install doors into homes and therefore were only interested in talking to trade where we could get volume sales (not necessarily massive volumes, but volume all the same).
The Game Changer: Lockdown 1.0
When we went into Lockdown, the usual lines of communication were limited and marketing seemed to go two ways: radio silence, or increased presence. We opted for the later. From the very start, we wanted sales opportunities for us all to come back to and saw the way to create opportunity was through marketing. Working closely with our partners, we concentrated on the one avenue that was still open to everyone – social media. We embarked on a campaign to build better awareness by increasing engagement with our customers and the wider industry, sharing content about what makes DOORCO unique, and encouraging conversation through sharing ideas on new designs, colours and glass options. We also realised now would be a logical time to take our message downstream to the consumer and establish DOORCO as a household name in order to start lead generation on behalf of our customers, rather than from behind the scenes; something that was new to us up to that point.
Pictorial-led, Instagram is a place of inspiration. There is a whole network of renovators and self-builders, designers and influencers that share their stories on Instagram for the world to see. We decided to explore how DOORCO could become part of this growing trend. By increasing our presence, and shifting from ‘trade’ to ‘lifestyle’ that included the door styles that makes DOORCO unique, such as Monza II, Farmhouse and Links, we were able to increase both our leads and brand recognition/awareness. Instagram has also become an influential platform for trades people as well, and we found we were able to make an impression on them too.
In the early days of returning to work, we (DOORCO and our customers) were grateful for the leads we had generated, but very quickly it became apparent that we were heading into a home improvement boom! We realised that the efforts we had invested during the initial lockdown were bearing fruit, and we saw a massive shift in sales towards the styles we had been sharing. In fact, the DOORCO top five best sellers has completely changed. Previously, the traditional 6/4 Combi was king, today Monza II is top of the charts, closely followed by Farmhouse. This type of marketing is now the new normal for DOORCO and continues to add significant value to our customer relationships, especially in time where resources limited. This sort of partnership enables us to act as an extended sales pipeline on our customer’s behalf.
A time for investment
In an ideal world you can see these changes coming and you can prepare for them, and if those changes are take you by surprise – like a global pandemic – you need to have the skills and confidence to pivot. DOORCO is a forward-thinking supplier, that has the customer in mind on all key decisions and willingly explores new avenues to better support customers. Marketing is just one of the areas of the business we are committed to making significant investment in as part of our journey to take the business to the next level, which includes increasing our support for our existing customers as well as welcoming new ones. We’ve got some exciting things to come in 2021, which we are sincerely hoping can be showcased to all at the FIT Show in May.