MAR K E T I N G
TThe last time the industry got together
was at PiGs in Manchester on March
. people, from across the
supply chain, mostly spent the evening
discussing what was likely to happen around
Coronavirus. What was going to be the next step –
and how would it affect the industry?
Within days, the industry had shut down.
While manufacturing and distribution wasn’t part
of the notified industries, there was a general
feeling that in order to protect the NHS, we had to
take this collective decision. For installers, it was
clear cut – if you can’t see your mum, you can’t
work in another person’s house.
What it meant for us, was we had to act fast to
communicate the temporary closure of factories to
customers through email and social media.
Once closed, we knew the importance of
keeping customers up to date with the latest
guidance. To start with that was the Government
funding to support them during lockdown. Some
of the news was quick to come through, but the
details of how to claim were slower. We made
sure we kept ourselves informed, which meant
our customers were letting their customers know
first. We were able to provide best guidance for
installers to raise their profile and keep them in
contact with customers and prospects during
Social media came into its own over the
pandemic. User rates were higher than ever
before, and people had a longer time to spend
on it. We switched the tone of the posts and
made them more personal. We found good news
stories to share, things for parents to do with their
children while they were off schools – and, one
of the most effective for window companies, the
We updated product and case study photo
albums and kept visitors updated with the latest
information. Both quantitative and qualitative
results have been impressive, and customers have
seen increases in traffic, followers and enquiries.
Private forums became places for discussion
and checking back what the industry was thinking.
This changed regularly and we were at the centre
of this, so we could offer best advice to customers.
We were able to do this because of our
connections. The information we shared came
from a lot of different sources. I was part of the
Glass and Glazing COVID- meeting of
leaders in the industry, and BallsMarketing was
the agency that disseminated the information. We
have a close relationship with Certass, and they
have a direct line to Government, so we were able
to get information quickly. We also spoke with
fabricators, installers, component manufacturers,
glass and system companies. It put us in a position
where we could see what was happening across
the supply chain.
As well as this, we get first-hand information
from our involvement in CAPSIG, the
construction and property special interest group
within CIPR, giving us an extra perspective within
the construction industry. Even our accountant
pitched in with some useful information we were
able to share with the industry.
INDUSTRY LEADING MARKETING
These have been tough times for the industry, and
the future will be different. There is no blueprint
for marketing during a pandemic. Our strategy was
to take the sting out of the punches for customers
and present them with an action plan. To that end,
we have been working on ways to get as many
people back to work safely as possible including
guidance on working in factories, building sites,
outside and inside homes.
Changes for home improvement companies
are going to be the biggest because they work
in people’s homes. We have been working on
systems to minimise that face to face time and
include remote selling.
Through other sectors we work in, we have
experience of this, and there’s now a big incentive
to bring it into the glazing industry. We are
launching tips on online selling guidance, to help
installers make the switchover.
The biggest difference is the how attitudes have
changed in the country. We now use video call
to talk with our families and friends. I’ve heard of
everything from virtual pub crawls to grandparents
reading to their grandchildren. We don’t want to
invite strangers into our homes, we would rather
they talked to us online.
Through our partners, we have brought
together the best in online pricing and design
tools so that homeowners can be guided through
conversations on Zoom, software tools and screen
sharing. Our package of local lead generation is
perfect for installers coming back after COVID-
and beyond. We are bringing even more of this
online with the addition of chatbots and online
As companies are emerging from the lockdown,
they are finding some things have changed.
The team at Balls Marketing is ready to help
companies through these times with a range of
services based on our expertise.
8 weeks later
Andy Ball, MD at Balls Marketing, talks to GGP Magazine about the how the
agency has been central to supporting customers through COVID-.