With the Government’s determination to ensure its road map out of the coronavirus pandemic on July 19 is irreversible, Andrew Scott, MD of leading full-service marketing agency Purplex, discusses the state of the industry and why ambitious businesses need to get their digital strategy right if they want to take advantages of opportunities in the future.
It was Winston Churchill who said, “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty,” and it’s true.
Every challenge is an opportunity, and there has certainly been more than a few challenges in the glazing industry over the last 12-15 months.
Having lurched from the impact of lockdown and businesses grinding to a halt to the floodgates opening to an under-prepared industry, it has seemingly been one problem after the next.
A supply chain crisis and a shortage of raw materials are currently impacting on our industry and making for some difficult discussions between businesses and their customers.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. As most industries have suffered, and continue to, the home improvement market has seen a boom.
Windows and doors are a relatively cost-effective thing to replace compared to changing a kitchen or bathroom, so it’s not surprising homeowners have looked at those as a way of improving their home.
And while supply chain issues look set to be with us for a while yet, increased demand looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
There was a worry that foreign holidays would take consumers focus away from home improvements as pent-up frustration to get away, having been stuck indoors for so long, was set to take over.
But with travel restrictions and quarantine rules in force, many people are unsure about going on expensive holidays abroad, meaning they will have more money to spend on their homes.
Of course, it remains to be seen if consumers have brought forward the work they always planned to do on their homes or whether there will be additional demand down the line, but with households estimated to be sitting on some £180bn of savings, the UK economy on the road to recovery and people returning to work and making money, demand should be here to stay well into next year and beyond.
And for ambitious, well-run companies, the opportunities will be out there to shape their future for years to come.
A new digital age
For companies to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise they will need to make sure their website and digital presence is on point.
The digital shift in the last 12 months has been meteoric and with internet browsers, search engines, online media and mobile devices continuously changing, many websites have become out-of-date very quickly.
At Purplex, we are working with over 170 businesses to help them maximise their website and digital strategy to attract new customers and engage with existing ones, and we are building increasingly sophisticated websites that include e-commerce, booking systems, product visualisers and integration to CRM.
Of course, a website is only one part of a company’s digital presence. Social media is becoming even more important, and companies must embrace all platforms to provide them with the best chance of winning new business. For example, we have made some highly successful campaigns for clients on TikTok.
For businesses it will be essential to invest in their entire digital strategy, from their website, social media, online news and mobile apps to customer portals, digital signatures, CRM platforms, payment gateways, online reviews and more.
Not only will this help them meet continuing demand, but it will also be vital when the industry stabilises, and demand eventually slows down.
Purplex Marketing was founded in 2004 by Andrew Scott, one of Britain’s leading marketing experts. Andrew has acquired, built, and sold several successful businesses in the industry, including manufacturers, distributors, and retail businesses. Andrew and our team have in-depth industry knowledge helping support clients with a strategic marketing consultancy approach. We are a full-service agency with experience in market research and analysis, customer insights, routes to market, brand strategy and positioning.