Times are drastically changing and so has the market. Potential customers are using the Internet to research companies so they can shop and buy more intelligently, and they expect higher quality and service than they did in the past. You need to quickly and effectively convey the services your company delivers so these customers will take action. The challenge is branding an image that communicates what your business truly represents.

Many companies struggle to generate leads, repeat customers, and lifelong clients. The problem is that most companies do not embrace marketing until circumstances drive them to it. One key is using integrated or internal marketing — asking sales, production, and trade contractors to strategize about how they can enhance the customer’s experience. Marketing is far too important to be an afterthought or left only to one department or individual. The companywide orientation should be part of everyone’s job description. Explain your internal and external marketing plan to your employees and define their roles in the program. It doesn’t make any sense to promise excellent customer service before your team is ready to provide it. It is only when employees and trades view customers as the source of their jobs that the team forms an effective marketing machine.

A customer-focused team creates a better process-focused outcome — a success story that you can describe to potential clients in your marketing materials. Avoid using “marketing speak” or you may find that the phone stops ringing. Many remodelers pick up copy from other remodelers’ marketing materials. Their customers will be disappointed if they don’t receive the type of service promised in those materials. Document your true mission and hire an experienced creative writer to express it to your customers.

—Tim Nagle is the president of Remodel Buddy, a business organization specializing in coaching and peer roundtables. [email protected]