As companies reduce advertising efforts to cope with the slumping economy, Grant & Co. has created a marketing program with its vendors where they are able to pool their money together for radio advertising.
Grant & Co., one of the area’s most successful homebuilders, has bought 60-second spots on FM 100 and Kix 106 in which their vendors will get 10-15 seconds of the commercial to promote their services. The spots are slated to hit the air in March.
“What we wanted to do was come up with a program where we worked together in promoting one another and working to enhance the brand of one another,” said Keith Grant, company president. By advertising jointly with subcontractors, “we felt that not only did it increase the brand recognition for Grant & Co., but also for a lot of the trades that we do business with.”
In the past three years, the subcontractors that Grant & Co. does business with have laid off an average of 70 percent of their employees, Grant said. And while Memphis’ unemployment hovers around 10 percent, the construction industry is seeing unemployment right around 20 percent.
One of Grant & Co.’s longtime business partners is Atlanta-based Boral Bricks Inc. Each month, partners like Boral Bricks will contribute $2,500 to the ad program with Grant & Co. offering a similar amount. That equates to about 200 ads across both stations.
“When the economy or market is down, I think it’s a good idea to step up your advertising because I think you can gain for those folks who are still strong enough to be in the market,” said Jon Erickson, sales manager for Boral Bricks’ Memphis office. “As many people are in their cars like myself, which is about 70 percent of the day flipping around on the radio stations, I get a lot of information from on advertisements on radio stations, I think it’s a great source.”
The last few years have also been difficult for Russell Williams of Traditional Plumbing Co. Inc. with regard to marketing. The only way his family-owned company has been able to get its name out there in recent times is through the Memphis Area Home Builders Association, the Better Business Bureau or word of mouth.
“This greatly made it more affordable to us to get our name out there and with Grant homes being such a large builder in Memphis, basically when you turn on the radio and you hear their commercial, most people tend to listen to it,” Williams said. “Kix 106 and FM 100 are pretty much going to grab 90 percent of the listening audience.”
In addition to its radio advertising, Grant & Co. will launch a more modern and “user-friendly” website April 1 that will help promote each of its partners. This will be the third time in six years the company has updated its website.
Grant & Co. also plans to add more virtual tours via YouTube and QR (quick response) codes on its brochure materials.
Grant said the company has worked through the recession and continued to build homes because it has aggressively pursued new marketing efforts while also adapting its business model to the changing economy.
“We’re not just doing the same thing we did three or four years ago,” Grant said. “We’re constantly responding to the market, making changes to our plans, making changes to our marketing efforts and to our website.”