Marketing strategies for KBB: Long-term marketing v short-term gains

Founder of brand and performance marketing agency Door4 Leon Calverley advises KBB businesses on how to balance performance marketing with brand building.

29 Mar, 24

Founder of brand and performance marketing agency Door4 Leon Calverley advises KBB businesses on how to balance performance marketing with brand building.

Marketing strategies for KBB : Long-term marketing v short-term gains 1

A recent report into UK-wide marketing spend has shown in general marketing budgets are increasing.

But against a backdrop of raised advertising costs, consumers looking to spend less on non-essentials and changes to how marketers can target audiences in a cookieless world, how should businesses operating in the kitchen and bathroom sector approach their marketing strategies in 2024?

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During challenging times, you might think that it’s time to be cautious with marketing spend, or just focus on short-term promotions.

However, insights from the latest IPA Bellwether Report, the quarterly study of marketers’ confidence, reinforce companies have taken learnings from previous difficult trading periods and are investing in maintaining their brand’s presence.

Balancing performance and marketing

Rather than just focusing on short-term performance marketing, the report shows businesses are allocating their marketing spend with a longer-term lens, to safeguard market share and build brand loyalty.

This is evidenced by more investment in media advertising and events, as well as optimism that consumer confidence will return by the latter part of the year in 2025.

By channel, five of the seven sectors analysed in the Bellwether report recorded positive net balances during the last quarter of 2023: Events (15.9% of businesses indicated they upwardly revised their budgets for events), direct marketing (12.6%), PR (1.9%), main media advertising which spans TV, online and outdoor (1.9%) and sales promotions (1.4%).

And this strategy makes sense for kitchen and bathroom retailers where customers aren’t always in the market for ‘bigger ticket items’, but for when they enter the consideration phase of their journey you’re front of mind.

The key, even during a cost-of-living crisis and recessionary headwinds, is to optimise marketing strategies that balance short-term gains with long-term branding building and business growth.

Audience insight shapes strategies

Investment should be placed in future demand channels and attention-rich media to continue to nurture brand building and customer loyalty from the perspective of driving business growth.

68% of home and furniture shoppers research brands using search engines, whilst 38% use the brands’ website. With this in mind, budgets for search and proactive website optimisation should remain a strong area of investment in 2024.

Just over a quarter (27%) of home decor and furniture shoppers use social media to research brands.

Meta, which is Facebook and Instagram, still reigns supreme in this space despite the growth of newer platforms such as TikTok. Spend should therefore continue to be focused on these proven channels which are backed by audience insight.

Video and YouTube are also valuable for kitchen and bathroom retailers.

How-to guides, product walk-throughs, and case studies can all play a crucial role in longer-term brand building whilst boosting search visibility.

Your budget may stretch further than you think in traditional channels such as radio, TV and Out Of Home advertising and these could provide the perfect opportunity to steal a march against your competitors.

Of course, with any marketing strategy, it is crucial to continually measure, learn and adjust campaigns for the best results.

ROI is non-negotiable. So too is a strategy that can adapt to fluctuating consumer spending habits as well as your competitors’ marketing efforts.