If you are in the home services industry in Houston Texas, you already know how competitive the market is! Many multi-million-dollar brands of renown have been born in our local Houston Market. You also face challenges from large national companies that have jumped into the sprawling Houston market with their deep pockets of marketing funds. Many of these you may see or hear nearly every day.
With over 6.6 million people in the Houston market, and homes that sprawl across 665 square miles, reaching and influencing the large diverse population at scale is what good traditional marketing is all about. Don’t let the market size daunt you… with a little strategy and planning you can cost effectively build a successful brand name and grow your customer list.
Local Traditional Media Options
Home Services customers interact with many types of traditional media on a daily basis. For example, many homeowners start the day with the local broadcast TV news, then find themselves turning on some music on the car radio to get pumped up for the day as they commute. While sitting in traffic they find themselves checking out the billboards along the highway to the office. After work, homeowners find themselves sorting through print publications and magazines along with the mail in the mailbox when they get back home. Each of these traditional media can be very effective tools in building your brand awareness and activating customers when used appropriately.
Many Houston home services companies have had success cost effectively reaching consumers via broadcast radio thanks in part to the long commute times Houstonians face daily. In 2019 the average commute time one way was 29.5 minutes according to Educated Drive.org. Looking at a two-way trip, that’s almost an hour a day in the car. Despite the significant dip in traffic in 2020 due to the pandemic, Houston still remained one of the worst congested cities in the U.S., coming in at No. 3 behind only New York and Boston, according to recent urban mobility report and the Houston Chronicle. Perhaps because of the sprawling size of city itself and these commute times, local radio stations maintain strong listenership numbers, and commuters have plenty of time to take in billboard messaging.
Consumers working from their home offices often had a renewed focus on their surroundings at home, and they often kept a TV while they worked as well. This change in behavior has been reflected in a significant shift in daytime Broadcast TV and Cable network viewership numbers.
A Few Home Services Media Buying Tips
Before jumping into a media buy, it’s important to understand that targeting makes a world of difference in a huge market like Houston. Be aware of the available targeting methodologies for each type of traditional media, and how you can compare local Houston audiences to both your consumers, and to the audiences you can target across other traditional media types.
Houston is one of the nation’s most diverse markets, not just in ethnicity, but in income levels and home values as well. Audience demographics and measurements fluctuate from program to program and time slot to time slot on both Broadcast TV and Radio. To ensure a cost-effective traditional media buy you need to consider the size of each program’s audience, and who is making up that audience.
Audience data fluctuates frequently, so staying on top of rankings and Nielsen numbers for audience measurements from book to book throughout the year is important. As an example, Houston’s News Radio’s 740 AM KTRH often has a surprisingly strong listenership, similar to total numbers you would find in an FM station. These audience numbers may spike significantly during a political year.
If you’re trying to tell a visual story and stay more local or stay within a more modest media budget, cable providers have the ability to break their audiences up into zones of the city. Again, understanding these geographic zones, and the audience viewing the networks and programs within them is key to ensuring an efficient and cost-effective media buy.
The same is true about billboards and targeted print. TxDOT and census data can add insight to the number of people that drive past a huge billboard, local sign, or that live in that neighborhood you would like to target. There is also available 3rd party data that can be referenced. Understanding the demographics and target audience you’re trying to influence can help determine both where you’ll find the best marketing performance, as well as which type of messaging and creative you should use to be most effective.
Common Mistakes in Houston Home Services Marketing
With the fast paced, commute heavy lifestyle many Houstonians’ lead, it’s easy to underestimate how many ads a person sees and hears in a day. Frequency matters…Creativity matters…Timing matters… Reaching a Home services consumer when they are receptive and engaged makes a difference. Your marketing should always present your brand uniquely, differentiating your brand and your services from the competition in a way that stands out and will be remembered. Not reaching your target audience frequently enough for your message to take hold across one station or all traditional media, is a common campaign mistake.
At Brand Ranch Media, our team of traditional marketing experts have experience working with home services clients and driving success that is measured in real world leads and bottom-line revenue. We know what it takes to run successful traditional media campaigns of all types, from media planning & buying to producing creative messaging that influences consumers. We grow local brands into market leaders. We would love to chat with you about your home services business and how we can help you take your next steps forward using targeted broadcast TV, radio, cable, billboards and print. Give us a call at 713-309-6380 or send us a message to open a discussion!
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