01:18 - Google's personalization goes beyond keywords and includes new metrics.
10:36 - Why Twitter doesn’t hold relevance anymore for the building material industry.
12:00 - Brand consolidation may be closer than you think, and preparation is essential.
15:46 - How mortgage rates are playing a role in who lands work in 2024.
Meet Steve Coffey and Deanna Murphy
This week, hosts Zach and Beth are joined by Steve Coffey, Venveo’s Vice President of Business Development and Growth, and Deanna Murphy, Vevneo’s Director of Strategy. Based on our experiences and discussions with others involved in the industry, we dive into our predictions for 2024.
Beth’s Prediction: Google’s Algorithm Update & When to Use AI-Generated Content (and when not to)
The conversation kicks off with Beth's prediction for 2024, centered around Google's core algorithm updates and the changing landscape of SEO. Beth emphasizes the importance of personalization and creating helpful content for ranking positively in search queries.
One key takeaway from her prediction is the need for businesses to prioritize quality over quantity in content creation. She also mentions Google’s plan to handle AI in 2024 — Google aims to better identify AI content and penalize people for things like keyword stuffing and AI-generated content without human oversight.
If you’re taking what ChatGPT gives you and then copy, paste into your blog and just keep rolling like an AI-generative content manufacturing machine — that's not going to get you results. But, leveraging AI-generative content to increase your ability to create good work that you put your technical subject matter expertise into — that's going to be really huge.” - Beth PopNikolov
Beth advises focusing on creating high-quality, personalized content and using AI as a tool to aid content creation while also ensuring technical SEO best practices are implemented for improved search rankings.
Steve’s Prediction: The Value of Human Connection
Steve’s prediction revolves around the resurgence of human connection in sales and marketing within the building materials industry. He highlights the shift back to more in-person interactions and the need for effective integration of marketing and sales teams to win market share. Steve also emphasizes the role of digital presence as a tool to facilitate healthy sales environments instead of relying solely on it.
I am a firm believer in old-school sales tactics. They work. I don't think they're going anywhere. I think utilizing your digital presence in that user journey is what will help you win.” - Steve Coffey
Even if your sales team is a handshake-to-handshake group, Steve advises embracing your digital presence and leveraging platforms to nurture relationships and continue conversations with potential clients.
Deanna’s Prediction: Twitter is Dead. Brand Consolidation is Not.
Deanna’s first prediction focuses on the need for a reevaluation of brands' presence on social media platforms, specifically highlighting how Twitter is no longer relevant for building materials brands.
Her second prediction centers on the trend of consolidation within the industry. From brand acquisitions to absorptions, Deanna says it will impact your brand in some way. Because of this, Deanna advises brands to showcase return on investment (ROI) in their marketing efforts.
Deanna mentions that if you can’t back the value of your marketing efforts with data and you get acquired, your marketing budget will likely be the first to go because they won’t see that it’s bringing in revenue. Proactively demonstrate marketing ROI to mitigate those potential budget cuts.
Zach’s Prediction: The Success of Big Builders
Zach Williams concludes the conversation with a prediction related to the macroeconomy's impact on the building materials industry. He highlights the expected success of big builders, along with the challenges tract home builders may face due to factors such as mortgage rates and buyer demographics.
Big builders understand and have figured out how to perform well in a market that's very different and in a way that, frankly, a lot of companies either can't or don't know how to.” - Zach Williams
Big builders who may be working closely with homeowners paying in cash may not see as much of a decline in projects compared to tract builders, who are working closer with homeowners who need loans to build.
Because of this trend, Zach mentions that if you are a manufacturer with a residential product, targeting those big builders could prove to be beneficial in 2024.
As this episode closes out 2023, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our listeners for their continued support and engagement. We couldn't have made the podcast what it is today without your valuable feedback and participation.
Here's to more engaging conversations and valuable insights in 2024!