October 26/November 2; Volume 30/Number 10
By Ken Ryan
Search engines adjust algorithms every week, social media is updated every day—if you are a flooring retailer, how do you keep up with this rapidly changing digital landscape?
Short answer: you probably don’t, according to Jay Flynn, vice president of sales and marketing at Creating Your Space, a full service custom flooring design and web development company.
Creating Your Space boasts 250 years of flooring experience in its core team and focuses only on the retail flooring business. It offers three program levels: Premium, Elite and Elite Custom, each with different levels of customization, technology tools and product information.
“If a flooring dealer wants to differentiate itself from the competition in the marketplace, and wants to have an online presence that engages consumers and drives them into stores, then we are the right online marketing company for him,” Flynn said.
Creating Your Space’s menu of programs includes product catalogs and visualization tools that allow consumers to view each dealer’s products from home; search engine optimization (SEO); Google Adwords; social media; website retargeting; and reputation management, which searches, analyzes and aggregates information on the Internet so retailers can find out who is saying what about their businesses.
Flynn said Creating Your Space’s best customers are those who tried managing the digital marketing spectrum on their own only to learn it wasn’t feasible. To date, Creating Your Space has customers across the U.S. and Canada—including more than half of the National Floorcovering Alliance membership.
Century Tile, a Chicago-based flooring dealer with 12 stores, uses the full suite of Creating Your Space services. “There isn’t much that they have to offer that I don’t take advantage of,” said Keith Carlson, vice president of marketing. “I love working with them. Anything that gets posted about Century Tile or Century Supply [an affiliate company] they capture and notify me so I don’t have to go out and find it. We get notified every morning and it is recapped in a monthly analytics report.”
Century Tile also uses an online program called Trainingspace that helps with new employee training. It also offers refresher courses for more seasoned RSAs.
Carlson said the most difficult task is trying to filter all of the online information that can impact his business. “As an industry we are just scratching the surface of what we can do. There is so much going on it baffles me to not take advantage of the social media tools out there. This is an important part of our business. I really like the fact that Creating Your Space is specific to flooring, that they believe in me and my business.”
Dallas-based CW Floors & Lighting has used Creating Your Space with rebranding efforts as it is transitioning through a name change from Wayne’s Carpet and Denton Lighting & Floors. “The great thing about Creating Your Space is they understand our business,” said David Britt, owner, whose company uses the service for online marketing, pay-per-click advertising and SEO. “They are the first web designer I have worked with that truly gets it.”
Mill Creek Carpet & Tile, Flooring & Granite, Tulsa, Okla., is another full-service customer. “The more active we become with all aspects of the Internet, the better the results,” said Gary Cissell, president. “For example, through careful maximization of pay-per-clicks we have been able to reduce the average cost. And the reputation management portion of the service has been valuable in allowing us to reach our customers quickly. We have improved Facebook ratings by 50% and our speed to contact the customer is less than 24 hours.”