Family-owned since 1977, A.J. Rose Carpets & Flooring is a leading flooring retailer in the New England area. With three locations and a wide range of fantastic flooring products and services, they’ve continued to flourish each year, thanks to their strong values and superior customer service. With a reputation as a first-class, honest business, A.J. Rose, a proud member of the NFA (National Flooring Alliance) and Shaw SFN, has found success in the flooring industry for more than 40 years.
We sat down with Sam Locher, Vice President of Business Development at A.J. Rose, to discuss the power of social media, the importance of having a good website, and what separates A.J. Rose from its competitors.
This marks our second conversation with Sam. If you missed the first one from the summer of 2022, we invite you to read it today.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Mobile Marketing (MM) – What is the current outlook for the flooring industry?
Sam Locher, Vice President of Business Development at A.J. Rose – What we’re seeing for the rest of the current year and the foreseeable future is that residential sales will be up and down. People are still investing in their homes, but they’re not in a rush to buy. The last few years have been weird years. In 2020, no one wanted to do anything or spend money because of many uncertainties. In 2021, everyone wanted to begin projects right away. Now, it seems like sales are leveling off.
People want to make investments that make sense, and that’s dependent on the income bracket, too. In the Boston market, there are higher-level jobs, and they’re still willing to make larger investments. Then, we have people on the other end that need to do things as inexpensively as possible. But that middle range isn’t purchasing right now.
When interest rates initially spiked, no one knew how high they were going to go, and we saw people tightening up their budgets. Now, that has leveled off. These are our new rates, so buyers are finding ways to adapt.
MM – With those frequent economic changes, how have you adapted your approach to get ahead of where you believe the economy is going? And what role does digital marketing play?
Locher – We invest in technology with Mobile Marketing and other avenues. We embrace tools where it makes sense. We want to make sure our approach is a practical solution that will solve problems. We have the Roomvo kiosk so people can use the room visualizer in the showroom. We utilize messaging, so we can meet our customers where they are, whether that’s text, email, or whatever makes sense for them. We are always looking for ways to improve our customer communication. We also want to reach as many markets as possible. We can direct any customer that comes into what they need, and we want to make their experience as easy as possible. We also offer extended financing terms, ranging from 12 months to 120 months. We’re not trying to push anyone into anything, but we want to have the option that’s right for them.
MM – What role does digital marketing play in your strategy?
Locher – Digital marketing is our biggest investment. We do still invest in limited traditional media, but digital channels are where everyone goes to find what they’re looking for. What we really love about digital marketing is that you can see a one-to-one return on it. We like the measurables, the KPIs, and seeing what we spent and the return. Now, with the ability to close the loop with Mobile Marketing and RFMS, we can see the actual return on our spending. We can see a lead through their floor-buying journey to a closed sale. We don’t want 50 leads that won’t buy anything. We want viable customers that are looking to purchase. That ability to say, “Here is our spend, and these are the results,” is invaluable. There’s no better way to track results.
MM – From a digital marketing perspective, what has been successful for you in terms of bringing in customers and obtaining quality leads?
Locher – We ask, “What does the A.J. Rose customer want,” “What differentiates us,” and “What may be difficult for customers to find?” Then we focus on those areas specific to our market. We found that people — both on our website and through Google searches — were looking for runners. New Englanders love stair runners. But we saw when people were searching online, they weren’t getting the right results, so we wanted to ensure we met our customers where they were. Runners are not something you’ll get at a big box store. We have great installers that can handle just about anything, and we wanted people to know that. So, we targeted a specific ad campaign on Google for runners with great results.
Be on the lookout for part two of our conversation with Sam coming next month.
Mobile Marketing + You
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