The American Lighting Assn.  (ALA) recently announced a new web marketing program designed to help lighting showrooms succeed in today’s online environment. The program, called “Marketing Made Easier,” will include a series of webinars, course workbook and monthly newsletter.
ALA has enlisted the help of marketing expert John Arnold (pictured), a popular speaker at the annual ALA Conference and author of “Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies,” “E-Mail Marketing for Dummies” and “Mobile Marketing for Dummies.”
ALA Vice President of Membership Eric Jacobson says the new program should help showrooms be more competitive in an evolving business environment.
“What we want to do is provide showrooms with inexpensive tools to help them drive customers to their stores, and in order to do that, they have to reach out in a way that today’s consumer is driven,” says Jacobson. “More and more customers do research online, so we want to make sure these showrooms know how to represent themselves online using e-marketing strategies and social media.”
Arnold adds that web marketing is even more important now because the competition is changing.
“Because the construction industry isn’t as strong, showrooms are focusing more on consumer business, and are now competing with The Home Depot and Lowe’s, where people automatically think of to buy lighting,” he says. “Those people are looking online and they’re only finding The Home Depot and Lowe’s, so the challenge is getting those people searching on the Internet to walk into your store and be a customer.”
The webinar series will cover a wide variety of web marketing topics, including websites, e-mail marketing, online advertising and social media, and the course workbook will go into more detail as far as how to create a plan for each of those methods. Arnold will also have a question-and-answer forum on his website, and will address some of the issues raised in a monthly e-marketing newsletter. In addition, Arnold will have a booth at the ALA Conference  this September, where he will offer individual guidance.
The webinar series begins June 30 and will be available live and afterward for download. The cost for each webinar is $39 for ALA members and $59 for non-members. The course book is $49. Webinar registration is available on Arnold’s website .
The ALA web marketing program is made possible by major sponsorships from Lutron  and Juno Lighting , as well as the program’s four affiliate sponsors: Clark Communications , FaztLight , MyLightingShowroom.com  and XOLights .
The webinars will be offered live at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. CDT on the following dates:
• June 30 – Web Marketing Basics – How to use the Internet to get your business in front of prospects and customers.
• July 14 – Web Marketing Strategy – Reveals several simple but powerful strategic models to help you create a winning marketing plan.
• July 28 – Creating an Effective Website – Shares the essential components of creating an effective website and shows how to assemble your site for maximum results.
• Aug. 11 – E-mail Marketing – How to send effective e-mail marketing messages to prospects and customers.
• Aug. 25 – Online Advertising and Pay Per Click – How to advertise your business on thousands of websites and the top search engines.
• Sept. 8 – Social Media Marketing – How to market your products or services to prospects and customers on social media sites.
• Sept. 22 – Search Engine Optimization – How to make your business appear in Google search results when prospects and customers search for your products and services.
• Oct. 6 – Blogs, Video and Other Media – How to utilize online media to capture interest and sales from prospects and customers.
• Oct. 20 – Mobile Marketing – How to reach people through mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.
• Nov. 3 – Marketing Tools & Technologies – Shares the essential tools and technologies you need to market your business on the Internet.