In the not-so-distant past, if you were shopping for new furniture to decorate your home and wanted to know about your best options, you most likely took a trip to your local furniture dealer and spoke directly with a sales representative, face-to-face, on the showroom floor.
Whether cost, comfort, or style was influencing your decision, you really couldn’t get around having those in-person conversations to determine what would be best for you, your family, and your home.
As we know, however, the way buyers make purchasing decisions has fundamentally changed with the rise of the internet. (We now live in an age where you can buy a car without ever going to a dealership.) So, companies that want to be competitive today need to create digital sales and marketing content online that answers the most pressing questions of their buyers — and the home furniture industry is no exception.
An ever-increasing number of people want to research their furniture needs at home before they head down to the retail stores to make a purchase. As we all know, purchasing a piece of furniture — whether that be a new dining room set, a couch for the family den, and so on — is a decision you’ll have to live with for many years to come.
So, it only makes sense that you’d want to safeguard yourself from having buyer’s remorse through diligent research. Still, as much as buyers are changing the way they shop, the vast majority of companies in the furniture industry are slow to cater to consumers’ new shopping preferences.
Of course, this leaves room for enterprising, forward-thinking companies to dominate the industry in this new digital era.
One such company is Tipperary Sales — better known as La-Z-Boy Southeast.
La-Z-Boy Southeast is a regional distributor of La-Z-Boy Furniture with eight stores across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
“We’ve been in business for over 43 years, and over that time there’s been a lot of changes in marketing,” explains CEO Martha Brown. “We’ve been marketing the same way for decades and it’s always worked. And all of a sudden, it wasn’t working anymore.”
But instead of hoping a continued commitment to the old sales and marketing playbooks of yesteryear would start working again and eventually pay off, the La-Z-Boy Southeast team realized there was no turning back the clock. Times had changed, and they needed to do something completely different and new to bring in buyers and, ultimately, revenue.
La-Z-Boy Southeast came to us after they heard IMPACT partner Marcus Sheridan speak at an event for like-minded business leaders about his revolutionary digital marketing philosophy called They Ask, You Answer.
Soon after, La-Z-Boy Southeast formed its own content marketing team — including a content manager and a videographer — and began working with IMPACT to become the most trusted source of information for people looking for answers to their furniture shopping needs. In doing so, the La-Z-Boy Southeast team made a commitment to creating written and video content multiple times per week that answered all of the questions their buyers had.
“We got a lot of training from IMPACT,” says Content Manager John Pearson. “Kevin (an IMPACT content consultant) was great, and he showed us everything we needed to do to get our content to rank well and help our content get found by people.”
Within just a few months of writing articles and producing videos addressing the most common questions their buyers were asking, the results started to speak for themselves. Their website traffic increased by 500% due to their content marketing efforts — and today, their organic traffic is 2,751% higher than it was before they started with their new strategy.
On top of that, their 100 videos have garnered more than half a million views, since they began publishing.
“The videos we’re creating now are just mindblowing,” says Content Marketing Videographer Sean Holleran. “I definitely attribute it to consulting with IMPACT.”
But they’ve seen more than increased traffic and views. They are seeing bottom line growth in their revenue numbers, as well — most recently including bringing in $3 million in a single quarter, thanks to their new approach to digital sales and marketing.
Like all of our success stories, the marketing team isn't solely responsible for the execution of digital marketing activities (especially content creation) for La-Z-Boy Southeast. In fact, they consider all of these efforts to be a sales strategy, not a marketing strategy — as such, everyone who works at La-Z-Boy Southeast has embraced their new culture of being the best teachers in their space.
“One thing that we did that made a tremendous difference was that we had a top-down, full-on cultural experience for our company,” says Martha.
For this culture to really flourish, every person in the organization had to embrace and participate in the creation of content. This includes sales reps using content as a part of their sales process, interior designers helping to produce videos, and leadership greenlighting content that answers difficult questions.
And this “all-in” culture of content creation has yielded more than bottom-line results.
In one such case, Content Marketing Manager John Pearson had written an article about the best chairs for breastfeeding and, soon after, he received this unexpected email from a customer:
It’s people like the folks at La-Z-Boy Southeast that inspire us at IMPACT to keep helping businesses not only achieve their sales and marketing goals, but also blow them out of the water. That’s why we love hearing our clients get genuinely excited when they achieve incredible results they never thought possible, like the team at La-Z-Boy Southeast.
“I was looking at reports that were coming out and I was like, ‘Can this really be right? Can this really be happening?’” Martha remembers. “It sounds hokey, but it was the truth. It was absolutely exhilarating. I shudder to think, had we not done this, where would we be now?”