When the recession hit Oberfield's Inc., a Delaware, Ohio concrete block producer, management fought back with its first venture into aggressive marketing, particularly through displays and presentations. And it has payed off--last year was one of the company's best. Despite the fact that the total number of units sold has decreased, profits have increased. Profits have gone up by several percentage points, according to Gene Fuller, vice president of sales. "By being creative and flexible in marketing, but not on price, we've managed to keep our total sales at pre-recession levels," Fuller said.
Oberfield's has integrated the National Concrete Masonry Association's (NCMA) "Smart Space" program into its marketing campaign. "Smart Space" argues that a house's living space can be easily expanded by using architectural concrete block and waterproof foundation. When contractors tell that to their clients, they are often delighted with the idea and decide to build a concrete block basement.
Oberfield's also installs displays of its products in front of its plants and dealerships. They have also paved the driveways, parking areas, and part of their storage lots at two plants with their own pavers. The sales staff increased their presentations at dealerships and also started making presentations at architectural firms.