By Tom Black, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance
With an initial investment of $24 million in marketing programs during the past decade, the Metal Roofing Alliance has tripled residential roofing’s market share, from 3 percent in 1998 to nearly 10 percent today. Without question, the MRA has proven success as a market-building organization.
And we’re not done yet — in an ambitious plan launched this fall, the MRA is now planning to double the residential segment, with a goal of reaching 20 percent market share by 2020. To put that in perspective, in 2011, 650,000 tons of steel were used for residential metal roofing. Our plan is to triple that number by 2020.
Given our track record, we firmly believe that 20 percent is both a reasonable and attainable goal. Even better, we have the numbers to support this initiative.
Consider this — metal is already the clear second choice in the re-roofing market, with numerous consumer-friendly advantages over asphalt shingles. And, metal has already achieved high market share in the East South Central region, an area that has more roof replacements than any other in the U.S.
In 2008, the MRA ran a test program in two U.S. markets to determine the impact of increased spending on market share. The results were dramatic, showing overall market share rose as high as 21 percent, further evidence the potential is real.
The target market
Current statistics show the U.S. has about 75 million single-family homes. On average, about 7 percent re-roof each year. Over 5 million new roofs are installed each year.
MRA research and audience segmentation studies demonstrate that 47 percent of all households are ready to consider metal roofing. We can map the densities of metal-friendly households to hyper-target media and drive growth where it must come: in suburban applications.
Our data shows there are enough people similar to existing metal roofing buyers to support 20 percent market share. In short, we don’t need to develop an entirely new target; we just need to get our fair share of the homeowners already in the market.
Funding makes it possible
So, what’s it going to take to turn steel and aluminum into gold? Investment by all segments of the metal roofing industry, from raw materials suppliers through distributors and installation contractors. Make no mistake — this is not a charity fund-raiser for some nebulous goal. The 2020 MRA initiative is an active investment in the growth of each of the businesses along the supply chain. The simple, documented truth is, the more dollars MRA spends in marketing activities, the more metal roofs will be installed, benefitting all segments of the industry. Consider the old adage, a rising tide lifts all boats — it’s that simple. More MRA marketing equals more sales.
Metal roofing share rose dramatically when full MRA marketing funding was in place through 2008. However, metal’s residential share growth has stagnated in the years since, when funding was reduced. Now is the opportunity to re-start the growth and make the market even stronger.
Why MRA is investment grade
Some companies may wonder why they should fund the MRA rather than simply increasing their individual marketing budgets. The answer is — impact. By pooling the dollars from all members of the industry, MRA can amplify and extend each dollar to result in more impact than any one company could afford to achieve on its own. And, the MRA is a proven organization that’s well established with scalable resources at the ready. As a result, any new funds go directly to grow market share, not in development of the framework. We have a strong, existing brand, “Investment Grade Roofing,” with marketing programs ready to launch.
As with any investment, the MRA stands ready to demonstrate performance, including ongoing reviews of the marketing strategy to make adjustments as needed. We have several programs in place, including independent market data from McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics to monitor market share, and consumer behavior research to track increased consideration. Most importantly, we’re confident that increased funding will result in increased orders for all of our partners.
Commit to 2020
MRA’s leadership team is arranging meetings with key executives in the metal roofing industry. We have industry-specific data that can demonstrate the impact of the MRA program investment on your business and we’re eager to share the information with you.
If you want more information, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or (360) 275-6164.