Plumbing Supplies Industry Marketing – in the toilet


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During recent bathroom renovations I had cause to research the alternatives to replacing the wall-mounted toilets in our 1960’s California Ranch style house and became aware that some industries are way behind the curve in reaching consumers around their interests and needs vs. the traditional approach of advertising their products.

As a consumer who may only buy a handful of toilets in a lifetime, I’m not someone that is likely to follow the tweets of a toilet manufacturer, nor am I likely to become a fan of the Kohler facebook page. (Herb Kohler makes great toilets and bathroom-ware btw and he owns fabulous Dukes golf course in St Andrews, where I am a member). 

Nor am I interested in reading ads about toilets in home improvement magazines.

What I am interested in right now and only now, is in replacing my old wall-mounted toilets. What I can tell you after a little research is that the quality of some popular wall mount replacement toilets is very suspect according to comments from the community on Terry Love’s Plumbing and Remodel Website.

The marketing of plumbing supplies, like the marketing of fibreglass swimming pools (Marcus Sheridan at Riverpools and Spas is an exception) and traditional marketing in hundreds of other small and large scale industries is ripe for transformation and there is a tidal-wave of opportunity for early adopters of new Inbound Marketing methods to reach consumers who are looking for their products right now on the Internet.

Consider the plumbing supplies business. I’m interested in replacement toilets and topics relevant to replacing the toilets right now and I’m not going to use the Yellow Pages; I’m going to run Google searches (like 90% of the population) to ascertain the following:-

  • local authority permits requirements for toilet replacement
  • alternatives to wall mounting and what’s required
  • costs associated and plumbing required for wall to floor conversion
  • feedback from others who have replaced these 60’s icons
  • best performing low-flow toilets
  • toilets that don’t sound like Concord taking off when flushed
  • brown water recycling–coming to a home near you sooner than you think if you live in arid areas.
  • toilets that will be easier for my aging parents to use
  • pros and cons of dual-flush systems
  • pressure flush vs. gravity

When I have the information I need to make a decision about the best alternatives, then I will go shopping online and shop for the best prices and most convenient service location. (My wife on the other hand will go to the plumbing store and look and ask to see what’s available).

So there you have an opportunity if you are a plumbing supplies company or running a plumbing business.

If you create a blog attached to your Website and write regularly about the things people in your community want to do with your products and the problems they have or questions they want answered and you optimize these posts so they get found by Search Engines, you will create a legacy of relevant ideas on the Internet that will continue to attract customers for many years. Terry Love’s articles date back to 2004 and they are still bringing in visitors today. (A facebook page and a Twitter account does not translate to instant inbound marketing success.)

Need help getting started? We can help you transform marketing in your business whether you are in architectural salvage, plumbing supplies, the golf business, selling wine or developing the next great cloud computing innovation. The principles are the same and the Inbound Marketing-Sequence of Events is the same regardless of the industry.

Follow the link if you would like to discuss Inbound Marketing and how it could help make marketing easier for your business.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson has been at the forefront of developing sales and marketing tools that create clarity in messaging value for 30 years. As a consultant he is now engaged in helping sales, marketing and enablement teams to get clear about value creation. Clarity attracts inbound leads, clarity converts visitors into leads and leads into customers, clarity builds mindshare, clarity engages customers, clarity differentiates value, clarity helps onboard new hires clarity helps raise funds, clarity + execution win markets.


  1. I would have to disagree with you on the plumbing industry being in the toilet. Of course, I am a plumber on the other side of the world who is seeing things from a different perspective.

    Plumbing products may not have sold as many units as the manufacturers would have wanted, but repairs to existing boilers, pipes, and water heaters has increased.

    People are no longer throwing away their old equipment, they are repairing to save money. Some people who do have money to spend are going the other way and are installing far superior energy effiecent boilers to make the most of their potential heating savings.

    Either way, the industry is not in the toilet it is simply taking a more positive and organic direction to allow for less waste in properties.

  2. I agree with @Consett Plumber with this, the market is just taking a different direction.

    Repairing water heaters for example , has undergone a huge increase especially as the prices for new water heaters have increased somewhat (especially if you are looking at a tankless solutions).

    Therefore, I’m personally getting more custom.

  3. I agree with you that the plumbing industry as a whole needs help ensuring that they reach the right market at the right time with the right message. Having gutted a house not too long ago, I also was in the need for some relevant and current info on toilets. Now, I wouldn’t follow Kohler’s Twitter feed either, instead I’m searching online to find the info I know.

    What the industry really needs is some improved marketing know how so people like you and me can get the information we need when we need it without having to sort through a sea of online info that’s irrelevant and useless.

  4. I understand the uses of marketing in plumbing. However, let us not think that plumbing is all about toilet problem only. If we market plumbing as toilet problems only then it will only limits the plumbing industry.

    Plumbing is about distribution of water from drink, waste removal and heating. So, through providing information about the industry to the people will give relevant insight about plumbing.


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