Elton Mayfield is the co-founder of ER Marketing, based
in Kansas City, Missouri. His 30-year career spans media, production, finance
and marketing roles, and in 2016, ER Marketing was named Agency of the Year by
Construction Marketing Association. Elton’s blog (co-produced by business
partner Renae Krause) focuses on the sales and distribution channel within the
building materials industry and is one of the top blogs in the industry.
At the 2018 NAHB International Builders’ Show®
(IBS) Elton is presenting, “Winning
at the Kitchen Table: ‘How’ to Sell to Today’s Homeowner.” We caught up
with Elton to get a sneak peek into his sessions and a few fun tidbits, too.
NAHB: Without giving too much away, what will people learn
at your IBS sessions?
ELTON: My session
focuses on how to sell to today’s homeowner—given all of the complexity and
changes in communication.
NAHB: What’s the one thing you are looking forward to the
most while attending IBS?
ELTON: IBS has been part of my career for over 20 years, as
an exhibitor, attendee, a corporate marketer and now as an agency serving the
industry. The ability to see so many people at one time is one of the best
parts of IBS. Familiar faces and friends that are like family. Simply put, the
NAHB: Best hangout at IBS …
ELTON: Assuming the
weather cooperates, the outdoor exhibits always a great spot, and January in
Florida is usually a good time to be outside.
NAHB: Best memory from IBS last year…
goes back to the people. I enjoy seeing people from all over the industry that
I typically only get to see once a year—at IBS.
NAHB: What’s your
favorite part about public speaking?
ELTON: I’m a
firm believer in helping not selling. I love to discuss how people market their
products and brands. Having an audience that will dialogue with me is a great
experience because then I know they are getting something from the
conversation. As the youngest of six kids, you learn to speak up or get left
behind—and I like to speak up.
NAHB: This industry has changed dramatically in the past
five years. What challenges is the industry facing today?
are big issues that the industry needs to address:
- Labor shortage—This
continues to be a huge challenge, so product innovations that make installation
faster or easier are key.
- Aging in place—This
issue also continues to be addressed through new or innovative products. This
topic is especially big for kitchens and bathrooms.
housing—This is an issue that, in my opinion, needs to be resolved sooner
rather than later. How do we build houses more affordably and where’s the
- Home automation—Just
like everything else in our lives, our homes are more technologically
dependent. Homeowners are aware of the advances and want to see them inside
- The Millennials—As
this buyer floods the market, we will see the impact they have on the housing
inventory and styles of homes. In addition, the impact of technology will undoubtedly
change the housing industry.
On the consumer side, their expectations are constantly
being raised. They want more and better content on your homes and the
communities they are within. The problem is no longer how to reach our target
markets efficiently. That has, for now, been mostly solved. It is how to keep
their attention and make them care about us once we do.
NAHB: You are based in Kansas City, Missouri. What is one
must-do activity you recommend to out-of-town visitors?
ELTON: The official WWI museum is
well worth the visit, and you must have BBQ. After all, we are the town that
hosts the world’s largest BBQ competition.
NAHB: Any random fact you could share with us?
started working in construction when I was eight years old—in the family
business—and I was an awesome concrete edger!
NAHB: Favorite line from a movie?
are 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes,
it’s dark out and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!” – from Blues Brothers.
NAHB: Who would win the fight between Batman and
think Batman would. He has more gadgets.
NAHB: What’s the
last book you read?
ELTON: Top of Mind: Use content to Unleash Your
Influence and Engage Those Who Matter to You by John Hall.
travel spot …
West. I’m a Parrothead, so I love the great weather, fun atmosphere and relaxed
lifestyle of Key West.
NAHB: If you could
do another job for just one day, what would it be?
ELTON: I’d be
Jimmy Buffet in concert.
NAHB: If you could
witness an historical event, what would you want to see?
ELTON: To hear
one of the greatest speeches of all time: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
a challenge, there is no change.
NAHB: In three
words or less, tell us your prediction for the building industry in 2018.
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