Whether it’s to generate new business or simply to increase brand awareness, developing and executing a marketing plan is something that must be at the top of your list. Marketing can be an expensive proposition, and if you’re a licensed general contractor, marketing may not be the most intuitive part of your business. It’s easy to make mistakes that cost time and money. Here are three of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing, and the easy steps you can take to avoid them.
1. Not Knowing Who Your Customers Are
It may seem obvious who your customers are and where to find them. You’re a roofer, so your customers are people who need roofs or roof repair, and they’re in the suburbs that surround you, right?
Let’s continue with that roofing example. Do you do all kinds of roofing, or are you just offering asphalt shingles? If you’re just doing asphalt, does that mean you offer a better price or service than your competitors? And how about the homes in your area: are they all new construction? If not, how old are their roofs? See where I’m going here? If your specialty is shingle roofing and your marketing efforts are aimed at homes with terracotta tiles that were built less than five years ago, you’re not reaching your customers.
Start by knowing who you’re marketing to, where they live and strive to get as specific as possible. Marketing through Facebook ads can be very helpful in this respect, as their ads feature customer targeting by interest, location, age, education, and even financial status. If you like going door-to-door (like my salespeople do), first identify the neighborhoods that might need your kind of service the most. It’s never a matter of knocking on the highest number of doors, it’s a matter of knocking on the right doors.
2. Marketing A Service At The Wrong Time
Picking the right time to market your services is just as important as finding the right customers. If you’re a General Contractor who does interior and exterior projects, it might be a good idea to target kitchen and bathroom remodels during the colder months when exterior projects might not be as prevalent. If you’re a landscape contractor, think in terms of seasons: when is the proper time for pruning, for weed removal…should you be marketing tree removal before the storm season? Timing is important.
I make a good portion of my income from storm damage restoration, so I follow a specific timeline in my marketing efforts. We do broad-level marketing efforts during less-active storm months just to keep our brand awareness high—to stay top-of-mind with our customers. Then, when the storm season hits, we switch gears and target homeowners specifically in need of storm damage repairs.
3. No Consistent Message
Do you have an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a description of who you are and what you do that is short enough to tell someone on an elevator trip—and unique enough that they’ll remember it after the doors close. Here’s mine:
I’m Joe Keller, and I went from an average Joe roofer to the owner of a seven-figure roofing business, and I can show you how to do the same.
The formula is simple:
Name + Service + Unique Value Proposition
That’s your message. In your marketing, this is the message you repeat over and over and over again.
What I’m talking about here is consistency. Your marketing message must be consistent in order for it to be memorable. Think of how many taglines you still remember, like Nike’s “Just Do It.” That’s the power of consistency.
There are so many avenues to go when it comes to marketing your business and services. The truth is, consistency yields the greatest return. Marketing requires repetition of specific and consistent messages so that the consumer will remember your company when they need to. Studies show that advertising is only memorable at the time a customer is looking for the advertised product or service.
You can’t be everything to everybody. If your messaging and focus are all over the place, you’ll get mixed results at best. Make sure your theme, language, presentation, and messaging match on all of your marketing collateral and on every ad placement you buy.
Like I said, for us contractors, marketing can seem like a foreign language at best and a necessary evil at worst. But “necessary” is certainly the keyword here: your competition is out there in the marketplace, so you must be, too. If you need help developing a marketing plan—and understanding how to implement it either on your own or with your sales team—give me a call at AJCEO. We’d be glad to show you how to stay competitive in your marketplace!