Manufacturer Marketing Built for Contracting Success
Loyalty programs, advertising templates simplify contractor marketing efforts
In order for HVAC contracting companies to be successful, they must find a way to connect with prospective clients. One of the best ways to do this is through a comprehensive marketing plan. HVAC manufacturers understand this, and, in order to better serve their contractor dealers, they’re providing plug-and-play advertisements and other marketing materials to help contractors grow their businesses.
According to Mark Dolan, president of sales and distribution at Goodman Mfg. Inc., there is definite value to becoming a Daikin Comfort Pro contractor dealer.
“Independent Daikin Comfort Pro dealers are provided with training, marketing, sales support, and, most importantly, a dedicated exclusive market in which to sell Daikin unitary products,” Dolan said. “Offering an exclusive market presence provides the Comfort Pro with the opportunity to maximize sales, growth, and profit opportunities within their dedicated market.”
One of Daikin’s advantages, Dolan noted, is that it produces both ducted and ductless air conditioning systems, so it has a wide range of products designed to serve a large number of installations.
Daikin provides its Comfort Pros with access to almost any tool needed to market and sell Daikin-brand products, including product and sales training through Daikin University, Daikin Comfort Pro loyalty program, national Angie’s List affiliation, digital marketing support, consumer facing rebate and financing programs, stock advertising materials, and partnerships with numerous marketing companies to assist with everything from branded vehicle wraps to radius marketing.
“Our goal at Daikin is to provide our Comfort Pros with access to the tools they need to grow their businesses while being both flexible and easy to do business with,” Dolan said. “Helping Daikin Comfort Pros grow their businesses more profitably is at the core of the Daikin business model. By driving brand awareness nationally and focusing on the trusted adviser role that the Comfort Pro plays with the homeowner along with providing best-in-class marketing support, consumer programs, and training, Daikin can help contractors be successful in their businesses.”
Rheem Mfg. Co. offers its contractors many complementary tools to help them advertise and compete at the kitchen table, said Lisa Stickley, senior manager, channel marketing, Rheem.
These tools include Rheem’s Contractor App and Portal for easy access to tools, programs, and product information that they can access from laptops, tablets, and mobile phones; AdMaker, an in-house tool that allows contractors to create customized print ads and flyers; access to Rheem brand assets to use in their advertising and marketing initiatives; and access to customizable TV, radio, outdoor, Web, and direct mail templates.
Rheem also offers its contractors programs and promotions, including KwikComfort Financing to help consumers have an affordable way to purchase; Protection Plus Extended Service Agreements to extend its warranty and labor costs; Cashback Contractor Rebates that contractors receive on certain equipment and can pass on to consumers for additional savings; and fleet and vehicle discounts with major car manufacturers.
Additionally, Rheem’s new elite contractor program, Pro Partners, offers additional benefits, training, and incentives, Stickley said. “In addition to all of the aforementioned standard benefits, Pro Partners receive enhanced co-op, rebates, and financing promotions, as well as access to the online review program, ProClub points reward program, exclusive training, and regional marketing lead-generation campaigns.”
Rheem’s goal is to provide programs and tools to better help contractors promote themselves in the marketplace, differentiate themselves from their competition, and close more sales, Stickley added.
Listening to dealer feedback, Trane recently refreshed its marketing tools and support by launching a revamped online portal last June.
“We had an old online ad builder, and while it was good for a while, it became stale, a little clunky, and hard to use,” said Beth Bjorlo, director, dealer and consumer marketing, Trane. “Based on dealer feedback, we introduced MAX [Marketing and Advertising Express] with added functionality.”
MAX includes a refreshed ad builder with easy-to-navigate, easy-to-build templates; an information center containing any type of marketing information or document; and an online co-op claims site.
“Now, instead of mailing in boxes with paper claims, which was not good for the environment, dealers can now go online and submit a claim any time, 24/7, and they can track the status. They know if their claim has been received, approved, or is pending for more information. And, the site is mobile responsive, which means they can access it from any device.”
The ad builder features two types of customizable ads: Ready to Run, where contractors just plug in their information and are done in five minutes or less; or they can Build-Your-Own, which uses their own images and headlines. Ad templates include newspaper, magazine, direct mail, door hangers, yard signs, and online banner ad media options.
“It’s a great site for everybody — from the large contractor with its own marketing person to the one-man-show contractor,” Bjorlo said. “And, it’s been very well received. We’ve seen more than a 50 percent increase in the number of dealers that log onto the site and a 120 percent increase in usage of the ad templates.”
Additionally, Trane creates unique promotions for its independent dealers to offer customers.
“Last fall, we offered zero percent APR [annual percentage rate] for 72 months, which was unique in the industry,” Bjorlo said. “Dealers had the ability to not only offer solutions for comfort and efficiency, but also to spare the homeowner’s pocketbook. We have found that financing programs tend to be one of the top closing tools for dealers. That’s why we use financing as one of our lead promotions. It’s another value to being a Trane dealer.”
Trane also has loyalty programs, such as its Trane Comfort Specialist program, which centers on things like lead generation, customer satisfaction surveys, business development tools, and partner relationships for additional training and branding activities.
Trane offers its dealers access to branded merchandise, such as vehicle wraps, logos, and decals to put on their trucks. “Trane’s brand recognition is high,” Bjorlo noted. “We provide contractors all the fundamental tools to identify themselves. The goal of these marketing assets is to help contractors grow their businesses and be successful.”
Publication date: 2/1/2016