Create An Instant Marketing Plan

January 15, 2004
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Have you made your marketing plans for the year? If you're like most contractors, the answer is no - a full 77 percent of you admit to having no marketing plan. That costs you big in lost sales and wasted marketing dollars.

A well-designed marketing plan should give you a calm, rational approach to help you anticipate slow times and keep you promoting yourself when business is booming.

Here are four simple steps to get your plan started:

1. Determine your sales goals in service and replacements.

2. Assign a percentage of those numbers to your marketing budget. The average in HVAC is 4.3 percent. Aggressive companies can spend up to 10 percent, while slow, mature companies may only spend 2.5 percent.

3. Figure your percentage of sales in the peak summer and peak winter seasons, as well as in both off-peak seasons.

4. From this, you can quickly determine the timing for service or replacement promotions for each season, using the percentage of sales per item as a basis for your marketing. Now simply spread these dollars over the highest-response media.

This is a formula that can work wonders when captured in a year-round plan. The goal is to keep you from being reactive when you should be proactive.

You need to run your business instead of having it run you. A marketing plan is the best investment of your time and resources to do just that.

Media Watch

Newspapers: Your ad contracts should be in place, getting the best volume discount you can. Be sure and use TOMA (top-of-mind awareness) ads all year long. Image ads should help persuade "lookers" to go your way. Direct response can be very effective in January. In our HVAC Marketing PowerPack, we strongly advise payment deferrals or "cash after the holidays" rebates.

Direct mail letters: Send follow-up letters to non-closed sales from last 90 days.

Postcards: Service postcards should be used in larger areas to attract fence-sitting service users.

Alternative media: Your yard sign presence should never be taken for granted. Use the designs included in the PowerPack or others, but do not forget to use these signs on every lengthy service visit or installation. Your name should be pounded into the ground (literally).

Radio: This media drops off considerably after Christmas shopping time. Trim back here, but continue to focus on name recognition for selected service leads.

On-hold messages: Messages should be about service and preventive maintenance now.

Yellow Pages: Don't let a bad ad make a bad first impression for your company. Fax us for your free ad critique; we can design a Yellow Pages ad for you that works.

For next month, continue readying a list of non-closed sales and gear up for end-of-season-offers. Amass high probability lists. Prepare your list for the spring newsletter mailing now.

Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink. He can be reached at 800-489-9099, 334-262-1115 (fax), or www.hudsonink.com.

Publication date: 01/19/2004

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-21-14 cover

2014 April 21

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con