JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - “Marketing is everything you do to sell something.” Those were the words of Steve Truett, vice president of marketing for AireServ® Heating & Air Conditioning, as he spoke with franchisees during the company’s fall meeting in Jacksonville.

Truett reminded the business owners that marketing is an attitude, not a department, and it affects every contact point that a business has with its customers. And just because a company may “build a better mousetrap,” it does not necessarily equate to more customers. According to Truett, a business owner with a better mousetrap needs to understand the four P’s of advertising: product, place, promotion, and price.

Those four P’s will eventually translate into the four C’s: customer solicitation, convenience, communication, and customer value, noted Truett.

“Look at all four C’s as legs of a chair,” he said. “If you take away one, the chair falls down.”

Steve Truett

Truett said that AireServ franchisees need to look at things from their customer’s perspective, i.e., a women’s perspective.

“Since most of our customers are female, it is not best to use ESPN to market our products,” he said.

By targeting a specific market, a company can improve its chances to break through and raise market share. Truett gave the example of the soft drink Mountain Dew. He said that Mountain Dew rose from 26th most popular soft drink to 4th place because the company targeted the product to a specific demographic: males in their teens to mid-20 age group.

“So AireServ should target its markets, too,” he said. “Our customer should be Debra Barone [from the popular television sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’] Her character has the demographics, lifestyle, behavior, attitude, and perception that we are looking for.”

Having a target is just the beginning of a successful marketing program, according to Truett. A target is the tip of the triangle, which can expand to include other characteristics. “Just because you are targeting the one person doesn’t mean you are ignoring the others,” he said.

Publication date: 12/04/2006