Admittedly, one of my greatest faults is struggling to remember people’s names. I try, I really do, but for some reason, I have a mental block that inevitably leads to me nervously calling someone “man,” “brother,” or “partner” the next time I see them. Even though my wife might argue, I am listening (most of the time), but names just seem to be too much for my mind to store. This is not an enviable trait in my sales and marketing profession, because nothing makes a person feel less important or less valued than forgetting their name. So, I figured out a trick. Upon meeting a new person, if I simply repeat their name back to myself three times, I can drastically improve my chances of remembering it. Come to find out, there’s more to this than just some weird quirk in Justin’s brain, there’s actual science at work here.

When you first learn a bit of information, your brain forms new connections between brain cells, called synapses, to store it. Most synapses are only used once. That knowledge is committed to short-term memory, and then it quickly fades away. So if you want to strengthen that connection and increase the odds that the information can be accessed later, the answer is to repeat, repeat, repeat. A study by found a person has a less than a 50 percent chance of remembering a specific name or number after just 10 minutes if only told to them once. But that number skyrockets to over 80 percent recollection if the information is repeated three or four times.

Now, there’s nothing groundbreaking in that thought. We’ve all repeated a phone number back to ourselves continuously until finding a piece of paper to write it down. So why am I talking about keys to memory? Because your livelihood as a business owner depends on your prospects noticing your marketing and remembering your name after they do. The trouble is, today’s consumer is hit with over 5,000 marketing messages every single day, with the vast majority never even being noticed. So if you’re going to break through the noise, you better have a plan.



1. Make Sure Your Messaging is Consistent

“The Rule of Seven” has been a marketing concept for years. It states a prospect must see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before it’s committed to memory. The first time, they don’t notice at all; the second time, it crosses their mind and they quickly forget, and so on, all the way to that magical seventh time when they give you a try. Sound like a lot of work? Well, I’ll argue that most businesses make it harder than it needs to be because they’re guilty of putting out inconsistent branding across different media. This means, instead of your email and Facebook post working together as touch one and touch two, heading toward seven, they don’t match. The offer, design, and tone are all different, so in the prospect’s mind, they might as well have been from two different companies.

To be more effective, start thinking of your marketing pieces as working together to reinforce a message rather than as standalone pieces. Your seven-touch campaign could look something like this:

  • Place the promotional details on your specials page of your website. Be as clear as possible, answering all FAQs.
  • Send out an email blast that links prospects to read more details on your website.
  • Post to social media using the same images, verbiage, and theme, and always link back to your website.
  • Mail a postcard or letter directly to the home that matches other media used.
  • Use pay-per-click (PPC) and Facebook advertising to target specific online demographics with your special.
  • Use radio spots with a script that matches your campaign.
  • Use any other offline pieces (yard signs, billboards, etc.) that reinforce the message and fit the budget.

By the time your campaign runs its course, your target audience (we’ll cover that next) should have seen the offer several times and been given multiple chances to respond. One flash of media is easy to ignore, but seeing the same images, message, and offer repeated not only demands attention, but makes you look professional and organized. This is how we advise all of our contracting clients to structure their marketing for maximum results.

2. Make Sure Your Message is Targeted

If you’re canvasing areas with mail in every mailbox as cheaply as possible or running radio spots on stations without paying attention to the demographics, your message is more than likely falling on deaf ears, leading to poor marketing performance. Why?

For marketing to be successful, there has to be a message-to-market match. This is arguably the most important part of your marketing. Think about it: Advertising a new steakhouse to vegetarians will fail every single time. So will marketing new home comfort equipment to renters and low-price shoppers. The key?

Develop an ideal target by looking at your current most profitable customers and mirroring that demographic as closely as possible. Once you have a very specific audience, you can get very specific with your offers, which generally leads to higher response. A well-crafted piece that contains a direct response call-to-action based on your highest-value customers will always outperform a generic piece that lists every service you perform, sent to every available mailbox.

3. Stay Visible or Be Forgotten

Most homeowners can’t remember who they called six months after you were in their home. Life goes on, and if you haven’t done something to stay in front of them, you may as well send them directly to Google.

Combat brain drain by finding ways to add value to your relationship with your customers. They’re more than just names in a database, and even though you can’t know them all personally, you can make them feel like you’re trying to. A customer retention program that integrates your online presence, newsletters, holiday cards, and thank you messages all add to your customers’ experience while periodically whispering in their ear who their contractor is. Remember what I said about repetition? We all need reminders, and this goes a long way in establishing their loyalty to you.

The bottom line: Building a recognizable and memorable brand doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but if done wrong, you can spend a fortune and still have nothing to show for it. Put thought and strategy into the message you want your prospects to hear, focus on the right prospects to send it to, then commit to putting it in front of them over and over. Pretty soon, your name will be rolling off their tongue, and your competition will be slipping their mind.

Publication date: 7/15/2019

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!