The Internet has been around for a long time by today’s high-tech standards. Yet it is still the norm for some business owners to use Yellow Pages ads and word-of-mouth referral to attract new customers.

If your goal is to make the slow, gradual change to web marketing, bypassing the usual traditional means of advertising, one company can guide you along — and it has had plenty of experience working with hvacr contractors.

Creative Business Diagnostics (CBD), Inc., of Eustis, FL, has a plan that can be tailored for any size company at any stage of development.

New Vs. Old

“There are two sorts of dealers,” said Gene Crippen, CBD creative director. “The first are the older people at the older businesses, doing things the old-fashioned way.

“The second group is the younger breed, often the children of the owners, the 30- and 40- somethings. They are usually entrepreneurs and business-oriented people who want to administer a profit center.”

Crippen sees most of his business coming from the latter group, but he’d like to encourage all hvacr contractors to try out his services, especially since he’s had some experience working in this trade. He has designed marketing programs for a few hundred contractors, many located in Texas, where competition for consumer dollars is very keen.

CBD offers a variety of creative services via different media. For convenience, web users can access company information and request quotations for services which are aimed specifically at hvacr businesses. The website:

Some of the CBD services include:

  • Logo and corporate identity design;
  • Brochure production;
  • Annual reports;
  • Company/product catalogs;
  • Photography/video production;
  • Vehicle graphics;
  • Print advertising; and
  • Research and analysis of marketing effectiveness.

  • Don’t Stop With Image

    Crippen said he has met with all different types of hvacr contractors, including the “the mom, pop, and son who are driving around an old pickup truck.”

    He acknowledges that all people he comes in contact with are interested in projecting a good image to the public, but they often don’t know how to do that, or what to do after establishing an image.

    “Image is one peg on a ship’s wheel,” he said. “If you want to make a full turn, you have to touch each peg on that wheel.”

    Crippen believes there are many ways to market and advertise a business that go beyond a simple Yellow Pages ad. But he’s not ready to throw the phone book idea out the window — not yet.

    “I wouldn’t recommend that any service business not have a presence in the phone book,” he said. “But it makes me cringe to see people spend $20,000-plus a year in an ineffective medium and then say they can’t afford to run a newspaper ad.

    “If I were a contractor, I’d prefer to have my phone number be seen on a truck or a yard sign rather than in the Yellow Pages.”

    If contractors don’t have any CBD seminars scheduled in their area or if they’d rather “test the waters” by visiting Crippen’s website, they can take the journey by taking a few clicks of the mouse; assuming, that is, that they have a mouse — and a desire to change their marketing strategies.

    Publication date: 11/27/2000