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Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.

 
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:24 AM   #21
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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Originally Posted by orson View Post
Au contraire Mike,

These are all marketing, what they are not(all) is advertising.

Marketing is about creating an image in the minds of your customers. It is about a brand, a mystique; it is about getting people to like you (your company).

Here is a definition from Johnm Jantsch's book 'Duct Tape Marketing':
Then by this definition, when my carpenter drives a nail correctly I need to actually reclassify him as a marketer.

After all if the customer was watching he just created an image in the mind of my customer that we are competent construction company since my carpenter can pound nails competently.

Wearing a clean pair of pants on an estimate is not marketing.

Wearing a clean shirt on an estimate is not marketing.

Wearing a logo'd clean shirt on an estimate is not marketing.

Wearing a clean logo'd shirt in the supermarket and somebody says, hey I see you do hardwood floors, could you give me a card.

THAT IS MARKETING.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:27 PM   #22
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
Then by this definition, when my carpenter drives a nail correctly I need to actually reclassify him as a marketer.

After all if the customer was watching he just created an image in the mind of my customer that we are competent construction company since my carpenter can pound nails competently.

Wearing a clean pair of pants on an estimate is not marketing.

Wearing a clean shirt on an estimate is not marketing.

Wearing a logo'd clean shirt on an estimate is not marketing.

Wearing a clean logo'd shirt in the supermarket and somebody says, hey I see you do hardwood floors, could you give me a card.

THAT IS MARKETING.

I have to disagree Mike.

How you look (and your employees for that matter) is Point-Of-Sale Marketing. You are affecting your image where your market sees you.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:28 PM   #23
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


I would say that's an odd way of looking at it, but to answer the essence of the question, yes: even your carpenters and laborers must be on board with your company's overall marketing strategy and the image your company is trying to present to your clients and potential clients.

The decision to require your employees to dress in clean logo bearing uniforms is certainly a marketing decision. If it it's not a marketing strategy then what is it?

I don't think the OP articulated his point well, but that doesn't invalidate it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:23 AM   #24
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Good posts - it probably has been said before but "how you go about using these marketing tactics is secondary to the strategy and combination of the tactics." In other words, is the message in your marketing pointing out your strategic difference between you and your competition.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:39 AM   #25
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


I tend to disagree Mike,

Yes, Craigslist is a no-no for business but free advertising is free right. I would never go there though.

I made some changes on my approach over the winter and to say so far things are going extremely well might be a bit of an understatement.

One thing that does work is having other trades behind you that can pick up the work that you do not do.

Yellowpages works excellent for me, as does advertising in community papers. I also did door hangers and hired a couple university students to go to selected areas and deliver them. They were briefed on basic questions a HO would ask and off they went...pay them well and you would be surprised with the outcome. Lettering on an equipment trailer is one thing that is perfect...a rolling billboard.

Back to the use of other trades...If a potential client calls me looking for roofing or siding or what ever, I am prompt to offer them a refferral of a qualified tradesman, one that does excellent work and is reasonable. I now follow up on the call if the contractor gets the work...I call the HO, go by and check the work and dole up a bit of chit chat. Showing the HO you care is one of the best marketting ploys out there. They always have something on the burner that they want to get done.

Promoting your business is number one to be successful...never scoff at any of the ways to get your name out there...just keep it clean.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:22 AM   #26
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Here's another one for you all to think about.

The vast majority of contractors think that when it comes to marketing anything and everything is a benefit to them. This is the typical mindset of the amateur, they think, hey stick a magnet on my truck, Sweet!!! Letter my trailer, sweet!!!, get a t-shirt with my name on it...sweet!!!!

They then get one person at a super market ask them about doing an estimate and suddenly they have justification in their minds for having a sandwich board on their dog.

What the majority of us don't understand is most business works within a segmented marketplace whether by the size of their market, what home improvement niche they are in and depending on their price points in the market, 90% of marketing is a waste of time and money.

Before you go off with, but, buh... buh... one time I was at a little league game and I had my company hat on and I got a 3 million dollar quadruple kitchen remodel out of it when I just happened to be sitting next to the CEO of IBM and he said my logo reminded him of his kids soccer mascot...


#2 to think about is 90% of the available marketing avenues are a waste of time for most companies, but the owners see what works for somebody else and believe it will work for them.

I'll let you all tear that up before I explain it.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 04-17-2009 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:06 AM   #27
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


1) Whatever advertising you try you should have some way of measuring the return on investment.

One trades person in my town has a YP ad with a $200 off coupon that you can only get by following a specific URL that is listed on the YP advertisement. You cannot get to it from the menu. So he has some count the people who sees his YP adv.

2) IBM spends millions of dollars in advertising campaigns. So they can afford to spend a few hundred thousand on research to see which type of advertising is most effective.

But small businesses can't spend money to see what works or not. It's trial and error. They have to just test each one and see if it works or not. If it works, do it again. If not, abandon it. But you have to measure it to know if it was effective.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:12 AM   #28
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Yellow pages is only good if you want trades ringing up for work or companys ringing up to see you a weekend down the coast! So I agree!
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:21 AM   #29
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Hey silvertree how is business? I am not to far away from you in Minnetonka, MN
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:37 AM   #30
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Looks like this thread has been bumped. If I can bother you guys for a critique of my website, I would greatly appreciate it. It is www.rlielectric.com. It is imperative that we do what we can at all times to get our names out there and show some differentiation between ourselves and someone else who does what we do.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:50 AM   #31
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Many more websites of advertising..
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:38 AM   #32
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Hey guys,

We are kind of new to the forum and just wanted to point out some avenues that are free on the internet that you should definitely be taking into consideration. If you need help with any of these don't hesitate to ask!

1. You should definitely take control or create your Google local business listing! This is a great free tool for you to use and best of all it ranks above all search results (locally anyway). You can build this out with pictures of your work, details of your business, and post reviews and testimonials.

2. Don't neglect sites like CitySearch, Superpages, and CitySquares. Coming from the internet age, I personally don't believe in Yellow Pages, however in the construction industry I am sure it can be valuable. Just make sure you're tracking the ROI with something like Google Analytics. On a side note if you're getting a lot of phone calls, make sure to ask how they found you. Keep track of what is giving you the best result and focus your energy there. I know thats marketing 101 but its easy to forget to ask sometimes!

3. Here is a gift, its a web page that tells you how to post to a bunch of local listings and directories. Do it! You would be surprised how many people use different tools by habit. type www and go here: locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm

4. Last but definitely not least...I have to pull a shameless plug but JobSite123.com (our site) was built for your industry as a free resource to post your business and have a place to showcase your qualifications. Think of it as the LinkedIn of the Commercial Construction industry. Again sorry but its free and is indexed by the search engines. Its especially helpful for those of you who don't have a website!

I hope this helps and please don't hesitate to ask questions about any of the above. I am more than glad to help anyone! After all networking is what its all about!
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #33
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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Originally Posted by bobbyho View Post
Looks like this thread has been bumped. If I can bother you guys for a critique of my website, I would greatly appreciate it. It is www.rlielectric.com. It is imperative that we do what we can at all times to get our names out there and show some differentiation between ourselves and someone else who does what we do.
I'd suggest starting a thread of your own for that. I'm sure you'll get a lot better response.

Maybe a mod will move this for you too.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:37 PM   #34
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


This is a great thread. I know most of you guys are Residential GC's, but maybe you could help me out..
How do we apply these marketing ideas to GC's from a sub's /specialty contractor point of view...?
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #35
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


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This is a great thread. I know most of you guys are Residential GC's, but maybe you could help me out..
How do we apply these marketing ideas to GC's from a sub's /specialty contractor point of view...?
Well, I would say that posting in a forum such as this is a good one. It is a public meeting place for your target audience.

As an engineer, we have to take a few different marketing paths. One thing that I did and I think would work for all of you is to sponsor something at a target rich enviroment.

For instance: One of the small local fire departments had a golf tournament, dinner and silent auction. I scanned the list of golfers, and noticed several facility owners/managers I was interested in, as well as some I had already worked for. For not much more than $300 we were able to sponsor a hole, where the foursome who won the KP got a golf prize plus 8 of our hats. We also put some kind of golf prize (I believe some kind of driver) in the silent auction, with 4 more of our hats.

We bought really nice hats (Flex-fit, cotton with a stitched logo). After the event I called on some of the facilities. I signed and have subsequently completed a gravel mine reclamation project based on that. Also, it is pretty cool to walk around town and see someone who I don't know wearing my hat.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:46 PM   #36
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


I have to disagree with the cavassing. There's an RBA dealer here who does a ton and they're kicking some serious butt. Canavssing isn't easy but it most definitely works.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:45 PM   #37
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


I do not agree with most of what the OP said.

A lot of stuff is true, like posting on craigslist, which will only make you loose your time most of the time since people are just cheap there.

But I would not bash on Service Magic. If done correctly, it can give you a ton of money. If you haven't tried it, don't give your misleading opinion on it
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:27 PM   #38
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Man, sometimes I feel like we've beaten a lot of this to death, but it amazes me the dogma that most of us cling to regarding trying to produce business.

I disagree with most of the original posting about sources that are useless. Except Service Magic, and IMO it is useless and more like a bunch of legalized crooks. But you can look up slightly older threads that talk about them specifically. In spit of that, some people have been successful with them. I think it is a high risk/low yield/potentially high cost strategy, but I know some disagree.

Dressing neatly is kind of a given for anyone who wants to be perceived well. But just doing that isn't going to get you business. I can dress neat and sit on my front porch and wait for the guy in the Cadillac to pull up and give me a million bucks, but I'll probably be sitting a loooong time.

What I've heard on here is a)canvassing has been very successful for several posters when done right and in a dedicated way, and b)most people have done marketing very inconsistently and form an opinion from very little testing.

I like the door hangers. It has not yielded what I hoped so far, but the jury is still out. I've done maybe 7-8,000 the last 6 months, but to have a good test I need 1-2 years of data doing about 12,000 households a minimum of 3 times per year, better to do 4-6 times per year.

To do 500 and complain you only got one call is nuts. At $.20 each, that is $100 invested. I don't know what your average job is, but say it is $1,000 gross margin and you just got a 10 to 1 return the FIRST TIME YOU BOTHERED! And we all know that yields are low right now because of the economy, AND that it usaully takes 27 times for an ad to be in front of someone for it to make an impression. (And in print or TV or radio a person may see or hear 1 out of every 20 times your ad runs, so that's 540 spots for it to register with most people.) And I've had people bring in an insert or door hanger 6 months or more after it ran - people hang on to these things if they are thinking about it.

To make blanket statements about this or that type marketing is good or not good is nuts. Each of us need to tweak ideas to our particular type business, local market, and level of business we need to produce.

I think the most important thing in general is consistently doing whatever avenue we are trying. And I think that combining a couple of things or more has some benefit. But no one has the magic bullet, and no one can flatly say X, Y, and Z will always fail.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:25 PM   #39
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyho View Post
Looks like this thread has been bumped. If I can bother you guys for a critique of my website, I would greatly appreciate it. It is www.rlielectric.com. It is imperative that we do what we can at all times to get our names out there and show some differentiation between ourselves and someone else who does what we do.


the look is nice, but you are not conveying anything different or interesting with the text (everyone is "full-service", everyone provides "unparalleled customer service", etc etc)

i would reduce the amount of text and/or break into bullet points...
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:07 PM   #40
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Re: Top 5 Marketing Ideas That DO NOT WORK.


Reading this thread as I take a break from reviewing the editor/indexer's annotations on the galley proofs for the upcoming Construction Marketing Ideas book, I will head out on a long limb and say: Everyone's right! Of course that answer in itself won't help you decide anything, so I've sought to take things a step further.
If you follow your strengths and values, and relate these to your current and potential clients, you'll be successful at marketing.
First, the way you treat current clients is vital for marketing, and most people in this industry (74 per cent by my polling) get most of their business from repeat and referral business.
But the other 26 per cent -- ranging from leads services, advertising, public bids, telemarketing, to canvassing and emailing -- are absolutely important if you want your business to grow. They also can be frustrating until you get your systems and methodologies in place, because they seem so much more expensive, and so much less effective, than repeat/referral business.
The challenge for most of us is to discover a sustainable, practical approach to encourage, manage, and control the flow of profitable leads that leads to business you want to receive -- at a price you want your clients to pay. I think the most sustainable marketing solution is to do what you love, and connect to what your clients love (and if there is a mis-match, either change direction or connect with others who can do the "loving" for you.)

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