The Genius of Leadership: Effective Leadership Practices

By Gary Elekes - Apr 3, 2018

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Today’s marketing landscape for contractors is vastly different than the 1990’s or even early 2000’s era. We are now planted in the digital age, ruled by search engines like Google, and mobile devices for homeowners to conduct immediate searches for information like reviews and our star ratings online.

Over 77 million (and growing) smartphones now exist, all attached to the Internet. Every aspect of our lives has changed, and this isn’t even counting social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and review sites like Yelp, Angie's List and more.

And to top it off, Google Home Services is entering the lead generation space, organizing in many markets and soon able to sell us leads, similar to how Home Advisor has approached this endeavor.

What is a contractor to do?

The answer is a resounding “Get educated on all of it!” Develop a contractor marketing plan designed to maximize your “Brand” while getting the required leads and reducing your cost per lead.

That sounds so easy in a vacuum, but it doesn’t include all the confusion, the misinformation, and the competition trying hard to steal our employees and customers.

There is some really great news though: Service is so poor, in most cases, across service businesses in the United States that creating a brand promise and delivering it makes you stand out.

And creating leads is actually easier if you know what to do and how to do it. Follow the 3-step process below and understand the marketing chart in this article, and you can enjoy growth in your leads, your own company wealth and your brand.

  1. You need a Marketing plan that defines your lead requirements.
  2. You definitely need to become focused on digital as the centerpiece of that brand and lead plan.
  3. Finally, you need to track and measure the results.

What Goes Into a Brand & Marketing Plan

  1. The Company Vision & Purpose - Mission
  2. Company Core Values and Behavioral Definitions of those Values
  3. Company Brand Promise – The Deliverable to the Market and Clients
  4. Company Goals – Sales and Financial Goals for Year
  5. The Company for Sales Mix by Segment – How Many Leads per Year/Month
  6. Marketing Goals for Year (Aligned with Financial Goals)
  7. Key Marketing Strategies for Company this Year
  8. Company Marketing Model – Target Markets & Audiences by Segment
  9. Existing Customers/New Customers
  10. Unique Selling Propositions – By Segment-“What makes you unique?”
  11. The Pricing Strategies and Models – Service/Mtc/AOR/Comm.
  12. The Digital Strategy – Internet SEO/SEM/Social Media/Reputation Management/Review Development and PR
  13. Traditional Media Choices-Placement & Timing Plan
  14. All Media -Alignment-Balanced Choices-Budget
  15. Promotional Plan – Promotions for Seasonality-Shoulder Seasons
  16. Internal Communications Plan with All Company Team Members
  17. Tracking and Measurement Systems-Lead Source & Cost per Lead
  18. Action Plans for Executing Each Marketing Goal – The How and What

Support for the Plan — Appendices:

  1. Environmental Analysis – Competitors and What We Do Well
  2. SWOT-Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats
  3. Strategies List–28 Marketing Strategies – Choose the Priority Strategies
  4. Market Analysis and Potential -Residential/Service/IAQ/Commercial
  5. Consumer Demographics – Who is Buying and Why
  6. Media Data

By developing a plan that answers some if not all of these questions in your company, you can go to market with a more focused approach and likely get a higher quality lead, by targeting the right type of client for your company brand.

In addition, if we are using a philosophy of a balanced approach to media and marketing, we realize that training and coaching our internal team members carries as much weight as a media blitz, since closure rates and call bookings matter just as much as generating new prospects and leads. They carry equal weight, so we need that plan as well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Elekes

President, EPC Training

Gary Elekes is serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping others become more successful by sharing what he has learned over the past 3 decades working closely with all facets of the contracting industry. During his career, Gary has held senior management positions at Lennox and Service Experts. In 2000, Gary moved into entrepreneurship and started his training and consulting business EPC. Today, EPC continues to support growth oriented businesses aspiring to reach 20% EBIT. He also designed the very first web based learning platform for the residential contracting industry, which acts as a support system for training and learning in HVAC and plumbing trades, and has over 5,000 subscribers.

In 2003, Gary began acquiring contracting firms with a focus on developing turn-around opportunities. He also opened and operated several start-up businesses. In 2010, he added web design/SEO and online marketing to his company portfolio starting Imarket Solutions as a co-founder. Gary graduated from Ohio State University with a BSBA and also holds a Master's Degree in Business and Finance.