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How Contractors Can Get A Better Return On Their Marketing

June 1, 2015

Cecilia De La Rosa

Cecilia De La Rosa

Marketing should be viewed as an investment. Not an expense.

Calling marketing an “investment” vs an “expense” may seem like semantics to you. But I can assure you that if you really change the way you think about marketing you’ll discover the secret other successful contractors have when it comes to marketing. Many contractors struggle financially from month to month, and choose to cut their marketing budget to “save” money. However, as Henry Ford said:

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

In other words, if you’re struggling to generate more revenue then you should market more, not less! So the question shifts from “should I cut the marketing budget?” to “how do I get a better return on my marketing?” To find out how to get better results with your marketing keep reading.

How to get better results with your marketing:

1. Learn the difference between direct marketing and branding.

Direct marketing is all about using marketing strategies and tactics that can be measured. For example, if you invest in a pay-per-click campaign you know exactly how much money you spent and how much each click cost. Branding, on the other hand, is the idea that your business will be “seen” by people over and over and then one day, when they need your service, they’ll remember you because you’re “top of mind.” Branding is not a bad thing. It just tends to be more expensive than direct marketing for small businesses. Now, if you’re a big company like Coca-Cola or Apple, then branding is critical. But for a contractor like you, it’s not going to have the same effect.

2. Hold marketing people accountable for results.

If you’re like most contractors you get calls from marketers all the time promising some new “cutting-edge” service that will either get you on the first page of Google or put hundreds of thousands of dollars in your pocket “easily.” While most these companies have little to offer some are legitimate providers of marketing services. And a good way to discern the difference is to ask the hard questions early on. For example, ask the salesperson how they measure results from their efforts. You could ask something like, “If I spend this amount with you what will I get in return? And how will I be able to measure that to see if you were right?” These are hard questions for salespeople and many will attempt to dance around the answer… but don’t let them! Let them know you’re not interested if there’s no concrete way to measure results.

3. Take inventory of your marketing services.

This may seem like a no-brainer. But I have to mention it because I see so many contractors continuing to spend money on unprofitable marketing simply because they’re already doing it! This isn’t unique to contractor either. It’s human nature to not want to let go of something we’ve already committed to. So in order to free yourself from continuing to flush marketing dollars down the toilet you could make a new commitment: every quarter (or at least once a year) take inventory of where you’re spending money on marketing and cancel services that aren’t working. Remember, marketing should be viewed as an investment. Not an expense. And if you practice these three tips you’ll start to do just that. 

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