“Great marketing makes a bad product fail faster.”
— Ryan Redding
On “Toolbox for the Trades,” Redding discusses the omni-channel approach to marketing, attribution for your efforts, and how marketing will fail if your customer service, teamwork, and leadership aren’t all in place.
Here is Ryan Redding’s best advice for marketing a home-service company:
Key TakeawaysYou have to reach different generations in different ways...Take the omni-channel approach.Yes, all of your teams need to understand marketing. Determining marketing attribution can be a challenge. Competition for AdWords is fierce—even for your own company name. Great marketing makes a company fail faster. Great leadership prevails. Teamwork also carries the day. Find your niche. Recommended research and reading
You have to reach different generations in different ways...
Redding says DP Marketing Services is focused on helping the trades replace a generational segment of the customer base that is dropping off.
“Hey, people over 65 were really rocking it with their phone book number,” he says. “Great, but now you need to narrow the focus and look closer at the emerging demographic. The native language of the generation born in the 1980s and beyond is digital-first.”
Take the omni-channel approach.
Omni-channeling refers to doing a number of different things in the marketing arena, Redding says.
“It could be unbranded, organic or branded marketing,” he says. “Essentially, we’re trying to do things up and down the funnel and fill out all those segments as we move forward. Direct mail can go either way with efficiency. So, we’re doing sponsorships with local TV for sporting events. And lots of things on social media, including TikTok, which has been a lot of fun.”
Yes, all of your teams need to understand marketing.
“I don’t think everyone needs to be a marketing strategist,” Redding says. “We’re not asking management to hop into AdWords and leverage a PPC campaign with a lookalike audience, or anything like that.”
However, he feels that everybody from the top to the bottom of a company needs to have a basic idea of strategies by doing their part for the overall goal of bringing in sales. To that end, Redding’s book, The Book on Digital Marketing: For Plumbing & HVAC Contractors, helps decode and demystify marketing jargon.
Determining marketing attribution can be a challenge.
Redding points out that marketing is really good at measuring the point of last touch, but that has its limits. The classic example: Cutting a coupon out of a newspaper and taking it down to the store.
“The coupon was the appropriate trigger, but the problem is that this doesn’t do a good job of painting the picture of what led a person to cut the coupon,” he says. “This has been historically true—not just post-Google.
“Measuring the last touch isn’t worthless. But if you base every decision off this tactic every time, you’ll miss the bigger picture.”
Competition for AdWords is fierce—even for your own company name.
One of Redding’s clients recently asked why he was paying for an AdWords campaign for his own company name.
“I told him that one of the strategies in a market is to identify the competition and try to take their business,” Redding says. “And one way to do that is to bid on a competitor’s name and try to steal those searches.”
Great marketing makes a company fail faster.
That’s an irony in marketing—that doing a great job could lead to a product fizzling out quicker. Redding explains that it’s a mistake for a company owner to simply have the marketing goal of getting more phone calls and more leads. Why?
“Because home-service businesses are supposed to be in the customer service business,” he says. “You’ve got to be mindful of the customer experience from start to finish. So, before you get the leads and pick up the phone you’d better be prepared in every part of the (customer’s) decision-making process.”
Great leadership prevails.
When COVID first started happening in 2020, people were stressed and anxious, Redding says.
“There were companies that were going out of business within 30 minutes of the news coming out,” he says. “They struggled with how to navigate the choppy waters that were coming. On the flip side, there were companies that had leaders with the skill to prepare and face the issues.
“Those companies didn’t market better or strategize better,” he says. “They just flexed their leadership muscles and stepped up.”
Teamwork also carries the day.
Redding agrees with the notion that a business can dominate the competition in any industry as long as everyone in the organization is rowing in the same direction.
“Imagine the synergy of everyone on your team looking at the same target, understanding the same priorities, making similar decisions for the same values,” he says “There’s nothing a company can’t accomplish if they have that. And really, that’s not having the right people in place necessarily. It’s just, are you investing in yourself and your people?”
Find your niche.
Redding acknowledges that generating leads can be difficult whether you’re in a rural or a dense metro market. Therefore, you have to think differently.
“One of our clients is the only one in a rural area whose trucks have awesome wraps, who focuses on service and uses ServiceTitan,” he says. “His customers get text notifications when techs are being dispatched. It’s heads and tails above anybody in his three-county radius. That’s how he stands out.”
Recommended research and reading
Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast by Curt Coffman