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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Radio ads?

In Columbus, I asked Mike Feazel at Feazel Roofing how he finds most of his clients for his mutli-million dollar roofing company.

He said about a third is from repeat and referral clients (next posting I will share his referral form).

A second third is from "everything else" -- Internet, newspaper ads (a dying resource, he says, which works when he can get highly discounted rates) and publicity (he is called frequently by local media when they need comments on roofing issues).

So where is the remaining third? Radio ads. Yes, radio. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ads each year on local radio stations appealing to the middle-adult, middle of the road demographic.

"Our market isn't the super rich," he said. "It is the working people who need roofs repaired."

Feazel knows he has a competitive edge with radio -- it only works if there is enough continuity, saturation, and time -- in other words, if you were to try to engage in a competing radio campaign, you would have to budget enough to spend upwards of $20,000 a month for six to nine months -- without worrying about results.

Obviously, this won't work for the little contractor struggling to get by. Most smaller contractors rely on repeat and referral business as the primary source of clients -- but Feazel says this doesn't work if you want to grow the business to a really substantial level. You've got to advertise, he says.

This posting, therefore, is relevant to only a small number of this blog's readers. That is fine with Feazel and contractors at his level -- when the barriers to marketing entry are high, you don't have to worry too much about the competition.

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