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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Image above from American Sign and Specialty in Florida.

Some truth in advertising and marketing

The post below, at the tail end of a long thread on a forum, relates some interesting and passionate points. It is also disturbing to me. I have removed the reference to the specific organization named in that thread but I suspect if you've been in business any length of time, you've received the 'bad' sales calls related here.

I wish I could help contractors and sub trades avoid some of the mistakes they make in advertising, marketing and lead development. Certainly, larger businesses are developing more sophisticated screening methodologies, but there are still too many times when advertising and marketing services are purchased without proper evaluation or measurement.

Value in marketing and advertising can occur in more ways than one. For example, our printed publications do not claim to have the highest circulation, but we will direct the distribution where it matters the most and -- more importantly, respect that value for our advertisers is more than the ink on paper. This blog, in fact, reflects this philosophy; we believe our clients should have resources and insights so they can achieve overall the best marketing effectiveness, regardless of where they spend their dollars. To this end, I've achieved Society for Marketing Professional Services certification (CSPM) and spend a good part of every day reading, researching, and sharing sound marketing principals with the construction community.

But the fly-by-night boiler room operations are still out there, and you need to beware because you will throw your hard-earned profits down the drain if you purchase their junk

I wrote that book
Hey I used to work for a company that promised contractors insurance claims leads but was really just a directory. Much like (name removed). So I'll give you the inside scoop. They can not give you stats because they don't pay people to gather and monitor that data. Instead they find it cheaper and easier to train their sale people to convince you that you don't need stats or that stats are irrelevant. Now this won't work on a lot of prospects (meaning contractors) but it will work on enough to turn a profit.
Especially if you have a team of stock broker style trained sales people putting in 4 hours of required phone time per day in a boiler room, calling every contractor in the country they can find in phone books and directories kind of like their own. In truth the only difference between them and Craig's list is that Craig's list is free and sometimes works. Just like the sales manager that responded to this thread they are trained to dazzle you with bull sh*t and not answer any real question. They are taught that your questions are not important only the one call close is, and answering your questions only takes up time they could be using cold calling until they find a lay down. The business model is simple: a good enough pitch writer (like I was) can make any idea sound reasonable enough to a big enough margin to make one hell of a profit, and a good enough sales person can think on his feet and come up with a rebuttal to any objection (by objection I mean legitimate question). You give them your money and they will take it..........and give you nothing. Any advertiser who doesn't give stats is a crook. That's why I got out of that kind of advertising. I still sell advertising but if I sell you a t.v. spot I do the research and find out how many gross impressions you'll expect per dollar, if I put a sign in front of your shop It's simply to improve your image and I'll tell you that. If I put up a bill board I do the research and find out roughly how many people will view it per year and so on and so forth. I probably spend about 70 per cent of my time researching advertising and 30 per cent selling it. It's not the most profitable way to do business but it's the most honest way. And when my prospects choose to do business with me they never go anywhere else. So in the long run, maybe the honest way is the best way.

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