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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An email exchange to show how construction marketing should be done (especially for renovators)

A few days ago, John Liptak of OakWood Renovation Experts sent me an email to a link of an hour-long local radio broadcast featuring his business.  (Patricia is his daughter and is actively involved in the local renovating contracting business, perhaps the most assertive and effective marketer in the Ottawa area.)
Patricia and I were guests on the CFRA Rabi Bulka Show for 1 hour.

If you wish to hear the podcast…
I enjoyed listening to the podcast in the background as I worked my computer and sent him a note telling him that.  His response:
Thanks Mark, we were also on 88.5 FM and it went really well. Bulka is number 1 in his time slot in the Ottawa area. Not as big as Lowell Green but we got a lot of positive replies about the show so there must have been a lot of people listening.

It’s all part of the continuous drumbeat that OakWood is doing to market ourselves. Last year our company grew 26 per cent again and that is the fourth year of continuous double digit growth (we intentionally manage growth under 30 per cent). This year we are also starting out ahead of last year and it looks like another record year.

Once Barry Hobin has completed the design of our new 18,000 sq. ft. LEED Office – Design Studio facility then we will start construction this spring/summer. Right now we are still gathering information from Showrooms and Design Centers from around the world to ensure we are leading edge. Last fall we visited sites in France (Paris) and Germany to collect ideas and study architecture, we got ideas from across the USA including New York, Chicago, Miami and LA. We will fill you in once we have the final touches down with our building design.

Last year we purchased a large 1 ½ acre parcel in Taylor Creek next to the 174 Highway (Extended Queensway East) across from the new Trade College. Our five year plan is to open a west end Design Studio as well. Lots happening.
Now that is quite an email -- and food for thought for the renovator struggling to make ends meet and find a little new business.

Is this growth rate sustainable?  Well, I think few would mind experiencing this sort of growth and potential.

You certainly don't grow at this rate by passively "relying" on repeat and referral business (though you need to do your job well enough that your clients are indeed satisfied enough to repeat and refer friends and colleagues -- you cannot afford to spend marketing money only to have it undone by less-than-positive client experiences and results.)

The Liptaks and Oakwood embrace, not resist, construction marketing.  They see effective marketing as an investment, not an expense and they take a proactive rather than reactive approach to their marketing decisions.

This, of course, makes their business great clients for publications such as Ottawa Renovates magazine (which requires only a small part of their overall marketing budget). 

You probably would not want to jump into their level of marketing commitment right away, but you should see their approach as an example to review and appreciate.

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