How was 2019?
It’s hard to believe it’s 2020! So, how was your 2019? There are so many factors to consider when you determine if it was a good or bad year. Your financial numbers don’t lie, but we have to look a little deeper…..It’s all about playing the long-game, unless you are selling your company in the near future. Weather, the economy, and hard work will always play a major role in how your HVAC business did in 2019. Do you have a 2020 HVAC Marketing Plan?
Key HVAC Indicators from 2019
Weather dictates so much in our industry, so I implore you to look at what really matters. Your area of the country may have had a cool summer and a mild winter, but let’s take a look at what matters in the long-term for you HVAC company.
- Did you grow your maintenance customer base?
- Did you increase your tune-up conversion % to maintenance customers?
- Did you increase your average ticket value in service and AOR?
- What % percentage of jobs were financed?
- What % of jobs had add-ons: i.e. IAQ items, duct cleaning, extended warranties?
So, maybe the weather did not cooperate in your area of the country, but if your heating and air company improved in these categories you still had a positive year. Remember, we are playing the long game!
It’s time to review your current marketing efforts. Where are you strong? Where are you lacking? What’s your budget? Do you feel it’s too little or are you over spending? Do you feel you are not using the proper channels?
How does your current website look? Is it modern and up to date? Here are some things to consider if your current website is a “lead generator” or an old dog….
- When was the site built originally, if it’s over 5 years old, it may be time for a new one. You may ask why? Older websites do not function well with modern plug-ins, their framework may be outdated (Looks old compared to newer sites), and it can’t handle enough modern content.
- Is it a responsive website? Does it change its layout and size when you change device? Does it look good on mobile, tablet, desktop, and laptop?
- Is it mobile optimized? Google ranks and indexes all websites by mobile first.
- Is it a secure website? That means it has an SSL Certificate: HTTPS vs. HTTP. If it’s not secure, the search engines are penalizing it and its rankings.
Your Social Media
How active is your HVAC business on social media these days? It’s not only important for your website rank, but it is where your customers are spending their time these days. These are things to ask yourself about your company’s social media landscape:
- How socially active is your company? How often are you posting, and to what channels, how many followers do you have?
- What social sites are you active on? Facebook is a must! It is where your target demographic is on a daily basis (homeowners 25-65+). Instagram, Twitter, YouTube are important as well.
Google My Business
Google is currently putting a huge amount importance on your company’s Google My Business page. Google; which makes up about 85% of all web traffic, wants to see you have a completed and active profile.
- Correct Business information: Name, Address, Phone #, hours of operation, service area, company information statement
- Current pictures related to your business
- An updated Google Maps listing.
- Accept questions from potential customers on your profile……..you must respond to these in a reasonable amount of time.
- Google Reviews!!!! The more the better, the higher the star rating the better, and you need to respond to all reviews.
- Google Posts on your profile. This is a great place to high-light your current service special or a feature about your company.
Your Google My Business profile can be a full-time job!
Traditional Marketing (If your budget allows)
What forms of traditional or “old school” outlets are you using? TV, Radio, Billboards, Print? These forms of advertising are great ways to brand your HVAC business. It is tough to measure exact results from traditional media campaigns when it comes to heating and air industry. Remember only 2% of the population is ever in the market at any given time for your services, so make sure to address these things:
- Hit the core values that a consumer/homeowner wants from you (Trust, Value, Fixed Now)
- Be consistent with your message, don’t change it from campaign to campaign (i.e. We are Playing The “Long Game”)
- Make sure the message is the same everywhere: The TV spot has the same message as the radio commercial, the billboard, your social media, your website, your email marketing, your mailers, your job site signs……I think you get the point. If not, you may be competing against yourself and you don’t even know it!
Now Let’s Talk Budget
We consistently see HVAC companies under fund their marketing efforts. That’s ok, because many of us were taught that marketing does not work for our HVAC business……Things have changed! And maybe we were marketing the wrong things…..SEE BELOW under The Basics
We recommend somewhere between 3-8% of gross revenue, minus any new construction work your company is doing.
If your HVAC business falls in the 3% range, digital marketing is your best avenue:
- Paid Advertising (PPC and LSA’s)
- Social Media
When your company dedicates closer to 5% or more, you can start to add in traditional advertising:
And of course there are all kinds of mixtures in between, these are not hard and fast rules!!!
Real World Example:
ABC Heating & Air does around 2.5 million in service and AOR revenue. A budget would look something like this: 75K total for the year
- 18k dedicated to website
- 24k to PPC/LSA advertising
- 8k to Social Media
- 25k to Traditional marketing (Radio, TV, OTT, Billboards)
Remember what your customer wants from you! Repeat after me….
Trust, Value, Fixed Now…..Trust, Value, Fixed Now…..Trust, Value, Fixed Now
The Brave New World – What’s New and Trending
Our world is rapidly changing! Long-gone are days of phonebook and job site signs as your main form of advertising. Again, can you believe it is 2020??? Remember when having a website was a big deal, and Facebook was brand new?
Again it’s 2020….There are new players today and they have game!
Don’t be afraid of what is new and different, and do not base your decisions on your personal activities. There is always a constant in our world….CHANGE!
Go where the “eyeballs” are!
This could not be a truer statement, “Go where the eyeballs are.” Think about how our habits have changed in recent years…..
- We once got our news from the newspaper, then television, now our smart phones.
- We once made sure we were sitting in front of the TV when you favorite show aired, then we would record it on the VCR if we were going to miss it, now we watch it on demand or through an app.
- We once looked up phone numbers in the phone book…….you get the picture!
Thanks and Good Selling!