Are You Following the 5 Golden Rules of Marketing?


Paul Riddle
Contributing Writer
Success Group International

Make Sure Your Marketing is Working for Your Money, Not Wasting It!

All contractors know the finer points of their trade, but if everyone knows the basics of the industry, why do so many companies fail each year?  Few companies fail because they don’t know the technical aspects of the industry, but many a contractor has gone under because they couldn’t get the calls they needed.

That comes down to marketing, and if you’re going to be successful at it, it’s good to know what the “5 Golden Rules of Marketing” are!

1.  Understand the purpose of your marketing.

Why do most contractors fail to reach their full potential?  It’s not because they don’t know how to do the work.  It’s because they don’t know how to market, or rather, they don’t know what the true purpose of marketing is.  You’ll hear highly-defective marketers make statements like, “As long as we’re getting our name out there, it’s good marketing.”  Getting your name out there isn’t the purpose of marketing.  The purpose of marketing is to sell more services to more people more often for more money.

2.  Capitalize on your current leads.

What good is marketing that draws in hundreds of calls if your team isn’t trained to capitalize on your current business?  Often, companies get plenty of calls from their marketing but because of their poor skills on the phone or in the field, those calls never create the revenue they should.  You have a training problem—not a marketing problem.  Make sure your team is trained to perform their duties properly, and you may find that you have plenty of calls.

3.  Own a distinctive place in the customer’s mind.

Your marketing is competing with every other advertising message in the world.  How are you going to stick out without a distinctive position?  Think of FedEx, Starbucks, and McDonalds.  They all have very distinct places in the mind of your consumer.  Observe your competitor’s marketing.  You’ll see that most of their ads or spots look rather similar.  It seems that everyone is the company your city trusts and that everyone does quality work.  If your marketing’s main selling points are the same, you’re just blending in, and there’s no reason for a homeowner to call you.

4. Have a clearly defined target.

When you try to speak to everyone, you wind up speaking to no one.  Think about cold medicine.  There are countless brands that will help you with the symptoms of the common cold, but if you want the “nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, sleep better to feel better medicine,” you only have one choice.  NyQuil didn’t try to appeal to everyone, just those who want to sleep better.  Be like NyQuil and pick the market that you want to go after.

5.  Have a unique company name or USP.

A memorable company name should be commonly known, seldom used, have positive associations, and be able to be protected.  If your last name is affixed on the business, and you don’t want to change it, it’s time to consider developing a specific unique selling position (USP).  At Success Group International, we offer our members several that they can adopt.  Of course, you could always  develop your own.  This is critical in standing out from the many other contractors in your market.

There you have it.  Those are the “5 Golden Rules of Marketing.”  Put those to use, and you’ll have a great chance at achieving marketing success.


About the Author: Paul Riddle, Vice President, Success Group International

Paul Riddle has over 25 years of hands‐on experience as GM, COO, CEO, and owner of service companies specifically in the mechanical and restoration segments. Throughout his career, he has personally trained the owners and employees of hundreds of businesses, including several turnaround situations.  His hands‐on training for owners and their employees has been in the areas of business planning, sales & marketing, and company culture. Paul enjoys applying his knowledge and experience working directly with business owners and their employees to increase profits, improve the company’s present value, and unlock the intrinsic value of the business when sold. Paul joined SGI in 2009 as the VP of Operations.

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