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Use your Dang Co-op, Already!

Use your Dang Co-op, Already!

It happens every year.

During the first week of December, frazzled HVAC contractors ring our office phones off the hook and tell us some version of this: “My distributor rep stopped by today and reminded me that I have umpteen thousand dollars in my co-op/accrual account and I have to use it up before year-end! I need to spend all my co-op money RIGHT NOW, or I’ll lose it!”

My staff jokingly refers to this as the December Dump. And we can all agree it’s a less than ideal situation.

Here’s why: You’re going to drop a boatload of money into your local marketplace (by sending out postcards, or emails or digital ads, etc.) right when homeowners’ mailboxes are stuffed to the gills with holiday flyers. Consumers are on advertising overload in December: their eyes glazed from the neon-flashing, clanging, casino-like marketing extravaganzas exploding all around them! Not to mention they are super busy shopping, planning, celebrating, and spending all their cash on gifts.

Oh my gosh, let’s not get lost in all that noise!

When you dump your marketing dollars in December without a plan your ROI will be less than stellar. This might lead you to believe that marketing doesn’t work. Alternatively, spending that money on hats or pens, or stress balls with your company logo on them, just to avoid losing all that “free” money doesn’t really work either. They’re nice to have but they’re not money-makers.

What does work? Sitting down once a year and creating a solid marketing plan and budget for your company. Instead of rushing to use those funds in December you should be spending them mindfully throughout the year on planned marketing initiatives that will bring you quality leads.

Your distributor wants you use the funds they set aside for you. You’ve earned these funds. Sit down with your distributor rep this week and get a handle on what funds are available to you for the remainder of the year, and what the projection is for next year. Then decide how you’re going to use these funds to bring in leads throughout the year.

Make yourself a marketing plan. Your plan doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should include the following:

  • Your company goals
  • Deadline for achieving each of your goals
  • Specific steps and tasks needed to accomplish your goals
  • Calendar of tasks
  • How you’re going to track your marketing activities
  • Your budget (4-6% of gross sales for moderate growth, 8-10% for aggressive growth)

Need help? Book a fall HVAC marketing consultation with EB&L Marketing. (Hurry! Rates are going up in 2019.)

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