A few years ago, One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning of Omaha had a simple marketing plan – basically spending about $5,000 per month with Scorpion One. However, General Manager Scott Wood made the decision that he wanted to find ways to stand out in his market and he knew in order to do that, he had to get creative.
He began by establishing a weekly meeting cadence with both his FBC, David Hannan, as well as with Marketing Manager Christine Neal and his Scorpion marketing representative. “My goal was to keep the corporate support team (and myself) accountable and frequently thinking about my marketing efforts,” Scott shared. “Establishing these meetings and holding the team accountable meant that we were constantly looking for ‘what is working, what isn’t and what’s next.'”
The next step was to take advantage of programs that the Ad Fund had readily available. “I figured that I was already paying for these resources, so I should at least test them out and see which work best for my market,” recalled Scott. “I started with adding in Customer Lobby and sending out regular postcards through the Customer Lobby program. This really helped with customer retention and renewals.”
“I also added Schedule Engine to my website, which is getting more and more popular,” he shared. “Giving customers the ability to schedule online has been great and we have shifted to have all of our marketing direct to the website to schedule an appointment,” Scott says that this approach has reduced the workload for CSR scheduling, allowing them to spend more time on giving extraordinary customer support.
Additionally, Scott rolled out the new commercials with the jingle in a big way. “We invested in both TV and radio and really made use of the new jingle. It’s so memorable and really gets stuck in people’s heads, which is great!”
Finally, one of his most effective means of customer communication has been through utilizing texting (SMS) with his customers. “We send maintenance reminders to our customers and we’ve seen a tremendous response from this tactic,” shared Scott. “I would highly recommend implementing this service.”
Looking for unique ways to connect with the community was a priority for Scott, who got involved in local parades where his team hands out One Hour branded bags that attendees used throughout the event. “It was great – there was a sea of yellow One Hour bags that we packed with promotional magnets, postcards, and more.” They have also been involved in community service projects, including Warm The Metro, a non-profit program that assists in providing free heating services to low-income homes.
When asked what advice Scott recommends for owners looking to improve their local marketing, Scott offers this advice:
- Don’t do what everyone else around you is doing. Be original and think outside of the box!
- Get involved with your FBC and Marketing support teams. More importantly, listen to their advice.
- Listen to your staff and get them involved in your marketing – they know your community as well as (if not better) than you do and ask them to hold you accountable.
“A lot of trial and error comes into play when launching new marketing campaigns,” shared Scott. “Some things will work incredibly well, others won’t. Test out programs and find the right mix for your market and don’t be afraid to try crazy new things!”