Did you know that more than 75% of Americans go online daily? Not only that, but 43% go on more than once a day, and 26% are online “almost constantly.” This is why so many marketers have taken to the Internet.

As an HVAC business, contractors should also take advantage of the digital world. They should have a digital strategy that helps their online presence build their brand by providing a great customer experience that also attracts more potential customers.

The Marketing Challenge

Building a brand can be challenging because so many contractors feel like they don’t have the time or know-how to market.
To add to their challenge, today there are so many digital marketing and advertising agencies out there and not all of them are helpful.

Jennifer Bagley, founder of CI Web Group, Inc.
Jennifer Bagley, founder of CI Web Group, Inc.

Sure, almost any online marketing organization can help contractors bring sales leads in, but for how long and at what cost?
Then, in 2011, a company called CI Web Group began making its mark in the HVAC Industry. Its founder is Jennifer Bagley, and she came to this industry from a completely different universe.

Her professional career began in the global supply chain sector of the retail industry.

Some History

At 29, she went into business for herself by launching a mortgage and real estate company that grew to have more than 200 agents and loan officers. That led to starting two additional companies, one of which was called Compliments International, LLC — a referral rewards business. Within that company, Bagley started a web and marketing group.

The third company was called Business Blitz, a marketing and business training organization.

Bagley says, “Our internal web and marketing team took on many side projects. We began designing websites, marketing for clients, referral partners, and more. We started handpicking our highest referral partners, and whoever referred us the most business, we’d take on their website and marketing.”

“It wasn’t a formal business,” she says. “It was an internal ‘special projects’ group within our Compliments International, known as the CI Web Group.”

Bagley closed the mortgage business after the 2008 mortgage industry collapse but stayed with the marketing approach. She took that internal special projects group, and changed its name from Compliments International, LLC to CI Web Group, Inc. At first, it was not a company, just a team.

Let’s Go HVAC

Bagley was introduced to the HVAC Industry in 2011 when she was asked to be a speaker for a Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer conference. She met a lot of contractors and began picking up a lot of clients from the HVAC industry.

Since then, CI Web Group has become the preferred digital marketing agency for the most prominent distributors in North America, including Ferguson, Standard Supply, Thermal Supply, Geary Pacific, and more.

Bagley says. “We fell in love with every person we came in contact with. People in the HVAC Industry are so real, so transparent. Contractors are true entrepreneurs down in the trenches, taking care of business. It’s real. And that is exciting.

“However,” she adds, “we also saw an industry severely behind from a technology, marketing, operations, ERP, eCommerce, and customer experience standpoint. Every part of this industry, other than HVAC equipment, was severely behind the curve. It was mind-boggling.”

She says that her team at CI Web Group saw many opportunities to help contractors be more successful through marketing and advertising. Despite the business technology backwardness, she says they came to understand that the HVAC Industry cannot be outsourced.

“It is never going overseas. It’s never going to be automated. HVAC is a brilliant industry that consumers will need forever!”

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