Use special offers to generate more maintenance agreements every quarter but be careful not to undercut your current annual agreements.

Last but certainly not least, be sure not to forget existing VIPs. Your club/maintenance members are your devoted customers and should always have their own exclusive offers for their loyalty.

You should have special offers quarterly targeted to these five groups of customers: installation, service, other products and services, membership growth, and existing club members.

3. Identify All Of Your Opportunities Early

In which annual local community events do you plan to become involved? Create a calendar of these events and identify them by quarter and potential cost.

Now is a great time to reference your historical marketing spending data. Do you want your business to participate in any new or additional events? Think about local marathons, firework displays, farmers’ markets, festivals, parades, high school sports, and county fairs. By identifying these events and opportunities early, you can budget accordingly and be more creative and proactive with your participation and advertising.

Are you using any manufacturer co-op or distributor loyalty programs/rewards? You would not believe how many panicked calls we get at year’s end because contractors have thousands of dollars of co-op or rebate money left on the table to use before January 1st. Work with local distributors and manufacturer reps to find out what help they can offer.

Again, do not only focus on your main equipment line. Be sure to work with the manufacturers and distributors of your additional products and services to determine what resources are available to you for everything you sell. Most manufacturers will have specialized financing offers that change quarterly, along with the marketing materials you can use to help advertise these programs.

Every marketing plan needs a special offers plan too
This is an example of what a quarterly marketing special offers planning
chart looks like, courtesy of Crystal Williams of
LemonSeed Marketing.

Does your local distributor offer equipment that you can use for contest giveaways or charitable giving? Find out at the beginning of the year if this is available. Distributors are a great resource if you plan a “gift of heat” campaign during the holidays.

Are there any local organizations or charities you already work with or want to work with? Again, identify these organizations ahead of time and have a budget set aside for them.

You should consider which local organizations align with your business and its values. For example, if animals are a big deal for your company brand, prioritize any causes that help animals. Focus on one cause you want people to associate with your brand. Then use this metric to help you decide which local events to get involved in.

4. Expect The Unexpected

Even your best-educated guesses will not prepare you for every unknown obstacle this year. The good news is that if the last few years have taught us anything, it is that “stuff happens.” We live in some exciting times: extreme weather, equipment shortages, drastic regulatory changes, labor shortages, and inflation. In addition to your primary marketing campaigns, have at least two to three other campaigns ready for emergencies. Examples of this may be an additional direct mail piece or a customer letter ready to drop when things look like they are slowing down.

By the way, you should always plan on using some of your marketing for hiring. If your goal is for growth, your labor force will also need to grow. One excellent option to increase the effectiveness of any Indeed ad or social media job posting is to ensure you have an actively updated career opportunities page on your website. This page should include video testimonials from current employees, an employee referral program, and branded business cards with a QR code linked to your career opportunities page.

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