With homeowners and business managers often taking indoor comfort for granted until there is a problem, it is easy to fall into the trap and focus solely on the time when consumers NEED a new unit. Some believe that is the best time to target and influence a consumer to use your services to fix their problem. But it isn’t always that simple… That consumer’s moment of need (the narrow bottom of the marketing funnel just before the time of purchase) is also when your HVAC competition is most aggressive. This late in the game may be the hardest time to set your company, brand’s services and equipment apart!
In this portion of our series on HVAC marketing, we want to talk about Traditional Media, its use, and its impact on brand awareness and recognition, which can be crucial for growth and ROI across multiple marketing channels! Let’s discuss TV/Cable, Print, Radio, and Billboard Marketing’s role in your overall plan media strategy and how, when combined, they can have a huge impact on your campaign performance.
When a consumer is looking at potentially spending thousands of dollars on their home comfort, which they probably hadn’t anticipated, who are they going to call for help? With a substantial investment on the line, you need to not only have a strong offer to get their attention, you need to differentiate your HVAC brand from the competition, and that can be incredibly difficult to do!
So, how do you get this brand recognition and separate yourself from your competition? Traditional Media… Telling your story, defining who you are (or want to be), and showcasing what your brand and company stands for (and excels in) is where traditional media shines. Traditional media provides the opportunity not just to activate customers with a strong offer; it allows you to introduce your brand with a style and personality in a memorable way, while differentiating yourself from the competition, to leave a strong lasting impression! Traditionally, there are many ways to reach consumers, so in this portion of our HVAC Marketing series, we will look at TV/Cable, Print, Radio, and Billboard Marketing.
Broadcast Television can have a very strong influence on consumers, but it also has a reputation as one of the most expensive media! Audience sizes are healthy and understanding them by using recent Nielsen ratings is absolutely crucial to selecting the best stations and shows to reach your target audience in a cost-effective manner.
Success through Broadcast TV is also tied to how successfully you can create an ad that stands out and resonates with your audience. If you can make your ad memorable, heartwarming, and funny, then your brand will be remembered very quickly. When you have your brand message nailed down, and its easily recognizable, you can then look at shorter ad durations at less expense.
Often you can get sponsorship through local programing to reach your audience as well. Local talk shows and news sponsorships can quickly get you a spike in credibility with your local consumers.
Dynamic TV ads also work well in the digital space, so planning and producing the ad in social media formats can allow your TV ad to work well on many screen sizes and across platforms. TV ads that have the best impact in traditional media also boost the performance of other aspects of a campaign, such as search engine marketing. A solid media plan and dynamic broadcast ad can prove to be one of the best ways to drive brand recognition, recall and influence consumer action!
Zoned Cable Television has continually proven to be an effective medium to reach and activate the target audience based on demographics and consumer behavior data. Cable TV ads can be targeted to only the service areas where you want to grow your business as well. Those who are concerned with “audience shrinkage” can often augment their buy with additional reach through OTT ads served on smart devices where people are streaming content as well.
In a world where the intelligent use of data can make all the difference, set-top box data allows us to show your ads to people who:
- Live in the geography you want to service (not clear across Houston)
- Are in your target demographic (Homeowners, ages x-x, with a household income > $ XXX k)
- Show interest based on their consumer data and viewing behavior
Print ads are often overlooked in today’s marketing plans, but they can be a strong influencer of your consumers. When used correctly, print can prove itself with a very healthy ROI! If you are thinking about newspapers, I’m afraid Houston just isn’t the market with the best return on your print dollar. Readership is continually down, split between local papers and the big boy in the market. The newspapers often try to tie print back into the digital landscape of their branded websites, but those newspaper websites are often overcluttered with ads… easy to get lost and frustrated with.
Don’t overlook one of this nations’ oldest uses of print, the mail. Highly targeted mail to your best potential and existing customers who have been utilizing your maintenance plans still works. Defining and narrowing down your target audience to the attributes that best describe your customers and potential customers makes sense. Maybe that’s targeting geographically in an area you do the most business, the area where you have the biggest jobs and tickets, or maybe it’s based-on income levels, home values, demographics, etc.
If you create a strong offer with a call to action that speaks to your audience when they need your services, they will respond. A nice postcard with a strong offer is going to get looked at as it is pulled out of the mailbox, likely again as the mail is sorted inside, and possibly saved on the counter, fridge, in a wallet or purse for use when the offer is relevant to the consumer’s needs.
Spring checkup reminders are very helpful. While it may seem that focusing money on low return services like seasonal inspections could be a mistake, this can be crucial to getting your business card in the door and saved with consumers who aren’t in need of a new unit just yet. Once you are called in to perform an inspection, you have the opportunity for your brand and your tech team to build a great relationship with the homeowner. If you have that existing relationship, when the new unit offer is right and the need arises, it’s much easier to be the one the homeowner calls for the new unit.
Billboard Advertising can reach a large audience with a relatively low cost compared to other broadcast mediums and can be an excellent tool to build brand awareness and vastly increase the visibility of your business. The simple fact that billboards cannot be avoided as people sit in traffic and commute to work around Houston is an advantage you should consider. Many people tend to take the same “regular route” which means the chances are good they will see your billboard multiple times. This increased frequency makes your brand and message inherently more familiar and helps increase brand recall and successful conversions across multiple media.
Billboards can also be strategically leased in prime real-estate locations relative to your audience, with high traffic volume (according to TxDot data). This means the people you want to reach based on their location will always be looking at your message when commuting.
By designing a billboard to match the messaging, look and feel of other portions of your campaign, your target audience will more quickly reach the message frequency required for not just brand awareness, but long-term recall and activation as well.
Radio is great media to reach the Houston area audience! The reach potential is unparalleled, and if you can create a fresh and memorable ad you should expect a spike in brand awareness, brand recognition, as well as a positive impact to your organic website traffic and calls. If you are only targeting a small portion of the Houston area, then more localized media may be a more efficient platform for your goals. But, if you’re targeting consumers across the Houston market, radio ads are one of the best ways to excel and reach them!
Radio ads can be very powerful. The music and message can tell a story and conjure emotional ties with a consumer’s subconscious! Above and beyond branding messaging, ads that use a strong call to action can also create a strong logical reason for the consumer to use your services.
Often you can utilize a trusted radio personality to endorse your brand or message. These personalities lend their credibility and likeability to you, and these types of ads are often able to run at the end of segment, before other recorded spots run, which helps get your message to consumers before they potentially change the channel. There is also the potential of sponsoring segments of program, such as financial news, sports updates, or local traffic!
When we think about radio in the context of driving, pairing radio with billboards allows a brand to put a visual image with the story being told through car speakers. Together they are an even more powerful combination to impact and influence your target audience.
Thinking back to the moment of need scenario… With a recognizable brand image, you are putting yourself ahead of the competition before the consumer even sees your offers! Consumers are more likely to seek you out by name, organically, and never even see or consider your competitors. If they don’t seek you out by name, and they remember your brand when looking through search results, the consumer is more likely to click on your recognized name. If you’re running SEM or Display ads, you’re likely going to see better performance from them as well.
This overlapping brand success, driven by brand recognition, is best achieved at scale with Traditional Media. The best news is this success isn’t a 1+1=2 scenario, it becomes a 1+1=3,4 or 5 scenario.
Brand Ranch Media does an excellent job getting our clients the most efficient traditional media buys, including Radio, TV, and Print. We have a proven track record of making our client’s campaigns function efficiently across multiple traditional and digital media, with a uniform campaign look and feel that drives success in measurable and trackable ways! What are your goals? With an easy conversation we can often determine ways to measure and attain your goals with a media campaign that’s custom designed to utilize the best aspects of a variety of media. Reach, recognition, activation…. If you don’t feel like you have a 100%, locked in plan for your business growth and success moving into the future, then maybe it’s time to give us a call and see what we can offer you. For more information, feel free to contact us at 713-309-6380 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.