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Easily Navigate Growing Pains At $3-5M For Your HVAC Company

As an HVAC company grows, it often slams into a ceiling someplace between $3-5 million. Here are ways HVAC Companies get unstuck...

Johnny Molson
Johnny Molson
March 20, 2021
Easily Navigate Growing Pains At $3-5M For Your HVAC Company

As an HVAC company grows, it often slams into a ceiling someplace between $3-5 million. In this episode, we discuss the ways we’ve helped stuck companies break through that barrier. Even if you’re not in the HVAC industry, you’ll find valuable information that will help your small business stand out, be the one people like the most, and think of first.

Transcript Lightly Edited For Clarity

**Johnny Molson:**At Wizard of Ads we have many clients who are in the Home Services industry, specifically the Heating and Air industry. And we’ve noticed something pretty interesting that when these businesses get around the 3 to 5 million mark, they kind of hit a ceiling, they kind of plateau, and it’s hard to get over that hump. Now you may not be in the Heating and Air industry, but I think you’re going to find some useful stuff in here. Because what we’re going to talk about are the things that have to do with customer service and making sure that what you’re saying in your outward advertising matches what’s happening within your business: the experience that the customers are having. With us today around the Roundtable, we have three other Wizard of Ads partners. We start in Halifax, Nova Scotia with Ryan Chute. He is a sales and process expert in Atlanta, Georgia. One of our newer partners, Kyle Caldwell, has a lot of experience in media buying and also in message creation. And in Toronto, Ontario is Gary Bernier, he’s handled a lot on the digital side. But the thing that all of us have in common at Wizard of Ads is we’re looking for “How do we get that connection between what the business is saying outwardly, and what the experience is inwardly that the customer is having”? So let’s start in Halifax, Nova Scotia with Ryan Chute talking about “Where do you start? You want to make this big move? Where does it really begin?”**Ryan Chute:**You know, I often go in on the sales side of things and, and look at it, and these guys are selling what I like to call boxes. The salespeople are going up against price matches, unit for unit. There’s nothing else attached to the deal. And if anything, it’s going to be something marginal like a maintenance plan or a multi-year maintenance plan. When I start looking at it from the sales perspective, I’m looking at bundles. So I can insist that we really start focusing on bundles instead of boxes. And Costco is the absolute masters of these. You know, when Costco sells ketchup, they don’t put out a bottle of ketchup that you can buy down at the grocery store. They package it up with three packages of ketchup and put it on for a great price as a bundle. And that’s the only way you can buy it and that’s their differentiating value. It’s a value stack that’s inflicted on you, but is famously successful being the highest per dollar per square foot of any retailer in the marketplace today. So when you start looking at how we can leverage that, when we take it over to an HVAC company, the opportunity is extraordinary.**Johnny Molson:**So challenge number one is “How are we different, fair?”**Ryan Chute:**Yeah, definitely.**Gary Bernier:**Absolutely, Johnny. And the focus today is that 3 to 5 million. Once you crack that three to five truck mark, that’s when things start to get more interesting, because now you’ve got a business a real business, and you’ve got a little bit of infrastructure there. Like Ryan’s talking about, you have people that their responsibility is to sell, and you’ve got people whose responsibility is answering the phone. As the owner, you don’t necessarily bump into everybody every day. And so there’s just different challenges that the business space is in its growth from that 3 to 5 million mark, and maybe what made them unique has gotten a little bit lost. It’s still probably there, and that’s why we do the uncovery, it’s a little bit lost when they get into that phase. Because they’re just scrambling to keep the business going. And that’s why they’re looking for leads all the time.**Kyle Caldwell:**They have to be able to say what their clear vision is. What is the commander’s intent for my customers in the home every day? How does that translate from the people that answer the phones to the technician that shows up on your door? If you’re buried in every single kind of business issue, it’s very difficult to continuously be that shining light, that guide for your staff.**Johnny Molson:**That’s kind of where a lot of businesses get stuck. I think all four of us have been in meetings where we say, “What makes you special? What do you stand for?” And the response we often get is, “Well, we do great quality work. And we have trained our people. And we wear booties when we go into the houses.” All these things that are base-level expectations. You know, I expect you to at least do that. I expect you to know what you’re doing, and I expect you not to trash my house. So where does this now-growing HVAC company start to look for the things that make them special?**Gary Bernier:**I love when you look at a franchise like One Hour that says “On time or you don’t pay a dime.” It sounds like a simple thing. And you wouldn’t say that’s what makes them unique, but how many companies that you call for service on anything, whether it’s a fridge or whatever, show up when they say they’re going to show up? And that’s important to the customer. So a lot of times people think that uniqueness is in how they deliver the product, like how they actually put the air conditioner together and whatever else. And then the customer doesn’t care about that. What the customer wants is their life to be convenient. They want, if it’s HVAC, they want all the rooms to be the same level of cool. They want the same level of heat in all the rooms. That’s what the customer wants. They’re not into the fiddly little bits of how the stuff’s connected and whatever else. And I think the technician mindset gets lost on the perfect install versus what makes the customer happy.**Johnny Molson:**And going back to what Kyle said, and you can address this a little bit, Kyle, if you want you. You said something important there on the intent or the spirit of the owner. Talk a little bit more about that and why that’s so important.**Kyle Caldwell:**Well, Gary and I were in a discussion with a local business in his market. And you could tell that the woman we were talking to was right there and had a vision and was able to like elucidate several different things about her business that she wanted to see happen. She was able to look and say, “I want to be at this level of sales. And I want to transform my company in this way.” And I got to thinking how much she would benefit from a retreat. Go rent an Airbnb in the mountains, or in the cool part of your town, or whatever. Unplug your phone, start to write down these things that brought you to that $1 million place, that $2 million place, you know. Before you lose it to the insurance guy who’s calling you and the sales guy who wants you to look at the new gadget that he wants your trucks to carry, etc. Once a year, stop, take a breath and unplug and start writing down the spirit stuff. The things that drive you to be in the business in the first place. I think maybe we could flesh that out some more in some blogs and things like that. But every one of these guys has a reason that they left the mothership company and started something. They have a reason. And so get back to that reason. And then that helps you at least have a place where you can start to project that into your technicians in the home, the CSRs, the service managers, the people who handle the billing. All of it, soup to nuts, begins with that kind of feng shui effort to write down the things that have brought you to where you are, why you’re doing this in the first place.**Gary Bernier:**Yeah. That’s the seed that Ryan grabs hold of and loves to wrap the word culture around, right? It’s that Genesis moment that you’re talking about. How they see the world and how they wanted to serve customers and what they wanted to do for people. And so when Ryan starts talking about culture, it will show up whether you design it or not in around 3 to 5 million. And that’s another reason like Kyle says: “Get the hell out, figure it out, write it down.” Because I think Ryan will say that will put you in the driver’s seat for having the culture you want, not the one that just shows up.**Kyle Caldwell:**It really matriculates right into the DNA of the business when it’s a stated goal that everyone in the business is enrolled in.**Johnny Molson:**And this is a good place to transition. So now we’ve discovered the spirit or the intent of the owner, because now you are starting to get to something that is distinctive: how do you tell this company from that company? And so now you’ve started to tap into the stuff that makes your company distinctive. Ryan, what do we do with that? Now we’ve got this thing identified and pointed to it. What do we do with it?**Ryan Chute:Well, to me, there’s three kind of main areas where distinction shows up. The first area that is going to show up is the external message that you’re going to have to your customers. And that’s going to generate leads in one form or another. You can take kind of the transactional road of talking about price like everyone else, or you can talk about the things that you believe in and put it out there to demonstrate your integrity, your trust, your worth, your competence and value. The second place that is going to show up is in sales. So ultimately our service techs, they’re all selling stuff every single day. The comfort advisors and technical advisors. Even the customer service representatives who are answering the phone calls or selling something, be at the appointment that they need to book straight through to the new unit that they’re going to deliver, whether they sell a box or they sell a bundle. Really what it boils down to from there is though do those two things match up, right? Does what we’re telling our customers actually match with what the experience is inside the company? And if it is a match, then you have consistency and that lends credibility and confidence for the consumer, which drives leads towards the online presence and everything else that comes from that. The third place that it’s going to show up in my world particularly is in recruitment. So when we believe something and we can speak to what we believe and stand for, and frankly what we stand against, then we can talk about things that matter to the person in job ads. The job ads are about the person doing the job, right? So when we match up the right people, what do we get? We get the right fit. And if we get a whole roster of rock stars, everyone’s winning, but it also attracts more rock stars, right? We want to be a part of a tribe that we feel really good about hanging our brand and attaching it toJohnny Molson:**Is it a top-down approach? Is it a horizontal approach? I guess by that I’m meaning where’s the chicken and where’s the egg? Does the culture determine the distinctiveness? Does the distinctiveness lead the culture? Clarify a little bit of that.**Kyle Caldwell:**Yeah, I think it’s definitely top-down Johnny. I would say there’s no question that if the leadership does not have a well-stated vision for where they’re taking the company, then there’s no way it bubbles up from the ground floor up to the top suite, unless a miracle happens. And I bet you the best run and most distinctive companies have strong leadership. The ones I know that are successful in HVAC, the $70 million companies have leaders that are very, very good in that role and very good at projecting those core values down the funnel.**Ryan Chute:**But it really does start at communication. And when we identify and lock in step number one, the leaders decide to make that conscious choice to change the narrative of their business, or at least clarify the narrative of their business to move it to the next level. It first happens externally. We understand what it is. We want to speak to the voice, to the mind and the hearts of the customer. And if we’re an authentically bringing that inside, we then bring that internal communication. And from there, it really becomes developing and clearing up your selling system through leadership. And when you have a clean slate of your selling system directed and driven and defended by leadership that’s what’s going to support your culture.**Johnny Molson:**Yeah. And I think the reason for the question of, “Is it top-down or is it more linear?” is the situation where a leader is acting on his own values, but man, you’ve got a management staff barking in his ear. Saying “We’re getting killed on price. We’ve got to do this.” You start to internalize all of that, and you drift away from your values and your purpose. If you are in that situation and you have a management staff that’s just going numbers, numbers, numbers and you’re trying to instill values and values and values. Is that the wrong manager?**Ryan Chute:**I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive. When you look at the selling system within a home service business, you have six constituent components. You have the communication, which is broken up into external communication and internal communication. External you’ll have offline and online, digital and mass media as an example. Then you have your internal, you’re defining what it is that you believe. Once you’ve done that we need to get some of those things cleaned up. Compensation and recruitment so that we are able to accommodate growth. But then we go into pricing and selection, and that has to be a unified front too. Pricing is a language, right? We talk about as Wizard of Ads the 12 languages and math being one of those languages. Well, pricing is one of those languages and it’s very psychological in the way that you can approach it.**Ryan Chute:**But there’s no way to beat a P and L right? If your gross profit is 55 points and your fixed ops is 45 points. You’ve got a net income of 10 points, right? There’s no way to win that war, right? We’d have to adjust other things within the selling system, like getting your sales guys to close more on a per call basis, increased average sale, increased gross profits, those types of things. That being said, we drive down to pricing and selection. Now we have the language to the customer of accommodation, and that all has to match. If that doesn’t match, then leaders aren’t going to be able to do anything to improve the culture. They’re just going to be butting up against these roadblocks. Like our prices are too low, or we need higher prices, more selection, less selection.**Ryan Chute:**We need to change our comp plan because no one’s willing to work for us at this price, or for a hundred percent commission or whatever the case might be. Ultimately, I think what this all boils down to is that culture is the strategy. Now we’ve often heard that culture eats strategy for lunch or breakfast.**Johnny Molson:**All three meals, yeah.**Ryan Chute:**But really what it comes down to is that culture has to be the strategy. And when we do that in the confines and context of a selling system, we have the ability to move the needle.**Johnny Molson:**And this brings us full circle to the concept of Marketing with a capital M. Not just the ads that you put out in the words you say those kinds of things — vitally important — but just an understanding that marketing touches every department and really touches everything. So not only how we’re behaving out in the field, how we’re answering the phones, what we’re saying to the salespeople, how they behave, what’s on the website. All of these things have to be in what we refer to as channel alignment. Otherwise you’re really missing a big opportunity. And so it can’t just stay in the Monday morning meeting where we inspire everybody and say, “You know, we have these certain values…” It has to exist in every single corner and in the glove compartments of the trucks and in the minds of the techs. I mean, it really does have to be that that permeated in order for it to work.**Kyle Caldwell:**And I think you have to have a plan for that, right? You go on your retreat, you kind of figure out what your goals are for that year. You have to then enroll the leadership in your business and then count on them to continuously reinforce and enroll the people that they manage. And there’s 14 different managers at a typical large 40 plus million dollar HVAC company has managers all over the place that are expressly there to lead and guide the pods of their team that are going to be so crucial. Without this alignment, it’s like an old wagon wheel with the spokes that are out of it. The wheel gets out of alignment before you know it and the whole thing comes apart because it’s not vibrating in the right way.**Johnny Molson:**I live in a city where about four or five years ago we received a coveted Chick-fil-A and it was a big deal. I mean, the press was out there and it frustrated businesses who said they’re getting all this free marketing. And I said no, they’re not. They may be getting free advertising from their PR, but that is a well-oiled marketing machine from top down of how they behave. It’s not a mistake that when you say “Thank you,” they say, “It’s my pleasure to serve you.” That is a part of the DNA of how they live. And that is an expensive proposition, to do that kind of well-oiled truly capital-M Marketing that goes throughout the business. And that’s the kind of thing that we’re talking about. And when you get that right, when you tap into that, it becomes almost unstoppable. So Ryan, I’m a business owner and I say to you “But I want it now. I’m Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka. Give it to me now.” And what, what do you say to them? “I want to win today!”**Ryan Chute:**Absolutely. And listen, every business owner wants to win today. They don’t want to wait to build the relationship, and they really want the relationship today, right? If we think about going out in our younger years on Saturday night to the bar and trolling around for things. Most of the time we’re not trolling around to find our future wife, right? We’re looking for that instant gratification. And those relationships aren’t traditionally forged in fire and going to be long-lasting relationships with meaningful results. Now they might bear fruit so to speak. But what I am saying is that’s not going to be a lifetime journey with a customer, right? And this is the difference in the two things. The difference in the two things is that we’re not going out looking for love in all the wrong places. We’re looking for connecting with customers and developing a relationship. And that probably means you’re not kissing on the first date. I think that lends us to precisely what customers want. So if we’re looking for a quick down and dirty oversimplification of what it is that you need to do. 1, Vast selection. 2, The lowest price for the value. 3, Fast, personalized delivery. They’re going to be things that just don’t change over time. The customer is seeking first warmth, right? The belief that you’re not going to murder them in their sleep and take advantage of them or rob them of their home when you come in there. And then competence. If you tick those two boxes, you’re positioned to sell something — that’s not guaranteed — but that’s your minimum standard. So when we know the sequence of events, we can deliver delight. Now there is a secret sauce to delight, but first and foremost, we have to make sure that the customer feels that they’re getting the choice and the selection that they want, and that they don’t need to go shopping somewhere else, i.e. your competitors, to get the thing that solves their problem. The lowest price for value can be translated in a number of different ways from the cheapest box you sell straight through to the best solution you sell at a fair price. And then fast personalized delivery. My home my HVAC system is different than my next door neighbor’s HVAC system. I want it, within reason, to my needs so that I’m not making the wrong choice. And that’s the biggest fear of any relational customer. But we still have to do it fast, easy, safe, comfortable by demonstrating warmth and competence to build that trust before the sale is made.**Johnny Molson:**So final question, who is this not right for? What businesses should not be doing what we are suggesting? Or who will this frustrate?**Ryan Chute:**The first one is the business owner who wants to have a lifestyle business. They want to have a couple of trucks and a little bit overhead at most. They like keeping it simple and not really growing, but sustaining a good margin business. That’s just not for them because this will blow their socks off, right? The second person that it’s not going to be a good fit for is the person who really doesn’t have any aspirations for exponential growth. It’s easy to get a 10 to 15% gain on your growth every single year. Heck if you just raised your prices by 10% in conjunction, because it’s a basis of percentage you’re going to grow your business if you maintain. So exponential growth, that’s growth by multiples: two, four, six, 10 times, your business size. A thousand times, your business size. That’s what we do. And then those are the two big ones that would not be a good fit for this business. And then the third one is the inauthentic. The ones who just truly say one thing and then do another, who are out to gouge and take advantage of and everything else. They’re going to get caught, right? They’re going to get called out for being inconsistent with the message that they put out and what they deliver.**Gary Bernier:**Yeah, Johnny, this is for the person that believes growth is great, but understands growth sucks because growth brings new problems. And what they want to do is solve those new problems every day. That’s the type of guys that want to go through that exponential growth that Ryan talks about. You have to understand that once again, what worked yesterday, doesn’t work today because it broke because of growth. And you’ve got to be ready to put a band-aid on it and then put in the permanent solution and move to the next link in the chain that broke and fix that one. The business owner that wants to go through that and wants to embrace that as part of their core DNA, that’s the type of guy that can work with us. And like Kyle said, it’s a choice and there’s nothing wrong with the other choices. But Ryan’s right, they won’t work for us. We’re going to blow you up and you’ve got to be ready to go along for the ride. It’s wild and it’s crazy. And it’s wonderful if you decide you like that. And if you don’t, it’s not the right vehicle to climb into.**Johnny Molson:**So the key takeaway today is getting all these things in alignment. What you’re saying online matches what you’re saying on a billboard or matches what you’re saying on a TV ad or a YouTube ad. And that’s all in alignment with how your salespeople are behaving or how your service people are behaving. When you link all those two things together, everybody’s rowing in the same direction and it becomes really, really hard to stop. And that’s the exciting part. If you’d like to get in touch with any of us, here are our email addresses, or you can leave a comment in YouTube if you have any questions.

(Online)
(Offline)
(Marketing Strategy)
Johnny Molson
Johnny Molson

I take complicated, knotted-up marketing strategies and make them clear and understandable. I want people to know what you stand for, why you're special, and never forget you.

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Frequently asked questions

Questions? We’ve got answers.

Who does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with healthy and growing Residential Home Service Contractors hungry to grow by multiples, like you.

You are ready, willing, and able to grow your business. You are open to change and are seeking a distinctive angle of approach to gain the time and attention of a too-busy public.

You know that lasting relationships take time, patience, and good energy to nurture and cultivate. We carefully enter into every arrangement with the intention of working with you for as long as you own your business. You prefer lasting partnerships.

You are already a solid operator. You have successfully grown your business and appreciate the impact the right brand story will have to get to the next level in your operation. You know a strong relational message takes time to gain momentum, but it’s worth the one-time short-term discomfort for the long-term gains.

Marketing cannot fix a failing business.

We accelerate what’s already happening in a business. If your business is on the rocks, marketing will only speed up the inevitable.  

You’re focused on lasting change that leads to exponential, profitable growth, not just sales at any cost. Intuitively, you know that communication that enhances every element of your customer's experience and your employee's culture is the key to your success.

How does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors charge?

Traditional marketing agencies are designed to capture the greatest amount of revenue from a client, regardless of results. Every last item is billed and expensed to the client. Typical agency fees can represent a whopping 55% of the entire advertising budget. That means a $5 million dollar advertising budget, you would spend $2.75 million on agency fees.

Think of Wizard of Ads® for Contractors as the Anti-Agency.

Our income is not tied to your advertising budget. Our income is exclusively tied to your growth. Our goal is to maximize your advertising impact with the lowest reasonable spend. This allows you to spend only what is necessary or to put extra horsepower into aggressively growing in your market.

The genius of this model is that it perfectly aligns our motivations as true partners for exponential profitable growth without the pain of being unaffordable. Ultimately, we are confident in taking the risk of being underpaid in the first few years because we know the results always speak for themselves.

Next, we do not accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, or other compensation from any service providers we recommend or engage for production work. Most agencies do. This includes the 15% agency commission for media buying. This approach is considerably different from the compensation plan employed by most advertising agencies, as it eliminates any potential conflicts of interest and allows us to focus our entire attention on helping you grow your business profitably as a true partner. For example, a $500,000 annual media buy would involve a $75,000 commission that we would have removed directly from your media providers' invoices.

This is the perfect pricing model for Residential Home Services.

By tying ourselves to gross revenue, we only have one motivation. Your motivation. We have no motivation to convince you to spend more money on marketing than what is necessary, and since we are a variable expense to sales, we NEVER become too expensive to have us on your team.

In almost every case, we end up lowering the amount of money you spend. We will stay within your planned marketing budget, including your media spend, production, and our Annual Fee. Add on the fact that you get any and all commissions back for media buys and various services provided by outside providers, and you will actually save money having us on your team.

Don’t forget, we have the largest buying power in North America for media buying, meaning for every dollar you spend buying media, we only spend 27 cents on average. This stretches your reach, impact, and frequency in a way no other agency (or yourself) can achieve on your own, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, eventually millions, every single year.

Clients who heed our advice and embrace our Marketing Strategy quickly add $1 million in incremental revenue to their business, making your investment a smart bet and a bit of a no-brainer.  

There is no longer any guesswork, hope, or fear that our marketing strategies are going to work. If our client’s are able to abandon any limiting beliefs about marketing, deliver operational excellence, and play the long game, our marketing strategy will accelerate their profitable growth.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors pricing model is based solely on the topline revenue of your company. It consists of an Upfront Fee and an Annual Fee. These fees are inclusive of scheduled travel, services, and all other expenditures as outlined in the Consulting Agreement.

The Upfront Fee covers the intensive Uncovery Process, the first year’s Media Buy, the Creative Process, and the Market Research while the Annual Fee goes toward implementation, ongoing creative and consulting, and next year's media buy. You get a team of 3.5 people, with direct access to a top tier Creative Lead and Media Buyer, and on-demand access to me as your Master Strategist. You will also have a full-time Account Manager keeping everything on track.

While the upfront does have an initial pinch, it is easy to amortize the investment over the many years we will be working together to grow your business. Wizard of Ads® retain clients for 10 years, on average. The sale of the business is the number one reason for termination. We actively terminate the bottom 1% of clients who are unwilling or unable to follow our strategies.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors believes that all rewards should be directly correlated to the success of our clients. This means that the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors only receives a raise when the company achieves growth. For example, if your gross sales for the year have increased by 25%, the Annual Fee you pay us in the following year will also be increased by 25%. Likewise, if your gross sales decrease, our Annual Fee will decrease by the same percentage during the following year.

This is an exceptionally easy and fair way to track and reward success. This model was developed by Wizard of Ads® over 35 years ago and has served us well because it serves our clients well.

As a rule of thumb, we take the risk of working for considerably less than our actual value in the first few years as we help accelerate growth. This means you need to be willing to pay us exceptionally well when you start doing even better.

When should I engage The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors?

There are four key revenue stages for engagement with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors.

  1. Under $3.6 million in revenue
  2. Between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue
  3. Between $10 and $20 million in revenue
  4. Over $20 million in revenue

Under $3.6 million in revenue is an investment in your brand. This will serve you well in establishing your brand story early on and help you with your name, logo, and truck wrap design. It's easier to create pictures from a story than it is to make a story based on pre-drawn pictures. You'll be glad you did. Everyone on a fast path to growth is.

Most clients start with Wizard of Ads® for Contractors between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue. They have often seen a natural ceiling with their leads for demand service and are looking for ways to push past the ceiling. This can only be done with a properly executed brand strategy, specifically in mass media with a sticky story.

Between $10 and $20 million in revenue, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors has some natural economies of scale. This is a sweet spot where Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can offer some added value in getting the ball rolling.

Over $20 million in revenue is actually the lowest cost point of entry as a percentage of revenue, but not the cheapest time to start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors. Leveraging all economies of scale aside, we have been left out of the upside along the way, so engaging when over $20 million in revenue means we have to mend a lot of fences damaged along the way. This is also where clients see significant savings in their media buys and production costs.

There are also three market sizes to consider.

  • Primary Markets are the top 50 cities in America.
  • Secondary Markets are the smaller cities in America.
  • Tertiary Markets are the more rural trade areas in America.

When considering an engagement with The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, consider what size market you are in. For example, a $3.6 million company in a Primary Market will struggle to get the necessary reach needed to make a splash. You either have to be more patient than a larger company or spend more money to accelerate your reach.

Alternatively, a $5 million company in a Secondary Market will look like a pretty darn big fish in a medium-sized pond.

A $20 Million company in a Primary Market will feel like a $50 million company using our strategies to potential customers.

The key to remember is that the earlier you start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, the lower the investment to get started. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Are production costs included in your fees?

The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors Creative Lead will create the ad copy, cast the voice actors, source the production house, direct the performance, pick the music bed, manage all the edits, and provide you with the completed ad for final approval before sending to air on your behalf. This is included in our fees.

You pay for the production house, actors, royalty-free music, and jingles directly to avoid any potential for markups, commissions, or management fees.

We have many friends in the industry that give our clients good deals due to the large volume of work we provide them. We will introduce you to them.

How long before a brand-forward strategy starts working?

In approximately three months of activation, we’ll just be getting live on air. In six months (3 months on air), you’ll be getting anecdotal feedback from people that you are being heard, but there will be no direct line to revenue.

After 6 months on the air, you’ll think you made the biggest mistake of your life signing up for this branding nonsense. After 9 months on the air (12 months in) you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 12 full months on the air, you’ll know why you did this branding thing. Two years from now, we'll be clinking champagne flutes as you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

How long before we’re live?

The general guideline is 70-120 days, depending on the level of production needed and if there is a name change to your business.

This includes an onsite visit, a deep dive into research, and getting things created, negotiated, approved, produced, and live on the air.

  • Uncovery - 15-30 days based on travel. 1-2 days onsite.
  • Research - 30-60 days based on the scope of work.
  • Creative and Media Buy Process - 45 to 60 days
  • Offline Production - 15 days for radio. 30 - 60 days for television.
  • Online Production (if switching) - 60 days

This means planning for roughly 90 to 120 days in the proper development and production of a completely unique Marketing Strategy before anything hits the airwaves.

Are you exclusive?

Creatively, yes. During the term of this Agreement, all Creative Partners assigned to your Account shall not engage, directly or indirectly, as an employee, officer, manager, partner, manager, consultant, agent, owner, or in any other capacity, in any competition of the client, including any company engaged in marketing consulting.

For clarity, the Creative Partner is defined as the individual Wizard of Ads® Partners who is responsible for creating your creative strategy and ongoing creative copy. Competition is defined as companies that engage in the same industry and business units (e.g., HVAC, Plumbing, etc.) as you. The market area is defined as the area where the marketing message naturally reaches through DMA or 60 miles from the city center of the client's service area(s).

Naturally, we exclude any potential future competition in markets where you are not currently active at the date of signing.

We do not limit Media Buyers in any market. Media Buyers get better deals for larger volumes, making it beneficial for the client to have the Media Buyer available to do as many buys as possible to secure the best deals on the client’s behalf.

Do you do digital marketing?

In rare circumstances, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will provide specific digital marketing solutions. Wizard of Ads® has very specific Partners that provide digital services that serve Residential Home Services effectively. Under no circumstances will digital marketing services be offered without Wizard of Ads® for Contractors' core solution.

It is most likely that Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will work with your existing digital partners and suppliers. If you do not have a reliable digital provider, we would be happy to introduce you to a number of great providers that play nice with Wizards.

Do you do jingles?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can assist you in getting a jingle for your business. Like any other tactical element of a marketing strategy, we do not produce a jingle for the sake of a jingle.

If you do not have a story or a strategic reason to have a jingle...or an ad campaign to tie it to, do not waste your hard-earned money on a jingle. You are wasting your time and money.

When you do build a single unified marketing strategy that incorporates a jingle for a specific (often scientific) reason, we have a Jingle Wizard who has studied the art and science of jingle design.

He will score you an original, royalty-free jingle, including professional singers, musicians, and producers. He will not knock off a generic jingle from a publicly available music bed that sounds like everyone else's jingle.

Your jingle will serve a very specific reason and produce a very specific result. Have you guessed how much we love jingles yet?

Who owns the copyrights?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors owns your copyright for two very specific reasons. We also provide a fair use clause in all contracts to ensure you are in no way limited to the access of your creative works, whether you are working with us or not.

The first reason we own your copyright is to ensure that we do not have to go up against our own creative works in other markets we serve. This means you are not allowed to lend, give, borrow, tweak, rent, lease, or sell your creative works to any other company at any time.

The second reason we own your copyright is that we can establish a one-time value for your creative works in the event that someone steals the content. Upon selling you the copyrights, you can go after the perpetrator for theft and make a considerable bounty in a slam dunk case.

Here is how Wizard of Ads® word the fair use of your copyright for as long as your business is in operation:

All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. Wizard of Ads® for Contractors hereby irrevocably grants you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
How do I measure brand results?

There are a number of interesting ways to measure results. Some people like to get unique identifying telephone numbers, or create branded URLs that redirect to landing pages or the website. However, much of this is a waste of time and energy as it never tells the true story of the brand journey and how it affected the decision-making process.

Other indicators of brand effectiveness include tracking new customers, reactivated customers, or running a brand equity survey to get a sense of your share of mind. Digitally you will see direct search increase, which cannot be affected by anything digital, as well as branded keyword inquiries increase. You’ll, of course, need to get your digital people to add these to your campaigns if you hope to see an increase in conversions.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors tracks the simplest of indicators. Top line revenue. When your branding takes effect, and the company responds in kind from the phone call or form fill-on, top-line revenue will increase. Efficacy is plotted on a T12, and total lead volume from all sources is tracked.

12 things you should know before signing up.
  1. Quality relationships take time. Branding is a long-term strategy. That’s why most contractors do it wrong, or not at all. There is always a lag between the start of the new campaign and the time it takes your customers to connect the dots. You MUST BE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to endure this lag period. In our experience, the lag is typically 6 to 9 months, depending on how competitive the marketplace is, your company’s reputation, your budget in relation to reach, and the eight uncontrollable environmental factors. During this time, we will be helping you implement a transition plan to ease the pain. The good news is that this lag only happens once.
  2. Decisions by Committee. We completely reject the notion of decisions by committee. We work with a single, courageous decision-maker. We welcome decision influencers, but we only look to the Owner for the final decision. All decision-makers and influencers must be involved in the Uncovery and Marketing Strategy Presentation if they want to offer input in the future. It is critical that we have a 100% fully approved plan that can be defended and championed by all leaders in the organization.  
  3. Proven Strategy. That means we are not the low-cost provider. With nearly 200 home service clients and a book of strategic devices, tools, and tactics, this isn’t a guessing game for us. We know what to do to make your externally triggered grudge purchase appealing to your potential buyers. If you can deliver the goods, we can continue building relationships. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that you are paying us less now so that you can pay us considerably more once revenues allow, please do not commit. We intend to be your true partners, in sickness and in health...so long as you own your business.
  4. Automatic Payments. Everything is on automatic payments. If you struggle with managing cash flow, figure that out in your business first. We accept all major credit cards and ACH payments.
  5. We Cause Problems. If you don’t have a capacity issue now, I promise you will in about 9 months. Let’s deal with recruitment out of the gate as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.
  6. We Own the Copyrights. All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. We irrevocably grant you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
  7. Brand Building. We will be steering you to limit the use of discounts, rebates, coupons, and sales to attract clients. We know this feels counterintuitive to many, and we will clarify our reasoning. Rest assured, we have considerable experience in creating similar offers that are not damaging to your profitability, your brand’s integrity, and your preferable long-term client relations.
  8. Creative Authority. We must have creative authority over the words. You can accept copy as written or reject it outright, but you cannot modify the words yourself. If you do not like something as written, we are happy to discuss it and make the necessary change to maintain the integrity and intention of the words chosen. Alternatively, we will scrap the concept and create new copy that you are happy to get behind 100%.
  9. Proprietary Algorithm. The media buy must be structured in a very specific way, including running a full 52-week schedule. It is based on brain chemistry, not P&Ls. Once we have committed to the buy, it’s important to avoid adjustments unless they are calculated additions.
  10. Knucklehead Factor. You should expect knuckleheads. For example, when you start running ads that are certain to get attention, you need the courage to continue running those ads, even when you receive complaints. We celebrate complaints. It means we’ve made people feel.
  11. Digital Weasels. In about three months from the time your advertising campaign hits the airways, your digital marketers will show you a marked increase in direct and organic traffic. Some Digital Marketers will mistakenly claim this success as their own. Done properly, you can continue to spend less and less on digital lead generation by increasing your branded keyword online presence.
  12. Annual Marketing Meetings. Travel permitting, we prefer to hold Annual Marketing Meetings (AMMs) outside your city. Years of experience have taught us that we get better results when decision-makers are outside their sphere of influence, away from the day-to-day distractions of the office.

Ready to transform your world?

(do it - you
deserve this)