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How to spend less on marketing to get more customers

Feb. 10, 2017
Here’s the surprisingly simple strategy to improve the effectiveness of your marketing. In many situations, you’ll spend the same amount of money (or even less), but get more customers. 
Image: iStock/ThinkStock.

Your business needs a constant influx of customers to survive and grow. However, getting those customers can be a lot of work (and costly, too). Marketing for new customers feels like a giant black hole that you throw your money into and hope you get a few customers out of it.

But what if you could build a predictable, simple-to-implement formula that allowed you to market to customers in a way that often costs less and yet is more effective? Who wouldn’t want to run their contracting business that way?

Here’s the surprisingly simple strategy to improve the effectiveness of your marketing. In many situations, you’ll spend the same amount of money (or even less), but get more customers.

Here’s how most people are doing it wrong

Most contractors spend a lot of money to cast as wide of a net as possible — stretching their marketing budget to the limit to reach as many people as they possibly can. And can you generate customers that way? Sure, you’ll generate some.

Unfortunately, what most business owners don’t realize is that people need to hear the same marketing message more than once before they buy. It’s the frequency of marketing impressions that will turn them into leads and customers. Yet, stretching your marketing as far and wide as possible will often only give you one impression — a one-time access to their eyeballs.

Power of repetition

Instead of trying to share your marketing message once with as many people as possible, make one change to get more customers: share your marketing message to the same people over and over again. The repetition will get you more leads.

A few people will respond to the first message. A few more will respond to the second. A few more will respond to the third. And, as each message is sent out, it builds on the last and reinforces your brand in your prospect’s mind, so you could potentially get more and more people responding to your later messages compared to your earlier ones.

Plan to send homeowners a marketing message on a regular basis (every two to five weeks) over and over again — even as many as five to six marketing pieces.

Power of narrow

The area of your marketing should be determined by your budget as well as your ability to serve your customers. Instead of marketing to the entire city, focus on just one subdivision, neighborhood or even just one street.

Even if you spend just as much as your original marketing budget, you should see more leads coming in because you’re so focused.

There are three other advantages of focusing so narrowly on one area:

  • You’ll be able to more effectively target your marketing, so you’re focusing on who you want your ideal customers to be — you don’t have to market to 100,000 people knowing that a quarter of them are not your customers; you can market to 10,000 of your perfectly positioned customers who are more likely going to buy.
  • Your team spends less time in their trucks traveling from one customer’s home to another. Where they might have been able to do just two to three jobs and spend the rest of the day in traffic, they only need to drive around the corner to serve another customer so they could potentially serve even more customers.
  • You’ll create even more brand exposure and marketing impressions because neighbors will see your trucks all through the neighborhood, which adds to the power of this approach.

Power of multimedia

The third aspect of this approach is the multimedia aspect. If at all possible, don’t just send direct mail (like letters and postcards). You should still send direct mail but alternate with other methods — from newspaper ads to voice shots (a pre-recorded message that calls everyone at once) and even emails, if you have them. Have your team putting flyers and lawn signs out as well.

Between these marketing strategies, along with people in the neighborhood seeing your trucks driving up and down the street, you’ll create a constant multimedia approach to marketing your contracting business, which is a far more powerful way to generate leads and customers.


Would you rather spend all your marketing budget on the hope that a few customers will respond? Or, does it make more sense to spend the same (or less) on a narrowly chosen area and then leverage the power of repetition and multimedia to generate more leads?

If you’re not sure, conduct a test for one quarter of the year, switching from your regular “wide net” approach to a more focused approach and see what happens.

Mike Agugliaro, is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services’ success, as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit

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