Every owner of a field service management business, no matter its size, knows that marketing plays a key role in their road to success. Or at least they should be aware of it, because an effective marketing and advertising campaign can help you achieve great things: boost up your newly created company (so necessary during the first days!), advertise new products to services, and give your business an identity, among others. However, good advertising can be quite expensive – and if done poorly, ads can have an unexpected negative impact.
In his article Effective advertising or Feeding your Ego?, Patrick Peterson creates a list with different ways to advertise your field service management business, but not all of them are equally useful. In fact, Peterson classifies them into three different groups, according to their efficiency: great, good and bad. Because even though one could just evaluate marketing campaigns according to their return over investment, Peterson goes a step beyond and explains some real examples of how specific types of ads can fail horribly.
In the end, everything goes down to one single question that you must ask yourself before giving green light to any marketing campaign for your field service management business: is this something that will encourage people to become customers, or just a way to give my company some self-glorification?
Best advertising methods for your field service management business
So, which advertising methods are the best for a field service management business, at least according to Peterson? The HVAC expert lists only two very specific practices that can run on a very low budget, but which require some effort on your side:
- Professional networking. It’s not only about joining LinkedIn groups or taking part in field service events, but also about contributing, having initiatives in networking, creating contact groups and taking the lead in them.
- Word of mouth. It may be the most classic method, but in many cases it can also be the most efficient one. The key is to be active: don’t hesitate to ask your field service management business customers to recommend your services to their friends, if they’re happy with your work.
After these two “great” advertising methods, Peterson lists six more, which he considers to be “good”. None of them is perfect, obviously, but they can be useful and have a positive impact in your field service management business, if done properly.
- Yellow pages. Use these only if you can include your name and telephone number without having to pay for it. Peterson advises against investing money in yellow pages ads.
- Newspaper ads. The most important advice here is to write the ad thinking about your customer. Tell them about special offers, about how fast and neat your technicians are, and any other elements that any homeowner is worried about when hiring an HVAC company. Don’t boast about your new vehicle fleet or your top-notch tools, because your customers don’t care about it.
- Vehicle signs. Talking about vehicle fleets, you can also use your trucks / vans as an advertising platform. One key element to take into account: keep it simple and clear. The company’s name, logo and phone number should be more than enough. The more your vans are covered in stickers, the less efficient the ads will be.
- Manufacturer advertising. Another marketing method is to reach a deal with manufacturers, either the machines you install or the tools you use. But you should only sign those deals if the manufacturer brand is popular, and if they don’t have similar deals with your competitors.
- Event sponsorships. These may not be very effective in the short run, but helping others is always a good practice and it says a lot about you as business owner.
- Your own website. This is mandatory today. Each field service management business should have its own website. A simple page with all the information your customers need: services you offer, schedule, contact details. And most importantly: if you’re not very tech-savvy, leave this in the hands of someone who can design the web for you. Because there’s nothing as off-putting as a poorly designed website when looking for a company online.
So far, we’ve learnt that networking is a “great” marketing tool for your field service management business, and that there are other “good” marketing methods – as long as they don’t require a large investment of money.
But, what about these other “bad” advertising techniques that we mentioned earlier on? Those methods that seem to be aimed at boosting your ego rather than bringing customers and income to your business. Peterson does include some of them in his list, and also warns that some of these methods may even turn out to be quite annoying for your potential customers, resulting in the opposite effect to that desired.
- Billboards. It seems people don’t pay much attention to them and, anyway, it’s probably not worth the investment.
- Television. If you only have enough money for a low-budget TV ad, it’s not worth it.
- Marketing calls. Most people are aware of how annoying telemarketing is. Besides, it’s probably the marketing method that would make you waste more time.
- Postal mailings. An advertising technique that will probably end up in the trash or the paper recycling bin.
- Merchandising. Lots of cheap plastic stuff (lighters, pens, keyrings…) with your company’s name on them is not the best way to advertise your services.
One important element in today’s marketing that Peterson doesn’t mention in his article is social media. According to his own classification, social networks could perfectly work as a networking tools, which means they could be considered a good way to advertise your field service management business.
Just as having a website is key for your company, creating an official company account on both Facebook and Twitter is also important in order to provide a closer, better attention to your customers. If you add a software solution such as Synchroteam, your field service management business is straight on its way to success!