David Sharpe

During the recent economic slowdown, Chris Repp, owner of Repp Construction, in Buffalo, N.Y., and his marketing department pinpointed certain demographic groups — doctors in particular — that were still doing projects with the company.

Repp’s marketing team looked at the high-caliber city magazine Buffalo Spree as a way to reach that group. The publication periodically rates professionals in various industries. When it publicized an upcoming issue on top area doctors, Repp’s marketing staff prepared advertorial copy geared to physicians’ needs and lifestyles with testimonials taken from previous satisfied medical industry clients.


The print ad cost $7,500 for a seven-page fold-out. Afterward, Repp spent money to reprint and mail the piece, as part of a direct-mail campaign, to the nearly 1,000 physicians listed in Buffalo Spree.

While Repp admits it was pricey, he says, “It boosted our sales and kept us strong through this shaky economy.” He knows he did well with the doctor campaign because he tracks every call and asks prospects where they heard about his company.

“Typically we might work with 10 to 12 doctors in a given year,” Repp says. “We bumped it up to 30 to 40 in 2009 and 2010. The return was about 35% of our volume.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.

Act Local, Work Local

Repp uses other local publications in the same way, and his staff research what feature articles are coming up. For example, he has placed ads in Business First, a Buffalo business publication that each week features stories on the top professionals. “We know people in diverse professions are going to be reading that issue, and we want to reach them,” he says. “It’s just being smart about where you’re going to connect with your clients.” —Stacey Freed