By Victoria Downing. Dave Bryan of Blackdog Builders, Salem, Mass., wants to more than double the size of his $4 million company in the next several years. "We knew that effective marketing and the continual generation of high quality leads was going to be critical," he says. "For years, we'd done some marketing, but it wasn't a formal system of well-thought-out tactics."

To get the marketing focus he knew he needed, Bryan hired a full-time marketing director. Gail Butterfield is responsible for developing a plan that best allocates the budget, which Bryan doubled from the previous year. Her diverse plan includes newspaper ads, radio, cable TV, and public relations.

In addition to implementing the marketing tactics and managing various vendors, Butterfield manages the company's co-op programs. "In our industry, much of the co-op dollars offered are not tapped," Bryan says. "With Gail's help, we expect to regain $20,000 in co-op dollars this year alone."

Butterfield has practical experience working for other small but growing firms. Has this expenditure been worth the investment for Bryan? So far this year, leads for Blackdog are up 15%. --Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, Fulton, Md. (301) 490-5620,