In an effort to boost name recognition for his company, Reynolds Design + Remodeling, Roger Reynolds beefed up his marketing budget last year and created new radio ads. “If we want to increase market share, now is the time,” he says. “We have competitors that have gone out of business or are struggling.” Though his Lincoln, Neb., company is down about 5% in volume, Reynolds feels that investing more in marketing will pay off with an increase in leads in the coming years.

The company’s previous radio ads, which ran for 10 years, were developed by the radio station, but Reynolds did not target the placement or direct the content of those spots.

Reynolds enlisted consultants from Marketing Firepower to help him create the new spots. The consultants began by interviewing the remodeling company’s employees and clients to discover Reynolds Design + Remodeling’s “value story.” “It’s telling a story to develop trust and a long-term relationship rather than using promotions or sales,” Reynolds says. Burke

Real Value

To help attract new customers for its remodeler clients, Marketing Firepower’s value-story discovery process focuses on two areas: communicating how a company is different from its competitors, and understanding why existing customers do business with the company.

“We got together with [Reynolds’] front-line personnel — anyone who has contact with customers. We gave them a questionnaire asking about their opinions of the company’s unique strengths, competitive advantages, important services, and weaknesses of both the competition and of the company,” says Van Coker, Marketing Firepower’s vice president. The consulting firm also interviewed six Reynolds Design + Remodeling customers.

The entire staff of the remodeling company then met to discuss the survey results. Coker points out that an additional benefit of this discovery process is that it gives employees a sense of ownership and helps them work together toward a common goal.

“Roger’s customers really appreciated that he was on time, on schedule, on budget, and never left a mess,” Coker says. “We communicate this in the [company’s] advertising, which gives consumers a sense of comfort.”

The marketing consultant created a radio campaign that promotes all Reynolds Design + Remodeling’s strengths.

The owner recorded six radio ads that focus on the company’s range of projects, excellent customer service, scheduling prowess, and jobsite cleanliness. Having Reynolds record the ads himself allows consumers to get a sense of his personality.

“When Roger shows up at [the prospect’s] front door, to some degree they already feel like they know and trust him,” Coker says. And many past customers have called to say, “I heard you on the radio.”

Get Your Name Out There

Coker says that radio ads are one of the most effective ways for any small-business owner to get out in front of his customer base and become known to them. “We feel it is critical to have some form of ‘intrusive’ media,” he says, whether it be radio or television.

Marketing Firepower researched radio station demographics to determine which stations and specific shows reach baby boomers, who are Reynolds’ best clients and target market. “We did see a change in the number of customers right away — people saying they heard our ads,” Reynolds says.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.