Construction Marketing Productivity Reports
Today's Social Media Marketing Hype
Last Century's Yellow Page Ad Hype
Before the internet was commercially available there were just as many experts advising contractors about layout and design of yellow page ads and which books to spend money. I say spend money because that is what it was and is now.
Many of us who owned and operated construction companies spent thousands of dollars on these experts and based on their recommendations spent tens of thousands of dollars annually in full page yellow page ads as close to first position as possible.
Spending Money Is Easy - Investing Money Takes Work
Being construction accountants who owned and operated construction companies in the late 1990's we decided it made more sense to develop a comprehensive market tracking system using QuickBooks for contractors reports and Microsoft Excel. We did it and were able to generate our own custom Marketing Key Performance Indicator reports (MKPI).
The system generated huge dividends in during the following years by cutting our marketing budget more than $30,000 and more than doubling our response rate. In real terms this investment of time, effort and money added far more than $30,000 annually to our bottom line profit.
The MKPI reports showed the Return On Investment (ROI) in percentages and dollars for every marketing medium we were using at the time including yellow pages, direct mail, newspaper ads, sponsorships, business networking events, chamber of commerce memberships and dozens more. The MKPI reports showed us where best to allocate marketing dollars. Two places where the MKPI reports were most useful were in "Cost Per Dispatch" and "Per Call Averages".
This is relatively simple, not easy but simple. All you need to do is make certain your QuickBooks setup is designed for construction and whoever is handling your contractors accounting services is inputting the data correctly so your job costing is accurate.
Anyone familiar with decision modeling and linear programming on Excel is aware that what we think to be true (gut feeling) rarely is true. Yellow Page ads were a prime example of this and when we discovered yellow page ads did not rank in the top ten in the MKPI reports it was quite a shock to all of us in management.
I absolutely believed full page yellow page ads in first position were generating the highest Return On Investment (ROI) yet when the MKPI reports consistently proved otherwise I finally took my own advice "You can be right or rich, pick one" - Randalism and reallocated marketing dollars and resources. To say the least it was very profitable at the time and we are using an updated version of it now substituting yellow page ads for more current marketing media.
I cannot tell you how many times I argued with the MKPI reports before I accepted that it was time once again to re-examine my paradigm, (Unfreeze) study the reports and verify the integrity of the underlying data set (Change State) and establish a new paradigm about marketing (Refreeze). This is yet another example of why we need to continually examine our paradigms in the endless journey of realigning them to what is real instead of what we think is real.
It appears history is repeating itself. Instead of yellow pages people I see a lot of well-intentioned people with their minds and hearts in the right place that have a lot of really great ideas on what works and fails in social media. I certainly don't know what works for every contractor; however, what I do know is every construction company is unique and what works for your competitor may not work for you.
We encourage all contractors to develop your own market tracking system and perhaps they will discover what works best for your construction company and as a result increase your sales bottom line profits. If we can be of service please contact us.
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Sharie DeHart, QPA is the President of Business Consulting And Accounting (Fast Easy Accounting) in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or email@example.com.