Marketing – Sounds Easy! Guess what? -Most M&E/HVAC businesses haven’t got have a clue.
Well that’s probably aggravated a few people! Let me explain my reasoning.
So what exactly is Marketing in the broad sense? It’s the action or business of promoting and selling products or services.
Let’s expand on that even further: the bottom line of M&E/HVAC marketing, is about making you more money. It’s about getting your M&E products/services in front of more people – people who will want to buy them. It’s also about creating brand awareness of these M&E products/services so your potential and existing customers associate your brand with a specific feeling.
Marketing you and your M&E products and services has been made much easier because of the Internet, which is why M&E Marketing is more important today than it’s ever been. Yet there are hardly any M&E businesses doing marketing correctly, – marketing in a way that gains more long-term customers, reaches new audiences, etc.
The main problem: General non-specific Marketing agencies – follow the standard, general catch-all approach to marketing any type of business. i.e. An accountancy business used strategy X to get 500 new customers. Brilliant! Let’s ALL follow that exact same strategy! – No use to a Heat Pump distributor.
To make matters worse, because most people in the M&E world don’t even THINK about marketing. Instead, they follow the tried and tested general Marketing methods (Search Engine Optimisation – SEO, Pay Per Click – PPC, Banner ads, etc). Most of these don’t work well in the M&E world and nearly all of these need money to get started.
Hopefully – (as you’re reading this article), you’re reasonably familiar with the world of online business. There’s a good chance you’ve read tons of General articles that profess the benefits of a specific technique, or explain about how a business used a unique marketing strategy to great effect. None that resonate with your M&E type Business.
Have you ever read the readers comments below these articles? What do people want more than anything? Either a simple to follow step-by-step guide to success, or someone to take that problem away and do it for them.
Let me be straight with you: THERE ISN’T A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO SUCCESS IN THE M&E BUSINESS.
It’s because as soon as someone discovers a new process or idea, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Now all of a sudden, that process or idea is totally worthless!
You have to be creative and come up with new specific M&E marketing strategies on your own. – Actually it’s easier than you might think. All you have to do is grasp a few basic ideas – ideas which I hope to provide in this very article!
OK So What Do YOU Do? What does your M&E business do different to others?
As this is an article on M&E marketing, I’m going to assume you’ve already started and are working in an M&E related business. Naturally, I assume before you started, that you would have identified a need in your sector of the M&E market – a need you and your M&E business could solve (or offer a FAR better solution to what’s already out there).
However! (and many businesses haven’t) If you haven’t done this, that could be why your marketing efforts aren’t working. Commonly many people in M&E/FM/HVAC, people start their M&E businesses based on what THEY want to do. Whereas they should be looking at the market to see what Businesses actually NEED.
I mentioned earlier that marketing is about getting your speciality M&E products/services in front of your target audience, and it’s about making sure they see these products/services in the way you want them to see it. However, if you have a “me too” product or service (like M&E Maintenance), or something a hundred different M&E businesses are already doing, it’s going to be a long road ahead.
If your M&E Business has nothing unique/different or valuable to offer with your product/service. Why on earth would someone buy it when they can buy it from their current supplier(s)?
The secret about marketing – starts with your M&E product/service.
That’s because if you have a great unique/different M&E product or service, people will want it. Don’t forget customers LOVE to buy. They LOVE to buy potential solutions to their M&E/HVAC/FM problems. Therefore, if you have an amazing product/service that solves a huge problem, then all you have to do is get it in front of people – Simples!
So with that in mind (and assuming you do have a great M&E products/service), the first question to ask yourself is, “what do we do, and how can that directly benefit our target customers?” If you don’t have anything particularly special or it’s the same as what everyone does then you may need to re-think things through.
So with your great M&E product or service, this will give you the main basis for your custom M&E marketing plan.
For example, if you run a Water Pump Seal Manufacturing company, the answer to the question could be, “we manufacture water pumps seals that are more resilient and perform better”. This benefits their M&E customers because they can last longer and offer a reliable stable performance.”
For Building occupiers, both these features have obvious benefits. The more durable the Water Pump seals, the longer they last. However, with most water pump seals, the performance starts to decline after continued use. So if your Water Pump seals don’t do that, there’s another obvious benefit to the customer.
So you’ve got a great product/service… Brilliant. However what about exposure? After all media coverage is fantastic for marketing!
Now that you have a valuable M&E Product/service, the next thing is to find some exposure to tell your potential M&E Customers about it. You can do this in several ways:
• Submit an opinion piece to a National Trade magazine (ACR News, H&V News, FM World etc) right before a maintenance feature, talking about the importance of quality water pump seals to the M&E Maintenance Contractors.
• Write an article – something like “the science of water pump seals”, including interesting details, history and facts that very few people know and would be interested in reading about. Then submit that to an online blog (like FM world, LinkedIn Pulse and LinkedIn groups that are relevant, has a large audience and fits the angle of your article.
As the first step of M&E marketing is to find the perfect angle for your specialist product/service, and how it solves a major NEED within the M&E market, the next step is to find out ways to get the message about them in front of your potential M&E customers. The fact is if you do it well this shouldn’t cost much at all.
To get yourself in the right frame of mind, you should start out by reading our article Improving Conversions on your M&E website. Once you have done that, ask yourself, “how could I get this in the hands of customers if I can’t spend any money?”
Look within your own specific M&E products or services to see if there are any interesting details that the average Facilities Manager wouldn’t and should know about.
Marketing done well, SHOULD be easy. So the fact that so many people are clueless on how to do it shows what needs to be done to make an impact.
The key is to start with a fantastic M&E/HVAC product or service. Then you can simply start by trying out different techniques. Look at the above examples again – see if you can apply the same thing in your M&E specialism. If only one of those strategies works and your product/service was amazing, it would start a snowball effect.
How? Because one of your marketing procedures would get your M&E products or services in front of your prospective M&E customers. Also even better, some people would purchase your M&E product or services. Those new customers would find out how great it is and start telling all their friends and colleagues. And THAT is the best form of marketing – free, viral word-of-mouth marketing.
But it only comes when you start with a great M&E product or service.
However – What happens if you don’t have a great product or service or maybe you do but it’s the same as many other M&E products/services being offered in your market? If that’s the case (and it commonly is) – take split systems for example – another “mee too” product, then you have to differentiate it and identify product features and the benefits to the prospective buyer. If not then it’s either back to the drawing board, or you have to make some tweaks to angle it specifically at the NEEDS within your specific M&E segment.
As another example take SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Lets be frank here, there are HUNDREDS of SEO companies out there. So if – for example you sell GENERAL SEO SERVICES, you’re one of tons.
In this case, (assuming you operate an SEO Business!) the question to ask is, “what problems have other businesses have with outsourcing SEO?” Potential answers could be:
• SEO takes time, can be expensive and doesn’t show results immediately
• Some companies try to make SEO out as Complex – a black art, frequented by “Snake Oil” sales people who state that it’s a grey area right now and many techniques hurt websites much more than they help.
• M&E Business owners have tried to save money by outsourcing SEO Offshore and been let down by these GENERAL SEO companies over and over again
By looking at these problems, you can start to work out an angle. Okay, so it can expensive and doesn’t show results straight away – is there any way we you could offer SPECIALIST M&E SEO services without charging until the site’s ranking?
Because so many people have had bad experiences with these GENERAL SEO services, is there any way you can demonstrate by going with a SPECIALIST M&E SEO Business that you can offer a guarantee that if the site doesn’t rank well on Google, then your customer will get some form of compensation?
Alternatively as you are in the M&E Business you could pick an M&E SEO SERVICES SPECIALIST – Like us!
Obviously these are some examples and these problems aren’t always easy to overcome. But if you can figure out an angle to differentiate, you can gain a “word of mouth” lead over your competitors in a “saturated” market.
Remember your customer always comes first. What are their needs? Find them, solve them, show them you’ve solved them for others.
Why not call us today on 01252 413596 to get a free evaluation of your current marketing? You will find our complete “done for you” marketing system takes away the headache of trying to do it yourself. Once we have had our discussion you will come away with a full action plan and objective for generating new sales leads and orders.