Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

A simple note is good marketing

I went out to pick the morning paper out of the bushes (why is it no delivery person can ever fling it from their moving vehicle and hit the driveway?) There at my front door was a small cinnamon Teddy Bear refrigerator magnet with a note attached.

It was from Duncan Roofs and it read, in part: “Tomorrow morning we will be replacing the roof at. . . . (a house one block over from mine.) Our crew will begin work at 7:00 A.M.  They will be as quiet as possible. However, by nature, our work is somewhat noisy. Please accept this cinnamon Teddy Bear refrigerator magnet as our apology for any inconvenience we might cause you. We hope you will use Teddy to hold notes on your refrigerator and think of us when you or someone you know needs a new roof.”

Well, this obviously got my attention. While I don’t need a new roof (or a Teddy Bear magnet, for that matter), I found myself admiring the imaginative marketing idea represented by the note and Teddy. The soft sell of the note went on to say:

“Perhaps you will have an opportunity to observe us at work. If so, I trust you will be favorably impressed with our efficient and professional work habits. And, if you have any questions about our work, our foreman or myself will be happy to answer them.”

Of course, the author, Mr. R.L. Duncan, president of Duncan Roofs, smartly took the opportunity to offer me a free estimate if or when I need a roof. And, I liked his closing line, too: “Place your trust in a third generation business that has been serving this area since 1918 . . .”

I suspect the roofing business may be experiencing some tough times these days, what with housing starts down, home improvement loans or home equity lines hard to come by, and so on. But, to his credit, Mr. Duncan hasn’t stopped marketing. He may not be shelling out big bucks for big ads these days but he has found an obviously inexpensive and clever way to make sure his service is noticed in the areas in which he’s working. Moreover, it’s a simple idea that could be modified and adapted for use, for example, by the service side of the boat and marina business.

Unfortunately, in tough economic times, marketing expenses are most often the first cut from the budget. It’s not that such cuts aren’t necessary. They are, at least in some proportion. But, that shouldn’t cause failure to continually seek out, create and adapt ways to promote without the big ad budget. In fact, these are the times when you can be clever and do some things you likely would not take time to do when business is good.

And, yes, the Teddy Bear magnet is now on my refrigerator. Gotta hand it to Mr. Duncan — he got his name into my home!


3 comments on “A simple note is good marketing

  1. Robert L. NorVelle

    This simple and affordable type of marketing is nearly always effective. It will bring $$$ into your dealership through the service door and over the parts and accessory counters!

    Remember, when you put together such a plan, SMILE and THINK FRIENDLY THOUGHTS as you develop your plan because that is the reaction you want to get from your potential customers. Notice how the Teddy Bear magnet got such a reaction from Norm? THINK FRIENDLY, BE FRIENDLY. This is supposed to be a low-key, person-to-person marketing plan, don’t complicate it. Keep it simple, keep it FRIENDLY!

    Good luck and good selling.

  2. Jim Desai

    This simple and affordable type of marketing is always effective and now days people use internet social site for marketing like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Craigslist etc an you guys can try that too.

    Good luck and good selling.

    Jim Desai.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.