Build growth, strength and profit into your wireless business by focusing on your marketing strategy and plan!
A marketing strategy can be a simple statement of your overall plan for attracting prospects and converting them into first-time customers and then lifetime repeat customers. Your marketing plan is a more complex accounting of how you will successfully commit to your strategy. Detailing the following steps can be the basis for your company's success:
- Analyze the market and your competition. Identify your market share and provide a competitive analysis.
- Set your sales and profit margin goals.
- Identify how you will compensate for increased material and fuel costs.
- Distinguish yourself from the competition.
- Define your target market and explore partnering opportunities.
- Decide where to advertise your business by carefully reviewing the benefits of all media. Follow advertising principles, but be creative and extol the benefits of your wireless products or services.
- Create your calendar and budget.
A marketing plan is always working hard for your business, continually driving sales. Operating your business without one is like traveling to an unknown switch site without a roadmap. Surprisingly, many established wireless companies, both small and large, drive aimlessly from year to year responding to crisis sales environments and programs to meet flagging net return projections. Other companies believe that their lofty mission statements should be their marketing guide.
Essential to every marketing plan is an identifiable company name and logo, product and services branding, the colors you use, your web site’s effectiveness, your warrantee policy, how you answer your phone - literally everything that will set you and your company apart from your wireless competitor.
We urge you to contact our listed marketing professionals to assist you in executing and exceeding your plan’s goals.
What media buys should you consider?
Targeted media selection for the wireless business to business community is effectively limited to trade and association publications and internet opportunities. A one time insertion of a full page four-color ad in a leading national industry publication is approximately $7,000. A frequency commitment can reduce it to $4,600. A sixth page black and white ad is $1,900 or $1,000 based upon a continuity contract. A 1 column by 2” display classified is $230 for one insertion. Additionally, some publications provide web-site advertising opportunities based upon viewer visits as well as numerous databases.
A principal industry association magazine distributed to its members and subscribers charges non-members $1,900 per insertion for a four-color full page advertisement. Members pay the discounted rate of $1,000. A quarter-page four-color advertisement for non members is $600; members $300 . Black and white ads are available at reduced prices.
The internet provides targeted advertising opportunities for companies providing either wireless engineering, services, products or installations. Wireless Estimator's prices are as low as $285 for an industry listing site and a mini web page. To preview and add Wireless Estimator to your strategic marketing strategy, visit the Advertising link.
Plan a year’s worth of marketing activities. This will help you to be clear about your focus, goals and objectives. And when new opportunities to successfully promote your organization come up, having a plan lets you quickly determine if they are indeed worth acting on and what area, if necessary, needs to be trimmed. In addition to keeping you focused, a promotional plan helps you to budget and project the cash flow needed for implementation. View marketing as an investment, not an expense.
Maximize your business through your web site
To develop a successful web site that reflects your market position requires imagination, experimentation, and observation; but if the presentation you develop doesn't paint a professional picture, provide quickly assessable information and reach your targeted audience with the greatest potential to respond to your company’s offerings, then the benefits to your company will be minimal.
With the emergence of inexpensive web site design software and the host of companies vying for your business, a web site is clearly within your budget.
Although there are some internet sites that will provide you with a free web page, we caution against obtaining one. They’re advertiser sponsored, provide annoying pop ups and will deplete the presentation of the professional organization you need to project. Your site must present a clear image of your products and services. It provides an on-line brochure that can be edited every time your business offerings change.
Frequently update your site to give it a fresh look and review each page to ensure that you’re not promoting dated events or presenting incorrect information.
Don't use "under construction" pages if you're not ready to launch that particular area of your web site. In short, it says that you haven't completed what you have set out to do, sending the wrong message to potential clients.
You can set up another web site with a domain name that will link back to your main site so that you can capture more attention in search engines. In example, if your company handles mounting accessories and your firm's name is ABC Fabrication, introduce a web site using www.towermounts.com or another appropriate name that is available. It will target your customers to the products you provide.
Check your web designer's credentials
Most importantly, ensure that the web site designer you are going to contract with has multiple references. Many companies have encountered situations where they have spent many thousands of dollars for custom web designs, only to find out that the selected firm was incapable of providing the content management or functionality and appearance required. Check references at least twice and you'll only have to cut the purchase order once!
It's advisable to register a domain name for your company even if you have no immediate plans to develop a web site. The cost can be as little as $8.95 per year. This allows you to set up an email address that will never change, even if you change internet service providers. This will save you money on re-printing costs for new business cards and stationery. You will appear more professional and credible than by using an address like: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you’ll never worry about clients getting their email bounced back as undeliverable because your address is no longer valid.
Seek and Ye shall not find!
When you design your web site don’t be so centered on your company image, products and services that you neglect to design the site with search engines and directories in mind. Many wireless sites aren’t registered with search engines, but sport dysfunctional key words or HTML tags. Test drive your or your wireless competitor’s site in a search engine under key industry words or phrases and see if the site appears. Chances are it will not.
Major wireless firms spend tens of thousands of dollars on creating a web site and fail to address search functionality.
Designing and coding your site with keywords in the right locations and right frequency can be an art form. There are submission companies and programmers that will provide you with these services. A lack of experience can end up banning your site permanently from search engines or directories.
Explore Other Opportunities:
In an email driven culture we tend to overlook the excellent marketing potential of direct mail. Printers can provide many affordable presentations to send to your valued customers and prospects. At a cost of less than $1.35 each, a four-color oversized post card can be one of your best direct mail marketing tools.
Joining an industry association can provide a host of benefits. Membership provides the ability to network with potential clients as well as to keep abreast of changing business patterns, technologies and regulations within the industry. Dues per year can be as low as $1,000. These organizations have helped to enact legislation that benefits its member companies and the industry at large.
Exhibitor booth charges can range from $2,500 to $12,000 for a 10’x10’ exhibit space for wireless industry trade shows. Your exhibit display freight, exhibition hall fees, airfare, accommodations and promotional expenses for two employees can add another $3,500 to your total trade show expense. Many companies have cut back on the number of trade shows that they exhibit at, but continue to find select shows to be an excellent return on their marketing investment. Some companies successfully target the smaller state or regional conferences of industry-related professions such as public safety and rights of way associations. Exhibitor table fees at these events can be as little as $150 .
As a conference attendee you can gain a better sense of the industry’s direction and expand your company’s potential through educational sessions and networking opportunities. Maximize your marketing dollars by setting up as many meetings as possible in advance.
No matter how it is formed, a smart business alliance can help you enter a new market, reach more customers, freeze out a competitor or fill a gap in your company's abilities. These partnerships take many forms, from joint sales calls or distributing each other's wares to developing new products or services. And this newfound competitive advantage can happen without a major cash infusion. Joining an industry association can put you in touch with potential alliance candidates.
GSA Supply Schedule
Few wireless construction-related product companies take advantage of being on the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule (FSS). Since Federal agencies’ use of the schedule for purchases is increasing, it presents an excellent marketing opportunity. The initial paperwork can be overwhelming, but once your company is set up you will see a marked difference in government sales. There are consulting companies that will manage the registration and documentation for you and ensure that you’re listed in the correct categories. You can find additional information on the GSA’s home page .
When you fail to plan, you're planning to fail.
Emphasize customer benefits:
In your advertisements, emphasize desirable benefits that the prospect will enjoy as the result of using your products or services. In example, if your company excels in constructing sites in difficult mountain terrains or complex bayou locations, let it be known: Our extensive experience with difficult mountain top installations makes all other competitive wireless challenges easy.
Identify your assets:
Identify and emphasize your company’s competitive advantages, but it’s essential that you are able to demonstrate them; otherwise it will appear as another piece of wireless advertising puffery and will not translate into a benefit. Make a list of your company’s competitive assets and prioritize them by the benefit level offered to your prospects.
Avoid the temptation to use hackneyed catch phrases such as full service wireless provider unless you are going to follow up with the services and products that clearly identify that you are a full service provider. Does your company provide RF engineering and site acquisition through base station commissioning as part of your full service or are your offerings just construction related? Detail this information for your prospect. They have a specific need. Be explicit about your products or services. Paradigm shift, synergy, 110%, win-win and the ever-popular: We think outside of the box, are prime candidates for NyQuil awards.
Highlight your employees:
Are you proud of the number of your on-staff licensed electricians? Have you recently hired a well-respected industry leader? Let your prospects know. Few firms have in-house drillers and equipment, accent it. If your product distribution center(s) can reduce freight charges, identify it. If you provide product exclusivity, highlight it. If your company has been established for many years, underscore it. Introducing a new product or service? Promote it.
Ask for immediate action from your prospects:
Have you completed a large build? Show your pride, but don’t couch it in a statement similar to: Major Build Outs Are Our Specialty . Get real, it’s every company’s specialty, or at least on their wish list. Instead, try: During 2004 Acme Corporation successfully completed 15 raw land contracts in record time for Sprint Sites. Let us be the competitive solution for your next project whether it’s large or small. Your advertising should show a benefit and ask for immediate and specific action from your prospects.
Let your quality stand up to time:
Most contracts require wireless contractors and manufacturers to warranty their work. However, you’ll seldom see warrantees mentioned in any advertising. If you have an extended warranty, emphasize it. It’s an excellent reflection of your quality and service.
When writing an ad, don’t be afraid to use a personal tone through the use of such personal pronouns as “you” or “we.” Their frequent use is important. Speak to your reader as if one wireless industry friend was speaking to another industry friend. Your message will be more persuasive, such as “You’ve worked hard to build that quality wireless site; we’ll ensure that it’s maintained correctly.”
Testimonials reign supreme:
Whenever possible, find a carrier, contractor or supplier employee or manager who will provide you with a supportive testimonial. In your message, don’t just tell your potential customer that you’re professional, that you’re capable of providing a competitive turnkey project, that you’re the best RF engineer since Guglielmo Marconi – show them! Within this small industry most professionals respect the opinions of managers from other companies.
Words of caution: ensure that the author has his or her company’s permission to provide the testimonial and consider whether it is going to create a channel conflict with one of your major customers.
Couple creativity with advantages:
Your message will compete with an endless parade of similar products and services. By paying attention to what other businesses are doing, thinking creatively and accenting your firm’s competitive advantages, you can formulate innovative and profitable copy writing ideas that you can apply to marketing your company’s products or services.