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Marketing plan of attack

  • SIMA
- Posted: August 1, 2015
By Garrett Smith

It doesn’t take a math whiz to know that more contracts equal more money, but as a snow CEO you know the path getting there isn’t always clear, especially when it comes to your marketing efforts.

As a CEO here are five things you should know about your marketing to make your company more effective, efficient and profitable.

What are your goals?
Any CEO worth his brine excels in two areas: deciding the numbers that need to be hit and determining the course of action needed to hit them. A business lives and dies by these numbers. 

Determining the goals for your marketing campaign and the metrics by which you will determine its success are critical. Without goals and metrics, success is not possible. Remember, you can only manage what you measure. 

What’s your average customer’s lifetime value?
While most snow CEOs preach the virtue of long-term client relationships, some are stuck thinking about the short-term bottom line. Sure, we all want the business and profits this year, but thinking long term about your marketing returns allows you to be more aggressive and competitive. 

If you know that your average customer bills $12,000 per season and stays on for an average of six seasons, you might be willing to invest $5,000 or even $10,000 to acquire that customer. Not so if you’re only thinking about this year and maybe the next.

This is especially important if you’re heavy on the residential side, where high customer acquisition volumes are often required to hit yearly revenue goals. 

How much does a customer cost?
Snow CEOs spend a ton of time obsessing over two things: customers and costs. Yet surprisingly, few know the true cost to acquire a customer - the linchpin to a successful marketing campaign. 

Fully calculating the cost of a new customer via proposed campaigns and marketing channels allows you to determine how much to budget and how quickly you’ll turn a profit. 

Maybe you aren’t spending any money on marketing right now. You must still consider your time spent working to acquire each customer, because you may be investing more than you realize.

Where are you getting the best ROI?
Savvy snow CEOs may know that half of their marketing is not working. The problem? There’s a 50/50 chance they don’t know which half is not working.

From call tracking to web analytics, there’s no excuse for not knowing the metrics and ROI you are getting from each marketing channel. Every campaign you launch must be tracked and reported upon frequently, allowing you to cycle out nonperforming marketing channels. This allows heavier investment into channels performing well, or for you to experiment with new campaigns or marketing channels.

It never stops
The smart snow CEO knows that marketing is not a seasonal affair. The most successful snow businesses maintain a marketing presence year-round. 

From the summer months to in-season, the key to continually growing your business through marketing is to continually market.

It’s not about getting a head start on your crosstown rival. It’s about having a plan (or coming up with one really quickly) for handling an unexpected rush, no matter the reason or the season. 

For example, last season we received over 500 new inbound customer phone calls during the winter. While we were unable to capitalize on all of this potential during the season, we captured the details of every lead knowing they could become a paying customer the following year. 

We’re now using this as the basis of our marketing and outreach campaigns this summer, a great head start and complement to our pre- and in-season marketing plans. 

This competitive advantage would never have happened had we turned the faucet off just because our cup was full.  

Smith is the founder of Pitch + Pivot, a sales and marketing agency. Last year he founded WNY Snow Removal, where he’s responsible for the company’s sales, marketing and business development efforts. Contact him at
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