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Old Way vs. New Way: Why The Construction Space Needs To Change

There is a battle today in the construction world.

The internet has disrupted the construction industry and many companies are having a hard time adjusting to this new world.

The Pain vs. Pleasure Principle

People are more likely to avoid pain than seek pleasure

If you understand this psychological principle you’ll understand why roofing contractors are afraid of change.

Just like any other group of people, roofing contractors are looking to avoid pain.

When you change things in your business there might be some failures which can lead to pain.

This is why most roofing businesses have for so long relied on old-school lead generation strategies.

Strategies like canvassing, door knocking, direct mail, storm chasing, local television, trade shows, and Homeadvisor etc…

These strategies have been proven to work which makes it easy for roofing companies to justify not making changes.

These outbound marketing strategies have become less effective at spreading the word as people get better at blocking out these interruptions.

People don’t want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople. People want to be helped.

The world has changed dramatically: People no longer live, work, shop, and buy as they did a decade or two ago. And yet, most businesses in this space still try to market like it’s the 1990s.

Think about it, most people now primarily shop and gather information through search engines, such as Google.

The average information seeker conducts dozens of searches per day-and, rather than listen to a sales rep, read a spam message, watch a TV ad, or fly to a trade show, most people find it easier to sit at their desks and find the information online through Google and social media.

So, this is why a lot of marketing campaigns fail and never have the impact they should have. No matter who you are targeting you’ll eventually have to have a conversation.

And, the best way to have a conversation is to give value first.

Now, why is this important?

It’s important because today your prospects have virtually unlimited options that are only a click away, so competing on price alone will not be enough to fuel growth.

In fact, the historically tried and true four P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place & Promotion) are all being challenged by a simple winning formula–add value first.

“How can I help?” is one of the most important questions in your business

When you think about how you can help you’ll understand the difference between outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing.

Outbound is internally oriented while inbound is outward oriented.

The most successful roofing businesses in this space have both inbound and outbound marketing systems that will get them results.

For the rest of the article, I am going to go over the most common inbound and outbound marketing strategies, old school vs. new school.

Outbound Marketing Strategies (Old Way)

Door Knocking aka Canvassing

Unless you are paying your reps commission only if you do the math the cost per lead for canvassing is a lot more expensive than you think.

There are a lot of roofing companies that feed their reps with leads while others do not but train their reps with their own sales training.

Both have their pros and cons.

Old Way vs. New Way Online Marketing roofing

If you are paying your reps a base salary it might take a few hours for them to generate a lead. If you have a system that feeds them leads they can be running their appointments instead of generating their own leads.

There is no right or wrong answer, but if you really want to take advantage of the opportunities online then you might have to change a few things on your end with how you pay your reps.


When I first started working with contractors I was surprised that telemarketing was still a popular way to generate leads.

Telemarketing has been around a while now but its effectiveness has dwindled as people are wary of telemarketers.

This is a pure outbound marketing strategy that can provide you with results if you choose the right telemarketing company.

I have no experience with this strategy in the roofing industry (even though I worked for a telemarketing company for about 6 months)


HomeAdvisor was originally called Magic Jack and was founded in 1998. They’ve become the largest lead generation company in the home improvement space.

Recently they acquired Angie’s List.

They have a terrible reputation within the industry, however, I have talked to multiple contractors that have good success with it.

In fact, I know a few contractors that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with HomeAdvisor which have led to millions in sales.

The big negative is you are relying on the name & reputation of HomeAdvisor to generate leads for you.

You are also competing against 4 other contractors for the same lead and a lot of the people that you talk to are price shopping.

New Way (Inbound Marketing Strategies)

Your business should always be the #1 lead source. When you outsource your lead generation you are relying on others to generate leads for you.

This makes you dependent.

When you implement these following strategies your business and your name will be the lead generation hub.

Old Way vs. New Way Online Marketing roofing

Google AdWords

According to my research there at least 500 roofing companies that are spending at least $1000/month on AdWords.

AdWords is a popular way that contractors generate leads.

Roofing is an expensive niche.

Some cities like Dallas or Denver the average CPC (Cost Per Click) can go as high $30

This means that you have to know what you are doing to get results.

You can quickly invest thousands of dollars in a couple of weeks and not see anything if you make mistakes.

The majority of small businesses that use AdWords do not set up call tracking or a landing page.

If you are in a smaller city, (less than 100,000 people) AdWords might not be a good solution. If you are just starting out I would not recommend this strategy, unless you have the cash flow.

Even though you can see leads right away, it will take a few months of advertising before you see the full benefits.


SEO is the process of getting your website ranked on the search engines so you can get free organic traffic which leads to roofing leads.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of contractors, I’d estimate about 10% don’t even have a website, and even larger percentage of contractors have a crappy website.

Having an SEO optimized website is the first step in getting your website ranked in the search engines.

When you implement a successful SEO campaign you will start seeing leads that will call you based on the information they found online.

Roofing is a competitive niche with SEO. This means that if you are trying to rank your website in larger markets it’s going to take more resources to help you get results.

SEO is a long-term strategy. It can take a minimum of 6 months to rank your website and up to 12 months in larger markets.

Overall, SEO can provide you with the best ROI of any channel because it encompasses your entire online presence.

Once you’ve ranked in the search engines you will see leads for years unless your rankings fall off.

Old Way vs. New Way Online Marketing roofing

Facebook Advertising

Even though Facebook Advertising has been around for years, not many roofing companies have had success with Facebook Ads.

The reason this happens is that a lot of roofing companies don’t really understand how Facebook Ads work.

Most people in this space, take an outbound direct marketing approach when doing Ads. They forget the fundamental question in marketing which is to add value first.

When you have this mindset of adding value first you’ll get much better results.

Facebook ads are about creating awareness and educating your prospects.

Boosting a post on your Facebook page does not constitute a marketing campaign on Facebook.

Most people that use Facebook are not looking to buy a roof especially online.

When you implement a Facebook Advertising strategy you have to be patient. It can take a few months of creating awareness and education before seeing significant results.


People want to avoid pain.

They are afraid of change and are afraid of failing again with their marketing.

Since they seek to avoid the pain they rely on old-school lead generation strategies that have been proven to work for a long time in their business.

Digital marketing which has been around for 15 years now but is still new in this industry.

Most roofing contractors know it works but have failed to see the results themselves. They are skeptical people and because of their negative past experiences, they remain on the sidelines.

Don’t get left on the sidelines because you are stuck in your old ways.

Embrace the changes in the industry and do whatever it takes to implement an online marketing system that gets you great results.

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