Change seems to be the only constant in our world. What do you need to keep track of to grow and protect your business? 2020 has made it hard to know what data points to monitor at times. This exclusive series will uncover the recent marketing changes and events that affect businesses nationwide. Join roofing marketing strategist Anna Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited, as she looks at how to weave uncommon wins of 2020 into an actionable strategy for 2021. She’ll show how data points can be used to predict market trends, starting with traditional marketing.


This year has provided us with new marketing strategies; pivotal points where we dove in and leveraged data to win big. Yet in all this, there’s a risk. Will these uncharted waters return with the desired result of leads aligning with your services? Leads your business needs to not only survive, but to thrive.

In all this chaos, two worlds clashed: The traditional way of marketing with the ever-changing world of digital marketing. Contractors who relied on door-to-door canvassing strategies were forced to evaluate other forms of marketing. This will be one thing we remember from 2020 from a marketing standpoint: all forms of marketing were critically reviewed and united.

One thing we can count on when the economy swings wildly is consumers turning to topics centered around business, local news and finance.


What is Traditional Marketing?

There are many forms of traditional marketing, but the five core platforms are: Radio, TV, vehicle wraps, yard signs and direct mail.

You might wonder why these items are so significant? It’s because they are tried-and-true strategies throughout the years. Yet, they’ve assisted some roofing contractors in succeeding while others struggle with lackluster appointment calendars.

With national news sources sharing political updates and distressing alerts, we saw local radio and TV sources rise to the occasion and bring localized information to their followers. Local news hosts and commentators saw a surge in new followers and listener loyalty. We saw unprecedented and active listening statistics rise, making radio and TV marketing more profitable than ever. This surge was short-lived, especially when the presidential political battle quickly overtook the available advertising slots on TV. Yet the surge proved the impact and place of traditional marketing within a roofing contractor’s marketing portfolio.


1. Radio and Work-from-Home Communities

Radio stations began actively promoting their apps and local services, bringing the work-from-home (WFH) community together unlike any other mainstream streaming services. 

“Broadcast radio has long served as a trusted voice in local communities during times of crisis and uncertainty, and now podcasts are also playing an integral role as a much-needed companion for millions of Americans,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network.

2. TV and Elevating Trust

Leveraging the voices of key community members within advertising also drove results. News anchors of local TV stations shared local business stories. They often featured essential businesses out doing good by helping keep community members safe and dry. Influencer marketing merged with traditional TV commercials to elevate trust within the community while also keeping roofing contractors top of mind.

3. Vehicle Wraps and Brand Awareness

Vehicle marketing might seem standard practice, but they act as a moving billboard when you are out doing good in your community. Effective vehicle wrapping will hands-down result in leads. One of our contractors spent four weeks doing repairs for free because his business was focusing on protecting the community. Today his company is thriving. Another contractor started an Unsung Hero Mission in March and April. This inadvertently fed their company a surplus of leads, filling their pipeline with signed contracts extending into 2021. These stories hit the airwaves and touched the hearts of local community members, ensuring their company’s brand recognition within their community. 

4. Yard Signs and a Walking Audience

Even a basic marketing strategy like placing a yard sign in front of each job can bring dividends. Recently, a contractor who worked tirelessly in a restricted essential business zone shared that their signs and digital marketing drove more growth than ever. Why in 2020, you might ask? Americans are walking in droves more than ever and truly noticing yard signs. When designing yard signs, you need two to three high-contrasting colors within your design. These colors should be 508 compliant so all prospective customers can see your marketing.

5. Postcards and Physical Presence

Early in 2020, we suspended all forms of direct mail advertising for our contractors. Business with new WFH policies didn’t have physical mail routing processes in place, making this form of marketing immediately ineffective. Residential and retail customers were fearful to accept mail due to the possible threat of contamination issues. All of these concerns began to lift in June as consumers regained confidence in the traditional mail system. There was a large transition in direct mail marketing as consumers re-assessed the need to receive physical mail. This transition showed the need for well-crafted and eye-catching direct mail designs. List segmentation will create a personalized experience and help increase the campaign’s ROI.


Taking Action for 2021

When starting traditional marketing, make sure you invest in it for at least three, six, or 12 months (depending on the platform). Start with answering these core questions:

  • Are you leveraging local influencers within your community?
  • Example: Mike Rowe is an influencer in the Skilled Trades. Dave Ramsey is one in the financial world.
  • Practical Application: Who in your community is well known? What brands/local companies could you align yourself with?
  • Once a traditional marketing platform is identified, what are the primary and secondary media sources their followers live within?
  • Example: Radio marketing drives brand awareness. People hear their favorite radio talk show host talk about a brand. Consumer trust is formed through this form of endorsement.
  • Practical Application: Think about where fans are actively following radio talk show hosts. How can this digital audience be leveraged? This conversation will be different for almost every station.
  • How are you going to track any leads from these traditional marketing sources? This is a key component in measuring success.
  • Example: James Roofing can track leads from their yard signs and vehicles because they have dedicated tracking numbers.
  • Practical Application: Each platform should have a dedicated tracking number, offer code, or unique URL to help you track your investment.
  • Do you have a strong call to action with a unique offer or differentiator that separates you from your competition?
  • Example: No payments for 12 months on roof replacements.
  • Practical Application: Adding centralized offers to your marketing will help drive leads. Adding tracking codes to these offers is necessary to track performance.


In conclusion, traditional marketing drove large volumes of leads during the pandemic. Make sure to document the wins and losses from your marketing in 2020. 

Preview for next time: Join us as we look at the impact of mobility trends, how to assess users’ daily lives, and how your digital presence reaches them.