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Keith Dolan is currently Marketing Director at Earth Anchoring Suppliers. Previously, he served as a Strategic Marketing Planner with over 25 years of experience. Before working at Earth Anchoring Suppliers, Dolan worked in advertising and commercial film production; business-to-business and consumer products/services.
The obvious first question; How did you get into the helical pile industry?
Alex Raposo (EAS President) was the client of an ad agency where I did strategic marketing planning. I created a comprehensive 12-month plan for him. I remember his friendly challenge, “Why don’t you come work with us and make this plan happen?” It was a great opportunity to jump from the agency-side to the client-side. For the first time in my career – I was the “client”.
What are some of the major differences now as the Marketing Director?
Finding out just how annoying advertising agency people can be! Just kidding – sort of.
I was surprised by how challenging marketing implementation can be. Getting the messaging tight, proper timing, staying on budget, measuring, etc. – then making adjustments and doing it again.
Also, being able to have the control and responsibility has been great. You feel everything a bit deeper – the success is sweeter and vice-a-versa.
What’s the biggest challenge you find marketing Helical Piles?
We’re extremely lucky having the CHANCE brand as the main focus of our products and services. That being said, it’s two-fold.
Bringing interest to a product category like helical piles is a challenge for sure. The “stories” of the success that helical piles create has worked well. It brings interest and allows the more technical information to be communicated in human terms.
Having to address the different target audiences of purchasers and influencers. The differences between engineers and contractors is fascinating. We believe in market research and this helps shape our messaging to these two audiences. I’ll let you know when we finally “crack this code”.
What’s been most rewarding?
Watching our company grow quickly and methodically with the help of some fantastic customers and vendors. I’ve worked closely with some excellent people. I know it sounds cliché, but our success has been because of the team at EAS. I wouldn’t have been here so long if it wasn’t for the family-like culture and real pros I work with.
What advice do you have for Helical Pile installers when it comes to their marketing and advertising?
Two recommendations: first, associate your company with an established Brand(s). Customers are empowered to make purchasing decisions based on Brands. We all do it. People will do their homework, and having a Brand that’s recognized and established is a magnet for prospects and customers alike.
Second, advertising and marketing needs to be rooted in truth. Everyone has a finely-tuned “BS detector”, and nothing will discredit an installer faster than making claims that resonate as over-reaching or untrue. This kind of discipline is important for long term success.
And finally, don’t stop… keep communicating with your customers and prospects no matter what!
Veteran Marketer Reaches the Five Year Mark with Earth Anchoring Suppliers:
Five Questions with Keith Dolan
by Chelsea Kiesling