"This maintenance road map will make your parking lot last longer, look better and cost less to maintain."
Unlike many larger contractors, U.S. Seal-Coat/U.S. Paving pursues residential customers as well. Residential marketing begins with the ValPak, direct-marketing packages of coupons and local discounts delivered to homeowners.
"Then when we have a job somewhere in a good neighborhood, a neighborhood where we think we can generate some quality sales, we use Sales Genie to get an aerial view of the neighborhood we're working in on a particular day. With that we can actually look at the driveways, then we get the names of the homeowners, put a proposal and bid together with the name of the homeowner in it, and hire college kids to go out and present the proposals. It's a process that has served us well."
A "brand" new direction
But it's almost impossible to discuss U.S. Seal-Coat/U.S. Paving's marketing efforts without mentioning its use of 1-800-PAVEMENT, a vanity number the company acquired the rights to in 2005. Since then, Musto acquired 1-800-SEALCOAT, 1-800-BLACKTOP, 1-888-PAVEMENT and 1-800-SWEEPING.
"Acquiring the numbers was by far the best marketing move I've ever made," says Musto, who now leases the number to contractors outside his market. "We've had steady growth right along until we acquired those numbers and the numbers just opened up a national opportunity."
Today the company markets 1-800-PAVEMENT and 1-800-SEALCOAT in its region while in a separate business leases the numbers 1-800-SEALCOAT, 1-800-BLACKTOP, 1-888-PAVEMENT and 1-800-SWEEPING to other contractors throughout the country by area code.
"Initially we bought the numbers to use ourselves but when we realized how successful the numbers were for us, and realized that we couldn't use them throughout the country, we decided to lease them," Musto says. "Since getting the numbers we've seen an increase in sales of 43%. The numbers had nothing to do with the start of the company or its growth for 20 years but there's still a huge amount of potential for growth and that's the opportunity the numbers have given us."
Currently 70 contractors lease the numbers, creating what Musto says is a network that enables the 1-800-PAVEMENT brand to pursue national accounts, which are handled by Andrew Musto, executive vice president. He says networking within the 1-800-PAVEMENT network resulted in more than $2 million in subcontracted work in 2006 - a number they hope to double in 2007.
"As this network grows we are promoting that we can handle customer's properties nationally through the number and our network," he says. "By having good contractors lease these phone numbers, by showing the network contractors how they can improve the operation of their business, and by showing them how to market, we're able to develop a quality national force that can handle these national accounts."
Musto says pursuing national accounts is an ultimate goal of the 1-800-PAVEMENT Network, and they plan eventually to have 250 members to service all national account locations.
Prior to acquiring the numbers the contractor worked to brand U.S. Sealcoat/U.S. Paving, but once he acquired the 800 numbers it shifted gears and worked to brand 1-800 PAVEMENT and 1-800 SEALCOAT instead.
"This effort will have been going on for two years this July and it's evident we are starting to successfully brand 1-800-SEALCOAT, particularly in the residential sealcoating market," Musto says. "Now our customers don't have to look us up and we think that's a huge competitive edge."
U.S. Sealcoat's tips
In addition to leasing the phone numbers, Musto says contractors receive information the company has developed over its last 22 years, and they are invited to U.S. Seal-Coat/U.S. Paving's facility to see in person how the operation runs at no charge to network members.
"It's in our best interest to show the network people how we have become successful," Musto says. "But also they learn our system, how we do work so they can be successful as a subcontractor for national accounts."