by Eddie Bluff


This year’s Marketing & Sales Conference in San Diego was full of so many great thoughts about the industry. The one thing my brother and I agreed on as the highlight of the weekend, though, was our opportunity to talk with a number of attendees and HARDI staff members about complexities of marketing throughout the HVACR field. These conversations led to our development of an ambitious plan: a year-long marketing alliance and research initiative consisting of buyer persona development, interviews with industry luminaries, posts outlining our findings, and speaking engagements at this year’s HARDI Annual Conference and next year’s Marketing & Sales Conference.


After working with Emily Saving (HARDI Vice President, Professional & Program Development) and Lauren Roberts (Chair of HARDI’s Marketing Committee), we are

happy to report that HARDI has signed off on the plan, and now here we are.


Site-Seeker, with the support of HARDI’s staff and membership, will map out the ideal marketing program for distributor members of the HVACR industry. This is a big goal, as the industry sells to a number of different types of contractors, including owner-operators, professional dealers, new construction, refrigeration service, mechanical, and commercial/institutional/industrial. In order to accurately gauge the effectiveness of the various methods and tools available for marketers in HVACR, we knew we’d have to immerse ourselves in the industry.


We envision this as being a two-way, interactive process that requires your input. Your insight is invaluable and forms possibly the most important part of this whole plan. As members of HARDI, you are some of the best, smartest, and most successful figures in the HVACR community. You have deep insights into the industry, and Site-Seeker wants to shine a spotlight on the collective business intelligence of HARDI’s membership to round out this picture.

“Most HARDI members know that marketing is important but don’t know where to start. Many members tell us they need help selecting the right marketing mix. Still others say they could use support getting their arms around the technology side of marketing,” said Emily Saving in the run up to this project.


This is the exact place Site-Seeker will interject its own expertise in marketing, to cut through the sometimes confusing array of choices.


Saving continued, “This project with the Bluff brothers will create an end-to-end marketing plan that can serve as the framework for how all the pieces fit together. We urge members to get involved by describing their challenges and successes, and taking advantage of this timely research as the program progresses.”


We also spoke with Lauren Roberts, cfm Distributors, Inc. Vice President, who said, “I’m very excited to support this project. As Chair of the HARDI Marketing Committee, I know firsthand about the struggles members face everyday concerning their marketing programs. This effort will, in essence, provide a marketing roadmap developed with Member input and through the support of an impressive panel of experts familiar with the HVAC industry. I echo Emily’s request for member participation and I’m confident that you’ll get more than you give.”


To get started, we’ve planned out a series of research initiatives including interviews, online research, and surveys to gather information. We will publish our findings via blog posts (like this one), infographics, videos, and in person talks at both this year’s Annual Convention in Colorado and the 2017 Marketing and Sales Conference.


HARDI members represent the collective experience of the HVACR industry. Site-Seeker’s goal is to apply industry research to its organizational knowledge of B2B online marketing. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’re excited to work with all of you.


Once we’ve conducted our interviews and gathered market intelligence, Site-Seeker will execute on the above deliverables. The centerpiece of these deliverables will be “buyer personas”, which guide the whole marketing plan.


To effectively move product through the supply chain and to end users, it’s important to understand the motivations of key influencers – what we call “buyer personas” – at various stages of the buying process. We need to know the questions they ask as they review your offerings, their reservations, what motivates them, how they prefer to consume information, and how best to connect with them.


Separate from understanding the ins and outs of the HVACR industry at all levels of the buying process is understanding your buyer personas’ interaction with the endlessly complex tactics of marketing in the digital age.


There is an ever increasing number of platforms that companies need to know how and when to best deploy: social media, website content management systems, search and social advertising, email marketing and lead nurturing, and unpacking the array of data in Google Analytics.


Big data in the world of marketing is on its way. Website data, cookies, location, and demographic and psychographic data are all available to varying degrees. Site-Seeker understands how to synthesize these data points, and its plan is to turn them into actionable plans for HARDI’s members.


Savvy marketers make use of all this information to develop marketing and communications plans that convert prospects into customers. In addition, with the use of a good CRM, ROI can be calculated and value traced back to specific marketing initiatives. These are all the benefits we want you to get out of our marketing plan.


There’s definitely a lot to digest here, but that’s why Site-Seeker and HARDI are commencing this year-long partnership.


The first step on your end will be to take our survey. You’ll be receiving an email from me ( with the subject line “HARDI Member Marketing Survey”. We’d greatly appreciate your help in gathering information, and we encourage you to share your insight by completing the survey.


Beyond that, we look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference.

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