Mathews Brothers of Belfast, Maine is the oldest manufacturer of windows in America. Since 1854, the company has been making all sorts of windows that can be found in homes throughout New England. Despite 159 years of success, the company has one problem. In the words of Bob Maynes, Mathews Brothers Director of Marketing and International Sales, "We are the oldest company in the country that no one ever heard of." But in just six weeks, radio solved the problem.
In 2013, according to the Window & Door Manufacturers Association, Americans will buy 45.8 million windows. Sales are expected to increase to 58.9 million windows by 2015 as economic growth spurs a recovery in the housing market. To compete in this expanding marketplace against well-known window heavyweights such as Marvin, Pella, and Andersen, Mathews Brothers would have to escape the realm of anonymity.
"There were guys literally 20 miles away from us," says Bob, "that are installing windows every day that swore there was no window manufacturer in Belfast." So the challenge, as Bob puts it, was to get Mathews Brothers "into people's head." And not just any people. According to Bob, "We sell [our windows] to lumber yards who sell to a contractor who sells to a homeowner." So to expand his business, Bob needs the contractors and homeowners to ask for Mathews Brothers windows by name at any of the 150 lumber yards where their products are distributed.
To achieve his goal, Bob turned to WGAN radio in Portland, Maine. Bob says, "I love their morning show. It has a dynamic that I've not heard anywhere in the country. So I knew that would work." Bob adds, "Then in the afternoon WGAN has Howie Carr and I am a huge Howie Carr fan." Bob decided to run two Mathews Brothers commercials per day, three days a week during the WGAN morning show and two commercials per day, three days per week during the Howie Carr show. Listen to Mathews Brothers' current commercial:
Qualitative research from Media Audit confirmed Bob's choice of WGAN as a marketing medium since it delivers Mathews Brothers key marketing targets.
- WGAN's audience is 24% more likely than the general population to be HOMEOWNERS
- WGAN's audience is 21% more likely than the general population to be in blue collar professions such as CONTRACTORS
The results for Mathews Brothers were swift and significant. According to Bob, "Within six weeks, my customers were calling me up saying: I love your commercials. I'm hearing them all the time. Thanks for doing it." Bob says, "My goal was when [contractors and homeowners] walk into the lumberyard, I just want them instead of saying: Mathews Brothers I never heard of them, I want them to say: Oh. Mathews Brothers has one 'T' or Mathews Brothers is the oldest window manufacturer in the country." According to Bob, radio fulfilled the challenge, "We're no longer an unknown, we are somebody customers have heard of."
Hear more about Mathews Brothers success using radio by listening to the complete interview below:
Like Mathews Brothers, many small businesses in Maine in a diverse range of categories have used radio effectively to achieve their marketing objectives. Here are a few of their stories:
- Radio Helps Maine Landscaping Company Grow 45% in One Year
- Business Owner: "When I'm Not On The Radio, My Phones Don't Ring"
- Local Real Estate Agent Doubles Sales Using Radio Advertising
- Radio In The Mix: Maine Entrepreneur Makes Dollars From Doughnuts
- Business Owner "Likes" Radio And Increases Facebook Followers By 571%
- Effective Small Business Advertising: Consistency is Critical
- Radio Contributes To Success of Maine Non-Profit Organization