PDA

View Full Version : Grocery Cart Advertising


NightLightingFX
05-02-2008, 08:55 PM
Are any of you familiar with "Adcart?" www.adcart.com. Have any of you tried it for advertising? I am VERY intrigued. There is an Albertsons in a very affluent area of my community. I have been doing a lot of work in this area, and there is a lot of new luxury homes going in also. With rose colored glasses, this this seems like a no fail marketing opportunity. On the other hand, I have felt VERY optimistic about other marketing gigs and ended up being disappointed. As I anaylise this store, and the demographics of people that live around it combined with real a impressive Artistic Outdoor Lighting picture for my add, it seems like a sure thing. But I am tired of pissing money away on advertising. On the other hand, having constant exposure for 6 mo. I should get atleast one job, right? One good job would cover the cost of advertising which is $1,500. I also told myself I wasn't going to spend any more money on these marketing gimicks. Just focus on creating a marketing plan out of my "Guerrilla Marketing for Free" book. I want to try the advertising but I don't want to risk the money - don't I sound pathetic
~Ned

irrig8r
05-02-2008, 09:55 PM
Guess it would be better placement than over the mens' room urinals in the local restaurant or bar...

Mike M
05-03-2008, 12:19 AM
Ned;

I agree with Gregg. In fact, there are many other things that your cart idea is better than, such as:

Buying a hot air balloon with your logo on it, sponsoring the next olympics, buying a sponsorship of an NFL stadium or NHL arena, or buying a few thousand matchbooks with your logo and leaving them on the counter of a convenience store that exists on the fringe of an upscale community of people who still smoke.

But you live in the Pacific Northwest, where people don't smoke anymore. That leaves you with fancy grocercy cart signs or Ned's Low Voltage Stadium, home of the Seatle Seahawks.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-03-2008, 12:38 AM
My advice.... take the $1500 bucks it is going to cost you to do this and go to the most exclusive golf club in your market. Make them an offer they cannot refuse. Tell them you are going to light the patio outside of the clubhouse and the path/gardens leading to the main entry for free. Then do it. Invest that $1500 (or whatever you have to spend) on making your self and your business remarkable in front of the clients you want to be serving.

mdvaden
05-03-2008, 03:55 AM
I've tried a lot of stuff, and so has a close friend in the tree business. We even did some stuff together, like combined ads in the paper, and placemats in restaurants.

The mats were our first thing. You don't see those much any more. But when people have little to do but stare until their food comes, at least they can stare at the ad and read it like a paper. Then it gets covered with a plate.

We never did shopping carts, and I've thought about that one a lot, watching what people do in stores, and how I shop. I rarely look at cart ads.

It takes almost no time at all for groceries to fill up the basket and cover the ad. Plus, people are staring at signs over isles, women are watching their kids, and men are watching women's asses. Anyhow, the cart ads is not what they are spending time looking at.

The same amount of money, could plaster surrounding homes with brochures using the mail.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-03-2008, 10:32 AM
When thinking up marketing campaigns, promotional 'events' and anything else to promote your business it is most important to get in front of your target market; to position your 'message' properly.

Look at some of the lexicon that is used by others when talking about marketing and advertising. (MDV, I am not picking on you, but your post is closest so I will use it as an example.)

combined ads.
placemats
little to do but stare....
shopping carts
plaster
brochures
mail

Ok, so who is your target audience? I understand that not every business can (or wants to) take aim at the top of the marketplace and that is fine. Outdoor lighting is generally not aimed at the middle of the market though. So it would pay you to understand how upper echelon consumers gain their information and make purchase decisions.

In my experience, they don't do this by shopping through the advertisements in magazines, newspapers or the like. (some don't even shop! they have this done for them.) The ancient technique of advertising is becoming increasingly ineffective, especially for relatively small businesses like ours, and the consumers are very savvy. In my experience, the upper level consumers are making purchase decisions based on what they experience or their peers experience and then pass along by way of a referral.

Seems Seth Godin might just have been right. Rather then spend your limited promotions budget on advertising, spend that same money on doing something within your organization that makes you REMARKABLE.

Be Remarkable in your community.
Be Remarkable to your clients, existing and new.
Be Remarkable in your promotional efforts.
Be Remarkable in your industry associations.

By the very definition of Remarkable, you will create something that people (lots and lots of people) talk about! They will positively REMARK about you and your business to their peers. I call it 'network marketing'... the message is generated by a remarkable action and then passes along through networks that you would not generally know about or have access to. It works!

It really is a simple concept, and so much more rewarding then sending off a cheque for a couple of grand a month to an advertising company.

Have a great day.

NightScenes
05-03-2008, 10:56 AM
I agree with you 100% James, network marketing is the best method for the clientele that we are targeting. With this method you also notice that the size of the projects increase dramatically.

NightLightingFX
05-03-2008, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the reality check. I am not going to do it. This location and store may be unique and a perfect thing to try, but I have had way more negative feed back than possitive feed back regarding this issue. I would be pretty stupid to ignor the feed back I have gotten and try it any way.
~Ned

Mark B
05-03-2008, 01:37 PM
Ok here is a idea for you to chew on. If you have a BIG van/ work truck with your name all over it go park it up at the front to the shopping center way away from the the main parking lots. I think if you had your work truck wrapped that would be a good idea. Leave it for the day. I see other business doing that around here. That is my .02

The Lighting Geek
05-03-2008, 05:52 PM
Good idea Sleepy, I would agree with that. It might even be an idea to buy a van or large trailer only to park in the right areas for exposure. You have to be careful about local laws but I see 'Got Junk' trucks parked so you can see them from the major streets and such. It really has benefited them. I also agree with James. Instead of being only remarkable, we are just funny in our get up and that works too. I think Trucks and trailers marked with logos, uniforms, and nice business cards is a great start. Setting up simple night time events like a wine and cheese at a recent job for an illumination ceremony works. Invite people you want to do more work with, ie: designers, architects, pool builders, etc.

Mark B
05-03-2008, 06:29 PM
Yeah the "got junk" who would have thunk of that???? I also see the guys who buy houses doing that as well. You could get a old uhaul mini truck I would think kinda cheap. The wine and cheese thing is a good idea, but not for me. That is just not my thing.

I have a new project that i'm working on. I was thinking about taking 2 4x8 sheets of plywood have them lettered up and mounted in the back of my long bed truck. They would be leaning against each at the top and mounted above the bed rails. So they would really stickout to be seen. And then drive the truck around on the main highways in town. But fuel got waaaayy expensive. So I have not completed that project. I might do it anyway and pull a "got junk".. My.02

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-03-2008, 11:34 PM
The "lighting ceremony" is a highly effective and enjoyable. We have done this with a number of our better clients. The client's really enjoy the whole experience, it is remarkable, and it gives them a chance to sit down, relax and really get to know you. The clients talk about it for a long time to come, and their referrals look forward to the same treatment.

Once again, it is a way to get yourself connected to a network that you would never normally have discovered on your own.

Chris J
05-04-2008, 12:07 AM
How do the "not so good" clients feel about this? If it's only done for the "better" clients, do the others feel less important? If they hired you because of the lighting ceremony, wouldn't some of them expect the same treatment? I can imagine that there are several of your clients that feel less than important because you didn't do this for them as well....wouldn't you think?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-04-2008, 12:16 AM
That is funny Chris.

It hasnt come up.... My smaller clients don't seem to hang out with my larger clients much. Perhaps it is just the nature of the vacation resort / seasonal market I am in here.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to offer different levels of service and attention to your marketplace. Clearly the client who gets a $125K dollar, turn-key, estate wide system is probably going to enjoy some advantages that a client who only wants and needs his pathway lit will. I guarantee you, at those Automalls, where the same guy owns many dealerships... the customers buying the Chev Malibu are getting a much different experience then those buying the SAAB, or the Rolls for that matter.

Like I said, no issues here.

Chris J
05-04-2008, 12:25 AM
No criticism here, I was just curious. If it works for you, then AMEN to ya!
However, I feel that my money is just as good as the next guy's. And yes, I did get upset when they didn't treat me as well when I purchased my malibu. That's exactly why my next purchase is going to be a FORD!

Chris J
05-04-2008, 01:42 AM
On second thought, there are one or two things that occur to me:
That is funny Chris.
What's funny about it? It's a legitimate question.

It hasnt come up.... My smaller clients don't seem to hang out with my larger clients much.

So your telling me that all of your client's friends have the same type of homes with the same budgets? If you had a lighting ceremony for a client, and you met a friend of theirs who was interested in your service, you would only do the lighting ceremony if they turned out to also be a "better client?"
I think it is perfectly acceptable to offer different levels of service and attention to your marketplace. Clearly the client who gets a $125K dollar, turn-key, estate wide system is probably going to enjoy some advantages that a client who only wants and needs his pathway lit will. I guarantee you, at those Automalls, where the same guy owns many dealerships... the customers buying the Chev Malibu are getting a much different experience then those buying the SAAB, or the Rolls for that matter.
I'm thinking your morals are skewed. If you are going to be "remarkable," then be remarkable. Don't discriminate. I know for a fact that some of my clients are worth millions, yet they have neighbors and friends and family members that are not. Yet, some of these family members, friends. or associations are still interested in my services. Will I not have them as clients because they don't buy a $125K lighting package? I think not! Every client of mine is as valuable as the next, regardless of income or stature.

Like I said, no issues here.
Yes, there are some issues here that you may want to deal with. You do want your business to be known as a "remarkable" business, don't you? Or are you only "remarkable" to those who you think are worthy of this type of treatment?

The Lighting Geek
05-04-2008, 02:30 AM
I believe what James is saying is that not all jobs warrant an illumination event. Some large or small jobs just don't have the extra pop that you need to drive it. I don't think it is a discrimination of clients as much as jobs or what the job gives you to work with. Of course we do something for everyone, it depends as to whether to deserves an illumination event. just my 3.5 cents..lol

Mark B
05-04-2008, 09:58 AM
I will be the dummy here. How does this event work?

Here is another small thing I do for my other project. I will slide a business card into the card slot at the gas umps when i'm finished pumping gas. You could do that where you think you customers would be getting there gas.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-04-2008, 10:30 AM
Thank you Tommy... it is refreshing to be understood now and then.

irrig8r
05-04-2008, 06:42 PM
I will be the dummy here. How does this event work?

Here is another small thing I do for my other project. I will slide a business card into the card slot at the gas umps when i'm finished pumping gas. You could do that where you think you customers would be getting there gas.


I dunno about you, but finding a card in the slot where I want to swipe my debit card would be plain annoying.

I used to leave my sprinkler cards lying around in the irrigation department at the local Ace Hardware and Home Depot stores next to the repair tools. I figured if a DIY got too frustrated he might need to call in a pro.

I tried it about 4 times. Never got any business from it though... maybe the employees got hip to it and were on a search and destroy mission. :-)

I thought about slipping some into the Ortho/ Sunset/ etc. home improvement books there too, but never got around to it. Maybe I should have had a card done specifically as a bookmark....?

Which reminds me, I bought a couple of cases of a glossy paperback book about "Drought Tolerant Plants for the SF Bay Area" a few years back and handed them out to landscape installation clients when we signed a contract, encouraging them to have a hand in picking some of the plant materials, or at least get them thinking about the water conserving alternatives in the landscape.

Mark B
05-04-2008, 09:36 PM
Well it is kinda like those tracks that the holy peeps leave behind on the toliet, so you can read while doing your bizness. Kinda makes me shake my head like (well never mind). If the track is of interest to you then you read it. If you are NOT into that you trash it like I do. Like they do with my card in the gas pump and yours in ace hardware. Either they trash it or think Mmmm I should call this fruit loop (i'm talking about myself) so don't take that personal.

I don't see alot of difference in you leaving your card behind at ace. They might think that is where you buy your stuff. Then me leaving it at the gas pumps. But whatever floats your boat, get in it and paddle it away.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-04-2008, 10:39 PM
I will be the dummy here. How does this event work?

The lighting ceremony is a pretty simple affair. I make sure that the system is fully aimed and adjusted the night before the event. I then turn everything off so that the clients do not see it until we return the next night.

We (my Wife and I) then arrive at the client's home around dusk and we come with a nice bottle of wine, or champagne, etc. We hang out and socialize with the clients, enjoy the libations, and wait until it is dark. I then turn on the lighting system and we take a stroll around the property. I will go through the controls with the client and make sure they are 100% happy. We then present the final invoice and be on our way.

The client's seem to really enjoy the added excitement this provides and I have heard many positive comments about this through the grapevine long after the event. It also seems to encourage the clients to provide leads and contacts of others who might be interested in lighting systems.

It is not something that we do for every single job, (as previously discussed) and sometimes the clients have no interst in the whole thing. The Lighting Ceremony has proven to be a good tool for building a solid, long lasting relationship with your client, and it certainly is Remarkable.

Have a great day.

extlights
05-04-2008, 11:36 PM
This is how we sell jobs during our demos. We set it up....get it looking good, turn it off and get the homeowners out to the street. Once we are out there we turn it on and watch their expressions. However....it would be very hard for us to find the time during our busy season to get out to a customers home the night after we installed a system to do something like this....even if it were a big job.

David Gretzmier
05-07-2008, 07:47 AM
I just got a 4k job from the graphics on my truck. Probably generates 50-75k in business per year. That works, period. yellow pages easily brings 50k per year. maybe double that. postcards gets us another 35-50k or so. the more postcards we do the more it brings in, but at a lessor return. worth it. the rest is referrals.

I parked a truck with brand new photographic/ reflective graphics across the street from the country club. no calls after a month and I moved it. I tend to get calls on it when it is at a house working in the neighborhood of the caller.

Although I think that although James has a point, I'd be careful about free installs. when starting Christmas lighting in Northwest Arkansas many moons back, we picked the nicest neighborhoods and found 1 home to decorate in each for free. we used beautiful lights on the home and grounds and created a classy, understated but breathtaking display. We even did a cute little security entry shed at the entrance of a nice subdivision. How many jobs did we get from this 5000 dollar experiment?

None.

it was remarkable, it was our target marget, and it was noticable and done right. signs were placed, and the homes we did this for complained the most and we never redid this experiment.

the thing that worked, that broke us into the neighborhoods we wanted to do, sad to say was very cheap and low tech. hand delivered flyers. we got our first 12 jobs from very inexpensive marketing.

After that, the folks we did those jobs for fell in love with us and word got around, folks saw our trucks working at those houses, saw signs, and it kind of steam rolled.

Christmas lights may be 2-$4000 impulse type purchases and respond better to direct mail and flyers rather than the thought out decision to light ones home permanantly for 12 months out of the year.

But I know what has worked for me before and what has not. just my 2 cents.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-07-2008, 08:21 AM
David. I would not and did not suggest that anyone go and install a free lighting system on a home. I have never done that and I am pretty sure it would not work at generating any leads or new business for you, other then friends and family of that homeowner calling for their free system.

I did say to find the most exclusive, high end country club / golf club etc. There you have a captive audience of many hundreds of people who all share an interest in the property and its enjoyment and use. When something like outdoor lighting is added to a private, members only type of property people seem to take notice (big time) and they inquire about it. It might sound too simple to believe but it is true... AND those inquiries and referrals don't stop after just one year.... they keep coming in, year after year after year. Members move, sell, swap and bring their peers and colleagues out all the time.

I have always maintained: By installing $5k systems for nice people who can afford such, you will constantly be attracting more $5K work. By installing $30K systems (and up) for nice people who can afford such, you will constantly be attracting more $30K systems. The difference is how you get in front of the different strata of clients.

In my experience, people who are buying $30K - $100K (yes I have a few $100k+ clients) worth of lighting are not looking in the yellow pages, or calling you from an advertisement.

Ok, I am done with this topic for a while.... have a great day.
:)

Chris J
05-07-2008, 08:12 PM
I have to admit that sometimes your ramblings do make sense.

mdvaden
05-07-2008, 11:09 PM
When thinking up marketing campaigns, promotional 'events' and anything else to promote your business it is most important to get in front of your target market; to position your 'message' properly.

Look at some of the lexicon that is used by others when talking about marketing and advertising. (MDV, I am not picking on you, but your post is closest so I will use it as an example.)

combined ads.
placemats
little to do but stare....
shopping carts
plaster
brochures
mail

Ok, so who is your target audience?

That brought a thought to mind.

If people stuff kids who have nothing to do, in carts, then the only decent target audience for shopping cart ads might be kids.

Could that be why a lot of teens started to smoke, because cigarette ads used to be fairly common on shopping carts? :)

Pro-Scapes
05-08-2008, 12:23 AM
has anyone thought of more targeted marketing like in the programs for theatrical presentations in your area ? These are generally upscale clients who attend these events.

Just to touch off on one of the tangents. We treat all of our clients the same. Everyone of them is special to us.

mdvaden
05-08-2008, 01:24 AM
has anyone thought of more targeted marketing like in the programs for theatrical presentations in your area ? These are generally upscale clients who attend these events.

Just to touch off on one of the tangents. We treat all of our clients the same. Everyone of them is special to us.


Yes - Yes - Yes !!

(I just had a flashback prior to typing that, back to when I used to watch Flintstones a lot - even as an adult. Ever seen the episode when the Gizmo guy made Barney and Fred dummie-doubles? And one of them was to only say "Yes, yes, yes" and the other one was to to only say "No, no, no".)

But on the theater ads, yes. It's fairly affordable, reaches a lot of folks, and is fairly classy. Can be as simple as one of our best photos, just the name ans two services, and the website name.

Now the website stuff I've written about means a lot.

If I run an ad, with nothing to write, do they want all 10 digits to remember?

Or simply to remember "mdvaden.com" ??

It's got to be clean, super-short on text, and a very easy contact, because they may only see it once or twice.

Zap - - they see the image of the waterfeature and maybe someone pruning in the corner, then out of the corner of thier eye they catch the big bold website address.

mdvaden
05-08-2008, 01:54 AM
This is not an image I would use for a theater ad. Illustration only.

But this is exactly the kind of simplicity I'd use for a theater ad.

Whether a lawn image, a water feature images, or landscape designe image.

One simple image that makes a statement, and the most simple text possible.

One simple image stretched across an entire screen that conveys one main theme.

mdvaden
05-08-2008, 02:07 AM
Again...

Another brief example of my idea of a theater ad..

One image, very little text. Image should say it all.

I'm sure the people who set-up the ad can fine-tune the colors, fonts and transitions very nicely.

silvercanyon
05-13-2008, 12:49 PM
Just caught this thread. I did the Adcart advertising and it was a complete waste. - not one call from it. I do not know about residual results because keeping your name out there in front of people is key - but this was not a form of advertising I will do in the future again.

NightScenes
05-13-2008, 01:59 PM
has anyone thought of more targeted marketing like in the programs for theatrical presentations in your area ? These are generally upscale clients who attend these events.

Just to touch off on one of the tangents. We treat all of our clients the same. Everyone of them is special to us.

Yes Billy, I am a season sponsor for our local theater which gives me a full page ad on the inside front cover!!

NightLightingFX
05-13-2008, 06:42 PM
Silver Canyon,
Thanks for the feedback. I got way too much negative input on the adcart thing - Everyone kept me grounded - I rationalized it that I would have to be stupid to try it with all the negative input I got.
~Ned