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  #11  
Old 07-14-2001, 08:41 AM
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Stonehenge Stonehenge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,277
Alta -

I agree with you that opinions are like armpits - everyone's got two of 'em. And everybody can't be right (or wrong). I wish I could tell you that I have all marketing figured out and 'here's what you oughta do', but I don't. So I can't. You might get all kinds of biz from this idea. But I thought it wouldn't be unfair for me to share a dissenting opinion. I just know that I try to focus my mktg $ on the highest-impact, highest lead generation activities I can, and not use the 'blanket' approach, because I just don't have the funds for that. If you do, more power to you. You'll be able to dominate your market in no time.

And I'm with you on the point that you need to make an impact where you can have a 1x1 dialogue with the customer, and a coffee mug does that, where the YP don't. 100 cos screaming for your attention when you open the book to 'Landscaping.'

There are other gimmicky things I've done that were either free or almost free, that landed me large articles in the newspaper and even some face time on the evening news. That 3rd party presentation lends tons of credibility, which is something every small, growing company could use more of.

good luck and keep us informed on how it goes!
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2001, 12:07 PM
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AltaLawnCare AltaLawnCare is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Altavista, VA Transition Zone 7
Posts: 962
Thanks stonehenge,
I just removed my "Big" ad in the paper, and went with a little one(much cheaper). So I 'm using the savings to finance this "Mug Advertisement".
.. I got to admit part of it is I really want to see MY Business name along with the other advertisers on the mug - there are 7 other very reputable businesses listed there.
I decided to put out as much advertising in my first year as possible, hopefully next year I won't need to do as much.
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.... Billy


Altavista Lawn Care
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2001, 12:41 PM
racerdave racerdave is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow
Posts: 260
Alta, I with you on the mug deal. I've that many potential customers need to see your name at least three times before they will consider you.
When you start out you have to spend alot to get your name out there, then you can gradually cut down on your ad budget. But you should always advertise to keep your business growing. When looking into many franchise operations, they expect the franchisee to spend anywhere from 3% to 5% of their gross receipts on advertising. How many of us do that?
David
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2001, 10:54 PM
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Stonehenge Stonehenge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Midwest
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I think advertising can take many forms, and dollars spent is not always the best measure.

One year I spent $1500 on advertising in one newspaper, and got 2 phonecalls.

This year I've spent $0 on advertising, except for yellow pages. Though I have spent $30-40 on paper and ink. I'm not sure if you are all in the identical business that I am, but I think our business is different than those that those marketing studies are done for.

My customers may only look to hire a landscaping firm 2 or 3 times in a lifetime. So I have to ask myself if I'm willing to spend money year after year so that person remembers me on those 2 or 3 occasions.

I would rather hit them right at the moment they are actively searching for a firm.
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2001, 01:03 AM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
I agree with just about every differing opinion on this subject. What is good? What is worth it? What is a waste of money? Testing out new ideas and options do not hurt. I still believe that hands down the best form of marketing/advertising aside from positive word of mouth is direct mail. You can get the message you want right in front of the exact people you want to target. If the letter is written the right way with a professional approach, it cannot fail...results are sure to follow. People will argue that direct mail doesn't work. That probably means it didn't work for them, but my guess is their approach was wrong. Between the letter head, the envelope, the stamp and the cost to print the letter you are looking at $0.50 for each piece. For $500 you can have whatever you want right in front of 1,000 people, and that's 1,000 people you chose to get that message. It works...
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2001, 09:20 PM
MATTHEW MATTHEW is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: NE OHIO
Posts: 665
Seems like such a waste. I bought a block in one of those coupon books. Went out to 150,000 homes over a 3 month period. I got 2 calls! But I have been on the lawn topic with people and when I mentioned my Co. name the response was "oh, I've heard of them" But, of course, they did not call. Hands down-word of mouth is the sure way to growth.
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