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  #1  
Old 03-05-2004, 07:25 AM
springbokker springbokker is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Charleston, SC
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Marketing and advertising

I would like to a) run a few ideas by you more experienced folks out there and b) ask for feedback from your past experiences with your own marketing/advertising successes.

I run the marketing and sales of our company and am having relative success in generating new biz through my own unconventional marketing strategy. Having said that, I am nervous (due to past experiences) to invest $$ into more traditional mediums such as radio, magazines, etc...I know that they can work but they are expensive - especially to a small biz and so I need to be pretty sure about what I'm doing. Have any of you had great results through these mediums and - if so - why.

Also, what marketing and advertising methods have proven super successful in terms of return on investment?

Thanks a bunch,
Clint Weimann
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:12 PM
Let it Grow Let it Grow is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Walla Walla, WA
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I just put an ad in the Yellow Pages this year, and I think that will really pay off. I have fliers posted in my target market areas, and they work really well. I used radio for about three months last year, but I don't think that really did much.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2004, 12:36 PM
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Lombardi Lombardi is offline
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Location: Pleasant Hill, MO
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Newspapers- very little response
Flyers- even less response
Yellow pages- good response
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2004, 06:44 PM
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PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
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Location: TN
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Flyers- good response
Newspapers-very little response
Yellow pages-even less response
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2004, 11:54 PM
charlies charlies is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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my experience has been very similar to procut.

yellow pages-total waste for me, i understand others here have had better response from it. i had extremely little response, and i don't think i have single customer now that came from the yellow pages ad. and way, way, way more dollars to leads than any other medium i have undertaken.

newspaper-mmmm not much to speak of, a few here and there. mostly shoppers and oldies, although some of the oldies have been good customers, alot of turnover in that demographic though.

hanging flyers- we unintentionally did it illegally by hanging them on flags. the negative aura notwithstanding, still a much better response than two aforementioned mediums.

mailing flyers/postcards- trying this year for first time, going out next week. i expect better response than illegal flag hanging because it is basically the same medium, but delivered w/out the 'outlaw' mechanics.

word of mouth- the absolute best generator of quality new customers for us.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2004, 04:34 PM
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Liberty Lawncare Liberty Lawncare is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Prospect, CT
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If you you guys can bear a woman's opinion ~ I work for a multi-million dollar advertising agency full time & do the billing, paperwork etc. for my Husband's Lawncare company.

BEST RESPONSE: Town Phone Directory put out by our local Chamber of Commerce & delivered to each house & business in our town. Cost: $175 Annual Membership + $300 for 1/4 page black & white ad.

The Directory went out in early November & we got 10 new plowing accounts within a week. Then received several referrals from those 10 accounts. We've also received several inquires for mowing & spring clean-ups and have several commitments from that ad. Target Advertising is the best method.

SECOND BEST RESPONSE: Flyers. I made full color flyers on my home office printer (HP Officejet d145 - Great investment at approx. $450) & we distributed them to selected streets. FYI - Postal regulations prohibit you from putting them INTO the mailbox, so we got a box of the little baggies with holes at the top to go on doorknobs etc. and hung them on the MAILBOX FLAG. Mailman loved it & gave us a couple referals. (Referals from the mailman more than covered the cost of the baggies.)

WORD OF MOUTH/CUSTOMER REFERALS: Always a great source. Make sure you THANK YOUR CUSTOMER for any referral whether you get the account or not. Makes a differance to them & they will send you more.

If I get the account, I will credit the person who referred the account a mow or a snow clearing once the new account pays his/her first invoice.

Another thing that has generated quite a response is our Military Veteran discount! My husband is a former Marine, a small USMC Eagle, Globe & Anchor is on EVERYTHING that leaves my office as well as a "Support our Troops" ribbon. We offer 10% Discount to any Military veteran with proof of service (If you need to know how to check this - respond to this post & I'll outline it for you) and a 5% Senior Citizen Discount (Not to be combined)


Yellow Pages: Unless you have a rather large full color eye catching ad ~ don't waste your money. Let TruGreen ChemLawn (I have another not nice name for them) waste theirs.

Newspapers: The most effective ones are the kind that are local newspapers that are delivered weekly or monthly free via US Mail. Make sure your ad is eye catching and NOT on the same page as all the distracting auto ads. Timing is also VERY important.

Radio: Not effective because with lawncare, a picture of one of your great accounts and your logo speaks for you. You can't convey that over the air.

TV: In some markets it will be cost effective ~ but in most it won't. Face it, what do you do during a commercial? Go get another beer, go to the bathroom, change the channel etc. So usually, the only one who sees the commercial is the family dog & he doesn't write out the checks.

EFFECTIVE TV ADVERTISING: I would suggest cable rather than affliate TV (ABC, NBC, CBS etc.) It's MUCH cheaper. Try HGTV, DIY Network, SPIKE TV (Men's Channel with guy stuff, 4x4 Trucks, outdoor activities, fix-it shows) WWF, TNN, TLC and yes Lifetime & Oxygen (Television for women - If hubby is out playing golf & admiring the putting green instead of his own lawn, women will call!) Try to schedule your commercial during programs such as Weekend warriors, While you were Out, Trading Spaces, Landscape Design, Mail Call, WWE Raw etc. Shows that are about landscaping or home improvement are best.

Good luck and remember that TARGETED marketing is more effective that MASS marketing.
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2004, 05:48 PM
charlies charlies is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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i haven't tried the local phone book yet, but i intend to. that is the one i always go to when i'm needing something. it's nice and small, and mostly only has numbers for local businesses.

touching the flag or any part of the interior or exterior of the mailbox or post is illegal. it says so right on the usps webpage.

http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm/d041.htm#Rbi31049

i have heard before that mail delivery people and even postmasters have given some form of approval to touching the box or post. but just because they say so doesn't make it legal.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2004, 11:33 PM
Lawn Services Plus Lawn Services Plus is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: greenville ga
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Got a call from a local post office-don't put them on flags ,post
etc.-leave thebox alone.i started putting them in bags with a small stone(landscape type) and tossing them in driveways.
poor mans way but I got a few calls-how about signs-like real estate size-see them for plumbers to glass installers-anybody tried this-any complaints? could make some for pennies.
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