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Ad in Home Section of Paper

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GravelyGuy, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    Our local paper is going to be printing a special home improvement section to go out 4 times, the first time being around March 28th. I was thinking of placing an ad in it. I could get 16% of the page for $300 one time or $750 to run four times. I've never advertised in the classified section because it's lowballer central and I don't want to associate myself with those people, but I think this might be different.

    Do you think I should give it a try? I checked out a section like this from a while back and there was an ad in there from a local nursery/landscape company and another from a a local tree service.

  2. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    Classified section has always worked well for me. Yea you get tire kickers, but that's why you prescreen them when you call. I get 5 calls a day form classifieds and half of the calls I dont even go and do an estimate for. Gotta chat it up with them in the beginning and feel them out. I

    But anyways, Yes, I would give it a shot.
  3. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    Thanks for your opinion. I really shouldn't judge on the paper until I've tried it, I just think it would be a waste of my time and gas giving estimates to people that just got finished calling "Johnny On The Spot" professional landscaper, carpet cleaner, auto detailer, on and on.

    There's so many handyman services and all lawns $20 in there.

    Your right abouta the prescreening thing. You can always tell the PITA from the rest of the crowd. Pretty much anyone that will directly dog another company (with the exception of TGCL) is going to be a PITA price shopper. I just think it shows no class when a customer talks smack about another company directly.
  4. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    no. i don't think i would give that a try.

    i placed a $300 ad in a "home improvement" section of our local paper once, ~100,000 population. 1 call. bad customer.

    it was a complete waste of my money.
  5. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    I decided I would give it a try. It's going in a special section of the paper. I've never used the paper before so this will either be a pleasent surprise or confirm my theory that it sucks. It's going to cost like $700 to run in the weekend paper 4 times starting March 28. I hope the weather improves so that people are actually thinking about their lawns.

    The add is like 6"x3".
  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    I should have listened Turfdoc...

    I will go ahead and confirm, the response was absolutely horrible. I was reminded of this because the paper sent me an email a few days ago about a winter improvement section in the paper and I had to tell them to stick it were the sun don't shine.

    It cost me like $350 for one week (one day only) and I received two calls. One was out of my service area and the other was a fertilizer only estimate just about 20 miles away and I didn't get the job. The paper sucks!
  7. B & B Yardscape

    B & B Yardscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    Thanks for the update. Alot of people ask questions on here and never get back with what happened.

    One time or one week of anything probably won't bring in work. It is about sticking your name in front of people on a day to day bases and that costs money.

    Like this time of year, I don't have much going on. So I get in my truck with all the lettering on it and go to Home Depot. I park it there and I walk around the store. People see it there and they think I am busy. "If they are busy this time of year, they must do good work. Let me write their number down."

    I do advertise in the Yellow Pages, some radio, web page searches, but it is my truck with the big name on the side that really brings customers in.
  8. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Thanks for closing the loop. As was just mentioned, we rarely ever get the final analysis on these forums.

    I got to the point where I hired a marketing consultant a while back. One of the first questions he taught me to ask was "am I looking for immediate response or brand building?". The point is that if you have plenty of work, you should be spending most of your marketing budget to build brand recognition. This way, you are spending your money on hopefully filling the sales funnel in the future when you may need the work, or in order that you can grow your business. If you need work now then you spend more of the money on immediate response marketing techniques. It does not do your business any good to get the phones to ring off the hook while you are busy if you don't have the resources to capitalize on all of the leads. It is a constant balancing act of matching your resources with the current demand and then hopefully working to increase your demand in the future at a much more predictable and manageable rate.

    When I first heard this concept, I thought "how obvious and simple", but the truth is I was not thinking that clearly about it until I heard it. Now, I run all my marketing decisions through that filter of when do I need/expect to get the response.

    The next bit of info he shared was that most newspaper and radio ads are designed to be brand recognition and must be repeated with regularity and consistency. The exception to that is the "Dial-a-Pro" section of most classifieds, they are intended to be immediate response.

    One more tip I learned that has really helped to keep me focused. Set a marketing budget based on your growth target. If you have a budget and you know what percentage you want to spend on each area (immediate response/Brand Recognition), you are much less likely to get drawn into impulsive decisions.
    Hope this info helps you as much as it has me.
  9. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 267

    great post vern, and thanks for the follow up Gravely Guy.

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