Marketing for 2006

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tiedeman, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    What type of marketing do you guys plan on using for 2006? The techniques, timing, cost, etc.? What do you hope to achieve with it?
  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Threads that I like to see. I started off by advertising in both phone books instead of one. I really wanted to go with a 1/2 page ad in one, but just could bring myself to spend the $5K. My plans now are just basically use up all the media that I havn't used over the last 3 or 4 years. Every year I have some of this or some of that left over. It consist of (these are estimates) 1500 full color door hangers, 800 one color doorhangers, 900 full color postcards, 600 full color flyers and (45) 3 color, 18" X 24" coroplast signs. I think I will stay fairly busy just passing those out. I will also probably take out an ad in the newspaper's service directory.

    Timing- Probably a week or two before the first cut
    Cost- Trying to keep them low next year by using up all the left over crap.
    Techniques- I will probably post the signs a week before handing out the paper media. Hopefully this will bring some attention and help plant a seed in some viewers head. Also, I see an electric scooter to help me pass all this stuff out. Might get the help of nephew and his friends again.

    I generally target one side of town and to houses in the $100K-$150K range. I might consider trying a different market area, but not certain where yet. I would like to stick to this class of market though. I will probably buy some coroplast signs in the spring advertising lawn scalping and some others in the fall advertising leaf removals. Nothing as elaborate as the signs I have not (3 color with my logo on yellow coroplast). Probably text only with my phone number and that's it. Red on yellow background. I plan on going full-time next year, so I won't have my full-time job bringing in extra income, thus the reason for keeping advertising cost down.
  3. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    about 1,000 to 2,000 door hangers only certain divisions 175,000 and up only. then I am also gonna target areas on my current route to tighten it up a bit. Plus one phone book just so much money. and just bought out another lco! so with a bit of luck I should have a good start to the season.
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    with the nice logo, and all the heavy advertising stuff you have i thought you were already full time, by looking at your advertising you look like your doing atleast 50k
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    All those types of advertisements stated that you do, what works the best?
  6. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    I am going to do the same as last year, if not more.

    In March I ordered 15,000, 2 color flyers. Used up all of those by September. I also placed an AD in the HS football programs (about 2500 were sold). I cant think of anything else I did.

    This spring I might buy 25000 flyers and place ad's in the new papers and YP.

    I recived ALOT of calls from those flyers, but at the time I bid them, I was so busy with installs, that I bid the weekly cuttings to high, so instead of getting like 100 accounts this year, I got less than half that.

    Plus next year im going to be advertising in Kalamazoo also.
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    The first 4 years of my buisness it was used just and making a little extra chump change. The 4th year I was either going to get out all together or start making plans on going full time. I asked around to some people in the business if they wanted to buy my accounts and bites so I decided to start doing some advertising. I havn't worked as hard as I should of, to be honest. That forth year I had around 3500 doorhangers passed out in higher end residentials. A handful of one time jobs, but no mowing accounts. The 5th year I went with 5,000 postcards targeted to certain zip codes, age, property value and home owners. About 30 calls all together and turned out about 4 direct mowing accounts. I call it direct because out of those 4 accounts I picked up some referrals the following year. Last spring I had 30,000 flyers inserted into neighborhood newsletters. A total flop to say the least. Generated maybe 4 accounts, two of which cancelled (something about charging too much...I don't know). And actually, those clients were probably from doorhangers, not real sure and they don't know either. I passed out doorhangers in the same area that the newsletters were delivered. Oh, as a side note, on the 30,000 flyers, the header read "3 FREE MOWINGS". My guess is that this technique doesn't work at all (the free mowings) or the not all the flyers were inserted. The insertion was the job of the person in charge of delivering the I am guessing. I know some were inserted because I received about 30 calls total....most all one time jobs. In short I think the best return was on either doorhangers or postcards. One take more time than money and the other more money and less time. My ad in the YP (SBC) went out in August and I received about 20 calls off that. I forwarded all those calls to a competitor. Why? I work full time and mow 4 days a week and just didn't want any more one time jobs. All mowing calls get anwered and returned. I have always targeted the same side of town, which I am guessing is about 40 or 50,000 households. I am thinking of a totally different area next year. I told myself that I was not going to pay for any more printed media advertising mowing....just too competitve here. Both of my YP ads are targeted towards the chem app side of the business.....higher profit margins.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    A referral letter sent out in March is all we have ever had to do. Never once advertised.
  9. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    All I plan to do as well.

    Wierd, but all the positives and statistics you are exposed to in marketing and advertising classes, didn't really amount to a hill of beans with us in relation to advertising this year. On the contrary the professors used to tell us that word of mouth was not effective, well it has been for us this year. I also believe strongly in presenting a professional image, lettered truck, company shirts, business cards, company hats, etc. just being visible while out in the field. I also never miss an opportunity to "shoot the breeeze" with other contractors, i.e. house contractors, concrete contractors, as well as other LCO's, in other words some networking at the local market level. Another opportunity I never let pass by is simply stopping the truck and speaking with new home owners, i.e. people that have just moved in, garnered lots of leads & work in this fashion also.

    I also try and roll out a new reward program for existing customers for referrals, this works out very well and they (my customers) are doing the "advertising work" for me.

    If I do any advertising next season it would be on a very, very, limited scale, very possibly none at all for me though.
  10. firecapt13

    firecapt13 LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 96

    going to buy a nice truck ford f350, get enclosed trailer to match color and get it all wrapped in graphics that will really stand out. cost of this should run around 400-600 per month. less than yellow page ad. then i am going to high end neighborhoods and ride. park at home depot and other shopping centers on weekends . when people see this it should stand out with them.

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