Marketing

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by RockSet N' Grade, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    I am curious as to what methods you guys use for marketing? Yellow pages, website, mass mailers, word of mouth.....I got that, I am just wondering what other aspects are out there.
     
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    I think it depends on who your are targeting. If you going after builders and General Contractors I think it has to be face to face. This is a tough crowd to break into and I think it requires a more direct approach. My experience is with the above crowd you have to have been visible in the area for a while (thats where signage pays off) and positive word of mouth is of course priceless. If they see you around and on other big jobs, they are more likely to use you on their jobs.

    Homeowners of course is a little different. The traditional methods are done by everyone including the competetion. I try to hit some of the lesser/more exclusive advertising. Example: I have a large banner at the local minor league baseball stadium (no Tim they are not called the Spuds). I also do other types of specialty advertising. I also think that impressive vehicle signage has been very benifical. Thats what I do.
     
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    T-shirts, hats, jackets, anything that can get you seen. I never had any done for our excavation division, but the landscape crew all wears embroidered shirts. When doing dirt work, I'd usually just wear my Cat hat, people would just automatically realize that I knew what the hell I was doing going by the awesome logo that was on my hat. :weightlifter: Alright, back on topic.

    Dad got some really nice vests done (I know, super fruity) but they look really sharp with just the logo embroidered on them. I had t-shirts done when I was doing maintenance in high school as well as a nice jacket, makes you stand out. Sometimes the nail that sticks out get hammered, but in business if you can get yourself noticed, you're better off. My dad finally got vinyl lettering for his trucks this year. For 4 years we used magnets with the logo, phone number, and services offered. He got both of his trucks done with just the logo and the phone number, nice clean look.

    Truck lettering, lettering up your machines, we put up signage on landscape jobs with the homeowner's approval, my dad usually does a little bargaining if need be. If we're working on a high visibility job, definately try to get signage up. Of course, the signage is temporary, just small signs, but they work.

    We've found that yellow page ads draw price shoppers and flakes, almost guaranteed everytime. These folks are picky, want everything done now, and for a price that would rival them buying the materials and doing the job themselves. Or, they hum and haw about doing the job at all, are on a budget because they built way too big of a house and are overbudget, basically just waste a couple hours discussing a job that may not even evolve into anything. Some you could go out to discuss the job and all they do is run around in circles about what they want done, I've spent 4.5 hours with a laptop and ProLandscape setup on site with a gal and when I got done she changed her mind. Gets to be really irritating when you have a 4-5 man crew elsewhere that you need to keep busy and you're screwing around with flaky people. Dad puts his office number in these ads, he picks and chooses based on the content of the voicemails left on the recorder which people he'll call back, let alone even go look at. This isn't always true, but it seems to be pretty commonplace in our market.
     
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    All customers I think feel more comfortable calling you when they see your vehicles and your jobs frequently. The more people see you around the more at ease they are of your ability and longevity in the market.
     
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Word of mouth is the biggest advertisement for contractors here. Building contractors that use one contractor on a regular basis spreads their name around. Lettering on your truck helps and something distinctive in your fleet of equipment.

    Word of mouth thou has to be the most important around here. Usually you work for one person they recommend you to their friends or some other people they know.

    Having the people at the local building supply helps too. Get the new people to the area they go ask places like the building supply who is a good contractor. We don't have big box stores here a building supply store is where the staff of the store know the contractors by name.

    Some contractors have T-Shirts or pens etc hats are not common. Business cards are standard issue.

    Last thing I think is important is don't get a bad name or it won't matter how much advertising you do.
     
  6. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,089

    W.O.M for me, even when I had my biz name on the back of the old Bobcrap, I wasn't getting anymore phone calls for work, now I have nothing that indicates that my Cat belongs to me and I seem to get more work now, not much, but a little more than usual.
     
  7. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    I fully understand momentum and creating it by word of mouth. It makes me wonder if there is a "perceived" value difference in your area BobCatRon from yellow equipment to white? Could be......then again, our minds do play funny games this time of year....
     
  8. wanabe

    wanabe LawnSite Senior Member
    from So. IL
    Posts: 943

    Very good thread, but how did you start? I am going on my own this year, but the only contacts I have with building contractors is the ones that I worked for in the past. I can not take my ex boss's work? That is a big no no for me. So now what?
     
  9. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,089

    Funny you should mention that, seems in my area, the people that have "other colours" (Case, LBX Deere) are cheaper in hourly rates AND cheaper in work quality, anyone who has Cat colours works at a higher rate but their work is top notch, just like my brother's company.

    A lot of the little guy's that have Bobcat colours, I wont say they suck, but they could do better and I seem to have gotten at least 4 new contacts as a result of that over the past 2 years now.
     
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    So Ron do you feel that your quality of work has improved in what the last 75 operating hours since you switched from Bobcat to CAT? Commmme on be honest. Of course it hasn't, you get referals because you do good work, no one you do work for cares what color your equipment is as long as your quality of work and price where they need to be. The equipment owner cares and you typically buy the machine that will do the most for the least cost. Beyond that no one cares. I would agree that condition of equipment has an image impact as does new verse old equipment with some customers.

    My suggestion is stop reading the CAT propaganda. It is clouding your ability to think rationally.:drinkup:
     

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