Spring Marketing Failure...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Envy Lawn Service, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, the title seems to have about said it all. Despite the fact I have spent more this year than I ever have on marketing, it is turning out to be the biggest FLOP ever!

    At what point does your patients wear down and your panic alert go off???
    In other words, how long do you wait before you decide it's time to make changes?

    I've been hitting a large group simple advertising and another smaller group in addition. I mean I have been advertising to a general area to the degree of playing "The Law of Large Numbers" which in general will ordinarily result in at least a 3% return... 3 calls per hundred people who view the ad... which will usually start out slow, then peak, then taper way off in say a 30 day period, for an overall average of a 3% return and a trickling residual.

    But I'm not getting anything near that!!! So far I have had '0' hot calls that lead to estimates. Total I have had '2' calls for lawn & landscape related work, neither of which I was interested in, so I gave two referrals... And I have had numerous calls from people seeking employment with my company although my marketing is not directed in that area at all.

    So I am not real sure what to think. On one hand I think it's time to change it up and see if I can get the phone ringing. But on the other hand, after questioning the callers, I'm thinking maybe the advertising looks just fine since it is pulling so many employment calls (they see my ad and call me instead of the others hoping to find work).

    Anyways, I'm debating on rather to just be more patient or to go ahead and get started on changing the content in hopes of getting more calls. The current marketing plan has been in action hot-n-heavy for about 2 weeks and so far it's been a non-performer.

    Should I make major changes or not?
     
  2. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    I put out 1,000 flyers - got 3 calls so far.

    Call #1 - Wanted mulch dropped off, not spread. My reply, "No"

    Call #2 - Lawn mowing, landed job

    Call #3 - Asking if I fertilize even though it isn't listed on my services. My reply, "No"

    Got 1 job out of 1,000 flyers:dizzy:
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Envy:
    This appears to be a targeting issue... I dare say your ad is missing its intended target, as to how I could not tell you for sure but it appears the marketable segment who is seeing your ad, although interested in lawn care, happens to be the folks looking for work and not the folks looking for work to be done.

    I would consider some kind of change, if not in the company doing the advertising, then in the location of the ad.
    If it's in the classifieds section, this might be the reason why (but not always, just an example).

    //////////////////////////////////////

    As for the guy with the flyers, expect 3-4 calls per k and if you convert more than half something is wrong as well lol, so what you're seeing is normal.
     
  4. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    Your ad is a failure. Pull it and try again with a different ad or marketing method. Maybe hire a pro to write and design it, since time is of the essence.
     
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    But see... that is still a 3% return even if it is gross, with a 1% net.
    But yes, a 3% or better net would be better and more typical.

    I would be absolutely tickled pink with a 1% net off my marketing.
    I could give high estimates and cherry pick.
     
  6. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    3% gross of 1,000 flyers would be 30 calls

    1% net of 1,000 flyers would be 10 jobs landed

    I landed 1 job out of 3 calls......
     
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, generally I would agree. But as it seems, the reason it is generating 'work search' calls is that they call because I seem like their best chance of gainful employment out of the advertising they are recieving.

    But also, both of us have to be honest here and address the issue of the current economy and job market. It this were not an issue, I sure as heck wouldn't be getting these calls off my marketing material. But also to be honest, if it was not for the current economy and job market, I wouldn't be advertising like this either.

    But yes, this is 'blanket' advertising. This area is just different in that way. It would be really good to be able to do 'target marketing' but in this area, the best you can do with larger scale advertising is to add some small degree of targeting inside your blanket advertising so that you don't have like a 30% return of worthless cheapskate calls.

    The reason being is that very targeted stuff (like door hangers for example) are just not a well recieved method of advertising. It's a 'country culture' type thing I guess. It would be an ugly event if you were to try it and VERY UNSUCESSFUL. I have seen some door hangers, but in my life I have never found a doorhanger on my doorknob, and I think I might have had 3 salesmen come cold-call door knocking, and when they did I knew instantly they were traveling salesmen from out of town.

    It's just a different world here....
     
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Sorry, it's late here (EST) and I'm typing fast.

    Your numbers are .3% gross and .1% net.
    I missed putting the POINT.

    And yes I did mean I would be happy with .3% and .1% overall.

    But yes, with flyers, one should expect 10X that return (3%) v/s simple blanket ads.
     
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I did hire a pro do write and design the ad slicks.

    But it is a simple ad... nothing elaborate like you would have on a flyer or door hanger.

    At the same time though, it's not your typical ad either...
    Company Name
    Services Provided
    Free Estimates
    Phone Number


    Instead, my ad is an advertisement for my company more so than the typical block ad of services provided and it makes no suggestion of low/cheap/affordable/reasonable rates or anything of the sort. I did not want to attract those calls I guess you could say and I really didn't see where there would be a need for anything of the sort to boost call numbers. Frankly I still don't see that as a consideration.

    You are right though... time is of the essence... and if I am going to make a change, I'm thinking of some other wording associated with this time of year that will generate 'ad pull' and pull calls. I would rather try something like that or some sort of catch phrase ad than to make suggestions about rates and have my phone ringing off the hook with worthless calls wasting my time.
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i also tried something i thought was gonna be huge. it turned out to be a total flop. after only a couple of weeks, it was obvious that something in my add was acting as a client reppellent, so i immediately changed it. bingo, the change worked. still don't know why my add was a flop, some things just don't work. change it now
     

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