Where do your advertising dollars go?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by fool32696, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I'm trying to put together an advertising budget and marketing campaign for 2009. I've never done Yellow Page advertising and have spent the better part of today researching it. Do you advertise big in the main book in your area or spread money around the different Yellow Pages? I rarely use print advertising myself when looking for a number, but I'm guessing that a lot of older people still rely on it.

    Do any of you guys use online directories that show up in Google when your keywords are entered? (dexonline, superpages, etc.)

    How about local lifestyle magazines?

    For you guys that track it, where does the best Return on Investment come from. I posted this here because I know most of you are installers that are selling jobs in the $1k plus range.
     
  2. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    I have only herd negative things about the Yellow Pages. We have done the home and garden show in the past but this year I don't think we will do it. I am going to advertise in a local leasure mag community paper some direct mail and possibly a tv commercial
     
  3. Fiano Landscapes

    Fiano Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    We have tried alot of different things to market our company. One of the forms of advertising was at the local movie theater. We had lots of people that we know tell us that they seen our ad, but I don't think we landed a enough work to make it worth the money that was spent. I had 3 slides that were shown before the movie starts it cost me $4500. For our advertising I like to receive a 10X return on our investment. We also had advertising on the shopping carts at this high end hometown market. Similar situation didn't have much luck. We always do some form of advertising in the yellowbook. Some of the books we're in just a small add so our customers can find us if they need our number. Some of the books in the high end markets we advertise halfpage ad in to be more competitive for the high end client. We typically invest about $5,000-$8,000 with yellowbook. It's definately trial & error most of the time start small. I always look through old books to see what my main competition is doing. If they have run an ad for the past three years it's probably worth a try. If you see that they have high turnover every year probably not working that well. Most of our advertising dollars though go to a local show we're part of. We invest some serious dollars in this show, but our returns are tremendous. We last year we made hundreds of thousands of dollars from this show. Our best form of advertising though is one that pays off the most of all. It's simply doing excellent work for our customers, and them referring us to more people. We try to track this as much as possible, and I tracked this one job we did three years ago. So far the jobs we have received form this one job total up to more than $450K. Hope this helps!
     
  4. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    It's been my experience that the yellow pages are extremely over rated and over priced. I tracked leads and sales last year and discovered that after quite a few leads from the phone book I ended up with one job. I have drastically cut what I spend on the yellow pages.
    The vast majority of my work was from repeat customers and referals.
    The biggest return on investment I have recieved has been from my local newspaper, both regular and special editions.
    As of now my marketing plan consists of newspaper ads, signage (truck and lawn signs), a small yellow pages ad, and keeping in touch with previous customers.
     
  5. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Very good advice. Please keep it coming. I am planning a home show in the spring. I've never done one, any advice and do's/don'ts and the setup/displays that you used.
     
  6. Fiano Landscapes

    Fiano Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Really depends on what you have at you disposal to use. Your a hardscaper right? Is there gas hookup? How much electric do you have access to at the show? How much space do you have?
     
  7. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I don't really consider myself a hardscaper, I do decorative concrete. I consider the business to be very similar as far as advertising and target clientele though. I would imagine I'll have access to a few wall outlets. I was thinking about setting up a slide show on my computer to put on a 32" flat screen. Of course I'm planning on bringing a lot of 18"x18" sample boards. I may have a prints shop blow up some project photos. I will have color and texture samples. Also thinking about having a print shop print out some product attributes really large to use in a backdrop. Lastly I want to get my 22 yr old sister and my 23 yr old (cute) girlfriend in company shirts to talk up the pool companies and builders that I'm expecting to be there. I know you experienced guys can come up with some additions to that small list.
     
  8. Fiano Landscapes

    Fiano Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Ther is a smaller show around her that has a similar setup. The show we are in we wil have full blown displays. Pergolas, gas firepits/fireplaces, water features, columns, landscape lighting the whole thing. I have never do just a small outer booth so I don't know the turnaround on it. Always when doing a show remember LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. If your way in the corner you target audience will have aching feet from walking around before you ever have a chance to reel them in. At our show there is a main isle that runs the length of the building. It is full of huge feature gardens. Try to get as close to the main attractions as possible.
     
  9. loupiscopolandscaping

    loupiscopolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 320

    supercoups, valpak and some door hangers. i dont really have the time to pass out 10,000 door hangers lol
     
  10. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    What do you guys think of door hangers? Anybody had good results? I haven't used them because it seems to me to be almost an invasion of privacy.
     

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