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5 marketing tricks, treats

October 16, 2018 -  By

I’m often tasked with putting together integrated marketing communication plans that encompass several platforms across a variety of media. Growing up in the green industry has given me a lot of experience with different platforms. I’ve learned some marketing and advertising endeavors are “tricks” and several platforms can be “treats.”


1. Home service websites. The good thing about these sites—including HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List—is they’re populated with “customer reviews,” but aggressive pushes for advertising lead to multiple contractors competing for the same estimate requests. Sometimes up to four companies could be competing for the same project, resulting in price shopping by the consumer.

2. Facebook Marketplace & Craigslist. Free advertising on these platforms typically revolves around consumer-to-consumer sales of used goods. However, contractors in the green industry also use these platforms to advertise their services. These listing platforms are based on chronological listing and require a user to repeatedly post to remain near the top. Inquiries from these platforms rarely create solid leads, and often, those you do receive are from people looking to barter.

3. Yellow Pages (online). While the print Yellow Pages is dead, the online version is alive and kicking. Yellow Pages representatives sell both print and online ads, offering to run your online ads for your company across the Google networks. The problem is they’re running ads using their own account, extremely marking up the actual costs of the ads.

4. Home service listing mailers. Neighborhood mailings, like Valpak, are viewed by many as a quick, cheap alternative to direct mailers. They often promise the reach of a direct mail campaign; however, you’re sharing the envelope with 20 to 30 other advertisers to divide that cost. It’s hard enough to stand out in a mailbox with your own direct mail piece, let alone one you share with so many other advertisers.

5. Coupon websites. Groupon and other coupon websites hit their peak of popularity early this decade but are still relevant today. Unfortunately, for many companies that invest in these programs, there are many sales but for very little margin. Why? These coupon websites require companies to offer discounts at 50 percent or more off of normal prices.


1. Google Ads. Online advertising doesn’t need to be difficult. Google offers a multiplatform solution that integrates several advertising options, including:

  • Search Ads that appear on Google’s Search results page;
  • Display Ads, which are image and video ads appearing on popular websites across the internet;
  • YouTube Ads that play before YouTube videos;
  • Shopping Ads, which are image ads that link to product sales pages; and
  • Gmail Ads, which are text-based ads that appear in Gmail inboxes.

These ad platforms allow for multiple ways of targeting, allowing you to pinpoint consumers by geography, as well as by search behaviors. The best part about these platforms is the fact that you don’t pay until someone clicks on your ad.

2. Facebook Ads. The largest social media site, Facebook, has a powerful ad platform enabling you to place image and video ads in users’ timelines. These ads can be targeted by consumer geography, online behaviors and interests, as well as by third-party data from Facebook partners.

3. Search engine optimization. A well-optimized website allows you to show up in multiple searches on Google. The more Google searches your website appears in, the more traffic and leads that come to your website. A well-trained professional can help you design a plan to incorporate the most used terms into your website to achieve this traffic.

4. Online reviews. Word-of-mouth marketing still exists today, but it’s mostly in the form of reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. Promoting online reviews will help you build consumer confidence and appear in more recommended searches on these platforms.

5. Direct mail. When controlled with specific targeting options, direct mail pieces can help bring more consumers to your business. List companies can help build lists of consumers based on geographic location and demographic data, such as income level, home value and more.

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About the Author:

Kanary is Director of Demand Generation for Kuno Creative, a digital marketing agency. A member of the green industry for the past 20 years, he has consulted with green industry companies throughout the U.S. and gives marketing lectures at several industry conferences every year. Kanary is also an adjunct professor of marketing at Baldwin Wallace University and a Certified Google Adwords and Analytics Individual.

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