Marketing musts

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Person typing on computer (Photo: Chainarong Prasertthai/iStock / Getty Images Plus/getty images)
Person typing on computer (Photo: Chainarong Prasertthai/iStock / Getty Images Plus/getty images)
Photo: Chainarong Prasertthai/iStock / Getty Images Plus/getty images

Marketing green industry services may seem like a hefty — and somewhat nebulous — task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Lindsay Malke, director of marketing for Landscape Workshop, a full-service commercial grounds maintenance provider in the Southeast, and Sue Silva, owner of Superus Marketing, a marketing agency in Atlanta that works with lawn care company Arbor-Nomics, provide insight into what green industry companies should do to market their business.

1. Consider your company’s strengths

“First, we try to figure out what is the company’s positioning, what’s their strong point,” Silva says. “A lot of companies say, ‘We give you green, weed-free lawns,’ but you’re supposed to provide that. Figure out what you want to say besides, ‘We can make your lawn green,’ and then have all your assets communicate that positioning.”

An example of such a differentiator, she adds, is high-quality customer service.

2. Be sensitive to current issues

Whether it’s making social media posts that aren’t tone-deaf or ensuring crews have appropriate personal protective equipment, it’s important to always be aware of current issues — especially with protocols surrounding COVID-19.

“It’s making sure that in any pictures of our crews, we’ve all got the appropriate safety gear on and that we show that our guys are wearing masks,” Malke says. “As far as our business development people going out to sites and marketing, they have been very careful about not walking into anybody’s place of business unannounced. They call and ask if they can stop by. We used to just cold call.”

3. Create an easy-to-navigate company website

Silva notes that many customers will search a company’s website first.

“A lot of the millennials and the younger upcoming homeowners don’t want to talk to people,” she says. “They want to do everything by email, look at your site, get the information, make a request and just get it done whether it’s 10 p.m. on a Thursday or 7 a.m. on Sunday.”

The website should communicate a company’s strategy, look professional and provide the information a customer may need, including the ability to request information online.

4. Disseminate educational content

Malke says Landscape Workshop puts out quarterly e-blasts and monthly blogs with educational content.

She adds that the company posts educational content and time-relevant topics on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn about two times per week.

5. Note your company’s market

Depending on the region, some homeowners may prefer to do their own fungicide applications and mow their own lawns, whereas in other areas, they prefer to pay a company to do it.

Silva says it can help to do some research on an area to figure out what type of homeowners the company is servicing.

For example, she notes that while radio ads may work well for regions that have a high commuter population, they may not work so well in areas where people aren’t listening to the radio on a regular basis.

6. Identify how much you’re willing to pay for a new customer

Veering away from traditional media, some companies may choose to enlist the help of a pay-per-click company to boost their leads.

“Establish a ceiling: What you are willing to pay for a lead and see if they can get you leads for that cost,” Silva says. “If the company didn’t even bother to ask you that question of what can you pay for a lead, then this company is not doing you justice.”

Figuring out how much a company is willing to spend on a new customer and how many new customers it would like to acquire that year can help establish a base marketing plan for the year, she adds.

7. Consider investing in promotional items

Malke says that Landscape Workshop’s sales representatives get a lot of traffic out of promotional items.

“Our clients are really receptive to getting new swag,” she says. “We have an aluminum water bottle, a coffee cup, a notebook, a hand sanitizer that’s really popular these days, golf tees, chip clips and Chapstick, stuff like that.”

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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