Road trip! Real Green Systems’ Solutions 2019

January 9, 2019 -  By
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I’m back from a few days in Saint Pete Beach, Fla., where I attended the Solutions 2019 event. It was a useful trip for sure — beyond some interesting panels and a packed trade show, I also met a whole lot of interesting people (you know who you are!) and hopefully even came home with a story or two for future issues of Landscape Management.

I won’t give away too much here (I like to save stories for the print magazine whenever possible), but just a few general thoughts, in bullet form:

Photo: LM staff

Photo: LM staff

• The opening speech was from Real Green Systems founder Joe Kucik, who started his company as a lawn care service company in 1984. But Kucik told a story he’s never told before — that the company was really founded under the mentorship of his father, a WWII vet who later worked as a Detroit police officer and at the same time as a baker to make ends meet for his family. Joe’s father later became a hotelier, teaching Joe the definition of hard work. Later that evening I commended Joe for the story. “I’m surprised I got through it,” he said. Like many, it’s clear Joe owes a lot of his drive from his father, a member of the Greatest Generation.

Photo: LM staff

Photo: LM staff

• I attended a couple interesting panels, including the “Social Media Branding with Video and More” panel led by John Perry, Greene County Fertilizer Co.; Allyn Hane, The Lawn Care Nut; and Matt Martin, Carbon Earth Co./The Grass Factor. Their message, to promote video marketing to the attendees: “You’re not selling… you’re telling your story.” Martin told an interesting story about a potential customer being shocked when it was Martin himself who showed up at the house to give an estimate. “The customer said, ‘Wait, you’re the guy from the videos! I watched 15 of them!’” Martin said at that point, the sale was already done.

• Marcus Sheridan, AKA “The Pool Guy,” gave the keynote presentation. Author of the book “They Ask, You Answer,” Sheridan talked about the importance of digital marketing in order to connect with the customer. He gave the audience a couple of “big ideas” but the one I think the room walked away most intrigued by was the use of video marketing — to specific customers, and by name — in email. He demonstrated this by showing an email he sent to a fictional Jen, with the email subject, “Jen, I made this video for you.” The customer would open the email and see a clickable video with the image of Sheridan holding a sign that read “JEN!” His question to the audience — how likely would a customer be to just delete that email without opening the video?

Look to a future issue of LM for more of the things we saw/learned at the event. And thanks to the team at Real Green Solutions for being so accommodating to our team!

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Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist of 2014 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 18 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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