Does Your Marketing Focus on the HOT NEW Thing or the RIGHT Thing
By Andrew Pototschnik
During the past 17 years, one of the most transforming technologies of our lifetime found mainstream acceptance and began to revolutionize every aspect of our lives. No, it’s not Friendster (R.I.P.) or even the latest iPhone … It’s the Internet.
Before the Internet, lawn care and landscape companies had no alternative but to rely solely on offline marketing: print mailers, door hangers, newsletters, yellow pages, newspapers, etc. With the Internet came a whole new breed of marketing options: email, pay-per-click, search engine optimization (SEO), local search, and, now, social media, each rising and falling in popularity after having its turn at the top.
During this ongoing marketing evolution, many companies have abandoned offline advertising in favor of an endless succession of the ”latest and greatest” online marketing flavor of the day, choosing marketing strategies as they would clothes. If it is fashionable this season, then that is the approach they want to take. Spam emails? Sure, why not. Social media? Yes, please. SEO? I’ll have seconds.
Is this really the best way to choose a marketing plan? Is spending 4 hours a week on Pinterest going to get you any new customers? Should you be trying to market your business like a Fortune 500? Isn’t offline marketing dead?
Well, let’s ask Google, who, according to The Wall Street Journal, spent $213 million on traditional offline marketing in 2011. Yes, Google, undisputed heavyweight king of online marketing, relies on those forgotten offline marketing strategies of yesteryear, including direct mail and print advertising, to market many of its own products. So, I have to chuckle when I hear offline marketing doesn’t work or is dead like the Dodo.
In reality, it is still very much alive and, if implemented correctly, can be enormously effective.
At the end of the day, AdWords, direct mail, email, social media, print ads, etc. all have pros and cons and are ultimately just tools to accomplish a goal. It is the marketer’s job to choose the best tool to achieve this goal.
Most of the time, the goal may be just to get as many qualified leads as possible. In that case, starting with one or more online strategies, such as SEO, PPC, or local search, and then adding highly targeted print flyers might create the widest possible net for capturing potential clients.
At other times, the goal may be to get more referrals from existing clients or to increase their average lifetime value. In that case, a multipart email campaign with frequent social media “touches” combined with a very targeted print campaign can result in up selling your clients into buying new or more profitable services or nudging them into becoming active referrers.
Ultimately, your campaign will succeed or fail based on whether or not you choose the right strategy and how well you execute it. So, when clients tell me they have stopped all offline marketing and now only rely on Google AdWords or SEO, my immediate reaction is that they need a better toolbox.
Have a crystal clear goal in mind, and then choose the best marketing tool or combination of tools to achieve that goal. Too often, we get caught up in what is fashionable, cool, or new, instead of focusing on what really works the best.
And remember, avoid plaid this season. It never looks good on anyone.
Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, a leading marketing agency serving lawn care & landscape companies throughout the United States and Canada. Over the past 17 years, he has built a reputation for honest and ethical practices, delivering quality scalable online marketing plans with real measurable results. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com or 786-309-7898.
Note: Pototschnik has provided a FREE downloadable consumer awareness guide titled “11 Things to Watch Out for When Choosing an SEO Company” at http://goo.gl/JAL64. This guide informs you about how to avoid getting ripped off when choosing an SEO company.