PDA

View Full Version : Marketing Flops?


Steve
10-11-2005, 05:44 PM
What marketing ideas have you tried that flopped?

Steve
10-11-2005, 05:45 PM
walker-talker said

Ok....hate even thinking about this one. This past spring I had some fairly professional looking flyers made up and read "3 Free Mowings" across the top. Glossy and full color both sides. In short, $3K and 30,000 flyers later I picked up (and kept) two mowing accounts. Had them inserted into neighborhood assoociations newsletters, never again. Actually, one of those accounts was from the same flyer, but delivered. Next spring, it will either be postage paid postcards or hand delivered flyers/doorhangers. I might send out a small run of 5,000 postcards. I still have about 600 flyers, 1500 nice doorhangers and another 1000 one colored doorhangers, so I will try and get all those used up. I am planning of getting me an electric scooter to get all those delivered.

Steve
10-11-2005, 05:46 PM
arizweedhea said

I did this years ago.
Offered free "grass" , one ounce .Not the real stuff

Also , "free ***** " , kitten ,with 12 month agreement

Lots of calls , no takers

Steve
10-11-2005, 05:47 PM
DFW Area Landscaper said

Clippers Magazine. Total flop. Paid $400. Got two calls from it. A one time cut and a guy with a lawn way too big for us to mow.

This season, I have started getting about three cold-calls per week from people selling advertising. I always tell them this when they call:

I've already got proven methods of advertising that make money for me. I would love to have more advertising sources. But what I can't do is pay you to find out if your advertising method will work for my business. Its a gamble on my part and I don't gamble now that I have a proven method. Most advertisements, especially the ones that are represented by sales people, are too expensive to work. I mean, most of them will probably generate calls, but then when I look at what they are costing me, it isn't a money maker. So here's the deal that I offer everybody that calls me selling advertising. If you want to give me the ad for free, if it works, and if its a money maker, I will renew it over and over. But I'm not gonna pay you to find out if it works or not. I've just had too many bad gambles that didn't pay off to keep doing that.

So far, no one has taken me up on the offer.

shipent
10-11-2005, 07:26 PM
I did display advertising in the news paper. Had them put a nice 2x2 display ad in the paper, run it on 2 Sundays in a row (even had one on the front page their treat!), and 4 times on Wednesdays paper (our two bigest days papers with most circulation). I got 1 residental account. Spent $600 on advertising to get a $25 lawn job. All years work never even made $600 off the account.

Following season... Spend $55 a month, and had them run the same ad in classified without graphics, just the text from the ad... averaged 5 new customers calling wanting estimates a day!

NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE DISPLAY ADVERTISING. Classifieds worked just fine!

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:52 PM
waffletown20 said

Late June flyers for people who get sick of mowing the lawn, total flop!

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:52 PM
NCSULandscaper said

Advertising on the placemats at Burger King

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:53 PM
greenman said

Full color banner at a big box grocery store.

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:53 PM
Avery said

Ad space on our local hurrican tracking charts. In hindsight I realized that only tourists (not homeowners) look at those things. DUH!

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:54 PM
RonRaley said

A free lawn aeration if you signed up for a full season of services and signed our contract.

That went over real well, Had no takers what so ever. it was a complete waste on money and time and taught me a valuable lesson about Val-Pak coupons. The only things that work in val paks are restuarants, carpet cleaning, and auto repair.

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:54 PM
WMHLC said

A reloaction guide, all realtors give them to you when you move into a new house, or when you are looking for a new house. Didn't get one single phone call from the #### thing, full page color ad, $4500 for the year, and not one single phone call. Biggest waste of money ever.

I have had very good luck with my phone book ad, it $7380, for the year, and I have gotten about $425,000 in business this year from the ad.

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:55 PM
shepherdlawncare said

FREE LAWN CARE FOR A YEAR - NO STRINGS ATTATCHED. We offered a basic fert & weed program to new owners of homes from our existing customers. When our customer sold their house and moved we offered the free lawn care to the new owners. We figured they would like our service and then renew in the following years to come. Believe it or not we only had one taker out of about 15 that we offered it to, and they sold the house and moved after the first year.

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:56 PM
RonRaley said

I thought I had it bad when I spent $1200 for the val paks, and another $1000 for two phone books that were a bust. It taught me avaluable lesson, stick to the cheap old basic plan that I always had great luck with for years..... Simple little ads in the newspapers service directories. I generally get a $40 return on every $1 dollar i invested, some years as much as $52 return.

Steve
10-12-2005, 03:57 PM
Dusty said

1 year i did all the val pac type coupons we have 4 in my area and a few coupon mags i spent about 16 grand that year
after all the bs tire kickers and thats to much crap i lost about 8 k on the whole deal
word of mouth is my best seller and i make sure others spread the word$$$$

Steve
10-12-2005, 04:24 PM
tiedeman said

two things flopped big time for me
1. All of the newspaper ads that I have ever done. Not a single result. Approx $1,500 down the drains
2. ABout 5 years ago I did a postcard campaign. Approx 2,000 postcards sent out to people with cottages on lakes. Not a single response. About $1,000 down the drains.

Those two are what sticks out the most in my mind

Steve
10-12-2005, 04:25 PM
daren_r said

Business cards in bags, thrown in drives. Advertising with an online paper.

Steve
10-12-2005, 04:37 PM
Stephen M said

Phone Book covers; super market advertising kioske: people go the super markets to find food sales and not to find a landscaper; signs on the backs of golf course benches: golfers want to play golf and not look for a landscaper; booklets developed for Real Estate customers introducing them to the community;

These are pushed for "name recognition" but instead many people can't remember seeing your name there when they are looking to see if Rague tomato sauce is on sale, or wanting to play a round of golf.

Steve
10-12-2005, 04:37 PM
Allan said

I think that I got 1 or 2 customers from the valpak coupons that went out - 10,000.

Steve
10-20-2005, 02:43 PM
BSDeality said

2-color ad in a bi-monthly ritzy town magazine. Unfortunately signed a 4-mo's contract, >$1400 later, NOT ONE PHONE CALL. Had a problem with the first ad as it was fuzzy, they said it was my fault, no re-run or discount. I asked if they had a proofing department... they did, they somehow didn't catch it. The second one they fixed and billed me $75/hr.

That was the last time i do business with them.

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:30 PM
From mtdman

Quite honestly, I've never had good results with door to door fliering, or door hangers. When I first started, we would post fliers on telephone poles in the neighborhoods we wanted, and that seemed to work more than anything. My phone book ad is the major source of advertising for me. I usually get quite a few calls off the ad, and this year I've enlarged it in hopes of bringing in more work. I'm also considering a targeted direct mail campaign. Although all the comments I've heard about direct mail don't get me real excited about it.

One of the other big ways I've gotten a lot of customers in is roadside signs. There's another thread about that right now. I put them out at intersections and highway ramps around the township here. They get yanked and thrown out usually, but they stay up for at least a week or so. Some places I know will only let them stay up for a weekend, and I'll put them out for the weekend. Two years ago I did a major aeration campaign with those and got all kinds of calls off them.

I've done a trade for services thing with a radio station I mow for, but last year I didn't get a whole lot of response from it, thinking about discontinuing that this year.

Ads in the newspapers around here just don't work. When I do get calls, they come from all over the county, not the places I want to work in.

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:31 PM
mowingismylife said

newspaper ads have been a waste for ushat is for sure because we haven't got anything out of them and the other day we were going to go and run a $21 a month ad and our truck broke down on the side of the road on the way there but funny thing is that when we turned to go back home it ran fine ain't that something.
but i'm giving up on newspaper ads i'm sticking with Flyers at stores,Free internet ads and my website and trying Yard signs this time around i think it doesn't make sense to Spend tons of money on advertising when you don't got a whole lot to work with and your cheap low cost advertising gets more calls anyway. I have found some great local sites that list my whole business info on their businesses listings page for free. This is a great POST for the Pro's and us guys just starting out.
Reply With Quote

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:32 PM
charlies said

yellow pages

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:33 PM
TurfUnlimited said

I toured specific neighborhoods fitting my demographic and voice recorded addresses while on the move. Sent out about 500 postcards to those addresses. It is still early on, but thus far I've gotten 3 calls that wanted estimates. One of the estimates became a new account, and another is still in price negotiation stages.

I think targeted marketing is the way to go.

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:33 PM
MrBarefoot said

I have had success with my yellow page ad. My first ad went in last winter, and I had to pay for a few months before the spring, but as of right now the ad has paid for itself this year and I am expanding the ad into other books.

As far as marketing failures go, I have a few of those...

My first flier campaign over 10,000 and not a single call. It was a poorly designed ad with a weak incentive.

3 line newspaper ad, ran for a month in the spring of 2002, no calls.

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:34 PM
specialtylc said

I believe the best return on your advertizing dollar is the yellow pages. I dont have an ad., just my name and phone listing and I get 3 or 4 calls a month. The reason I dont advertize is I dont want the residetial customers.

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:34 PM
fastlane said

3''x5'' coupon on 50,000 place mats at local resteraunt. About 5 responses. This was the same resteraunt that returned 10-20 coupon's a week for 5 years (5 years of ads)for a auto and truck accessory store that I owned. Same people -different results!

Steve
10-25-2005, 08:34 PM
Cleatus said

yellow pages was a gigantic waste of money for us. major flop.

Steve
04-30-2008, 07:23 AM
This was a great post I wanted to bring back to everyone's attention.

Can you add to it?