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View Full Version : Cost Vs Quality


tiedeman
03-27-2006, 12:50 AM
When you look at purchasing marketing material such as brochures, doorhangers, etc. what is your major concern? Is it the cost of the product, or the overall visual appearance of the product?

Steve
03-27-2006, 12:59 AM
Hi tiedeman,

I would be interested in hearing what others have to say.

My view is what will give me the biggest return for the money. Marketing and advertising is kind of an amazing thing. How many companies enjoy blowing money in marketing/advertising to in a sense toot their own horns.
Look at us, we're the best. Look at our ads, aren't we so clever? Aren't we witty? But what are the returns on these things?
When you read the Guerilla marketing books, it can freak you out how such low cost simple marketing techniques can have such great returns. While you are spending huge sums of money in other areas which are doing nothing for you.

How do you see things?

tiedeman
03-27-2006, 08:10 PM
that is what I am thinking. I mean, I could spend $477 for 1,000 doorhangers through one company, which I do agree look very sharp and very professional, or spend $225 through another company which look very good as well. Sure they are not the best compared to the other company, but I still feel they will work

Steve
03-28-2006, 01:00 AM
Have you seen some of the door hangers KC2006 has used. His door hangers are based on line art vs. full color images. It seems he has found them to work well. If he shows up on here maybe he could tell us his insight into this as well.

Ned
03-28-2006, 05:57 AM
The biggest problem, from an advertiser's point of view, is the oversaturation of communication in the world today. We have billions upon gigallions (I know, I know...) of messages that all businesses are trying to push through our heads, and that makes it more and more difficult to establish a position in the market.

It requires a person to truly think beyond the norm in order to "cherchez le creneau", or "look for the hole" (a french marketing idea) to get their message through.

This is the age of positioning (has been for the last 25+ years, and this is only becomming more and more important), and gone is the "Image Era", where image was "everything". Not that Image doesn't still hold a very important position, and in fact may be your ONLY way to establish and hold that hole in the market once you find it, but it is no longer the engine behind successful marketing campaigns. The engine now is the ability to position yourself at the top of your category, and to reposition (or change the category), of your competitors.

So in short, image is important, but it is much more important to know where to target that image.

Steve
03-28-2006, 06:04 AM
Hi Ned,

Thank you for your insight. Can you give us a 'for example'? Maybe even using some images to show us more of what you mean?

What works and why and what doesn't work and why?

tiedeman
03-28-2006, 07:23 PM
With the doorhangers I was not only thinking about getting customers, but lettering customers out there also know more about the business for the long run. Basically I want people to know that "Hey, I am here now, but I will also be here in the future if you need anything."

Steve
03-29-2006, 01:14 AM
When you look around at others in the industry, what examples can you think of lco 'branding.'

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 01:29 AM
There are only two actually descent size lawn care companies around here that advertise (I am not talking lawn applications companies, just maintenance). The one company maybe advertises three times a year, while the other one is has a nursery as well, advertises all the time.

Steve
03-29-2006, 01:32 AM
What sets these two companies apart in their advertising?

Does anything stick out in your head about them?

For instance, when I think of Geico Insurance, I think "A 15 minute free call could save you 15% or more on your car insurance."

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 01:40 AM
to be honest, nothing really sets them out, they don't advertise their maintenance or installation that much. They advertise their nursery more. I think that they use that to draw people in, and after they draw people in, then they try to sell them something such as "1/2 Off the price of an evergreen installation if bought here". I am just saying that as an example, I don't know if they actually do something like that or not

Ned
03-29-2006, 02:21 AM
Their branding may not be in traditional advertising. Take a look at their nursury, the way they dress, the way they talk to their customers, the way they handle payments, where they are located, all of this sends different messages to the consumer, and paints a picture in the mind and a gives gut feeling about the company, which drives a consumer's choice.

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 02:25 AM
But I don't think that it's always an image thing.

Steve
03-29-2006, 02:31 AM
Good points though.

It makes you remember the overall picture includes everything you do.

So then all of this creates your brand. I hadn't thought of the big picture like that.

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 02:38 AM
Let me go more on the image thing. To me personally, I do think that imagine is very important. From uniforms with the business name embroided on it, to having a clean wash lettered truck, even back to your invoices, but customers anymore are looking for something else.

My mother said this to me once and it really stuck in my head, "I would rather hire a guy with a mower in the trunk of his car that does does great work, compared to a huge lawn care company that does good work."

Steve
03-29-2006, 02:42 AM
It's good to know! It makes you think, keep your expenses low.

Ned
03-29-2006, 03:13 AM
Quote[/b] (tiedeman @ Mar. 29 2006,2:38)]My mother said this to me once and it really stuck in my head, "I would rather hire a guy with a mower in the trunk of his car that does does great work, compared to a huge lawn care company that does good work."
One thing that marketing has learned, is that you CANNOT change a person's mind. The way that people perceive the world is next to impossible to change, and they will always see what they expect to see.

Chances are, your mother has a pre-conceived notion that "The little guy does the best job". A lot of people have this perception. Therefore, when they see a big corporate-looking operation, they think, "these guys are just going to overcharge me for a half-a$$ job". When they see the guy with the lawnmower in his trunk, they think, "Now here's a hard worker, who'll give me my money's worth!". When the job is done, it really doesn't matter who does the best job, your mother will still see a nicer lawn cut from the guy with the mower in his trunk.

On the other hand, another corporate identity or perhaps somebody from a richer background may see things the complete opposite. They expect that "You get what you pay for". This is how they perceive the world, and when they spend the big bucks to get something done, they are always pleased with the results.

So as a business person, you need to know first and foremost - Who is your ideal customer? Who is it that you want to target? Knowing that you will not change their perception, you have to change yourself to match their perception. Your choice could be strategic financially (ie, you want to hit the masses, or else you want the "big fish" clients), or it may be more personal (such as, "I like to deal with down-home people").

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 03:19 AM
I agree with your points.

This is how I personally look at companies
Smaller Companies
1. Probably charge less since they are smaller, or have to charge more because they are smaller.
2. Perhaps better work because of less customers or poor work because of less experience.

Larger Companies
1. Could either charge more because they are big or could charge less because they are big
2. Might do good quality work because they have lots of experience and systems in place or might do poor work because they are a large company with more customers to deal with.

Steve
03-29-2006, 03:22 AM
That's a really great point. It wouldn't be too difficult to ask people in the different areas you service, how they feel on such issues.

In fact it could be a good questionnaire question. Or something to ask when you should up to give a bid.

You could ask, which do you find to be more true.
a. The little guy does the best job.
b. You get what you pay for.

This would then help you to figure out which kind of customer this is. This would help in 'pre-qualifying' them.

Is this really a customer you want and are marketing your services towards.