In January, it was hard to imagine that the 2020 season would represent so many challenges that we have never seen before. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), as of March 30—still early in the crisis—92% of small businesses said they had suffered negative effects as a result of the pandemic. Fortunately, social distancing, self-isolation and widely adopted work-from-home practices have generated a new wave of optimism and opportunity for the landscape/hardscape industry.
With millions of homeowners looking out their windows to their backyard and telling themselves that it “could use a little work”, online searches for landscape products and suppliers are at an all-time high.
What the numbers tell us
Search results for the term "landscape supply" are on the rise. Note the far right of the graph is nearly 50% higher than any previous peak. Although market trends were pointing to the demise of the DIY segment, early Q2 analysis points to a significant uptick that sellers of landscape/hardscape products can capitalize on. How do we know? Simple. Analysis of recent keyword performance. Searches related to the “Deck and Patio” category have jumped 63% higher than usual at this time of year.
The specific words used mean people want to get things done now:
Keywords in buyer's journey:
- Available now
- Design options- Floor plans- Trends
- How much
- Buy online
- Buy at home depot
- Ship direct
- Buy now
Another important reality to recognize is that since it appears that most businesses have dialed back their marketing investments, the return on ad spend (ROAS) is quite high, although this will be temporary.
- -9.02% CPM
- -13.5% CPC
- -36.56% CPM
- -25% CPC
So, if you’re saying to yourself, “Great! Now what?” we have a few tips to help you out.
1. Assess your digital marketing strategies
While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is incredibly important in helping your business connect with potential customers, it is a long-term play. It’s never too late to get your SEO game going strong, but you won’t see immediate results. For more fast-acting initiatives, shift your focus to Search Engine Marketing. Look at how your Google Ads are performing. If you’re not happy with the results, get some professional help, even if it’s just for short-term. It will pay big dividends.
We recently hosted Zach Williams, CEO and President of Venveo LLC, a digital marketing agency specialized in the building materials industry. You can access a copy of their presentation deck here.
Techo-Bloc can also help you in improving your SEM performance with our Co-Op Digital Marketing Programs. Our team of experts will work with you to establish campaign objectives, identify your core messages and implement strategies. What’s more, we’ll even build the ads, landing pages and reports to ensure high ROI. If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity, without any commitment, click here for a quick presentation.
2. Pay attention to your messaging
The key to effective marketing is the positioning of your products or services as the solution to your customer’s problems. Are you offering curbside pickup or free delivery services? While your contractors are likely familiar with your great services, homeowners may not be. Free delivery may just be the hook that reels them in to your business instead of the local big box store. Make sure to communicate all of your newly instilled safety protocols as well, people want to feel safe in your store!
Also, home renovation projects are often big and daunting, landscape projects aren’t any different. Your customers are looking for a single source of products, advice and services. Whether your customer is a DIYer or a DIFMer (Do It For Me), they’ll still choose the company that makes their life the easiest. Offer sound advice, homeowner-friendly samples and the option to match them with “the perfect contractor for their job” and they’ll be happy to spend their money with you.
If the above scenarios sound just like what you do every day, then make sure you tell your target audience!
Want help in designing and launching these types of ads? Click on the image to learn more about Techo-Bloc’s co-op digital marketing program.
3. Make sure your product offering is complete
We’re all familiar with the concept of a one-stop-shop. With many businesses still closed and extensive social-distancing protocols in place, it has never been more convenient for your customer to be able to get everything they need under one roof.
Did you know that you can access the FlexLock line of geotextile fabrics, geogrids, edge restraints, spikes, adhesives, cleaners, sealers, polymeric sands and synthetic base? With over 4 million square feet installed in the past few years, Gator Base is the fastest growing synthetic base on the market, why not make sure you’re getting those product sales too?
Consider bundling products together to create convenience for your customers. Concepts like Patio on a pallet can be a game-changer for your homeowner sales (ex. 1 pallet of pavers, 2 bundles of Gator Base, 1 small roll of Gator Fabric, 5 pcs of Gator Edge, 1 box of Gator Screws, 2-3 bags of FlexLock Ultra G2 Rapid Set polymeric sand).
Also, think about easy weekend projects like edging mulch and flower beds with products like Avignon, or simple pathways using Borealis Stepping Stone.
Use marketing to get the message out about these offers and use clever merchandising to ensure that sales happen in-store. Simple solutions: lay out a piece of artificial turf with a few stepping stones on top; layout some mulch behind a few pieces of your favorite edge product.
Helpful tip: Make sure you have the right samples and selling tools ready at all times. Our sample booklet kit just might be the perfect tool for you.
The market is picking back up and all the indicators are pointing to a very positive selling season. Make sure your business is in front of the right people and saying the right things. Once in the store, make sure they have easy access to everything they need so they can make their full investment with you.
As always, the Techo-Bloc team is here to help. Reach out to your local sales representative or our co-op marketing team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get things started today.