April is National Lawn Care Month...and landscape companies have a lot to celebrate. Last year, according to The National Gardening Association, 24 million households in the U.S. spent almost $30-billion dollars on lawn and landscaping services. M.J. Storey Landscape Construction, a small business in Southern Maine, nurtured its growth in this blooming industry by effectively adding radio to the company's marketing mix. According to Michael Storey, the company's owner, "Radio has been incredibly successful for us. We experienced a 45% growth in one year once we went on the radio."
Michael admits that investing in radio was scary at first. "We didn't know what we were looking for or what we wanted to project," said Michael. "I believe, however, radio helped us reach our demographic." According to research conducted by GfK MRI in 2011, the typical consumer for a landscaping business like Michael's
- Is over the age of 35 (64% of the category)
- Has a household income of $100,000+ (40% of the category)
- Owns their own home (86% of the category)
To capture his target consumer Michael selected two Portland, Maine radio stations to fulfill his marketing plan:
- WGAN, a news-talk station
- Big Hits Y100.9 (WYNZ) a classic-hits stations
According to Media Audit research, the combination of these two radio stations delivers the consumers important to Michael's business. Compared to the general population, the audience reached is
- 23% more likely to be in the key 35+ age group
- 20% more likely to have $100,000+ household income
- 10% more likely to be homeowners
And check this out:
- 21% more likely to undertake home improvements within the next 12 months
Reaching the right audience is only half the formula to M.J. Storey Landscape Construction's radio advertising success. Michael says creative is critical. "When it comes to your message you need to consider why are your different? Why would [a customer] call you versus your nearest competitor? and what are they going to get that's different?" Michael says once you can answer those questions, then "you can work on the creative side and come up with an advertisement that expresses that."
Michael identified his company's competitive advantage as not only to the visible aspects of a landscaping project, but, also the invisible components of every job. The final version of the radio commercial expresses this competency as, "You can see they do beautiful work, but it's what you cannot see that makes the difference." Listen to the commercial for yourself:
This commercial was honored as one of the best of 2012 by The Maine Association of Broadcasters. But the real prize was the influx of new customers it produced for Michael and his company. This proves once again a key tenant of successful advertising: Deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.