Marketing Lessons From the Lawn Mower Guy

marketing lessonsSeeing the sunshine recently brought out a number of people mowing their lawns.

A neighbour obviously had bought a new mower, edger and other tools.

He looked pretty proud as he was mowing his lawn and doing the edges.

When he finished mowing it looked like it had been given a number 1 haircut.

Not much green was showing for all that effort just a bit of stubble.

We get our lawns done and looking at the tools our guy uses it is clear they have not been replaced in a long time.

Of course he did a great job as usual.

Talking to him about the difference in appearance between the two lawns he gave some answers that I think apply to marketing your brand.

Learn The Basics

Apparently there is a certain way you should mow lawns to get the best result. One of the basics is not to cut it too short.  Apparently you need to adjust the height of the mower.

In marketing we often rush into getting involved with the new tools. It is easy to forget to learn the basics first of how to get the results and then use the tool in the best  way.

New Is Not Always Best

Grant our lawn mower guy said he found the tools that suited his work best and kept using them.  He said new ones always took a little while to get used to and did not necessarily do a better job.

He also gave me a look and mentioned that unless it gets him more customers or he can get the best results quicker why waste time and money.

The same goes with marketing, we get attracted to something new when the old marketing tool still does the job just as well. Think of the time it may take you to get up to speed on the new tool and if you could be spending this time better and more productively.

Know The Best Time

Because lawns grow at different stages depending on the season, you need to know how many weeks to leave it before giving it a cut.

In marketing you also need to know when it is the best time to action certain elements. This means knowing the purchase cycle for your type of product or service.

Also when certain events or occasions arise such as holidays, festive season etc can have an impact on your marketing and customers buying.

Action Gets Results

Unless Grant takes action the lawns will continue to grow.

You can read, listen, watch all the information you like, however unless you take the right action you can’t obtain results you desire.

There is so much information around you need to determine what is necessary for you to know so you can build your business and strengthen customer relationships.

These are just a few lessons, so please add your tips to the list.

 

25 Responses to Marketing Lessons From the Lawn Mower Guy

  1. Brian says:

    Interesting take on this. While new tools don’t make everything perfect right away, small businesses also need to be careful that they’re adapting with chaning times and not being left behind when it comes to new technology.

    On the other hand, I agree. With many jobs, the old tools are still the best. Like painting, we still use a brush or a roller for most of the jobs we do at College Pro. The business tools may have evolved, but the manual tools are much the same as they were 200 years ago.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Brian,

      Absoutely agree with you about small business and technology. For example I know of some that still use a spreadsheet and not online software for their database. Good example about the paint brush. It is not a black and white issue and the main thing is not to expect that tools alone will get the job done.

  2. Kate F. Eaton says:

    Susan,
    Always appreciate your marketing wisdom. Here’s another tip: if the company peddling the newest tool is promising instant success, think twice. A marketing program takes time to build impact, even on the internet.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Kate,

      Yes, instant success doesn’t happen and however much they may want it. Thanks for adding this tip.

  3. Another fine post with great visualizations. Is Grant watching for snakes in the grass? I think a good marketing strategy is one in which we watch our “shady” competition and what they might be attempting to undermine our efforts. No consipiracy theory here… just good ol’ fashioned keeping our eyes open and knowing what’s going on with our own business and others businesses.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Keyuri,

      Luckily there are no snakes in our grass. That is a good point you raised because some competitors will try and undermine you. That is one reason why I like Google Alerts and other tools to keep an eye out. It seems that even today many do not do what you have suggested which is a shame.

  4. Back to the basics is always good advice. Bottom line is we have to use the tools that work for us. I think we become enamored of new technologies and forget that marketing is still about building relationships.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Jeannette,

      You are right about relationships. I think some are just looking for an easier way and get caught up with the promises of what the tools will do.

      Thanks for your comment.

  5. Susan, I agree – don’t understand it either :)
    Julie Weishaar recently posted..Video Emails Can be a Powerful Marketing Tool!My Profile

  6. Priceless! Taking real life examples and relating them to marketing. You really know how to get YOUR message across through analogies that are understandable by the “Average Joe” – Love it!
    Julie Weishaar recently posted..What is Mystery Shopping &amp How Can it Help my Small BusinessMy Profile

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Julie,

      Hope you and your family enjoyed Thanksgiving Day. Glad you liked it and never understood why some in marketing make it all sound so different to to the real world and complex.

  7. Patricia@lavenderuses says:

    Hi Susan

    Love the analogy. So much to take in with learning about blogging. Will probably be back for more great posts soon. thanks for sharing your helpful hints. Much appreciated.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Patricia,

      I actually enjoy writing posts with analogies as you can have a bit of fun. Re blogging just take it slowly and it seems from reading your blog you are doing well. If you have any questions on marketing always feel free to ask.

      Thanks for coming over and commenting.

      • Patricia@lavenderuses says:

        Thanks Susan

        Just trying a few different things with showing my lavender products at the moment. Offline selling well. Just started having sales online.

        Patricia Perth Australia

  8. Alastair says:

    Another great post Susan.

    This is great advice for online marketing in particular. Whether it is Google or Twitter or SEO, people seem to get themselves in all kinds of situations where they found the right tool but miss huge opportunities.

    Usually doing something is better than doing nothing but way too often people think that because they are aware of the tool, they have done the job. With little or no understanding of the implications of the little things they do (they never learnt the basics) they run around harming themselves or missing advantages they could easily have had.

    The difference between an amateur and a skilled practitioner like your lawn mower guy is often in hundreds of tiny little details and decisions.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Alastair,

      You summed it up so well. If you don’t know the basics it does catch up with you in the end. We can forget it does take time and experience to use the tools in the correct way.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  9. Rick LaPoint @ Internet Marketing says:

    Hi Susan,

    Send your guy over, I’m getting tired of doing it myself :-)

    My brother-in-law ran a golf course for 5 years and is always instructing me about my lawn.

    A couple interesting things he tells me include holding back on water here and there in order to exercise the roots, causing them to grow deeper and stronger. A deep watering once a week allows the water to sink more deeply into the soil, giving the roots a Target to work toward when the surface is dry.

    Another is to periodically punch 4″ deep holes all over the lawn so the roots can breath.

    It seems like a lawn is like a person and like a business. A little stress, followed by some breathing room are very healthy over the long-term.

    Rick

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Rick,

      No problem. I am sure he will not mind a bit of travelling. I do like your examples and relates so well to business. I had heard about the watering and when we had water restriction there were a number of very brown lawns around.

  10. The right tool for the job… the right time for a promotion… all great tips and a fun post about the lawn mower guy. Love it!

    You asked for our tips, so, I’ll remind people of the carpenter… measure twice cut once. Tracking your results enables you to identify which tool is right and what time of the year is the best for which promotion. Actually, another tool, your calendar can be set up to remind you when to launch that holiday promotion.

    (I just felt compelled to stay with the theme.) :)
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..Differentiate your Website From Your Competitors with Live HelpMy Profile

  11. Rob Berman says:

    Susan:

    I really like the parallel way you wrote the post. New and shiny is simply new and shiny not necessarily better.

    Rob

  12. Execution is key! I think that’s where most people drop the ball though. You can be well prepared, have a great course of action but it all sorta means nothing if you fail to execute.