Hi, this is Tina Lorenz at Tina’s Marketing Minutes.
Thanks for joining me.
Today, I want to talk to you about a little marketing dilemma I encountered, and I have to wonder, was it dumber than a box of rocks or smart guerrilla marketing?
Let me explain. We live on the edge of Tucson, out by the beautiful Catalina Mountains.
We have an acre of property looking out at an unobstructed view. We’re in our backyard right now, you can hear the fountain in the background.
Every day I walk down our long gravel driveway to our mailbox. And one day I was doing that, and I noticed something in the middle of the driveway.
Upon further investigation, it was this.
Cheap plastic bag, probably Dollar Store quality, not a Ziploc It has a knot tied in it, a bunch of red rocks, which are in great supply around here for free, and a business card.
So, I looked at it, and it’s for flagstone and walls, stucco, fireplaces; Big County Masonry shouting out to you. A little free plug here.
Apparently, these guys, by the name of Jose and Jose, partners, two Jose’s, they were riding around the neighborhood with their bags of rocks and their business cards, flinging them out into the driveways.
And this is how they’re doing their marketing.
I couldn’t get over the fact that it was in this plastic bag with a bunch of rocks in it.
Now where we live there’s a lot of big properties and a lot of people that want these services, including ourselves, to build walls and patios and driveways. It could be actually something I’m interested in doing, but it kind of took me aback.
I thought, I’m going to put this aside because maybe I’ll do a Marketing Minute about this, because this is my “marketing in the wild” kind of deal.
I like finding the things out there that are just happening in real life and talking about them and kind of analyzing them.
The next day I’m walking down my driveway, and lo and behold, I find another bag of rocks. Red rocks, same cheap plastic bag, business card, but a different company.
These guys do patios and sidewalks.
Now I don’t know if it is the same or not, because they don’t have their names on them and their phone numbers. Let’s see, let’s take a look.
Yep different phone numbers, so it’s somebody else using the same method, so maybe it works. So, they’re modeling that and hey, that’s smart marketing to model things that are already working. Assuming they knew it’s already working, good for them.
I decided, let’s just see how this works, and I’m trying to undo the knot. Remember, it’s not a Ziploc.
So, what do I have to do? I’m going to do it now. I have to tear the bag open. There they go, rocks falling out. Rocks are falling on my feet, and I can get the card out and there we go.
These guys, I’ll give them a shout out too. Top Quality Concrete, Tucson Arizona. So, you know, on the one hand it’s kind of like, “Oh seriously”? But on the other hand…
One of the things I advise my clients and people I coach and mentor, one of the things I’m frequently telling them is, “Hey just throw it out there.” I literally say that. “Throw it out there and clean it up later.” Just get started. Don’t be stopped by lack of perfection.
Like hey, right now when I’m doing these Marketing Minutes, I don’t really have the kind of lighting that I’d like to have for this right this second, but you know what? I’m putting it out there anyway and I’ll fix it later.
As for these guys, hopefully they’re getting some business.
And you know the thing is, these are hardworking guys okay?
Sometimes we drive into town and at some of the intersections there’s people standing with signs. They’ve spent money to buy the materials to make the signs, begging for money.
Not begging for work, begging for money.
And I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t just sit very well with me. I’ve been down to the bottom of my life and back up again, and I’ve never stood on the corner and asked anybody for money.
And believe me I had none, at one point I was actually homeless.
So, I know there’s always something you can do, and these guys are out there doing it.
I’m sure they work hard. They work with concrete, cement, rocks, bricks. That’s hard work and they’re probably craftsmen. A lot of the people that do these types of services are very, very skilled. It’s not anything we’d know how to do.
When we lived in Mexico for two years, they’re actually called maestros because that’s how skilled they are. They’re masters of their craft, they take pride in it, and they work hard, so more power to them for throwing their rocks out the window to see if they can get some business.
But take a look for a minute about what else they might be able to do.
What you could do, if you wanted to start a business and get some service business going and you don’t really have the money for the budget. You don’t have a marketing budget.
What are some things they could do?
Well, they could investigate community events like Chamber of Commerce, that type of thing.
They could go to local events and network at those events. Talk to people, ask them what kind of things that they’re looking for, what kind of problems are they having with their driveways, or their wall. You know, just answer questions and be of service.
They can get on Facebook, free. Try doing some Facebook advertising. It could also be done fairly cheaply when it’s just done locally, like for Tucson Arizona.
Putting up a simple webpage, even just one page for this type of a service where there’s going to be some graphic illustrations of what they actually do. Pictures of walls they’ve completed and patios that they’ve done, a way to contact them.
Maybe if they’re a little more sophisticated, even having an opt in so they can communicate with people.
Maybe offering a discount coupon for their work if you answer through their ad and getting yourself known in your community.
You can use keywords on a website for a town that will help people find you just with natural organic search, so “Tucson bricklayer” could be something they put on their site.
You could also be investigating other social media like Instagram and Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. You know Pinterest is actually a search engine, not just social media. It’s really a search engine.
So, having a graphic illustration of what they do on a platform like that could also help them to generate some business.
Having flyers made. They’ve already got business cards, having some flyers made. Maybe posting them in places like Garden Centers and Nurseries, we have some beautiful Nurseries here, and seeing if they can get any kind of arrangement with them.
And of course, client referrals, best thing of all.
If you have a happy customer, ask them to refer you to another one.
So overall, I give these guys A+ for effort, even though it might not be the most graceful way to market, it’s better than doing nothing.
And you know what? Maybe not so dumb after all.
Thanks for joining me. Until next time, this is Tina Lorenz.