If you asked Tabitha Coker, director of sales and marketing for King Green, to define marketing, she’ll admit the term is broad and used too inconsistently for a simple definition.
Coker has been with King Green since 2001, and over the years, their marketing efforts have expanded and evolved significantly. She says she realized in the past few years that the best way they can market themselves is to keep their focus on their customers.
Twenty years ago, Coker started with King Green as a solicitor. The company purchased phone numbers and would call people to see if they could come out and provide an analysis the following day. She says they also sent mailers and advertised in the Yellow Pages.
“We no longer do any of that, except for occasional mailers to new homeowners,” Coker says. “Now, most of our marketing efforts are online.”
She says over the last five years, they’ve put more time and effort into their online marketing. In 2019, they hired their first online marketing specialist, Emily Kerns.
“She is crucial to our success,” Coker says. “Being smart enough to recognize that you need people on your team that are smarter than you is key to managing any department.”
Coker says being involved in industry events also helps them stay nimble and relevant as the world of marketing changes. She says she picked up some great tips at ELEVATE last month. She compares marketing methods to fashion, as while some things have changed, other approaches have returned.
“In 2021, we resumed door-to-door sales, and it’s been successful,” she says. “We opened a new location in Greenville last year. We started with 0 customers and now have 1,200. The bulk of that growth came from our outdoor sales team. I think it all depends on your demographic and what works best for your company.”
While your customer demographics should dictate what main marketing channels to focus on, Coker says it’s imperative not to become too hyper-focused on your “perfect buyer,” as anyone with a lawn is a potential customer. She says one possibly overlooked marketing technique is Facebook ads, as they are affordable and easy to use.
“You can select the exact type of person and locations you’re targeting,” Coker says. “I have no frame of reference to know if other companies are underutilizing these ads, but if they’re not doing it, they should!”
She says their biggest source of growth continues to be by referral. King Green takes the time to share customer testimonials on their social media platforms weekly on #FeedbackFriday.
“We have also focused on our citation pages and urge our staff to ask for reviews from our customers,” Coker says. “The best compliment is a referral.”
Demand for a quick answer is growing among customers. Transparency and communication are more important now than ever.
“I know that people value their time, and I think the best marketing will be easy marketing; marketing that is clear and concise,” Coker says. “I know consumers don’t want us shoving our service down their throat, but when someone needs lawn care, the consumer wants to find us easily and clearly understand what we offer.”