Below is an excerpt from our forthcoming marketing ebook for landscape and green industry businesses.

I have seen so many landscape companies come and go. Even with strong leadership, excellent quality of execution and service delivery, companies fold. Yet, there are others that excel; I have witnessed companies start with one or two eager founders and grow to become market leaders in their area with fleets of trucks, equipment and a fair number of them acquired for large sums of money making their founders wealthy. What’s the difference? Certainly, there are some companies that manage operations better, that are better with their customers, that offer more lucrative services, etc. Yet, the number one reason that landscaping businesses fail notwithstanding the quality of work, strength of leadership, access to capital and manifold other reasons is directly a result of an empty or weak sales pipeline.

In other words, companies fail because they do not have enough leads, enough projects to sustain their cash flow and operational requirements. Time and again, landscape business owners get diverted with project management, personnel challenges, logistics and countless other needs that command the attention of the landscape business owner. It is not that these things are not important, but very often what gets overlooked is the one thing that keeps the business in operation- sales and marketing.

For those that do invest in marketing, it is often on functions that do not produce results or ROI. Losing money, many business owners become skeptical or worse, fearful of marketing and abandon it altogether. Without a marketing and sales system in place, one that produces leads reliably every month and a strong sales follow up system to convert those leads, businesses incur great risk.

The Solution

The solution is obvious- create a system to generate leads reliably and predictably. Sounds simple enough, but how to do it?

Before we dig (pun intended) into that, I want to share an indispensable marketing insight- what I call the three pillars of marketing or what is sometimes referred to as the results triangulation.

My adult life has been dedicated to the practice of starting and scaling businesses. I found from the start that marketing and sales are requisite to building a successful business; unfortunately, as I also discovered, there is a great deal of misinformation that abounds about marketing. I was fortunate early in my career to have discovered the power of direct response marketing and its veritable godfather, Dan Kennedy.

Dan Kennedy removes the nonsense from marketing and offers pragmatic and timeless principles that have revolutionized marketing for SMBs across industries. While I could fill many books with information about direct response marketing and its effectiveness, one of the great pieces of wisdom lifted from Kennedy’s principles is the results triangle or as I have dubbed them the “three pillars.”

Just as physicists rave about the simplicity and elegance of Einstein’s famed mass, energy equivalence equation, E=MC2, I hope you can appreciate the simplicity and elegance of the results triangle: market, message, media.

This triangulation is so effective, it has become a centerpiece of our marketing philosophy and methodology. This should be the framework for your marketing strategy, bringing clarity, insight and focus to your marketing efforts. Let’s look more closely at each of the three elements.