SR Panel: Our Best Marketing Bet

A trade lunch and TV make the cut for these panelists

Austin Lampkin
General Manager, Family Leisure – San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

For Family Leisure of San Antonio, we focus heavily on TV commercials as our main form or advertising. We run 10 to 12 special promotions a year with thousands of TV spots for each sale. Like with most advertising, you feel like half of it is wasted; the problem is, you don’t know which half. The goal is to get potential customers in the door. We see our TV advertising as the spark that lights the fire for our sales. They must be consistent and provide low price points to get people’s attention. Mr. Wrigley, of Wrigley Gum, said your business is like a train, and advertisement is the fuel that drives it. If you stop giving the train fuel, it will roll on, but at some point the train will stop. We believe constantly advertising is the reason we succeed as a company.

In the last three years, we have been on local AM radio news stations, specifically WOAI 1200 here in south Texas. We believe this has assisted us in reaching more of our clientele. Using another media like radio will help your name be remembered when clients decide to shop for your products. Name recognition is important on any media.

Pay-per-click advertisements are another way to spotlight products without a huge investment. These can be useful for product specific sales or promotions. As younger buyers enter our clientele base, we will be looking at social media for 2019 and make a stronger presence there. Reaching younger generations requires a different structure than previous generations due to their buying habits.

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Advertising is the key to our success, short term and long term. A single method or media approach is unlikely to bear fruit.

Jennifer Gannon
Owner, BonaVista Leisurescapes
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We always host a trade event as a Lunch & Learn, Wine & Cheese format on a weekday in the spring here at our showroom in the heart of the city.
We’ve cultivated a strong network of trade contacts over the years and most look forward to this event as a huddle before the season kicks off. We invite landscape designers, architects, contractors and electricians to build a group of trades to refer — and remind them we are the water experts.

Our annual event is promoted via a CRM list of trade contacts, and we e-blast them three times to invite them. We keep the window short, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an open-house format with food and drink.

We invite our vendors and always have an athlete swimming in our showroom model swim spa. The event reminds our trade contacts to send people our way and ask us to quote hot tubs, swim spas and pool projects.
This trade event always returns tenfold the expense with strong partnerships in the landscape trade.