Posts Tagged ‘pest control reviews’

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by Thomas B.
I was approached about setting up a booth for a Home and Garden Show in San Antonio, Texas. Pest control should do well in a marketing effort targeting homeowners, right? The promotional material sent to me included the following quote:

“Dollar for dollar, consumer shows continue to offer the
most significant return on investment and are the most
effective use of the marketing dollar.”

- The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2007

Intrigued, I searched this article out online. …It was no where to be found.

Reviewing the Quote

Beyond the fact that I could not find this quote anywhere online, I see some flaws here. The quote is 5 years old. A ton has changed in 5 years. Internet marketing is still in it’s infancy. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that internet marketing can be beat on ROI. But that’s only speaking from my experience as a pest control guy. As it were, the fully report cannot be located online, therefore I cannot even determine if internet marketing was considered in the study. The quote alone a reveals nothing as to the business or businesses that they used to determine that Home Shows were the best ROI for marketing dollars. Sorry, but this quote does nothing for me. I need real data please.

Marketing Dollar for Marketing Dollar best ROI

market 1

market 1 (Photo credit: tim caynes)

Where would you put your money for the best marketing ROI? Well… that really depends on who YOU are. If you expect to get the exact same results as everyone else in a specific marketing avenue regardless of your business, of you location, or of your target audience then you don’t understand marketing. “Consumer Shows” probably work extremely well for the wedding industry. It’s a very niche audience, the attendees are looking to buy your service. But for the vast audience of “Homeowners”, not all of them will need new flooring, new windows, or new appliances. And many of them will not show up at a Home Show with the sole intention of finding a pest control company. Therefore, it becomes a harder sale. An exterminator’s ROI is not going to be the same. And the San Antonio Home and Garden show isn’t cheap, well not by my standards. How many pest control services would one have to perform to recoup the money and time investment?

Weighing Marketing ROI

Don’t buy into the “Branding” concept. Don’t just assume that you have to brand your business and that the ROI can not be determined for every marketing endeavor. The best way to determine ROI is with hard numbers. Find a measuring stick and use it. And work it backwards. How many widgets do I have to sell to break even on a given marketing campaign? Does that number seem feasible with the size and demographics of the audience? When it comes to numbers, my accountant has taught me to error on the side of caution. Be realistic. Look at the worst case scenario. Once you determine how you will measure the success and considered the value at the worst case scenario, then you can proceed and report on the success or failure.

but hey… i am just a pest control guy.

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Interesting read today from Fox news on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  This is something that would effect SEO companies as they are prone to adding links and building blogs to get more traffic.  The FTC has voted to regulate blogging and fine those that are posting product reviews for money.  They believe that these reviews are misleading in that the consumer is unaware if the review is a organic unsolicited review or if the review is paid for by the product company.  Further, many of these sites and reviews sign on as affiliates and receive a commission if the product is bought through their site.

The law will require that bloggers must make it known that they are being paid in a “clear and conspicuous” manner and the law goes into force December 1st, 2009. The law does not require notification for “free” products, meaning if I were to offer you free pest control service in exchange for a review then you are not required to disclose that you are receiving free service. While these regulations may make many bloggers nervous, the FTC says that they intend to target the companies and advertisers.  This actually makes me more nervous as a pest control company.

Let’s say that I am paying an SEO company to build my site and back links.  How can I be sure that the SEO company I hire is adhering to this law?  Who then is responsible, the SEO company or the pest control company?  Further, this law seems very inadequate.  How do you define a “review” of a company or a review of a product?  How will the FTC distinguish between legitimate customers reviewing a product or service versus the paid reviews? And what about blogs that benefit indirectly from their reviews (i.e. Google adsense)?

Or better yet define “clear and conspicuous”. How do I know if this site “clearly and conspicuously” show that I am a Bulwark employee.  Is the facebook profile on the left sufficient or do I need to disclose this in every post?  Beyond that this blog isn’t purely a Bulwark blog, its my own blog and thoughts as well.  Bulwark does not sanction everything written on this blog and I am not really getting paid directly for my content.

Overall, however, I applaud the FTC’s attempt to regulate this gross flood of solicited reviews. It is unfortunate that so many companies and individuals are cashing in on the naive public.  Having worked on the internet for sometime I  spot the propaganda reviews and comments regularly. In fact, there are entire blogs that look like just a single user reviewing everyday products, but in fact are a paid blogger.

As far as I am aware Bulwark has not overstepped these requirements.  But, again, I am unaware of every attempt hired SEO firms have undergone to boost my web presence. Further, I don’t know how they define “clear and conspicuous”.  Hopefully a site that is owned by Bulwark is clear. But, it does sound  like I will need to check in on my SEO team, and I would advise all internet advertisers and business owners to do the same. Don’t get caught with your pants down.

From your Pest Control SEO guy.

This post was not directly paid for by Bulwark Exterminating, however the writter is biased as to which pest control service is the best.