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[Case Study] Clever Communication

Features - Business Strategy

Ever wonder exactly what your pest management firm can get out of improving its Web presence? Ever wonder exactly what your pest management firm can get out of improving its Web presence?

Christine Brazell | November 16, 2009

Arizona Pest Control Company, based in Tucson, Ariz., combines online and traditional marketing strategies to create effective marketing campaigns. Caleb Tennenbaum, the company’s Internet marketing director, recently talked to PCT about several examples the company is using to effectively market to the online community.

With the launch of its new Web site (www.azpest.com), Arizona Pest Control initiated several fun and creative tactics to engage online prospects and keep current customers returning for information.

  • Every Sunday, the company posts five customer account numbers on its blog that will win free pest control services when they reply within a designated timeframe. The blog (www.azpest.com/blog) also includes insect pictures, industry news, helpful pest control tips, funny stuff and gives the company’s two cents where they deem appropriate, as well as links to other pest control resources. If you want to LOL (laugh out loud), scroll down the blog and click to play the video about "The $50,000 Cockroach!"
  • An interactive cockroach also lurks on the site. It appears frequently on the company’s Web pages and if a viewer clicks on it, and successfully squashes it, he or she receives a free "Squashed it" t-shirt in the mail.
  • The site contains a "Click to Call" button where prospects and customers can click on the button, enter a phone number and an Arizona Pest Control representative will initiate a call.
  • Customers who provide feedback on various local online review sites were entered to win tickets to the Arizona Wildcats football team’s home opener.
  • The firm recently posted a video clip showing actress Mary-Louise Parker on "Late Night with David Letterman." Parker talked about a recent bed bug incident. After, Letterman showed a picture of a bed bug and then went on to talk about how he spent the weekend sick due to a tick bite.

Numbers don’t lie. According to Tennenbaum, Arizona Pest Control’s social media campaign has been incredibly effective — increasing its Web traffic by 800 percent compared to the fall of 2008.

"We receive 80 percent more leads on our Web site than before the social media campaign," Tennenbaum says.

Check out these statistics that illustrate the campaign’s success:

  • The company began a Twitter campaign in late March and has nearly 1,000 followers, most of them from the Tucson metro area.
  • In June, one of the company’s busiest months, its Web site had nearly 2,500 unique visitors. The site had only 220 total visitors during that month in 2008.
  • During August, the Web site had more than 500 hits from Google alone and had 1,500 unique visitors. In August of 2008, the site had just 130 visitors.

The right stuff. Arizona Pest Control Company is doing all the right things to engage prospects, according to results from a research study, the "Future Consumer" conducted by Capgemini, a provider of consulting, outsourcing and technology services for various industries. Although the study and resulting report, written by Kees Jacobs, Loes Heinemans and Priscilla Donegan, focused on consumer products’ categories related to food, health and personal care, electronics and more, pest management professionals can learn from six of the study’s conclusions.

  1. Establish and maintain a true two-way dialogue with individual consumers. Arizona Pest Control is not just talking pests, but also about what they know interests their target audience — Arizona Wildcats football. The company responds personally to prospect and customer comments to involve them in dialog that’s relevant to customers and brings them value. The company takes an authentic, somewhat humble approach that tends to gain consumer trust, and ultimately, build loyalty.
  2. Improve your face to the shopper. In addition to revamping the company Web site, Tennenbaum plans frequent changes to maintain ongoing dialog and interest.
  3. Take advantage of emerging technologies. Arizona Pest Control is there, plans to stay there and keep on keepin’ on.
  4. Be transparent in your information management. Consumers appreciate companies that can accurately provide relevant information how and when they need it while at the same time are researching their purchase options across various channels — and they expect this information to be readily available, adequate and consistent. Arizona Pest Control is also branching out into social media networks and has created accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, YouTube and Stumble Upon.
  5. Manage customer information effectively. The Capgemini research shows that consumers are willing to share information — as long as they can trust that this information is being treated in a respectful manner and is translated into relevant offerings and promotions, fully in accordance with consumers’ wishes and needs.
  6. Be open to new ways of working — driven by consumers. Consumers appreciate the value of innovation and they are increasingly willing to take an active part in this process. Make sure that your solution and product development is driven by true consumer needs.

To see some of Arizona Pest Control’s online initiatives in action, visit www.facebook.com/azpest and www.twitter.com/azpest, as well as the company’s blog, www.azpest.com/blog.