Perhaps you have encountered a new term in Rosewood’s literature: “marketing guide”. Perhaps you have wondered…What exactly is a Marketing Guide? Can I have confidence  someone outside my industry will really understand my needs—even if they are a “professional”? Is this just another “unnecessary cost” associated with marketing? Is this of any value to me, since my business is doing “half decent” without outside input?

Benuel, the owner of Stoltzfus Forest Products, had been reading Rosewood’s marketing articles in the Plain Community Business Exchange for a year or two. Fascinated by their work, he wondered if Rosewood could help his business. Though certain parts of the business were growing, Benuel knew there were weak spots that could be strengthened. 

Benuel decided to take the plunge. He called Rosewood, scheduled a consultation, and, six months later, he was walking through their front doors. He wasn’t interested in getting too involved with the marketing side of things, so the first consultation was limited to looking at a few projects he wanted to complete and a discussion about the pain points in their customer acquisition. 

Out of that came a successful sawdust ad and a multi-ad campaign. The company logo and colors were also updated and applied consistently across Stoltzfus Forest Products’ printed materials for an improved brand presentation. Benuel was amazed at the positive marketplace response. 

Developing a Strategy Through Coaching

Over the next several months, Benuel continued to work with the Rosewood team on small projects. The successful results were continuing, but he knew there were some bigger unsolved issues in his marketing. When he had first come to Rosewood, he thought a Trunk Marketing Consultation— a process Rosewood uses to develop overall strategy and apply that to your branding, messaging, and marketing plan— was overkill, but now the value of a Trunk Marketing Consultation was clear. 

Luke, a Rosewood Marketing Guide and Strategy Coach, led the journey through the Trunk Marketing Consultation, discovering that the primary challenge to the identified goals was in the Stoltzfus Forest Products’ timber harvest sales process. Together with Benuel and Stoltzfus Forest Products’ lead forester, they developed a plan with multiple initiatives over a several months period to better educate the land owners, communicate value, nurture deeper engagement, and consistently deliver outstanding results in timber harvest.  Here is a look at the journey:

Identified Key Items

They identified Stoltzfus Forest Products’s pain points, competition, ideal customer, and their industry trends. 

Created SMART goals for the marketing development

They set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound) goals to clarify exactly what they wanted to achieve. SMART goals are also measurable over time so they could track progress. 

Created a Tool to Increase Close Rate

They created a tool to increase their close rate on securing log contracts from private landowners for their standing timber. Although the initiative is not fully implemented, the close rate is already improving!

Created Customer Educational Tools

They devised a series of initiatives to educate customers on the value Stoltzfus Forest Products offers. At this time, the materials are almost ready for press and include: a “Harvest Success Guide” about the Stoltzfus Forest Products process, an educational brochure on tree harvest, a follow up postcard, a free voucher for select Stoltzfus Forest products, a Payday questionnaire, and a thank you card. 

Created Logger Educational Plan

They created a plan for continuing education and in-house certification for Stoltzfus Forest loggers to be outstanding in both harvest practices and land owner relations, since they interact a lot with the customer.  

Moving Forward with Monthly Meetings

Currently, Luke and Benuel have a phone meeting once a month. (Considering the distance between Luke’s remote working location in New Mexico and Lancaster, PA, it’s the most practical way to do meetings.) Throughout the month, they keep a running list of items to discuss at the next meeting. 

Strategy items might include:

  • Content planning for the next logger training day
  • An advertising venue idea Benuel has been thinking about
  • A new ad message idea

Logistical items might include:

  • Project progress
  • Details needed
  • People to connect with

When a Rosewood project manager will be involved in moving the item forward, Luke schedules them to be in the meeting as well. 

Following the monthly meeting, Luke sends a call report with a list of action items, decisions, and ideas for the future. The action items begin with the name of the person responsible in bold and include agreed upon action and the due date for the action. This ensures that everyone has a record of expectations and that projects are moving forward in a timely manner. 

Once a year, The Rosewood team and the Stoltzfus Forest Products team reevaluate and reset the plan for the following year. 

  • They reflect on projects and their effectiveness and progress made towards their SMART goals. 
  • They identify new pain points blocking the next level of growth. 
  • They agree on new SMART goals and an updated marketing budget

Do You Need a Marketing Guide? 

Benuel loves having a marketing guide that he can connect with between meetings—getting feedback on marketing questions, ideas, or challenges from a marketing professional. In addition, his relationship with Rosewood has been a  ticket to more free time in his schedule for focusing on the work that he does best. 

“I had this hunger to learn more and get a marketing plan together with someone professional to help me. It’s a good feeling to me to have that accountability—to have a marketing guide that can give direction. Luke is part of our team. He feels like one of us. I’ve learned that marketing properly is a big part of a company’s success.” -Benuel Stoltzfus, Stoltzfus Forest Products

Are you ready to experience the confidence of having a marketing professional who shares your values walk beside you in your business leadership? Get in touch with Rosewood Marketing today. 

About the Author: Sharla Plett is a copywriter at Rosewood Marketing. She enjoys interaction with clients and learning about many varying subjects as she writes about them. Contact Sharla at sharla@rosewood.us.com