Survey Insight

In November and December 2011 we surveyed directory clients and businesses about their current forms of advertising, business outlook and what they were planning.

Scroll down this page to view results

Overall feedback was  mixed and relied on the economy improving which most experience as being fairly slow. Some businesses are in growth mode looking to expand branches and employ more staff but there is a tentative cautious approach.

We focused much of the survey on types of promotion and business development and let people share their own thoughts in their own words.

There is significant use of online advertising and indications that it was working for  companies. The primary goal was looking for new business and sales rather than brand/business awareness.

The survey also gave us some great insights about the perception of and our position in the industry.

Below are some graphs illustrating the results with a brief commentary.  We have also included some of the written comments below – business identity has been kept confidential.

If you have any comments or questions please place your feedback at the bottom of the page or contact us.

Thank you to everyone who participated (140).


Tim Durrant – Editor / Managing Director


How has business been over the past year?

  • 55% said their business was in a stronger position in December 2011 than it was in December 2010.
  • 23% said business was in a worse position.
  • 23% said business was the same
  • 5% weren’t sure
  • 4% said business was “just”doing better

79% use online directories for advertising and promotion, followed by the printed phone book (58%).  Only 28% utilised newspaper advertising and magazines.  6% of businesses did not do any advertising at all.


Experience of the respondents – forms of advertising that had worked in the past included online as top rated (48%). For one poor respondent nothing has worked – bugger! that could indicate a need for better measurement systems.

The graph above points to a change in the way consumers engage in media and source information. Consumers are now using the internet to research and find businesses and solutions more than ever. You are doing it right now.


The main objectives of advertising was (1) to attract new clients and (2) generate new sales.  This is also’s key objective for its clients.


Social networking:  Just under half of the respondents didn’t have a social networking presence.  12% don’t understand what it is and 14% are planning to.  29% are on Facebook. provides cost effective social networking solutions and can help unravel the mystery and take care of this area of your advertising.


Updating Websites – with online being the strongest advertising tool, only 21% regularly update their site to keep it fresh and relevant.  A much more casual approach is taken with just under half respondents saying “when I get around to it”. 23% didn’t have a website. Our directory listings can be used as a website with a unique domain name directed to it.

From our experience clients that keep their content and stock lists fresh get improved results. Also companies that write regular press releases and news articles get greater exposure and more enquiries.

Understanding online terminology – More than half said they either didn’t understand it or found it confusing. We will look at ways to simplify this for our readers in future documents and written material.


What is the outlook for business in next 12 months?

Respondents wrote in their own words how they thought the next 12 months would be for their business.

High level of uncertainty about what will happen over the next year in the economy . (Oh for a crystal ball.) Many said that an uplift in the economy is required for business to improve. Many also dependent on Christchurch earthquake recovery being on track. But an overall there is  tentative confidence.

A sample of feedback below:

Averaging over 50% growth per annum over the past few years. Unique (nz) visits to our website close to 300% up on last year and 650% on previous year. Feeling pretty confident.

Increased growth through better online presence

More positive in the next 12 months, things definitely picked up since the quietest winter i have ever had

Increasingly positive as Christchurch rebuilds


Good hopefully

Business is curently going very well, and we are contsatantly trying to promote our brand as much as possible

Positive, huge growth

Not very good

If you’d asked me a year ago I’d have said we’d be happy to survive – given the previous two years – but as a result of cutting costs and change of client sector this year has been better than expected

In the next 12 months i’d like to see auckland public sector work coming back – there has been virtually no new tenders for landscape services for 18 months – and other corporate and institutional clients returning to spend money on their property portfolios.

Should be hard work as its been but we envisage an improved turnover and profitability in the next 12 months

The outlook for my business over the next 12 months is a modest 2-5% increase. We have been going backwards for over 2 years. I think that slide is mostly finished now and I predict a levelling off and modest increase.

Things are picking up, but with the global recession likely to hit again who knows…?

We are getting lots of interest at present so without the global fears I feel positive if things continue the way they are

We have a lot of work coming through. nothing big but lots of it

Maybe hire a new person

Looking to upgrade website and uniforms. Also truck signage. Overall busness is looking ok.

We need to assess where our business is heading for the future and look at getting a website. Our business is in contracting, design, maintenance and construction. we are diverse and need to look at the best way of getting our services across.

Very glum

Would like to see increase in sales. this year has been very unusual year with many disruptions and other drains on customers disposable incomes (eg. earthquake, rwc)

And finally some feedback about us

Survey Question: In your own words, what is your perception of and

A sample of feedback below:

A complete service where anyone who is contemplating landscaping can go to your website and find the information or service they require. You also market products and services to trade people.

A data base or organisation to put together suppliers and designers for the landscape industry for clients.

A good site for anybody with a bit of smarts who has a computer. Very informative. I myself gained a new contact thru your trade flyer.

A place to go to search for services etc

A portal for finding businesses across NZ associated with the landscape industry.

An online directory with advertising.

An online service promoting businesses in the gardening/outdoor industry

Do not know it well enough to have firm opinion. But think it is a good concept and gets reasonably well read.

Excellent , seems to generate good enquiries, and is being well used.

Findaplant is available to those in the landscape industry as a plant sourcing agent who can source plants from nurseries throughout the country. Whilst landscapedesign is an online magazine style format providing design, contracting information, recipes, latest innovations in landscaping. Keeping landscape traders abreast of the latest products and services on the market.

Great place for people to locate plants.

I have been happy with the product and service and have not looked elsewhere for other services.

The best know service, quickly comes up on a google search. is comprehensive

I think it is a great tool for those who are IT savvy. My clients have to date been unaware of either.

I think that is a information portal for professionals or home gardeners to source information about products and services throughout the landscaping industry. I haven’t used findaplant but guess it does what the name says!

I think that you are a very professional and informative company. The services you offer are varied and interesting.

I think you have a loyal base of users, but that there is not a widespread awareness of who you are and what you provide

I use landscape to search different aspects relating to my particular work or requests from clients.

Information source for the nursery trade by online news letters with competition from other online agencies.

Informative and regular newsletters. Well positioned for the online user.

Interesting research site targeted at home gardeners and residential garden designers

Landscapedesign- landscape hub with ideas/suggestions for the trade and public. Positioned alongside localist, yellow local, google search etc. Good service for those not inclined to spend time on e commerce.

An online market place for landscapers or people looking to find products for their own projects

Pass on current information, products, new businesses. Offer links to associated businesses and searches for plant suppliers etc

Position in the market i have no idea. services include online ads, promotional email, online showroom/listing etc aimed at mainly landscaping market.

Well positioned for general public searching for a designer. Feel, as a designer, that I need a presence there.

Well positioned in the market

Very good and very professional

You are a dedicated site(s) for trades people and customers looking for quality and value in the landscaping industry. You offer a wealth of contacts and you are also in to internet marketing and are offering assistance to people like me who know that internet and social media networking are a powerful marketing tool when done correctly. You also know that we don’t always have the time to learn how to build a well managed site and are offering a package to do this for us.


Thanks once again to all participants, we look forward to 2012 and beyond! – if you would like an account manager to create a campaign proposal for you please contact us or view our advertiser pages.

 Please leave comments and questions below


2 comments on “Survey Insight

  1. Heather on said:

    Can you please take Peters name off our name for contact . I (Heather Elliott) took over Ace Mondo July 2012.
    Regards Heather

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