PLANET Survey Highlights What Matters Most to Consumers

A recent survey conducted for PLANET by Harris Interactive shows that price and quality matter most to homeowners, and word of mouth is still the king of marketing.

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Word of mouth is still king, according to a recent survey conducted for PLANET by Harris Interactive. When asked where they turn for professional help with their yards, more than half (53%) of the homeowners who responded said they would rely on personal referrals while another 27% would take their search online. The phone book and online reviews came in third and fourth respectively.

Non-phonebook advertising, company articles, and contact from companies and national/state landscape/nursery associations rounded out the choices.

The survey sought to understand homeowner attitudes and perceptions about their landscapes. It was conducted online December 11-13 and asked U.S. adults ages 18 and older several key questions. Their responses indicated that homeowners are more likely to cite showing pride in their homes as the chief reason to maintain or improve their yard. Creating an outdoor relaxing space and raising or protecting their property value was also a top priority for them. When it comes to what the yard is used for, relaxing rose to the top, followed by planting flowers/vegetables and spending time with the family.

3 most important traits in a landscape professional

Homeowners were asked to select the three most important traits/aspects they would look for when selecting a landscape professional. Of eight listed, price (at 69%) and quality of work (at 68%) were definite winners, followed by customer service (35%) and references/recommendation (33%).

Being professionally licensed/certified (at 26%), services offered (19%), sustainable practices (9%), and the image/look of the company and its employees (6%) were the other choices.

With price and quality of work in a virtual tie, landscape professionals were asked by responders to keep prices down while still delivering top-quality work. The relatively low importance of image might be a reflection of the industry’s successful emphasis on look and appearance over the last several years. Minimal interest in sustainable practices is likely because of the geographic nature of the service offering’s popularity.

Homeowner demographics

Of the 2,893 consumers surveyed, 88% owned a yard or landscape.

  • Roughly 94% of those with yards/landscapes had a child in the household
  • 91% were over the age of 55
  • Of those without a yard or landscape, nearly 20% were women, ages 18-34
  • 21% were single

When asked to rate the importance of the upkeep and care of their yards/landscapes:

  • 81% rated it as important (6-10 on a 10-point scale), compared to just 9% who rated it as unimportant (1-3 on a 10-point scale)
  • Women over the age of 55, retired homeowners and college graduates were among those who placed a high value on care and upkeep
  • Roughly 18% of men ages 18-34, 23% of students and 17% of those earning less than $35,000 felt less inclined to care for their yards and landscapes