Opportunity analysis: plant/tool hire 👷

Arguably my favourite part of digital marketing is industry research, so I’ve decided to make a series where I pick different industries and explore the potential I see within them. Here’s our first entry, which I have experience within.

Today I’m looking at the plant and equipment hire industry to recognise the best opportunities, and the worst.

An industry with huge interest, but not a lot of advertisers 🪝

In terms of search interest, it’s surprising how many people are looking for plant & equipment to hire on a monthly basis. Here’s some UK statistics:

  • 18,100 searches for Mini Digger Hire with the lowest first page bid being around £0.31.
  • 12,100 searches for Cherry Picker Hire with the lowest first page bid being around £0.40
  • 14,800 searches for Wacker Plate Hire with the lowest first page bid being around £0.11.
  • 9,900 searches for Cement Mixer Hire with the lowest first page bid being around £0.12.
  • 22,200 searches for Carpet Cleaner Hire with the lowest first page bid being around £0.35.
  • 14,800 searches for Rotavator Hire with the lowest first page bid being around £0.17.

There’s not many industries with so much search interest and such a low CPC. It’s like looking at a plump piñata ready to be popped open.

Why aren’t companies advertising? 😴

In my opinion there’s 3 core reasons why a lot of the bigger opportunities in this industry are not utilised:

  1. Existing businesses have strong client bases and are happy not taking financial risk for growth.
  2. Buying equipment is expensive, there’s a risk of people stealing equipment, and the legal/insurance side can be complicated. This discourages new entrepreneurs.
  3. Many key players in the industry are not educated about the current advertising landscape, so do not appreciate the opportunity.

As you need a lot of money to purchase equipment upfront, it’s quite hard to enter the industry, let alone finding the money to then create effective advertising.

Where do I think there’s potential for innovation? 💡

One opportunity we actually got to explore with a client was plant/equipment online booking. Very simple; you select what you want, say when you want it, pay, provide 2 forms of ID, & you’re good to go.

Overall the reception was very positive, the only issue we had was the client’s pricing. Because the price is transparent and public, you really need to be as competitive as possible to make it work.

Creating the “Uber” of plant/equipment hire could prove to be a very successful brand. Additionally, prioritising buying equipment with high search interest and low advertising costs will allow for quicker growth.

Some brands have created online enquiry systems, but ultimately the ability to fully book the equipment online without having to visit the sales depot would be great. Combine this with a referral system and loyalty rewards for customers… You could be on a winner.

What are a lot of plant/equipment hire companies doing wrong? 👎

One issue I see time after time again with companies in this industry is that they force the customer to go out their way to hire the equipment.

“Come to our depot, create an account with multiple references and your banking information”, etc.

Ultimately the plant/equipment hire industry has a lot of potential. It’s more cost-effective for most people to simply hire high-quality equipment for a day rather than buying it outright. However, most the brands in the space are not using current advertising techniques, which is ultimately hindering the industry’s growth.

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