Vermeer Corporation is the manufacturer of one of the toughest yellow iron seen on industrial jobsites around the world. Customers look to Vermeer, to find innovative products for niche markets to help them get their tough work done. With every hole drilled, tree chipped, bale rolled and rock crushed, their customers are doing more.


The Situation

Vermeer® launched their new D40x55DR S3 Navigator® horizontal directional drill (HDD), which specializes in drilling in rocky ground conditions, during a major trade show year in 2017. After the launch, Vermeer presented an exciting challenge for the Lessing-Flynn (LF) team: How do we to keep the hype going for the new drill now that the trade show season has ended?


Knowing the key goal was to promote awareness and boost equipment sales for a new-to-market machine, LF and Vermeer worked to execute a series of road show-style events hosted by local Vermeer dealerships to put the D40x55DR S3 HDD in front of as many existing and potential customers as possible.


The Solution

As an ongoing strategic partner for Vermeer, we know in the world of construction and utility equipment the average path to purchase could take as long as eighteen months. This timeline means Vermeer needs to reach potential customers at just the right time and then stick with them along their purchase journey.


The road show event series would provide crucial exposure for the D40x55DR S3 HDD using a series of four events over the course of five weeks. Locations with rocky ground conditions were selected to host the events to help showcase the capabilities of the new drill and appeal to the local contractors who work in those conditions every day. The Rock the Iron theme, provided a fun way to incorporate a creative tie to the rocky conditions that the new drill specializes in.


At-Show Experience

Each Vermeer dealership hosting a Rock the Iron Road Show event invited current and potential customers to attend. Events were hosted either in the morning with a catered breakfast or lunch or in the afternoon, followed by a happy hour reception. LF created custom landing pages, a library of promotion materials and a hype video for each dealership to promote their event. Vermeer team members were on-hand to host presentations and machine walk-arounds as well as facilitate customer demos of the machine. A DJ was hired for each event to play music to enhance the rock band theme. At the end, attendees were given custom-branded Vermeer swag to take home including a soft-side cooler, growler, drink koozie, hat and t-shirt.


At-Home Experience

To bring the road show experience to those who could not attend, Vermeer and LF worked together to create a series of recap videos for each show location that highlighted a different competitive advantage of the Vermeer D40x55DR S3 HDD. Each video was shared on social media channels and posted to the custom landing page. For those not located near one of the locations, a contest was hosted to give away a trip for two to attend one of the road show stops. At the conclusion of the road show, targeted, media placements were purchased with industry publications to send custom e-newsletters, articles and recap videos.


The Results

A total of more than 250 people attended the Rock the Iron Road Show events. Six videos were created and posted to social channels garnering a reach of more than 104,900 people with more than 170,000 video views and over 9,400 post engagements. The custom landing page also received over 5,000 total views that converted traffic with event RSVPs or drove them to the D40x55DR S3 HDD equipment page on