CHANCES ARE, AT SOME POINT you’ve had some exposure to the industry initiative of proclaiming July as Smart Irrigation Month. It is an industry campaign to increase public awareness about the value of water-use efficiency and grow demand for water-saving products, practices and services.

Smart Irrigation Month is focused on all categories of irrigation water uses—from agriculture and turf/landscape to golf applications. Why July? July is traditionally the month of peak water demand for lawns, gardens and landscapes in North America. During the month of July, homeowners typically over-water lawns and landscapes by up to 30 percent.

The idea of Smart Irrigation Month began back in 2005 and has been gaining traction ever since. As of today, more than 27 states have been petitioned to proclaim July as Smart Irrigation Month, and more than 28 different companies have participated in the Smart Irrigation Month Marketing Contest since 2010.

The question is, what are you or your company doing to participate? Are you aware that the Irrigation Association has a Smart Irrigation Month Marketing Contest, one where your company can gain industry notoriety and help position it as a leader in your market and with your customers?

Why not make this the year that your company joins the effort? Whether your company is large or small, a manufacturer, dealer, distributor or contractor, or focused on landscape, agriculture or golf, it’s easy to be smart.

Join the effort with other irrigation companies and professionals to educate customers about efficient water use; grow demand for water-saving technologies, products and services; provide real solutions for today’s water challenges; and position your company as a leader in smart water-saving practices.

Whether you are just looking to add the Smart Irrigation Month logo to your website, get your state or town to proclaim July as Smart Irrigation Month, or looking to assemble a full blown integrated marketing campaign, the Irrigation Association has a wide offering of online resources to assist with your efforts. There is even a webinar explaining how to run a winning campaign, and also several videos of past marketing contest winners explaining their campaigns in detail, so you can see what other successful companies have done.

Not only is promoting Smart Irrigation Month good for your business by positioning your company and services as efficient and cutting edge to your customers and community, the Smart Irrigation Month Marketing Contest is a great way to bring national, industry-wide attention to your company.

Creating a Smart campaign for your company can be a fun project and great way to get all of your employees together and engaged. If your company enters, your efforts will be recognized and you’ll receive much more than just an award.

All contest participants will be recognized:

•At the Smart Irrigation Month Idea Gallery at the Irrigation Show

•On the IA and Smart Irrigation Month websites

•In the Irrigation Show Guide, distributed onsite to all attendees and exhibitors.

Winners will be:

•Recognized at the general session of the Irrigation Show

•Showcased at the Smart Irrigation Month Idea Gallery and briefing at the show

•Highlighted on the IA and Smart Irrigation Month websites

•Featured in an article in IA Times, IA’s monthly e-newsletter •Profiled in free publicity to industry media.

With spring in full swing, the height of the irrigation season is just around the corner. Hopefully, you have your business plan in place and are ready to take advantage of what appears to be an improving economy. Now is the time to act and assemble a marketing plan to participate in promoting Smart Irrigation Month and help position your company as an industry leader with your customers and in your community. Gather your “Smart” team together, come up with a plan and get involved. It is not too late to start today!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Troy Leezy is the marketing manager at Hunter Industries, co-vice chair of the Irrigation Association’s Smart Irrigation Month Committee and a Certified Irrigation Designer, Water Auditor and Landscape Water Manager.