Sod Solutions Digital Marketing Manager, Joe Bravoco has been with the company for 2.5 years. His skills and experience prior to his current position make him a valuable asset to not only Sod Solutions but also to the sod producers and customers with whom he interacts.
He grew up in Hunterdon County in New Jersey, on the west side of the state near the Delaware River. “I grew up in a rural area, but it was only about an hour from Philadelphia and New York City, so I was able to enjoy going to the different cities as a kid,” Bravoco shared.
He has one brother who is two years older than him that lives in Naples, Florida and his parents still reside in the Northeast. Growing up, Bravoco has fond memories of working with his dad who owned his own landscaping business that focused on regular lawn maintenance and hardscape projects. He remembers running the zero-turn lawn mowers, leaf blowers, large tractors and all the other tools. “One story that always makes me laugh is how I would put a cinderblock on the mower seat because I was too light and the mower would turn off as a safety mechanism,” Bravoco recalled.
Bravoco earned a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing from Montclair State University, a state school just outside of New York City.
“During college, I learned a lot through the normal curriculum. I wound up learning quite a bit more while working various jobs throughout my studies. I had taken on a summer internship my freshman year, and then turned it into a full-time job as a marketing coordinator after that,” he shared.
During his senior year of college, Bravoco took a new position for an ecommerce company where he realized his true interests were in ecommerce and the technology that can help grow ecommerce businesses.
After working there for six years, one of the owners of that company moved to Charleston, SC and Bravoco was given the option to move down to assist with opening a new office. “I jumped at the opportunity and was happy for a change of scenery,” Bravoco said. “I only lived in Charleston for about a year before the company sold to a business in Long Beach, CA. so then I moved there for a year to help integrate the business I was managing to the new company.”
In that role, he was responsible for all operations and some of the company’s big data initiatives for businesses in California. He ended up returning to Charleston to where his girlfriend and now wife, was still living at the time. “I wanted to be closer to her and my family,” he said.
Since he started at Sod Solutions in 2018, he has learned an immense amount about the turfgrass industry and marketing trends. “I really enjoy helping homeowners learn about the benefits of improved turfgrass varieties. I find it very interesting how much research and science goes into each and every grass,” Bravoco said.
He explained that over time, there have been shifts in how customers want to place orders or learn about products.
“If I could offer sod producers advice to help their business, I would suggest it is important to make sure you are able to communicate with your customers the way they want to communicate with you,” he said.
Whether it be a social media message, an online chat or an easy way to purchase products directly from a website, Bravoco said these considerations are vital for business success nowadays.
“Giving options to your customers ensures that you are not missing out on potential sales. For example, our business-to-business portal through Turf Logistics makes life easier for wholesale farms, while our ClickSod Ecommerce allows for farms that sell to retail to have their customers place orders at any time and any day,” he said. He explained sometimes sod farms have negative reviews online due to them not managing their online presence and keeping up with it.
“I enjoy getting to help people. I enjoy helping turfgrass producers learn more about digital marketing and reach their customers through their online presence,” Bravoco said.
He works closely with all of the Turf Logistics ClickSod sites that are built for turfgrass producers. Web Developer, Tod Cribb, and Bravoco collaborate to ensure sites are properly set up for maximum exposure on Google Search Results Pages. They take meta titles and descriptions of web pages into consideration, and then take things to an advanced level such as properly structuring the site for responsiveness on mobile or tablet devices. They also make sure to put enough content on each page to make sure that it performs well on Google. Bravoco anticipates more shifts to technology-driven solutions in the sod industry over the next 5-10 years.
“There already have been many, but I think we’ll continue to see customers demand more frictionless interactions with sod farms and advancements in field/harvest management. Regarding the frictionless interactions, I think that includes the ability to accept online orders or have professionals enter in orders in a portal of some sort. With field and harvest management, I think there will be more advanced tools around satellite imagery that can help detect disease or drought stress or other stressors that will then help farmers manage their fields and provide the right inputs for their fields to maintain proper quality while being able to potentially reduce costs on inputs,” he said.
Bravoco and his wife Olivia are happily married and live in Mount Pleasant with their dog, Rosie and cat, Mia. On May 13, they welcomed their baby boy, Nicolas David Bravoco into the world two weeks early. They are ecstatic to have a new addition to their family.
In his spare time, Bravoco enjoys going to local county parks and the beach, going for bike rides and traveling (prior to COVID). “I am excited to get back out there soon.” Over the past year of homeownership, he has taken on a number of projects around the house and made good relationships with his neighbors.
“We are fortunate to have Joe on our team. He is a reliable, hard worker and a great asset to Sod Solutions. I look forward to how he will help us grow and advance our marketing services within the turfgrass industry,” Chief Technical Officer Drew Wagner commented.
If you have marketing needs or concerns for your sod farm, Bravoco can be reached at [email protected].
This article was written by Cecilia Brown.