By Joel Jorgensen | Jun 15, 2009
Through the sensible use of marketing, advertising and public relations, large and small companies can effectively boost profits and build clientele in the midst of a tough economy. The same holds true for self-service laundries that offer equipment and services fit to promote. Does yours?
Lately, the vigor of our economy has slowed, and with it, so has advertising. But companies with smart leaders at their helms continue to market products and services, even though their competitors aren’t.
By maintaining advertising during a bad economy, experts believe companies can capture more market share. No matter what, advertising that effectively saturates a company’s target market produces public awareness, credibility, brand recognition and sales. In the end, a self-service laundry that advertises consistently will enjoy measurable results – more clients, more revenue, more profits.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study on this point years ago. It found that the higher share of voice a company has – the total of all communications targeted to a specific market – the greater its awareness, sales and market share. Finally, as market share increases, so do profits.
Getting the word out about your laundry’s unique services, equipment and specials is critical to building business – and gaining market share – during a weak economy. Consider getting the word out about the following:
• Special pricing programs or time of day specials.
• Monthly raffles and giveaways.
• Services such as wash-dry-fold, drop-off drycleaning and commercial accounts.
• Equipment that’s better, more efficient, unique and benefits the consumer.
• Expanded hours of operation.
Remember, your advertising efforts don’t have to break the bank, but they should be ongoing. Here are a few ideas to consider:
• Flyers: Print flyers and distribute them within a 10-mile radius of your store. Do this regularly.
• Radio: Radio spots can be targeted to reach your desired market and they are really quite affordable. Radio stations will develop them at no additional cost to you and air them at predetermined times of the day to best reach your desired audience. Plus, ads that are heard via radio or television are better remembered than print-only ads.
• Cable Television: Cable TV marketing is effective target marketing that can be surprisingly affordable to produce and run on a per-spot basis. Contact your local cable provider for ideas and pricing details.
• Piggy Back: By sharing ad space and costs with a business located near you, you both benefit and spend less.
• Print: Newspaper ads detailing services and specials help keep store top-of-mind.
• Direct Mail: Quarterly mailers are one of the most effective means for reaching a target market.
• Web Site: Develop a Web site on your laundry – include photos and information on your equipment, services and promotions.
• E-mail Blasts: Don’t be surprised, most of your customers have e-mail because it is the easiest and most affordable way to communicate with family/friends/business associates in other countries and time zones. Use this relatively “free” medium to communicate your specials to a target group.
While gleaning results from advertising may take a few months, it will come so long as your consistent message is reaching your desired audience. Repetition/frequency of your message will help your audience remember your store first, over others. And, that’s exactly what you want.