Keeping your laundry business on the top of the minds of your regular customers and prospects on a regular basis is very important. We advise our clients to create a “Street Fighter Marketing Calendar” to help them plan and organize promotional efforts throughout the year.
Here’s what we recommend:
• Get a large “year-at-a-glance” type of calendar.
Select a calendar where the space for each day of the month is large enough to write enough details about each promotional idea. Also, get the kind that works with erasable markers, so you can make changes easily. Use this calendar for outlining your promotional year.
• Get a “month-at-a-glance” type of calendar.
This calendar will allow for more detail and will focus on the implementation elements of each promotion outlined in your yearly calendar. Types of implementation may include the details involved in mailing postcards, newsletters, brochures, samples, phone calls, visits, promotions, sales, or participating in industry or community events. It’s all part of the planning stage. The other part is the implementation. A specific time should be allocated for making your marketing ideas come to life.
• Develop an idea bank.
As you get organized and create your calendar of events, list marketing ideas that you can use throughout the year. Start with the events or holidays that are paramount to your coin laundry business. For example, businesses selling flowers, candy, jewelry and cards need to prepare far in advance of Valentine’s Day. If you know that the peak purchasing time leading up to February 14 starts in late January, you need to have your plan together two to three weeks before you want your advertising to hit.
• Make impact every four to six weeks.
Supplement those key marketing event windows with additional promotions so that you are consistently on the minds of your customers every four to six weeks. For example, the Speakers Bureau provides a key client list for us. To this key list of about 350 account executives, during the next six months, we’ll mail several postcards, a video CD-ROM and our new book; plus, we’ll make individual phone calls.
• Create your customer hit list.
Prioritize your customer list. Some you’ll want to contact every time, while others may only warrant a few efforts annually. In our case, we know that about half of our Speakers Bureau list have never booked us, therefore, they won’t be getting the new book, which is a more expensive promotional effort for us.
• Evaluate and modify.
Remember, nothing is set in stone. If something is not working, be flexible enough to modify your calendar to make it work for you and your specific self-service laundry business.
(Jeff and Marc Slutsky will present their “Street Fighter Marketing” strategies at the next Illinois Coin Laundry Association meeting, to be held August 19 in Rosemont, Ill. For details about this upcoming event or to reserve your space, call Karl Keefer at (630) 327-9329, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)