Approach Marketing with a Goal in MindClick to View on Medium.com
Prioritizing growth is difficult when the demands of operating a dry cleaner take up so much time and energy. After dealing with broken machines, unreliable employees, and demanding customers, who has time to think about marketing?
But growth will not happen on its own, and as Bobby Unser advised, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” In marketing, preparation means first determining your goals and then the strategies for achieving those goals. Do you want to get new customers? Keep your old customers happy? Shout from the rooftops how great your service is? Below we discuss three categories of marketing through the lens of which of these goals they aim to achieve.
The Goal Determines The Method
Your marketing can be divided into three categories based on your goal: (1) customer acquisition, (2) customer retention and (3) earned exposure.
Acquisition Marketing targets prospective customers that do not yet know your business. The goals of acquisition marketing are to (1) inform the prospect that your service exists, (2) persuade the prospect that your service is of a high quality and reasonable price, (3) and instruct and guide the prospect on how to find and use your service. For cleaners, acquisition campaigns include door-to-door sales, direct mail campaigns, and digital marketing such as Google Adwords or Facebook Display Ads.
The most important consideration for acquisition marketing is how much it costs to inform, persuade, and guide each new customer to use your service. Thus, the key metric for this type of marketing is Customer Acquisition Cost, which is determined by dividing the cost of the campaign by the number of customers acquired.
While door-to-door sales give marketers the best access to the prospective customers, labor costs can drive up the overall cost of acquisition to as high as $120–$150. The beauty of digital marketing is that it can inform and persuade prospects at a much lower cost — especially when that customer is guided directly to your service through mobile and web ordering portal. A well-run digital marketing campaign can drive customer acquisition costs down to $40-$60.
Retention Marketing targets your existing customers that are familiar with your service but need encouragement to actively engage with your brand. This type of marketing focuses on driving more usage from you current customers, and so the key metric is Revenue Per Customer. Persuading existing customers to fully utilize your services — to clean unique items, use another distribution channel such as delivery, or take advantage of timely promotions — is much less expensive than new customer acquisition.
The key tool for retention marketing is email. Indeed, think about the cost of sending an email compared to hiring a salesperson, hanging door tags, or even sending physical mail. And the added benefit of retention marketing through email and other digital mean is “virality”: your loyal customers can instantly pass on promotions and other valuable information about your business to their contacts.
Earned Exposure (or “PR”) targets a broader market in an attempt to get the word out about your business. PR is the “great work if you can get it” marketing channel: it’s challenging for cleaners to achieve, but it can yield great returns. When organizations such as newspapers or television channels promote your business for the newsworthiness of the story, it’s basically free advertising. Earned exposure requires something of interest to the general public: an interesting business story such as your centennial or generational experience, debuting a novel service or product, or cross-promoting an charitable initiative with another local business.
Let’s Get Started
Once you define your goals, you are ready to put together a plan for action. In upcoming posts, we will discuss the marketing tools to use, customers to target, and how to measure success. Starchup works to determine and achieve the marketing goals of all of our cleaners and drive growth in each of these categories.