Why Marketing Your Laundry Business is Only Going to Get Better
The world has changed quite a bit over the last three decades.
Heck, it has changed a lot just in 2020 alone. But let’s not go into that here.
If you were to take a time machine back to 1990, you wouldn’t be able to find anyone who could have predicted smartphones, the omnipresence of the internet, or the fundamental changes to how businesses find and interact with their customers. Given that, we certainly owe a lot of brilliant people a huge thanks for the progress they’ve enabled us all to make within the last 30 years.
However, we’re past all of that now. We know that mobile-first companies can succeed. We also know that honest, open communication and customer-first thinking are the keys to success. What we don’t know is… what’s next for marketing? Not even me – and this is what I do for a living!
But don’t let that dishearten or scare you. After all, not knowing the “next big thing” isn’t a weakness – it’s simply part of being human. Yet, with all of that said, I still have a few predictions with regard to marketing in the laundromat industry over the next few years – and it’s all good news.
The future of digital marketing in the vended laundry industry most likely will be no different than it is now, but it boasts the infinite potential to be even better. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the reasons why and how marketing will improve in the coming days, and hopefully you’ll see that your business’ future is quite bright as well.
Enhanced Geographic Targeting
Finding new customers in the laundromat business has always required store owners to discover inventive ways to get in front of their local audiences. In years past, this often meant newspaper advertisements, local mailers, Little League sponsorships, and the occasional local TV or radio ad spot. Of course, those can still be viable methods of promoting your store, but the web has provided a lot of nuance and added potential for laundromat owners to more robustly and effectively market to potential customers locally.
The perfect example of this is Facebook. Although organic engagement has diminished since the early 2010s, Facebook still boasts a user base consisting of 81 percent of the adult population within the United States. With options like geotargeted ads, improved chatbots and easy integrations with automation tools, it’s hard to not see Facebook as a solid start for any laundromat’s local marketing efforts.
And, in recent years, an even clearer winner for geography-specific marketing has been Google My Business. These listings are tied to Google’s “Local Pack” results, which often show up above their SERPs rankings. With the data showing that 88 percent of local customers start their searches on Google, it’s easy to see why this element of your marketing is more important than ever. An optimized Google listing can be worth its weight in dirty laundry 100 times over.
Improved Tools and Data
Another way the laundromat industry – and how we market it – are improving can be found in the tools and data we have at our disposal. From a marketing standpoint, there are dozens of these tools that any small business can utilize in any of the following categories:
- Mobile marketing and apps
- Digital advertising
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Optimization, testing and personalization
- Search and social advertising
- Print ads
- Call analytics
- Events, online meetings and webinars
- Loyalty and advocacy programs
- Review platforms
- Chat and conversational marketing
- Ecommerce marketing
- Marketing analytics and data visualization
- Cloud integrations
- Agile/Lean management techniques
- Workflow and collaboration tools
- Budgeting and finance tools
And, to be perfectly honest, my list above is probably missing a few great marketing tools that are escaping me at the moment. However, my point is that we have more access than ever to tools that can help us understand our businesses and customers, as well as how those customers may choose to interact with us.
That kind of knowledge is powerful and immeasurably beneficial. I highly recommend finding what works for your laundromat business sooner rather than later. Even starting with something simple like generating customer emails or phone numbers is a great start – and, believe me, your success will just grow from that point on.
Stronger Within Our Communities
Last but definitely not least, the laundromat industry has become an even more integral part of the communities it serves all over the world. If it has done nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to us all that people will always need clean clothes and linens – and that they will always require the services of modern, high-quality laundromat businesses, even in the most severe and dire times.
The last several months also have shown us that, as an industry, we play a unique role within our communities as a communal hub and gathering place where residents of these neighborhoods can connect. In fact, a laundry-owner friend of mine recently shared a story of two of his customers who have been using their regular trip to the laundromat as an excuse to catch up with each other, while social distancing. Yes, these two people could have gone to a park or anywhere else, but instead they have chosen to regularly connect with each other during these crazy times over the universal need for clean clothes.
It’s a simple story, but a powerful truth. If laundry businesses can continue to be better for the people they serve, these essential businesses will continue to thrive, no matter what’s next to come down the pipe.
Here’s what I don’t want you to think from all of this – that what I’m saying is nothing new will ever come along. That’s not it. There will always be something new and fresh that can potentially disrupt the status quo – and, yes, something will almost certainly come one day. It may not be our lifetimes, but none of us can stop the future.
What I am truly saying is that nothing meteoric, like the internet, is on the radar at the moment. So, focus your efforts on being a better business that’s built on solid practices, the best tools and a customer-first attitude. We can all help to create the future of the laundromat industry by focusing on improving upon our strengths.
So let’s get to it!