What’s Your Marketing Strategy?

If I took some of my smaller contract cleaning clients with me to visit the marketing department of one of North America’s premier contract cleaning companies, what they would soon learn is that these companies have a well-planned, well-thought-out marketing strategy. Further, this strategy is fluid. The program in place a few years back is not necessarily the program they have today.

A strategic marketing plan allows small- to medium-sized cleaning companies to concentrate their limited resources in the most effective ways to increase sales and achieve a sustainable marketing advantage over their competitors.  According to a 2016 study of small businesses in South Africa, published by the University of South Africa:

Substantial evidence shows that strategic marketing planning leads to increased small business performance, yet most small business owners do not draw up a plan for their businesses.  Higher performing small companies give a higher priority to marketing [and are] sales- or production-oriented. The higher performing small business is more aware of strategic [marketing] tools. They compete with value-added products [and services] and good buyer-seller relationships.

If this is the case, how can small- and medium-sized cleaning contractors develop an effective marketing strategy?  Here are some of the first steps to take:

Describe your company’s unique selling proposition.  This might be the most challenging step in the process, but it is also one of the most important if not the most important.  A unique selling proposition can be defined as a factor or characteristic that sets your business apart from other cleaning contractors.  In a sense, we’ve talked about this before.  What are the unique features you offer your clients that will benefit them?  Do most of your customers grapple with a similar challenge, such as the contractor not providing adequate custodial supervision?  What are their pain points? Not responding to messages quickly is a common pain point for many customers.

Define your market.  One cleaning contractor in Atlanta defines her market as all businesses in a 10-mile radius of her home.  If you are familiar with Atlanta traffic, then you know why she does this.  However, a target market would normally involve focusing on certain types of industries or types of facilities like schools, medical, and so on.

Write down the benefits your company brings to the table. If you don’t know them, how can you expect your prospect to know them?  Moreover, remember, a feature is not a benefit. A feature is an attribute or characteristic of your business.  A benefit is how that attribute or characteristic will help the prospect.

Define your marketing methods.  In some of our blog postings, we have defined some ways to market your services effectively and some marketing strategies to avoid.  Expect more to be coming.  However, this step –  define your marketing methods – requires you to list what concrete steps you plan to take.  Will you advertise on Google or other forms of Internet marketing? Are you writing a column for a publication?  Content marketing?  Whatever the strategy or groups of strategy, decide on how you plan to carry out your marketing strategy.For hands-on consulting to help you build your business, contact Ron at 650-315-8933