Spread the good word about your services with a cleaning business marketing plan that connects you with the people you want to reach.
Today’s marketing landscape is richer than ever, with online media regularly changing the way businesses connect with clients. In some ways, having so many options can make marketing more challenging, or at least more overwhelming. But you don’t have to create a five-year cleaning business marketing plan to be successful. In fact, you don’t need to look any further ahead than the next twelve months.
Now you might be thinking that twelve months is still a long time. After all, business demands change virtually every day. There’s no way to know what the next year will bring, so how can you possibly plan for it?
While it’s true that nothing about the future is guaranteed, basing a cleaning business marketing plan on your goals for the year sets a firm foundation for how to begin, sustain, and adjust your marketing practices. And since your plan is based on business objectives, the logical place to start making that plan is to set those goals.
5 Steps to creating your cleaning business marketing plan
1. Start with the big picture
In The Marketing Plan Handbook, Robert W. Bly says that to create any marketing plan, you have to start with a business goal or goals. From there, you can work backward to establish strategies and resources to meet these aims. But you have to set an annual marketing budget so you know what you’re working with.
Coming up with a budget for your cleaning business marketing plan can be a little overwhelming. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about breaking it up into seasonal or monthly allocations because the commercial cleaning business is fairly consistent all year round. However, you’ll still need to allocate money to the different marketing media you’ll use, such as newspapers, commercials, and social media advertising. But first, you need to know whom you’re trying to reach.
2. Define your audience
For your cleaning business marketing to be successful, you need to understand your target audiences. Are you looking for local businesses only? Are there overlooked places that need cleaning services? Who are the decision makers in these organizations, and what will speak to them?
If you don’t know your audience, then it’s likely that much of your marketing efforts will fall on deaf ears. You’ll probably still land some business, but not as much as you would if you narrowed your focus. You would, for example, pitch your services to an office manager differently than you would to a university administrator. If your message doesn’t connect with your audience, you’re less likely to earn their business.
An important part of making that connection has to do with the channels you choose. Once you know your audience, you can start to evaluate the best avenues through which to reach them.
3. Choosing the most effective media
One of the most challenging components to cleaning business marketing is to decide which advertising media are going to yield the best results. For commercial cleaning, direct mail, for example, is likely to be more effective than an ad in a consumer magazine because it doesn’t get buried deep within other content.
Social media marketing is another increasingly efficient platform for reaching target audiences, thanks to its focus on personal engagement and geographically specific ad serving.
Whatever you decide on, make sure you understand the cost and capabilities of each, so you spend your cleaning business marketing dollars well. Especially if you’re in start-up mode, you’ll be investing a lot of money in marketing. Invest an equal amount of time in doing your homework to figure out which channels are the most lucrative for your business.
4. Setting a timeline
So, you’ve got your marketing budget in place, and you’ve selected the media that will work best for your company. Now it’s time to look at the calendar.
A marketing calendar is a tool you can use to track your campaigns, as well as your budget, actual costs, and in cases where metrics are available, the effectiveness of each campaign. Don’t let these schedules become a daunting component to cleaning business marketing. Again, start at the end. What is your goal with each campaign? Then, where do you need to be by the end of each quarter to reach that target? Finally, what do you need to do to get there?
Keep in mind that even if your business is steady throughout the year, it might make sense to stagger your campaigns so they reach would-be customers at the right time. For example, most companies don’t spend much in the fourth quarter. The first quarter, however, tends to see a flurry of spending as budgets get approved, and as companies look to generate a fresh feel for their business. In such a case, it would make more sense to spend more on marketing in Q4 than in Q1.
5. Stick to it
However you proceed with your marketing plan, the most important thing to remember is to stick to it. Adhere to the calendar and budgets you set, adjust as necessary throughout the year, and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Twelve months later, you’ll find that your discipline and perseverance will pay off.