It doesn’t matter whether you run a single operator business, a husband and wife partnership or a corporate “multi” operator organisation, if you are to prosper in Pest Management it is vital to have a marketing plan to ensure you’re focussed on retaining current business, as well as targeting future opportunities. Although time and resource constraints mean it is tempting to manage your marketing “on the fly”, your marketing plan should be a planned document, not just scribbled on a beercoaster or left tomemory. Taking your business to the next level requires preparing a written marketing action plan, and following through on yourstrategy.
Remember, that your customers and their needs change rapidly, so a marketing plan must be treated as a fluid, dynamic road map that you review and amend regularly. This will keep your ideas fresh, and ensure you keep in step with your market’s needs! Remember to listen to,and where appropriate, adopt your customers’ views to ensure that your marketing is in line with their expectations.
The best way to begin and manage a marketing plan is to think of it as a way to solve problems like generating awareness and improving credibility. Treat it as a way to solve lead generation problems before they arise. Here are some suggestions:
Strategise regularly. Formulate and reviewyour “strategy-driven” marketing plan regularly. Successful organisations often assess and reset regularly. Marketing plays a massive role in successful business ventures, yet its systematic implementation is ignored by many businesses. Documenthow you are going to do the important things, such as:
· Generate leads
· Build awareness of the services you can provide, and how well you do them
· Improve the image and perception of your business to both current and prospective customers, and to your own team. Use your plan to get “buy in” and input from your team. You may be surprised what they can add…
Be targeted. Many people get excited by theend point of marketing – for instance, things like newspaper ads, newsletters, logos and giveaways,but they don’t have a specific outcome in mind. These campaigns must be contained within an action plan, with a specific goal in mind and an understanding of your own operation. For example, if you run a successful, targeted ad campaign in a specific area, and the phones start ringing, are you sure that you and your team are able to efficiently service these new customers, while still providing your existing customers with the service they expect? Are the services you are promoting actually required in this area?Are your team ‘trained up’ in the areas required to turn prospects in to customers, and are your technicians able to perform their tasks as expected?Your marketing is needed to add to your business, not spread you too thin!
What should you include? The first step of a marketing plan is to understand EXACTLY what product or service you intend to market. Analyse your strengths, competitive advantages and your weaknesses. By addressing the following issues, a marketing ‘profile’ will become apparent. These items include:
–Position Statement: The niche the product or service is intended to occupy
–Description: State exactly what you want to provide to your customers. If you don’t know, they certainly won’t!
–Pricing: Do you include pricing? Address important drivers such as discounting. Discounting is far too often used to ‘chase’ business. Don’t sell your profit! Market your skills and knowledge instead…you are the expert! Explain why you DON’T discount if your competitors do! Justify, don’t comply.
–Quality of service: What level of quality is being portrayed to clients? What’s the relationship to price? Explain to people why you use the best products and promote these brands. Companies like FMC work very hard to market and leverage their brands to consumers, so use this awareness to let you charge more for your service! I assure you your customers don’t want to hear that you use the cheapest generic copies around their home and business because it’s $1 per litre cheaper…
–Market potential: Do a careful analysis of your intended market. What is the potential market and what scenarios could occur? How do you react if your success attracts more competitors into your market?Set goals!
–Delivery and format of service: Explain and outline how you and your team will deliver on new and existing customers’ expectations, and how you will continually improve. Have you got people focussed on the right areas to achieve the objectives of your marketing plan?
–Your CompanyImage: Design and create a vision of the way customers should, and do seeyour brand, your employees & vehicles, your information and your after sales service. Remember-you only get one chance to make a first impression!
In summary, whether you have a marketing budget of $500 or $50,000 it is vital to have a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) marketing strategy to ensure that those very precious marketing dollars are put to best use. Your partners at FMC are willing and able to assist you develop this strategy, so if you want any assistance give us a call!