Survey: 70% of Dry Cleaners Believe Marketing Efforts are Paying Off

Bruce Beggs |

Many cleaners have multiple goals for self-promotion

CHICAGO — Dry cleaners employ a broad range of marketing initiatives to promote their business and services, and nearly 70% believe their efforts pay off by generating real dollars, according to the results of this month’s American Drycleaner Your Views survey.

Maintaining a company website is the most common marketing initiative, used by 67.2% of respondents. A close second, at 59%, is social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Other popular efforts include community outreach (54%), direct-mail marketing (45.9%), e-mail marketing (39.3%) and print advertising (34.4%). A small percentage (9.8%) uses other outlets, including radio, billboards and door-to-door sales.

As for the main goal of their company’s marketing initiatives, 50.8% of respondents say it’s multi-faceted: to build the customer base, encourage customer loyalty, boost brand awareness and increase short-term sales.

Some dry cleaners have just one goal: 18.6% of respondents are focused on encouraging customer loyalty, 13.6% point to increasing brand awareness and 11.9% are all about building a customer base. Small shares focus on increasing short-term sales (3.4%) or other goals not included among the survey answers provided (1.7%).

Dry cleaners who responded to the survey spend an average of 2.78% of their annual gross on marketing initiatives. The biggest individual spender devotes 15% of annual gross to marketing, while several respondents claim they spend nothing on marketing.

Roughly 69% believe their activities have generated revenue, while 4.9% say they haven’t generated real dollars. The remaining 26.2% of respondents are unsure.

“I need to win back customers one customer at a time by showing each one the value of spending money with me,” says one cleaner.

“Without [marketing], your volume will automatically start falling every year,” warns another.

While American Drycleaner’s Your Views survey presents a snapshot of the trade audience’s viewpoints, it should not be considered scientific. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

Subscribers to American Drycleaner e-mails are invited each month to participate in a brief industry survey they can complete anonymously. The entire American Drycleaner audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define owner/operator opinions and industry trends.


About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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