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.