Survey: Multi-Faceted Marketing Plan is Popular Choice for Cleaners

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Dry cleaners employ a broad range of marketing initiatives to promote their business and services, and three-quarters believe their efforts pay off by generating real dollars, according to the results of this month’s Wiresurvey.

Maintaining a company website is the most common marketing initiative, used by 71.4% of respondents. A close second, at 66.7%, is community outreach.

Other popular efforts include print advertising (57.1%), direct-mail marketing (52.4%), e-mail marketing (42.9%), and social media (33.3%). A smaller percentage (14.3%) uses other outlets, including radio, for marketing.

What is the main goal of your company’s marketing initiatives? If you’re trying to accomplish a multitude of things simultaneously, then you’re not alone.

Roughly 57% of respondents say their main goal is multi-faceted: to encourage customer loyalty, increase brand awareness, build the customer case, and increase short-term sales.

For some operators, they have one main goal: equal shares of 14.3% are focused on encouraging customer loyalty or increasing brand awareness. Roughly 10% want to build their customer base, and 4.8% is focused on increasing short-term sales.

Operators who responded to the survey spend an average of 3.52% of their annual gross on marketing initiatives. The biggest individual spender devotes 10% of annual gross to marketing, while the least spends just 1%.

Roughly 76% believe their activities have generated revenue, while 9.5% say they haven’t generated real dollars. The remaining 14.3% of respondents are unsure.

“Marketing is critical to long-term growth,” says one operator, while another believes their efforts have paid off: “I’m still in business despite a shrinking customer base.”

While the Wiresurvey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wiree-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All dry cleaners are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

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.


Excellent Information

Nice job on this Bruce. As the marketing coordinator for the Seal of Approval program for DLI you have nailed exactly what we are trying to do as individual members. The information supports our direction and benefits to our SOA members. Thanks for sharing and nice work!!


Al Lautenslager

Marketing Coordinator - Seal of Approval Program / DLI

Best-selling Author - Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days


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