At a mini-clinic meeting on the East Coast, a man who had been spending a great deal of money in various forms of advertising but could not seem to grow beyond a one unit operation even though he had been in steam carpet cleaning for over three years, asked this question, “Why doesn’t my advertising work for me?” In reviewing the material and programs that he had been using, we made three hard suggestions:
- that the name of the company be changed,
- that the quality of the material be up-graded and
- that a firm market direction be established and limitations placed on advertising expenditures
Unless you are affiliated with an advertising agency, you are extremely vulnerable to every advertising salesman who finds you listed in the telephone directory and on the web. They all have a good story to tell and for the most part their products can be very effective in given instances. However, each form of advertising, effective as it may be, will not work if it is diluted by spending money in too many different directions. You must pick a given direction and stick with it.
In choosing the direction you wish to take in your carpet cleaning advertising, it is first necessary to establish in your own mind the market you are seeking. There are six markets in the carpet cleaning industry:
- Rental market.
- Residential price market.
- Above average middle income residential market.
- The top quality seeker residential market.
- Commercial price market.
- Commercial quality seeker.
In order to reach the specific market or markets in which you choose to operate, you must have effective sales material directed specifically to those markets. There is no such thing as an all purpose brochure, an all purpose commercial or an all purpose newspaper ad.
Too often, we are tempted to innovate our own advertising copy rather than use a professional agency. Practically every member of our industry does this. Yet, practically every one of those who attempt their own advertising is invariably the carpet cleaner who becomes most annoyed with consumers who attempt to clean their own carpet.
In these days of specialization, we simply cannot afford to diagnose our own medical problems, fight our own legal battles and do our own accounting. Why then do we attempt to do our own advertising?
Success is the culmination of investment, training, equipment, chemicals, advertising, promotion, persistence, self-motivation and determination, coupled with a large dose of common old “Horse Sense”.
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