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Marketing Ideas to Expand WDF, Commercial Accounts (Part 1)

Embrace tools available to build bridge to customers, prospects

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — While a batch of homemade cookies can taste delicious just out of the oven, the individual ingredients used to make them aren’t as tasty on their own.

“The ingredients that go into your marketing strategy, not one of (them) is going to do it all,” says Dennis Diaz, president of Spynr, an online marketing services firm that works specifically with laundry businesses. “It takes patience and it takes time, but when you devote the time and the energy to make them all work for you, together, they will help your brand not only survive but thrive.”

Diaz laid out some tools for building and optimizing a marketing strategy to fuel growth in “Marketing Ideas to Expand Your WDF and Commercial Account Business,” a recent webinar presented by the Coin Laundry Association.

He has over 10 years of digital marketing experience, and his company employs marketing and advertising talents like ex-Googlers; PPC [pay per click] managers who handle accounts in excess of $1 million a month; website and graphic designers; and content developers.

“What we discuss today can apply to both your wash-dry-fold and your commercial laundry business,” promises Diaz.

He began his presentation by telling a story:

Two brothers lived on adjacent farms. One day, they got into a heated argument. This was unusual, because they worked cooperatively and never fought. But this disagreement led to weeks of silence. Then one morning, the older brother heard a knock at his door. There stood a carpenter, asking if he had any work for him. “Yes, I’d like you to build me an 8-foot fence along my property,” the farmer said, wanting greater separation from his brother.

The carpenter promised to build a fence he would be proud of, and the farmer left for the day. Hours later, as darkness was falling, the farmer drove up his long driveway and his jaw dropped. Instead of a fence around his property, there was a finely crafted bridge connecting his farmland to his brother’s.

He noticed his younger brother making his way across the bridge toward him, and their eyes met. The older brother walked toward him and they embraced. “After all we went through,” the younger brother beamed, “you built a bridge between us. You’re a standup guy.”

“We’re not going to build a fence between you and your customers because you don’t have a plan,” Diaz says. “We’re going to embrace the tools that are available to you and build a bridge. You will create a brand that connects with your audiences and creates a valuable business that will not only help you survive, but thrive for the years to come.”

There is a great deal of “disruptive innovation” entering the industry, according to Diaz. He describes this as an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and their alliances.

“That means the way people do laundry and where they choose to do laundry is going to change as well,” he says.

Automotive pioneer Henry Ford was a disruptive innovator. Had he stuck with the norm, he would have produced faster horses. Instead, he introduced a new way of thinking and a new product into the marketplace.

Uber and Lyft, by displacing or even replacing local taxi services, are examples of modern-day disruptive innovators.

Seventy percent of Fortune 1000 companies are new within the last decade. “Just because your company has survived the last 100 years doesn’t mean it will survive the next 10,” warns Diaz.

Traditional marketing is also being disrupted as a result of changing human behavior. Nearly 45% of direct mail is never opened, while 86% of TV viewers skip commercials. Nearly 92% unsubscribe from cold emails (ones that they didn’t opt in for), and 200 million people say “Do Not Call” to telemarketers.

With digital marketing, the idea is to create valuable website pages, digital ads and social media messages that are optimized to drive qualified leads to your company’s website.

“One solution to protect from disruption is to figure out your extendable core,” Diaz says. “Your extendable core is a job you do for your customers that your competitor cannot replicate without adopting the same cost structure. An excellent digital-marketing strategy creates that extendable core,” and insulates you from disruption while enabling you to disrupt others.

“It’s very hard for someone to quickly replicate your content, your authority and, most importantly, the trust and the brand you’ve built with the audience you’ve attracted.”

Digital marketing is your opportunity to provide value to your prospects and customers at every stage of the marketing funnel:

Top of Funnel — 75% of your website traffic should include broader information on the industry or service category.

Middle of Funnel — 22% of website traffic is general information on the products, services and solutions in the category.

Bottom of Funnel — 2-3% of website traffic is specific information on your brand.

“We start at a very high level, providing broad information on your industry,” Diaz says. “Prospects find you without having to search for your specific company name. They begin to think of you as a leader eventually in your space and come back to your website with the branded name. You provide information more and more specific to the solutions that they have, and then ultimately, your brand rides.”

Check back Thursday for the conclusion!