Survey: Word-of-Mouth Advertising Reigns Supreme for Laundromat Marketing

Carlo Calma |

CHICAGO — The majority of Laundromat owners and operators (45.2%) polled in this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey say they “market more than most operators,” when it comes to their overall marketing efforts.

Equal shares of 19.4% say they either “market just as much” as other operators, or they “market less than most.”

While 16.1% confessed they “don’t market” at all, no respondents reported marketing “more than any” of their competitors.

Operators were also asked to identify all the marketing tools they have used from a prepared list. Equal shares of 39.3% say they have utilized “free/reduced-price wash and/or dry,” and “other” marketing strategies, like door hangers and social media, while one says he/she has had the store’s ad displayed during previews at a local movie theater.

Equal shares of 35.7% say they use “loyalty programs” and “in-store giveaways”; 28.6% utilize direct mail; 21.4% use newsletters/brochures; 17.9% advertise with newspaper coupons; 10.7% buy TV/radio ads; and 3.6% do promotions through “holiday-related activities.”

In terms of which tactic has proven most successful, 36% of respondents say a combination of “other” tools, like social media and adverstising through the Yellow Pages, have brought customers through the door, while 24% swear by “free/reduced-price wash and/or dry.” Sixteen percent can attest to the power of “in-store giveaways,” while 12% say “loyalty programs” work best.

Equal shares of 4% say newsletters/brochures, newspaper coupons, and direct mail have proven successful in marketing their store, while no respondents identified TV/radio spots or “holiday-related activities” as their most successful marketing tools.

Using social media and the Internet to market is becoming more prevalent among Laundromat owners, as more than half (54.8%) say they use the mediums, while 19.4% say they do not. More than a quarter say they “plan to explore” the options.

Regardless of which marketing tool they use, a resounding 80.7% say “word-of-mouth” advertising is more important than other marketing efforts. A small percentage (3.2%) believe otherwise, while 16.1% say they are “not sure.”

When times are tight, most Laundromat owners and operators (53.3%) say their marketing budget is “treated the same as any budgetary item,” while 16.7% say it is one of the first operating costs slashed. Equal shares of 13.3% say it is either the first, or one of the last, budgetary items slashed, while 3.3% say it is the last cost they cut.

Some respondents (26.7%) say “without a doubt” their marketing efforts have been worth the time and expense, while an identical share (26.7%) say that it wasn’t worth the investment, “with some exceptions.”

For 23.3%, their marketing efforts were worth the time and expense “with some exceptions.” A small percentage (3.3%) say “without a doubt” it was not worth the time and money. The remaining 20% say they are not sure.

American Coin-Op’s Your Views survey presents an unscientific snapshot of the audience’s viewpoints at a particular moment; due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.

Subscribers to American Coin-Op e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in an industry survey each month. The entire American Coin-Op 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

Carlo Calma

Freelance Writer

Carlo Calma is a freelance writer and former editor of American Coin-Op.

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