Crash course in marketing for car washes
How do you create a successful marketing campaign around a car wash? Frank van der Steen of marketing company Fanwork gave an interesting session during the Car Wash Show Europe last week, in which he explained the basics. He also had a golden tip to increase sales.
To know as much as possible about your customers is key, as was clearly illustrated by Frank van der Steen during the introduction of his entertaining marketing session during the CWSE. In the first minutes, the marketing expert did not only tells us his name and age, we also learn that he likes padel and winter sports, where he lives and even what the names of his two daughters are. What?
Toward the end, it only becomes clear why he shared all this personal and detailled information with us. “It is important to know your customers”, Van Der Steen states. “Because only then can you launch a targeted and successful marketing campaign.”
To illustrate this, he tells us about a Dutch shopping center on the border with Belgium. After research showed that a majority of their customers came from the neighboring country, the advertising agency focused its campaign entirely on Belgian consumers. A move that translated into higher visitation rates and increased sales.
First, we learn the basics of marketing. Why should consumers choose your car wash over the competitor’s? Van Der Steen then explains the differences between strategic, tactical and operational marketing. For example, we learn that a Halloween campaign for your car wash on Instagram is a tactical form of marketing.
When Van Der Steen arrives at the car wash, he is often overwhelmed by all the different options. “This stresses me out”, he confesses. “Of course I want a clean car. But I don’t want it to be too expensive. So what to choose?”
He notices that there is often a similar price jump between all the different packages . “Let’s say three euros difference. So the Basic Wash is €11, the Better Wash is €14 and the Best Wash will cost me €17.
Now suppose you reduce the difference between Better and Best to only one euro. Then many people will opt for the most expensive package, because it makes little difference. That’s clever marketing. The car wash owner ends up selling more expensive packages and has a higher turnover.”
Choose the right strategy
Strategy also deserves attention. Car washes that want to increase their reach or, on the contrary, entice their customers to repeat visits, should adjust their campaign accordingly. “The most sustainable car wash in Utrecht” is an example of branding (and thus reach). A slogan like “Free car wash pass with many benefits” will actually lead to more loyalty and thus returning customers.
Finally, Van Der Steen returns to the adage ‘know your customer’ again during his session. After all, “if you know that many of your customers have a pet, you might wanna consider opening a dog wash.”
See the slides of the whole presentation here (in Dutch)