Everyone wants to be part of the “next big thing”.
It’s why people invested in seemingly worthless things — like bitcoin or beanie babies.
But how do you know you’re picking the right thing to invest in? After all, only bitcoin has value these days, while beanie baby “collectors” haven’t seen too much ROI.
The answer is: it’s hard to know for sure.
But the business world does rely a bit more on predictability than stuffed animals or volatile cryptocurrencies, and you can use that to your advantage if you know where to look.
And from where we sit, on of the next big things in laundry marketing is clear:
Big Data Analytics.
What is Big Data Analytics?
Recent projections show that the big data analytics industry is expected to more than double over the next 5-6 years.
But what is it?
It starts as just data analytics — the practice of using customer information to make business decisions.
Here’s a (overly) simple example:
Let’s say 10 customers come to your store and need to buy detergent. If all 10 opt for a specific brand, that’s a pretty clear indication that you should keep that in stock — at least for now.
But things get infinitely more complex from there, and with more pertinent questions. For instance, what water temperatures are your customers using? Where do potential customers find your business? Are you standing out against your competitors online?
And then you add the question of scale — you may have thousands of customers. That’s a ton of information to wade through!
Hence the name BIG data.
None of those questions have easy answers, but big data analytics can help you start uncovering the truths behind them.
And when leveraged correctly, they can help you fine-tune your laundry’s marketing into a powerful tool.
But you need to not only capture a lot of information, you need to be able to interpret it. We’ll talk more about how you can do that next.
How Tech Has Changed the Game
Acquiring customer information is a lot easier now than in times gone because of the current landscape of our society.
And it all has to do with connectivity. Smartphone usage is only rising — with more than 3.5 billion users worldwide in 2020.
That means we’re more connected than ever to our emails, text messages, and other ways of staying in touch.
It also means that the average person is more inclined to give you their email (or other data) if that gets them 10% off their next wash. Doing so not only creates a medium for you to reach the customer, but also shows them that you are interested in them as a person.
The customer may begin to feel like they aren’t just ‘another customer’ and are valued by your company — if you leverage their information correctly.
And on your end, you now have valuable data about your customer to continue marketing to them. At scale, you can start to see patterns and make decisions that help you stay competitive.
The other aspect of this equation is data collection though. Until recent decades, businesses had to rely on physical mail, posters, or billboards — and it’s impossible to know the effectiveness of traditional media like that.
Today’s technology lets you track actual engagement on your marketing efforts. For instance, we can collect data points like:
- Email open rates
- Email bounces (bad addresses)
- Click-through rates
- Actions after clicking
- Time to conversion
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The point is: if you can find a way to track a data point, it can be done at scale and help your business grow. And that carries some major benefits.
The Benefits of Big Data
Acquiring and making proper use of customer data is a straightforward way of increasing your staying power in your customers’ lives.
So let’s talk about why you should take this seriously.
#1: Adoption is Low
Making your presence known keeps you relevant; but why would you want to do that?
The answer to that question is simple: Adoption in our industry is still low.
Pioneering into a field can be scary when money is involved, but the technology exists to help you make strides with data. Gaining access to customer information and using it to send them messages is a very common practice in other businesses, and the technology is only improving.
As a laundromat, making use of this untapped resource can give you an edge over your more laid back competitors — so it’s worth being an early adopter.
#2: Personalization is the Future
With personal marketing (based on real data), your messages can feel warm and welcoming instead of just sounding like another company trying to make a dollar.
For example, you can give yourself the power to assume that your average patron over the age of 25 is employed. Sending them a message saying how they should reward themselves after a hard week or work can resonate.
Meanwhile telling the 18-20 year olds that they can wash while they study (in the comfort of your laundromat) would ring clearer.
Each of these messages to your customers can now have much more staying power, not just because of the warm greeting with their name on it, but because of potentially sounding like a company who cares and understands the life of their customer.
#3: It Can Save You Money
A big reason we hear from business owners for avoiding marketing is understandable: they tried before (either on their own or with a marketing company) and didn’t see profitable results.
In other words, their marketing budget ended up going to waste.
But data analytics allows you the opportunity to make marketing decisions based on real data — and the benefits can range from customer acquisition to business optimization:
- You can avoid marketing waste by investing in campaigns with better ROI
- Stay ahead of the competition with accurate understandings of your market
- Improve the productivity of your staff and machinery with more accurate data
And again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With better data, you can make better decisions, period — and the effects will trickle throughout your business.
Marketing on a more personal level with real data can be highly beneficial for your business, and is often worth the extra time and effort.
While it takes more time to set up collection and maintain data when compared to traditional marketing, it also has the potential to create a more loyal customer base for your laundromat — as well as plenty of other benefits.
The industry is evolving, and today’s data leader is tomorrow’s industry giant. If you’re wanting to grow, invest in your data and marketing efforts today.