Survey: Word of Mouth Popular Tool for Marketing Laundry Services


wire survey chart
(Credit: Alissa Ausmann)


wire survey chart
(Credit: Alissa Ausmann)

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — There are many ways that a laundry operation can promote its service to potential clients or end-users, and the marketing method used by more than two-thirds of Wire survey respondents is good, old-fashioned word of mouth.
Subscribers to the American Laundry News Wire were asked by what means do they and/or their staff promote their service. They were presented with 10 choices and could select as many that applied. General word of mouth was the top choice, selected by 65.8%. There was a tie for second (60.5%) between company websites and sales calls, either via phone or in person.
Nearly 40% of respondents also utilize industry association membership and participation to promote their service.
Other marketing tools used include social media (23.7%), print or Web advertising (21.1%), direct mail (18.4%), e-mail marketing (15.8%) and the everything-else “other” (7.9%). Flyers and signage (“my location is on a busy street”) were mentioned as “other” tools.
Approximately 5% of respondents don’t promote their service.
When they do promote their businesses or services, 86.5% emphasize their company’s strengths, 10.8% emphasize their strengths and their competitor’s weaknesses, and 2.7% emphasize their competitor’s weaknesses.
When you learn another laundry service is competing for the same business, what’s your immediate reaction?
Reactions are fairly mixed. The majority—38.9%— is excited, because competition energizes them to make their laundry the best it can be. Another 36.1% are unconcerned, because they’re confident in their laundry’s abilities, so they don’t worry about what others are doing.
Roughly 22% become anxious, because the threat of competition makes them question if their service is doing the best it can. The remaining 3% become depressed, because their laundry can’t compete with another service.
“I have seen a number of my competitors greatly under price their services in order to gain market share,” wrote one respondent about marketing his/her laundry in a tough economy. “I do not understand how selling at such a low profit margin is good for anyone’s business.”
“You need the best product and lowest cost,” wrote another. “Cost is a huge driving factor.”
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to participate anonymously in a brief industry survey each month. While it presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, the survey should not be considered scientific.
The entire American Laundry News audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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