Beyond typical marketing
Marketing is what carpet cleaners want to talk about. You will be surprised
to see what makes the sale. By Taf Baig
From the March 2006 edition of Cleanfax magazine. Marketing and how it
applies to carpet cleaning is one of the most interesting topics to carpet
Gather cleaners in a room and they often talk about how to get more work, not
how to clean a carpet.
Good marketing is what carpet cleaning is all about; it’s what gets customers
and helps keep them.
But the usual marketing terminologies, such as “price, product, place and
promotion” (known as the four Ps of marketing), mean very little when not
deciphered to apply to carpet cleaning,
They are also somewhat outdated.
They might still be the original pillars of marketing, but they seem to be
In the 1990s, Professor Dick Berry of the University of Wisconsin conducted
an intensive study of basic marketing principles.
What he found was interesting.
New marketing strategiesBesides the original four Ps of marketing, he
added a few more and then ranked them in order of importance.
The new mix ranked customer sensitivity as the first and most important part
of the new marketing mix, followed by product, customer convenience, service,
price, place and — in last place — promotion.
Let’s examine each and see how they apply to carpet cleaning.
Customer sensitivityEmployee attitude, customer treatment and response
to customers fall under this category.
How does this apply to carpet cleaning companies? A friendly smile the first
time and every time you see your customer is the most important marketing
It doesn’t cost you a thing. (See “Common courtesy” to the left.)
ProductThis is the equipment that you use. You have to use the best
available and it has to be reliable and have other unique features that your
competition will not have.
Your cleaning chemicals also fall under this category. What do your chemicals
smell like? Will your protector work six months from now?
Customer convenienceAvailability to your customer, customer convenience
and sales are part of this category.
What is the question the customers ask most? “How long will it take to dry?”
Drying is probably the biggest part of customer convenience.
We need to leave the carpet as dry as we possibly can.
Answering your phone when a customer calls is also part of customer
convenience. Having a sufficient opening relatively soon on your schedule is
another aspect of customer convenience.
ServicePre-sale service, service during cleaning and post-sale service
are part of this marketing strategy.
Your pre-sale service is where it all starts, and is best with an
“out-of-this-world” portfolio to show your customers. That usually makes the
Your portfolio should consist of your accreditations, testimonials for your
customers, guarantees and before-and-after pictures of your work.
PricePrice charges, pricing terms, pricing offers and methods of
payment come under this category.
Honest and reasonable pricing is what the customer expects.
PlacePlace is the area you service, your facility (your van), and your
availability to customers.
PromotionAdvertising, publicity and selling fall into this category.
Contrary to what most people believe, promotion is marketing.
Berry’s study ranked promotion last.
If you can’t smile when you greet customers, then don’t even bother with the
Taf Baig, an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification
(IICRC)-certified Master Textile Cleaner, started a successful carpet cleaning
company in 1991 and sold it in 2003. He is president of The Magic Wand Company,
a manufacturer and distributor of all types of cleaning products. Baig’s
marketing seminar information is available online at www.magicwandco.com, or
call (877) 926-3748.