The moving business is in a difficult industry to advertise by any marketing standards. We’re probably not telling you anything new. You live it. You own it. But the industry that your business falls in will dictate how you market efficiently and effectively. When you are in a “narrow based” business from a marketing standpoint, you need to pay close attention to what works… and not much does.
Sure, you can buy advertising in any ad medium that you want to spend your budget on, but what’s the Return On Investment (ROI) going to be? Having bought media in every medium for over 30 years gives us a tremendous advantage in recommending the best marketing choices with the slightest of waste.
In the moving and storage industry, with the exception of national accounts and contract business, your opportunity to sell your customer doesn’t come along every day, so you need to advertise accordingly. McDonald’s knows that people are going to eat three times a day. They have a very “broad-based” market. There are a lot of prospects for their products all the time. The same is not true of moving companies. Very few people are in the market for your services at any one time, so how do we cost-effectively market to them?
Let’s explore some of our marketing ideas for moving companies:
- Be cognizant of your industry. As mentioned above certain industries have better ROI in certain advertising platforms. Decide what will be your primary and secondary platforms.
- Once an advertising medium is selected, do not spend any budget on another medium until your business is dominating the first medium. You may have heard the term “spray and pray.” This is when you try to run your message “everywhere” and it never sells because it doesn’t get above what we call “The Noise Level.”
- Make sure that any budget you spend will get your message above “The Noise Level.” This is our term for the imaginary ceiling that exists in all cities that are full of advertising outlets which leads to our “over-communicated” society. If there were still just three TV networks and just a handful of radio stations, one newspaper and one Yellow Pages phonebook, you wouldn’t have to worry… but of course that’s not the advertising environment today.
- Do your research, or hire a professional, because now we know that (1) your message needs to be placed on a particular medium and (2) it needs to get above “The Noise Level.” Determine what will be your primary advertising medium and how much you need to spend to get a good ROI.
- The #1 advertising medium for moving companies is Google, Inc. and their AdWords product called “Paid Text Search.” While we are testing Facebook advertising for ROI, we can state unequivocally that AdWords advertising is the best marketing idea for moving companies.
- The reason that AdWords Paid Text Search is so effective is that you are only advertising to people who “ARE IN THE MARKET TO BUY.” It’s the greatest medium ever because you are right at the prospect’s decision-making step. You are very close to the sale, and that’s important. It’s just like the old Yellow Pages but they don’t even have to pick up the phone.
- What’s the negative on Paid Text Search advertising? We hear over and over, that it’s too expensive. How can that be? The only people advertising on it are YOUR COMPETITORS and they are paying the same amount as you would. A text ad shows only because your bid for it won the instantaneous dynamic search. Nobody has an advantage, that is what is so great about it. No volume discounts. No annual contracts. The instant bid determines whose ad shows.
- Determining the amount to get above “The Noise Level.” Here again Google gives you amazing data to know exactly what you will need to spend to show your ads to all of the people in your geographically targeted campaign. It’s called Impression Share and it is calculated for all campaigns. As an example, you decided to spend $3000/month on Google, that would provide a Daily Budget of $100/day. Once the clicks on your ads reach that amount, your ads disappear until tomorrow. If the Google data shows you after three days that your Impression Share is 50%, you will know that one out of every two possible customers in seeing your ad. If you are getting a sufficient lead generation off that, you might stay with that budget. If not, you may want to double it.
- Now that we know what to advertise our base campaign and how much we need to spend, what is the next marketing idea that a mover needs to know? The offer! A big budget on the right medium cannot overcome the weakness of a lame offer. In effect, a lot of potential customers see it, don’t care and thus, don’t respond. Money wasted.
- Craft a unique offer. Maybe you have what marketers call a USP (unique selling proposition), but most likely you don’t. This is not a business that can have a style of moving van that no competitor has, or can afford to do a “buy one, get one free.” But, there are points of differentiation, and you must use as many of these as possible in crafting your offer that will appear in your Paid Text Search ads. For example: years in business, family-owned, interstate agent, emergency moving, piano moving? You never know what might strike a chord with a prospect, but please be different.
- Test your offer. You can do this by writing at least two different pieces of copy. Google will show you which one has the best “click throughs” and which one gets the most conversions to your lead form. Simply pause the underperforming ad copy.
- Here’s a marketing idea that is new and kind of a secret, and that is to create and write an AdWords campaign for “Remarketing.” This is a Google feature that gives you the ability to continue to show your Paid Text ad to anybody who clicked on your website, and to do so for as many days as you like. Since Google has ad arrangements with millions of websites, your Text, or a new Image Ad if you choose to create one, can show in a million places… all geographically targeted to your company’s marketing needs.
Just to recap our marketing ideas for movers since we are discussing setting up a baseline advertising campaign in this paper, you must consider: characteristics of the moving and storage industry, how to efficiently and effectively reach prospective customers, what medium works best, how to set your budget, how to craft an offer, and whether you should “remarket.” There are many more marketing ideas for moving companies to come, and we will cover them in our next article.
Thanks for reading and “onward and upward!”