December 7, 2012
Over the course of the past few years I’ve traveled all over the country at the request of organizations throughout my industry. I’ve presented on offline marketing, online marketing, social media and the like. Never, had I felt more successful than the engagement I returned from late Wednesday night in Ohio.
At this full-day conference, I was slated to present on Internet Marketing Tools for the Modern Laundry, which could be applied to any business, but I tailored this one to my laundromat audience. My presentation wasn’t going to happen until the last 2 hours of the day, scheduled that way specifically to keep people at the show throughout the day. I have to tell you, it worked perfectly.
Throughout the course of the conference, I was able to sit down with one small business every 30 minutes. After a few moments of explaining the importance of having an online presence for a local business, each and every business owner that I talked to jumped on board with the idea. Each of them signed with my company, and more than 50% of them signed at the highest rate which gave them the highest level of service we offer. Every single one of those owners purchased and gave me all the information I needed to create a website for their individual locations, which they’ll all have by Monday.
My experience at this conference afforded me a lot of great insight into this particular industry. The folks that don’t understand the internet or just aren’t there yet want, and maybe even need, that higher level of service. They want someone to step in, explain why it’s important and then just do it for them. These guys are busy running the day-to-day operations of their business, and in this industry aren’t used to having to market. So there’s a need here, and I’m happy to lead the solution to fill those needs.
To break it all down, I signed everyone I spoke to. I exceeded even my own expectations in terms of the level at which people would sign with my company. I learned by sitting down with the individual organizations that each of the individual needs do translate to the majority. All-in-all this conference was a huge success.
October 14, 2012
I just got back from my first opportunity to travel internationally for business. My mission, which I chose and accepted, was to go to the Ontario Laundry Show in Toronto, ON, Canada on October 11, 2012 and learn about the Canadian market. The business of the company that I work for is to help a specific target of individuals learn to not only survive in their industry but also to thrive. We currently only operate within the United States, so I went to a distributor show in Canada to learn how their market was different than ours. I want to be able to see if we can offer assistance beyond our current market or if a modification would be in order.
In this market I learned that at least 50% of the laundry owners are Korean. This particular group is very resistant to spending money of any amount. They did thoroughly love the fact that I was offering them a free magazine subscription though. Their rent and utilities are significantly higher than here in the United States. Being a laundromat owner in Canada is usually treated as a side-job than a full time source of income.
Other than those few differences, a Canadian laundry owner’s business needs are actually quite similar to that of the US market. Many that I spoke with expressed the desire to learn how to market more, increase their profits, reduce their rent and utility bills, and service their machines.
While it’s great to know the differences between the markets, it was refreshing to know that our markets are so similar. As this is a target that’s not used to having anyone other than their distributor to go to for assistance, they really enjoyed having me there as a resource. I was encouraged to have a bigger presence and offer more assistance to this market. I hope that within the next year I can go back to Toronto and report good news along those lines.
September 28, 2012
The majority of my opportunities to present have all be within the B2B market of laundry owners. I was more recently asked to speak at a two-day distributor show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This is a show where this particular distributor of the laundry equipment in that market invited their targets to a location where they provided them with education, some food, discounts on new products as well as parts for their existing store equipment.
As a first in my tenure at this company, I was invited to present at one of these types of shows and alongside manufacturers such as Speed Queen, Milnor and Hamilton Engineering and more. My presentation classroom was packed not only with the expected store-owners but also with many of the sales staff from some these manufacturers and a few distributor staffers.
I was able to effectively teach the audience about specific marketing techniques that were proven to work within our market. In the final day of the show, many of us sat down together and created a mastermind group to discuss marketing techniques that distributors could utilize to more effectively attract customers to their business as well as their show. I offered the standard advices to start with such as consistency, professionalism, and a handful of mediums that I felt would benefit the distributor. I was pleased to hear many of the other contributed ideas from other non-marketing professionals in the industry were that of excitement, pizzazz, the encouragement of the use of new and social media.
I know I’ve talked about this before, but many of the owners (whether they’re owners of the laundromats or the distributorships) either never believed in marketing or maybe just didn’t understand how it would benefit them. After a few examples and statistics that demonstrate how prevalent the use of mobile technologies are within the targeted demographics, there seemed to me a willingness to adopt some of these talked about strategies. Only time will tell how this works. Remember, the results will only be as good as the effort that you put in. Target the right individuals in the right areas and you’ll see success!
June 16, 2012
This week I had the pleasure of presenting marketing and business education topics to multiple groups of people in the northeast. Typically when I present to an audience in a location other than in the Chicagoland area, I travel and present to them in-person. This situation was a bit different. The event coordinators wanted to work with more advanced technologies and asked if I had any ideas on how to present from “home base” and broadcast it to their live audiences.
Naturally my experiences with audio and video production as well as webinar production came to mind. I arranged for the presentations to be broadcast via GoToWebinar. The audiences were invited to physical locations in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. Through my coordination and direction, the site coordinators each made sure they had internet connections that met broadcast specifications and setup a laptop, projector, screen, speakers and a handheld microphone.
The presentations each went off without a hitch. In my opinion the only thing that was missing was the face-to-face interaction. In future opportunities such as these, I will be setting up a webcam on each end so that my audience can see me, but so that I can also see them.
All-in-all more than 100 attendees throughout the three locations were able to learn about marketing, design and websites and how their relationship with my employer would make their business lives easier. Everyone was quite pleased and the survey responses were all positive.
October 21, 2011
I’m thrilled to report back that I am still riding the wave of success after an phenomenal trade show in June. I was requested by many organizations around the country to travel and present on similar marketing topics. The laundry industry that I’m now focused in is very new to the uptake of marketing techniques. Not just the new and social medias, but marketing in general. Laundromats were always just a necessity that people would utilize and it was assumed that people would always use whichever one was closed to their home. As time has progressed, more owners are learning that they can get more customers and increase their profits by instituting a number of simple marketing techniques that focus on factors that potential customers would be interested in.
With those concepts in mind, I have become the sought after speaker within this niche market. I have most recently had the pleasure of speaking in Orlando, Florida on August 10, 2011, Seattle, Washington on September 24, 2011 and Los Angeles, California on October 20, 2011. I have also been requested and am planning to speak in Chicago, Illinois on February 16, 2012.