Marketing for field service organizations has evolved rapidly in recent years with the boom in social media, mobile technology, and other Web 2.0 innovations — in addition to improvements in traditional methods. Here’s a look at some of the most effective marketing tactics.
Web and Social Marketing
Forget print advertising for a minute. The Web is (obviously) both a gold mine for potential customers and placements. Google AdWords is a start, but there are many other ways to reach your target audience:
- SOCIAL MEDIA: When it comes to social-media marketing for services, Twitter (and LinkedIn) beat Facebook, says advertising and marketing pro Darren Slaughter. More: Bob Zukis gives tips on branding via social media.
- ONLINE LISTINGS: Online listings sites are crucial for a marketing plan, especially as fewer people reach for the phone book. Debating Yelp or Angie’s List? Also don’t forget about Urgnt.ly, ServiceMagic, Redbeacon, Repair.com, Thumbtack, or the other dozen we haven’t even heard of yet.
- BLOGS: Content marketing, whether through a blog or otherwise, is also a good way to interact with customers and people within your industry, says Contracting Business writer and Social Tract CEO Joe Pulizzi.
- YOUR WEBSITE: Don’t neglect your most important online asset: Your own website! Having a functioning, easy-to-use site is a lot more important than firing off 25 tweets a day.
Offline, marketing gets a little more tactile. Remember: Whether it’s your service techs’ uniforms, or the sign on your storefront, every visual impression you leave on customers is a marketing opportunity. A few ideas:
- VEHICLE WRAPS: Your company vehicles are a huge canvas — and opportunity — to get your message out. Check out these tips on getting the most out of vehicle wraps.
- QR CODE: Do you ever use QR codes (those black-and-white square graphics you’re starting to see everywhere)? Take a photo of them with a camera-phone, and you’ll be directed to a website with more information. They can go on just about any marketing materials: business cards, company vans, service cards, outdoor signage, or door hangers, Pulizzi says.
- GIVEAWAYS: Give away swag: Refrigerator magnets, company calendars, stickers, thumbnail drives — whatever. They are an easy, sticky, and inexpensive way to get your name out. But remember: The more useful it is, the more likely someone will keep it and continue to see your brand, rather than tossing it in the trash.
Service as Marketing
Lastly, it’s important to remember that great service is its own marketing — in fact some companies eschew marketing and sales expenses entirely to focus on delivering great customer service that will produce referrals.
- CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customer service is a marketing expense, as author Shep Hyken says.
- REFERRALS: Word-of-mouth referrals typically carry more weight with customers than online reviews. So be sure you’re working toward getting your customers talking about you (in a good way).
- TOP-OF-THE-LINE SERVICE: When you deliver over-the-top results, your reputation becomes a marketing tool of its own.