Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Your 9-Step Marketing Plan - Step 4

January 13, 2009
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Take aim at your niche and fire away

Welcome to the fourth step in “Your 9-Step Marketing Plan.” Have you been diligently studying each step? I hope so; it will help your business a lot.

The first step was to Set Your Sales Goals. The second step is to outline a Description of Your Service. Not just the fact that you do carpet cleaning, but what your Unique Experience Proposition (UEP) will be. The third step is called Positioning. To review the first three steps, go find your past issues of ICS magazine, or search the archives at

Step 4: Identifying Your Prime Target Market
If you find yourself saying, “Everyone is my customer,” you are making a huge marketing mistake. If you try to be “all things to all people,” you won’t be anything significant to anyone.

It’s called niche marketing. “Get rich in the niche,” as they say. When you focus on a specific market, you can best fit their needs, best serve them, and get more business as a result – as well as make more profit. You see, if you are a big fish in a small pond, you won’t go hungry. But in an ocean, even if you are a big fish, it’s very easy to get lost.

One of the most valuable things you can do is plan on what your main target market will be. In many ways, this probably should be the second step in the plan, but it all works together, so here we go.

First, ask yourself a few questions:
  • Do I want to target primarily commercial or residential?
  • Am I mostly a restoration company or a cleaning company?
  • Do I want to target the high-end, middle or low-end?
  • What are the demographics (where they live, how much they make, size of their business, are they the end user or a referring party, is it a homeowner or an employed buyer, what is their home value, what neighborhood do they live in, do they have pets, what kind of customers do they have? What are their hours? What do the read, watch, and listen to. What kind of lifestyle do they lead, etc.)?
  • What are their psychographics? This is how they think. What are the buying patterns and behaviors? How often do they buy? How do they make their decisions?

Write down as much about the target market as possible. This does not mean that you only service that type of client, it just means that this is the primary target market you want to focus on.

Here’s a good example: My expertise is in high-end residential, but we also do commercial. But the commercial work we do is also concerned about the same things that high-end residential clients are concerned about. And they want the best of the best.

We are looking for people who have a “Mercedes” attitude toward their indoor environment. We are not looking for people who have two Mercedes in the driveway, because they could very well have a “Kia” attitude toward their carpet.

Next month, next Step. Until then, my passion is your success!

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