SPRING is finally here, sort of! This past week marked my regularly-scheduled, yet overdue, visit to the car wash to rinse the winter grit and grime from my car, especially since the four recent and overwhelming Nor’easters delayed a much needed bath.
I drove to the drive-thru car wash, although a more thorough cleaning was necessary; this was a decent option in he meantime given how my visit was grossly overdue.
I put the car in neutral and onto the rails we went. i had a few minutes of quiet time to myself as we floated into the tunnel. This is where I decided that marketing could be a bit like a drive-thru car wash due to the different stations and variety of wash methods Sally and I were about to go through.
On average, a typical car wash facility has multiple stations:
• Mitter curtain
• Rinse arch
• Foam applicator
• High-pressure washer
• Undercarriage wash applicator
• Rinse arch
• Wax applicator
• Mitter curtain
• Rinse arch
As you can see, a couple of the stations repeat themselves. This isn’t surprising is it? This is no different for marketing.
There are various marketing activities that help with your efforts to achieve fruitful business development results depending on your budget, time and tools. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but you know there is light at the end of the “tunnel”. Let’s take a look at my quick journey through the wash tunnel and how it relates to marketing.
First, a couple of guys doused Sally’s exterior with a power wash blast to prepare for the pre-soak phase. While the bay and various machines were about to swallow Sally whole, there were still humans tending to Sally’s curves and contours to ensure stubborn debris would be managed.
This is similar to initially hiring a marketing consultant who prepares you and your business with a “down and dirty” approach to produce a polished marketing strategy that suits the goals of your business.
Then, you enter the mitter curtain. These sud-soaked fettuccine strips jounced the front hood and windshield with a head-on lather. The lengthy sponges slowly made it’s way to the top of the car and proceeded it’s rhythmic cleansing towards the back of the car.
This reminded me of the strategy soaked discussions a business-owner would entertain with an overall review of the myriad of marketing techniques and tactics available.
What are these myriad of marketing efforts?
• Existing clients – cross-selling, up-selling, account rounding
• Cold calling – yup, everyone hates it, but it’s on the list because it works.
• Strategic alliances – who compliments your business that needs your services for their clients?
• In-person Networking
• Social media
• Email Marketing
• Content marketing (webinars, podcasts, press releases)
• Internet marketing (Search engine Optimization – SEO)
• Community service (Volunteering, Boards of Directors)
• Direct mail
Back to the Car Wash:
Next, the scrubbers. These tall, rotating brushes glossed over the sides of Sally to remove loose debris and film from the power washing.
This is where you scrub what activities you think work best for you and for your business. You also want consider what activities you should handle and what could you delegate to another member of the team.
The rinse arch followed. The spraying showers washed away the soapy suds.
It’s a time to “come clean” with focusing on what works and more importantly what doesn’t. This is your moment of reflection to understand what marketing activities you could be doing and perhaps have fun while doing it.
Finally, I enjoyed the high-powered heating vents that finished the cleaning process by blow drying Sally to remove blotches from soapy residue and streaks from spraying water.
This is the time to celebrate. Who doesn’t enjoy the refreshing feel of success when recommendations have been considered from a trusted marketing consultant. While this car wash journey was a mere five minutes of my time, it’s a start and a little bit of motivation to remember how she shines in the sun.
Cleaning any vehicle is a process and requires maintenance. So does marketing.
Start the process, embrace the progress. You know you need to do it, and you know a positive outcome is likely.
Your business is an adventure. Enjoy the ride…even if it’s for a five minutes of quiet through the car wash.