Has traditional marketing been killed off by online marketing? According to some, yes. What does that mean for businesses that have been built on traditional sales funnels? Well, we look at it this way: digitalization has created ways to improve your marketing. There’s no need to disband your existing sales funnels – just use tech to make them work even better.
Imagine that you have a bucket of water. You pour that water onto an even surface, like a tabletop. The water spreads into every direction. Car drivers are kind of like that water – they originate from a source (like the bucket) and head in all directions. Parking companies around the world are all trying to build “funnels” to collect as many drops of that water as possible.
In practice, this means communicating to as many drivers as you can, and offering them value that will make them choose your garage. Giving your sales funnels an online makeover is a great opportunity to make this even more effective than before.
There are three good ol’ ways to promote a parking business
Talking about traditional means of marketing, people generally refer to what has been done before the online age: posters, signs, billboards and TV or radio ads. In this post, we will go through some of the traditional marketing methods parking companies are using, and elaborate on how digital marketing can make them up to 10 times as effective.
1. Attract customers from the street: street signage
This is something we’ve all seen and that has been around for ages. A huge billboard next to the highway, a traffic sign next to your garage with an arrow pointing towards it, a flashing led sign catching drivers’ attention in a relevant place.
2. Get local businesses to promote your garage: affiliate marketing
This is also an established way of attracting drivers. A parking business partners up with another business or event that requires parking – like an event or a cinema or restaurant. When a consumer buys a movie ticket, they get a joint price for the movie and parking, or a discount for your garage. Win-win.
3. Make customers commit to your garage in advance: pre-bookings
Offering a parking space reservation system on your website is the way to lock in sales and pre-manage your yield. Consumers get the chance to secure a parking space they know they will need later.
These well-known options are all legit working funnels for reaching customers. With online marketing, though, there’s now even better ways of realizing them. While the idea stays the same, the same effect can be reached more efficiently by introducing tech into the equation.
In the mobile age, those funnels can be made frictionless and more cost-effective
Over 65 % of all online traffic is generated on smartphones. People use their phones to read, to shop, to book, to navigate – and countless other things. So, let’s have a look at how you parking companies can use the mobile-first approach to market their garage:
1. Customers are using phones to navigate to destinations. Make sure they navigate to your garage.
When a car driver is nearby your garage, his or her phone is also close to your garage. And there’s a good chance that your customers is using the phone for navigation, or to browse the web or check Facebook while on the move. Your online marketing should be based on of user location, so that you can promote your parking garage right there on the phone when the person is navigating to a location nearby. This form of marketing is the best there is. It is highly relevant, cheap, and easy to track. Try to find ways to be visible in popular services such as Google maps, Waze, and others.
2. Customers are using phones to buy movie tickets. Make sure they can get a joint offer on the movie and your parking spot.
When people go from point A to point B, it is likely that they do a Google-search of their destination, or visit the website of the business they are going to (be it a movie theater, stadium, shopping center or any other place). Try to get your parking garage broadcasted on the websites of local businesses, and make people notice your parking garage when they are looking for information about their target destination. It should be in the local businesses’ interest to promote your garage, because it makes it easier for their customers to visit their businesses.
3. Customers are using phones to check the availability of services. Make sure they can reserve a space in your garage with just a few taps.
Consumers’ go-to device when making purchases and bookings is more and more often an app. By joining popular parking apps, you can make it really easy for consumers to reserve a place in your parking area and pay for it online. You will continuously get new users from the app user base from people who are close to your garage for the first time. By removing the need to navigate to your homepage and reducing the steps that are needed to book a parking space, more users will see your garage, and will be inclined to choose it.
With tech, you can bump up your marketing because it’s easier to reach consumers from all angles. Think of it as having intelligent, dynamic funnels: instead of just sitting there hoping to catch water drops, they constantly move to where the water is going, and steer it towards your garage.
You get to offer your service exactly when there’s a need for it. You can make your garage available as a seamless part of a navigation, event bookings, shopping trips or basically any other consumer interest. Also, you get more for less. Using mobile funnels removes the extra friction, time, effort and cost of physical marketing.
Mobile is intelligent: when you know what’s going on, you can get better at it
One of the greatest things you can do with online marketing (besides attracting drivers) is measuring everything you do. You get to make use of all the data you gather from visits, linkings, views and transactions. When someone sees your billboard ad, you get zero information about that. But when someone books a parking space in your garage through an app, that information is readily available for you.
This way, you can see what works and what doesn’t. You get to optimize your funnels constantly based on the results you get. Being online also makes it easier to gather direct feedback without going to the streets. Changing your garage’s visibility and service to better match the needs of consumers is a great way to show that you care about your customers – and to boost your business.
Use the potential of online marketing for maximal success
Marketing is a constant battle. Not only do you need to outdo your competition, you need to balance between results and resources. Setting up funnels online is a great way to get an upper hand in that battle. There is nothing fundamentally new there – technology just makes it better and cheaper to execute the traditional sales funnels. It also matches the digitalization of everything else around. Mobile is what people want, and online is where everything’s at.
By upgrading your sales funnels to the mobile age, you can reach more people (and reach them at relevant times and places), remove unnecessary friction from the sales process, see your marketing results transparently and make all that happen with automated and cost-effective ways. You can create a holistic approach that enables your garage to be around and available whenever it’s needed – a great customer experience that rewards you with increased turnover.