Recently I was asked to give a talk about marketing to new franchisees of one of my clients, EcoMaids.
EcoMaids is a great company. And I’m not just saying that because they are one of my clients. I have been a client of theirs since they began. Why do I sing their praises? They keep my house clean — well, as clean as you can with twin toddlers running about — and they use safer, green products to do it.
At this presentation, I was discussing the importance of being clear about the market you are targeting before deciding on any marketing tactic or technique. You need to know exactly who you are trying to reach before deciding the best way to reach them.
I suggested the most likely target market for their cleaning services are professional women with kids. Everyone agreed. After all, it’s these moms who not only can afford a cleaning or maid service on a recurring basis, but need it because they simply cannot afford the time to swish toilets with everything else going on.
One franchise owner added that these moms make it a priority to live eco-friendly lives. She suggested targeting green activists and people dedicated to eco-friendly lifestyles.
I had to disagree. Sure, all moms are concerned with toxins and chemicals when it comes to their children, but do most professional moms really make a huge effort to live green lives? No. Some may try, but most don’t have the time to do everything they could to minimize their impact on the environment.
That’s why they need services like EcoMaids: they simply don’t have enough time. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule but the reality is that the eco-friendly concept is an added benefit, not a main reason for the decision to hire a cleaning service.
The franchisee argued with me quite forcefully and in doing so explained how important it was in her life – and the planet’s — to be environmentally conscious. And she is right that it’s an important issue. I wish I could be more like her, as I am sure many other moms wish they could too. In fact I have many friends who I admire for their green lifestyles. However, when I think of these friends, I realize that none of them would be interested in paying for a cleaning service.
I suspect this franchisee chose the EcoMaids franchise because of her ecological commitment. But that doesn’t mean her target market will have the same level of commitment.
And in business if you confuse your own motivations with your target market’s motivation, you are going to miss your target.
Her target market is busy moms. The fact that EcoMaids are green may be an added benefit for these customers, but it’s not their reason for hiring a cleaning service. If she keeps that in mind she will attract more customers.
And ultimately, the more customers she attracts – whatever their motivations – the more she will be able to do for her goal of helping the environment.