The methods and procedures used to effectively harness and sustain new customers in the rental sector continue to radically change. Staying on top of your rental business in 2012 requires acknowledgment of these new concepts and applying them to your existing business model. Here are the equipment rental marketing and sales trends for 2012 that every operation needs to be taking advantage of to stay ahead of the curve.
2012 sees the rental industry firmly become a referral economy. Cold calling techniques are no longer effective, they waste time and do nothing for image or indeed, company morale. The power of reference and referral should not be underestimated. They are cost effective methods of generating solid leads.
Social media is the ultimate real-time referral machine. Shrewd use of social media can see your products and services increase in credibility to new potential customers made aware of their existence by friends and associates that they both know and trust.
As we now know, social media is a vibrant sales and marketing tool. But it is vital that you know how to approach this powerful machine. Unlike other forms of marketing, social media cannot be censored to your advantage. If a customer is unsatisfied with your rental service, they now have a platform on which to vent this frustration.
Do not use Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for spamming or a hard sell.
Think of social media as your new Customer Relationship Management tool. Be helpful and a resource people want to be engaged with. This method will see you develop meaningful connections with people who want to know more about you.
Pay Per Click
The pay-Per-click method of driving traffic to your rental operation, if poorly executed, can be a costly affair. Novice experimentation with this technique without a comprehensive understanding of how a PPC campaign works will only yield high priced ads that bring a very low conversion rate.
As the online audience becomes ever more selective and wary of “Google Ads”, the only way to see true success with a PPC campaign is to hire a PPC professional who understands how to drive the relevant traffic to your rental business that is likely to convert and keep your campaign within budget.
Appreciate Your Existing Customers (conversions vs. traffic)
Attracting a new customer costs 5x as much as keeping an existing one (Source: TARP). With this statistic in mind, is your rental operation focusing on conversions or traffic? There is no point gathering a group of potential customers to your website who are interested in products or services you do not provide. This troublesome scenario can arise from poor SEO techniques and as previously mentioned, a weak PPC campaign.
Let your existing customers know they are appreciated by building long-term relationships giving value via email. Update and correlate your in-house email list and use low cost email marketing tools such as Mail Chimp to frequently pass value to your customers.
The Power Of Content (and knowing how to share it)
The business blog can be a satisfying way to draw customers to your site, if you understand how a blog works.
You are already an expert in your relevant field and there are readers out there who want to hear about your opinions and techniques on what has made your rental operation successful and what valuable lessons you have learnt along the way. Update your blog frequently on a variety of topics that are relevant to your field. Executed correctly, the business blog can be a pleasure to write and this passion will attract new leads and turn potential leads into solid new customers.
But the major rental marketing trend regarding business blogging in 2012 is to make sure that you have the latest sharing buttons easily available so that you readers can spread your content for you. The hot sharing buttons for 2012 are LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter, plus any others that you feel are relevant to your particular site, location or industry.
What equipment rental marketing trends are you finding effective in 2012? Share your opinions here.
Alert Management Systems is software for equipment rental in the tool and part rental sectors.