Six Mistakes to Avoid in 2023

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Six Mistakes Car Wash Owners Still Make

In 2023 marketing your car wash has become a huge deal! With the investment that you’ve made and the competition getting more sophisticated, it’s so important to get this right. So let’s review the six mistakes, we’ve seen made in the industry, that you should avoid this year.

Hey guys! I’m Mike Berlin from SLAM CarWash Marketing, bringing you information to consider when marketing your car wash. It’s the SLAM6, in this episode, six common mistakes made in car wash marketing to avoid in 2023.

1. Branding

Number one is branding, sending consumers mixed signals with your brand. Let’s say you’re a wash called Precision Clean and your car wash is a little messy, or the vacuum hoses are a little twisted up or, your trash cans are dirty and full, or maybe your employees’ shirts aren’t tucked in, or maybe you’ve fallen in love with a really fun mascot character and, it’s really silly and, it’s all over your signage.

Those are mixed signals that we’re sending to that consumer. If you had a very clean menu and the lot was spic and span. Maybe your manager is ex-military, then I’d say your brand is solid, and the wash is living that brand. In the eyes of the consumer, the operation really knows who they are and we’re not sending mixed signals to the consumer. They understand it and they trust that brand because it’s consistent. 

That’s why I always say there’s way more to branding than logos, colors, and signage. Make sure your brand is well-defined and everyone in the organization clearly understands who you are and who you’re not as a company.

2. Online Presence

Number two is online presence. I see companies spend gobs of money advertising and then I look to check them out online and their online presence is a mess. Make sure you’re well-represented online with a great website, engaging social media, and plenty of directory listings. All of these things contribute to how well you show up when someone searches for the best car wash in town. You want to make sure you’re all buttoned up online, so your company shows up above the car wash down the street.

3. Not Responding to Reviews Quickly

Number three, reviews not responding to reviews quickly. Reviews in the car wash industry are tricky. I study reviews all the time and I know the general public is very hard on us as an industry. In fact, I think they’re harder on us than they are on restaurants, barber shops, contractors really anywhere else I look. You have to respond to all reviews every day. I have so many people tell me that they only respond to the bad reviews because they don’t have time to respond to the good ones. It’s important to know that Google now measures how fast we respond to reviews as a way to determine if our business is engaged with the customer. Since reviews are a big factor now with how you rank on Google, it’s important to respond to all the reviews, every day, no matter what.

4. Advertising Without Measuring the Results

Number four is advertising without measuring the results. SLAM is primarily a digital marketing agency for car washes, but I like some old-school advertising as well: billboards in the right place, local radio in the right situation, all perform well; but you have to measure everything. From what we’ve seen, digital advertising is much more trackable, it’s less expensive, and it’s easier to prove a return on that investment. Remember: every advertising you make, measure and track those results.

5. Advertising on Social Media

Number five is advertising on social media. Social media is an entertainment space. I see so many car wash businesses posting coupons, deals, and promotions and that’s it. You have to engage with the audience on social media. You have to give them a reason to care about your post. Make sure you have a good mix of posts. Mix something in about the community or a contest, and then maybe something about your crew, or a customer spotlight. It’s okay to throw in a shameless promotion every now and then, but if all you do is advertise on social media, nobody’s going to follow you, and you simply won’t have an audience.

    6. Not Measuring Your Retail Sales Conversion Rate

    …And the last one, number six, is not measuring your retail sales conversion rate. This is a big one for us. So many people don’t measure their retail sales conversion rate. So what I’m saying is, out of 109 members that drive on your property, how many of those people do we close into the unlimited plan? That metric, it should be tracked daily, with goals set, and you should celebrate that with the crew. When we run digital ad campaigns for clients, we can literally see the traffic that we drive to the site each month. We send more leads to the team, when that team and the crew can convert those leads into a solid 10, 12 percent rate, then you can effectively grow your memberships at the wash. You know what they say: What you don’t measure, you can’t improve. 

    All right, that’s your SLAM6 you know, sometimes the best way to improve is to study the mistakes others have made, so I hope you found this helpful. If you want some advice, or need some help, email or call us at SLAM.

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