Each season of the year provides different opportunities for car wash operators to deploy creative marketing campaigns. From major national holidays to wacky daily observances, there are plenty of ways to grab the attention of drivers in your area. Hopefully, this post will inspire you to create your own unique campaigns.
Plan, Plan, Plan
The key to delivering successful car wash marketing campaigns is planning. You want to make sure that no opportunity slips through the cracks and every part of the campaign is ready to go on time. A good rule of thumb is to look 4-6 weeks ahead to determine what promotions you’ll want to run.
It’s particularly important that you plan out any pay station screen changes, price changes, coupon codes, etc. The earlier you can request these of your point-of-sale provider, the better.
If you are a DRB Systems customer, you can schedule a consultation for the following services:
- General Promotions (setting up discounts, gift cards, ARM plans, BOGO deals, etc.)
- XPT Profile Modifications (modifying or creating media to display promotions)
- Website Modifications (promote deals on your Website Connect site)
We recommend scheduling your consultation 4-6 weeks before your promotion to ensure timely delivery.
If you’re planning any print, radio or television advertising, you’ll also want to make sure you’re aware of the deadlines for securing advertising time/space.
Think Beyond the Obvious
Every car wash has promotions for Black Friday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. But there are a number of other holidays and events throughout the year that you can take advantage of.
You don’t have to provide a discount for each one. Some events might simply make great social media fodder or an excuse for a fun activity at your wash. For example, is one of your local sports teams doing well? Have your staff dress up in team colors and take pictures for social media.
Otherwise known as “Road Salt Season” in some areas, this can be prime car washing time. It doesn’t take much to convince people to wash their cars, but to ensure they pick your wash, tout its unique benefits. Be sure to promote your undercarriage wash and, of course, your unlimited plans that will help drivers keep their cars consistently clean no matter what winter throws at them.
Even if you’re in a region of eternal summer, there are plenty of marketing opportunities with the holidays. It’s a good time to remind customers that gift cards and wash bundles make great gifts!
- New Year’s
- Fun at Work Day
- Groundhog Day
- NFL Championship
- Valentine’s Day
- President’s Day
As the road salt gives way to pollen and bugs, you should still be washing a significant amount of cars in the spring. Use your social media channels, blog and on-site signage to educate customers on the importance of frequent washing to prevent damage from these factors.
In April, Earth Day provides an opportunity for you to tout your environmental friendliness. This is also another prime gift-giving time with Mother’s Day in May.
- Employee Appreciation Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- April Fool’s Day
- Earth Day
- Kentucky Derby
- Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be with You)
- Cinco de Mayo
- Memorial Day
You’re probably starting to notice a bit of a slowdown in business, but there are many ways to drum up extra business. Father’s Day in June is another great time to boost gift certificate sales. Independence Day is also a fun holiday to build promotions and fun events around. Consider holding a barbeque with free hot dogs.
With kids returning to school in late August, you could partner with schools and organizations to hold fundraisers. This is a great way to get people to try your wash for the first time and cultivate goodwill within your community.
- National Donut Day
- Flag Day
- Father’s Day
- Independence Day
- Back to School
- National Dog Day
- Labor Day
Fall is traditionally the slowest season for car washes, but drivers should be concerned about sap and falling leaves that can muck up their cars and even cause damage.
This is another good chance to educate your customers, as Northeast-Ohio based Rainforest Car Wash did on their Facebook page:
Rainforest also took advantage of Halloween with its wildly popular Haunted Car Wash, which garnered national attention. It just goes to show you don’t have to write Fall off as a slow season.
- Veterans Day
- Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday
These are just a few ideas. If you take time to think about it, you can probably come up with many more. The key is to have fun with it. That fun spirit will be contagious and provide memorable experiences that create loyal customers.