How one franchise owner used marketing to successfully get the buzz out about her new business.
Kate Kimpton has always had an interest in marketing and the positive impact it can have on any business. Now opening a Mosquito Joe location with her fiancé, Paul Gould, Kimpton’s using her previous experience to grab the attention of potential clients before opening day. How did the duo succeed in getting the word out in their Texas community? Allow Kimpton to explain.
She worked for multiple small companies within the Woodlands area of Texas, none of which had concrete marketing plans in place for their Web outreach. Kimpton took the bull by the horns and started developing Web content at each location, transforming websites and creating an online presence where none previously existed.
In her last position, Kimpton held a dual role. She was a financial analyst at a dental brokerage firm as well as the director of marketing. When she started at the firm, the website was outdated and unattractive. Most of the retiring dentists reaching out to sell their practices knew of the firm through word of mouth, but the younger graduates looking for a practice to purchase tackled their search very differently.
“I was worried that we were not getting our face out there for the younger generation,” Kimpton said. “I knew recent graduates would be looking on the Internet to find and compare their options. We needed to have a strong Web presence and create the reputation we had with the retiring dentists online as well.”
After rebranding the company with a bright and fresh logo, Kate began using social media outreach on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to get the firms’ name out to graduates and dental students. She revamped and expanded the website, creating an informational and interactive hub for clients, and encouraged everyone to provide online reviews and feedback. These changes allowed the firm to develop a network of recent graduates and increase sales.
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that if you’re not present on the Web, your validity as a company can be held into question,” Kimpton said. “A lot of consumers avoid using your services if they can’t find reviews online. We’re a social society now and without reviews, consumers are suspicious. The presence online almost verifies your existence. The brick and mortar used to make potential customers feel comfortable, but now it’s all about social presence.”
Kimpton adopted this logic into her marketing technique for Mosquito Joe. Keeping in mind that we are a social society, Kimpton and Gould began reaching out through as many mediums as possible. They contacted local realtors and builders, sent emails to potential clients, posted on social media and joined local Web groups, passed out fliers and placed yard signs throughout neighborhoods.
“As a business owner, you need to see the big picture. When you put that sign out, you need to realize you’re not going to get 10 calls right away,” Kimpton continued. “After you make your presence known in as many mediums as possible, all of your outreach is going to come together. If you focus on getting your brand out there in as many places as possible and creating an image that resonates, the clients will come.”
Kate has also started on community outreach efforts, which she believes will positively impact potential customers. With the recent flooding in Texas, and the first case of West Nile near their market, Kimpton and Gould are offering a free season of treatments to customers within their territory that have been affected by the West Nile Virus.
“I think people are starting to realize how important it is to support local businesses rather than the big guys,” she said. “Customers need to see us as more than a business, but as a part of the community in which we live. Once people start seeing that we are volunteering and getting involved wherever we can, they will remember us. We want to be involved because we want to be here for a long time. Reputation, to us, is everything.”