Old School Meets New School: Welcomemat Services Bridges the Gap in Local Marketing
Old School Meets New School: Welcomemat Services Bridges the Gap in Local Marketing

Marketing franchise mixes tried-and-true strategies with modern technology.

“Local” is more than just a buzzword in the marketing world, it’s the lifeblood of every small business. Talk to any franchise owner, especially those working with brands that may not have a huge national presence, and they’ll tell you the importance of getting out there and making a splash in local markets to build a customer base.

Of course, effective marketing is about more than just shaking hands and kissing babies. Business owners must find that sweet spot between old-fashioned advertising and hyper-targeted promotion. While there are more tools than ever before to help businesses accomplish this, most franchise owners are not social media wunderkinds, and, in most cases, they don’t have the money necessary to hire one.

Enter Welcomemat Services. Started in 2003 by Brian Mattingly, the goal of Welcomemat Services from the beginning was to help local businesses compete with the bix box competition through the use of targeted marketing. That simple idea has spread into a national franchise with 51 territories across the country, 43 of them franchises, helping local businesses stay in the game.

But how does Welcomemat lay out the, ahem, welcome mat, for consumers? By using tried-and-true advertising strategies.

“[Welcomemat Services] focuses on the new mover niche as a way of connecting new families moving into local neighborhoods with the best businesses, services, entertainment and medical practices in the area,” said Krissy Many, owner at Welcomemat Services of The Hudson Valley.

New additions to the neighborhood are soon greeted by a Welcomemat mailer envelope filled with gifts. No, not coupons, but things most people actually want to receive. From free large pizzas to complimentary oil changes and everything in between, the goal is for consumers to immediately associate positive feelings with local businesses in their communities.

Welcomemat Services is the first to admit this type of marketing strategy dates back to as far as the 1920s, but the company has also implemented modern techniques to ensure its services pay off.

“We added technology such as mobile and social media,” Many said. “We provide our clients with a demographic report that tells them not only how their marketing dollars are bringing people through their door, but who these new customers are. This gives the business an opportunity to further analyze their new customer base and target market or reach these new customers again.”

Knowing who customers are is equally as important as appealing to them in the first place, a lesson Welcomemat Services founder Brian Mattingly knows all too well.

“Do you really know your customers?” Mattingly asked. “This is a critical question that all business owners are regularly evaluating in an effort to increase customer loyalty and profitability.”

Welcomemat Services is indeed a niche marketing service, but Many spotlighted just why its niche is so important to local businesses.

“Families and individuals moving into your neighborhood are a group of potential customers like no other you have approached before,” she said. “These customers are actively seeking out local stores, shops, restaurants and medical resources to fill their daily needs. Since new movers spend five times more in their first year than the average consumer, they are a valuable audience and lucrative target market.”

If the positive testimonials of Welcomemat Services clients are any indication, Many and the rest of the company team are right on the money.