Marketing Plans for the Parking Industry
Building a parking company requires a strong strategic marketing plan in order to create a niche among potentially heavy competition and to generate a constant stream of revenue. Increased gas prices and more alternatives to driving make it even more imperative that you develop a plan that helps identify people willing to pay for parking. Then, it’s a matter of developing marketing messages that encourage that target market to use your facility rather than the competition’s lot.
Gather all the information available about the customers who currently park at your facility to uncover additional ways to advertise to this market. Take a look at their income level, as this plays a role in whether or not they can afford to park. Your company may want to focus on several different target markets, such as travelers who require airport parking, employees who need parking during work hours or concert goers and trade-show attendees who want parking for just a day or an evening. You may want to appeal to shoppers if your facility is located near a mall or downtown shopping area. Convincing people who use coin meters that your parking lot makes a better choice may also be a goal.
Take a careful look at your competition, including city-managed facilities, commercial building developers and companies that provide parking for their employees. You should also research hotels and restaurants that provide parking for their patrons. Determine what these companies offer, their target market and the prices they charge, in order to refine your own offerings. Research how your competitors appeal to people who need event parking. Look at the services they offer such as security measures and using a daily, rather than an hourly, rate to attract event attendees.
One way to attract people to your parking facility requires creating marketing messages with three or four key points, such as offering the lowest price, providing an in-and-out rate or mentioning the security you hire to patrol the premises 24 hours a day. Accepting various forms of payments, such as credit cards, may also help draw people short on cash. Another key message could focus on the updates you’ve made to the garage, or you could emphasize your sponsorship of a local civic organization so motorists know you contribute to the community.
Determine how much you can invest in marketing materials; this budget will determine in part the methods you employ to get out your message. To attract your target market, place sandwich signs with arrows pointing to your facility at the nearest intersections, and use another sign at the entrance to the garage or lot. If you offer a highly competitive price, post it on the sign. To attract customers during events, work a deal with the venue to announce a special rate in their marketing materials and ads. Send direct marketing materials to businesses within a few blocks of your facility to encourage their employees and guests to use the garage. Provide vouchers to the company to give to their guests to pay for parking, and offer to invoice the company at the end of each month for the vouchers used.