5 Key Takeaways from PPMA’s New Consumer Research

How do consumers feel about professional pest control services? Do their thoughts and perceptions vary by generation? For the first time in history, pest control companies are servicing four generations of consumers—the Matures (1925-1946), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gen Xers (1965-1980) and Millennials (1981-1996)—all of which have different interests and preferred communication methods.

The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), the consumer outreach and education arm of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), recently partnered with a third-party research firm to learn more about the similarities and differences across three generational audiences relating to professional pest control needs and perceptions. The three groups surveyed included Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials.

Below are five key highlights and associated marketing tips from PPMA’s research to ensure you’re effectively engaging with all audiences:

1. All generations are consuming and sharing information online. Keep websites updated and embrace social media. These are great avenues to share insights that all groups will find valuable.

2. Pest control professionals save customers time, energy and money. While the majority of respondents feel comfortable tackling small jobs around the house, pest control professionals are typically called in for tasks deemed unfamiliar or especially concerning. Hone in on the convenience and time saving aspect of hiring a professional in website content, social media posts, advertising copy and more. Consider putting an emphasis on pests that respondents do not always think to call a pro for like ants, cockroaches, wasps and hornets.

3. Ants, mosquitoes and spiders are concerning; however, pest control professionals are typically called immediately for termites or bed bugs. Strategically time marketing efforts around these specific pests when they are most prevalent in your region. Think about joining PPMA in a marketing push tied to Termite Awareness Week (March) and Bed Bug Awareness Week (June).

4. Consumers look for experienced, trustworthy professionals who provide a work guarantee. This is commonly communicated through positive online reviews or personal recommendations. Stay apprised of your company’s online review rating and make note of strengths and areas to improve upon.

5. The average consumer is not making the connection between pest control and public health on their own; however, when prompted, the connection is drawn quickly. Help PPMA spread awareness by educating customers about the diseases and health concerns connected to public health pests.

More in-depth survey results are available exclusively to Mainframe subscribers. Not a PPMA investor? For more information about becoming an investor, gaining access to PPMAMainframe.org, or purchasing the full research study, contact cmannes@pestworld.org.

Survey Methodology: PPMA commissioned MARC, a third-party market research firm, to conduct a survey across Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations with the goal of understanding similarities and differences related to pest control needs and perceptions. The research was conducted in September 2017 and consisted of two parts—qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative portion included 45 in-depth interviews, also known as IDIs, via webcam with a moderator, which were split evenly across the three generational groups. These were conducted nationally among pest control users. The quantitative portion consisted of more than 1,200 online surveys and interviews that met PPMA’s key criteria of homeowners between the ages of 26 and 75 with a household income of $60K or higher. The respondents identified themselves as the decision makers of the home, and personally used professional pest control services within the past five years or would be likely to use professional services in the future.

Cindy Mannes is the executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance. Visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma for more information on how you can become involved.

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