The pest control industry has grown and evolved drastically over the last two decades with technological advancements, newer industry-wide initiatives, societal changes and cultural shifts. As my time as the executive director of PPMA draws to a close, I would like to highlight six key learnings from over the years that I hope will help you grow and advance your business.
1. THE POWER OF GOOD PRESS—LEVERAGE AND PROMOTE YOUR WINS
There is something noteworthy about marching to the beat of your own drum in the pest control industry. Do not shy away from highlighting what makes you unique and stand out from the crowd. The press is a powerful tool to showcase your business to your customers and raise awareness about the impact and importance of this industry. It is also necessary to establish a good rapport with local media and promote the wins you obtain, especially coverage that features your company as an expert opinion in relation to local issues. Additionally, in times of crisis, it will serve you well to be courageous but also cautious about how you navigate the situation. You should have a firm grasp of how your company is currently perceived, how you would like to be perceived, and what needs to be done to get from the former to the latter.
Be your own storyteller and maneuver the narrative to your favor depending on the current issue.
2. DIGITAL CHANGES ON A DIME
With all the new trends, applications and updates over the last two years, let alone two decades, it is paramount for businesses to adapt to the digital changes so they are not left behind.
Professional websites and active social media platforms help to build a strong digital presence that showcases your company to potential customers, boosting credibility and building awareness. The technological landscape is continuously growing and evolving; it is imperative that pest control companies do the same.
3. RESEARCH TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER IS CRITICAL
Who are your customers? How often do they use pest control services? What method of communication do they prefer? To answer questions like these is where research must come into play. Research serves as a critical resource in ensuring companies have correct and adequate data about their customers, allowing them to gain more insight into how they can better serve their customer base. It can provide strategic guidelines for communicating with different audiences.
Detailed studies and analysis of your customers not only aid in improving media relation efforts but also help to decipher what action steps your company could take to gain and retain more customers.
4. BE ROOTED IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Community relations is an integral part of the pest control industry. Do not neglect the impact of offline connections, as face-to-face interactions and informal gatherings offer a great way for community members to get to know each other. Continually establish relations with the regions you serve and join forces with community leaders who have significant influence in the area that can broadcast your message and, in turn, positively impact your business. Your company should not be solely viewed as one of the businesses in the area. Instead, it should be situated as a vital part of the community, especially as it pertains to protecting public health.
5. MAINFRAME: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RECREATE THE MARKETING WHEEL
Mainframe is an online digital marketing agency for companies seeking to improve their public relations, social media or marketing programs. In this fast-paced age where quality content is needed quickly, Mainframe provides pest control companies of all sizes access to hundreds of customizable and ready-to-use communication materials reviewed by entomologists and industry experts. From consumer surveys and AI research to marketing toolkits and designed collateral, this online subscription platform is a great way to save money while still receiving high-quality content. Companies do not have to recreate the marketing wheel as most of the work has been done. With Mainframe, you’ll have more time to devote to other needs within your business.
6. GET INVOLVED IN NPMA AND INVEST WITH PPMA
As part of the pest management industry, you are essential—and so is NPMA. The National Pest Management Association is your all-important link to industry-specific professional resources and services that you will not find anywhere else. It is an exclusive, global network of pest management professionals with valuable benefits for thousands of NPMA members to use daily. I cannot stress enough the value of the pest control community coming together to uplift the industry. Fueled by the support of investors, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) serves as the consumer marketing arm of NPMA, working year-round to grow, promote, protect and defend the industry through a full-scale marketing development program. Investing in PPMA is a way to give back to the industry, and it also serves each pest control company at large, as PPMA has been cited as one of the primary reasons for industry growth this year.
Each pest control company functions differently. However, from a small-scale business to a large corporation, I have found that these strategies, when applied effectively, have proven beneficial in advancing business success and marketing efforts.