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Car Wash Marketing: How to Market to Millennials Effectively

How to Market to Millennials Effectively

Car Wash Marketing: How to Market to Millennials Effectively

A few years back, you may have never thought of intentionally including millennials as a target market of your car wash and auto detailing business. They have been called cheapskates, lazy and a lot of other things. But they have grown up and are emerging as significant players in the country’s economy. That is why it is essential that you, as a business owner, know how to market to millennials effectively.

Some of the things we thought we knew about millennials were debunked. Case in point: Global Fleet discovered that, contrary to popular belief, millennials want to use or own cars. 71% of millennials would rather buy than rent a car. 43% are either very or completely likely to purchase a car in the next five years. 78% of millennials use 10% or less of their income on their cars. This, coupled with the fact that they have a huge population and buying power, makes the millennial generation worth targeting as your car wash’s market.

The question is, how exactly to market to millennials? After all, millennials, or Generation Y, is a diverse group and grew up in a completely different era. Thus, conventional marketing may not work for them. To quote Barkley,  an independent advertising agency:

“When you’re dealing with digital natives, none of the old rules of marketing apply.”

So, what will work?

How to Market to Millennials – Tips

1. Be Online

Millennials grew up with the Internet. Most of them can’t even remember a time without the World Wide Web. According to Global Web Index data, millennials spend 7.43 hours per day on the internet. Therefore, this is where your auto wash and detailing business also needs to be: online.

Set up a website and blog for your car wash. Why? Forbes says 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase. In comparison, fewer than 3% of them do it for TV news, magazines, and books. Establish a social media presence. It is a must. Be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! You simply cannot market to millennials if you are not on Social Media. Millennials turn to social media for an authentic look at what’s going on in the world.

2. Be Engaging When You Market to Millennials

It’s not enough, though, for your car wash business to have a social media presence. It is just a way to reach and market to millennials, but you will not keep their attention long if the communication is not two-way. Entrepreneur suggests making interactions more personal. Millennials will talk about your car wash online and will expect a reply. Reply to their reviews. Join car detailing forums. Like their tweets and, if possible, reward them with discounts and freebies at your car wash. There are many ways to use social media effectively. In another article the same online source says 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.

3. Be Socially Responsible

In the Boston Consulting Group’s report, The Millennial Consumer, millennials were identified as believing that working for causes is an integral part of life. Consequently, millennials expect companies to care about social issues. Furthermore, they will reward with a purchase those that partner with the right causes. Millennials will bring their business to your car wash if you support a charity or if your car wash is environment-friendly. For instance, a research by shows that 74% of millennials are more likely to buy a product if the proceeds go to charity. Therefore, when you market to millennials, do not forget to emphasize on your positive social or environmental impact.

4. Market to Millennials through Collaboration

Car Wash Marketing: How to Market to Millenials Effectively A study by Millennial Marketing gives us a more concrete picture of this demographic. 40% of millennials want to participate in the co-creation of products and brands while 70% feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience. This is also supported by a Forbes article. It says that millennials enjoy the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands as long as they believe that their opinions matter to the company in question.

Millennials are a generation who wants to co-create the product and the brand – with you. Companies that understand this and figure out ways to engage in this co-creation relationship with this group will have an edge. You can make this your edge. Listen to your millennial customers’ feedback, complaints, etc. Welcome their participation in making your car wash an even better business.

5. Let Millennials and Social Media Do the Marketing for You

The way to establish a relationship with customers, including millennials, is to focus on giving them the best experience at your car wash. Their experience should be noteworthy enough to prompt them to document and share it. This will work wonders for your car wash.

According to Social, for 95% of millennials in the US friends are the most credible sources of product information. Digital word of mouth is one of the most effective tools to market to millennials. They write reviews, blog and Tumblr; update Wikipedia entries; and post YouTube, Vine, and Instagram videos. All you have to do is customize your car wash service to address their adventurous spirit and they will do the marketing for you.

6. Caveat

Much has been said about millennials as they are probably the most researched generation. They are a very diverse group and some facts are contradictory. But experts agree on one thing: millennials value their individuality. As stated in an article on

“Companies or brands that successfully market to millennials are ones that recognize that there is no such thing as a ‘millennial’ — just individuals or groups of individuals who are at a similar life stage and have lived through similar experiences. They want to be treated for who they are, rather than be lumped together and labeled.”


Generalizations from studies on millennials are important to understand what makes this generation tick. Statistics and macro trends can help you determine how your car wash can better serve millennials. Just always remember that your target consumers are individuals with different needs and wants. Upgrade your car wash marketing and promotions to attract a diverse group of consumers. Do not look at them as one whole market, but see them as specific individuals.

Marketing to millennials is not plain black and white. You may need the insights from the car wash and auto detailing experts. Be a DetailXPerts automotive franchisee. You will get guidance on how to implement marketing strategies to various groups of people, not just millennials. Download our Free Franchise Info Kit to get more information now!

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