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Car Wash Marketing: Pros and Cons of Marketing to Millennials

Car Wash Marketing: Pros and Cons of Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are a key demographic for every car wash target market. Millennials, or Generation Y, are defined as consumers between 18 to 34 years old. This group is approximately 75 million strong and wields $1.3 trillion in annual buying power.  Aside from that, millennials are also known to have a huge influence on the buying decisions of their parents, families, and employers. These facts are certainly enough to warrant having millennials as your car wash target market.

In the past, millennials have been branded as cheapskates. In truth, millennials are buying. says they’re just buying differently.  Millennials are so different from generations before them that it would take good marketing strategies to capture them as your car wash target market.

Marketing to millennials can be a bit tricky and surely has its ups and downs. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having millennials as your target market.

Pros of Having Millennials as Your Car Wash Target Market

Abundant Research on Millennials

According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, millennials are likely the most studied generation to date. This will greatly aid you in your research for your auto detailing or car wash business. Whatever data you need, it will be easy to find. Scores of qualitative and quantitative data are available on the internet. Data-gathering for your marketing strategies will be much easier.

Tech savvy… Easy to reach!

Tech savvy... Easy to reach!

Tech savvy… Easy to reach!

The most consistent fact about millennials is that they are technically adept as they were born into technologically advanced societies. They value their smartphones the most and prefer mobile transactions like mobile banking and online purchasing. According to this study, they are the largest segment of smartphone owners. This becomes an advantage because they allow a convenient medium where car wash owners can reach them. Car wash marketing becomes easier. You can focus your resources on mobile and online promotions to hone in on millennials as your target market.

Millennials are social impact consumers

A 2013 Social Impact Study of a public relations and marketing company, Cone Communications, introduced millennials as the new social impact consumers. According to the report, when companies support social and environmental issues, millennials respond with increased trust (91%) and loyalty (89%). Their likelihood to buy those companies’ products and services is also stronger (89%).

If you genuinely support a cause like your car wash detailing business is an environment-friendly car wash, you will have millennials as staunch supporters and loyal consumers. They will be your loyal customers and brand advocates.

Millennials conduct their own research before buying

A new study from G/O Digital discovered that 62% of millennials research products or services on Facebook before buying. This is one of the distinctive characteristics of millennials. They research on products and services online before they purchase it. You can use this to your advantage by putting up a website and a blog. Encouraging your satisfied customers to place positive testimonials on your website or on a user reviews website would also make millennials find your car wash business easily.

Cons of Having Millennials as Your Car Wash Target Market

Millennials are full of contradictions

While there are plenty of studies performed on millennials, data are varied and sometimes contradictory. This is in part due to the fact that millennials are the most racially diverse generation in America according to Pew Research Center. Consider these facts from 43% of millennials in the US are nonwhite, the largest share of any generation, and one-fourth of millennials in the US speak a language other than English at home. Another reason is that millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. According to Goldman-Sachs, it has given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than other generations. Their diversity and all these contradictions may prove millennials to be a challenging target market.

Millennials expect technology to work

Millennials have grown up with digital devices and internet.  This may put you at a disadvantage as they expect technology to work perfectly. You have to make sure that your website and marketing emails do not contain full-sized images that may cause it to load slowly on their devices. If it takes too long, millennials are not going to waste their time waiting. You also have to make sure that your website is well-maintained by a competent technical staff to avoid crashing. A simple downtime of your website may already discourage millennials from taking their business to your car wash. In short, your online presence should be impeccable.

Millennials are hard to please

Millennials do have the potential to be brand loyal, but their trust is more difficult to gain and easier to lose, according to’s 2013 Next Generation Car Buyer Study. Moreover, millennials care about what’s genuine and authentic. You have to take extra measures in ensuring that you don’t turn away your car wash target market by seeming insincere. Brenda Kaye, Brand Strategist, writes on, “Without a company’s expressing an entrepreneur’s feelings and passion, even if what the firm has done is positive, millennials will see the effort as a business ploy.”

Millennials are a social generation

While technology is close to millennials’ hearts, only few of them in the US consider online advertising to be credible. Instead, they collaborate with others, mostly through social media when deciding to purchase a product or a service. This could work to your car wash business’ disadvantage. Just one unhappy customer posting a bad review about your car wash and you can say goodbye to your car wash target market. Thus, it is a must to carefully plan out the marketing strategy when you want millennials as part your car wash target market. Be sure that you have alternative plans and damage control when necessary. Keep your  social media platforms manned and handled by appropriate personnel.

Marketing to millennials is not a bed of roses. It can be good news for your business but it can also cause problems if your marketing plans aren’t executed properly. Watch out for the next post. We have listed down proven ways on How to Market Effectively to Millennials.

Do you have a large customer base of millennials in your car wash and auto detailing business? The comment box is waiting for your millennial stories. We’d love to hear from you.

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