5 Effective Marketing Ideas for Water Testing Labs
The most helpful lab marketing ideas are the ones you'll actually use. When you're practicing sound science and providing excellent customer service, it's easy to put marketing on the back burner. But even the best service in the world doesn't sell itself — so make marketing a constant priority to continue growing your business.
Here are five fast marketing ideas to build awareness about your lab's services and turn prospects into customers.
1. Craft Direct Marketing Campaigns
Start with market analysis to identify new business opportunities for your lab. Perform an overall industry analysis, such as market research to identify growth areas and industry trends. Hint: This is a good project to delegate to an intern.
In addition, analyze your current customer base. Who are your best clients, and why? Find out what they have in common — recurring orders, high-volume need, easygoing attitude, etc. — and let that lead your search for prospective customers. Build a list of ideal prospects that match these criteria along with their contact info.
Then, reach out directly to make an introduction to your targeted customers. Send a quick email introducing yourself, but be sure to keep it short and sweet; don't go for the hard sell just yet. This is simply a chance to let them know what kind of services your lab offers. Swing by their office and drop off a business card or flyer if they're local. In addition to email, direct marketing can include mail and phone, but it's important to find the right balance. Only use each type of promotion when it's relevant for you, Labs Explorer advises.
2. Boost Your Social Media Presence
Facebook and Twitter are powerful platforms where companies build brand awareness and communicate with customers. Use social media to demonstrate your expertise and show that you understand your customers. Don't just write posts that list your lab's services; incorporate informative posts, such as water quality warnings or links to articles that educate people about water testing requirements.
Social media is an amazing free marketing tool, but you should also consider paid advertising. Each platform has its own algorithms that decide how many people will see your posts (in marketing lingo, this is called the impressions). Paid advertising can boost a targeted post for a specific segment of users, like a reminder about an upcoming deadline for recreational water testing, or generally boost your company's social media page so that more people can find you.
3. Upsell and Gain Referrals From Current Customers
While the goal of marketing your lab is to gain new customers, don't forget to touch base with your current customers, too. This will give you a chance to upsell additional services they might need. Perhaps they have a recurring order for a standard service, but they might now be interested in premium services, such as sample pickup.
Send out a survey or interview customers to discover their particular needs. (Perhaps do this as part of your market analysis from the first tip.) Also, ask them if it's OK to quote them for a customer testimonial to include on your lab's website and social media pages.
Ask your regular customers to refer your lab to businesses and individuals who might also need water testing services. For example, a wastewater testing client could refer your lab to friends and family who need annual testing for their private wells. The Brand Boy suggests offering them incentives, such as a free test for each successful referral.
4. Pursue In-Person Marketing Opportunities
Get your lab involved with the local community to make connections in person. Consider hosting a lab tour, sponsoring local events, or running public education campaigns. Connecting with the general public through events like fundraisers or litter pickup days helps people recognize your brand. That way, when someone needs a water testing service, you'll be an obvious choice.
Another in-person marketing strategy is attending events where you're likely to find your target customers. Check out the American Water Works Association's events page to find networking opportunities, such as the water infrastructure conference or the Legionella conference.
5. Refresh Your Website
The previous marketing tips will pique potential customers' interest in your lab, but how will they learn about your services? They will search for your lab's website.
A professional, user-friendly website will create a strong first impression for prospective customers. Just as you spend time auditing testing procedures, you should also schedule time to audit your website. If you don't have time to do it today, at least put the task on your to-do list. Some quick ways to polish your website are:
- Adding new images.
- Deleting outdated information, such as services no longer offered.
- Adding seasonal reminders or announcements.
- Making sure that your homepage includes essential information, including types of services and the lab's operating hours.
Once your website is in good shape, consider investing in online advertising. This includes social media, Google Ads, and banner ads on trade websites (like hotels or municipal water sources). According to Labs Explorer, advertising may be easier than other promotion efforts. It doesn't require sales pitches, and you can reach thousands of targeted customers with one unique campaign.
The need for water testing is growing. Zion Market Research estimates the global water testing and analysis market will reach $4.5 billion by 2024. Capture as much of that market share as possible by making it easier for potential customers to find your lab's services.