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The Green Ps for Marketing Contract Cleaning Services

The Green Ps for Marketing Contract Cleaning Services

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Published by B Clark
According to marketing gurus, there are 7 P's of marketing for service businesses. With climate change a major issue there are now 8 marketing P's, with the new 'P", "p" for planet arguably the most important. This applies to all service businesses, not just cleaning.
According to marketing gurus, there are 7 P's of marketing for service businesses. With climate change a major issue there are now 8 marketing P's, with the new 'P", "p" for planet arguably the most important. This applies to all service businesses, not just cleaning.

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Published by: B Clark on Jul 11, 2009
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06/08/2010

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The Green P’s
By Brian Clark. Janitech Australasia
Contract cleaning, as an industry, is in a growth phase. Unfortunately, the growth isrepresented by increase in market size, rather than increases in profitability.Currently in Australia there are over 7000 competing firms, mostly headed by peoplewith no formal training in business and management. Furthermore, the barriers toentry to the contract cleaning industry are almost non-existent, with only basic skillrequirements, no licensing and low start up capital required.The combination of these factors has seen fierce competition based solely on price.The result has been falling standards, a perceived lack of differentiation betweencompanies and a diminished perception of the professionalism for the industry as awhole from the perspective of it’s customer base. The cleaning industry fails in it’sability to market itself effectively and provide real differentiation for it’s customers.
Marketing p’s
There are, arguably, seven basic elements of marketing activity that can be utilisedin the generation of sales for a product or service. They include
roduct 
(Offering the right product or service),
rice
(which is linked to the customer’s perception of value);
lace
(how the product gets to the customers);
romotion
(How we communicate with the customer);
articipants
(The interaction between a firms employees and the customer);
hysical Evidence
(crucial for a service business);
rocess
(The things you do that affect the customer).Any combination of these elements in a marketing strategy is called the marketingmix. The marketing mix should incorporate as many of the ‘P’s as possible to reflectand augment your corporate strategy. Currently, it could be argued that the contractcleaning industry utilises only 2 or 3 ‘P’s as
P
rice is the predominant strategy. All thischanges with Green Cleaning.Major property owners worldwide are recognising the environmental and financialbenefits of green. Green Cleaning is a real opportunity for the contractor todetermine strategies to maximise differentiation, to sideline the competition bychanging the rules, to increase margins and improve the overall standing of theirbusiness. Green is not so much about cleaning as it is about process. The contractoris integral to the ongoing effectiveness and success of a green building program andthe smart ones will become the driver of innovation.Green Cleaning adds another ‘P’ to the marketing program, P for PLANET (See Fig 1).This ‘P’ becomes central to the development and implementation of business andmarketing strategies and enables the contractor to utilise and intertwine the other 7
 
P’s in developing a program and an offering that is irresistible to a correctly targetedand important customer group.With P for Planet as the central plank of your marketing mix, P for Price becomes lessrelevant when taken in context with the power of your overall offering. With Green,your
P
roduct offering is a key plank of your green credentials. If the product is right,the remaining ‘P’s come into play.
P
rocesses that you offer within the green program must reflect your overallcommitment to, and understanding of, the implementation of green.
‘P’
forparticipants is powerful because, for green programs to work, the contractor andtheir staff are brought into direct contact with and become part of the daily life of thebuilding tenants and users. The participants must be involved through intensive andongoing training, communication, involvement (team development), and, penultimately, entwinement with the building community.The definition of 
P
lace changes somewhat, because the contractor and the customerwill benefit from their proximity to the building and the proximity of suppliers. Theminimisation of energy in transportation of employees and supplies to maintain thebuilding will have a major impact on energy usage, carbon generated and thebuildings environmental footprint.
Figure 1: Green ‘P’s for cleaning Contractors. P for Planet is the additional P and becomes the central plank of a green marketing strategy. The additional P's of Passion and Purpose are more descriptive of implementationand focus.
 
The
P
hysical evidence is not simply how clean the building is, but a holistic validationof the impact of the green strategies that the contractor puts in place in the building.This P is one which is driven by, and drives innovation, and innovation withmeasurable outcomes, is a key point of difference from a competitor.Green also opens up levels of sophistication and specialisation for a contractor. Fig 2illustrates the levels of risk and return with three levels of differentiation in greencleaning.Understanding Green and it’s impact on a building and it’s occupants and the overalllife-cycle costing of the building changes the ball park totally in the cleaning game.Your objectives change from providing a building that looks clean to a complex inter-relationship of factors that impact the environment and the carbon footprint of yourcustomer. These outcomes include, but are not limited to:
Minimising life-cycles costs of building and their components
Maximising life cycle of the building and component
Reducing resource consumption
Reducing resource waste
Increasing system efficiency
Emphasis on source and waste reduction
Creating healthy environments for building users
Creating a good working environment….
Figure 2: Specialisation in green cleaning carries inherent risks, especially if you rush to market before thecustomers are ready. The more the specialisation, the more complex the relationship becomes, the higher thepotential return and increases the difficultly of entry by ‘me-too’ competitors.

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