The self-storage industry is large and growing at an amazing rate. In 2020, the market was valued at some $48 billion and is expected to be worth $64.71 billion by 2026, growing at 5.45% compounded annually across that period. Growth is driven by increasing urbanisation, rising levels of economic activity and shifts in demand thanks to the effects of the pandemic. When you have that big a runway for growth, it inevitably attracts entrepreneurs and funding. We are in a golden age of self-storage startups and in this fierce competitive landscape, self-storage companies need to utilise marketing in order to attract customers. The question for many entrepreneurs is, “How do I market my self-storage company?”. In this article, I’ll answer that question.
Determine What Your Customer Base Is
Microsoft founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates, likes to say that not only do you have to “measure what matters”, you cannot consistently innovate without measuring the important stuff. The first step to finding innovative ways to market your self-storage company is to understand what your customer base is. We all like to believe that our products and services have a market size of “everyone”, but the reality is that our products and services appeal to a specific segment of people. Look under the hood and get the data. See what customers are driving revenue growth. Where are they from? What is their gender? How old are they? Get as many facts as you can until you have the most complete picture possible of what your typical customer looks like. Most of this information will be in your datasets as part of the rental agreements that your customers sign.
Find Out What Your Renters Use Your Space For
The second step is about more measurement. Get to know what your customers use their storage space for. This may give you insights about opportunities that you were previously unaware of. It will tell you what your value proposition is in the eyes of your customers. Look at your data and the unit sizes that your typical customer rents out. Do they like your large units, or do they prefer your portable storage pods? See how they responded to previous marketing campaign efforts, such as discounts. Again, you want to get a granular level understanding of your typical customer. Your marketing campaign must focus on this typical customer, rather than be diffused and aimed at attracting “everyone”. It’s not “everyone’ who loves your self-storage facilities, it’s a specific type of person.
Find Out How Your Customers Heard About Your Company
The final step in your journey of exploration is to find out how your customers first heard about your business. This is important because it tells you where your typical customer goes and where you can stage your marketing efforts. For instance, if they heard about your business on Instagram, that tells you that you need to focus on marketing on that platform. But if they say they heard about you at a local garage, then your strategy needs to shift. You need to go where your customers are.
When you have all these elements, you will have a complete picture of what your typical customer is, what their motives are, what they like about your business, and where you are likely to reach them. Now you can create a marketing campaign focused on getting your typical customer into your facilities.