The choice to use your toll facility often depends on how the customer feels about it. Marketing the benefits the facility provides is important to develop customer loyalty and community support.
The first step in effectively marketing your facility is determining who is or should be your customer. Next, you can establish a plan around the following three areas:
- Increasing Customers
IDing Your Customer
Identifying your customer is a critical first step toward assessing the need for the facility. What will motivate them to use your facility? Is it avoiding congestion (reducing stress), getting where they need to go on time (predictability), or maybe simple convenience? It could be all three, and the key is communicating effectively to your diverse customer group.
For example, in addressing congestion, the focus should be marketing the idea of the traveler’s trip. For people dealing with time constraints, a selling point could be that the facility will help provide a reliable, predictable arrival time whether for deliveries, work, or family events. For the group of people solely dealing with the convenience factor, they would have the ability to easily get on and off the facility to travel to where they’re going while minimizing the stress of the commute.
Your marketing approach defines how you meet those needs for your customer. It provides timely information and is focused on making people feel confident in their decision to use your facility. In many cases, the single best way to grow business is to have other customers advocate on your behalf. Having customers express satisfaction in their own words is a powerful tool.
An effective way to measure the response to your marketing plan is through the customer’s response to promotions. A second option is to analyze the use of the facility by your best customers. Where do they enter and where do they leave? This type of research can help you understand key motivators and identify specifics that are important to a high-value group of customers. It also helps identify your major employers that support your operations.
Your marketing materials should identify what differentiates you from other options available. Effective marketing will attract a potential customer’s attention. Once you have that, the next step is performance. Providing a facility that customers can rely on leads to repeat use of your facility and establishes your brand. This leads to meeting your toll revenue goals and beneficial bond ratings.