How Do You Build the Value of Your IICRC Certification into Your Marketing Message?
My customers have never asked me about IICRC Certification.” This statement is usually written somewhere in social media or spoken in the halls of a supplier showroom or trade show just prior to an explanation about why that person is not attending a specific IICRC school or renewing their IICRC certification. One of the advantages of being in the supply side of the industry since 1983 is having on my side the benefit of time testing all theories. And I have concluded whether it was a newbie carpet cleaner in 1984, or a cleaner who is a well-known social media influencer in 2021 making this statement, what it demonstrates is a gross misunderstanding of marketing. It should not surprise anyone that a person who has not been provided with any kind of formal marketing training for business at all looks at marketing only through the lens of advertising. They are hit with ad after ad trying to manipulate, er, I mean influence them to purchase a specific product. They watch the super bowl with eager anticipation to see which commercial is their favorite, all while understanding each 30 second time slot cost the advertiser millions of dollars. “The IICRC has not done anything to educate or market to my customer what the benefits of using an IICRC Certified technician are. My customers have never even heard of the IICRC.” This is where the misunderstanding becomes so obvious. The IICRC is not a for profit corporation with a product that they sell literally billions of dollars-worth of to millions of consumers. There is no way they could spend enough on advertising to make the organization a “household name.” Have you heard of the National Association or Landscape Professionals? How about the ISA – the organization that oversees certification programs for arborists? How about the Chimney Safety Institute of America – an organization that certifies Chimney Sweeps? Me neither. But the next time I need my chimney swept I might pay more attention. All of those are certification organizations within industries that neither you, nor I likely have much knowledge about. So, it is for your carpet cleaning or water damage restoration customer and the IICRC. They would not know anything about them unless they need the services of a company who are certified by them.
That’s the key point. Your IICRC Certification will matter to your customer when your marketing makes it matter. It is when you demonstrate to your customer or potential customer “what is in it for them?” to hire an IICRC Certified technician or firm. So how do you build the value of your IICRC Certification into your marketing message? It is simple really. By simply taking the time to answer their question – “What is in it for them?”
What about all of the “bad apples” who are IICRC Certified?
Take a moment to step back and think about it. What is the value of hiring someone who has formal education and measured learning? You can take any program of measured accomplishment and find lots of people who are still not great at that job or service; lets call them a favorite word of critics – “hypocrites.” But there-in lay one of the keys. All programs, all faiths, all sciences for that matter have in their midst – hypocrites and cheats. The mere presence of immoral or hypocritical people inside a program only proves one thing – that program contains humans. There are bad or immoral apples in every group. So, let’s start by throwing out the “hypocrite” or “cheat” excuse first thing.
Now that we have thrown out the hypocrite or cheat excuse, we can focus on the main reason for this article – finding ways to tell the customer what is in it for them when they hire you – a trained and certified professional cleaner or restorer.
What things come to mind when you think about what being IICRC Certified means? But What is in It for your Customer?
Credibility? Knowledge and Technical Expertise? Product understanding? Knowledge of warranties? Working with manufacturers or insurance companies? Cleaning or Restoration Science? Understanding regulations? Following industry standards of care and/or standards? All of those are important. But those are buzzwords for our industry – not Joe and Jane Consumer or Businessperson. Your job in marketing the benefits of your IICRC Certification to your clients or potential clients is to explain how those buzzwords will benefit them as the recipient of your service. Let’s do that now.
So how do you deliver this marketing message? Well, the best way is over time. Build it into your social media posts. Include one section at a time in your newsletter. Make it the last page of your sales brochure. Make a video about it. But the key is to start communicating to your clients and potential clients – what is in it for them!
Don’t worry, we want to provide some help. We took these key principles and built them into both a residential and a commercial message. See the print/electronic ads we developed for you below:
These pages are part of the HydraMaster RapidGrowth Marketing Plan for Carpet Cleaners. This comprehensive plan contains a complete collection of marketing messages prepared for you to deliver. It is free to those folks who invest in HydraMaster truckmount and request it. But if that is not in your immediate horizon, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and write” IICRC Benefits” in the subject line and we will email them to you.