Is a Marketing Plan Important for a Co-Working Space?
The answer is yes.
A room filled with a marketer, a graphic designer, a travel blogger, and an IT consultant all working together in the same space. There is a need in the market for such kinds of co-working spaces. According to studies, 84% of people feel more motivated to work when working in some type of co-working space and 68% feel their skills have improved since working in a shared space. These spaces increase motivation and productivity, reduce loneliness, and lead to better networking opportunities. This marketing strategy is designed to help your co-working business stand out and succeed.
SWOT marketing analysis
Doing a thorough SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is helpful for coming up with a marketing plan for any business. For our specific co-working space, its strength is that it’s needed. As stated before, co-working spaces have been known to increase employee motivation, productivity, and happiness. A weakness that many co-working spaces face is attracting new people. Of those surveyed by Statista, nearly two-thirds of spaces surveyed identified the lack of new customers as its greatest challenge. Many potential customers are deterred by the high prices that a membership to a co-working space entails. Opportunities for the co-working space industry is that it is growing. Partnering with other local businesses is a great opportunity for growth. Threats that any co-working space is facing is the increasing number of competition in the marketplace. However, this threat may not necessarily be entirely negative. As more competition enters the marketplace, there is more awareness brought to this type of service and your business can benefit from this.
Long and short-term marketing goals
Defining your long and short-term goals is a necessity in coming up with a thorough marketing strategy. A short-term goal is something you can accomplish in 12 months or less. A long-term goal is something that you want to do much farther in the future and that require much more time and planning. Both goals must be SMART goals. A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. An example of a short and long-term goal for your co-working space could be:
Short-term goal: Grow social media presence and increase social media following by 60% over the next year.
Long-term goal: Broaden product and service opportunities to penetrate a new market segment over the next 5 years.
Define target audience
An important step in any marketing strategy is to know your audience. Knowing your customers is essential in customer acquisition and retention. According to surveys, 65% of people who use co-working spaces are younger than 40. The majority of them are freelancers, specifically in the IT industry followed by PR, marketing, and sales. While most of the customers are freelancers, there’s been an increase of enterprise company members opting for co-working spaces.
Outline what you need to attract your customers’ attention
- A strong social media strategy. Use Instagram to show off your space’s aesthetic and services. Use Twitter and LinkedIn to follow members and network with them.
- Membership perks. Since price is what often deters people from signing up for co-working space memberships, offer your members perks and freebies. Perhaps you can also team up with other local co-working spaces to offer your members health insurance. Or perhaps there’s a special referral discount that you offer. Or a happy hour bar specifically for members. Or free childcare. Or video game consoles. Be creative.
- Offer a 24/7 space. Surveys showed that 59% of co-working spaces members prefer a place they can have access to 24/7. More and more people do not want to be bound by traditional 9 to 5 hours and want the freedom and independence to choose their own hours.
- Team up with other local businesses. Perhaps team up with a local coffee shop to provide the drinks and amenities for your members. Or a local catering team or live music band. This will increase brand awareness in your community and can provide great networking opportunities.
Offer a step-by-step plan to attract and hold customers’ attention
- Optimize a social media presence by using Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to establish an online presence and a relationship with our customers online.
- Develop a persona to help project the company’s image and goals to customers.
- Review any possible recommendations and reviews to keep improving the business and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Create events to attract new customers and provide them with offers and discounts.
- Explain to the customers the quality of the workspace that is being provided.
- Partner with other companies to provide space for their employees if needed.
- Provide discounts for loyal customers and long-term contracts.
- Team up with local businesses to provide beverages and food.
- Use Email Marketing as a way to attract and retain customers.
- Partner with influencers to spread more awareness.
- Keep the customers engaged at the provided location and online.
- Invest in SEOs to increase awareness and organic traffic.
- Use Google Ads to attract customers and go discover the workspace.
Show how to analyze and improve marketing performance
To establish yourself in the market, it is vital for a company to be able to evaluate and monitor its performance levels and justify its return on marketing investment. We recommend to do consistent annual, quarterly and year-over-year evaluations of their performance levels in order to monitor the success rate of their marketing strategies.
With customers being one of the most significant stakeholders to the success of a company, it is important to evaluate consumer satisfaction, profitability, and acquisition rates. A successful business can listen to its customers and develop products and services to match the needs of these customers. We recommend conducting annual surveys to gain a deeper consumer perception of the portal and its services as well as take recommendations from consumers for any improvements they might prefer.
Digital and Social Media Marketing
Various SEO marketing metrics may be used to help understand the result of paid or organic search traffic. Metrics such as keyword click-through rate and keyword ranking can also enable a company to better analyze the effect of its digital investment in SEOs. Other platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have introduced various KPI measuring analytics including CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) and CPP (cost per pixels). Some of the following metrics could prove beneficial in order to monitor the performance of its promotional programs on a bi-weekly basis.
Other marketing metrics
● Brand awareness – With the main promotional aim is to increase brand awareness, this metric would enable companies to track how potential customers hear about the brand on social media and search engines.
● Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI/ROI) – Enable Visto to measure the ability of marketing campaigns and their impact on generating new revenue.
● Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – measures the costs required to gain a new customer
● Lifetime value of a Customer (LTV) – measures the amount of gross profit that is generated from a customer over the entire time of doing business with a company.
People have the need for a quality workspace that is open 24/7 and convenient regardless if you are part of a group, company or simply coming as an individual. While we believe that implementing our recommended strategies and tactics will allow the company to reach the identified target market, it is possible that unexpected challenges will arise, both externally and internally. Image problems, poor retention rates, are just a few scenarios that could potentially happen. In order to diminish these risks, we must continually monitor the effectiveness of its marketing efforts by using the aforementioned key performance metrics, such as customer lifetime value (CLV). If a recommended action does not meet expectations or yields unfavorable results, necessary adjustments can be made to budgets and timelines.
About the authors
- DeAnne Dato-on resides in Dallas, TX. She is currently in graduate school studying marketing and is a digital marketing analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing.
- Saleem Abdulhadi resides in Toronto, Canada. He is a fresh graduate after receiving his Bachelors in marketing management.