Today, 76% of people prefer to pay for parking using a mobile app. However, for people to transition to the app, they have to know about it first. To successfully launch a mobile parking program in your city, you have to launch an effective marketing program to help drive app utilization, improve compliance, and create a better experience for your customers. In last week’s webinar, “Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Parking Program,” we heard from Jeff Perkins, CMO at ParkMobile, on best practices around customer marketing, including signage, public relations, advertising and promotion, digital presence, face-to-face interaction, user engagement, social media, and more. Check out our top takeaways from the session below.

Top 7 Takeaways from “Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Parking Program”

1. Constantly audit signage. Nearly 75% of our users learned about ParkMobile through signage. Always ensure your signage is accurate and effective with large zone numbers and prominent branding. For white labels, highlight that ParkMobile is also accepted for those who may be coming in from out of town. Signage should be placed both on the kiosk and adjacent or above the kiosk. Cities that do this see faster adoption. Always monitor signs and stickers and replace them when necessary and pay attention to users who point out ineffective signage over social media. When studying the impact of signage across ober 100 ParkMobile cities, we learned that improved signage increases adoption up to 74%.

2. Activate local media. Strong local press coverage is a great way to inexpensively build awareness around your parking program. To work with local media, keep an updated list of local media contacts for TV, radio, newspaper, and web. If you have an announcement, issue a press release and send it to your contact lists. Always be available for interviews with local reporters so that you can really tell your story, and tag local media when posting news to social channels. If you’re doing something big, consider offering exclusivity to one outlet. And if there’s ever ­­­a negative story, always issue a statement showing how you are working to resolve the issue in a fair way.

3. Create awareness through advertising and promotion. Local media outlets offer opportunities to promote your mobile parking program to a wide audience. Engage with both local radio and television to offer special promotions for parking in the city to help drive mobile app adoption for first-time users.

4. Solidify your digital presence. Everything starts with Google. To successfully market your program, you have to make sure relevant information is optimized across your website to ensure strong search results. On your website, make sure it’s easy for users to access valuable information by keeping it “above the fold.” Critical call-to-action items, such as “Download the App,” should be presented above the fold so that you are providing the user with the information they need. Across your website, make sure to provide engaging content and sufficient resources, such as video tutorials.

5. Leverage face-to-face interaction. When launching a mobile parking app in your city, utilize street teams to get things moving. These teams can find common places, such as farmer’s markets, art festivals, and concerts, to engage with consumers and inform them about the app. They can also provide wallet cards and premium items, as well as work with local retailers in the area to offer promotions. You can also offer promotions in municipal offices. This way, the hundreds of people who visit municipal offices every day can access collateral, signage, and premium items informing them about your mobile parking program.

6. Engage with your users. Through email, you can keep in touch with your customers to inform them about market launches, expansions into new areas, promotions, product enhancements, traffic alerts, weather updates, and satisfaction surveys. You can also use geo-fenced messaging to target visitors who already have the app on their phone as they travel into new areas, encouraging them to use the app in other available locations. Through in-app messaging, you can push high-impact messages to your users to provide information and drive behavior.

7. Stay active on social media. Social media can be an effective channel to promote your parking program, distribute information, and engage with users. You can also work with local influencers to promote usage of the ParkMobile app in your city. Whether engagement is positive or negative, always make sure to be responsive to your users across your social media channels. Always show empathy, try to help, and see issues through to resolution.

To learn more about the different ways you can raise awareness around your parking program and provide an engaging experience to your customers, you can watch the on-demand session of the webinar here. Our next webinar, “Understanding Consumer Behavior and Parking,” will take place on January 29th at 2:00 pm EST. See you there!