Auto repair advertising is just like any other kind of advertising–which is to say, it’s mostly ignored.
Today’s consumers are bombarded with sales pitches by everything from pizza parlors to cosmetic surgery clinics. Between the coupon books, telemarketing calls, direct mail, outdoor billboards, and radio–not to mention the vastness of the Internet–your prospective customers are in a state of constant marketing hyper-stimulation.
So, naturally, they’re going to tune you out…that is, until their air conditioning conks out. Then, suddenly, finding the right auto repair shop becomes Job One. But by that time, your ad has long been forgotten.
Needing help now, consumers aren’t digging through the wastebasket for last week’s coupon book, reaching for the Yellow Pages, or recalling an outdoor billboard. Instead, they’re turning to their laptops, tablets or smart phones.
Not to fear! Your advertising isn’t necessarily doomed from the get-go. Consider including these three tactics in your auto repair advertising:
Create Customer Personas
Even if you’re on a first-name basis with some of the people who come into your shop, there’s a lot left to learn about what drives consumer purchase decisions. So why not “create” the perfect customer, then market directly to him or her? Personas put a face on auto repair marketing. Think of them as a representation of your typical or ideal customer. Based on interviews with your best customers and prospects, personas become characters you can relate to and advertise to. An auto repair customer persona, for instance, may be named “Rick.” He’s in his late 40s, makes $45,000 to $55,000 per year, drives a late-model sedan to work and an old four-wheeler on the weekends, drives a little too fast, keeps his vehicles for an average of 7 years–and so on. Once you know Rick’s interests and concerns, you can better tailor your message to him. You can do this on your own based on what you know about your customers, or you can take it to the next level with CustomerLink’s smrt™ technology.
Talk About Your Customers, Not About Yourself
It might sound silly, but if your ads look anything like the picture in this blog, then this is directed at you! You’d be surprised how many automotive repair marketing efforts focus on the shop: its state-of-the-art equipment, its convenient location, its skilled technicians–without ever explaining how these features will benefit the customer. Take a look at your shop’s most recent ads or flyers. If the word “we” is used more than the word “you,” that me-centric approach may be costing you your audience’s attention. (If you need help knowing what motivates your customers to buy, that’s another area where smrt™ technology makes your marketing smarter.)
Be Where Your Customers Are
No matter how professional-looking your ad, if your customers aren’t around to see it, it’s wasted effort. Today, people go to the Internet first for virtually all their retail information. In fact, a recent survey showed that 50 percent of consumers spent 75 percent of their shopping time online! So if your customer research indicates they like visiting Facebook, then be on Facebook. Post interesting blogs on your social media pages that will drive interest in your shop and build credibility for your business. You can enhance your automotive repair marketing through the strategy of inbound marketing, which uses engaging content like blogs, videos, and images to encourage web searchers to find your site–and return there. Using SEO in your content helps push your site to the top of Google search result listings, where people can see it. If that sounds like a lot to handle, consider using tools to automate social media or automate customer reviews to make it easy and effective for your auto shop marketing.
Make Your Auto Repair Advertising Work
While there are many reasons advertising doesn’t work–an oversaturated marketplace, outdated marketing tactics, “me-centric” messaging–the good news is there are also ways to make your auto repair advertising work more effectively for you. And, of course, whatever your automotive repair marketing or advertising needs are, CustomerLink has a solution for you.
Need more ideas for advertising & marketing your shop? Get them free by email every month.
You might also like: