Mass marketing can be effective but if over utilized can lack potency. Over marketing dilutes the impact of marketing messages and thereby results in a lower return on marketing dollars invested. Therefore marketing the right services at the right time to the right people will have the most impact. Knowing the target market and the services to be marketed is the first step in identifying potential sales. Knowing a customer’s behavior in terms of auto repair service frequency and services pending will help to refine marketing messages to provide maximum benefit. Following are keys to identifying potential auto repair sales:
- Define the Target Market – Always the most important step is to define the target market. Demographics, psychographics, type of vehicle and vehicle usage are all important components of target market definition.
- Identify Vehicle Service Offerings – The services to be marketed should be identified along with cost and pricing options. Focusing on marketing a specific set of services will allow for stronger messages to be delivered.
- Know the Customer’s Vehicle Service Frequency – Marketing to customers based on purchasing behavior increases the impact of advertising. For existing customers this should be pretty straight forward. Service records should indicate the average time between visits. For prospective customers this is a little different but not impossible. Using an average of existing customer service frequency is one possible alternative. A simple phone survey is another possibility.
- Utilize Standard Service Frequency Schedules – The frequency requirements of services offered are an important part of the equation. Utilizing factory specified service intervals or those preferred by the auto repair shop will determine the timing of marketing messages.
- Identify Vehicle Owners with Services Pending – For existing customers identifying services that are needed can be based on the previous time a service was performed. Maintenance services should be scheduled in advance. When a vehicle is first brought in to the shop all preventive maintenance work should be evaluated and scheduled for a future date. Then the schedule should be rolled forward as services are performed. For prospective customers identifying maintenance requirements is not as straight forward but not impossible. Passive marketing in this regard is best served by promoting the services that are offered most frequently. Direct marketing allows for better information such as time of ownership, last service date, etc.
- Promote the Right Service at the Right Time to the Right Person – Utilizing the information on purchasing behavior and service interval requirements allows a much more effective marketing message to be delivered. Constantly bombarding people with the same messages will cause them to fade into the background. Directness and focus will have a far greater effect.