It doesn’t matter if you run the biggest auto shop chain in the nation or an independent garage– to be successful, you’ll need to have a solid marketing strategy. When you know how to market your shop, you can connect with current and potential customers while standing out from the competition.
And while marketing is a crucial part of running an automotive business, it’s far from a simple task. That’s especially true when you’re running a small auto shop. Because of that, many hire auto repair marketing companies.
While this can be an effective approach, there are some major mistakes to avoid. Here is what to look out for.
One of the biggest reasons small auto shops work with an auto repair marketing company is to avoid the costs of creating one or more new positions. With that in mind, finding a good deal for marketing services may be one of your top priorities. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save while promoting your shop, but choosing a marketing agency based purely on rates might do more harm than good.
It’s essential to remember that the marketing business works just like any other industry–while some companies are trustworthy, others are only out to make a quick buck. That means you should be wary of agencies promoting advertising rates that are dramatically lower than those offered by their competitors. Chances are, these companies can’t deliver the quality results you’re looking for.
Consider setting your budget ahead of time so you know what you’re planning to spend. Typical marketing budgets are around 10-12% of your overall revenue.
The auto repair marketing company you hire should serve as an extension of your team. That’s why you’ll need to take the process of checking their references seriously.
Ask the companies you’re vetting for references. Ask them about their experiences with the marketing company in question and what they were able to deliver. Even if some of your prospects have been in the industry longer than others, what ultimately matters is results.
Make sure any marketing firm you choose to work with can provide a full explanation of the processes they follow for each service they offer, from social media management to digital advertising campaign planning.
Having clear, well-defined processes is particularly important from a financial perspective. When the process a marketing company follows is straightforward, it should also be highly efficient as a result. That way, you’ll be able to keep their time–and your expenses–to a minimum.
Every successful marketing campaign starts with a well-defined plan. Once you hire an auto repair marketing company, you shouldn’t have to wait long before they can provide you with an in-depth marketing strategy. Their plan should include specific goals that you can measure with key performance indicators (KPIs). Look for phrases like “increasing web conversion rates” or “boosting social media engagement.”
Without goals like these, it’s hard to hold your marketing company accountable when things go wrong. For example, let’s say you’re aiming to improve your shop’s social media presence. In that case, it should be easy to tell whether or not your marketing efforts are actually making people more willing to engage with your business online. Clear goals and KPIs make it easy to figure out how successful your marketing really is.
Before you hire a business to work on your marketing needs, it’s a good idea to explore all your options.
AutoVitals is the most highly-qualified company for independent auto shop marketing. They offer web design and digital marketing services as well as workflow management, digital vehicle inspections, and much more. Rather than playing trial and error with auto repair marketing companies, consider using software built specifically for small auto shops. Keep your budget low and car count high with AutoVitals.