Quantcast
Jump to content


Joe Marconi

Publicity: Sometimes Better Than Advertising

Recommended Posts

Publicity: Sometimes Better than Advertising

 

I am a believer in “guerrilla marketing”, which is a strategy that allows us to compete with the big guys, without going head to head with them. It helped the colonies win their independence from the British. The British Army was more organized, larger, trained and better armed. Initially, unconventional warfare gave us an edge.

 

Most of us cannot compete on the same level as a large dealership or national account, and we shouldn’t. It’s actually more important to find what the competition is doing and do the opposite. To think that I can compete with the Lexus dealer and have available 30 loaner cars is insane. But where I can compete is by branding my company in my local community, which will give me lots of publicity, which more times than not is actually more effective than advertising.

 

Let me give you an example. When I opened my new facility I started doing consumer clinics. Eventually people began asking me to do the seminars at the local libraries. This branched out to the local Rotary, Chamber of commerce and recently at different local functions. Each time I do one of these, I get a lot of free press, which helps to boost my image and promote my brand.

 

Remember, we may be in the auto repair business, but that’s not who we are and why we are in business. We all have a story to tell. Find WHY you are in business and tell that story to the world. It will become your brand identity.

 

If you focus on the tools and equipment of your trade, you will reduce yourself to a commodity and become a “Me-Too” brand. Differentiate yourself from the pack. This will narrow your target audience, but will actually increase your market share. Give it a try, think about it. It works!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Topics

    • By CAR_AutoReports
      The best advertising comes in the form of referrals, which are usually free but don’t happen overnight.
      Advertising is perhaps the most confusing part of owning any business, not just an auto repair business. Advertising is, to take your marketing materials and broadcast them in mediums where you anticipate your target audience. The internet has drastically changed advertising as most understand it. We used to think of advertising as the “yellow pages” and newspapers. However today, the yellow pages comes in many different forms these days. All of which promise you the world and few of which will deliver.
      We recommend taking a broad approach to advertising to test what will draw in the most amount of new business to you. When thinking about how to advertise for your business, below are some suggestions to consider. First, establish a yearly/monthly budget, then to execute a plan. The most important part of your plan is to follow through on asking your new customers how they found you, that way you know what advertising is working.
      Our advertising model assumes you have a few things in place, as we also discussed in Part 2: website with contact module, Google Business Page, and a Facebook Business Page.
      We are firm believers that Google’s vast grasp on search is what makes it the king of advertising for now. Most people start their searches on Google, and if you’re not on Google maps and your website hasn’t been crawled by Google… you may not exist. We can argue this until the cows come home, but the truth is they hold a grasp on nearly 80% of all search in the US. Picture 10 people searching for “auto repair in my town”, nearly 8 of them are using Google. It’s much easier and fruitful to advertise to 8 out of 10 than 2 out of 10.
      We are going to assume you have a $250 budget, the starter plan would be something like this:
      Google Business Page – Free Facebook Business Page - Free Adwords Campaign through your Google Business Administration Page – Budget Dependent - $100 per month recommended Local Paper Advertising – Prices Vary – Assuming $100 per month This leaves you with $50 left over. Personally, we recommend a service called Yext, however we are unsure of their price these days as they have gone into a "Demo mode". This means  they likely introduce you to the price after you’ve demo’d their product. For a one location auto repair business, we believe their estimated price may be over $600 a year, which kind of busts the budget a bit. But once you see how much time their platform can save you… you may reconsider.
      Yext does a few great things that stand out:
      They broadcast your correct business information to well over 100 directory systems, including Google and Facebook. They also allow you to make business updates from their platform and broadcast it to all the directories in the network. They manage your inbound reviews from your customers on all those platforms and immediately inform you when you receive them. They allow you to broadcast messages of specials you may want to promote. They link your business website from 100 different directories, instantly giving your business credibility online. The most underrated thing they do… is save you time from trying to log into 100 different directories and fix errors, omissions, and broadcast them all at the push of a button. Can you imagine the time it takes to create 100 different accounts and to regularly check and manage them? We did, so we tested Yext at our founder’s facility and have been a subscriber for well over 5 years now. This article originally published in CAR's News Section

      View full article
    • By autobodyguys
      Hey Everyone,
      Curious what everyone is doing for marketing and advertising. What have you found to be the best return for your money and where are you located?? Looking for some ideas for my auto body shop .
      I have tried radio, yelp and yellow pages (never again).
    • By weighit
      Recently moved to a new town, about 30,000 here and with the surounding towns about 100,000 folks. There are many radio stations I can listen to but have narrowed in on a conservitive one that is all talk radio. Many local businesses advertise in 30 second spots. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these business owners and letthem know I heard their spot. I then ask how the radio is doing for their business? Everyone said they are or have seen a tremoundous increase in business and for the cost they are paying per month is a no brainer. The one fellow gets other local business owners that use his auto repair shop to to give in their own words how they have been treated and what a great service this shop provides to the community. The battery shop i was in yesterday said his business has increased 40% in the past 2 years after using the radio station. Are any of you advertising this way?
    • By carbtech72
      What have you found to be the more successfully ways of advertising. I've been using just word of mouth and craigslist and it's been working so far but I really need to increase my car count. Any thoughts?
    • By tirengolf
      I have had a little drop in business for the first time in 15 years. I have been thinking about doing some mailouts to my customers. I have over 3500 names, addresses, and phone numbers. I have never done anything like this before other than a little card every now and then. I just cannot figure out the best way the way to be the most effective. My business is mostly same people over and over , very friendly mom and pop style location. any ideas. Thanks guys.David
  • Similar Tagged Content

    • By Mail Shark
      If you haven’t considered or utilized direct mail postcard magnets to attract new customers, now is the time to reevaluate this medium.
       
      Over the past 9 years, I have seen first-hand how effective direct mailing a postcard magnet can be for new customer acquisition as well as customer retention.  The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), who is quite a credible source, also reported in their DMA Statistical Fact Book that “A postcard with a magnet attached is read at least 51.9% more often than a traditional postcard.” With that said, I cannot speak to how this study was conducted, but this directly correlates to my real-world experience mailing millions of postcard magnets for our clients over the years.
       
      Why is now the right time to mail a postcard magnet?
       
      Postcard magnets are effective all year round. However, now is the perfect time to capitalize on the recently released NFL schedules, which will give you a great opportunity to beat your competitors. You’ll be the first company to get your region’s favorite team schedules on the fridge of your prospective customers.
       
      Another reason postcard magnets are so effective is this simple fact.  Your target prospects may not have a broken car or need your services the exact day that you target them. Therefore, it is imperative that you are top of mind when a need arises and that’s exactly what postcard magnets accomplish. Consumers get them and intuitively put them on their fridge, keeping your brand constantly visible in their home. 
       
      There are a number of companies that offer this product so get quotes & compare services.  Again, it’s the perfect is the perfect time to execute this product.
       
      I have attached a few samples to give you a better idea of what the product can look like.
       
      If you have any questions, please let me know.
       
      Josh Davis
      Mail Shark
      Executive Vice President of Sales
      Direct: 484-948-1611
      Email: [email protected]
      www.themailshark.com/Auto-Direct-Mail




    • By Mail Shark
      If you are currently sending or considering sending out direct mail by carrier route, there is one specific type of address you should be aware of called a Drop Stop AKA Drop Address.
      A Drop Stop is a “locked” location where postal carriers do not deliver mail to the individual units or boxes. They “drop” the mail in a designated location for the individual complex to distribute.
      Take a look at the attached. This photo is from a client of mine from years ago that wanted to test this area and mail this specific complex that we identified to be classified as a Drop Stop.
      *Although the majority of Drop Addresses are apartment complexes, the vast majority of apartment complexes are NOT considered drop address apartments. 
      In addition to designated apartment complexes, some other types of drop addresses are some gated communities, trailer parks, etc. There are no absolute rules or policies for establishing an address as a drop delivery location. The determination of a drop delivery location is based on several factors. It may be the choice of the recipients at the address such as for gated communities or prestigious high-rise condominiums that the residents don’t wish to have their physical address information disclosed and elect instead to have their mail distributed by their building management. Where a delivery location is defined as a business delivery point such as a trailer park, the USPS may make the determination that all mail will be delivered to a central location and the responsibility for distribution to the individual recipients will be made by other than USPS personnel.
      All that said, the first step is to identify if any of the addresses in your area are classified as drop addresses. From here I typically always recommend removing these from a saturation mailer. You could have a tenant that sees a special offer and simply takes all of them or someone doesn’t like an employee at your business or had a bad experience, etc, etc.  and simply takes them and dumps them in the trash.
      In my opinion in 99.8% of cases it makes no sense to pay for postage on pieces that may just get dropped on a table. I’m sure you would much rather have your direct mail marketing going to a physical address that you know will get delivered into the intended recipient’s mailbox. 

      If you have any questions regarding Drop Addresses or would like to see if there are any in your immediate area, please let me know.  
       
      Josh Davis
      Mail Shark
      Executive Vice President of Sales
      Direct: 484-948-1611
      Email: [email protected]
      www.themailshark.com/Auto-Direct-Mail


    • By Mail Shark
      There’s an old adage in marketing: “features tell and benefits sell.” This is critical to keep in mind when you’re promoting your auto repair shop. If your prospective customers don’t understand the features your shop offers, how they’ll benefit from these features, and why they should consider your shop for their next repair or maintenance service, you may lose them to your competition.
      The main constraint you’ll encounter when emphasizing benefits on your direct mail is usually space. There are a lot of important elements an effective direct mail advertisement should contain, all of which are fighting for valuable space. Furthermore, putting too much information on an ad can make it cluttered and hard to read, which could diminish your return. A great solution to this problem is to provide a clear, concise, and organized list of your shop’s features that can easily be scanned by your prospects.
      Depending on the available space, there are two ways you can do this. If you have limited space, you can simply list your benefits out in a bulleted list. If you have extra space, you can list them out in conjunction with an icon to help illustrate the benefit and call additional attention to them.
      Here’s a starting point to help you develop and build a list of your shop’s features and benefits.
      Quality
      -Are your technicians ASE certified?
      -Do you offer a warranty on your work?
      -Do you offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee?
      Affordability
      -Do you offer any financing options?
      Comfort
      -Do you offer any amenities in your waiting room?
      Convenience
      -Do you offer any type of shuttle service or loaner car service?
      -Do you offer same day service on most repairs?
      -Do you offer early drop-off and/or after-hours pick-up?
      -Do you offer roadside assistance?
      -Do you offer online appointment scheduling?
      Trust
      -Are all repairs approved by your customer before any work is done?
       
      Pro Tip: Make sure you give your list of benefits a header. Something like: “Why Choose XYZ Auto” or “Our Benefits For You.” or “10 Reasons to Choose XYZ”
       
       
      Josh Davis
      Mail Shark
      Executive Vice President of Sales
      Direct: 484-948-1611
      Email: [email protected]
      www.themailshark.com/Auto-Direct-Mail
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...