Getting Ready for Seasonal Promotions Season
The return of “sweater weather” in North America means different things to all of us. In addition to the onslaught of pumpkin spiced everythings, giant bags of candy start appearing on the grocery shelves and our minds to turn to costume planning, turkey dinner preparations, and, if you’re anything like me: football.
Lots and lots of football.
But for marketers all through the land this also means the return of seasonal promotions, uh, season. And while we don’t have costumes and deep fat fryers to sell, those of us in automotive repair services marketing are no exception. The fall season is one of the greatest opportunities for auto shops to pad revenues before business slows down for the cold days of winter.
In this guide we’re going to look at a few of the best ways to capitalize on the return of cold weather to increase your sales.
How to Promote Automotive Repair Services and Products
How you go about your promotions is going to depend a lot on the tools and budget you have at your disposal. Here’s a few of the latest marketing methods to get your customers thinking about making a new purchase.
/// SMS Marketing
The best advice for reaching your audience in any marketing project is to “meet your audience where they live.” By now we’ve all discovered that taking ads out in the local paper for anything, much less marketing your business, continue to show diminishing returns. And I’m betting this is not a surprise to you considering that you’re reading this on a digital screen.
Those of use who get to work with our hands get a regular break from digital screen time, but your customers more likely than not spend the bulk of their days looking at a computer for work, and like most of us, have their nose stuck in the smart phone the rest of the time.
While email marketing has become the tried and true marketing channel for most industries, as a service provider you have a unique opportunity to make more a personal connection with your customer. In fact, you may already be doing this now. When it’s time to tell your customers that their car is ready for pickup, are you making phone calls? Or are you sending a text message?
The best advice for reaching your audience in any marketing project is to “meet your audience where they live.”
Let’s be serious — if you’re on the phone, most of your customers aren’t answering your calls. So per usual, you leave a voice mail asking them to call back. But when you leave a voice message, you’ve signaled to the customer that they can call you back, which means you have to drop what you’re doing and pick up the phone.
But if you send a text, you open a channel of communication that is less urgent and does not require an immediate response. There’s no expectation that they need to have a live conversation, so they can text you back, or not. Either way, you can take care of your business and deal with the customer when the time is right.
SMS messages have become the standard way we communicate with friends and family. With the adoption of smartphones, and the rise of spammy robocallers, most folks have learned to screen calls. Here’s a special shout out to those of you who still leave voice mails when your friends don’t pick up, but truth be told most of us would rather thumb up a text or two to let Bobby know how badly we’re beating his ass in fantasy this week.
A Few More Things To Consider
/// Regional Markets
Microclimates vary dramatically across the US. Shops dealing with snow in October are going to have altogether different types of customers than those in the southern states with milder climates. Marketing snow tires is probably old-hat by now for shops further north, where the first days of fall might be a little bit late in the game for your promotions. But no matter where you live, let the weather be your guide: take advantage of the emergence of colder weather to begin your promotional outreach.
/// Selling to Fleet Service Managers
For shops that sell tires to larger accounts with a fleet of vehicles, keep in mind that many companies have residual budgets that need to be spend before year end. The fall season is a great time to pick up the phone to reach out to the purchaser at your fleet accounts. Timing is critical here, you don’t want to wait too long to pitch your promotions. But if you push too soon, the budgetary pressure may not be strong enough to incentivize your buyer.
/// Holiday Season and Gift Giving
The cold weather obviously means we’re also nearing the holiday shopping season. Where your fleet service managers have end of year budgets to spend, your regular household customers have gift giving budgets ready to go and holiday shoppers are notoriously short on good gift ideas. Seasonal tires are a perfect gift for Dads, skiers/snowboarders, hunters and all around enthusiasts. Build promotional campaigns featuring your products in a way that reminds your customers that the holidays are coming.