Every savvy German Auto Shop owner knows there is more to having a steady flow of customers than simply hanging a sign on the shop and waiting for them to come in. Just like with any other business, having a sound marketing plan for your European Auto Shop is a key factor in your ongoing success. Here are some tips for creating a plan for your repair shop marketing that will help you reach your business goals.
Know Your Budget
This step may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many shop owners skip it and end up lost as a result. It’s no secret that marketing requires money, and while you don’t need to have a huge budget to get incredible results, you do need to have some type of budget, so you know how much you’re able to allocate to specific marketing activities.
Know Your Customers and Competitors
It’s crucial to have an intimate understanding of the other shops you are competing with and of the customers that you want to frequent your shop. For customers, “European car owners” is a great place to start, but you also want to know their income levels, occupation, common issues with other repair shops, why they love European cars, what keeps them up at night and anything else that could offer you a competitive advantage.
As far as your competitors go, chances are they do some things well and they do some things not so well. Making note of their strengths and then emulating them and noting their weaknesses and doing better will help you gain traction and increase your market share.
Create SMART Objectives
In marketing lingo, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Oriented. This simple acronym can help guide the development of measurable goals, and it is useful for both short-term and long-term marketing objectives. Some of the different metrics you can fit into your SMART objectives include:
- Sales figures
- Number of new customers
- Developing or offering new products and services
- Improving customer service practices
- How you communicate with existing customers
- Increasing your position in the marketplace
- Entering new markets
Create Marketing Strategies & Tactics
Once you have a firm grasp of your customers and competitors, you can begin to create marketing strategies and tactics that will help you achieve your objectives. Common digital marketing tactics include email marketing, SEO, social media marketing and PPC. You may also want to include offline activities like live events, print ads, flyer drops, billboards or radio ads. Within each tactic, you will create specific strategies designed to bring in new customers, retain current customers and capture customers from your competitors.
These are the action steps that you need to take to engage your prospective customers and draw them in. Your strategies may end up being something as simple as offering a discount on certain repairs with a deadline attached, or a complex sales funnel that ends up selling a higher-end product or service. By following your SMART objectives, watching your budget and letting your deep knowledge of customers and competitors act as a guide, you should be able to come up with marketing strategies that boost sales and win new customers over the short and long-term.
Monitor, Measure and Improve
If you hope to get the most out of your marketing efforts, it’s important to monitor your progress, measure your results and improve where necessary. Depending on which tactics and strategies you use, you may end up reviewing your efforts quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily. Modern digital marketing makes it possible to get real-time feedback on most of your activities so you can adapt when needed, pulling back or increasing your efforts to keep improving your results. It’s also important to review your plan periodically to ensure you’re still on the right track and headed in the right direction.
For your German Auto Shop marketing plan to be effective, you need a dedicated team to put it all together and implement the strategies and tactics you’ve outlined. Just like someone would come to you when they need an expert on European automobiles, utilizing the expertise of a proven marketing team makes sense to accomplish your marketing goals.
Whether you are curious about how we work, want to learn more about our team, or you’d like to share more about your shop’s growth goals, we’d love to chat with you.