Some people find it easy to be creative and imaginative with their marketing. Ideas just flow naturally. However, we are not all the same! For some of us trying to work out how best to promote our product or service in a way that engages customers seems impossible! We also often find it far easier to promote something people love and want, whereas car repairs, servicing and MOT’s are needed but hardly desirable!
However, don’t panic! At Web Products Direct we provide the ideal solution. In our blog, we give you some useful ideas to help you develop the perfect marketing campaign for your garage services. Just remember, although the customer may not be overjoyed having to get their car fixed or serviced, that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate great service and keep coming back for more.
Choose a key message about the value you offer
Car repairs or servicing are not in themselves unique or special as many businesses are offering these services. However, that doesn’t mean we cannot be different from our competitors. So in marketing, we try and identify something special about our products or services that differentiates us from the competition. We try to:
- Communicate a characteristic that no other competitor has.
- Communicate a characteristic that competitors also have, but they have not communicated it very well.
- Communicate a characteristic that competitors also communicate, but communicate it in a different way to us.
So think about what makes your Garage or Workshop better than the rest and then develop a marketing approach around those positive qualities. We may call these your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or value proposition. For examples:
- ‘My garage is the most reliable’: trust
- ‘We offer same-day appointments’: speed
- ‘We are rating 5 stars for excellent service’: customer service
- ‘We are a family-owned business’: personal service
And after choosing your key message?
The next step is to communicate your USP to your target audience. Ideally, your USP will be something seen as important or valuable by your target audience. So, if your audience is more concerned with “quality” they will not be motivated by “cheap”. This then builds a positive brand image, customer loyalty and repeat business for your garage or MOT centre. Hopefully, loyal customers will then recommend you to their friends!
Social media and blogs
Developing social media networks is essential. It is important to take great care with the quality of images and wording so that you communicate the key message or USP to your customers. You can then extend this and build a following so you have an online community that visits your social media to keep informed and meet like-minded people (e.g. those that are interested in cars or are looking for top self-help tips).
How do you do this? Interacting, sharing real-life examples of the repairs or servicing being offered, customer testimonials, using your social media to help promote your customers business (if relevant), offering promotions and prizes for competition entry. The options are endless. Great pictures work well though – a picture speaks a thousand words!
Also, you can easily run paid-for social media advertising that is targeted directly at the customer you want to reach. We can use demographic information to target the ad. For example, age group, location, spending habits, etc.
Blogs are also a great way to reach your customer. Not only does it serve to position your Garage highly on a Google web search (SEO), but it is also essential to build a reputation and credibility with your customer audience. If the customer reads good quality content, they believe you know what you are talking about and will trust your business. So, we use blogs to both attract new customers and retain existing customers. In the blog you can talk about the type of repairs, tips for drivers, how you go about your work, topical news issues about new cars, or news about your garage or workshop specifically (e.g. when new members of staff join or you win awards!).
Offers and raffles
Promotions, such as gifts, raffle or competition prizes, special price offers, discount codes are always popular. Who doesn’t like a deal! These do not have to be expensive for your garage relative to the visibility that it gives your brand or trading name. They’re worth it! It is important to think about using these to attract new customers, but they are also invaluable in maintaining and building customer loyalty as we always want our customers to keep coming back.
Here are some promotional ideas for your garage or service centre:
- With an MOT or service offer a free car valet, tyre pressure, tyre wear and brake pad check
- Special discounts for a specific service. So you may run a special promotion on new tyres for a week or a combined service and MOT package deal.
- A ‘loyalty program’: points are accumulated for each visit and a gift or discount is offered when a points target is reached
- Automatically enter a raffle for a free “service” or MOT when you spend over a certain amount.
You will then communicate these promotions through your social media and you can even send out an email marketing campaign or promote the sign-up to your periodic email newsletter.
The key is to regularly reach your customers (and potential new customers) to remind them of your USP and make sure if they need the service or products you offer they think of you first. It is now very simple and inexpensive to keep in regular contact with your customers and there are many free services available to help you do this.
Promotional gifts: custom car air fresheners
A promotional gift is a great way to keep your customer reminded about your excellent service. For garages and service centres, custom car air fresheners are the perfect promotional product for your customers. Honestly, who doesn’t love a free car air freshener!
So, you offer them a great service and fix their car and then hang a car air freshener where they will easily see it. Mile after mile they will be reminded of your garage and the great service they get from you time after time!
Not only will this serve to make their car smell good with the fragrance you have chosen, but with our customised car air fresheners you can include your contact details so they always have this information to hand when they need it.
Another good idea with custom car air fresheners is to organise an online event (say a competition on Facebook or Instagram) and give one to each entrant. They will be very excited because they will not have to win to get something useful. You have then created a new audience for the small cost of the car air freshener and postage. You should also be able to get their email address at the same time which means you create another way to keep in regular contact with your customer audience in the future!
Nowadays, it is not enough that your garage or workshop is only promoted through word of mouth by your existing customers, because your existing customers are being regularly contacted by your competitors with offers and promotions! Great things can be done with a good marketing strategy and our custom car air fresheners in a way that doesn’t break the bank!
Hopefully, you now have some great ideas that you can take forward to inspire and impress your customers and potential customers. If you have any questions about our blog, would like to talk to us about developing your marketing campaign, or want a quick quote, then please contact our expert team. We are here to help.