We’ve helped many auto repair shops boost their car counts through clever promotions like these
March is right at the tail end of auto repair’s slowdown season.
Too late for holiday season trips and too cold to drive anywhere you don’t truly need to. It’s an awkward period that many repair shops use to get ahead of the busy season.
But what if you could do more with this time? Much, much more?
We—the shop marketing coaches at Conceptual Minds—have helped a number of clients make huge car count gains through seasonal and yearly promotional events. And we’re sharing some of our promotional secrets with you for the month of March.
What’s the Difference Between a Promotion and a Sale?
“Promotion” is one of those boys of marketing lingo that have come to mean multiple things simultaneously.
While it’s synonymous with “sale,” for our purposes, it means one of two things:
- The act of publicizing a product, service, organization, or other public venture to foster sales.
- Any activity aimed at furthering a cause or aim.
Promotions Help You Carve Out Your Competitive Edge
The economics of auto repair doesn’t afford most owners the resources for effective marketing.
Without room for full-time staff, shops mostly lean on automotive marketers, who have skated by with minimal effort for decades.
This usually leaves marketing strategy in the hands of an owner or office administrator.
As such, when most auto shops think about generating customers, they think of sales.
And while discounts are a crucial aspect of most promotions, consumers aren’t only motivated by price.
By using a promotion with a price incentive and a branding benefit—for instance, getting locals to talk, mention or recommend your brand—you create meaningful touch points that foster long-term relationships.
More importantly, competing on price alone leaves your organization without a competitive edge over other repair shops. You need to be distinct to survive; more helpful in their lives than the next guy. Promotions are how you carve out that edge.
Women’s History Month (Date(s): First/second week of April)
The auto repair industry is beyond male-dominated. Surveys have found that only around five percent of US auto mechanics are women.
Given that extremely low rate, it might seem best to skip. After all, it’s often better to skip caused-based events when your business lacks relevance.
However, this branding opportunity is one you can’t afford to ignore. Despite women making up around two-thirds of all auto shop visits, the industry’s negative reputation hasn’t moved much in ages.
Women’s History Month gives you a chance to help change that in your community.
Given the low participation of women in the auto industry, we recommend cross-promotions with local charities and women’s groups, grounding it in real-world need and imbuing it with authenticity.
- Bring attention to the disparity in the auto repair industry and talk about what you’re doing about it.
- Highlighting women working in your shop via social media.
- Announce changes to your company’s employment policies to boost inclusivity.
- Donate to any of these women-in-auto-repair advocacy groups: Girls Auto Clinic — Women Auto Know — Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation — Women in Autocare.
- Sponsor trade education for local high school students.
- Talk about the trust issue between women and auto repair shops via in-person or online courses about navigating auto care.
About Conceptual Minds
As veterans of the automotive industry, the Conceptual Minds team are experts at growing car counts through effective and personable marketing. If you are unsure of your current marketing strategy and would like some guidance, contact us today at 877.524.7696.
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