Marketing-ChannelsOnce you have established a great brand and created compelling marketing messages, it’s time to spread the word about your diesel repair shop. With the wide variety of marketing and advertising channels and methods available today, determining where, when, and how to promote your diesel repair shop can be the most difficult aspect of marketing your business.

The objective of Marketing is to send the right message to the right customer, using the best methods to get the best results. This must also be done at an affordable cost to be sure you achieve an adequate return on your investment. Yes, this can seem a bit overwhelming and even intimidating, but if you put in a little effort and perform some due diligence, it can be done.

So where do you begin?

The first thing you must do is to find out where your target customers are. In order to do that, you must ask yourself questions like these:

  • Where do they work?
  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they travel to, and from work?
  • Where do they travel while working?
  • What are their hobbies or free-time activities?
  • Where do they eat, play, shop, or visit?
  • What magazines, newspapers, or trade publications do they read?
  • What websites do they visit and read?
  • What do they search for on the Internet?
  • Do they use social media sites?
  • Do they use email frequently?
  • Which industry tradeshows do they attend?
  • Are they members of your local Chamber of Commerce, or other business groups?

Once you have the answers to these questions, it will help you determine which marketing channels and advertising tactics will most effectively reach them.

Effective Marketing Channels and Advertising Tactics:

Direct Mail Marketing: Direct mail is an excellent way to reach your target customers at work, when they are most likely in the purchasing frame of mind. The key to direct mail is to have an attention-getting headline message that compels them to read your postcard or letter. A special offer they can’t refuse is always a good place to start.

Billboard Advertising: Billboard advertising is a great way to reach your target customers while they are traveling. When it comes to billboard advertising, placement is critical. You want to advertise along freeway routes where you are confident your customers will see your ad. Consider frequent placement near their business location, on their way to work. This will increase the chance of your brand message being one of the last things they see when they get to work, creating front of mind awareness for your diesel repair shop when it comes time for them to make a purchasing decision.

Community Relations: Sponsoring community events demonstrates your commitment to the well-being of your local community and the people who live there. Everyone likes to see businesses taking part in special events that bring the community together. It increases the chance that they will do business with you, over those businesses that don’t participate. If the event is closely related to the trucking industry, or attracts people within the industry, it will also increase your chances of getting business from it. Becoming an active member in your local Chamber of Commerce or other business groups can provide some of these same benefits, as well.

Trade Publications: Thanks to the internet, trucking publication readership may be on a steady decline, but there are a few of them left that have a faithful following with high distribution numbers. Advertising in these publications is an excellent way to reach your core target customer base, at an affordable cost. Just be sure the publication is distributed in your market and you get optimal ad placement for your investment.

Internet Advertising: There are many ways you can advertise your diesel repair shop on the Internet. The most effective method is paid search advertising that reaches those customers searching for your repair services as they need them, or plan to purchase them. Other methods include purchasing ads on industry-related websites that prospective customers might read to get useful information. Publishing a blog on your website is also a good way to increase your search engine optimization and demonstrate your expertise and knowledge by offering helpful diesel engine repair advice to your customers.

Social Media: Obviously, social media sites are the most popular method for sharing information among consumers and businesses. There are many advantages and disadvantages to using social media for marketing and promoting your diesel repair shop. These most often come in the form of positive or negative customer testimonials. To use it effectively, you must develop a comprehensive strategy for posting, sharing and publishing content. You must also take into account how you will handle and address any negative feedback you receive. If done correctly, and given the dedicated time required of it, social media is an excellent marketing tool.

Instructional/Informational Videos: Videos are the most consumed content on the internet. Shooting and posting simple, instructional videos on how to diagnose, and/or solve common problems for your customers is an excellent way to build trust and confidence in your business, and demonstrate the expertise of your repair technicians and customer service staff.

Email Marketing: Email marketing is a very effective and inexpensive way to get your message out to your customers. The key to building an effective email marketing campaign is to offer your customers something that gets them to take action. A special coupon offer is the most popular method to entice consumers to make a purchase. If you plan on using email marketing as part of your marketing strategy, be sure your customer service reps have every customer provide their email address when they fill out a repair estimate, then enter their email address into your customer database.

Industry Trade Shows: Attending industry trade shows provides many benefits for your diesel repair shop. The face-to-face nature of trade shows provides an excellent venue to personally present your capabilities to potential customers. It also allows you the opportunity to reconnect with current or past customers.

Whichever Marketing Channels you choose, it is important to measure the results you get from them. If they don’t present any value, in terms of generating new leads, creating more repair estimates or bid opportunities, gaining new customers, or increasing revenue, you should strongly consider trying something different until you get the results you’re looking for.