How Are You Marketing Your Diesel Repair Shop?
It might seem like marketing your repair shop is a waste of time—you have customers and word of mouth seems to be good. But with marketing strategy, you'll begin to realize that not only can you reach a wider (and maybe better!) audience and customer base, you can control the message that's put out about your shop. You don't have to rely on other people and what they say about you. Instead, you can create your diesel repair shop's image and form a brand that people will trust.
Advertising and Marketing
Many people confuse marketing and advertising, using one for the other. In fact, a lot of times it's hard to find a clear definition that separates them out. They are quite distinct from one another, though, and getting a handle on this will give you more tools to reach your target customer. Before you begin working on a marketing strategy for your shop, it's important that you understand the difference between marketing and advertising.
When people hear the term "marketing" it's not uncommon for their brain to conjure up images of billboards, fliers, and TV commercials. And while this could be considered a form of marketing, it is, more specifically, advertising.
Advertising is a subset of marketing, just one facet of the larger picture. It's focus is on how you get information to your audience. Or, in your case, how do you make diesel owners aware of your shop's presence. Are you sending out fliers or other direct mail pieces? Do you have a sign on the highway? These are ways you can advertise your repair shop. Their single focus is on spreading the message about your repair shop in a way that makes it stand out. Marketing is where that larger message comes from. Advertising isn't necessarily trying to convince a customer so much as make them aware of your existence.
You might be thinking that you already do some of that—you have fliers sent out, and you put up a sign nearby to bring in business. So what else is left? People are aware of your business and reputation through those means. Do you really need to do anything else?
If you really want to bring in more business, the answer is yes.
Marketing can help you tackle the entire picture. With your marketing strategy, you'll identify your target audience and the best ways to reach them. You can create your brand, logo, colors, and the overall message you want to project. Think big picture stuff, while advertising focuses in on one specific aspect. You can also control the channels through which you try to reach your customers. Community outreach, for example, can be a component of your marketing strategy. Not only are you getting your name out to potential, your helping to create a brand image of a business that gives back and is involved in the community.
This might sound like a complicated topic, or a lot of work, but it can really impact your profits. Effective marketing can bring in customers who may otherwise have been unaware of your shop's existence.
In This Series
Throughout this series, Marketing Your Diesel Repair Shop 101, we'll help you through ways to develop your marketing strategy and message. This includes advertising, but also various other aspects that you need to think about the effectively market your diesel repair shop. In the upcoming posts, we'll discuss:
Repair Shop Advertising
What goes into advertising? How can you get the most for your budget? Advertising is a critical component to bringing customers into your shop, and you want to make sure you're being as effective as possible with it.
Beyond Word of Mouth
If you're like many repair shop owners, you rely heavily on satisfied customers passing along positive words to their friends or colleagues. But this strategy can fall short in many ways, and you might not be hitting the target customer you want to bring into the shop. Instead, focus on expanding how you get the word out about your shop.
Using a Website to Grow Your Shop
Do you have a website for your shop? If not, you're missing out on a huge chunk of potential business. With so many people relying on the internet to help them find repair shops, it's vital that your shop has a presence on the internet.
Identifying Your Target Customer
Do you know who you want to bring their business into your shop? What are they like? What kinds of habits do they have? Identifying this target person and understanding their persona can help you market to them more effectively, bringing more profits to your shop.
Marketing to Your Most Qualified Customers
Once you've identified exactly who your target customer is, you'll need to decide how to best market directly to them. This can bring you more of the kind of business you want, and less customers who create problems for your shop. The more targeted you can be with this, the better you can reach this qualified customer.
Creativity in Your Marketing Message
What sets your shop apart from the next? This is what's important about your marketing message. You don't want your shop to come across the same as every diesel repair place in the area. You want people to recognize your brand and the quality it represents, thus bringing in more customers.
Branding Your Repair Shop
Your brand. It's what people will think about when they hear your shop's name. You want to make sure it's representative of your business, appropriately creative and compelling. It's essentially who you are as a business and what you want people to perceive you to be. Developing a great brand is one of the most important components of your overall marketing strategy.
Basic Internet Marketing
You might have a website or social media presence, but you might not be using them to their full potential to market your repair shop. You can do quite a few little things to maximize the impact of your website and social media, especially in the local market.
Internet Marketing for Your Repair Shop
If you've mastered the basics of what the internet can do to help your shop, you might want to dive deeper into spreading the word though the web. With so many of your target customers being mobile, you want to make sure that you're equipped to reach them anywhere they might be.
Maintaining Your Shop's Marketing Presence
Once you have your strategy in place, you'll still need to work to maintain it. It’s something that should be monitored through the year to see what works and what doesn't, so that you can better decide on your strategy moving forward.
Creating a strong marketing strategy for your diesel repair shop is one of the best ways to increase profits, and HHP is here to help you learn how! Stay tuned for the upcoming posts in the series.