Marketing to Your Most Qualified Repair Shop Customers
In our earlier post, we discussed how to go about identifying your target customer and what kinds of things are important to figure out about them. This allows you to build a profile of your ideal diesel repair shop customer to better focus your marketing efforts on them. But just what is targeted marketing and why do you want to do it? And, more importantly, how do you go about it? That's what this post will focus on.
Targeted Marketing and Your Customer Profile
Target marketing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—directing your marketing efforts on a specific group of people rather than trying to reach the entire market. It might seem a bit counterintuitive to focus your marketing on a limited amount of people. I mean, more is better, right? Well, it's only better if you're actually reaching people who have diesel engines in need of repairs. Otherwise, you're spending money on advertising to people who will never need your services. That doesn't seem like a very good way to spend your marketing budget to us.
Instead, you should get to know your customers. Who are the ones most likely to spend money in your shop? It makes the most sense to direct your marketing toward people like that, to get the most return for the dollars you spend. So build that customer profile, the fictional person that is a combination of all the traits of your customers. Then, create your marketing plan around that profile. You'll have a better idea of direction, and you'll be able to make a more meaningful connection with potential customers.
Connecting with Your Target Customer
When you're coming up with your marketing strategy, you need to think about what your shop has to offer customers. Why should they spend their money on your services instead of the diesel shop down the road? This is where having a good understanding of the customer can really help you out. By doing that bit of leg work in the beginning, you know more about their pain points and what drives them to make decisions. Build your campaign around those pain points. They might have a problem with shops taking advantage of them and overcharging—advertise your transparency and estimate accuracy. Set yourself up as a shop they can trust, someone who is willing to build a relationship with them, not just take their money and send them on their way.
Think about the types of services you provide as well. How do they benefit your target customer? Are you a full-service shop where they can bring their truck and have you fix any problem with it? Maybe focus on advertising the convenience of not having to run all over town to get parts and repairs. Do you focus less on major repairs and more on maintenance services? Maybe your marketing strategy could emphasize the speed that you can get them back on the road, helping to prevent major issues down the road. Whatever your shop works on the most, make sure you're thinking more about the benefit to the customer. The belief that your shop will do more for them than any other is what will help convince them to walk through your door.
In short, an understanding of your customer and the way they make decisions can help you shape your marketing to reach the people who will actually spend money in your shop. And people can tell when you're actually trying to connect with them. They're more likely to be convinced by an ad that speaks to them personally and addresses a problem they actually have than by a general ad for a diesel repair shop. So focus on connecting with your audience and really drawing them in.
What Are the Best Ways to Reach Your Target Customers?
With a targeted marketing strategy, you'll want to make sure your marketing channels work to reach that audience. You can try several different ways to reach your potential customers, but a few to consider include:
- Internet Marketing: Employing various strategies online can really help you reach your target audience. Keep your shop's social media presence active and make sure your business listing on Google is up-to-date and accurate. This will help you reach people who are local, but also those who actually need a diesel repair shop. You might also want to look into email marketing, which can keep you in touch with customers who may not have been in for a repair recently. Paid ads are also an option online, and can help you target people who are interested in diesel engines and likely to fit your customer profile.
- Direct Mail: This is one of the more traditional ways to market. It gives you good access to your desired customer, and can help reach those who may not be as active online. So if you determine in your customer profile that your target customer has little interest in using the web, or doesn't own a smartphone, they might respond better to advertisements sent directly to them. These can take the form of postcards, letters, fliers, coupons, pens, or anything else that has your branding and message on them.
- Community Events: Something else you could do to help you reach your target customer is to get involved in community events. It helps you to get the word out about your shop, and people can't just throw away your marketing materials. This method has much greater visibility, and can really work well, especially if you determine that your target customer is local and/or cares about giving back to their community. So not only can you strengthen the community your diesel repair shop operates in, but you can ideally bring in more business for it as well.
Your Diesel Repair Shop Brand
Another big aspect of reaching your target customer is your repair shop brand. Your branding includes your logo and colors, as well as any message that easily identifies your shop. It's a great way for you to connect with your potential customers, so it's important that your brand is clear and strong. We'll talk more about your brand in an upcoming post.
Finding and marketing to a targeted customer group can really help your marketing budget go farther—and there's a good chance you'll actually bring in more people that way. Remember, it's better to get your message to a few people who will actually spend money on repairs than reaching many people but converting none.
Take a look at our Repair Shop Value Program for other ways to stretch your budget a little further!