If you own an independent auto repair shop, you’re not alone — not by a long shot. As of 2022, there were 162,000 auto repair businesses across the United States, adding an annual total of $115 billion to the American economy. To make a long story short, if your shop is going to stay successful in the long term, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd.
Marketing is a powerful way to get the word out about your independent auto shop. Still, you’ll also want to track the results of your efforts in this space. After all, some marketing strategies will help you more than others — and some particularly ill-advised marketing strategies may even hurt your business.
By following the tips included in this article, you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your approach to auto shop marketing.
1. Set SMART Goals
Running an independent business takes a lot of ambition, so it’s easy for auto shop owners to shoot for the moon on each marketing campaign they embark on. While that’s an admirable tendency, having a realistic sense of what your marketing strategies can accomplish is equally essential.
One common strategy is to create SMART goals:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound
When you sit down to create a new auto shop marketing campaign, following these guidelines will help you set goals that you can realistically achieve. The SMART goal strategy helps you create reliable benchmarks and gauge your campaign’s success or failure after the fact.
2. Run Tests
When trying to find the right marketing strategy for your auto shop, it’s wise to consider the scientific method. If you need a refresher, the basic steps of this method are as follows:
- Observing a situation
- Creating a hypothesis
- Using that hypothesis to develop a testable theory
- Running an experiment
- Analyzing your results
- Finding a conclusion
Even if this strategy is most closely associated with scientific experimentation, it’s not hard to see how methodically testing your advertising and marketing efforts can improve your auto shop’s performance.
While running tests, only change one variable at a time. Otherwise, you won’t be able to track what made your marketing efforts more or less effective!
3. Compare Over a Longer Timeframe
No matter how carefully you track the performance of your garage’s marketing efforts, the fact remains that these results can fluctuate from one day to the next. Instead of focusing exclusively on the here and now, consider “zooming out” to see how your marketing efforts are doing over the course of months or years.
On top of that, you’ll want to consider seasonality when it’s relevant. For example, let’s say you’re comparing your tire service orders between November and May. While it might seem like your numbers for tire-related service orders fell off a cliff around April, things probably aren’t as bad as they look. Instead, remember that cold air can affect tire pressure — and the arrival of warmer temperatures usually means demand for tire-related services will naturally decrease.
4. Compare Different Channels
Aggregated data is quick to read and easy to understand. With that in mind, there’s no denying that it can be a valuable way to see how your auto shop is doing. On the other hand, this type of data can make it hard for your shop to see the whole picture — sometimes, it pays to dive into the specifics.
To understand why this is the case, imagine that your aggregated data suggests that your advertising strategy is doing okay on the whole. However, that might be an oversimplification — your Facebook ads could be performing exceptionally well while your Google ads need to catch up. If you don’t go deeper than the surface-level data, you’ll find it challenging to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Improve Your Marketing With BayIQ
As an independent auto shop owner, handling marketing for your business may feel difficult — and tracking the success of your promotional efforts might sound downright impossible. Fortunately, this isn’t a task you must take on alone. Instead, give BayIQ a try!
BayIQ is the leading name in the world of automated auto shop marketing software, making it perfect for your small business’s marketing needs. With BayIQ, you’ll find it simpler than ever to:
- Schedule emails and text messages
- Let customers set up appointments online
- Solicit reviews from clients right after they get service
- Track performance metrics across your business
- Create a loyalty rewards program
To take the first step towards utilizing all these services and more, request a BayIQ demo today!