As of 2023, the worldwide digital advertising industry has an estimated value of $626.9 billion—and with that much competition, you need to know exactly who your auto shop’s ads are targeting.
If you haven’t already thought about this, your first instinct might be to assume your marketing and advertising efforts should target everyone, but that’s not as effective as it might seem. In fact, not having a specific target market will make creating an effective marketing strategy for your business much more difficult.
Once you’ve defined your shop’s target audience, you can easily create highly efficient and effective marketing strategies. Here’s our guide to finding the ideal target market for auto repair shops like yours—and keeping these customers engaged along the way.
Use Customer Management Software
Number-crunching is a great way to start defining your auto shop’s target market. By looking at your customers’ information and data, you can see how your ARO varies across different groups and determine what your most popular services are. Of course, you’ll need a convenient way to track that information, which is where customer management software (CMS) comes in.
With the high-level data analysis that today’s best customer management programs provide, you’ll have no trouble pinpointing your most valuable clients. You’ll also be able to pinpoint the traits these customers share—and with that knowledge, you can target said traits in future customers.
Get to Know Your Customers
While data analysis can help you take the first step toward finding a target market for auto repair shops, it can’t tell you everything you need to know. For the best results, you’ll need to take your search to the next level by actually talking to your customers.
There are a few different ways your shop can complete this task: you could send out a survey or simply talk to people as they visit your garage. In either case, it’s wise to ask both questions directly (Why did you come in today? Why did you choose us?) and tangentially (Do you have any weekend plans? What are your hobbies?) related to customers’ visits.
Remember that customer communication is a two-way street: if your clients have been asking about services you don’t offer, be sure to pay attention.
Adjust Your Messaging and Strategy
Between analyzing your shop’s data and talking to customers, you’ll have a solid foundation to work from as you define your target market. Your next move should be adjusting your marketing strategy to incorporate what you’ve learned. That could include changing what services you promote—and how you promote them.
While questions about your customers’ hobbies and activities might seem meaningless, that couldn’t be further from the truth. These questions can be extremely valuable when you need to know what giveaway prizes might appeal to your customers, what charities and community events you should support, and what promotions you should run.
To demonstrate how this information can make life easier for your shop, let’s say you’re planning a promotion for the fall season. A football-themed event could deliver outstanding results—if your target audience is into football, that is. But if most of your customers are indifferent to sports, your promotion might be more successful with a different theme.
Test and Optimize
Even if your efforts to reach your target audience seem to be going well, there’s always a chance that another marketing strategy could be even more effective.
A/B testing is an experiment in which you send one version of your marketing material to half your audience and an alternate version to the other half. By doing so, you’ll compare the two strategies and get a sense of which one is the best for maximizing engagement—which can help you determine how to optimize your marketing efforts.
Outside of A/B testing, applying this analytical mindset to other aspects of your marketing strategy is always a good idea. By paying close attention to your successful (and less successful) community events and other outreach efforts, you can easily focus on what works and steer clear of what doesn’t.
Find the Best Software for Your Shop
If you’re hoping to take your garage’s marketing efforts to the next level, you should take time to define your target market for auto repair. Shops that go through this process know precisely whom their marketing materials and events are meant to reach, allowing them to focus on their ideal customer with zero distractions.
To pinpoint your target market, you’ll need to start by analyzing your customer data—which can be difficult if you’re still running your shop the old-fashioned way. Before starting this process, consider investing in software like BayIQ that can track customer and performance data. Along with that, BayIQ can help you create loyalty programs that will keep your clients coming back and automatically solicit reviews to boost your word of mouth.
If you’re interested in what else BayIQ can do for you, request a demo today!