25 Auto Repair Marketing Ideas for March Promotions

We've helped a number of clients make huge car count gains through seasonal and yearly promotional events like these.

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Conceptual Minds | Feb 2024

25 Auto Repair Marketing Ideas for March Promotions 

March is right at the tail end of auto repair’s slowdown season. 
 
Too late for holiday season trips, and too cold to drive anywhere you don’t truly need to. It’s an awkward period that many repair shops use to get ahead of the busy season. 
 
But what if you could do more with this time? Much, much more?
 
We—the shop marketing coaches at Conceptual Minds—have helped a number of clients make huge car count gains through seasonal and yearly promotional events. And we’re sharing some of our promotional secrets with you for the month of March.

What's the Difference Between a Promotion and a Sale?

“Promotion” is one of those boys of marketing lingo that have come to mean multiple things simultaneously.  

While it’s synonymous with “sale,” for our purposes, it means one of two things:

  1. The act of publicizing a product, service, organization, or other public venture to foster sales
  2. Any activity aimed at furthering a cause or aim

Promotions Help You Carve Out Your Competitive Edge

The economics of auto repair doesn’t afford most owners the resources for effective marketing. 
 
Without room for full-time staff, shops mostly lean on automotive marketers, who have skated by with minimal effort for decades. 
 
This usually leaves marketing strategy in the hands of an owner or office administrator.  
 
As such, when most auto shops think about generating customers, they think of sales. 
 
And while discounts are a crucial aspect of most promotions, consumers aren’t only motivated by price. 
 
By using a promotion with a price incentive and a branding benefit—for instance, getting locals to talk mention or recommend your brand—you create meaningful touch points that foster long-term relationships.
 
More importantly, competing on price alone leaves your organization without a competitive edge over other repair shops. You need to be distinct to survive; more helpful in their lives than the next guy. Promotions are how you carve out that edge.

Women's History Month

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
Revisit your marketing channels’ cost efficiency and ROI to get started.
 
Date(s): First/second week of April
 
The auto repair industry is beyond male-dominated. Surveys have found that only around five percent of US auto mechanics are women. 
 
Given that extremely low rate, it might seem best to skip. After all, it’s often better to skip caused-based events when your business lacks relevance.
 
However, this branding opportunity is one you can’t afford to ignore. Despite women making up around 2/3rds of all auto shop visits, the industry’s negative reputation hasn’t moved much in ages. 
 
Women’s History Month gives you a chance to help change that in your community.
 
Given the low participation of women in the auto industry, we recommend cross-promotions with local charities and women’s groups, grounding it in real-world need and imbuing it with authenticity. 
 
Promotional ideas:
 
  1. Bring attention to the disparity in the auto repair industry and talk about what you’re doing about it
  2. Highlighting women working in your shop via social media 
  3. Announce changes to your company’s employment policies to boost inclusivity
  4. Donate to any of these women-in-auto-repair advocacy groups: Girls Auto Clinic — Women Auto Know — Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation — Women in Autocare
  5. Sponsor trade education for local high school students
  6. Talk about the trust issue between women and auto repair shops via in-person or online courses about navigating auto care

Auto Repair Shop Promotion: Employee Appreciation Day

Date(s): March 5
 
March is also Brain Injury Awareness Month, which is particularly relevant for auto repair shops as vehicle accidents cause around 50 percent of all traumatic brain injuries. 
 
Of course, like all cause-based celebrations, this one is best handled sensitively. 
 
Auto Repair Promotion Ideas
 
  1. Share facts about car-accident-related brain injuries online
  2. Make public donations to brain-injury charities or research organizations
  3. Hold safety and awareness seminars on preventing traumatic brain injuries
  4. Help sponsor medical care for any affected children at a nearby children’s hospital

March Madness Promotional Ideas

Date March 19 – April 8
 
When it comes to communities, and even nations, sports are the great unifier. 
 
Auto repair and sports share a lot of cultural DNA. Both are heavily physical, often dirty, tiring, and satisfying hard work. As the resident grease monkey, locals may look to you for their homespun sporting wisdom. 
 
This gives you the perfect platform to run March Madness promotions—so long as you avoid explicitly using the phrase”March Madness” in your promotion (It’s a copyrighted phrase, just like the Super Bowl. 
 
Promotions
14. Run your own March Madness bracket 
15. Offer patrons discounts for wearing team colors 
16. Take a team picture of your staff wearing their colors; share on social 
17. Launch a cross-promotion with local sports bars; a dozen wings for every oil change may go a long way 
18. Give your storefront a competitive facelift; add March Madness decor, install a flatscreen if you don’t have one, and advertise round-the-clock viewing via outdoor signage

3 Ways Auto Repair Shops Can Leverage Spring Break

Date(s): First and second week of April
 
Spring break traditionally takes place the first or second week of April, but promotions of this type require you to begin well in advance. 
 
If your coverage area includes a lot of students and families, you can bet a significant swath will be thinking about spring break—and spring break destinations—in March. 
 
Think of your shop as the gateway to their ideal trip: how can you help make it happen? 
 
Promotions
19. Offer discounts for college kids—and parents who present proof of their road trip
20. Create a contest: give away tickets to accommodations near a regional tourist destination, state or national parks, resort areas, or nearby city
21. Share road trip tips and talk about local destinations on social media

Promote Wellderly Week for Senior Auto Repair Customers

Date March 18–23
 
This underappreciated holiday encourages seniors to live their life with joy, taking on different activities that improve health as well as life satisfaction. 
 
While senior drivers aren’t on the road as much as the under-60 crowd, they’re still amongst the most reliable auto repair demographics around. 
 
Promotions
22. Reach out to wellness centers to offer special packages and social media credit for ambitious local seniors
23. Offer discounts on common car maintenance services to help seniors get back on the road and out of their comfort zone
24. Partner with retirement homes and elderly service centers to spread awareness and drum up interest

International Puppy Day, Auto Repair-Style

Date(s): March 23
 
Our canine and feline friends are the unambiguous heroes of the internet. 
 
No one needs an explanation for why; place these fluffy bundles of joy next to piles of dirt, and you have the most interesting piles of dirt for miles. 
 
I’m sure you have a big question, though. What, if anything, do they have to do with fixing cars?
 
The answer is one of the cutest genres of internet dog photos: dogs driving cars.
 
Promotion Idea #25
 
Set up a DIY green screen at a well lit-location on your lot. 
 
Ask for the driver’s preference for background—the sky is the limit—and offer to send them a copy in exchange for an email address (Ask if they’re OK with receiving marketing communications and invite them to a newsletter).
 
If you’re looking for an extra step of interactivity, have followers vote on the cutest pic on social media (Make social media follows part of the incentive if you go this way). 
 
The winner either gets internet fame or vouchers for a local doggy daycare. 

Make An Impression on Your Customers One Day at a Time

When we think of marketing, we think of a commercial message that enters a customer’s mind, zombifies them, and compels them to purchase. 
 
In reality, its influence is much more subtle and much more gradual. 
 
But by making effort to look unlike the ordinary auto repair shop, you can generate a reputation no ordinary repair shop can.

Learn About Conceptual Minds

As veterans of the automotive industry, the Conceptual Minds team are experts at growing car counts through effective and personable marketing. If you are unsure of your current marketing strategy and would like some guidance, contact us today at 877.524.7696.

Need help implementing winning auto repair promotions?

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