(And How to Fix Them for Improved Car Counts in 2024)
There’s no shortage of marketing advice out there. And YES, it’s confusing and overwhelming for any auto repair shop owner or marketer to navigate. Some strategies make sense, and others don’t. To be honest, you don’t have the time nor the resources to chase down every shiny marketing suggestion, either.
Our approach, as specialized marketing coaches for the tire and auto repair industry, involves plucking the BEST marketing ideas and strategies for YOUR unique business. And often, we start by addressing a few key marketing mistakes our auto repair shop clients don’t realize they’re making. Below are just a few of the more common missteps we see in auto repair shop marketing and the solutions to get address them.
1. Not Creating True Differentiators for Your Business
It’s common for consumers of auto repair services to experience marketing fatigue. You and each of your competitors are essentially offering the same menu of repair services. What we see all too often are tire and auto shops racing against each other on price, which, as you know, can seriously tank your profit margins. Competing on price isn’t the only way to win customers. When you keep promoting the same tired services and offers as your competition, you:
- Waste marketing budgets.
- Cut into your margins.
- Get lost in the “marketing noise.”
Focus on identifying and creating aspects of your auto repair business that you do differently. Create a list of unique differentiators that ONLY YOUR SHOP offers. These might include:
- Complimentary pick-up and drop-off services
- Convenient online appointment scheduling
- Loyalty programs for repeat customers
- Community support or charitable contributions you make locally
- A modern, comfortable, and convenient waiting area
Everyone’s story is different, and at the end of the day, it’s important to tell YOUR story. When done in a positive light, it’s likely to make you and your business stand out from the crowd.
2. Auto Repair Business Website Mistakes
One of the first marketing mistakes we often address with our auto repair shop clients involves their website. A website is your best salesperson and a digital version of your physical storefront. But we find that shop operators underinvest in this marketing channel.
When was the last time you invested $300-$500/month in an excellent salesperson and got measurable results? If the answer that comes to mind is NEVER, well, then it’s time to change your thinking!
Your tire and auto shop’s entire business model depends on the effectiveness of the website. More than half of your customers are searching online for LOCAL auto service. Do any of these common website mistakes sound familiar?
- Website SSL Certificates Expired: “not secure”
- Not mobile-friendly: hard to navigate on a mobile device.
- Content too bland or too much: over or underwhelming web visitors.
- Lacks in User Experience (UX) design: hard to navigate easily or get answers quickly.
- Hard or confusing to schedule an appointment.
Whether your website just needs a few design (or content) improvements or a complete overhaul, work with a professional web design team comprising of an expert designer, skilled content writer, a well-informed SEO professional, and a fantastic technical developer. Your website is the pillar element of every other marketing endeavor you explore. Invest whatever it takes to make sure it represents your brand and resonates with your local customers. Make certain that:
- It’s secure and up to date with the required licensing
- It’s mobile-friendly since more than half of your local customers will look for local auto repair on their mobile devices
- Incorporates a mix of compelling images and videos and uses an effective white space-to-copy ratio.
- Your content is easy to read
- The site has easy user flow and is positioned to funnel maximum website visitors to schedule service with your auto shop
3. Giving Up on Channels That Work by Chasing ‘Shiny Object’ Marketing
Another common mistake we often see (and this is a big one) involves a lack of patience or under-investment with marketing efforts. Look – marketing is an ever-evolving concept, subject to changes, requiring flexibility as well as adequate investment, and taking time to build results. All too often, auto repair shop operators abandon proven marketing methods because there isn’t instant gratification. Some business owners stop one valuable marketing strategy to chase down new shiny suggestions (without a proven track record). The results are inconsistent at best, and lead to a loss of marketing momentum that further impacts real results and growth. Stop doing the following:
- Underinvesting in marketing channels that actually work.
- Letting FOMO (fear of missing out) lead to emotional decisions that should instead be rooted in metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs.)
- Giving up prematurely on campaigns and efforts because of gut feelings or follower mentality.
As an auto shop operator or owner, develop (and change) marketing strategies based on analytics, data and KPIs. Of course, this requires having those KPIs and access to analytics in the first place! If you don’t have these for each of your marketing channels, then reach out to our team at
Invest the necessary dollars to support and execute those campaigns effectively. Outline and stick to timelines required to achieve results. Use your metrics to evaluate and measure results as you go, identifying areas of campaign improvement. Be led by your data, not just the “bright, shiny ideas” and marketing-of-the-moment hype. Instead, build consistent momentum with the marketing channels that work well. In our experience, here are some examples of proven marketing channels worth considering:
- Google Ads/Pay-per-click ads
- Segmented email campaigns, including newsletters
- Direct mail
Are you making any of these common auto repair shop marketing mistakes? Now’s the time to identify what isn’t working so you can adjust and position your repair shop for better results in 2024.
Stop chasing trends and start:
- Differentiating your business by developing marketing strategies that promote unique differentiators,
- Revamping your website so that it attracts new customers and helps retain current customers.
- Develop KPIs and S.M.A.R.T goals to create consistency and momentum along with adequate investment and time needed to generate results.
Let Conceptual Minds transform your auto repair shop marketing strategy and go from underperforming, struggling campaigns to successful, profit-generating efforts! Book a free consultation with our team, and let’s identify what marketing mistakes you’re making. Together, we can make 2024 your best year yet!
Check back often to our Market Smarter Hub for ACTUAL marketing advice and auto repair shop-specific insights you can easily use.
Learn About Conceptual Minds
Need help developing a winning marketing strategy for your auto repair shop?
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.