Why does promotional marketing work for auto repair shops?

Photo by Marielle Ursua on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/a-person-holding-a-cell-phone-in-front-of-a-laptop-OO39PfTUhJ0 -- promotional QR code

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Auto repair shop promotional marketing works because these campaigns DIFFERENTIATE your service in a relevant way. In an industry defined by the same few criteria, (price, ASE certification, and proximity to the customer) you NEED to find a way to be different. Executed correctly, promotional marketing will also increase brand awareness and car counts.

Auto repair is a saturated industry with more than 230,000 auto repair businesses across the country, and over 50% are independently owned, according to Gitnux.


39% of US vehicle owners say they have a local repair shop they trust and rely on for oil changes and routine maintenance.


This is telling because it indicates consumers value local operators to chains. Other motivating factors include the movement of consumers to care about supporting ethical businesses and local ties to the community.

As an example, there are more than 22 auto repair and service shops throughout Springfield, IL. That’s a lot of competition within a 50-mile radius serving the average population of 100,000 people. Your market is likely just as competitive. And it’s promotional marketing that will help you to differentiate your brand from the rest and demonstrate your commitment to your community.


What Your Customers Think

Let’s get honest about a couple of things. Consumers today believe every oil change and tire shop does the same thing. And when they need more than just a tire rotation, they expect auto repair shops to be shady, overcharge, or mislead them in some way.

That’s an industry perception your shop must address, even if you’re the top shop in your market.

These misconceptions have led to a race-to-be-the-cheapest movement, as most tire and auto shops advertise prices and offer discounts. Trying to differentiate your shop by competing with price discount ads as the ones below WON’T generate the results you need to grow.






Differentiate Your Service

If you only try to compete for local auto repair customers on price, tire deals, or oil change specials, you’re not going to move the car count needle. Instead, step out of the norm with a promotional marketing campaign that ties your brand to something different – like a local charity fundraiser, a holiday parade, or a neighborhood business collaboration effort. Generate word-of-mouth buzz and use the power of PR to associate your business with other causes or community programs, and you’ll attract more high-value customers who won’t mind paying a premium to do business with you.


A McKinsey study found that more than 60% of consumers would pay more for socially and ethically responsible services and products.


Zig when the competition is zagging and leave a lasting impression on your target customers!

Increased Brand Awareness

Promotional campaigns also work because they increase brand awareness, as NOLO describes. Customers might not remember to call your auto repair shop because of your ad efforts. But they WILL remember your brand as the business serving up meals at the local homeless shelter. They’ll remember you for being the auto shop that hosted the animal shelter dog adoption day event. And they’ll remember your brand when you gave away MLB tickets to the Home Opener in a social media baseball trivia contest.


Active Customer Engagement

Promotional campaigns increase engagement with your target customers, too. When you get involved with the local high school as part of a drivers’ education promotion and fundraiser, you have an opportunity to actively engage with a host of potential customers. And when you work with a local, Michelin restaurant for a special Valentine’s Day promotion (like we did with one of our clients,) you can appeal to upscale customer segments in a unique way.

It is important to note that this type of promotion isn’t going to generate business right away. However, it will allow you to connect with the target segment, collect their email addresses, and bring them in through strategic and targeted follow-up marketing.

<a href="https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/man-mechanic-woman-customer-discussing-repairs-done-her-vehicle_9144896.htm#fromView=search&page=1&position=41&uuid=651c14bc-8342-4903-8516-189e7d07c68e">Image by standret on Freepik</a> -- auto repair customer

Need promotional marketing ideas to help differentiate your auto repair shop? Contact our Marketing Coaches and let’s brainstorm for your market!

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.

Need help creating winning auto repair promotions?

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