Marketing is fundamental to any business but many garage owners struggle to find the time to dedicate to it.
Alex Knight said: “Garages don’t need a big budget and you don’t need to be a marketing guru to give your business some traction, but you do need to make some time.
“Don’t just jump in feet first, be realistic and cost out any campaigns, for example, a leaflet through the doors of your local neighbourhood may seem like a good idea but design and print costs, not to mention, distribution could prove too costly whereas a simple MOT and service reminder to existing customers is more likely to generate the footfall you require.”
The first port of call for any customer tends to be the internet, even if it’s only to find a phone number.
Alex Knight said: “You don’t need us to tell you that your website is the most vital part of your marketing toolkit, but when was the last time you read it, let alone made any updates?
“Your website should not be a static, fixed site, it should constantly evolve, not only is it good for you to regularly provide more information, but Google ranks sites with fresh content more highly than the ones which are left to wane.”
Read each page and ensure potential customers can find the information that they will be seeking.
On social media, Alex advises garages to focus on a core selection such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
“Facebook enables you to create a business page, make sure you do this rather than set up your garage as a person, that’s against the rules.
“Posts can be all manner of things from what’s going on in your local community to seasonal comments.
“Obviously, with Twitter you only have 140 characters to make your point, however, there’s ample opportunity to become involved in conversations.
“Don’t overlook LinkedIn, whilst it is very much a professional network, most business people drive and many will be private motorists.”
Customer Relationship Marketing
Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) is about building relationships with your customers to ensure they keep returning to your business.
“The most straightforward CRM programme to implement is MOT and service reminders.
“The more information you amass on your customers, the more you can tailor your CRM programmes to their individual needs, such as identifying those who are driving cars of a certain mileage which are more likely to require a cambelt change.”
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