On Marketing

Communicating to today’s busy consumer

Overcome the defenses and cynicism by building credibility and trust.

Early entrepreneurs in the automotive aftermarket industry worked hard in their garages, fueled only by good ideas and a passion for cars. Their marketing and public relations came naturally. These car and racing enthusiasts liked to meet to swap tips and tricks. Soon, strangers became friends. These friends became customers. Happy customers told their friends. The young automotive media reported the information. Magazines were read. More products were sold. Fifty plus years later, some of those small enterprises became multi-million dollar corporations. Today, the business is more complex, but there’s still no shortage of opportunities.

Times change but enthusiasm for cars does not. People love to talk to others about the latest product. Learn to leverage that behavior.

Today’s big marketing obstacle. Consumers are overloaded with information. Everything they touch, everywhere they turn, they’re being told or sold something. They’ve become defensive, cynical and unreceptive to advertising. But they still listen to advice from a trusted source and they still respond when they’re acknowledged, understood and appreciated. To overcome their cynicism you have to gain credibility. How? Advertising isn’t enough. You need third party endorsements. Get others to say good things about you. PR and good customer relations are the good ways to set this in motion.
Don’t market by accident—have a plan. Making it up as you go along won’t work. Your offer to benefit the consumer in some unique way must be clearly and consistently communicated over time. This requires that you plan your marketing and PR strategy. It’s not enough to just claim to be better, faster, or cheaper than the competition. Marketing takes place, not in the physical world, but in the mind. You’re not working with reason and logic, you’re dealing with intangibles and emotion.

Though motorsports is not as quite as popular as it once was, the old adage “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still holds true because winning builds credibility. But branding is more than seconds on a stopwatch or figures on a dyno. The essence of great marketing is in anticipating and satisfying needs, capturing imaginations, winning hearts and building trust — one customer at a time. A good product isn’t enough. You need to know what motivates your market. Never assume you know. Always ask questions. Listen and learn about their needs, expectations and behaviors. Take the information to heart. It’s critical to your success.
Good customer service is important to marketing. The quality of most products is good these days. This means the consumer can easily switch brands. The biggest reason companies lose customers today is over customer dissatisfaction and customer disservice. Every employee in your company should feel a part of the marketing department. Never allow them to take your customers for granted or think of them as a renewable resource. You need to work hard to keep every customer happy because they’d rather switch brands than fight you.
Do you know what it costs you to generate each new customer? Add your annual marketing and advertising budget together, then divided it by the number of new customers. You can see that you invest a lot of money in each new customer. You can lose your investment for the cost of a mishandled phone call, an ignored or poorly worded e-mail, or an inappropriate facial expression. Customer service must be a priority of every employee and especially those that come in direct contact with the public. Sincere one-on-one customer service builds trust and good reputations. This is how small businesses take market share away from the big ones.
An attentive customer service department can be a significant force multiplier to your existing marketing and PR efforts. A happy customer will tell others. An unhappy customer wants to tell others too. Take your pick. The automotive industry is changing. Your company can change with it if you continually demonstrate to your market that you understand their needs and don’t just meet them — you exceed them.

Frustrating customers with poor customer service negates your marketing efforts. Bad news travels fast—especially with today’s technology and social media.

Let us help you maximize the dollar value of your marketing efforts.

Copyright © 2016 Auto World Marketing.