Marketing and the art of automobile maintenance

Marketing and the art of automobile maintenance

Specialization is great. In fact, when working to position our clients and their services, specialization is often a key differentiator. However there are certain situations when a comprehensive, integrated solution works best. We can look to the auto repair industry for examples of how comprehensive services provide customers with better results.

I have a local auto repair shop where I always take both my own and my wife’s car. It’s a relatively small shop, not a franchise or “quickie” oil change type of place. I’ve met the owner, and he is often the one helping me. They know me, I know them and – most importantly – they know my car.

Sure, I could take my car to a brake shop for brakes, get oil changes at a “quickie” lube, rotate the tires at the tire shop, etc. But that’s just too many locations to go to receive comprehensive car care. I like the idea of just going to one place — it’s more convenient and saves me a lot of time. Plus, I don’t have to remember where I have a warranty or where I last had something fixed. My single-stop shop also has my complete service history on their computer and can print it out at the touch of a button. It’s simple and convenient and that makes my life easier.

My shop also saves me money. Now I could probably find a coupon in the mail and see who is doing the cheapest oil change that weekend and save a few bucks. But because I (and many of their customers) go to the all-in-one shop for all of our service needs, their margins are actually lower across the board. They don’t need to make all of their money on a single visit because they know I’ll always be back for other services. One routine oil change isn’t their only chance to earn my money.

We see a lot of larger companies (especially on the promotional products side of our business) who have a company policy of quoting out every project to a handful of approved vendors and who always go with the lowest bid. They probably think they are saving money by doing this, but what long term incentive does a vendor have to offer that client a lower price if they will simply quote out the next project? I argue (and many of our clients will agree) that by partnering with a company you can actually secure lower prices because the nature of the relationship offers long-term advantages. By developing a stable partnership, both parties benefit.

My auto shop and I share just such a mutually-beneficial arrangement. Because they see my car frequently, they know how to diagnose a problem quickly. “Quickie” oil change places aren’t really considering the overall well-being of my car and are instead only interested in identifying a few “add-on” services they can sell me, such as replacing a filter or flushing the radiator. My auto shop has already conducted extensive work on the car, and this familiarity enables them to make informed judgments about which services I need. And because they see my car often, they notice if issues develop over time. With fewer problems slipping through the cracks undetected, I save money over the course of my cars’ life. The shop benefits by retaining my long-term business.

MODassic offers our clients a similar comprehensive approach. We don’t nickel-and-dime clients over little “add-ons,” but stay focused on keeping your marketing strategy on the road for years to come. By forging comprehensive partnerships, we can offer clients better value than the “quickie” marketing shops who are only interested in making a quick sale. The better we know your brand, the better suited we are to make necessary adjustments and to refocusing efforts where they are needed. The arrangement allows us to offer you better, customized services at a cheaper cost because we know that you recognize the value of a committed, all-inclusive marketing resource.