Do you advertise and market for your dealer collision center?

Jennifer Bourgeois
I have done advertising in the past for Parts/Collision. The thing with these departments and spending significant time and money to promote them is...people search the closest dealer location to them and go there. I will be giving these departments appropriate real estate and content on my website. But above and beyond the website, YouTube videos, and email marketing do any of you do more than that? A customer isn't going to drive another 10-20 minutes because you showed them an ad for your collision center or parts department unless you put a REALLY good discount or offer on there. I am looking for any input on this topic...
Steve Tuschen
Each department needs to be looked at individually for advertising. Collision: Need to sell the value of doing business with you. Factory trained techs(if part of new car dealership), loaners, free estimates(although most do), lifetime warranty on repairs. Sales walk through of the dealership need to talk about the collision center in the walk. If they really need business offer a referral to your sales customers for anyone they refer to the bodyshop. Offer a bonus to the salesman 1% of the dollar they bring in, it can't be that is my customer I get a referral but if they get a call from a customer and they are able to persuade them to bring in the car and have the customer come see them and they introduce the bodyshop they get a piece. The other advertising needs to be to the local insurance companies they aren't suppose to persuade there customer but invite all of the local producers over for a nice supper, tour of the facility, explain your benefits to them. That will bring more than any advertising. Market to the tow truck companies and offer them something for every customer they refer. Parts: If you are a large wholesaler can you easily buy parts online, separate site possibly? If you are not a big wholesaler then again it needs to be the visits to the local independents bring them donuts with business cards and calendars, phone stickers with parts direct number, no routing through receptionist. simple 8x11 sheet with the benefits of doing business, free parts delivery, run programs for every part sold name entered for drawing for gift card back to the dealership(if talking to the owner) or for employee's gift card to tool guy or other local business. The bodyshop is one where your name has to be at the front of the person who was just involved in an accident, a lot of time they call there salesman. Ask a friend out of the business if they were involved in an accident where would they take their vehicle. Most towns have a go to bodyshop, need to use your customer base and retention to keep your piece of that pie. Parts: Unless you are a big wholesaler most of the sales come from the bodyshop and service department and they are along for the ride, the DIY'r just doesn't do it enough and far to many to market effectively, I would again concentrate on your customer base with the sales walk and the independents for growth.
Jennifer Bourgeois
Thank you Steve! Lots of good stuff here. We tend to forget more traditional "gorilla" type marketing tactics that are indeed advantageous for these sort of objectives. I will be implementing a lot of these in the upcoming months.
Lindsay Kwaselow
Jennifer this is a great question. I will tell you service center loyalty is extremely low - people are just looking for deals and a lot of people are using their phones/tablets to do so. I'd absolutely advise spending SEM and dollars that promote your service specials. Google has shared info with us reiterating that customers are not loyal to one service dept. They also show that 71% of shoppers leverage SEARCH when looking for parts or service. Thats a lot of possible impressions and engagements to be made. As your service dept is one of the largest revenue generators at your dealership it should not be left behind in your digital ad strategy - the focus should just be on tailoring the message to reflect your specials and a why buy from you statement. If you promote service specials on search that links to a relevant page on your website with all your service specials and include mobile functionality like "click to call" the results can be well worth the money.
Chris K Leslie
For us this is a more B2B area. Not much focus is B2C except for maybe "Customs" work

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